Windows Ascended Dark Matter (Bullet Hell/Shoot Em' Up)

Discussion in 'Work in Progress' started by Sabrina Stoakes, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Hello everybody <3

    Demo Build Feb 23rd, 2019 Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h7LHCEqE0rhjzo0g3HwbTuzhTkNhCbsf/view?usp=sharing
    Company FB page: http://fb.me/Caspiancatgames

    Gameplay Video: Be sure to watch it in 720p with 60FPS



    These are the controls:

    [​IMG]

    Ascended Dark Matter is a Bullet Hell/Shoot Em' Up about the once celestial, turned demonic beings known as, "The Ascended." As the sole survivor of complete obliteration of your homeworld, you are hell-bent on retribution for your kind. The Ascended command an army of Aliens possessed by their demonic powers. Can you free the Aliens from their possessors, let alone stay alive???

    Some Game Features Below:

    -Arcade Mode. The Standard Difficulty mode for Players who are skilled, but not invested into Bullet Hells. Bosses have normal health and enemy waves are not persistent. Recommended for those starting out.

    -Nightmare Mode. An extremely difficult mode designed for Players who enjoy Bullet Hell games. This mode adds extra enemy types to every level, and requires the Player to really stay focused on what they're doing, and where they're doing it. Bosses have DOUBLE the health in this mode.

    -Local Co-op for 2 Players. (Online Co-op if you use Parsec.) Both Players share Lives, Bombs, and Health, so you better make sure your friend is capable. Playing Co-op on Nightmare Mode is highly recommended as Bosses have double health in Nightmare Mode.

    -Style Meter. Using the same weapon over and over isn't, "Cool," or, "Good," but destroying your enemies stylishly is! Increase your Style Meter by using all the weapons available to you. Getting hit drops your Style Meter by a few points. The higher you Style Rank, the larger your multiplier is for points.

    -Boss Rush Mode. *NOTE: THIS MODE NOT INCLUDED IN DEMO. ACCESSING IT WILL TAKE YOU TO AN EMPTY ROOM* This mode you will face all the Bosses in the game with a catch, they're all set to Nightmare difficulty, and you get a chance to get one of three Powerups between rounds.

    -Music by Composer Gabriel Iwasaki.

    Here are some screenshots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Would love to hear your feedback on this <3
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  2. IndianaBones

    IndianaBones Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Posts:
    1,955
    Had a quick play, graphics are decent, clear and easy to read. I liked the bright colours, almost candy-like, pleasurable to view :)

    Are there any sound effects yet, I didn't notice any?

    I didn't notice the powerups at first, they maybe need to stand out more. The 1UP was very hard to pick up, maybe by design but it drops very fast.

    The difficulty ramps up a little fast in my opinion, perhaps have a couple of easier starting waves of simple cannon fodder to get the player used to the controls.

    My thumb got a workout on the fire button, there are pros and cons of having to require the player to manually press the fire button for each shot. I think for this kind of bullet hell, unless the person has a proper arcade cabinet style controller, there should be an auto fire option.

    I was able to manually fire bullets and use the right trigger to build up a charge shot at the same time. The right trigger functions as a fire button as well so I could kind of generate more bullets by pressing A and right trigger together, or fire bullets and charge at the same time.

    Some nice bullet patterns, a little tricky with the red ships that fire back at you after they have passed your position.

    It gets kind of frantic quite quickly, I was having to zip all over the place almost randomly. Perhaps the sequences where there are lots of bullets on screen they could be slower moving a little.

    The controls felt pretty tight, however not sure if the player is moving a bit too fast - might make dodging bullets and careful maneuvering through complicated bullets patterns hard as I would overshoot where I wanted the ship to be.

    Is the bomb a power-up? It wasn't working for me, so I assume its something I have to pick up in order to use?

    Might need some fine tuning on the enemy waves, have a bit of ebb and flow where the intensity builds up a bit, then a give the player a short breathing space of less enemies, then throw more at them again etc...

    Overall, its a good start, would like to play it with sound effects and some pumping music.

    Please take my feedback with a grain of salt, just some quick first impressions for you.
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  3. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Thank you sooooo much for this <3

    Some thing I didn't mention in the post that I will edit in after this comment: I have sound effects, but I'm waiting to put them in until after the game is complete that way it doesn't take as long to run the game while I'm testing it!

    I was thinking in the final version maybe making the powerups glow a little bit, that might make it easier to see that it's a powerup. I'm going to hire an artist so I'm sure he/she will think of something for it.

