Zordak [NEW DEMO 2020-02-01] [WINDOWS/LINUX]

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ThePandaSenpai

Guest
It's so inspiring to see how a game evolves over the course of its production. Good job once again! I hope you can get everything ready for the demo.

P.S. Oh, I didn't know they released new content on PoE. I might as well hop in XD
 

Apapappa

Member
It's so inspiring to see how a game evolves over the course of its production. Good job once again! I hope you can get everything ready for the demo.

P.S. Oh, I didn't know they released new content on PoE. I might as well hop in XD
Yeah, it's nice to see all the different ways it has improved over the years.
Thank you again for the nice words. :)




Update:
If nothing goes wrong and/or I remember something else I want to add, there should pretty much only be audio left to do until the demo is ready now.
These audio tracks might be released with the demo in the form of a WIP, depending on if I come up with something good or not.

Anyways, here's a gif of an upgrade which might come in handy:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tq7scegr8uybnfg/ZordakControlChipv2_web.gif?raw=1
 
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Trueno

Guest
really loving that post processing, are you using an image or is it a shader?

btw is this at all influenced by the anime Blue Gender, or the game megasphere?
 

Apapappa

Member
really loving that post processing, are you using an image or is it a shader?

btw is this at all influenced by the anime Blue Gender, or the game megasphere?
Thanks!

The post processing consists of multiple shaders and a mix of other things.
So depending on which part you mean, it's most likely a shader. :)

Never heard of those games so can't say I'm influenced by them.

I can't wait to see the next demo :D
It's coming... soon™.





Update:
Haven't gotten around to creating the audio yet since I got a bit sidetracked this week but hopefully it was worth it.
I've drastically improved the lighting system, now supports shadow casting and colored lights.
Also added an "ambient occlusion" like effect since it's was a simple addition in the new lighting system.
Maybe next week I will have the audio done, but no promises.
I want it to be done by then but it never goes like I want so.. yeah... until next time.

Lighting system gif:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/75anxs7wlewv463/ZordakLightingSystem_web.gif?raw=1
 
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Apapappa

Member
So... the demo is basically done.
I think I want like 2-3 people to try it first before going completely public to see if I've missed/completely blanked out on any glaring issues.
So I guess you can reply here if you're interested.
 
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Trueno

Guest
I actually just finished the demo, game felt good. a few areast were troublesome. like when you are trying to jump out of water onto a ledge. really love the art. I think the crouch animation could be improved (as in make her go lower)
 

Apapappa

Member
I actually just finished the demo, game felt good. a few areast were troublesome. like when you are trying to jump out of water onto a ledge. really love the art. I think the crouch animation could be improved (as in make her go lower)
Thanks for playing, a bit of an unfortunate timing though as the new longer and improved demo should be out shortly.
Some or all of these issues might already be fixed in the new demo.
Still, thank you for trying it out and I hope you find the time to try the new one when it has been released! :)
 

Apapappa

Member
Okay, some issues have been found and I'm gonna try and fix most of those first. I was planning to release the demo some time after the steam summer sale anyway and hopefully it will be done before that.

In the mean time you can check out my twitter if you're into that sorta thing: https://twitter.com/ApapappaGames
(shameless self plug I guess)
It's mostly the same pictures with maybe a few exceptions, so not really anything special there yet. (might be in the future though)
 

JacobV

Member
I've been watching this project for a bit, and this whole time I've felt there was something off about the player animations. I think I've figured it out now; they don't have much motion to them. When they sprint, for instance, they don't bend forwards or anything, their pose remains the same. Similarly, when they jump there isn't a lot of power to the animation, and when they crouch it looks more like they just shrink vertically. I think tweaking this would help a lot with your general game feel.
 

