Alpha TAWBS: a little challenging top-down shooter

DT Mark

Member
Hello everyone!

It's been a year (well technically, 6 months) I started using Game Maker: Studio -in my spare time- and today I'd like to show you what I've been working on!


TAWBS is a minimalistic, fast-paced, trial-&-error, and story-driven top-down-shooter in which you start up training for war but end up exploring a peculiar facility filled with traps and puzzles.
In order to traverse the levels, skill, strategy and determination will be needed.

More info and updates below or on https://tawbs.wordpress.com

While I'm still working on finishing all the remaining mechanics (before moving on to art and level design), there's a guy who made a sort of "playthrough" / "showcase" video about TAWBS, and I figured it might be interesting to share here as it shows more gameplay. Plus it's quite entertaining.

It turns out I have even less time to work on the game this year, but I have still managed to make some progress!
- Most of the remaining mechanics and gimmicks have been coded and are functional with everything else
- Progress has been made in terms of level building
- Translations have been done! The Omicron team has translated my game in French (entirely), German (almost entirely) and Spanish (not entirely)
- My pause/settings menu was too much of a mess and needed to be recoded in order for me to be able to easily add in the language settings
- While redoing it, I have added mouse control support
- And obviously, many bugs have been fixed. Many thanks to all the play-testers!

Here are some GIFs and Screenshots (the visuals of the new mechanics are placeholders):
https://imgur.com/a/zett3

I am now going to focus on building more of the levels, and code the last gimmicks left. After that, I'll start working on the visual polish of those mechanics.

P.S: I know the pause menu doesn't look that great. Should I redesign it completely or try enhancing it?

I started writing more elaborate devlogs over on another blog, so...

[UPDATE: June 2018]
https://tawbs.wordpress.com/2018/06/10/devlog-june-2018/

[UPDATE: July 2018]

https://tawbs.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/devlog-july-2018/

Lots of new stuff I haven't showed off here ^

Here's a video showcasing an extended version of one of the tracks of the game's soundtrack, composed by ThaPredator!


[UPDATE: November 2018]
https://tawbs.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/devlog-november-2018/

This time, showcasing work on the last area of the game!

Here's another music video for one of the tracks of the game's soundtrack, composed by ThaPredator!


[UPDATE: October 2019]
https://tawbs.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/tgs-lyon-postmortem/

I went to a local convention and made a post-mortem about it.

Here's yet another music video for one of the tracks of the game's soundtrack, composed by ThaPredator!


[UPDATE: JANUARY 2020]
https://www.yoyogames.com/blog/548/visually-striking-minimalism-with-tawbs

This isn't exactly new content, but I made an extensive post on YYG's blog going through how I made my pause menu!
 
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EqualiteGem

Guest
The trailer art is the best part of the trailer, it has great aesthetics and consistency. I think the gameplay could use at least one of these though.

1. Upgrades or new weapons to unlock. I saw a tank which looks awesome along with the giant turret gun. And there was one basic attack from what I saw and a laser attack (which was cool) . I think there should be more weapons or means of attacks besides those.

2. The Ai looks okay, I mean not too many variants in the ways of attacks or behavior besides the moving arrow enemies, nothing too difficult or complex. I think the game needs bosses of some sort or a catchy gimmick. Even if there was at least 4 cool looking bosses and maybe a little side story would be cool.

Overall the trailer looks like it got a lot of potential man and great job for six months.
 
M

MunchytheFox

Guest
Oh wow, great trailer man! Looking forward to when it comes out :p
 

DT Mark

Member
The trailer art is the best part of the trailer, it has great aesthetics and consistency. I think the gameplay could use at least one of these though.

1. Upgrades or new weapons to unlock. I saw a tank which looks awesome along with the giant turret gun. And there was one basic attack from what I saw and a laser attack (which was cool) . I think there should be more weapons or means of attacks besides those.