    I wasn't entirely sure if the difficult was building up too fast or not, mainly because after testing the game a billion times I've gotten really good at it haha, so I think I will have the enemies spawn a little bit slower in the final version.

    I had been playing a lot of DMC3 when I first started making this game, so I sort of was like, "HECK YEAH MANUALLY PRESS THE FIRE BUTTON." I was actually considering implementing an auto fire mode, but I'm not too sure how I could implement that. Maybe change the trigger button to be the auto fire and leave the A button as the firing button?

    I immediately realized what the issue with being able to charge while shooting is. I have the charge shot set with a global variable that increases if one of the buttons is held down. Originally I had it set to drop to zero as soon as the button was released, but I changed it to a, "if not" button check event instead of a release because it caused an issue where when you paused the game you could keep your charge level. I think if I readd the button released check to set charge to zero, it should remove that issue, maybe. Or have a check where you can't use both controls at the same time.

    I have been adjusting player speed a lot to get what feels the best for the game. I think perhaps a little bit slower will be good. I want to keep in mind that some people could get really advanced at the game. Not sure if you noticed, but the biggest reason I said using a gamepad is almost mandatory is because your speed is actually dynamic to some degree. If you barely press the control stick then you won't go as fast as when you press the control stick all the way in one direction. But I will keep this noted in my notepad so I can adjust it some more to find a nice spot where you're not too slow, and not too fast.

    Should have also mentioned that the bomb is a powerup. You can only hold three at a time, and one thing I did was I gave the bomb powerup right before a large wave came through so the player could test the bomb, so I think I could probably fix that by adding a bit more time between wave of enemies and the next. The tips during transition screen (Which I'm not sure if I wanna make skippable or not,) will give information like this btw. It will also give you information like how the charge shot will go through weaker enemies like the small ones you seen. In total I want to have about 14-15 different enemy types between 6 levels, and I'm going to try to introduce each enemy in a way that shows you how to kill them the right way. Sort of like how the Megaman games did it. I like to rely a lot on the perception of the player, so focusing a lot on presentation of the enemies will be important.

    At the end of the wave, I had that health powerup drop, I was actually planning on having that as sort of like a short breathing point for you to rest your hand up and stuff!

    I also have a sort of J-Poppy soundtrack that I'm working on for this game!

    Thank you so much for the feedback and for playing it <3 it really means a lot to me and you certainly gave me a lot of good ideas on how to improve it. Gameplay is a huge focus for me in my games, and I try my very hardest to make my games as fun as possible while also having controls that are easy to master (you can blame my love for old Capcom games for this haha)
     
  4. IndianaBones

    IndianaBones Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Posts:
    1,955
    Great!

    I don't have a solution for you, but definitely experiment with different styles until you find the one you want to go with. Perhaps have an option for switching between arcade style manual button mashing for those with arcade controllers, and some kind of auto fire for controllers.

    Yeah, I see that I can move slower now. Although when I play and I'm dodging bullets, it often requires quick reactions on my part, so I'll be jamming that control stick as hard as I can to avoid them and not have time for the finer slow movement of just moving the stick a little. That's just me though - play test with more people to see what works best.

    The traditional shooters always gave the player a stock of bombs when they started the game (usually 3), and if the player died, those 3 would be restocked, with also the option to pick up more from powerups. Kind of gives the beginner player a chance to try out the bombs and sometimes force their way through some of the tough parts without giving them too much power.

    My preference would be to please make it skippable :)

    Cool!

    You're welcome! Here's a few more things I noticed after playing a bit more:

    Let me skip the controls screen. (mentioned above)

    Grey out or remove menu options that aren't available in the demo.

    Charge bar is a little small, almost redundant as you can see the charge visual on the ship already - unless - do different amounts of charge do different amounts of damage?

    R-type has its charge bar stretched across the whole screen, its a little easier to see how much charge has built up.

    Losing -1000 points for each death seems a bit much, my score was always in the negatives - or maybe i just need to get better.

    On that note, perhaps don't reduce the score past 0 into negatives, lock it at 0.

    Not saying you have to do this, but related to the score, many games when they continue, the score resets to 0.

    When the player loses a life, make the explosion bigger / different - perhaps even a shock-wave or whatever other cool effect, screen-shake etc... so they player knows they died.

    Then, instead of just snapping the player back to the middle of the screen, either have their ship fly back in from the bottom of the screen to the starting point, or leave the player ship where it was killed. Otherwise its a little jarring to have your ship teleported.

