Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.  • Help
SMF Underground
+ SHMUP-DEV » RAPID PROTOTYPE SESSIONS » Older Sessions » Session 1
|-+ kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

Pages: [1]   Go Down
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Topic Tools  
Read May 20, 2008, 01:44:26 AM #0
kdmiller3

kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

Ooh, I think this should be fun.  Smiley

I'll give it a shot.  It definitely goes against some of the the basic assumptions of my existing game project, and will push me to add some higher-level game structure beyond just "kill all you want, we'll make more".
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 02:06:48 AM by kdmiller3 »
Offline  
Read May 24, 2008, 02:06:41 AM #1
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry

My internal working title is "Galaga has A Posse" (as seen in the updated title), and the core concept is "you can't shoot, but your friends can... so go make some new friends!".  Smiley

After getting distracted in irrelevant details and an overgeneralized system I started on my first attempt, I finally started making headway while on a plane flight to visit a friend in New Orleans.  I started with a pristine copy of my game prototype and added two new component types that implement the core play mechanic.  While the visuals are rough, I got a proof-of-concept done using the red-team turrets from my original game, as I already had blue-team equivalents for them.  I'm fairly happy with the result so far.

I don't have any good representative screenshots yet, but they'll be coming along in the next few days as things start coming together.  I still have a lot of things to finish.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 02:16:25 AM by kdmiller3 »
Offline  
Read May 27, 2008, 03:54:06 AM #2
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse"

I finally created blue-team equivalents of all existing red-team enemies, so now the player can make friends of any and all enemies--even the big carrier ships.  They do tend to die in a hurry, though, since they're relatively fragile compared to their firepower.  I had originally planned for non-shootable projectiles to be subject to team switching so the player could intercept them with the beam to project friend units.  It's just a matter of adding a "capturable" component to them, and I've already done that for the shootable projectiles (Missiles, Fireballs, and Space Hums).

I also rigged up the first part of the scoring mechanism, granting the player points for capturing enemy units.  The player currently gets no points for kills made by friend units, and I haven't decided whether I should leave it this way (the easy way out) or give the player credit (tricky to implement).  The friend units clearly aid survival but exact an opportunity cost every time they destroy an enemy unit.  I'll have to see how this turns out once I start producing real levels.
Offline  
Read May 27, 2008, 04:12:44 AM #3
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse"

Ouch.  I just made the player ship damagable again, and found that the game is brutally hard.  Even with the beam cone providing a shield, death comes early and often.  Of course, trying to aim with the Trackpoint on my laptop doesn't help.

Part of the problem is that the test level was originally built around a player ship with abnormally high firepower and numerous defensive options (front-mounted Force, side-mounted Gunners, and path-following Multiples).  I definitely need to make it easier if even I can't survive for more than a minute.
Offline  
Read May 30, 2008, 04:05:57 AM #4
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse"

At long last, I added finite lives and "GAME OVER" display.  I do need to add a better way to restart, though.
Offline  
Read June 03, 2008, 02:06:21 AM #5
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse"

Well, I guess I can call it done enough.  I feel like I cheated a bit by reusing the level I developed for my existing shmup prototype, but the play mechanic comes through reasonably well.  I wanted to make some custom levels that showed off the play mechanic better, but I didn't have as much time to work on it as I had originally planned.

The default level (level.xml) starts the player ship in the center of a friendly base, with four health powerups (you'll need them!), four yellow walls, a ring of bullseye target "decoys", and a bunch of defensive turrets; enemies assault in waves from all four directions.  The player ship has a Galaga "tractor beam" that turns enemies into friends, and an unlimited stock of smart bombs.  Go make some friends!

The game requires the Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package

The readme file lists all the command-line parameters and console commands, but "-fullscreen 1" is probably the most useful one.  You can switch between windowed and fullscreen with ALT+Enter as well.

