Alpha UPDATED 12/09 - DYING ENGINE!

HighlandCoo

Member
You are an alien AI, on a thousand year mission to retrieve the lost power crystals that will save your creators.

Controls are explained in the in-game tutorial.

I'm really keen to get some feedback, but the main thing is that you enjoy yourselves. The game just loops endlessly, you cannot win or lose, but you can explode. :)

TRAILER

NOW ON GAMEJOLT

Updated 05/08
UPDATED!
* Dozens of little balance changes, bug fixes and graphical updates.
Still working on Boss Battles!


Updated 26/07
* added cool damage and debris effects when weapons impact buildings
* fixed a bug which prevented explosion shockwaves not drawing correctly
* swopped the HP and the ammo counters to opposite sides of the GUI

Updated 25/07
* Updated minion stats and behavior, they are now tougher, faster, more aggressive, and they share target data with each other.
* adjusted weapon behavior of the jeep enemies, now a rapid burst firing machine gun type weapon
* updated minion sprites, no longer a placeholder.
* fixed a bug where desert terrain was not drawn corectly, so collisions appears to not work.

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GameBorgs

Guest
I like the explosion marks that get left behind.
I like that you can customize the tank color.
I like the details, there are lots of little things that are easy to miss.
I like that you can shoot all the weapons at once.
I like the UI, it is very polished, but there is also a LOT of stuff going on. I'm pretty sure the numbers on the bottom right are shields but I'm not sure what they do besides that. The fact that there are 3 numbers are confusing to me.
I like that there is an orientation icon.

It took me a while to realize there were 2 different crosshairs and I'm not really sure what the red spaceship spotlight thing does.
I don't like that the tank is sooo slow. The first thing I did when i got the upgrades was jack up the speed.
There were a lot of things to figure out but the tank is really durable so it's not too punishing right off the bat.

The main problem I had was figuring out everything that was happening on screen.

I ended up spending45 minutes playing heh.
 

KurtBlissZ

Member
The first time I seen a top-down shooter where you could shoot over enemies or in front; which adds a neat mechanic.

The movement was okay. So you must have made it so you can't move and turn at the same time on purpose. Does it make it feel better than being able to do both at the same time?

I think the carnage in the game is like ice cream and the screams of the abducted test subjects are like the sprinkles! So more Dying Engine would be awesome.
 

HighlandCoo

Member
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

- I clearly need to re-think the movement mechanics for the player character - everyone who plays it mentions it as "odd"... the design idea behind this is to push the idea of generating "minions" to fight for you as your primary defense, with your character acting more like a mobile base. I suspect I have not "filled out" the concept of the minions enough in this demo!

- I currently have player damage split over 3 areas, turret, torso and legs. But I cant think how to implement that as an actual mechanic like "if legs take damage lose 50% turn speed" PLUS communicate that effectively via the UI PLUS implement a quick and fun mechanism to repair that damage without taking focus away firing your turret and torso weapons, generating minions, abducting humans and moving your character - I suspect this is a "bridge to far" in terms of things-to-do... I may remove it.
 

KurtBlissZ

Member
Maybe a compromise for the movement system is make the player turn slower while moving..

The thing that's annoying about the movement is I kept over turning and I keep having to make really tiny turns to avoid buildings a lot. So at least a better collision where you could just walk along the building could help.
 

HighlandCoo

Member
UPDATED

- totally re-wrote the movement code. Still get the stompy-feet mech style movement, but now you can move AND turn simultaneously - less a moving turret now, more a tank on legs!
 

hippyman

Member
- I currently have player damage split over 3 areas, turret, torso and legs. But I cant think how to implement that as an actual mechanic like "if legs take damage lose 50% turn speed" PLUS communicate that effectively via the UI PLUS implement a quick and fun mechanism to repair that damage without taking focus away firing your turret and torso weapons, generating minions, abducting humans and moving your character - I suspect this is a "bridge to far" in terms of things-to-do... I may remove it.

A way you could show the damage for each part is similar to how UFC shows damage in their games.


Sorry for the blurry photo. I resized it to make it bigger. But notice how the arm, torso and head are all different shades of red? The brighter the color, the more damage that spot has taken.


It does look like a neat game though and I like your idea of making the Bot more of a mobile base and having minions do the main chunk of the fighting.
 

HighlandCoo

Member
A way you could show the damage for each part is similar to how UFC shows damage in their games.


Sorry for the blurry photo. I resized it to make it bigger. But notice how the arm, torso and head are all different shades of red? The brighter the color, the more damage that spot has taken.


It does look like a neat game though and I like your idea of making the Bot more of a mobile base and having minions do the main chunk of the fighting.
I DO like that :)

and it's trivial for me to apply different colors to the 3 different body sections... the burning issue is - what effect should leg damage have versus torso damage (for example)? Then how to communicate THAT information to the user?

There is already quite alot going on.. I worry about info overload.
 

hippyman

Member
Well since it's a robot, you could like you said, decrease the speed of the bot depending on the percentage of health in the legs. You could even make it where the legs will malfunction at a certain level and just won't go on anymore.

As for the torso, I guess if you had like a fuel variable for the bot then you could make it where the percentage of damage represents the amount of fuel leakage.

And for the head of the bot you could make that the "CPU" and could determine turning and fire rate.

Just a few thoughts for you. I know how you feel about info overload. I posted a topic in Game design and got a ton of replies and now I'm crippled in a sense lol
 

HighlandCoo

Member
Well since it's a robot, you could like you said, decrease the speed of the bot depending on the percentage of health in the legs. You could even make it where the legs will malfunction at a certain level and just won't go on anymore.