    Also, when the player dies, maybe give a little invincibility window where they cant be hit/killed, and give an indicator of this, make the ship partly transparent or some other effect while they are invincible.
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  5. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    I'll keep all of this in mind when I get to work on it in the morning again <3 Yeah I'll definitely make the controls screen skippable, and I was thinking about having a check to keep the score never drop below 0, so I'll implement that too. I wasn't entirely sure if making the score reset to 0 was a good idea or not yet, because I currently have the game over set up to restart only the level (not the entire game.) BUT, I could add a total score variable that keeps track of what you earned in the previous missions added together, so that might work with resetting the level score. Oooooo I love the shockwave idea :D I'm actually a little confused cause the player SHOULD be blinking after you die (He is also invisible during this blinking period.) So maybe something got messed up somewhere cause it was working the other day hmmmm.
     
  6. IndianaBones

    IndianaBones Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Posts:
    1,955
    Yeah, the ship doesn't seem to be blinking after death when I'm testing it.

    You don't have to reset the score after a continue, it's up to you, I just notice most arcade shooters do reset the total score to zero if the player uses a continue. I assume that's so it rewards the really good players who don't die with good scores, while allowing the still-in-training players to keep playing without giving them an advantage.

    Another little feedback forgot to mention, when the player ship is all the way left or right, the ship sprite is half off the screen. I suggest you clamp the position so that the whole ship remains visible at the edge of the screen.

    These are just little tweaks, overall the whole package is starting to look polished, I like the menus and the little loading bar indicator on the controls screen is a nice touch, as well as the background particle effects on that screen as well.
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  7. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Okay! So, little update on the progress here:

    I added the following:

    -The Right Trigger Button now serves as the automatic-firing button. I have adjusted the fire rate to be a bit slower than what I am personally capable of pressing manually so that using manual fire has some advantage over the auto fire. I also have made it to where you have to use the A button to use the Charge Shot.

    -I added an explosion & red shock-wave when the player dies, along with fixing the blinking animation while your character is immortal after death.

    -The tip/control screen is now skippable, and contains information about gameplay mechanics.

    -I removed the Charge Shot bar due to redundancy and to allow for slightly more visibility on screen. I found myself looking at the bar a little too much, so that might be an issue for some people too.

    -I added a very short timer on each menu before input is allowed to keep you from accidentally pressing the A button too fast and entering an option by mistake.

    -I added a check to keep the score from dropping below 0, I also made the score reset to 0 when you lose all your lives and have to continue.

    -The player now starts with 3 bombs, these bombs reset to 3 when you Game Over and select continue (lemme know if you think that's a bad idea haha.)

    >
    >
    >
    >
    >

    Things I am going to add next:

    -I felt like the automatic-fire might make things too easy for advanced players even with the advantage of possible faster fire manually, so I decided to add a, "Hell Mode" in which the game will remix enemy waves, include every enemy in the game in all 6 levels, and give the bosses more health and attacks. On the Arcade setting I am currently able to beat it without taking damage when I am, "In the zone," so the main goal of Hell Mode will be to strive to make it difficult for even I to beat it, that way I know it is deserving of its title in every possible way.

    -Collectibles in each level which will make the end boss harder depending on how many you collect throughout the game.

    -Figuring out a way to clamp the player more inwards on the screen so half the sprite isn't off the screen when hugging corners. (Should be an easy fix, just need time to look at the code.)

    >
    >
    >
    >
    >

    Some things to note:

    -I did not adjust the amount of points lost by dying (YET,) because I need to make sure that adding automatic-fire did not make the game too easy on Arcade Mode. Whenever I release the next demo build, I will certainly be looking for opinions on the difficulty in the next update.

    -The next build will be coming after I finish up the first level and its boss. I have all the bosses, levels, and enemies planned already, so it's just a matter of implementing them the right way.
     
    IndianaBones likes this.
  8. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Oh, and almost forgot!

    I made the player speed a bit slower :cool:
     
  9. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    Posts:
    135
    I'm loving what I see here! Also, giving a bullet hell a hell mode? Seems a bit redundant. Maybe you should refer to the hell mode as something even more intense. Don't know what, though. WTF mode? I guess there's nothing more intense than hell.
    Definitely gonna play it as soon as figure out how to sync a PS3 controller to my PC. Lol. Don't worry, I'll play it as intended!
    Edit- also, love the idea of a jpop music style!
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  10. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    That's a good point :eek: I'm sure I'll think of a better name before it's over haha

    It's been awhile since I tried using a PS3 controller on my PC, but I think I had to download the driver for it somewhere. I also remember using DS3 Tool
     
    Bearman_18 likes this.
  11. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    Posts:
    135
    Thx for the tips, there!
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  12. Misty

    Misty Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Posts:
    941
    Menus are good. Except the text doesn't seem to be centered at the beginning.

