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Windows OctorSpace [shooter & level editor] : Modified Larger Explosions

Discussion in 'Work in Progress' started by sitebender, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Nine months ago I made OctorSpace. At the time I considered it done as that was all the time I had. Over the past nine months I've found time to work on it here and there.

    [​IMG]

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/705000/OctorSpace/

    After astro surfing, you have come across a marching band of octopi that seem to be having a parade. After translating their strange octoc language, you discover that its a death march to destroy Earth! Fun weapons, fun, powerful combat that will turn your enemies into fiery bits of space ash.

    QUICK FEATURES
    - 3 pre made campaigns with 18 levels, hidden levels and secrets.
    - Level editor lets you make levels and campaigns
    - Procedural wave generation both from scratch and from pre built wave formations and patterns
    - Different and unlockable pilots that affect stats
    - More than a dozen power ups
    - 3 default weapons you can change on the fly
    - 7 extra weapons that shoot with drones and have limited ammo
    - Shields that recharge when you shoot something
    - Fun special attacks that are always charging. They charge more when you’re not shooting.
    - 30+ enemy types
    - Level editor lets you assign power ups to enemies for even more diversity
    - Animated enemies
    - Health lets you take plenty of damage along with a rechargeable shield that reflects projectiles
    - 3 selectable vessels each with their own default weapons and specials
    - Selectable Weapons to configure your ship
    - Up to 2 players with multiple controller and keyboard support along with key rebinding

    UPDATED GAMEPLAY TRAILER:


    SCREENSHOTS

    Stream Beam (each vessel has its own special and 3 unique weapons)
    [​IMG]

    Pick a permanent upgrade at the end of each level from a random pool
    [​IMG]

    A variety of enemies (cloakers, shooters, speeders)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pilots with different stats and vessels with different weapons:
    [​IMG]

    Level editor:
    [​IMG]

    Level editor in action:
    [​IMG]

    There is an in game level editor to make levels and campaigns:


    Players and enemies now have power ups:


    Levels can be generated so you don't have to make them:
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
    Misty, Carloskhard, Nocturne and 2 others like this.
  2. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    CONFIGURE CONTROLS SYSTEM

    I spent yesterday's session upgrading the menu to incorporate a keyboard control configuration. Here is a .gif:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  3. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    LIGHTING SYSTEM

    Yesterday was spent making a lighting system for the game and play testing. Not playing the game in about six months I was still able to get through the tougher campaign in a single continue.

    Here is a lot of action:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I think from here its obvious that I should focus on the game's style due to lacking comments compared to my platformers and the other shmups on this forum. Even on Twitter comparing the likes and retweets this project has gotten versus my other games has been night and day. There are 3 other shmups here in the past 8 threads / projects.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  4. Ladi_Pix3l

    Ladi_Pix3l Member

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    God this looks fun.
     
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  5. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Thanks for the comment. Even one comment keeps me going.

    Because I forgot to mention it, a few days ago, subtle fake scanlines like its 1999 graphic design have been added with an option to turn them off.

    CONTINUE SYSTEM, SELECTABLE DIFFICULTY AND HUD SELECTION

    Yesterday's programming session was productive. There is now a continue system in the game rather than infinitely letting you start the level you had a game over at.

    A difficulty system has been added to the game with five settings. I doubt anyone will play beyond easy and easy does feel enjoyable as it is. Right now the difficulties are basic things like 5 continues for easy, 1 continue for hard, no continues for nightmare along with a maximum of one life so even if you earn an extra life via points or collectables, it means nothing. Each game over and continue lets the player select their pilot and ship again for the sake of diversity.

    The last thing to note is that the settings menu has some additions. Glow effects can be toggled and there are now three settings for the HUD. The original setting is for the large, bulky HUD at the bottom, a more subtle top HUD and you can turn it off as there are a lot of cues to let you know what's happening. When your ship has taken heavy damage it smokes. When you have a full special or full shield, there are now two lights to let you know. It was something people had always recommended as with shmups you're supposed to look at your own vessel.

    In this screen shot you can see the new HUD choice and the yellow light below the blue vessel indicating the special is fully charged.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  6. Ladi_Pix3l

    Ladi_Pix3l Member

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    Ill be honest hear, the scanlines are (besides the gameplay) what stole my heart for this game ;)
     
  7. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Scanlines have mysterious powers. I just like the fact they make the games look diverse, plus my scanlines scroll slow down the screen. Unless they're toggled off, then they do nothing.
     
  8. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    EXPERIMENTING WITH LARGER CHARACTERS AND DIALOG

    I spent the past two days making a sort of dialog box and character art for the speaker to drum up interest. Having a flat, static dialog screen seemed a bit dull, so I used programming (and art) to spice it up. The background whirls, the speaker zooms and rotate a bit.

    [​IMG]

    * edit * I would consider the above screenshot a failure due to lack of comments here and lack of likes on Twitter compared to the retweets the image received.

    Other than that I laid the groundwork to having a weapon selection system when you pick a vessel. I figure the more variety and customization the better. Plus its something else to unlock.

    While I'm here, I might as well show the title screen.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  9. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    What's the shader you're using for the scanlines/old tv effects? (if its not yours of course)
     
  10. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Its not a shader as any shader makes my 2006 PC crash. I assume its some sort of on board / no graphics card issue. So I just don't use them.

    So its just subtle lines.

    Oh yeah and shaders tend to mess up the GUI layer too, so you need to avoid using that layer if you use shaders.

