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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:07 am 


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I've decided to change the way gems work a bit. Before, they were almost completely dependent on your combo (in 1p mode at least), as they'd be worth 2x your current combo individually, or 6x that if you get three of the same color in a row. In 2p mode, they all start with the same value (250 I think.)

I've changed them so that they all start at 250, getting three of the same color in a row still gives you the 6x bonus; but it also raises the value of all of them, 250x2, 250x3 and so on. As long as you don't die, you can keep increasing the value.

So far I like it better. :3
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:05 am 


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I just want to say that I always click on this thread to admire your fantastic pixel art. It's mindblowing, really.


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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:14 pm 


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I see the future: A game made with art of Rozyrg and Alluro programming!

AND PIXEL SHMUPS WILL NEVER DIE!


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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:25 pm 


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tiaoferreira wrote:
AND PIXEL SHMUPS WILL NEVER DIE!


Pixels are the building blocks of indie gaming creation.
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:07 am 


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Raigon, you will complete the perfect shmup, with your music!

You made a gret soundtrack for XYX and ZPF. The FLYING-V's soundtrack is not yours?


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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:21 am 


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Nope... that one has quite a sampling of different people's stuff. That's partly why it's music is such a bizarre hodgepodge.

- The second level track is null1024's, haven't seen him here in awhile.
- The credits and stage clear tunes are Kudante's. I know him IRL; but he's always busy with other music projects, so I just asked if I could use a few of his old demos.
- IceMetalPunk did the very cool metal track I use on levels 1 and 3. I found him on the GMC.

...and the awful Garageband produced abomination you hear on the game over screen is mine. Free cookie to anyone who can place where that piano sample is taken from. The boss tune is also mine. :P

If I ever got the urge (not to mention time) to fix/finish Flying V, I'd probably toss what's there and have just one person do all the tracks for the sake of consistency. Besides, looking back at it's overall visual design, I think a synthy fusion/funk sound would be more appropriate than anything I have with it now. <_<
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Last edited by Rozyrg on Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:36 pm 


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tiaoferreira wrote:
Raigon, you will complete the perfect shmup, with your music!

You made a gret soundtrack for XYX and ZPF. The FLYING-V's soundtrack is not yours?


Like what Rozyrg said, I didn't do the music for Flying V. I wasn't on the forums when he had that project going, so I wasn't able to offer my services. lol

Rozyrg wrote:
If I ever got the urge (not to mention time) to fix/finish Flying V, I'd probably toss what's there and have just one person do all the tracks for the sake of consistency. Besides, looking back at it's overall visual design, I think a synthy fusion/funk sound would be more appropriate than anything I have with it now. <_<


I guess I could take a look.
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:23 pm 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
I just want to say that I always click on this thread to admire your fantastic pixel art. It's mindblowing, really.

Very much appreciated, thank you! 8)

raigon50 wrote:
I guess I could take a look.


Noooo.... now I'm going to have to start back on it again. :lol: Actually, I *was* thinking about having a special (less unfinished) version for the premium disc version of XYX. I guess time will have to dictate.
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:55 am 


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continues the way it is, bro!


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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:06 pm 


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I think the music tracks I have for it are great on their own (minus the horrid ones that are my own doing), I just prefer an overall sense of consistency wherever my resources allow for it. :)

...and for some strange reason, I just built a fake tile system for XYX's backgrounds. I had been thinking about how to do this awhile back; but the solutions to things always strike me at odd times. Whether or not it will be too much of a pain in the ass to use or even run efficiently remains to be seen, though... this sort of thing might have to wait for a sequel, honestly.

Regardless, I'll probably start on a map builder soon as I have pretty good ideas on how to make one now. Diversions, diversions...
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:36 am 


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Shmups will never truly die. Ever. I guarantee on this or I'll suffer being sterile for the rest of my days.
But man, the game is great, but I have to play this religiously to get the levels through. Even easy feels like just less bullets at once.
Just need to get VirtualDub again and there's a preview of the new levels at least coming up.


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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:00 pm 


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SenpaiSamaKun wrote:
Shmups will never truly die. Ever. I guarantee on this or I'll suffer being sterile for the rest of my days.
But man, the game is great, but I have to play this religiously to get the levels through. Even easy feels like just less bullets at once.
Just need to get VirtualDub again and there's a preview of the new levels at least coming up.