Apapappa

Member
I've been watching this project for a bit, and this whole time I've felt there was something off about the player animations. I think I've figured it out now; they don't have much motion to them. When they sprint, for instance, they don't bend forwards or anything, their pose remains the same. Similarly, when they jump there isn't a lot of power to the animation, and when they crouch it looks more like they just shrink vertically. I think tweaking this would help a lot with your general game feel.
I agree with this and have added it to the to-do list.
Definitely going to try and add some "bending" to the running and jumping animations.
Don't know how much I can improve the crouch animations though, if you are talking about the new ones. (they are not in the current demo, only in some gifs)
Thanks for the feedback. :)
 

JacobV

Member
I think having the player go on their hands and knees might be more realistic and interesting, if that'll fit in with the controls.
 

Joe Ellis

Member
So... the demo is basically done.
I think I want like 2-3 people to try it first before going completely public to see if I've missed/completely blanked out on any glaring issues.
So I guess you can reply here if you're interested.
Ah, only just seen this, 9 days later, can I test it?
 

Apapappa

Member
I think having the player go on their hands and knees might be more realistic and interesting, if that'll fit in with the controls.
I thought about doing that approach in the early days but decided not to because I wanted it to be a "crouch" and not a "crawl".
The player should also be able to shoot while crouching aswell and I felt like it would be easier to animate a crouch walk but maybe not it seems.
I get what you are saying though and while it could be nice like that I don't think it's going to work for me.

Ah, only just seen this, 9 days later, can I test it?
Yeah sure, just don't scroll down too far in the conversation thread if you don't want spoilers. :)
There is only one game link so when you find that one it's the right one.
Also remember to delete everything in "appdata/local/zordak" or else there might be issues. (got a fix coming for that later)
 

Apapappa

Member
Hello everyone, I've updated the demo.
https://apapappa.itch.io/zordak

Most notable changes:
1 - Some ledge locations were updated to try and make it more obvious you're not supposed to go there yet.
2 - There were some missing shader checks and other lighting issues which should now be fixed.
3 - Improved player water physics and general mobility.
4 - The fullscreen map is now less zoomed in.

There are more changes but I'm avoiding anything that could be considered spoilers.

Hopefully this update fixes some issues people were having.
Feel free to leave any kind of feedback!

Old vs New map gif:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/10wj3l2hslaadwu/old_vs_new_map.gif?raw=1
 
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Arashi

Member
When I saw screens I thought "Wow, I want to buy it". Played the demo and desided "No, there is still a lot of work ahead".
Character animation must be improved. It is the main animation in game, after all.
Too much shaking and flickering. Why does screen shakes when I look at the map? I do no tlike it.
Please, do not interrupt running with landing animation.

Amazing lighting. I had no idea, that something like this could be made on gamemaker. How did you make it? That subtle shadeing when player is under platform with grass on it.
 

Apapappa

Member
Character animation must be improved. It is the main animation in game, after all.
I agree the animation could be improved but it would help if you could tell me a bit more specific of what you think is wrong.
I have some animation improvements planned on the roadmap but unsure when I will get to them, I feel they are good enough right now and I have a lot of other things to do with the game.

Too much shaking and flickering. Why does screen shakes when I look at the map? I do no tlike it.
I assume by "flickering" you mean the lights? If so, I'm probably not going to change it that much.
I agree that the shaking is unnecessary on the map, this is an oversight on my part, will remove that later.
The other shaking is going to stay though.

Please, do not interrupt running with landing animation.
This is going to stay, the recovery time may be lowered a bit more but it is not going away as I feel this adds weight to the game and gives more feel to jumping so you can't just jump around however you want with no consequences.

Amazing lighting. I had no idea, that something like this could be made on gamemaker. How did you make it? That subtle shadeing when player is under platform with grass on it.
The lighting is done with surfaces and shaders.


Thanks for the feedback!
 

