shmups.system11.org

Shmups Forum
 
* FAQ    * Search
 * Register  * Login 
It is currently Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:35 am View unanswered posts
View active topics



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 96 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:17 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Procrastinated a response since I knew it needed to be lengthy, thank you all for the comments though. Remember that talking to an amateur dev / (wannabe nerd) about their game always triggers a release of endorphin's in their brain.

Also fixed some visual bugs in title screen, tightened up timing, and added a transition to the current debug/testing room. I think it looks a bit better now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUh81KfJ12Q

Fun fact: the transition of the particles/fireflies outliving the title screen was originally a bug/oversight. But it looked MYSTICAL AS FUCK YO so I straightened it out and polished it into an actual intentional effect.

ZacharyB wrote:
where bullets aren't immediately cancelled, but they get pushed back


Yeah, Akashicverse has a beam weapon similar to that as well, gradually reversing the motion of bullets. It's something else I considered as well.

I've reached a point where I think the soultion needs to be an "outside the box" innovation from my usual thinking, rather than a simple refinement of the ranges/speeds/hitboxes, so I'm basically just trying everything and trying to be as experimental and playful as I can. Gunning on that eureka moment (what I usually do when I'm stuck).

Shepardus wrote:
For the sort of fast-paced gameplay you're going for, I think slowing down bullets in an aura would be a very bad thing to do. It would cause the bullets to cluster together around you


Hellsinker syndrome 8)

But the thing is that this is during judgment/hyper mode, and the dynamic between shooting and dodging changes during its brief activation period.

The two themes of the game are "speed" and "destruction", and judgment is when destruction comes into its own: with attacks that slow your movement but have cancel properties and fill the screen with precisely aimed but all consuming fiery annihilation.

The emphasis on macro dodging and normally fast movement actually works well with that so far: creates a lot of tension to keep yourself slowed down in front of shit trying to cancel in time (I'm actually really happy with how Judgment 1 aka guwange 'ALTER' turned out, I'll probably post a video of both in enemy overload debug room when I'm done with em both).

Shepardus wrote:
The thing I dislike the most about Eschatos is that even with the shield I can't dash through bullets as confidently as I would like, because I have to check whether the bullets have been erased yet.


Funny thing is, the original playstyle of Flame Thrower was kinda similar to this in conception:

You basically activate Judgment (2nd version, since that's the flame thrower one), at which point you're usually at the bottom of the screen. You got a speed boost while not using the flame, but move slowly when using it. The challenge is to dash forward and kill all the enemies at point blank range before time runs out, using the flame sporadically to slow down the incoming bullets and read a path through them in order to get close enough.

Due to a lot of reasons though, including how iffy this actually played out in most circumstances, I had to rework the idea. Working on a new dynamic for the flame thrower. I'm hoping I can keep a semblance of the original manic vision within a more balanced and consistent framework.

BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
been playing a lot of Raiden Fighters and finding the charge shots a letdown too for similar reasons - you have to stop shooting to fire, which can make you vulnerable during the charge time.


The other thing that makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable with them in Raiden Fighters is that I never feel really clear whether they do more damage or not, and when I should be using charge or rapid for dps.

Then again I don't understand how scoring works in those games so I'm probably playing all wrong ^_^

Ps: Deliberately vulnerable charge periods can work for a tactical game. I think R-Type is the crowning jewel of this. My game charge time is extremely short, more just an input method of performing melee (akin to holding for laser in Cave, input time is hold for 20 frames before release) and adding some rhythm to play. There's no vulnerability to it, you continue to fire while holding the button down until its fully charged.

BareKnuckleRoo wrote:
I wonder how a special shot would work tied to a fixed Giga Wing esque timer? More reliable recharge than say having to build it up by shooting enemies like in Gunbird/Strikers, with maybe a fraction of invulnerability time (less than DFK hypering) but also inherently tied to score so it has either a survival or scoring purpse? Like, instead of a reflect shield, it's the flamethrower, and using it generates special medals or something? By giving it a brief period of invulnerability it can be used at long range for safety, or can be used up close where it's riskier but actually useful for scoring/damage (maybe score earned tied to how close you flame things?).