That did remind me. Rozyrg, I know that you can turn checkpoints on and off in the options, but in the final version, I don't expect that choice will be there (Correct me if I'm wrong though.) With it turned on, dying on a boss sends you back in the level. Could you possibly make it so the checkpoints are used during the level, but are turned off during the boss? I know R-Type and Gradius does the checkpoint thing during the bosses, but your game is more manic, so I'm not sure if it's the best idea.
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:16 am 


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raigon50 wrote:
Could you possibly make it so the checkpoints are used during the level, but are turned off during the boss?


They're designed to be killed with one life and pretty quickly at that (in the same vein as ones in games like Twin Cobra); but yeah, I've thought about doing that off and on. I might have to break down and put that feature in eventually.;)

Still, they're easier enough to kill without checkpoints that I made it to where they (along with all separately spawned sections) have 1.5x or more their default health when using the option.

I know it seems weird to leave the option not to use checkpoints when the game has more-or-less been designed around them in the first place; but I know a ton of players simply can't stand them. At the most, I might have a disclaimer that says something like "It's your choice; but the game's going to be easier and shorter."

Update on maps/tiles:

I made a handful of test tiles, threw together something in the map builder in less than a minute and loaded the map straight into the game (mainly to make sure it'd work.) It worked just fine and ran quite smoothly once it got going; but I noticed a second long hiccup when it loaded the map data at the start of the level... and this was a map that was only 45 vertical rows long!

I know I could probably load the map arrays when the game starts and not interfere with anything - since the stored arrays only hold *which* image out of the given tile set it uses, not the image itself; but it's still somewhat worrying. This is looking more and more like a 'next game' thing. <_<
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:11 am 


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Rozyrg wrote:
I made a handful of test tiles, threw together something in the map builder in less than a minute and loaded the map straight into the game (mainly to make sure it'd work.) It worked just fine and ran quite smoothly once it got going; but I noticed a second long hiccup when it loaded the map data at the start of the level... and this was a map that was only 45 vertical rows long!

I know I could probably load the map arrays when the game starts and not interfere with anything - since the stored arrays only hold *which* image out of the given tile set it uses, not the image itself; but it's still somewhat worrying. This is looking more and more like a 'next game' thing. <_<


OK, returning after my long hiatus of getting acquainted with PC gaming and trying to work on a shmup that's horribly unbalanced at the moment. </shameless_plug>

Game Maker seems to have this problem of loading pieces of crucial data depending on the current GM build, and some problem unloading that data when you're finished with it as well, but mostly I found it has more to do with how much you're trying to load at one time and how big the resources are. How big are the map tiles being used in this case? Is the entire level and tileset loaded all at once or drawn line by line, and are the source files external or internal?

Anyway, you made a lot of progress with XYX, good job. :). Is XOP G still chugging along though?
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:44 am 


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Welcome back! Your game looks gorgeous, btw! :)

The tiles are 28x27 (which I know I probably couldn't get away with normally.) Right now, what it does is read the map dump text file and then assign images from the corresponding pool (tile set) based on the number values for each. I think clumping this all into one step was definitely part of the issue, I might see what it's like assigning them either just separately from reading the data (which I might have the game do on startup), or before the tiles themselves are drawn.

As for how it actually works, it only draws the maximum that can fit within the screen at one time (along with the additional space on the sides.) There's simply a single grid that moves back to it's original position once it's moved past the height of a single tile vertically and then shifts all the tiles down one row. Like I said, the actually functionality was pretty smooth... it ran better than I expected it to.

As for XOP G, I finished a few fonts and boss graphics not long ago. I haven't gotten any updates lately but I figure we're just both busy with our own stuff. 8)
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:44 am 


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My problem with the checkpoints isn't the concept or difficulty, but the positioning when you lose a life in some areas with some difficulties.
Like if I can remember, a section in level 1 of all things in Hellish. I can get attacked simultaneously from behind and front from the ships spawning from where they were before I died, removing a safe area on the left.
Its not anything you can't memorize after two times, but I haven't gone through it extensively like the old days. I should be getting more gameplay in the next few hours.