Arashi

Member
This is going to stay, the recovery time may be lowered a bit more but it is not going away as I feel this adds weight to the game and gives more feel to jumping so you can't just jump around however you want with no consequences.
I will argue. It does not add weight to the game. Your character grabs edges with outstretched hands. And from that position she jumps up, throwing her body into the air with those hands. When on ground she does not need any effort to jump again. Yes, this superhuman physical features are game conventiones. But when this superhuman, who can send herself into the air with outstretched hands suddenly falters when landing - it feels weird. I can not recall any metroidvania game, what would punish player for running'n'jumping. (Flashback does not count, it has completly different mechanics afterall) Punishing player is always a bad idea, you'd better leave this job to enemies.

What for animation - people already mentioned it in this thread - crounching and kick.
 
I didn't, I love it still. The deliberate nature of it is appealing to me and many others, obviously still given the success of Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon recently.
 

Apapappa

Member
I will argue. It does not add weight to the game. Your character grabs edges with outstretched hands. And from that position she jumps up, throwing her body into the air with those hands. When on ground she does not need any effort to jump again. Yes, this superhuman physical features are game conventiones. But when this superhuman, who can send herself into the air with outstretched hands suddenly falters when landing - it feels weird.
It was either a ledge grab or a higher jump so I went for the ledge grab and then tried to save some time on animation and code by not making a "crawling up ledge" animation.
And even if you can fling yourself up a ledge it still adds weight, I don't really see how it couldn't.
But anyway, I have changed how the jump recovery time works in the next version.
It now gradually reduces player speed and only comes to a complete stop when jumping from too high places.

I can not recall any metroidvania game, what would punish player for running'n'jumping.
Well, let this be the first one then. (which I highly doubt)
And I would barely call this punishing aswell.

What for animation - people already mentioned it in this thread - crounching and kick.
Okay that helps a bit, but still don't know what is actually wrong since I've changed them numerous times already.
I definitely realize crouching looks a bit weird, but don't know what to do with it since I only have so many pixels to work with and I don't want it to be a crawl.
As for the kick, does it lack punch or what? It's the only thing I can think of, assuming you are talking about the standing kick and not the crouching kick.
The crouching kick may also look a bit weird, but the same issue as the rest of the crouching animations.




Also, in regards to the rest of the replies, I don't really see how the jump in this game is anything even remotely close to castlevanias jump, the jump in castlevania has completely different physics and in that game I could actually call it punishing.
 

Arashi

Member
Animation is hard, it's true. I'm not an expert on animation, but I have learned something while making my game.

The problem in your kick is that people do nock kick like this. If you kick using rectus femoris mussles (like football kick) your kick will be very weak.
So for combat you need to use quadricepses and your butt.

Try mortal combat spritesheets.



This animation could fit your character. If you make her slide a couple of pixels forward while her (image_index div 1) == 1 it whould add "punch" to that kick.
 
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Apapappa

Member
Animation is hard, it's true. I'm not an expert on animation, but I have learned something while making my game.

The problem in your kick is that people do nock kick like this. If you kick using rectus femoris mussles (like football kick) your kick will be very weak.
So for combat you need to use quadricepses and you butt.

Try mortal combat spritesheets.



This animation could fit your character. If you make her slide a couple of pixels forward while her (image_index div 1) == 1 it whould add "punch" to that kick.
Ah, now I see why people could think it seems wrong, I guess people assume it's supposed to be a trained kick like, for example: mortal combat.
I want it to be an untrained "crappy" kick from someone who doesn't really know how to kick properly.
That's why I kinda made it look like a football kick since that is probably something most untrained people would do. Not exactly a football kick of course but something similar, and I'm not saying people who play football are untrained in kicking either.
It just seemed like a "normal" kick to do. (normal as in just picking a random person on the street)
I'm not saying you're wrong or anything I'm just saying that's not the kind of kick I want.


The sliding thing is a pretty good idea and I might try that out, I think it could even work for this current kick.
 

Apapappa

Member
The crouching still looks like she becomes a dwarf
I mean.. I guess?
Still don't know what to do about it.

crouch_scaled.png
How much else can I convey with this animation?
The "skeleton" is of course not exactly anatomically correct or anything but I think it gets the point across good enough.
I can't exactly make it shorter since it should be a crouch and not a crawl, it would also look even more like a dwarf if it was shorter.
Can't really make it higher either since it has to fit in between two grid squares, which it already barely does.
So, no clue how to fix it.
 