    Gameplay was weird without sounds. Not as good as Raptor or Space Invaders. The color harmonies of the menus were good but the ingame graphics need work.
     
  13. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Yeah I'm hiring an artist to rework everything soon, so no worries <3

    I actually noticed that with the text yesterday and fixed it :D
     
  14. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Also a big update:

    -I'm working on adding drop in, drop out coop. I'm considering having the 2 players share health, bombs, and lives etc etc that way it doesn't make things too easy. SO basically the general idea is, yes, you can bring in the extra fire power, but whoever you bring with you better be good, or else you're both going to regret it haha

    -Now all the bullets look super realistic and glow to some degree. Pic related:

    AS1.PNG

    So yeah, it is definitely coming along, and will end up looking a lot better during the final product <3
     
  15. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Hello everyone <3

    Wanted to give another update on progress!

    -I bought an asset pack for the backdrops, and the game is starting to come together graphically. I have hired an artist now to rework my sprites into something less of an abomination as well. Not sure how long that will take, but in the mean time, I'm going to keep working and making placeholders. Example pic:

    AS2.jpg

    -Co-Op is fully implemented, although I have not tested it much due to being sad and lonely with no friends. Like everything else about my social life, I have found a program to replace real life interactions. If this program works, then I will see about getting the devs to help me integrate it, then we will have not only local co-op, but also online co-op. Of course I could just set this up through GM, but I am lazy and know jack about networking.

    -Hell Mode has been renamed to Nightmare Mode, and so far it is living up to its name. However, I have made sure that it isn't unfairly difficult in any way, I can play through it without taking a single hit, but my friend gets obliterated.

    -I am working on implementing a style system like the one in the DMC games. This will give incentive to for the player to make use of all the weapons and to not take damage. Points will be multiplied based on the current, "style rank."

    -Speaking of weapons, I have decided to remove the ability to change the spread shot and replace it a bulky laser attack. Not sure if I'm going to have this laser attack use up ammo, or if it can be activated after destroying a certain amount of enemies, but we'll see. Maybe we'll make it increased based on how many hits you get on enemies.

    -First level enemy waves are complete, but the boss hasn't been implemented yet.

    Once again, I will update the demo once the first boss is fully implemented in both the Arcade, and Nightmare Mode.
     
    Bearman_18 and IndianaBones like this.
  16. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    Posts:
    135
    Nightmare mode! Good name! Looking forward to playing on that mode for sure!
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  17. CameronScottCreations

    CameronScottCreations Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2018
    Posts:
    68
    Downloaded and played it this morning. The game play is fun and a good foundation to build on :)

    As far as feedback, a lot of stuff has been mentioned and you are already working on it for the newer build.
    If the feedback below was already addressed above and I missed it during reading/skimming, my apologies.

    Feedback:
    -I didn't like the tiny green enemies. Although I did like the idea. They are too small. My first play through I thought they were bullets.

    -After the player dies, when a new ship is created, a shader effect such as lime green outline or brightening shader to grab the players eye for the new location would help.
    You can also experiment with blend modes for this, maybe an additive blend effect that fades out. I'm going off the top of my head so this code may not be perfect but maybe something like this:

    Code:
    draw_self();
    if brightening_counter{
        gpu_set_blend_mode(bm_add)
        for(var i=brightening_counter;i>0;i--){
            draw_sprite_ext(sprite_index,0,x,y,1,1,0,c_white,0.05);
        }
        gpu_set_blend_mode(bm_normal)
        brightening_counter--;
    }
    And then on ship creation just set the brightening_counter to equal 20 or something like that. You would have to play around with it to get it right but if that effect works out you could convert it to a shader for efficiency, so you only draw the sprite once.
    I usually just use a shader here so if this effect turns out wack, my apologies :)

    -Also, a couple times, during all the commotion, My eyes seemed to lose track of the player very briefly, so maybe a constant outline shader could help although not sure if that effect would end up lame or not. You could substitute and test by just duplicating the sprite and giving it an outline in the image editor. Maybe test it with a lime green outline.

    -A similar effect (outline, brightening, etc) to make the powerups stand out.

    -Don't default to fullscreen but instead give it as an option and let people play the game with different window sizes.