Ah yeah, the Judgment mechanic in general is evolved from pretty much this idea.

At first it started out very similar to what you said: A recharging special weapon that would be better for survival if used defensively,

One of the biggest inspirations was eXceed 2nd-Vampire Rex. A nice little spin on Ikaruga where doing risky maneuvers to absorb clumps of bullets gives you more bombs, and spending them instantly to speed kill bosses (leaving yourself open to difficult patterns) instead of holding onto them for safety gives you a lot of score.

Given the mechanics and general playstyle here though, it was too hard to constantly provide genuine risk/reward opportunities on a weapon that was by definition more powerful than your default shot and that offered additional defensive benefits. As a result, it ended up evolving into Judgment: a hyper mode that grants you a bonus and greater destruction if you use its unique weaponry to kill all enemies currently on screen before time runs out.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:16 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 408
Location: France
Shepardus wrote:
The thing I dislike the most about Eschatos is that even with the shield I can't dash through bullets as confidently as I would like, because I have to check whether the bullets have been erased yet, or if they even still are stuck in the shield. It makes the shield feel slippery and unreliable to me, which is the opposite of what I like most about shmups compared to other action genres.

That sums up my own experience with Eschatos' shield as well. It is even more jarring when I am used to Milestone shields that reliably erase bullets. Well, okay, aside from some missiles in Illvelo's stage 1 boss fight that are not instantly erased as your shield's exp is low at that point in the game, but it is clearly not as prominent as Eschatos.

And as BareKnuckleRoo said, it is also worse in Judgement Silversword due to the shield size decreasing. I would also add that AFAIK, no bullet in that game can be instantly erased, unlike Eschatos which is more selective. As a consequence, using this tool feels a bit tedious as you can't move too much at the risk of getting hit by the bullet you were trying to save yourself from in the first place.

Just like Shepardus said, I doubt the player would want to use some of their brain's processing time to check whether the bullets have been slowed down or what percentage of erasure are they standing at for such a fast-paced game. That said, it's pretty cool if you make it work.

Come to think of it, though, how often can the flamethrower be used? If you can't use it all the time, is it that bad if the game temporaily becomes easy when you get this weapon? If being able to use the flamethrower has to be earned, it can be rewarding and gratifying to tear through the enemy lines with few bullets to dodge, if that can trigger the following waves even faster for more points.

Squire Grooktook wrote:
Fun fact: the transition of the particles/fireflies outliving the title screen was originally a bug/oversight. But it looked MYSTICAL AS FUCK YO so I straightened it out and polished it into an actual intentional effect.

I am sure lots of cool things in our favorite classics were made in similarly accidental ways. :lol:
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:59 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
M.Knight wrote:
Come to think of it, though, how often can the flamethrower be used? If you can't use it all the time, is it that bad if the game temporaily becomes easy when you get this weapon? If being able to use the flamethrower has to be earned, it can be rewarding and gratifying to tear through the enemy lines with few bullets to dodge, if that can trigger the following waves even faster for more points.


Yup, it's apart of the games equivalent of a hyper mode: Judgment.
Spoiler: show
Your bomb bar fills up overtime and by killing enemies. When it's full (100%), you can cash in for a few i-frames, but if you keep hold of it till it fills a second time (200%), you have a window to activate "judgment" before the bar empties back down to 100%.

In Judgment you gain a risky plethora of offensive and defensive tools, and you unlock a devastating finishing blow and a score bonus if you kill all enemies currently on screen before the meter depletes and you return to normal.

There are also 2 modes for Judgment with a different variety of weapons (The flamethower is on the second mode). Every time you use it, the next activation will have the other mode. It's inspired by the power up switching of old stg's. It's not meant to be a strategic choice which one to use though: an optimal score run involves using it every chance you get, so the ideal scoring path is built around the exact order that will result from flawless play.

Pure survival play you will likely be ignoring judgment (mostly) and cashing in those bombs, since it requires you to hold off bombing and is risky in itself. But when you're ready to take risks, you get a lot of extra score by rampaging with it.


I definitely want both forms of the mode to have a risk/reward element. The "assault course" and aggressive, risky kind of playstyle we often discussion the action-platformer thread is definitely what I want score play to resemble.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:55 am 


User avatar

Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 478
Location: Queens NY
I have an idea, similar to the smartphone version of Espgaluda 2.