As for the loader, sometimes its something fickle like resolution size.
S20-TBL wrote:
*snip*

Looking great there too! I hope I don't soil the look of the game when I upload gameplay of that too.
Now the only problem is beating them correctly and publicity.

-----

Oh yeah, testing it right now. Still haven't gotten through a level without checkpoints on Arcade (I suck now, I know), but I'm at least getting information.
- If you skip the intro via button press, the intro music will still continue, overlapping the character select. I know that's most likely a Game Maker limitation but just one thing.
- While I'd still wouldn't have checkpoints at bosses, some areas don't have a cooldown period outside the invincibility like I said. Though I can point them out now.
~ Starting spawn at level 2 will have them shooting you instantly, making you practically skip over the start.
~ Beating the first giant ship on level 2 doesn't count as a checkpoint, but getting to it does.
~ Is the double spawn of the second giant ship a glitch or intentional? Its beatable though since all three ships have completely different positions when they shoot, its like a different pattern each time.
Haven't completed level 2 with checkpoints yet though. So that's for that for now, and its nothing major.
Though I wish there was three continues instead of two. Its juuuuuust enough to learn the entire level and try again.

EDIT: Tonight's video will be just a level 6 preview with no checkpoints at 2 lives. I don't even know how I grazed the bullets so clean but I did.
The rest of the footage was just recording level 2 and yeaaaaah.
Should be up sooner than later but our connection is low today.


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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:55 pm 


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SenpaiSamaKun wrote:
1- If you skip the intro via button press, the intro music will still continue, overlapping the character select. I know that's most likely a Game Maker limitation but just one thing.
2~ Starting spawn at level 2 will have them shooting you instantly, making you practically skip over the start.
3 ~ Is the double spawn of the second giant ship a glitch or intentional? Its beatable though since all three ships have completely different positions when they shoot, its like a different pattern each time.



(numbers added for clarity)
1. It overlaps because it's a regular sound rather than music. It was short enough and I was too lazy to reorganize the music script to play it once when all the others need to loop. Fixed.
2. I know the one (as well as the one you mentioned before in L1.) Fixed also.
3. It spawns twice? O_O I've never had that happen... there should be three Mantas total. The only thing I could figure happening is the third one appearing to overlap the second if you're slow to take it down.

I'll go ahead and up the continues now that you mention it, too. ;)
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:44 pm 


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I think that was a unrepeatable glitch on me the one time it spawned twice.
The second time was just me having level one Trident on Arcade Difficulty and confusing the third ship as a second spawn too.


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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:55 pm 


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@Rozyrg: Thanks! Though if you play the actual game (download link's in the video description) some of the background pixel art tends to have jaggies...I got lazy. XD I'm planning to start its own thread sometime soon.

Rozyrg wrote:
The tiles are 28x27 (which I know I probably couldn't get away with normally.) Right now, what it does is read the map dump text file and then assign images from the corresponding pool (tile set) based on the number values for each. I think clumping this all into one step was definitely part of the issue, I might see what it's like assigning them either just separately from reading the data (which I might have the game do on startup), or before the tiles themselves are drawn.


I think that may be the issue. In my game I once had the boss music load separately once the player passes a certain checkpoint and the music controller triggers the switch, but it caused a noticeable hiccup right before fighting the boss. I fixed it by loading both the boss music and regular stage music at the start of the level, then calling up the boss music once the controller for the main stage theme has been deactivated by the boss checkpoint flag. Ergo, you could try what you mentioned: loading the sources at startup so you'll only have to deal with drawing them later on.

Then again I also "fixed" some of my level loading hiccups using a custom fade-in/out transition so the halting isn't as noticeable. :D

Also, as you said the hiccup happens only once, and after that if you can get the game to free up resources somehow the slowdown goes away and the framerate actually improves.
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:12 am 


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S20, I'm glad your game project has made progress! I was going to actually PM you once I got back from my holiday (for a wedding, 9 days) to see whether you've worked and now it's gone public. :D

As for the subject of this thread, S20 came and pretty much said what I was going to - leave the hiccups to between-room loading times so it isn't as noticable. Also, I know Alluro loads some of his stage backgrounds as complete pictures instead of having them tile-based, and not all of the tiles he uses are external either. I haven't touched tile handling and won't be touching it even with a bargepole any time soon, but maybe having an option in this "map builder" for large background pictures and loading them bit by bit instead of using tiles everywhere might help. Out of my field there. Would be interesting to see how it currently loads on my legacy PC though, I imagine it'll probably lag heaps now. :P
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:50 am 


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Well, I could send you the builder to try if you like. Basically, the in-game hiccup usually seems to be somewhat shorter or longer than the delay when you save the map from it.