2. The Ai looks okay, I mean not too many variants in the ways of attacks or behavior besides the moving arrow enemies, nothing too difficult or complex. I think the game needs bosses of some sort or a catchy gimmick. Even if there was at least 4 cool looking bosses and maybe a little side story would be cool.

Overall the trailer looks like it got a lot of potential man and great job for six months.
Thanks for the feedback!

You always have 2 basic weapons (gun and bomb) between which you can switch with the mouse wheel. In order to deal with enemies you have to use them accordingly/in a specific order depending on the color of the enemy (the enemies are the square guys, not the other objects). Furthermore, the gameplay is all about constantly switching between your weapons / using them in the right order, and about managing your ammo which is very limited - your shots must be nearly perfect.

I designed my game around the player itself: you almost never change / gain abilities (except for the laser, but that's more of a way of interacting with the mechanics), however, there's constantly new gimmicks introduced (almost one every level).

With all of that in mind, the levels are actually quite puzzle-ish in a certain way: you see how the new mechanic works/how it interacts with the older mechanics, and you try to adapt your strategy according to that.

So if I did introduce new weapons, I'd have to do it in substitution of the current ones (scrolling through more than 2 weapons is nerve wracking), which either implies that:
A) I introduce the new weapons and the player keeps them until he gets other weapons
B) I introduce the new weapons as a special level gimmick

To be honest, I'm not a fan of neither of those options, I like having the player do the same thing throughout the game with only the environment changing. But on the other hand, I do have other weapon ideas that I want to put in the game.

Therefore, what I'm doing is occasionally introducing 'vehicles' which act as a level gimmick, and these vehicles have different weapons/attacks (similar to the player's, but not quite, as you saw with the tank/turret).

As for the bosses, yes. The game absolutely needs them. I just want to come up with good boss designs rather than just throwing rubbish bossfights for the sake of having bossfights.

[TLDR: I'm not inclined to adding new weapons, or at least I don't really know how to do it well, and I'd love to make good bosses]

Oh wow, great trailer man! Looking forward to when it comes out :p
Thanks! It will probably take a while though :p
 
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EqualiteGem

Guest
Vehicles work too, or environmental weapons or traps. Something to make the player wonder what's going to happen next level. A reward of some sort. But I like what I'm seeing so far!
 

DT Mark

Member
While I'm still working on finishing all the remaining mechanics (before moving on to art and level design), there's a guy who made a sort of "playthrough" / "showcase" video about TAWBS, and I figured it might be interesting to share here as it shows more gameplay. Plus it's quite entertaining.

 

DT Mark

Member
[UPDATE: November 2017]

It turns out I have even less time to work on the game this year, but I have still managed to make some progress!
- Most of the remaining mechanics and gimmicks have been coded and are functional with everything else
- Progress has been made in terms of level building
- Translations have been done! The Omicron team has translated my game in French (entirely), German (almost entirely) and Spanish (not entirely)
- My pause/settings menu was too much of a mess and needed to be recoded in order for me to be able to easily add in the language settings
- While redoing it, I have added mouse control support
- And obviously, many bugs have been fixed. Many thanks to all the play-testers!

Here are some GIFs and Screenshots (the visuals of the new mechanics are placeholders):
https://imgur.com/a/zett3

I am now going to focus on building more of the levels, and code the last gimmicks left. After that, I'll start working on the visual polish of those mechanics.

P.S: I know the pause menu doesn't look that great. Should I redesign it completely or try enhancing it?
 
D

DyingSilence

Guest
This looks like a mix of "n" and "Hotline Miami" so far and i love it. I'm rarely hyped for a Work In Progress, but this trailer gets the job done.
 

Niels

Member
Looks impressive (especially for a first game)!
Loved the trailer and the graphics! This would be something I would play
 

DT Mark

Member
Here's a video showcasing an extended version of one of the tracks of the game's soundtrack, composed by ThaPredator!

 
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