    -After awhile I was just floating in space forever, no enemies. I guess I beat the level?

    -Oh, and I'm not entirely sure what it was but sometimes there was a strange movement effect, not sure if the player was being moved or the camera or what but something didn't seem right at times with that. Sorry for the vague description, maybe this was addressed above.

    Other than that, I look forward to test out future iterations that have improved on this version from the feedback already provided :)
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  18. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Ahhhh thank you for trying it out <3

    I'll address all these points in order :D

    -Should I make them slightly bigger? Or should I try outlining them or something to make them more visible? :0

    -I added a shockwave effect when the player dies, I ALSO made it to where your position doesn't return to center screen after death, that way you aren't losing track of the player.

    -I only noticed this when I added the nightmare difficulty, which SIGNIFICANTLY increases the amount of enemies, but that may be because I've tested this game a ton. The is already a white outline on the character sprite. I will experiment with drawing a larger outline over the character to make them stand out more <3

    -I was actually trying to think of a way to make the powerups stand out more haha I didn't think of an outline hmmmm. I will definitely give it a go.

    -I actually had it switchable at first, but I encountered an issue where the screen would flicker after changing from full screen to windowed mode, so I just went with full screen. I'll try asking around about this and see if I can fix it.

    -Also yes, that was the end of the demo haha I haven't put in a results screen, but the next version will return to the title screen after the results screen so no worries :D

    -That was the dynamic camera I mentioned in the original post! It's hard to see when the background is simply black, but now that I have actual backgrounds on the game, it's very easy to see. Might take it out if people don't like it in the next version haha.

    I think you are going to be shocked at how much I have changed in the next version actually. It's hardly even the same game :D
     
    CameronScottCreations likes this.
  19. CameronScottCreations

    CameronScottCreations Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2018
    Posts:
    68
    You're welcome.
    Looking forward to it :)
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  20. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    EDIT: Everything is working fine now <3 Updated link in original post <3
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  21. Misty

    Misty Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Posts:
    941
    Played it. Menu is good but game needs work. Needs to be more like this:

     
    RichHopefulComposer likes this.
  22. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    I-I'm not sure I understand Misty-sama! D:
     
  23. O.Stogden

    O.Stogden Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Posts:
    160
    Tried it out.

    First impressions were pretty good, although you do get thrown in at the deep end, I was getting shot by 30 enemies before I knew what was going on, but I guess that's what bullet hells are about haha.

    As someone previously mentioned, the tiny circular enemies are really annoying, they're very difficult to shoot and they just pelt you with bullets that are sometimes impossible to dodge.

    On my display at least, the play area extended about 16 pixels to the left and right of the view, meaning I could go to the left and right and the camera would move slightly. This was really annoying as there were enemies not visible on the screen because they were just outside of my camera, and when I moved left/right, they became visible. Really the whole width of the room should be visible at all times.

    It definitely needs some music adding to it, to break up sound effects.

    I'm sure this is planned long before, but highscores are a must for this! Local at first if you're still learning network code, but online would be pretty neat.

    I like the graphics, can't say I really disliked any of it.

    Your menu is really smooth and easy to understand, and the controls stayed up just long enough for me to read it all and learn the controls.

    If you want to PM me, I could try adding some basic network multiplayer to this in my spare time if your other plan doesn't work out. I'm not the best at it, but I have made some basic network games before.
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  24. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75

    Thanks for trying it out <3 I tried to make the tiny enemies more visible by adding an outline to them, but I guess that didn't work out as I hoped haha.

    As for the display, I didn't know if adding that camera effect was a good idea or not. Some people are saying they don't like the effect so I'll remove it that way people can see better haha.

    I also plan on adding a high school thingy after I finish up the levels. I have no idea how to do networking or anything like that so I'd probably need help with an online leaderboard.

    I tried to make the interface as simplistic as possible because I have a bad habit of overdoing thing LOL So I'm glad you liked them <3

    I might hit you up on that at some point later in the development since it's still early. I actually plan on releasing this version of the game for free and then if people donate enough/when I have the funds, attempt a steam release with a deluxe version of the game that adds tons of extra content. SO maybe then would be a good time to do something like that haha.
     
    O.Stogden likes this.
  25. Misty

    Misty Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2016
    Posts:
    941
    You must go on a great journey young girl. As a quest to receive the ethereal visions of the full Japanese mindset as the Ancient Ones once did. This is a journey not of body but of Mind. Watching videos of the ancient games may possible help to anew the experience.