JacobV

Member
To fix the landing delay, you can have a seperate animation that combines landing and running, so the player can move after hitting the ground while keeping that sense of impact. Normal people can continue running after jumping, after all.
 

Apapappa

Member
To fix the landing delay, you can have a seperate animation that combines landing and running, so the player can move after hitting the ground while keeping that sense of impact. Normal people can continue running after jumping, after all.
Sure, that's one way of doing it.
But we'll see how it feels after I've released a new version before adding even more animations.
The new change I explained in the previous post actually made quite a difference in my opinion.
And yes, people can continue running after jumping, but I'm not going all in on realism here and I'd rather have heavier movement than just sliding around everywhere.
 

CMAllen

Member
Sure, that's one way of doing it.
But we'll see how it feels after I've released a new version before adding even more animations.
The new change I explained in the previous post actually made quite a difference in my opinion.
And yes, people can continue running after jumping, but I'm not going all in on realism here and I'd rather have heavier movement than just sliding around everywhere.
Actually, you could do a step of your crouch-walk as a landing transition depending on how much horizontal momentum the player has. Below a certain threshold, just drop any remaining horizontal speed. Above the threshold, you carry the momentum through landing. Or a roll landing (more graphics)?
 

Apapappa

Member
Actually, you could do a step of your crouch-walk as a landing transition depending on how much horizontal momentum the player has. Below a certain threshold, just drop any remaining horizontal speed. Above the threshold, you carry the momentum through landing. Or a roll landing (more graphics)?
Yeah, this is kind of how it works now in the next version, it basically works like this - hspeed*=0.66 during the landing animation and if you are falling from too high it just sets speed to 0 and has a longer landing animation.
I've increased the speed of the standard landing animation aswell.
So if you run faster you experience less slowdown since you are faster overall.
I might release the new version tomorrow so everyone can test how it feels, we'll see.
 

Morendral

Member
I mean.. I guess?
Still don't know what to do about it.

View attachment 19704
How much else can I convey with this animation?
The "skeleton" is of course not exactly anatomically correct or anything but I think it gets the point across good enough.
I can't exactly make it shorter since it should be a crouch and not a crawl, it would also look even more like a dwarf if it was shorter.
Can't really make it higher either since it has to fit in between two grid squares, which it already barely does.
So, no clue how to fix it.
I think the femur looks too short. Maybe if you elongated the legs it would look better. IDK if there are hit box issues or whatever but I would make them longer and stick out further even if they are the same length in pixels right now as they are standing up.
 

Apapappa

Member
I think the femur looks too short. Maybe if you elongated the legs it would look better. IDK if there are hit box issues or whatever but I would make them longer and stick out further even if they are the same length in pixels right now as they are standing up.
So if I understand correctly you're saying higher knees (up) or longer thighs (forward) or something like that?
The hitbox is not really the issue, the sprite just need to somewhat fit between a two tile high gap.



EDIT: I think I managed to improve it a little bit.
untitled.png
Maybe?
 
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Apapappa

Member
Looks better!
Okay nice, I've applied the same to the crouch walking animation and reworked it a bit aswell. (no gif or whatever this time, just pointing it out)
Guess I'll do the same to the suit variations later.
Anyway, thanks for pointing that out since it helped me make the sprite better!
 

Apapappa

Member
It would be only natural for her to crawl instead of crouch, if she is untrained person/
While that may be correct, it's not what I want right now.





Progress Update:
So about that new version, it's gonna have to wait a little bit. I've got something I want to add before releasing it.
 