Default controls:
WADS keys to move
Mouse to aim
Left button for capture beam
Right button for smart bomb

I also have dual-stick gamepad bindings in there, though not all gamepads use the same layout.  There is a separate input binding file (input_xbox360.xml) for the Xbox 360 controller.  (Use the -input command line option with the name of an input binding file)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 06:33:22 AM by kdmiller3 »
Offline  
Read June 04, 2008, 02:25:07 AM #6
hima

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

I really like the idea of making friends with enemy. Very innovative.  However, most of time in the game there are so many things going on that I was overwhelm. Maybe this is why you give us unlimited smart bomb?

I realize that you get points for killing enemies with smart bomb too...I think that just kill the whole concept of making friends. Since after that I just keep on smart bombing the whole screen without having to make friends = =;;

I believe you're planning to give us a minimap of some sort , right? Or else I would have know idea where I am in the level ^ ^;

All in all, I think this has potential. I can see this game as a multiplayer game or shmup+real time strategy game already Grin  Good job, kdmiller3!
Offline  
Read June 04, 2008, 02:36:36 AM #7
the2bears

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

I can't get this to run.  I've installed the Visual C++ package but upon executing "Test" this is what I get:


Code:
Problem signature:
  Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
  Application Name: Test.exe
  Application Version: 0.0.0.0
  Application Timestamp: 4844b333
  Fault Module Name: atioglxx.dll
  Fault Module Version: 6.14.10.6465
  Fault Module Timestamp: 45f8a27d
  Exception Code: c000008e
  Exception Offset: 000ea316
  OS Version: 6.0.6000.2.0.0.768.3
  Locale ID: 1033
  Additional Information 1: 3a5b
  Additional Information 2: bfbe09640d998e167d6630e6a3f1e17f
  Additional Information 3: a90e
  Additional Information 4: b2142a7a7e1eb37863f3ee00060677f3



the2bears - the indie shmup blog
Offline  
Read June 04, 2008, 03:58:19 AM #8
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

@hima:

The smart bomb was a leftover from the main project that I should have removed.  With unlimited ammunition and full scoring, it's far more useful than the main weapon.  Smiley

Increasing the view area ("-viewsize 480" for example) helps a lot.  I need to recalibrate unit and projectile speeds so they're more fair.  Right now enemies come out of nowhere and destroy you before you know what's going on.  A minimap/scanner would definitely help, and it's on the list of things to do.


@the2bears:

That's a floating-point division by zero error in the ATI OpenGL driver, but I'm not sure what would cause that.  What graphics card do you have?
Offline  
Read June 04, 2008, 04:46:49 AM #9
the2bears

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

@the2bears:

That's a floating-point division by zero error in the ATI OpenGL driver, but I'm not sure what would cause that.  What graphics card do you have?

It's an ATI Mobility Radeon X1400, which is not great but not bad by laptop standards Smiley

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
Offline  
Read June 04, 2008, 05:06:01 AM #10
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

Hmm.  I have an X1300 in my Thinkpad, and the game works fine with it.  What driver revision do you have?

If you have Visual C++ 2008 Express installed, I could send you the program database so you could run it in the debugger and get a call stack where it crashes.  There's also a 30-day trial of gDEBugger OpenGL debugger, though that might not help.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 04:20:32 PM by kdmiller3 »
Offline  
Read June 04, 2008, 07:15:58 PM #11
mice

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

This is hard as hell! Or maybe I just suck...

Last game I ran I just hung inside of the walls and beamed the enemies that came too close, lasted quite a while and managed to turn over some of bigger enemies. But as soon as I left the comfort of home, I died.

There's a really cool feeling of being in the middle of war. Really well done on that point.

The idea would be suitable as a complement to actual standard fireing.
Offline  
Read June 04, 2008, 09:27:16 PM #12
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

You don't suck--it's just that hard Cheesy (though not on purpose)

That level was built around a player ship with excessive firepower and a bunch of defensive options, so a player ship armed with a capture beam has a hard time even if you have quick reflexes.  Reducing the view aim offset helps, as does keeping the crosshair closer to the center, but you still only get a fraction of a second to react.  The biggest problem is that units and projectiles move very quickly, and AI units are really good shots and tend to ambush you from off-screen.  In addition, Fireballs, Space Hums, and Missiles also do three points of damage per hit.