The flamethrower is powerful; it can cancel bullets. The dragon moves slower while firing it. How about the dragon cannot move at all? While firing the flamethrower, the dragon's movement is suspended, and the player's controller input then transfers to the flamethrower flame itself. As more bullets are cancelled, the flame targeting reticle/area of effect grows slightly bigger and awards more points. This means that players in pursuit of score will be waiting for large bullet swarms to use the flame, but it's risky, because the dragon cannot move. If the player can successfully mop up all of the bullets with the flame before the dragon is hit, the payoff is good.

I was also thinking of enemies that were destroyed by the flame—or even bullets that were destroyed by the flame—releasing some kind of special bullet or salvo... but that might be too much work/too complicated.


Top
 Online Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:28 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
ZacharyB wrote:
The flamethrower is powerful; it can cancel bullets. The dragon moves slower while firing it. How about the dragon cannot move at all?


That's pretty much how it is! My model for the movement decrease while whipping it around is Guwange, which is to say you're moving so slowly that you're barely moving at all.

ZacharyB wrote:
more bullets are cancelled, the flame targeting reticle/area of effect grows slightly bigger and awards more points. This means that players in pursuit of score will be waiting for large bullet swarms to use the flame, but it's risky, because the dragon cannot move. If the player can successfully mop up all of the bullets with the flame before the dragon is hit, the payoff is good.


The "growing bigger with enemies destroyed" is actually a neat idea and maybe in line with the kind of ideas I've been tossing around. Maybe it could even be a vampiric kind of thing where it'll start to shrink again if you don't steadily keep the kills coming. I'll give that a try!

As for cancelling bullets into medals, sadly it conflicts a bit with the central idea of "always speedkill for score" since that kind of cancelling encourages you to leave enemies alive for a while so that the the most bullets can fill the screen. It could probably be done but I imagine it would also complicate routes a bit, and I'm aiming to be as intuitive as possible (kill everything as fast as possible, judgment every chance you get).

It is an interesting idea though. I was actually toying with the concept of including a few bonus "extra stages" with different mechanics. Not full arrange modes (don't have time!), but each one being more like a Touhou extra stage thrown together using interesting mechanical ideas and concepts that had to be left on the cutting room floor for whatever reason. I wouldn't have time to thoroughly balance them, but it was an idea for throwing a little extra content at players and seeing what ideas had appeal and potential for future games.

That's far off for now though.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:04 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Tried a new gimmick and the resulting prototype "feels" right, unlike the past ones. I don't want to speak too soon, but I think I got it figured out, and with more testing/polishing it should be genuinely fun.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:43 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Too busy to comfortably make a real update with exams hitting hard for the past few weeks. Afterwards I look forward to getting back to work on this (along with no longer having the possibility of crushing suicidal depression hanging over my head in case of failure).

Hagane is still too busy to work full time for me, but he's helping me out with some minor stuff. Like these new prototype slash/melee animations:

"skinny" version
Image

"fat" version
Image

Very rough 10 minute mock ups. We are still talking about size/shape/speed, in conjunction with both aesthetic and gameplay. Comments/thoughts welcome.

I'm also negotiating with two other artists with different specialties at the moment, and it's going well. Everyone involved with these sort of things is in the perpetual state of "not having 5 minutes to fist myself" so it's slow going and I prefer to be relatively quite about it.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:13 am 


User avatar

Joined: 13 Dec 2014
Posts: 2420
Location: Singin' in the rain of extends
Skinny version looks cooler IMO but I don't know how it would fit with gameplay.
_________________
NTSC-J wrote:
You know STGs are in trouble when you have threads on how to introduce them to a wider audience and get more people playing followed by threads on how to get its hardcore fan base to play them, too.

1cc list | Twitch | YouTube


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:18 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Skinny was at my suggestion to be more in line with the narrower hitbox that I've been working with. Both are "close enough" though, and I've been considering increasing hitbox size a tiny bit anyway, as of late. So either work, gameplay wise.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:56 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 408
Location: France
The skinny one looks sharper and more deadly to me. The fat version doesn't give off the feeling of slicing things as much IMO.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:04 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Yeah I'm thinking I'll go with that one and request a very slight increase in length (for gameplay purposes).

