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 Post subject: Rigid Force Alpha - Updated: 2017/08/07
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:00 pm 


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Joined: 13 Jul 2014
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۰•●[ About ]●•۰
Rigid Force Alpha is a classical side-scrolling shoot'em up, inspired by classics such as Gradius V or R-Type Final, with unique gameplay mechanics, lovingly hand-crafted 3D graphics, a variety of different environments, detailed effects and an electrifying retro synthwave soundtrack. Battle it out against huge swarms of enemies, heavy gunships, laser wielding mechs and giant alien creatures. Every enemy has its own unique and challenging attack pattern, from the tiniest creature up to the largest boss. Arm your fighter with numerous upgradeable weapon systems and increase your firepower with supplemental guns!

The project is in development since December 2011 and due for release in late 2017. Good things take a while.


۰•●[ Specs ]●•۰
    • 6 stages
    • 6 large scale boss enemies
    • Lots of enemies
    • 3 upgradable main weapons
    • 3 upgradable sub weapons
    • Additional gameplay modes
    • Online leader boards
    • 30 minute soundtrack
    • Scalable HDRR rendering



۰•●[ Screenshot Showcase ]●•۰
Here are some recent screenshots from the game:

    ImageImageImageImage
    ImageImageImageImage



۰•●[ GIF Showcase ]●•۰
Some recent impressions in form of GIFs. Click for animated versions!

    ImageImage
    ImageImage



۰•●[ Soundtrack Previews ]●•۰
Here you find short excerpts from our game's soundtrack. Enjoy!

►► Rigid Force Alpha Theme by Lauri Turjansalo/Dreamtime (60-second preview, Soundcloud) ►►
►► Stage 1 Theme by Lauri Turjansalo/Dreamtime (60-second preview, Soundcloud) ►►
►► Hurry Up! by Michael Chait (60-second preview, Soundcloud) ►►



۰•●[ Dev Trailer Archive ]●•۰
A list of all development/gameplay trailers released so far. As the game is still in development, these videos are mostly outdated. However, they'll give you an impression of the game and show our progress.




۰•●[ Links ]●•۰
Visit our website at http://www.com8com1.com and stay up to date by following us on our social media channels:
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


Updated: 2017/08/07
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Last edited by com8com1 on Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:37 am, edited 9 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:00 pm 


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This is some impressive stuff! Good luck with the game!


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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:23 pm 



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Dude, this game looks nice! If you release on PC with reasonable specs, I'd be happy to test your game. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:27 pm 


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Just to correct myself. I think that the background is very impressive, but the actual game is a bit dull. Still, there was a lot of work on the models and textures.


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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:34 pm 


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Looks very nice, I like R-Type Final too but don't forget the main criticism about it, that there's too much empty space between enemy waves, might not be the case here from looking at the video but just making sure.
Boss was a little confusing, how does that guy work?


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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:57 am 


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Thanks for the replies!

@Shmuppet: Our rendering pipeline is completely scalable and we'll make sure the game looks as good as possible on low quality settings. I'll let you know when we got a working demo, so you can check it out. :)

@CoderGamesIsBack: I think I can see what you mean, but just to be safe: is it the distribution of the enemy patterns or their movement? How would you improve this? Any advice or best practice on this topic? I'd really like to know.

@ciox: Maybe the same topic as above. ^^ R-Type Final is not necessarily our guideline when it comes to enemy placement. We'll make sure there are no unreasonable gaps between waves. Regarding the mini boss: The initial idea was that the core in the background tries to break free. It'll send out green spheres which slowly approach the player's ship. At the same time it launches these grey shards which - as of now - don't do much but rotating. When all shards are destroyed, the core finally escapes and will make another appearance at a later point in time. Might be a little confusing, I suppose.
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:27 am 


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Very nice! Good to see a hori for a change.

The visuals looked a bit too dark in the video. The screenshots look better in this regard, so maybe it was just a capturing thing. The BGM is pretty sweet, too.

Now just get the pacing and difficulty to a good level and you've got a winner in your hands. I liked the spinning wheels the player has to fly inside of, nice piece of environmental hazard there. In the video there wasn't really anything that presented a threat, the enemies were killed long before they approached the ship and they didn't really shoot at all. And when they did shoot those green energy sphere-thingies, those were quickly and easily destroyed as well.

What's the weapon system like? Can the player switch between main and/or sub weapons at will or are they chosen only at the beginning of the game or between stages? I did like how the charge shot in the end does that 360-thing.
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:53 am 


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com8com1 wrote:
@CoderGamesIsBack: I think I can see what you mean, but just to be safe: is it the distribution of the enemy patterns or their movement? How would you improve this? Any advice or best practice on this topic? I'd really like to know.


