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 Post subject: Vulture Strike, shmup with time travel mechanics
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:34 am 


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Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Posts: 26
Hello.

We have been working in this weird horizontal shoot 'em up with a parallel timelines mechanic.
Edit: Second trailer: https://youtu.be/kjFe1IRAews

We have released today a completely functional demo with 2 levels and 3 difficulties, it is available for Windows, macOS and Linux through Steam and you can choose among 5 languages for the texts within the game, please consider giving it a try if you are interested:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/635590/Vulture_Strike/

This is a game that might feel a bit weird, the cliché "easy to learn, hard to master" doesn't necessarily apply, for many players it took a while to get used to it, I hope you find it engaging and entertaining.
Several players, including some from this forum, have tested earlier versions of Vulture Strike and provided feedback to improve it; we are of course still open for additional feedback to further polish the game, so please feel free to express your opinion!

Some patterns:
Spoiler: show
Image


Some of the main characteristics of the game:
- Strictly horizontal 2.5D: there are no perspective changes, it is always from left to right.
- No player health bar, 1 hit KO.
- Precise controls, no inertia when moving the ship.
- Uses 2 buttons: fire and Wormhole. Depending on the "Vision mode" you choose, you might use a third button to expand the Vision if you chose "Normal vision mode", this third button doesn't do anything if you chose "Vision always expanded".
- 3 difficulty settings.
- Completely configurable controls, works with keyboard, gamepad, arcade sticks, both analog or digital directions for movement. Mouse controls are not supported.
- 5 language settings for all in-game texts: English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Russian and Spanish.
- Risk-reward based scoring system.
- Standard shot and 2 powered up shot modes that are activated when the Frenzy gauge is filled.
- Online leaderboards (not in the demo).
- 5 levels (only 2 in the demo).
- Graphic configuration options.
- 16/9 fixed ratio.
- Events in game tied to frames. If your computer struggles when rendering the game and the framerate drops, the game will be slowed down, no frames will be skipped.
- Visions color can be changed by the player to make them more or less visible and more pleasing to the eye.
- Unlimited use of the Wormhole mechanic, which allows for infinite different ways to approach the levels and seemingly unlimited potential to optimize runs for high scores.

As I mentioned in the post in the Development section a while ago, our main inspirations were (for different aspects of the game): Border Down, Gekirindan, Ikaruga and Lords of Thunder, which doesn't mean it plays or feels or looks anything like any of those games. :roll:


Last edited by Cristian_CL on Tue May 30, 2017 4:32 am, edited 9 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Vulture Strike (demo and Greenlight)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:12 am 


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Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 332
Location: US
This actually looks as creative and unplayable as Ikaruga :) As an avid Ikaruga hater it's not my place to comment on the gameplay nuances, but from what I've seen and played this looks like a very respectable piece of work. I'll definitely support you guys, and maybe even give more feedback once I can wrap my head around the mechanics.

@1:12 First time I've heard blast beats in a shmup :)

On a more critical note, while the music is enjoyable, instrument samples sound very awkward and distracting to me. You know, that sampled guitar sound you can't pull off on a real instrument always bothers me. This would really shine with real recordings like Lord of Thunder.
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 Post subject: Re: Vulture Strike (demo and Greenlight)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:54 am 


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Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Posts: 26
Hey kane, I sincerely thank you for taking the time to write this thoughtful feedback. I am glad you found some positives in this game even being an Ikaruga hater.
Yes, it would have been better to be able to record the music; but to be completely honest, it was completely out of any consideration because of the tight budget.


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 Post subject: Re: Vulture Strike (demo and Greenlight)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:11 am 


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Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 2781
Location: laser fantasy
"real" instruments are never a strict upgrade. Stick with what you have.

Reminds me more of Chaosfield than Ikaruga. Looks neat and it's obvious you care about game design, easy vote.
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 Post subject: Re: Vulture Strike (demo and Greenlight)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:17 pm 


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Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 884
Location: Romania
Cool, voted, it does look like Chaos Field, with the added bonus that the dimensions look a lot more different from each other than they do in that game, maybe the level with the large castle could use some more destruction or changes in one of the dimensions, the bits that change are obvious up close but hard to see from up above, lighting in the destroyed version also looks kind of buggy but I'm sure that stuff will get tweaked.

You said it's been tested by people here already so I probably don't need to mention basic shmup gameplay stuff like avoiding dead air, inertia and stuff like that. (it doesn't look like there's any inertia anyway)


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 Post subject: Re: Vulture Strike (demo and Greenlight)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:07 pm 


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Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Posts: 26
Good morning gentlemen. Thank you for checking it out.

For now there is absolutely no way we are going to record this music ($), but it would be great for a future project, I would make sure it is a noticeable improvement over this!!
We will try to improve the backgrounds a bit.
There is no inertia of course.

Thank you again and good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Vulture Strike (demo and Greenlight)
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:27 am 


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Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Posts: 26
Good day.
I want to inform you that an updated demo has been made public today (v.0.91), player feedback has been considered to make the following upgrades:

1 - Player hit-box has been made more visible (it was difficult to see the hit-box while in Frenzy or Apocalypse modes).
2 - Damage feedback has been improved: we added a more visible visual effect when you damage enemies. This is an aspect that was criticized by players who tried v.0.9 and it has been noticeably improved. Also, explosions in general have been made more flashy, which changes a bit the "feel" of the game.
3 -
ciox wrote:
...maybe the level with the large castle could use some more destruction or changes in one of the dimensions, the bits that change are obvious up close but hard to see from up above, lighting in the destroyed version also looks kind of buggy but I'm sure that stuff will get tweaked...

The destroyed version of the environment from the first level has been re-worked to appear more devastated than before; however, lighting has been tweaked in both scenes to minimize the contrast between them. This was done because, when practicing level 1 for high scores and opening many consecutive Wormholes, the rapid change in the lighting and overall brightness of the screen was exhausting for the eyes, which might cause stress on the players. So, the scenes themselves are much more different from each other now in terms of detail and geometry but the colors/ lighting were tweaked to generate less contrast.
4 - Player ship has been made very slightly smaller. It is now a tiny bit easier to dodge bullet clusters.

I would like to invite people who didn't try the earlier demo to give this new one a try. If you enjoy it, please consider voting the game on Greenlight, we still need more votes!

Further minor updates and more detailed information will be posted in the Development forum.
Greetings.


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