Someone on the gamedev discord also suggested removing a frame or two to give it a bit more strength.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 6:14 am 


User avatar

Joined: 13 Jun 2006
Posts: 2322
Location: Murda Mitten, USA
I look forward to playing this full presentation one day.
I believe in you. Your skill is great!
_________________

@shmups | superplaymixes Reworked Game Soundtracks | livestreamin'
______________________


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 4:40 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
^^^Thank you so much. Kind words like those are an inestimable encouragement throughout the arduous process of creation.

-

In other news, I'm more or less happy with the set up I have now for hyper mode, at least to the point that I feel comfortable putting it in the demo so you call can tear it apart and allow me to make it fun "for real".

I'm very busy with finals right now, but they end on thursday, after which I'll be spending the next 3 weeks until the summer semester starts working on this. I plan on getting that closed playable demo out sometime before june 16th. It'll probably be terrible and rushed, but it's a step that needs to be taken.

If and when you play it, please do not attempt to spare my feelings in criticisms, as I hope for nothing more than to make the funnest game possible within the playstyle I envisioned. To that end, thoughtful and honest criticism is invaluable. I cannot guarantee what will or what won't change based on critique, but I do guarantee I will listen and consider with an open mind.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 3:30 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 408
Location: France
Squire Grooktook wrote:
I cannot guarantee what will or what won't change based on critique, but I do guarantee I will listen and consider with an open mind.

That's the spirit! :)
You defintely can't satisfy everybody obviously. However, as long as you have your own global vision, which is (as far as I understand) a game based on extra enemy waves/speedkilling, large movements and slight RNG in patterns, you'll know what kind of feedback should be implemented to make your game closer to that vision and what shouldn't because it deviates from it.
Good luck with those final tweaks before the demo release!
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:19 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Well, hello all. I fulfilled my promise and posted the demo a few days ago on the shmups gamedev discord. I've been incredibly inactive on the forum for the past week or two due to spending all my free time on it.

So, how did it go? In a word: poorly.
The rush to completion by the self-imposed due date resulted in numerous features being excluded from the demo, numerous bugs being left in, and a lot of things left unpolished. A few bullet points:




-The entirety of the "judgment" system was rendered optional. I set it to unusable by default, and placed an option in the "misc" settings that allows you to activate it.
I removed it because numerous balance changes to the mechanic itself and redesigns of the stage resulted in it no longer syncing to the flow of the stage.
This cannot be remedied without redesigning the stage heavily or retooling the mechanic heavily. I am currently receiving feedback and brainstorming what to do.


-Stage length, difficulty balance, and pacing are all more geared towards feedback than finalization.
The difficulty is all over the place, but mostly too hard for an early game stage (Hagane described it as fitting for a third stage at the least). The pacing has been criticized as "so relentlessly fast that it stops being fun". The stage is long enough that it could easily be chopped into two stages, etc.
This was partially intentional. At some point in development I realized I would never get it all balanced in time, and just went for a "throw in everything and the kitchen sink", with the intention of observing how people would react to the difficult, pattern style, stage length, pacing, etc.


-Numerous little bits and ideas here and there were scrapped. Segments and mechanics that were meant to be polished were not.
The boss was meant to have destructible parts. The hit detection on the enemy wave with "ping pong"-able pieces is spotty. The Boomerang sticky attack can only work on one enemy at a time. The second phase of the boss is meant to have a different weakpoint. etc. etc.


-Music was removed due to not having time to work it into the new audio looping system. Numerous place holder sound effects were removed as well.




My original goal with this demo was to get a working, proof of concept stage 1, and that's not what this is all at all. It's more like a wonky testing playground if anything (a learning experience, rather than a sales pitch, as Eebrozgi put it).

However, I am hoping it can still be useful to me as a collector for general feedback. As such, I've decided to post it here for anybody to try.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1i6O0 ... sp=sharing

I will post a manual describing basic mechanics and ideas later.