The action happening should be more intense and engaging, in my opinion. I was literally more interested in watching what was going on in the background.


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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:15 am 


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com8com1 wrote:
@CoderGamesIsBack: I think I can see what you mean, but just to be safe: is it the distribution of the enemy patterns or their movement? How would you improve this? Any advice or best practice on this topic? I'd really like to know.


I think the problem is that there's too many spaces where the player can get distracted by the background as opposed to the action in the foreground. I'm not saying good, detailed backgrounds are bad, but generally you want them to be interesting to look at in a replay, but the sort of thing where focusing on it instead of the foreground gets you killed. A number of manic/bullet hell shmups have backgrounds that are impressive visually, but your attention is still gripped by everything going on atop.

I'm not saying sections where the pacing is slowed down are a bad thing, not every shmup needs to be frantic, but it's usually best to reserve your 'quiet' areas, like at 0:41 where a ship explodes in the background, in order to build tension. After getting through a tricky section, a small pause can be used to prepare the player before a midstage boss or a sudden change in level style.

Gradius V for example in stage 7 has a pause in the action as you reach the speedup section. It's deliberately there to make you realize you're scrolling faster. Stage 3 has a deliberate gap in enemies when you get to the vertical scrolling segment. Other games often have pauses for the action to clear right before a boss appearance to heighten the "WOW!" as an enemy appears to make you feel as though you're in for a fight. It's obviously impossible to judge with just a small alpha video what's going on throughout the stage pacing-wise, but just make sure that if an allied ship in the background explodes and you're made aware of it, try to make it meaningful to the player. Oh no, an ally ship just got wiped, wait what is that enemy flying at me, why it's the mech that just destroyed that ship! If there's an intense fight going on in the background, try to make the action in the foreground match as well, good shmups know how to evoke the feeling of tension at the right moments to make it more entertaining.

It looks like a great start, I'd just like to see enemies attacking directly a bit more in a later build, your ship seems to have a good deal of firepower for the enemies faced (obviously it's an alpha build though so I know enemy attack patterns are not finalized or anything). Take it all with a grain of salt, the important thing is to make a game you're happy with, you don't necessarily need to follow suggestions if you're deliberately designing it to be a slower, more focused shmup or something.
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:45 pm 


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com8com1 wrote:
How would you improve this? Any advice or best practice on this topic? I'd really like to know.


Watch your trailer. It's gorgeous right? Lovely backdrops, that slick modern look. If anything it's a great graphical showcase.

Count the number of times enemies launch projectile attacks at you.

Compare with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy4REtd2a6A

Opening waves a warmup. 30 seconds in we have some action.

You don't need to swamp the screen with bullets. DEFINITELY not if you're making a more classic hori. Enemy formations are sweet and all those transitions are wonderful but without some sort of projectile attacks, you're not really dividing up the playing area in to safe/dangerous zones.

For these kinda games I think one of the advantages of obstacles and actual terrain that you can crash in to is that you're able to place enemies in positions where the player has to work out how to destroy them from the right angle, or spot a path through before they end up crushed against the left side of the screen.

You know - think of Indiana Jones swinging blades and Tomb Raider dart traps. That kinda thing. You don't have to go full danmaku or anything, but just showcase some stuff that displays some on the fly decision making and putting more pressure on the player. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:35 am 


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That's great feedback guys. I really appreciate it. In the next few weeks I'll definitely work more on the enemies and include some interesting shot patterns.

Ghegs wrote:
What's the weapon system like? Can the player switch between main and/or sub weapons at will or are they chosen only at the beginning of the game or between stages?


For now we've implemented a rather simple upgrade system very similar to the Turrican series (or R-Type, but without the force). You shoot containers which drop weapon items. When collecting these your current weapon will be switched/upgraded. There are three levels for each of the four weapons implemented and you'll be downgraded for each life you lose. The charge shot is always available and works the R-Type way. Additionally you can collect sub weapons (homing missiles, bombs, et cetera) and bits.

I'm a bit unhappy with this as it feels a bit too simple and "non-tactical". A weapon select screen at the beginning of each stage and collectibles boosting your charge bar are among the many ideas I currently have for improving the system. I'll have to think about it all a bit more before finally rewriting stuff.

@all: While we're at it - what's your favourite weapon system?
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:41 am 


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Have powerup drops that cycle through each powerup type ala Raiden? That way you're making the weapon selection a part of the gameplay. Maintain a global power level and let the player switch when they come to a powerup pod by simply waiting for the right icon to be displayed. Then it's a commitment on behalf of the player as to which weapon they want to be stuck with until the next powerup.