    Also these videos are 240p, which may interfere with the transcendental Japanese epiphany. You may also have to go on an epic shopping journey to purchase the full game using the Nintendo marketplace features. If the game is already purchased, then you may have to go on a quest through space and through time, plugging in the cables of the ancients to participate in the ritual awakenings of the sacred games.
     
  26. O.Stogden

    O.Stogden Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Posts:
    160
    Sure thing, kind of the plan with my game, releasing the first few versions for free to get feedback on how the game should be, and hopefully build some interest in it, and then switch it over to a commercial release later.

    I'll probably learn some more networking in the meantime anyhow, wouldn't want to ruin your game. :p

    I'll keep an eye on this though!
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  27. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Progress Update:

    -I've decided to overhaul the tiny Yellow enemies since people are having an issue with seeing them. I'm going to try and outline them by another white line, slow down their bullet speed, AND make them shoot in a 4 diagonal direction instead of directly at the player. Should make it less unfair & more fair.

    -I took out the dynamic camera since it was obstructing people's view a little bit.

    -I'm going to rework the first boss just a bit because he has some minor issues, and is a little too easy I think.

    EDIT: Also forgot to mention! I edited the volume of all the sounds because some felt too controlling.
     
    IndianaBones and O.Stogden like this.
  28. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    617
    Just played your game and going to provide constructive feedback.

    First, I admire Galaga shooters. Its one of my favorite arcade games ever! Second, seeing how you merged Bullet Hell into a Galaga game makes it great and thrilling. This type of gameplay makes you want to dodge, shoot, and survive every second. It puts great emphasis on challenge, dare, and entertainment.

    As for minor point outs, there are a few things that seem to feel out of place. The first thing is the GUI (or HUD). The overlay imaging and texting had a few misbalance orientations. The first I encountered was the logo of your dev signature. It was not centralized on my screen. You'll need to check whether it positions itself base upon the display size of the computer. The other I spotted was a strange meter that showed up whenever I hit an enemy with my bullets. I felt like it was placed on the void with no specification what it was. Normally meters would hover about on its corresponding entities to indicate what the meter referred to. Not doing so would be confusing unless there is a text that indicates what it does or to who it is affecting.

    Second thing I also noticed was the score text reset to 0 right when I get Game Over. Normally, players would want to see what score they achieved right after they lose. Seeing the score reset to 0 makes me wonder what was the score I had before I died. You should fix that.

    Last, and not so important, is the interpolation. I dunno if it is a bad thing or necesary but some of your graphics templates (or sprites) might look better if interpolation was set to false for them. There is a trick to controlling what images shall be using interpolation or not by calling your drawings through draw event with also the texture_set_interpolation() function along:

    Code:
    ///Draw event
    ///draw whatever that uses rough pixels.
    texture_set_interpolation(0);
    draw_sprite(spr_ship,image_index,x,y);
    texture_set_interpolation(1);
    //draw whatever that does use smooth pixels.
    draw_background(bg_1,0,0);
    
    Not sure if you really needed that but I felt like it is something to tweak around to see if it comes out better or not.

    Anyway, as for music and font, I would love to know your plans on that. It seems the font doesn't attract me much and the lack of background music gives me curiosity on knowing what kind of music you aim for this game.

    I would love to see more progress on this. Keep up the awesome work! ;)
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  29. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Thank you, Misu <3 once again, you prove to be a valuable asset :DD

    The opening text is something I kinda forgot to fix in this version haha I probably would have forgotten about it had you not mentioned anything D:
    That meter you seen was the style meter! I wasn't sure if not labeling it would confuse people or not, so I guess it did. I was going for a DMC kind of style with it, but maybe having it appear only when it reaches a style rank would be a good idea.

    Also I think the graphics were looking a LITTLE strange just because of how I had the view set. After I removed the dynamic view, everything seemed to look a lot better aesthetically. So, probably going to wait and see on the next demo release if I need to set individual interpolations and whatnot >:DD

    Thank you again, Misu <3 You are so wonderful.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention that the score resets to 0 because there is a total score that you see during the results (Not pictured during the demo.) The score you receive during missions is added to your total score <3

    EDIT Part 2: It might be cool to add a score display below the gameover continue screen tho

    EDIT Part 3: Not sure why the credit text wouldn't be centered. The Y of the room is 960.

    This is the code for it:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    Misu and O.Stogden like this.
  30. O.Stogden

    O.Stogden Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Posts:
    160
    Try using window_get_width()/2 or something for your X co-ordinate, that'll make sure it's centered.