    Again, scanlines have mysterious powers, because they get people to comment. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  11. TGHoly

    TGHoly Member

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    Look amazing i wonder if you have option to turn on/off screen filter?
     
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  12. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Yes it can be toggled off. A lot of things can be toggled in the settings:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  13. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    WEAPON SELECTION

    Well yesterday (every bit of it) was spent on a weapon selection system. When you pick your vessel, you select its three weapons. You see the weapons in action as you're selecting them. The weapons are each side steps from one another. I can't say something is more or less useful. If something fires more bullets at a time, it has a lower firing rate. Since you can now select your own weapons, it does break the balance that the three ships had with their unique default weapons. Chances are I will make these new weapons assigned to specific ships.

    There are a bunch of stats for each weapon that I will probably add some more information to the vacant space where weapons are selected. The ships still have their own projectiles, but a few weapons fire specific projectiles.

    Here is a video:



    Here is a .gif of it in action:

    [​IMG]

    The game keeps track of selected weapons for both players and it now specifies which player is selecting rather than a simple blinking P1 and P2.

    As you will notice the point of projectile creation seems to be off despite the math being correct. Maybe its the sprite offset.

    BUILD NUMBERS

    Oh and also I added a visible build counter for my own purposes. Looks like I'm up to 1,200+ Seems like I average 200 builds in a programming session which seems a bit high.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
    Nocturne likes this.
  14. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    AN IN GAME STORE TO UNLOCK STUFF

    Yesterday's session (the entirety of the day) was spent making a store to purchase things like weapons, pilots, vessels, shuffle mode and upgrades. Since the store takes currency, there is now a currency system that is as simple as collect gems in the game. You keep the currency once you've completed the level.

    Since the game lets you create your own levels and campaigns, it can be exploited at the moment as you just make a level and dump in a bunch of gems and collect them all. A way around that would be to only allow currency gathered in the official campaigns, but what incentive is that to play other people's levels and campaigns? I could always put a cap on the currency gained per level.

    Anyway, here is what it looks like:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
    Nocturne likes this.
  15. Ladi_Pix3l

    Ladi_Pix3l Member

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    Ill be honest sir, this game is making my game look basic :(. But I guess that means I gotta put more effort in to my project
     
  16. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    There are a lot of better vertical space shooters out there than mine... and they were made like 20+ years ago. Just focus on style.

    I hear a game is nothing without its frills. Everything that surrounds the game.

    Even my friends had no interest in OctorSpace until I added a level editor.

    While I'm here I might as well show off the level editor a bit more:

    LEVEL EDITOR BASICS



    You will notice that I have icons for the key buttons such as mouse, shift, ctrl so you can see what I'm doing when I do it. You can also use a controller with the level editor because I am going for "full controller support."

    Here are gifs:
    Easy Copy & Paste is a must

    [​IMG]

    Easy enemy swapping via mouse wheel, saving as and play testing

    [​IMG]

    Making waves / phases is easy too with only a right click. Enemies and collectables are gone, the next wave / phase begins!

    [​IMG]

    Enemies can have power ups assigned to them as well which lets the game and levels have a lot of diversity.

    [​IMG]

    That covers the basics for level design within the game.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  17. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    Don't fall into the comparison trap!
    There's always better than us and there's always worse than us. Its just fact and you have no control over that.
    Focus on making a game YOU like and to achieve your project.
     
  18. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Two things for the last session.

    SCROLLBAR

    Someone on Twitter asked about a scroll bar and mouse wheel support. While the game has no mouse support outside the level editor, I added some basic mouse support outside the editor. The scrollbar should be useful in other places as well. The flashing active window now has a base brightness increase so you can see it clear for screenshots.

    Here is a .gif:

    [​IMG]

    VICTORY SCREEN

    Other than that, I made a level end screen before the screen that lets you select an upgrade from a random pool. So now there is a showcase of all the enemies you destroyed. No matter how many you've destroyed they're displayed in ten seconds. You can also press a button to jump to the end.

    Here is a .gif of that:

    [​IMG]

    If ya'all want comparison. I can compare how this game has had drastically less likes, attention and comments beyond "scanlines" than my platformers here on the site. There's a reason why I put OctorSpace on the back burner for months at a time even when the game was just about done.

    * edit * Here's something interesting... changing the thread title from "Invasion from OctorSpace [vertical space shooter and level editor]" to "OctorSpace [shooter & level editor]" has almost tripled the amount of views within six hours.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  19. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    To my surprise a simple change of the thread's title yielded 1,200+ more views than the 200 the thread had received in the past week.

    COLLECTING COINS FOR CURRENCY

    With a store in game and currency, there remained the question of how to obtain currency. The first method was just collect gems, but they're so abundant considering for each enemy killed, there's a random gem. The gems also benefit the gameplay as they can replenish health, ammunition, shield and your special ability.

    So coins were made. Simple, bold, dazzling coins. If you've seen one coin, you've seen them all, but here its how you find the coins. Since there's a level editor you can place coins wherever, but there is now a series of coin generators. These coin generators can do several things such as make a line of coins when you touch them, make a circle of coins when you touch it, rotate a circle of coins and rotate a bar of coins. It should certainly make things more interesting and incentivize taking more risk. Coins do not pull into the ship like gems do.

    Coin generators in the editor:
    [​IMG]

    Coin generators in game demonstrating lines getting made and coins circling:
    [​IMG]

    On top of that, there is now a stat to hide a collectable. So an item will be invisible until the player is next to it. The collectable will then poof into existence. So extra lives, gems, super powers, weapons, coins, even coin generators can now be hidden until the player is nearby. With these two new interesting features its time to diversify the levels!