Use them sparingly and it's very tactical. Player has to learn routes and pick the best weapons!
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:02 am 



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A system like g-stream g2020 (combine for a tailored weapon) or Soldier Blade (item storage/strength of weapon vs potential for a weapon change) could be neat. Tie the loss of items in with the health bar, bombs, and/ or charge shot.

I always liked the blast wind aura flashes and trying to keep the power ups floating around for the right moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:05 am 



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Forgot to say that the game looks nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:28 pm 


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There's an edit button for that. :P

I do agree though, it does look nice.
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:01 am 


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n0rtygames wrote:
Have powerup drops that cycle through each powerup type ala Raiden? That way you're making the weapon selection a part of the gameplay. Maintain a global power level and let the player switch when they come to a powerup pod by simply waiting for the right icon to be displayed. Then it's a commitment on behalf of the player as to which weapon they want to be stuck with until the next powerup.


Or, depending on how many different weapons he's implementing, he could implement a ChoRenSha style powerup, where square appears with four different weapon orbs, and you simply pick the one you want to upgrade. You get the ability to choose, but you don't have to wait as long for the cycle to go through each weapon like Raiden. And, you don't have to worry about picking up a wrong weapon as much if all the weapons are on the orb, it'd be easier to get specific weapons without worrying about grabbing the box just as it cycles. You don't have to implement a "stay in the middle of the orbs for a bonus" thing though, that might be a bit frustrating if you grab the wrong weapon by accident (ChoRenSha has a triangle with each orb being Powerup, Bomb and Shield/1UP (if you earned enough points)).

Quote:
While we're at it - what's your favourite weapon system?


Honestly? Games with well-balanced, selectable shot types. I tend to prefer games where you have the same shot type through the whole game, and you select the shot type you want at the start, be it based on ship/character or weapon edit from Gradius V. I loved messing with weapon edit; because you are stuck with it the whole game and you cannot switch at your convenience, it makes your choices much more meaningful as certain areas become much easier with certain weapon configurations, and other areas you need to learn to adapt with more unconventional weapon systems (having a tiny hitbox makes this much more viable).

But maybe don't take my advice because I know my tastes can be weird. Norty knows how bad my advice is, lol. :s (when is chronoblast getting updated, when's the sequeeeeel)
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 Post subject: Rigid Force Alpha update!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:57 pm 


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Hey guys,

it's been a long time since my first post. My apologies! But honestly, I have been working on RFA every single day since then. The feedback I got on this forum was very, very helpful and I was able to improve the overall gameplay in many ways. Thanks again for that. As a result, the complete enemy movement system has been rewritten and while I was at it, I even wrote a handy little in-game editor. This way I can iterate the level layout much faster, so the gaps between single enemy waves are almost gone and the player is now constantly busy.

Here's a shot from the editor:
Image

On the gameplay side I wanted to give the player more options to interact with the game. Some examples: You can now charge your weapon over three levels, depending on how many energy capsules you have collected (visualized by the horizontal bar in the lower screen center). Additionally, you can charge a combo bar by killing enemies. When maxed out, you can unleash a powerful smart bomb attack which instantly kills smaller enemies and bullets around your ship and inflicts heavy damage to larger opponents. This also triggers a combo mode for all highscore hunters out there. And furthermore I added a bullet blade which can be used as last resort solution against too many bullets getting too close.

Apart from that, both of our composers have finished their tasks which leaves us with a great soundtrack of roughly 40 minutes length. It's a well-balanced mixture of rock, orchestral and electronic pieces. In the meantime our 3D coder improved the rendering pipeline in many ways. And with Sketchfab-user Mifhéu (https://sketchfab.com/mifheu/models) we also got reinforcements on the graphics side. Here are two of his models he created so far:

Image

These are only a few of the improvements we made. I will post a new video soon, but for now have a look at the screenshots below. :)
Edit: You can also find screenshots in higher resolution on our IndieDB page: http://www.indiedb.com/games/rigid-force-alpha.

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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:28 pm 


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Finally some news:

۰•●[ 2015/12/13 - New Trailer Released! ]●•۰
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Last edited by com8com1 on Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha - Update: New Trailer (2015/12/13)!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:17 am 


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This looks good as anything I've seen from big name studios.
Very well done.

Any chance at a Linux port or is it pretty heavily invested in Windows libraries?
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha - Update: New Trailer (2015/12/13)!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:07 pm 


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Thank you! I'm doing my best to make this game stand out. :)
A Linux port is unfortunately not possible right now, as the game engine does not support that OS. But let's see what's going to happen once RFA is released.
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha - Update: New Trailer (2015/12/13)!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:15 pm 



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It looks incredible, very high production values!
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha - New Boss Battle Trailer (2016/09/10)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:40 pm 


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2016/09/10 - Boss Battle Trailer Released!
Hello everyone! Major update on RFA! I just finished implementing all boss battles and thought I might show a new preview video. So, here we go!