    Could do same with height.

    Good to use functions like that instead of "magic numbers". As different displays will show your game differently. The window_get_width()/2 will center it in the window regardless of how wide the window is.

    Probably another, more reliable way of doing it, but it's what I've used so far.
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  31. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    That's a great idea! I'll do that <3
     
    O.Stogden likes this.
  32. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    617
    Actually it was not the text I was refering. It was the image of your cat logo. That was the one that didnt centralize right
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  33. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    ohhhhh, that's probably something to do with how I imported the sprite. I'll give it a looksie <3
     
    Misu likes this.
  34. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Hey guys! Question:

    I'm considering adding an upgrade system during the results screen sort of like how Capcom's 1943: Battle of Midway (NES) did it. Pic related:

    [​IMG]

    My question to you all is do you think that you should be awarded with one upgrade after each level, or awarded more depending on how well you did? An extension to this question is: If I do just one upgrade, would it be cool to have the option to loop back to the beginning of the game with all your upgrades at the end of the game? It could be a very reasonable thing to do since there are only 6 levels. If you think this is a bad idea then do say so!

    A big influence on this game was the NES version of 1943 (The powerup design was heavily inspired by it,) so I think this could be one of many nice nods to it in my game!
     
  35. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    617
    Well, it's typical that upgrades are provided whenever you level up. However, one of your goals for your game is to provide innovation as well (that is one key to making a great game successful). Therefore, it is best to come up with a different (creative) way of performing upgrades. If you think about provide upgrades base on how you do well in each stage, that could be a great idea. However, that can depend on what you mean by "how well you do"; I can't really think much of what to achieve within a stage. If you have anything in mind on that, you could share it here.

    That would be an awesome idea, although it would mean that you (as the player) have the advantage of winning easily by increasing level gradually, eventually becoming pointless for the goal. Plus it can become too easy to beat your own highscore if you are much powerful than the last time you passed. One remedy for this is to have the level difficulty evolve along with your level status. But I dunno. It seems quite difficult to establish.
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  36. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Oh I meant like at the end of each level! Not like an EXP system haha. Although RPG elements might be very interesting and worth exploring hmmmm. I think I am personally leaning towards having a very limited range of upgrades. Probably having 4 levels to each upgrade that way it adds some bit of strategy to each playthrough. Like for example, say you wanted a playthrough where you focused on firepower, or defense etc etc. One way I could add a bit of uniqueness to it is to also add perks, like having an extended spread shot or something like that. As for like a NG+ I'm not sure if I'll do that or not, I think having the ability to plan out how each playthrough goes would be a much better option now that I really think about it.

    I could actually easily base it off of how well you do since there is a very complex style point system going on in the background! It increases depending on how much you mix up your attacks, and decreases when you get hit. You'll be able to see the total style points you received during a level when you get to the results screen too.
     
    Misu likes this.
  37. Misu

    Misu The forum's immigrant

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    617
    Awesome! Would love to see what you'll do about it. : )
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  38. John Andrews

    John Andrews Living Enigma

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Posts:
    247
    Saw this thread a week or so ago, now that I'm trying out the game I must say it looks and feels fantastic! I just got to 4000 points and suicided because I wanted to test the other modes and well the nightmare mode was pretty hard :D . A funny game, when I'm bored and find nothing to do I'm sure I'll get to 20000 points or so hehehe.

    The only thing that seems to be missing are some good tunes and then this game will be rocketing up because just as it is, it is very entertaining.

    Will you plan on leaving the game as an arcade thingy or will you add a story mode or something like that? I'd like to know but right now, very good game :)
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  39. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Hey! Thank you for playing <3

    Currently due to limitations in mine & my artists artistic abilities, the story will just be explained during the tip/control screen. After I finish the free version of this game, I will start a crowdfunding for a deluxe version that I wanna put on Steam! In THAT version I might try to add like an opening and closing cutscene since I'll have hired an artist that can do that kind of stuff. I also plan on adding several new game modes to that version when the time comes :)
     
    John Andrews likes this.
  40. IndianaBones

    IndianaBones Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Posts:
    1,955
    Played the latest build, its coming along nicely with the added background layers and sound effects.

    Definitely some music will add to the game feel once you put it in.

    I managed to defeat the boss and ended with a score of around 10000. Boss was a nice challenge with some real bullet hell style patterns, without being overly difficult. If this is a first level boss, for the normal mode I felt that the boss had a little too much health - maybe should be around 66% of what it is at the moment - although this point is subjective on my part of course.