...and I don't blame you. While building a stage background this way is much more flexible than my current method, it can be awfully messy too. I had some experience with tiles from fiddling with Dezaemon Plus and Dezaemon 2 (still need to record footage of my DP level); but making tiles that loop correctly and also blend seamlessly into others is always tricky business.

The more I tinker with it, the more I think "I'll just do this for the sequel." I already have some ideas. :mrgreen:

Also, another new additional has appearing!:
Image

edit: added 2P and Dual Play functionality to it as well. I've also altered the menu structure on the title screen so that you select 1P/2P/DUAL *after* picking Arcade, Boss Attack, and so on. Also also squashed a (frankly idiotic) bug that prevented the endgame tally from accurately displaying your highest combo if it had been achieved 2 or more levels back.

You may noticed I've removed the awards for this board; but it's only temporary. I'm thinking they'll be given for subsequently clearing the bosses without dying (using different award icons, naturally.)
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:37 am 


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Quick preview of the level 6 boss:
Image
I've spent roughly 2 days working on him so far, so he's definitely not done yet; but he is functional at least (and much more so than level 5's admittedly.) He's got three different forms, and while none are particularly challenging on their own, the fight should be a test of endurance at the least... especially with checkpoints on.

Speaking of checkpoints, I just added a "Stage Only" option which disables them during boss fights. I still think it makes them easier than intended (even with enhanced health); but oh well.

And strictly for fun, here's some new pages for the manual (not finished of course) weaving the thinnest possible story to thread this game with the stuff I've worked on before together.
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:04 am 


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Man I'm way behind in testing.
But I should upload a quick showing of level 5 in three hours or so.
I'll replace the post with the previous build's videos once I do.
EDIT- Okay, they're all semi-blind horrible runs imo but its something to show progress.
DOUBLE EDIT - DONE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puqcSPsmzSQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvjmRiV3QAk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6w58LTXWgY


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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:49 pm 


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Much appreciated, sir. :mrgreen:

Enjoy the snippet of the awesome TLB theme in the Level 5 video, it's just too bad you hear it along with a boss that's barely there at the moment.
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:57 am 


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Rozyrg wrote:
Quick preview of the level 6 boss:
Image
I've spent roughly 2 days working on him so far, so he's definitely not done yet; but he is functional at least (and much more so than level 5's admittedly.) He's got three different forms, and while none are particularly challenging on their own, the fight should be a test of endurance at the least... especially with checkpoints on.


Curious...are those panels on extending poles pieces of armor? Do they rotate or are they static? And does it have a form that initially has the armor plates retracted near the body so your shots don't go through (because it seems to suggest that, IMO)?

I think that's one of your best designs yet, honestly.

Rozyrg wrote:
And strictly for fun, here's some new pages for the manual (not finished of course) weaving the thinnest possible story to thread this game with the stuff I've worked on before together.
"The evil aliens known as 'Z'"... :lol: That's lots of work with Dazaemon and Blast Works there. I also like the cockpit art in the background. But yeah, who needs an elaborate plot in a video game, anyway...unless it was Shadowgate or something. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:03 am 


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Thanks 8)

For that form, the outer sections expand and contract; but I didn't think about them guarding the middle section. Right now, you have to damage all four before it becomes vulnerable. That does kinda make more logical sense, though... might try that. For the next form, they do rotate around the center, though.... predictable maybe.

S20-TBL wrote:
That's lots of work with Dazaemon and Blast Works there.

Those are only about half of what I made with BW, too. I only tossed in the ones I could loosely tie in the "story" with..lol. The last few I made, including a dodgy attempt at a bullet hell shooter (as if making a regular arcade shooter in BW wasn't tricky enough), didn't even get videos since I could never record decent runs of them.

The half-baked, nonsense story aside, doing those pages was a nice little nostalgia trip. I'm kinda tempted to go back and remake some of those levels, actually. Considering they're all around 4-5 minutes long, they might make fun little demos.