As for the torso, I guess if you had like a fuel variable for the bot then you could make it where the percentage of damage represents the amount of fuel leakage.

And for the head of the bot you could make that the "CPU" and could determine turning and fire rate.

Just a few thoughts for you. I know how you feel about info overload. I posted a topic in Game design and got a ton of replies and now I'm crippled in a sense lol

I think one of the pillars of a good game is presenting the player with interesting decisions - even if it's something as simple as "do I shoot, or not?".

I worry that im interrupting that decision making process too much, by not just offering the player the decision to use captured humans for repair OR for new minions, but also where to direct the repair... Then again.. I am considering allowing the player to manufacture different types of minion.. so I suppose that is another "sub decision" again.

Hrm perhaps these are good systems, but combat needs to be slowed down a little, to give the player more time to think?
 

HighlandCoo

Member
UPDATED!

- the market now functions correctly. In between games you can buy and sell items. (not many items right now, but hey, it works)
- added day/night cycle
- added weather effects
- added game over condition. If you end a game twice, with a negative shard balance, it's game over!
- various bug fixes.
 

FROGANUS

Member
Really cool.

A little frustrating steering around buildings at first- the top down, forward reverse control scheme takes a second to get used to. I think the clipping could be cleaned up to better bounce off structures rather than stick.

The graphic effects, shading, shaking, lighting, etc is all very impressive. I like the concept of 'mobile base' style battle and utilizing the minions more.

Maybe they can have basic squadron commands to move/attack/defend? Other brainstorm idea- what if your robot had different modes attack/defend/command/rush? i dunno random ideas.

lets see where the next release goes!
cheers.
 

HighlandCoo

Member
UPDATED!

- updated movement system, now a traditional WSAD. W moves you UP, S moves you DOWN, etc

- drastically reduced screenshake, blur and zoom visual effects

- updated NPC movement scripts

- updated NPC death effects

- added new NPC, attack choppa!

- added new turret weapon, the Ion Cannon!

- big balance changes
* Your base HP has been set far lower so you are now more vulnerable
* Your shield now automatically points the same direction as your torso, but can be knocked down after taking too much damage. The shield can recover after a period of no hits.
* There is now no limit to how many minions you can spawn, but they cost 5 humans per minion.
* adjusted the spawn rate of special enemies, you will now see a few of them sooner in the game.​
 

HighlandCoo

Member
Updated!

- added new mission type. Shards will be carried by vehicle from one side of the map to the other, destroy the trucks to get shards. NB* The vehicle is still a placeholder sprite - sorry about that - but at least it stands out!

- added new biome - the desert!

- added various graphical and performance improvements

- various bug fixes
 

HighlandCoo

Member
UPDATED!

* fixed turret/torso rotation not "catching up" quickly enough if you do a full 180
* added diagonal movement
* updated leg rotation, it's practically instant now, so if you hit W you immediately move north.
* updated movement tutorial message to take move mechanic changes into account
* fixed the player being able to move and shoot during spawn animation
* updated projectile collision, now more accurate
* fixed leg animation going wonky if you change direction on the go
* fixed a crash/hang that could occur when quickRepairing
* added drop shadow to GUI to increase visibility on brightly coloured levels
* fixed legs and turret continuing onwards even when you hit a wall
* spawning minions/repair is now on a cycle, hold the key once to spawn 1 minion (for example)
then continue t hold the key to spawn more. This is a change from holding the key once to use _all_
available humans at once and gives greater control over what you do with your captured humans.
* Fixed shardTruck pathing in the desert level
* finally fixed the jeep turret not being correctly aligned with the rear of the jeep
 

HighlandCoo

Member
UPDATED!

* Updated minion stats and behavior, they are now tougher, faster, more aggressive, and they share target data with each other.
* adjusted weapon behavior of the jeep enemies, now a rapid burst firing machine gun type weapon
* updated minion sprites, no longer a placeholder.
* fixed a bug where desert terrain was not drawn corectly, so collisions appears to not work.
 

HighlandCoo

Member
UPDATED!

* added cool damage and debris effects when weapons impact buildings
* fixed a bug which prevented explosion shockwaves not drawing correctly
* swopped the HP and the ammo counters to opposite sides of the GUI
 

KurtBlissZ

Member
I walked into the corner of a building and got stuck. https://snag.gy/E14FKl.jpg
I don't like how the movement pauses every time you change direction.
The new minions and the day-night cycle are awesome.
The enemies seeming more aggressive I like, even though I can't quite explain why.
 

HighlandCoo

Member
I walked into the corner of a building and got stuck. https://snag.gy/E14FKl.jpg
I don't like how the movement pauses every time you change direction.
The new minions and the day-night cycle are awesome.
The enemies seeming more aggressive I like, even though I can't quite explain why.
Thanks Kurt - though it's not uploaded yet - I've corrected both of these issues for you. You were so right about the player turning issue, it feels much better now.

In the meantime, heres a teaser of the boss battle im working on (warning! placeholder sprites included! :p)


 

KurtBlissZ

Member
Cool. The boss destroying your minions looks tough despite the placeholders. Can't wait to see the boss finished.
I also just notice how the minions falling to the ground that's a cool effect. But you can tell the ones on the ground are drawn above the minions that are falling.
 

HighlandCoo

Member
UPDATED!

- Replaced placeholder sprites on the shard truck and walker boss character (still working on how to introduce the boss battle into the flow of the game)
- Fixed display and counter bugs on the end-of-level-progress screen
- Fixed various crash bugs
 
I

itameio

Guest
I don't feel like trying any game right now, but man! those screens look awesome! I like the gui, the blood, the explosions!
 
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