    Here is a video of the editor and collecting the coins in game:


    I also fixed a long running issue that would prevent the next wave from happening. This was quite the game breaker even if it was rare. Turns out a collectable was being generated off screen and originally my system only wipes things that appear on screen and then leave out the bottom.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  20. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Looks like there were 1,000 more views since yesterday. Something is probably broken.

    Today's update has two things:

    NO SHOOT ZONES

    Tired of shooting? Looking for diversity? Besides the game's numerous power ups, there are now no shoot zones. Once you go past them, there is no shooting until you fly into a danger zone once again. For the player this means they are forced to evade while enemies can still shoot. Bullets fired into the zone disintegrate with a new effect. Without the ability to shoot, there is no way for your shield to recharge as the shield recharges when you shoot enemies. You can still get collectables to recharge the shield.

    The enemies that require you to destroy them to proceed, now keep moving as there is no way for them to be killed. This mixes things up, old enemies become new enemies.

    [​IMG]

    STAR WIPE

    Here comes a new power up... without the ability to shoot came the inspiration of the star wipe. For ten or so seconds your ship increases in size, becomes invincible and lets you plow through enemies. Even bosses get wrecked from the might of the star wipe! Its a great new power up and different than the rest that do things such as double your damage, double your defense, increase your firing rate and so on.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a video of both things in a single test level using the game's in game level editor:



    With the star wipe, I piled on the foes with 800 - 1,000+ enemies, which caused performance issues, so I added more optimization. Its amazing that even things doing nothing still take up a lot of computer processing when they're over the 1,000 mark.

    * edit * Yeah the performance enhancement backfires for the rest of the game though. Activating and deactivating causes a noticeable stutter when there was never one before.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  21. TGHoly

    TGHoly Member

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    cool ability I like it a lot only issue I got is he look more like fly closer to screen than size increase.
     
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  22. Nocturne

    Nocturne Friendly Tyrant Forum Staff Admin

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    This game looks seriously cool... I love the cartoon esthetic and think that the gameplay looks really varied for a shoot-em-up of this type (The "StarWipe" is great! Not seen something like that before in this kind of game). The level editor looks really impressive too, and will surely add a lot to the lifetime of the game. Will there be a mechanism to share the levels? If not, then I would seriously consider adding one... It would be great to play levels built by other players and you could expand on the idea by permitting PvP challenges where one person makea a map, plays it then challenges others to beat their score or time or something... :)

    Oh, and what platforms is this for? Will you publish to Steam? This is definitely a game I'd buy...

    PS: Don't be put off by so few comments on the GMC! This is NOT representative of the general public. The people that come here are makers, not players, and I'd say there is definitely an audience out there for a game that looks this good.
     
  23. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Now that you mention it... I can't unsee it! So to compensate the player can now push aside dead ships. So the player essentially becomes a plow. While that might not help look any different, at least its more interactivity.

    Here is a video of the star wipe pushing enemy husks. I would make an animation, but the color change trail takes up a lot of file size to get a sense of what its doing.



    Thanks for the compliments. With the gameplay, powerups and diversity I might have to throw in more levels. Right now there are only 6 levels for like a total of 30 minutes, but the original 6 levels when I first made the game are included in a second campaign. Then there's a shuffle mode and random level / wave generation too. I still need to streamline those to be easier to just play it rather than setting it up via the editor.

    I do want to add workshop support to the levels, plus you can make campaigns so a series of levels too. I've never included workshop support so its just something new to learn in the future. I've even thought about releasing the game first... then doing workshop support for the extra traffic in the future. Right now levels are just in folders with the folders being the campaigns.

    Steam allows for infinite leaderboards, so I'd just hook the leaderboards to everyone's custom levels and do something that way. With challenges, that might be an extra server sort of thing.

    As for the platforms, just Windows and Steam. I just don't have the Linux or Apple computers to port it to. Others have told me about having a virtual machine or a partition to install other operating systems.

    TERRIBLE PUNS INCOMING

    [​IMG]

    This time it only took 2 hours as its getting more streamlined, plus the background and dialog system are already in the game. It was an hour for the sketch and another hour to remove imperfections and do color correction.

    [​IMG]

    It moves too, but you get the idea. Wow I can see the imperfections with a still image. This one took around 2 hours as well. I'm not sure if I'm getting better or worse. Plus I never liked the color scheme of the sprite itself before the character image.

    THE BIG ENEMY UPDATE

    Oh but wait there's more! I'm not sure why there would be... but I managed to get in a programming session on top of the art. Since the player can get bigger with the star wipe and the enemies can be assigned with anything the player can, the foes can now get assigned to be big or normal size. Big size makes them easier targets, but to compensate they take three times the damage to kill.

    The big enemies fire bullets that are twice as large and they do twice the damage. It keeps going as enemies can get assigned super powers from a previous update so when you combine a big enemy with a double size projectile, the enemies will fire quadruple sized projectiles! If they have double damage and they're big that means quadruple damage. Its all just more diversity and another reason to remake the levels and make more levels!

    Big meteors explode into big pieces. Enemies with satellite enemies have big versions of those satellites.

    Here is a video of the big enemies and the level editor:



    And here's the gif to make this page that much larger:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  24. Carloskhard

    Carloskhard Member

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    Man this game looks amazing.
    It has a nice style and it is very pulish.Particles are nicely done.
    I see too many enemies who shoot straight,maybe you should ad more bosses and a history mode with some history behind.
    Keep working on it,looks amazing :)
     
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  25. Ladi_Pix3l

    Ladi_Pix3l Member

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    This reminds me of Jamestown. . .;)
     
  26. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    There are about 40+ enemies in the game with plenty of variety even if they haven't been shown yet. You're correct there sure are a lot of shoot forward enemies. Each enemy can have a power-up equipped like a triple beam and homing missile.

    There are only 6 bosses and they're basic and simple. My other shmup had big elaborate bosses with various patterns and tactics. That seemed to be too much for most players. You had to learn 8 or so patterns, recognize which pattern they were on and so on. It was also charming watching Let's Players fight big enemies and see them get excited that they were bosses when the real bosses took up half the screen so I made the camera zoom out to give the player some space.

    With that said, I am keeping OctorSpace simple and easy to predict.

    What is a history mode? Is that a mode where you watch the game like a recording?

    Because its a vertical shooter with a landscape view?

    TODAY'S UPDATE

    Yesterday I worked on a different game, but I still managed to get in a programming session for OctorSpace to add in a few frills.

    ENEMY EXCLUSIVE SUPER POWERS

    Looks like I laid the groundwork for this before, but enemies have exclusive powers like explode and carry things. I say they have exclusive powers as it would be bad for the player to need to explode or carry something. This should probably be its own special thing beyond super powers, like a second tier so you can mix and match. The first set of powers is the explosion power. Four types of explosions, one is explode on death, the other is explode once the enemy reaches 75% through the screen, another is 50% and the last is 25%.

    There already was an enemy that explodes on death before and when equipped with the super power, that enemy explodes into double the hail of bullets. Big enemies explode into double the bullets and big bullets at that.

    The second set of powers is having an enemy carry things. Those four things that can be assigned are a random power-up, a random weapon, a coin and the new clock collectable. You can see the object being carried behind the enemy to give you a hint that you should probably destroy it. With the random power-ups and weapons, the enemy carries a crate. Once the enemy is dead, the crate opens.

    [​IMG]

    LEVEL TIMER

    When dealing with the logistics of having a game with a level and campaign editor, I try to think of the worst possible scenarios. Such as having a long campaign followed by a final level with 10 minutes of nothing and then a single, final enemy. That might get a bit dull, so to encourage good level design, I have a set countdown clock with a maximum time of 4 minutes. You have 4 minutes to get through a level. With that said, there are now clock collectables that add a full 60 seconds to the clock until its 4 minutes.

    Of course the exploit would be to include a level that's nothing but clocks for 10 minutes. Perhaps I should remove the clocks or limit a level to say 3 clocks.

    [​IMG]

    Ignore the Shield Rechage. That has been fixed.

    THE VIDEO

    Here is the video with the level editor and everything covered in this update:

     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  27. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Yesterday felt like a slim day... but it looks like I got a lot of done. Mostly tweaking.

    VICTORY SCREEN SCORE TALLY SYSTEM


    Collectables now give points, a single point each just like the enemies. This should give incentive to collect absolutely everything and kill enemies before they are just about to leave the screen as the enemies may die, but they don't disappear and leave a gem for you until a second or so after.

    With the new coin system in place, when the player takes damage, coins now shoot out and the points drop by the amount of coins. Its 10 coins on easy, but it depends on the difficulty. The player can always get the coins and points back included.

    I removed the clock collectable and set a time of 500 seconds (4+ minutes). That will keep it simple and not allow people to exploit with hundreds of clocks and a 3 hour level. Removing clocks also takes away the future issue of collectables can be hidden, so if someone tested a level and knew where the clock was hidden, the other players would fail. Disabling the hidden feature just for the clocks would be inconsistent with other collectables.

    There is a new score tally on the victory screen that consists of:
    + current points
    + coins collected
    + time remaining in seconds
    x difficulty
    = final tally (new current points for the next level)

    It should be easy enough to follow. The time remaining in seconds will be high for the first level, but as the player completes level after level, those current points and coins will keep going up and up. The higher difficulties will always beat the lower difficulties since everything is multiplied by the difficulty.

    To put more emphasis on the score, that score will translate to the game's currency.
    + current points
    + coins collected
    x difficulty
    / 100
    = cash earned

    With the score climbing so high, I removed the X amount of points to get an extra life and replaced it with the traditional 100 coins is an extra life. It should make coins more valuable. Even if the coins reset to zero with an extra life, the game still keeps track of coins collected for each player to include in the final tally.

    [​IMG]

    RANK SYSTEM & UNLOCK CHANGES

    With scores and end level victory statements, it seemed only fitting to have a rank system. There is nothing much to the system other than at X amount of points you get to the next rank and you are heralded with a popup.

    Speaking of unlocks. Everything now needs to be unlocked and then purchased. People have a gratifying urge to unlock things and some things stand out far more than others so why would you ever purchase them unless the better things were still locked off? I can also tie unlocks with the rankings and other in game achievements.

    I also took time to quell a logistical issue as each of the three playable vessels has three unique default weapons. That is sort of ruined by allowing a player to select those weapons for any ship. So I locked them off until they're purchased, but a player can still freely use them for the ship they come with. Spread V1 comes with the Texas Wrangler ship, so for Texas Wrangler, it can still use Spread V1, but for the other two ships to use it, the weapon needs to be purchased and unlocked.

    [​IMG]

    THE ROAD MAP TO THE FINISHED PRODUCT

    I have a lot knocked off my development list from 9 months ago. Before I keep adding random things, I'd like to come up with a road map of stuff I need to do to complete OctorSpace and add it to Steam.

    1. [x] Secret waves / phases (do X to view secret wave and what it contains with alternate level exits to different levels)
    2. [x] Unlockable campaigns in the store
    3. [ ] Level unlock system and new UI for the stage select (play level X, unlocks level X)
    4. [ ] New levels to make use of the new features and diversity (hopefully turn a 30 minute game into a 90+ minute game) (the 12 current levels will be kept and added to the extra campaigns section for extra content)
    5. [ ] Let music composer work
    6. [ ] Procedural Level Generation (there is already a system, but I'd like to enhance to make it a campaign thing and tie in the new features)
    7. [ ] Daily Campaigns with procedural levels, 1 campaign for everyone
    8. [ ] Challenges. Do X get Y. Daily challenges, weekly challenges, monthly challenges and then get shuffled, rinsed and repeated
    9. [ ] Tutorial for both the game and the editor (there are basic information and help for both, but nothing to spoon feed you)
    10. [ ] User Interface & Title Screen Streamline and Cleanup (there's a lot in the game)
    11. [ ] Steam Workshop support for the levels and campaigns people make (fear the unknown)
    12. [ ] Steam Leaderboard support (everyone's level and campaign will get a leaderboard) (friend leaderboards for each level as an option if you press right and game over)
    13. [ ] Tie in leaderboards to the stage select, pause menu and perhaps main menu, but I doubt the main menu would be efficient to find what you want
    14. [ ] Stats screen
    15. [x] Rank up statement (there is a rank at the moment, but its hidden and does nothing)
    16. [ ] Steam achievements
    17. [ ] Trailer, hype, Steam store page
    18. [ ] Cards, badges, wallpapers and emoticons (come after release if the game sells enough copies)
    Even in bullet point form it seems like a lot. I am going to ball park another 4 - 8 weeks to make this all happen.

    The major challenges should be making the levels and workshop integration as I've never done that before. Oh and the procedural level generation is probably the second biggest challenge, but I already have a system from 9 months ago.

    Place your bets if I will finish it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  28. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    HIDDEN WAVES

    I stayed on track and knocked the first thing off the list. OctorSpace now has hidden waves or unlockable phases, however you want to think of it. In games like this, you go wave after wave, but what if there were waves between the waves? How would you get there? In this case, via the editor designers can set one of five ways for each wave. Automatic which will play each and every time, 100% pink coins throughout the level until that point, 100% blue coins in only that wave, 100% enemy destruction and 100% collectable collection.

    With these hidden waves they act just as a normal wave would and can be packed with anything... collectables, enemies and more. With the pink coins requiring you to collect all coins up until the point that you're at, this means if a hidden wave had pink coins and you missed that hidden wave, then you missed those pink coins as well. Blue coins reset each wave, so if you have 5 blue coins in one wave that requires you to have 100% blue coins you need all those blue coins, but the number resets to zero for each wave.

    Blue coins and pink coins are new to the game, but they do the same as the other coins, they count toward an extra life and go to a bonus at the end of the level. Since these coins are special, they move twice as fast, so they should be a priority.

    When you have entered a secret area, you're notified so you feel special.

    Because there are secret waves, there can also be secret exits. The normal exit can head to level 2 A, the secret exit for getting say 5 pink coins leads to level 2 B. Perhaps defeating all the enemies in a single wave will bypass level 2 and warp you to level 3.

    Oh... but now let's turn this on its head! So if you have to achieve this or that to enter a hidden phase, what about if you fail to achieve it? You can set the wave to be played if the player fails to meet the criteria. Fail to get those pink coins, fail to get all those blue coins in a single wave, fail to kill all those enemies from a wave or fail to collect all the collectables and you could just find yourself in some sort of punishment wave. Some designers like to reward, others will prefer to punish their players. Either way, it adds more depth to a game that's essentially a conveyor belt.

    Here is a video making and demonstrating the hidden waves:



    Here is an animation, but its tough to demonstrate in such a short span of time:

    [​IMG]

    CAMPAIGNS IN THE STORE

    The second thing is knocked off the list as the store now offers campaigns. Once they are unlocked, they can be purchased and played. Of course you can make your own campaigns... so why does it matter? Anyway its there. The game only has two campaigns at the moment, but if there are any more in the future they can be added to the store. I could always tie some of the enemies in the level editor needing to be unlocked by playing those campaigns that need to be purchased.

    There is now a scrollbar for the campaign selection when you go to play a game. It helps give an estimate of just how many campaigns you have.

    Here are two dull screenshots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  29. danieldiggle

    danieldiggle Member

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    Love the visuals and style of everything here! awesome work!
     
  30. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Development continues.

    NEW CAMPAIGN LEVELS 1 - 3

    Yesterday was about making a new campaign with all the features. No shoot zones, coins, secret waves, hidden collectables, extra weapons, power-ups, big enemies, enemies that use power-ups, star wipes and so on. I never felt the game needed extra diversity, but then again the main campaign was only 30 minutes long. Looks like just these three levels takes 18 minutes to go through. This can change in numerous ways with the hidden waves. Get all the pink coins in a level, find a wave. Get all the blue coins in a wave, find the next wave. Fail to kill all the enemies, find a hidden wave and so on.

     
  31. SpecTre

    SpecTre Member

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    Posts:
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    Looks very impressive, like the fact you have put a level editor in here too.
    I love any retro inspired games and this reminds me of a lot of the retro shooters.

    I am new to Gamemaker myself coming from AGK but looking forward to starting my project.
     
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  32. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    NEW CAMPAIGN LEVELS 4 & 6

    I spent a lot of yesterday play testing the first three levels and tweaking enemy interactions with one another. Such as the shielders will start moving again when there's nothing behind them to block. Enemies behind shielders will stop and wait for any shielder in front of them to be destroyed before they start moving again. Both the new fourth and sixth levels are seven minutes long, depending what waves you go through.

    The sixth level could use a lot of work, but while I'm here I might as well post a video of the 2 levels:



    The older two campaigns should come in handy as they are simpler, easier and less dynamic. I will have to go back and spice them up to include more, but that could take away from their simplistic charm of "just shoot."
     
  33. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Thanks so much for the reply. Adding an editor was just laziness on my part. Its easier to use my editor in game than have to compile the game and start it over and over again each time I make a tweak :) I'm happy to have a fellow retro-er here.
     
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  34. Ladi_Pix3l

    Ladi_Pix3l Member

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    I'm almost positive that's 80% of us :cool:
     
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  35. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    LEVEL 5 & FINISHING LEVEL 6

    The new campaign is now 50+ minutes. I'd like to add secret levels before I consider it done. I'm quite happy that I managed to fit all the enemies into the series of six levels as that was a big hold up with the last campaign. Its obvious from playing levels five and six their difficulties need to be tweaked. Even when I've given the player specials, bombs, power ups, shield, health and plenty of collectables they seem more challenging and less fun than the other final two levels of the different campaigns. Then again you do get to select upgrades between levels.

    Here is level 5 and 6 of the new campaign:



    With the six new levels done, I started adding the new features to the simple campaign and its been going by quick. Its called the simple campaign because it was made 10 or so months ago with little enemy variety. It takes about 25 minutes to get through all 6 levels. Even before adding the frills it was still a joy to play.
     
  36. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    LEVELS CONTINUE TO PILE UP

    The new campaign now has five secret levels. The levels themselves are a bit imperfect and geared more toward big scores with a bit of challenge as it takes a good player to even get the secret levels. At the current moment each of the five levels can be found if the player gets all pink coins in a single level. I try to put the pink coins in the center of the alley to encourage risk taking. Some pink coins are hidden in hidden waves, so it becomes quite a task to figure out and encourage multiple plays of the same levels.

    With the five new secret levels, this brings the official level total to 23 levels spread across 3 campaigns. The new 50+ minute campaign can turn into 65+ minutes if a player finds the secret levels. The other 2 campaigns are 25 and 30 minutes. There is always a stage select for unlocked levels so a player doesn't have to play through in one setting, but its encouraged to do so as the longer you play in one sitting, the more your score stacks.

    I continue to enhance old "simple campaign" levels with new features. The fourth level of the simple campaign is a big upgrade as it involves more enemy types and situations to keep the player going. It also turns a 3+ minute level into a 5 minute level.

    To space out the level design duty, I think I'll jump over to making how things unlock.
     
  37. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    RANK UP UNLOCKS

    I added a basic unlock system to knock that off my list. When your rank goes up, the game will unlock anything from that rank or previous to it. I say previous as that way I can add more things in the future and they still get unlocked. Its simple, you rank up and get a notification that something is now available in the store. Then you go purchase it when you want. This will keep people from purchasing only the best weapons if everything was just in the store all at once.

    Here is the announcement after the rank up. Its a bit simple:

    [​IMG]

    Other than that I doodled larger art that I'll show off once its finished.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  38. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    UNLOCKING Y FOR DOING X

    I am back for what is essentially the same update, I continued working with a system to unlock elsewhere other than when you rank up.

    In the past, people have told me they want unlocks with achievements or at least doing something. With that in mind there are multiple ways to unlock things, so the unlock announcement can appear.

    Its a nifty little system so that way when a player does X, then Y will unlock. In the future I will tie some of these unlocks to achievements, doing challenges or completing campaigns or something like that. This might require even more variety in the store, which I am trying to avoid since everything feels balanced already.

    As you will see in the video, unlocking the Rocketmonger will also unlock its 3 weapons that you can purchase for use with the other vessels.



    I found plenty of new issues in the store due to the fact I had rushed making the "owned" vs "unlocked" system. Things like "haven't unlocked something? No problem! Buy it anyway!" "Already own it? You can buy it again!" "Already bought it? Too bad you don't own it!" It sounds like a good sales tactic. Those issues have now been fixed and the store works as it should.
     
  39. Ladi_Pix3l

    Ladi_Pix3l Member

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    I enjoy these images Mr. but. . . .I think its easier for other people to load this particular post (since the sizes of these image are pretty big) you should place these images in spoliers
    Like so.
    I'm a large image
     
  40. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    I was waiting for someone to tell me that. The images have now been spoiled. I'm not sure if it helps the load time any. When I visit this page on my tablet it still crashes the browser due to how much RAM it uses. Then again it could be all the videos.
     
  41. Ladi_Pix3l

    Ladi_Pix3l Member

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    I think it worked (at least for my end). Normally I'd have to wait till all the images load before I can scroll down to the most recent post, or scroll up to go to the unread post. I think it helped a bit
     
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  42. sitebender

    sitebender Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Posts:
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    WEAPON EXPLANATION

    To make this shooter feel different than my last, I let the player have 3 different weapons at once. Wide, narrow and forward. The narrow beam moves you slower and the forward beam moves you the slowest. Its a rock paper scissors mechanic that can come in handy. Bullets do the same damage unless you have a power up and the same amount of bullets are fired per second. You can always kill something faster with the forward beam.

    On top of that, there are extra weapons you can find in levels that will give you two satellites with limited ammunition. You can replenish ammo, but once its gone, your satellites are gone. Oh and each ship has its own special ability and regenerating shield. Chances are I've mentioned that.

    I explain this to tell you about the little that has been added to the game...

    MORE WEAPONS


    Not much has progressed in the past ten days. I did spend a bit of time tweaking things and making more weapons to unlock. The game has 20 unlockable weapons, 9 default weapons (3 come with each of the 3 ships), and I think 6 extra weapons you find in the game for a grand total of 35 weapons. You can enhance weapons too with upgrades.

    The 2 new types of weapons are homing missiles, which were in the game as an extra weapon you find, but weapons that let the player unlock and select the homing missiles are weaker versions. They do 2 damage instead of 5, your ship moves slower because its a secondary weapon, there's a wait before the missiles lock on and start to turn. Since the missiles are more of a defensive weapon so the player can just hide rather than putting themselves in danger, the missiles do not recharge the player's shield. On the plus side, these missiles have perfect accuracy rather than the drunk missiles the player would fire with a special and the extra weapon.

    The second type of weapon is like a typical wide beam weapons, but it fires in patterns. Rather than shooting everything at once, it wipes right to left, but at a higher speed to compensate for the fact they fire 1 bullet rather than say 5 at a time.

    Last, but not least is the fact that if you stop shooting for a second then fire again, your next spray of bullets are larger, wider spread and twice as many are fired. This should give incentive to release that shoot button.

    Each new weapon is a side grade as its always been. Nothing is better than anything else.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  43. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    STARTING THE STEAM PROCESS

    I spent the day hobbling together a store page on Steam that will be approved soon. With that done, I can start the hype train from 0 to 0.01. This should also enable me to start working on leaderboards, achievements and workshop support. With the change of Steam's card granting system, I no longer have to spend time before release on cards, emoticons, backgrounds and badges until I am granted the right to do so.

    As this is my third Steam leaderboard (even more if you count others I've helped) it should go quick. It was a stumbling block the first time. The GUI for the leaderboard (or any GUI) will be the biggest hurdle. The achievements should go quick as well. I have a bunch written out and I already have a system for unlocks from previous games.

    The workshop might be this game's roadblock. I've never worked with it before. It might be wise to include it after the game's release as something new to keep the game fresh and give people a reason to return.
     
  44. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    2,596
    I like this game and the info you give. Am more a lurker but I do follow.
    You not alone with Ladi in retro gaming. Am your retro-er fellow too. I think there's a bunch of people on this forum (and alot outside) that love it. Retro games are popular after all in the industry right now.
    ;)
     
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  45. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    STEAM SCREENSHOTS

    All my games have the ability to take screenshots even without Steam integration. I added the mechanism to post screenshots to Steam. By added I mean copy / paste the script I had made from the previous game. This is a little something extra to ensure the screenshot is taken by the Steam client each and every time. The Steam client can be inconsistent at taking screenshots, so that's why anyone developing needs to keep trying to take a Steam screenshot until it takes a screenshot.

    STEAM ACHIEVEMENTS

    Yesterday was also the day to start the achievements I have written down. I made a little locked and unlocked achievement icon to use for everything until I make more. This boils down to copy / pasting a few of my scripts, both to test clear the achievement and set achievement.

    OctorSpace has about 45 achievements with maybe 20 more to be added. Most of them are basic things you'd find in every game like this. Things like score X, have Y cash, complete a level with Z pilot and so on. There are a few achievements with flair, such as use five full charged specials in a single life and use fifteen seconds worth of shield in a single life.

    Here are the basic placeholders for achieved and non-achieved:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Making the achievements, I have come to realize I need a few more wave properties in my editor. A property to end a campaign and one to change the vessel you're flying. Perhaps I'll hold off on the one you're flying for a while.

    RANK UP & END OF LEVEL TWEAKS

    Other than that, I've been reworking the rank up and end of level score system to be less of an exploit considering the player can make their own levels. The easy solution would be to disallow rank for playing custom levels, but where's the fun in that? Time was such a bad thing to incorporate into a level's score. That's probably why I never incorporated it into the cash distribution.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
    Ladi_Pix3l likes this.
  46. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    STEAM ACHIEVEMENT TOTAL 90... too much?

    Another day and more Steam achievements added. Today the total is up to 90 achievements, because I went with having an achievement for each of the game's 18 levels completed along with 18 more for completing them without dying. The number was higher at some point, but I started taking out achievements for less impressive things.

    I'm never a fan of achievement hunt games, but I can justify the 90 as the game is getting broad and chances are I'll pull some achievements and add some more.
     
  47. Ladi_Pix3l

    Ladi_Pix3l Member

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    324
    Whoa. . . . seems like quite a lot but hopefully your game doesn't have the real dumb ones like... "Here' one for turning the game on" or "Thanks for pressing Left"

    lmao
     
  48. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Nope... because they're a pain to add. With that said using Steam to add them is still by far a joy compared to Google Play Services.

    Its more like:
    - 1 for each 18 levels
    - 1 for each 18 levels beat without dying
    - 1 for each 3 campaigns completed
    - 1 for each 3 campaigns completed without using a continue
    - 1 for a level completed with each of the 7 pilots
    - 1 for a level completed with each of the 3 vessels (even more if I add more vessels)
    Right there that's 52.
    - 1 for 4 of the 20+ ranks in the game
    - 1 for 6 grades of points
    - 1 for 6 grades of cash
    - 1 for 6 grades of enemies destroyed
    - 1 for 4 sections of the game (settings, editor, credits, how to play) (this will incentivize looking through the game)
    That's 26 more.
    The less bland achievements:
    - hit 20 enemies with a bomb
    - finish a level with 100% special 100% health 100% shield
    - use 15 seconds worth of shield in 1 life
    - use 5 full charged specials in 1 life
    - have 5 lives when you complete a level (5 lives is the maximum)
    - buy something
    - equip a different weapon
    - modify the upgrade pool

    I could take out the 18 for completing a level as I'd know who completed a level by the leaderboards per level.

    The game also has 5 difficulties I could do some for difficulties, but I've heard in the past most people just go for the lowest difficulty. Even now I'm thinking of others... destroy X amount of enemies with star wipe, unlock a secret wave, locate a secret level, get X points on Y level, collect all pink coins in a level, collect all blue coins in a wave.

    Looks like my first game AquaNimble had 56 achievements, then again I didn't have one for each of that game's 18 levels. I had to scale back some of the tougher achievements a few months ago. Chances are I need to remove the top 2 achievements as I've been the only person to achieve them.

    The second Steam game, Balloon Popping Pigs has 25, but its a simple game. People seemed to enjoy getting 100% of the achievements even if some were meant to be legitimately cryptic, but people tell the secrets. From the Android to the PC version, the excessive grind for achievements was made far easier.

    Meanwhile, my non Steam achievement system, I think Foxland has 15 at last count.
     
  49. Blakkid489

    Blakkid489 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Posts:
    257
    These achievements are nice to have and can definitely give this game replay ability. (not that it isn't already)
    The reviews for your AquaNimble are really farfetched and feel fake lol. Not saying you did them or had anything to do with them, they just sound unrealistic.
    Have you seen them?

    "First off I want to state that I've always disliked Shoot 'Em Ups/Shmups.
    That was until............. the day I played AquaNimble."
    - Games4Eternity

    That one is my favorite lmao. Freakin changed this guy's life :cool:

    Anyways The last 3 achievements for this current game seem a bit what @Ladi_Pix3l was talking about. I can assume that you almost have to buy something in order to progress. Trying a stronger weapon seems like common sense. Actually the modify upgrade tool is okay. I like that one lol.

    That's my 2 pennies. cant wait to play this.
     
  50. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Now to choke a horse with my reply. :)

    NO PURCHASE TO PROGRESS

    You don't have to buy anything to progress. You can go through the entire game with the ship you start as with the same weapons. Basically the purchased / selectable weapons are for diversity. I feel the 3 ships are perfectly balanced in their default state and that's how I play through the game most every day. Every new weapon you can buy is a side grade rather than an upgrade for the sake of diversity.

    Having to purchase something to progress would destroy the level / campaign editor. I suppose its good you bring that up. I might just have to make 10 ships for all the weapons and remove the ability to pick weapons if people will think they need to buy weapons to progress.

    If I find myself preferring a purchased weapon, I downgrade it in some way. The three default weapons each ship does the same damage, the same firing rate vs how many projectiles they fire... but you fire in different methods (wide, narrow, forward) which makes for situations. Lots of fast enemies? Single enemies ahead of you? Use the forward.

    With the modify upgrade pool.... those are the upgrades that when you complete a level, you pick 1 from a set of 4 that are randomly selected from your upgrade pool. You control what is enabled in the upgrade pool and you need to have a pool of 8.

    Its all to quell situations that I've heard in the past:
    - "I go through each campaign and its the same ship from start to finish." So there are end of level upgrades so your ship improves.
    - "I can pick my vessel... but where's the customization?" Pick your weapons, pick your pilot.
    - "I liked my old weapon better, now I'm stuck with something." So now you pick your own weapons that you'll have the entire campaign or you game over, but you can pick up weapons that will fire with your default weapons.

    REVIEWS OF OTHER GAMES

    As for the reviews, agreed they do feel fake, but I have no control. Sometimes I wonder if people intentionally do that.

    AquaNimble has had some interesting reviews that have modified or been removed by the poster. One person said it was "the worst game ever," and has since changed the review. Another person bluntly had a review "I like my games better." Those were my first 2 reviews for the game and I knew both those 2 people on Steam. I never ask people for reviews, because I don't want to sway their judgement.

    Since that backlash, I've been reluctant to even talk about my games at all. I was making games for more than 2 years before I came to the Yoyogames forum.

    Balloon Popping Pigs reviews are a bit questionable too. Someone with 1 review and 4,000 games says its hours of fun despite only playing 15 minutes. On the plus side one of the reviews that consisted of 1 praising line had 112 reviews that were for the most part negative and mine was one of the positives.

    I probably mention this in my comment reply to Games4Eternity, but I somewhat knew him on Steam from months earlier. I appreciate his comment / review and I now know him better than when he wrote the review even if we only talk once every few months. He's enthusiastic and again, I never ask for reviews.

    I tried to design AquaNimble to be far from a typical vertical space shooter. I tried to design OctorSpace to be far from AquaNimble.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017

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