The music in this clip is part of the Rigid Force Alpha soundtrack and has been composed by Michael Chait. Next steps on our way to world domination: Streamlining and gameplay polishing, finalization of code and shaders and main menu/UI stuff. Maybe we'll also add additional content besides the main mission mode, but we'll see about that soon!

Critiques and comments highly appreciated!

Image


Some more screens:

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Links:
Rigid Force Alpha on IndieDB
com8com1 on Twitter
com8com1 on Youtube
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Last edited by com8com1 on Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha - Update: Boss Battle Trailer (2016/09
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:30 pm 


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The game continues to look really, really good. Looking forward to it.

I notice some of those bosses and even their attacks are pretty much copied from R-Type and Gradius.
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha - Update: Boss Battle Trailer (2016/09
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:44 am 


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Totally amazing game, bro! Is it finished?


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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha - Update: Boss Battle Trailer (2016/09
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:36 am 


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Dang, looks great!
I watched the boss trailer and they all look pretty neat.

I'd like to check on enemy and bullet-readability quickly.
*In the boss trailer, in the 'green boss' where he's shooting weird snail things, I had a hard time telling what was would kill the player and what wouldn't.
*Also, in the older Dec 2015 trailer, at 18 seconds in the desert level (which looks great) the enemy that shoots pink bullets at the bottom and middle-- those bullets were hard to see. Consider a dark halo around them, since they are already bright in the center.
*And the levels with red in the background, specifically at 32" (enemies blend in a bit much) and 35" (same problem).

The art looks really solid, here's to great gameplay--good luck on completing it. Definitely looking forward to it.
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 Post subject: Re: Rigid Force Alpha - Update: Boss Battle Trailer (2016/09
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:32 am 


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Sorry for being absent for so long, but I had to develop a game. ;)

A lot of things happened recently and I just wanted to give a sign of live and answer your last questions. First off, a bit of personal stuff: Some months ago I had the chance to quit my job at a large game dev company and head into full-time indie development. After doing lots of administrative paperwork I can now concentrate on finishing Rigid Force Alpha.

Thanks to that, the game is making good progress now and we're hoping to release it by the end of 2017. During the past months I finally found the time to set up a homepage (http://www.com8com1.com) and several social media channels, where we're constantly posting new media and development updates. The links to these channels can be found in the first post of this thread. Check them out and follow us for staying up to date!

Here are some new impressions from Rigid Force Alpha, showing some of the new weapon features and level design updates implemented recently. I will go more into detail on these topics later.
ImageImageImageImage


Please also check out our new series of articles at our IndieDB site. You will now find monthly dev round-ups with lots of insights, screenshots and GIFs. Here are the links:


And now for answering your last questions:
Quote:
The game continues to look really, really good. Looking forward to it.

I notice some of those bosses and even their attacks are pretty much copied from R-Type and Gradius.

Thank you! As stated earlier, RFA is indeed inspired by the awesome side-scrolling shmups from the past, not only the R-Type and Gradius series. While there definitely are some similarities, I would not say that anything is 'copied from', but rather 'influenced by' other games. So it's more a personal reference or allusion to games I personally like. I sometimes got the comment that the stage 5 boss looks similar to Big Core MK-3 - I understand that sentiment, but if you directly compare them, you'll note that both are quite different. And yes, both do shoot large bullets, let's not be nitpicking here. :D

Quote:
Totally amazing game, bro! Is it finished?

Not yet, but as I wrote above, the game should be ready by the end of 2017. Fingers crossed!

Quote:
Dang, looks great!
I watched the boss trailer and they all look pretty neat.

I'd like to check on enemy and bullet-readability quickly.
*In the boss trailer, in the 'green boss' where he's shooting weird snail things, I had a hard time telling what was would kill the player and what wouldn't.
*Also, in the older Dec 2015 trailer, at 18 seconds in the desert level (which looks great) the enemy that shoots pink bullets at the bottom and middle-- those bullets were hard to see. Consider a dark halo around them, since they are already bright in the center.
*And the levels with red in the background, specifically at 32" (enemies blend in a bit much) and 35" (same problem).

The art looks really solid, here's to great gameplay--good luck on completing it. Definitely looking forward to it.

I took your feedback into account and:
* removed the splatter effects for now - maybe I'll re-add them, but in a more reduced version, so you won't mistake the particle effects for actual obstacles
* exchanged the pink bullets for animated objects with a darker outline - this really improves the readability
* gave a slight outer glow to all enemies, which makes them stand out more and prevent blending too much with the background.
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