Offline  
Read June 04, 2008, 10:36:53 PM #13
the2bears

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

Hmm.  I have an X1300 in my Thinkpad, and the game works fine with it.  What driver revision do you have?

I'll try updating the drivers.  I'll also give this a try on another machine.

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
Offline  
Read June 05, 2008, 03:15:03 AM #14
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

OK.  I've tried the game on a few different systems, and that's the first time it's ever bombed out like that.  It's possible that the game submits some geometry that trips up the driver, but I'm not sure what.
Offline  
Read June 05, 2008, 03:42:33 AM #15
the2bears

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

Works on my older laptop, Mobility Radeon X300 Smiley

And yes, it's hard.  How do you quit from it?  Or restart a game? Tongue  No keys were working after the game was over, except for ~ and the console.  Must read the directions some time Wink

Bill


the2bears - the indie shmup blog
Offline  
Read June 05, 2008, 04:00:11 AM #16
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

You can quit with Alt+F4.  You can (re)load a level with the "level" console command (e.g. "level level.xml" or whatever level you used).  I need to add a shell/interface so players don't have to use console commands like that... Smiley
Offline  
Read June 06, 2008, 02:14:10 PM #17
Edge

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

A lot of stuff on the screen.

I found it a bit too chaotic. So i played it without using the smart bomb to see how far I can get without using the feature you just forgot. So I soon discovered that staying in the base is the best thing I can do, since I have the respawning energy balls and the walls as cover. Which were very useful when I turned all enemies behind the wall into my friends. The turrets on the outside got somehow all pushed into the base by the oncoming bigger ships, which were also helpful in surviving. It seemed like I could play this turtle style forever. But at around 550'000 the base was literally flooded by enemies. Thanks to my 17 reserve lifes I made it to 680'000, but I didn't feel like I had a real chance of surviving.

With this gameplay style I think it might be difficult to balance the gameplay to be challenging, yet fair to the player. But I think a mini-map and some objective which forces to leave the base would increase the game. The player could maybe try to attack a enemy base. And i really agree with hima that some very basic real time strategy elements would fit here very well.... at least I think so.
Offline  
Read June 06, 2008, 06:41:30 PM #18
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

Right now there's no throttling mechanism on enemy attack waves whatsoever, so they just keep coming on a regular schedule regardless of whether or not you're dispatching them.  The defensive turrets help, but die very quickly once a bunch of enemies pile up around the base.  AI has trouble with the Carrier ships because it aims at the target's origin but the Carrier's hit box (the colored "core") is offset by a large distance.  As a result, Carriers hang around for a long time and launch tons of mini-ships that crowd the base area.

I think the biggest (and possibly crippling) flaw in the current design is the lack of fairness.  Death comes early and often, and the reaction is almost always "what killed me?" not "I messed up".  Challenge is good, but Players don't like getting shot down by enemies they can't even see.  I need to fix that as soon as possible.  I'll try some sort of "enemies this way" indicator on the edge of the screen and a scanner showing a larger portion of the play area.

One way to fix "turtling" might be for the base to gradually suffer attrition instead of automatically respawning.  The player ship would need to go "outside the wire" to collect enemy drops or harvest resources from asteroids, repair and improve the base, and replenish ammo-using defenses like Missile Command launchers.  Then it's just a matter of being able to build and command allied ships and it'd start to look like a strategy game.  Smiley
Offline  
Read June 11, 2008, 02:04:48 PM #19
kdmiller3

Re: kdmiller3's entry: "Galaga Has A Posse" (Done-ish)

I updated the Aimer code to filter out collision shapes it can't hit (the grey Carrier hull), updated the blue-team turret leading values (since their bullets are faster), and replaced the blue-team "force" turret with a missile turret.  The blue-team base area is now a "no-fly zone" for the red team until the Carrier ships arrive, and even those go down fairly quickly once a bunch of turrets start pounding on them.

I can update GHaP with the changes if anyone wants to try them out, but it doesn't really make the game any easier.  In fact, it's slightly harder because the accurate turrets now force the player to venture out to capture anything.
Offline  
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Jump to:  

Page created in 0.18 seconds with 19 queries.