CMAllen

Member
You know what it could be -- we don't really crouch-walk as much with the legs. It's more connected to the hips and spine. So maybe try pulling the hips back and rotate the spine forward more (to maintain a proper center of balance). And when stationary, that's when you'd lower the knees more (closer to kneeling). It might be that you're putting to much of the crouch onto the legs, and the results look unnatural.

 
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Apapappa

Member
You know what it could be -- we don't really crouch-walk as much with the legs. It's more connected to the hips and spine. So maybe try pulling the hips back and rotate the spine forward more (to maintain a proper center of balance). And when stationary, that's when you'd lower the knees more (closer to kneeling). It might be that you're putting to much of the crouch onto the legs, and the results look unnatural.
Yes, exactly!
I realized this yesterday while editing the sprites and tried to reduce the leg movement for the walking animation and it definitely looks better.
Did not rotate the spine or anything though but hopefully it will look better to everyone else anyway.
It doesn't have to be perfect, I just need it look good/convining enough.

EDIT: Ah, just saw your edit and it's not exactly what I meant but I see what you are saying.




In other news:
I have managed to add those other things I wanted.
Gonna do some final sweeps and PROBABLY release the new version tomorrow.
 
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Apapappa

Member
So, I'm gonna delay the new demo version until saturday.

Main reasons:
- More time for fixes and improvements.
- I've got some animations I want to get done first.
- More time to create gifs (these usually take like at least an hour because of size limits) and prepare some text for announcements.
- It will fit in with #screenshotsaturday on twitter so I can maybe get a tiny bit more exposure.
- Since I have time to prepare some gifs and texts -> I can announce everything on each platform simultaneously.

Hope you all understand and I do feel kinda bad for missing my own "deadlines" all the time but that's just how it is.

Here's a tiny sneak peak of a new map improvement:
It now shows door color.
 

Apapappa

Member
The demo has been updated.

https://apapappa.itch.io/zordak

Most Notable Changes:

1 - Frameskip option
Render the game in 30fps instead of 60fps, useful for low-end computers.
Turning this on is highly recommended if your computer can't keep the game running at 60fps.

2 - Straight Up and Down aiming
You can now aim straight up / down and not only diagonally.
Down only works while you are airborne.

3 - Player mobility improvements.
Mostly related to jumping and crouching.

4 - Lots of small player sprite improvements and some new sprites.
Most notable:
Anything related to crouching.
New ledge grab animations.
New aiming sprites.

5 - Water surface "physics" effect.

6 - First boss visual and gameplay improvements.

7 - The map now shows doors and their respective color.



Some Notes:
Anyone who had issues with how the movement and jumping worked before, try this new version out!

The crouching animation may still not be correct or anything but I think it works better now, both the suit and the non suit one.
If I change it again, which probably won't happen for a while, then I will try to do something like what CMAllen suggested.



Here's a gif that showcases some of the changes:

But anyway, still looking for any kind of feedback.
 
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Apapappa

Member
Hello everyone.

Zordak has been chosen as one of this week's fan favorite over at https://thegdwc.com/.
Go check the games out and vote for whichever game you like!




Progress Update:
Progress has been a bit slow and might become even slower for a while since real life is a thing.

But I've managed to make the scanline shader less flickery and more pleasing to the eyes. (in case anyone had a problem with that)
Doors now also save whether you have opened them or not which in turn makes the player waste less ammo on doors.
Some performance improvements have been made and a bunch of room updates/additions.
And also a bunch of other minor stuff.

None of this is in the demo but I thought you may want to at least know something I've done with the game.
I could start posting actual changelogs if people want that but they will most likely contain spoilers so I would obviously put them in a forum spoiler thingy.

Anyway here's a gif:
 

Apapappa

Member
Here's another progress update:

I've reworked the world map a bit, still not completely final but there will now be two more areas in the game.
This will obviously make it take longer for me to finish the game but I feel it is most likely going to be worth it.
It also brings it more in line with how large I wanted it to be when I first started making the game.

I've also done some performance and visual improvements, room additions, quality of life changes and general fixes.

Anyway, here's another gif:
 
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