Flying V:

-added TATE mode
-- I had done this earlier; but I just recently squashed a strange bug that halved the framerate on the second level ONLY if you had completed the previous level. I still don't understand entirely why it did this; but taking out and combining some extraneous background layers did the trick. All I can figure is that there was just enough of an extra memory load to cause that; but why it would neatly halve the framerate and what exactly was left in memory just for this level to act strangely I have no earthly idea.

-added horizontal "wobble", although it still has some quirks that need to be fixed. Ex: sometimes you can reach the edge of one side of the screen before it scrolls all of the way. It also screws up the X placement of some enemy pawns at the moment.

- Bombs added... somehow, I doubt anyone will mind. You get 2 per life, using them doesn't have any consequences score-wise.

- Lots of minor fixes... such as Talon shots going off screen horizontally will now continue to their target rather than being destroyed. Dual weapon works better too; but still isn't perfect.

- Since FV has the highest resolution of my games (discounting ones I have tinkered with in years), I'm also considering making a drastically altered version to take advantage of Yoyogames' iOS/Android conversion program. Certain things about it, such as having to place a giant fake dpad onscreen, subsequently having to warp the display ratio because of this and getting 35 cents per sale at the most are admittedly pretty discouraging, though. That said, I think I have some decent ideas to squash it down for a portable device. >_>
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:23 am 


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New Flying V shots -

Redrawn weapons: (please excuse the crude blurring effects)

ImageImage

Bomb:

Image
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:21 am 


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I imagine the blurring would work okay when animated. I really should keep more interest in your games besides XYX, that does look pretty impressive. :P

When you say the bomb has no consequences score-wise, you mean that you get just as much points say killing an enemy as you would with normal fire?

Also, why the hell would you have a giant D-Pad on an iPhone for the converted program? I'd just make the entire movement touch-based like Cave games with some speed limited, seems to work just fine for them.
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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:50 am 


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 Post subject: Re: My GM shmups - ZpULTRA, Flying V, XYX, ZPF
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:34 am 


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BPzeBanshee wrote:
I imagine the blurring would work okay when animated. I really should keep more interest in your games besides XYX, that does look pretty impressive. :P


Yeah, it actually looks fine in motion (IMO), so it's a functional effect more than one that makes for pretty screenshots. You can switch it on or off, anyways... never quite settled on which I like more. Having them off definitely gives it a more "authentic" arcade look, though.

XYX has been the only one I've worked on for months, so it's understandable...lol. I knew I'd find a million things to fix/change if I pulled this one off of the shelf again, and that's exactly what happened. Still, I don't really intend to add anything new asset-wise until much later on... I'm just prettying it up a bit for now.

Quote:
When you say the bomb has no consequences score-wise, you mean that you get just as much points say killing an enemy as you would with normal fire?


Yes. The only real drawback is they can't be restocked until you die, so you can only bomb your way out of two tight spots and still keep all your medals. Also, they don't do much damage (40-50, hardly enough to put a dent into any of the bosses), so the main point of using them is clearing out smaller baddies and stray bullets.

Quote:
Also, why the hell would you have a giant D-Pad on an iPhone for the converted program? I'd just make the entire movement touch-based like Cave games with some speed limited, seems to work just fine for them.


I don't know how detailed you can get with the touch controls, that's just one method they recommended on their iOS/Android base-line spec (which has now vanished, apparently.) Something where your ship follows where you touch seems feasible too; but I don't know precisely what all is possible.

Assuming this ever gets past simply bullshitting about it, I'm imagining the game itself will be drastically different... if for no other reasons than having a teeny screen to work with, the player likely having a shorter attention span and potentially a finger or stylus getting in the way of the action.

-very short semi-random levels - same timing; but different enemies depending on certain factors. Some might also randomize difficulty for higher scoring potential.
-psuedo RPG elements: clear a certain number of enemies to reach the next 'grade', which level selection and your weapon's power level may depend on. A limited shop system (if only to swap out ships and restock bombs) is possible too.

Whether or not that makes for a terrible shooter (portable or otherwise), I don't know. I'll obviously need to see how well most of this works before I can worry about all the prickly details of having it run on something other device... again, assuming that's even feasible.
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