    There was a horizontal white bar appearing about two thirds up the right hand side of the screen, like a power-up gauge, it seemed to happen when i used the charged shot, it seemed out of place.

    Nightmare mode was fun and lived up to its name, I did not get far on this!

    The sound effects for the player shot are good, however they might need a little variation, perhaps slight pitch changes every few bullets, as I thought the sound started to get monotonous after a while.

    The extended play field that scroll left and right a bit is ok, it just felt like it should be a little smoother/slower, it was kind of snappy and felt a bit distracting at times.

    Otherwise great stuff! Enjoyed the level one play through.
     
    Bearman_18 and Sabrina Stoakes like this.
  41. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    My friend is supposed to be working on some music, and he said he'll have something for me either Tuesday, or Wednesday, so we'll see how that goes D:

    Part of the tweaking on the boss I mentioned earlier after releasing this demo was lower the health a bit, so we're good on that <3

    That white bar is the style meter, but I decided to make it only appear when you have gotten very close to earning a multiplier to your score. I think that part of the reason not many of you understood what it was, was simply because I had the meter reset to 0 whenever you got hit. Also you can't increase the meter if you continue to use the same attack. For example: You can get 20 normal shot hits on an enemy before you have to use another weapon to increase the meter. You can get 2 charge shot hits on an enemy before having to use a different weapon, and I forget what I had the laser set to. The whole system isn't necessary for any player, but taking advantage of it will grant you a higher total score at the end results. I also have implemented upgrades that you'll see in the next demo which will hopefully have 2 levels so you can test them out. After the completion of each level you get 1 Attribute Point that you can set into a block, some blocks have perks, some just increase bullet damage, spread bullet damage, or maximum health. HOWEVER, if you get over 1000 style points then you get 2 Attribute Points, and if you get over 2000 style points then you get 3. It sounds more complicated than it actually is, but I have been averaging about 1600 style points on arcade, and about 2400 style points on Nightmare.

    I was actually wondering if maybe there was a way to make the shooting sound, sound less samey, didn't think about that, so I'll try it :D

    I took out the dynamic camera cause I felt like it was a little too flashy and made some of the sprites look off a little. Now you just have full view of the screen, which I think looks a little bit better too!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it <3 It's coming along, just gotta make sure I don't get lazy haha. most of the work I have left now is tweaking to make sure everything is right.
     
    IndianaBones likes this.
  42. O.Stogden

    O.Stogden Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Posts:
    160
    You could try doing something like:

    Code:
    audio_sound_pitch(weaponsound,random_range(0.8,1.2))
    Pretty basic, but might give a little variety.
     
  43. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    I'm free to work on my game today so I'll give it a go <3 thank you guys for being so helpful. You all have really helped to shape this game more into what I was wanting, but didn't know how to get to haha. I'm already proud to call it my first game!
     
    O.Stogden likes this.
  44. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Update on music!!!

    Composer/Progressive Metal musician Gabriel Iwasaki is donating some of his music to the game!

    Sample:
     
    RichHopefulComposer and Misu like this.
  45. O.Stogden

    O.Stogden Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Posts:
    160
    Good music, will be interesting to see how it fits with the game. Parts of it remind me of some songs in the SNES era.
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  46. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    I think it'll fit well since prog naturally has an almost spacey vibe to it! :D
     
  47. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    Level 2 Nightmare Difficulty is getting pretty crazy hmmmm (there are sounds, I just forgot to capture them haha)

     
    O.Stogden likes this.
  48. O.Stogden

    O.Stogden Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Posts:
    160
    Is it possible to add mouse controls? Where you move the mouse to move the ship?

    Not sure if this would create an unfair advantage if you ever added online highscores/leaderboards.
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.
  49. Sabrina Stoakes

    Sabrina Stoakes Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Posts:
    75
    There is actually unused mouse controls programmed into it. Basically how it works is that you have a small reticle that the ship follows around the screen at the same speed that you can move with the gamepad/keyboard. The controls were a bit superior to the keyboards, but the main issue was that there just wasn't enough buttons on the mouse. I could re-implement them using the keyboard controls as well, but mouse controls would not work on menus with the way that I have them set up haha.
     
    O.Stogden likes this.
  50. O.Stogden

    O.Stogden Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Posts:
    160
    Ah, that's a shame.

    I did wonder about the amount of buttons, you could have charge/fire and the bomb linked to the mouse buttons, but pressing middle mouse is probably a little fiddly.
     
    Sabrina Stoakes likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice