Spark | Combo-centric Shoot 'em Up | Releasing Nov 10

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EckyYakov

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Finally, I can live out my dreams of battling endangered sea turtles...

Seriously though, looks great, I like the new direction the art seems to be going in.
I fiddled around w/ the enemy builder a while back, seems like an interesting addition.

Congrats on getting Greenlit as well! :)

Will check out the newest version whenever I get the time, but who knows when that'll be. -_-
Thank you! Yeah the killing cute creatures thing is going to be something that ties in with the story. I feel just as bad lol. I am pretty happy with how things are progressing. Thanks for checking out, and i'll be looking forward to your feedback, hopefully we will have the beta out soon and you can play that!

Just tried out the demo, seems promising. i try to play games without having to read instructions, so I was a little lost as to what Z and X did. I wasnt sure how to activate the powerups either
Thanks for giving the demo a try. I think the controls are a little non-intuitive on keyboard, but on gamepad they work really really well. I'll see if i can do something about reminders and people who just like to jump into the game without checking anything out. I think with the beta i'm going to force a tutorial, but i haven't decided yet. Bebop and Tempo looks awesome! Good luck on everything there
 
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EckyYakov

Guest
So i have updated the Itch Page to have the most recent version and a mac demo. This is with the GMS2 upgrade, some optimization changes, and all of the gameplay changes that i'll go through below. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Gameplay Changes:
  • Moved the laser from a build up mechanic that gives the player incentives to create combos to a weapon powerup. This is going to fit into our progression system that allows you to upgrade aspects of your kit based acquired in game currency/xp. The reason for this change is to make way for the next gameplay change...
  • Introduced a overheat mechanic. The reason for this mechanic is because after we took out individual cooldowns on the shots, it was easy to create huge, screen-clearing combos with just spamming red, then spamming blue. This is not the intended gameplay pattern. We want the player to be able to create those huge combos, but they need to be sacrificing something in order to make them, in this case, a ton of 'heat' in the overheat bar. Which means the player now has to decide if they want to hit a few smaller combos or they want to go for the big ShaBang. I just added some visual indicators so the player should be able to passively manage their heat without having to move their eyes off the action. I am really curious how this feels so please let me know if you give it a shot!
  • We are reworking the enemies, as you can see from my visual example above, but also how they play out. I want to focus more on Einhander, 1942... typical scrolling schmup type enemies. This means the enemies will no longer be able to combo. This means the player's combo system will feel even more powerful, and hopefully better because it is not shared by the enemies in the game. This will hopefully create a gameplay loop that consists of hitting combos to knock out pods of minions, followed by slightly more cerebral minibosses and bosses. Each level will have their own aesthetic for enemies but their behavior will probably be similar. This has not been implemented yet, but is next on the list.
Thank you for checking the game out if you do! Your feedback means a ton to us, and i really think this will be our solidified final gameplay direction so we can push this badboi to the finish line!
 
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EckyYakov

Guest
Got a new computer, old one died RIP =/. Moved into a new house =], yippey. and have been working on making enemies... Really hoping to be getting into Beta soon. Maybe even run like a kickstarter campaign or something along those lines. After we go into 'Beta' i'll be looking for a lot of gameplay feedback again. I'll be back on being more active here. Per usual and feedback, comments, questions, concerns are all welcome and appreciated.

Cheers.

Here have some dolphins!

 
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EckyYakov

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I am going to just keep posting progress gifs of the enemies I make. I hope you all enjoy them.... Really trying my best to do posts/updates more often.
Cheers!

 
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EckyYakov

Guest
Okey dokey ladies and gents. We are back. So the new enemies are in, and we are almost back to square 0 with the new stuff. Updated the tutorial, added in some stat tracking to the new enemies even though we arent doing much with that yet. Powerups are back in Survival, and when i compile with YYC it for some reason gives a much larger particle effect on the combos. But they look sweet, like you'll see below, but i am not sure about if it will be too distracting and clarify becomes an issues. Demo is updated at the link above so if you give it a play let me know! Would love to have some more feedback on how the game is looking and feeling.

Cheers!



 
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EckyYakov

Guest
Backstreet's back, alright!

Hmm. Well. I am back. I edited the original post so that way it has much less content and hopefully better formatting, so people just have enough to hopefully decide to play the game. Still looking for feedback, but really excited at how close we are to being done. Plan is to build out the rest of story then polish, then release, goal is release on November 11th. Survival Mode, 1 Campaign Stage, and 20 Puzzles. Music is completed for it, still need sound fx, and need to build out the rest of story but overall it is looking awesome and I am really excited. Download the installer and play 'Survival' mode to get the most polished taste of the game so far and let me know what you think!

As always i appreciate any time and effort put in to checking out my game and providing feedback!
Cheers


 
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EckyYakov

Guest
Hello again. Release date for early access or for chapter one is still planned for November 11th. Everything is moving along nicely. Got some music in, although it doesn't loop that well. Beefed up or changed the Firepower and Speed powerups to be Firepower and Timewarp now. Timewarp makes it so that the bullets around the player all slow down rather than the player speeding up. And firepower gives you two clones that shoot with you! I have also added in about 2 more minutes of gameplay in the story mode... couple more and I get to enter in the first mini boss!

Cheers
 
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EckyYakov

Guest
Accomplished since last update:
  • Added in two mini boss battles into story mode, we are about at 10 minutes of gameplay, that's about two thirds done now.
  • Added multiplier into survival
  • Added multiplier into story
  • Added game start countdown to give player preptime for going into game
  • Fixed music looping
  • Created effects for increasing your multilpier
  • Update background with colors in both story and survival
  • Extended time to read the introduction text for slower readers, faster readers can press any button to skip
Next on the list:
  • Track down bug regarding overheat bar not calculating heat properly after use of some powerups in survival
  • Track down bug regarding invulnerability when shield powerups are overlapped
  • Finish story mode by adding last section and final boss
  • Add in ability to store 3 powerups and cycle through them for more precise usage
  • Steam leaderboard integration
Steam doesnt allow for release on weekends so new release date is November 10th at 11am. The idea is to release survival as the base game, and then allow the player to buy the other portions of the game they want (story or puzzles) seperately. That way you only pay for what parts of this great (but super disconnected 3-in-1 style) game you want. Release will have discounted bundle for all of them. I'm thinking price point will be around 5$ for the bundle of everything which will include 20 puzzles, 1 story episode, survival mode (prolly 2-3 hours of gameplay). Let me know if you have any questions, comments, concerns.

Here is how story is looking so far!
 
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EckyYakov

Guest
Accomplished since last update:
  • Knocked out a long standing bug where the player would be invulnerable permanently after using two or more shields at the same time
  • Knocked out a long standing bug where the overheat system would quit generating heat allowing the player to free spam
  • Change the super combo system to be a dial-in combo system like in Mortal Kombat, for consistency and a better feel
  • Optimized the super combo system
  • Added in juice and particle effects to the super combo system
  • Optimized all normal combo particle effect system.
Next on the list:
  • Finish story mode by adding last section and final boss
  • Steam leaderboard integration
  • Add in full controller navigation support in full screen ( only have partial right now )
Updated the main post with this awesome new gif :


I am really excited to be pushing this project through to the finish line. Let me know if anyone gives it a play =]
 

CROmartin

Member
EckyYakov upload_2017-10-16_21-40-51.png
Seems like curent version is buged, just leting you know(as I understand you trying load something that isnt in game folder, probaly it is beacuse you dont have load protection. You didnt put some var that indicates frst time booting and that there is nothing to load ). I will w8 for fix to try it out, good luck with solving problem!
 
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EckyYakov

Guest
EckyYakov View attachment 13588
Seems like curent version is buged, just leting you know(as I understand you trying load something that isnt in game folder, probaly it is beacuse you dont have load protection. You didnt put some var that indicates frst time booting and that there is nothing to load ). I will w8 for fix to try it out, good luck with solving problem!
Hey.. well that's embarassing. So the current demo has gotten rid of Flox completely as we are moving to a steam leaderboard. So for now the leaderboard won't work as the game is not published to steam yet, but you should not get this error anymore. I'm sorry I didn't get an email notification that you replied to this or I would have tracked it down sooner.

If you give it another shot, you will noticed that the survival mode is the only one you can play... and of course the tutorial. This is because we are going to be running a promo/competition this coming weekend on Steam. Top players will win a copy of the game for free as well as a Poster of the game and some stickers and stuff!

Really am embarrassed about that crash. I hope you give it another shot!

https://gamejolt.com/games/Spark/290836
 
If you now have a Steam store page you might not be able to release in a mere week. Take some time to build some hype beyond a week unless you're trying to get a game out before the 2 store wide sales that are coming.

Have you thought about making player bullets 1 color and enemy bullets another color? You can use shades of the same color. I think it would look better and let the player know what to dodge.
 
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EckyYakov

Guest
If you now have a Steam store page you might not be able to release in a mere week. Take some time to build some hype beyond a week unless you're trying to get a game out before the 2 store wide sales that are coming.

Have you thought about making player bullets 1 color and enemy bullets another color? You can use shades of the same color. I think it would look better and let the player know what to dodge.
Hey! Thanks for the concern. I would move the release date, but all the people I have been telling at conventions and on my stream is November 10th, and that date has been planned out for a while, we were just super slow getting our steam page up. Also, yes getting the game in before the upcoming sales is a big motivator as well.

As for the bullets, I think there is a pretty clear distinction right now between enemy bullets and player bullets, player bullets are blue/green/yellow/red, and a very dull and bubbly. Enemy bullets are white with brighter thicker trails. There is a pretty clear disinction, the only thing i've been worried about is how muddied the screen gets on particle effects. What were you looking at that made it seem the distinction is unclear? some gifs? or some screen shots? I'd love to know what you were looking at so i know whether or not i need to make tweaks before i put it out there. But my opinion is that is is good right now, unless I am missing something (which is totally possible).
 
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EckyYakov

Guest
Just posted this on Steam but figured i would double it here.


Survival Highscore Competition

As you may have noticed, we have put the Survival Demo out for you all to download and play. Hopefully you are enjoying yourselves.

We wanted to turn up the heat a little bit by throwing some competition into the mix. Starting from the time this announcement is posted until 12:00am MST November 8th, we will be holding a Survival mode Highscore challenge. It's simple too, all you have to do is hold the top scores on the leaderboard.

Here's how the prizes break down:

First Place
  • Free Copy of Spark on Release Day.
  • Spark Poster
  • Knightmare Games Stickers

Second Place
  • Free Copy of Spark on Release Day.
  • Knightmare Games Stickers

Third Place
  • Free Copy of Spark on Release Day.

We will post the winners to the discussion forums after the competition is over, all you have to do is post in there or message us to claim your prize!

Make sure to submit those scores to the leaderboard, and more importantly... Have fun!
 
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EckyYakov

Guest
Steam Store Page

Hello Everyone!

Noobs rejoice! Today is the day Spark got a whole lot easier. Based on data and some feedback from players... it appers things were WAY too hard. Especially for those who have never seen or played Spark before release. In this patch, the difficulty curve has been smoothed out in Conquest and Survival. Expect to be able to survive much longer than before, and hopefully get some higher scores! If you think it still needs to be tuned down or tuned up, don't hesitate to drop a suggestion. We are all ears. In the meantime, I hope you guys enjoy yourselves much more!

PRO TIP: Focus on the combos!

Please if you have any issues or suggestions drop them in the forums or contact me directly on Discord.

  • Reduced difficulty of first section of Conquest
  • Reduced difficulty of first boss.
  • Reduced difficulty of second section of Conquest
  • Defeated bosses now give +1 HP
  • Smoothed out difficulty curve in survival mode so it takes much longer to get to the more difficult mobs.
  • Switched the positioning of Survival in the play list to be the top. New players should have an easier and more entertaining time learning the combos if they are under less pressure and have the help of powerups. We saw too may people giving up on the game entirely after playing only Conquest. We hope to see players stick around longer with this change.

You can catch me on Twitch, if you want to see me working on patches or failing at climbing the leaderboards.

Please if you put a decent amount of time into the game and have any feedback on how we can improve the game, leave a review. It helps me a ton to know where to focus on continuing development.

Cheers.

Ecky
 
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