Currently, I am on break from game development, due to summer semester starting. I am toying with different ways to redesign the stage and the judgment mechanic (considering adding a "sub weapon" with a new way of building meter...maybe even replacing judgment outright with it) while negotiating commissions with artists.

In providing feedback, I encourage everyone to be as honest as possible. I consider this terrible myself.


PS: Here's a video demonstrating a successful speedkill (with technical bonuses" on the boss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHYPqUwgpLA and here's some recommended screen settings
Spoiler: show
Image
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:52 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 408
Location: France
I wanted to at least clear the stage before giving my full impressions, but the furthest I went was the boss' final form. Anyway, here's my feedback after a few hours of playtime (without the judgement system) :

Things I liked :
-The regular moving speed is pleasant and seems suited to the game
-The explosions are not visually intrusive, their SFX is impactful and doesn't get old nor grating
-The little ominous jingle that plays when starting a run is a nice touch that sets the mood
-The slashing sound is pretty slick! Makes you want to slash as much as possible!
-The game forces you to move around a lot
-The boss's first phase is really fun! Gives off an "intense duel" vibe. Needs a bit more forewarning before it starts firing I guess, but otherwise I like it.

Things I didn't like :
-Being pushed back in a random direction when hit is the most frustrating thing ever. I sometimes lose sight of where I am and get hit again.
-Enemy aggressiveness is a bit too high. For instance, the purple round enemy that fires 3 aimed shots can fire even at the very bottom of the screen. Or the circular blue enemy with 4 blades around that leaps towards the bottom of the screen and fires a you. That isn't fun in Raiden and nor is it here where the shot width is much lower.
-Combined with the aggressiveness, the square area feels very claustrophobic, with little potential for escape routes when you don't know the enemy waves yet.
-Most of the time, it doesn't feel like you are rewarded for an offensive playstyle. Instead it's more like the game punishes you if you try to move near the middle of the screen or do not remember some important enemy placements
-The post-bomb invincibility is too short : I find myself killed on the way back to the bottom of the screen after using the invincibility to melee enemies
-The fade to white during a Game Over lasts a bit too long
-The first rotor blade pattern is absolute bullshit due to it randomly initiating its rotation clockwise or counterclockwise and stopping mid-rotation to let you crash against the blade in front of you while you were trying to dodge the one behind. I would simply axe this whole pattern, or perhaps rework the changing direction feature into the second rotor blade pattern which actually works well right now but could be a bit more intense/difficult.
-2 minutes for a stage 1 (boss not included) is too long, especially with that kind of intensity and the fact that there are two mid-bosses.
-The first mid-boss spawning in the middle of the screen gives no room for reaction unless you know what's coming.
-Given its bullets' speed, the lowermost enemy that you can push with your melee attack is too low.


What I noticed / What I suggest :
-It is not clear holding the shot button will fire the melee attack on release. Dangun Feveron's charge shot starts surrounding you for instance. Here, the dragon could flash in a different shade of blue or something.
-For the longest time, I was frustrated at the melee lock not properly working and me seeing the boomerang fly straight through an enemy without locking onto it. It is only after a while that I realized that there actually was a melee slash on top of the boomerang and that was what supposedly determined the melee lock range.
Because the melee attack has the same color as the shot, I didn't even notice it. Because the bommerang, the melee attack and the locked melee attacks all have the same color scheme, I thought it was the boomerang that triggered the melee lock, hence my frustration at properly lining my melee attack to no avail. That said, the first mid-boss really is a pain to lock with the melee attack. I sometimes even hear the lock sound without having the lock triggered.
-My name entry screen starts at "C" instead of "A". (But "A" and "B" are available) Besides, I have a bug where every time I submit a score, I have my entry added to the ranking, along with a copy of my score that has the initials "A__".
-Why not highlight the score we just submitted in the ranking, as to not have to figure it out ourselves? (Which might be difficult anyway as our run's score isn't displayed during name entry AFAIK)
-The second mid-boss (the 4 guys) feels less intense than the first, which is weird. The second mid-boss' intensity is about right though, I don't think I would change it.
-Is the first mid-boss sprite a placeholder? It feels weird that a green placeholder of a red enemy would actually be stronger and more resilient
-The early purple round enemies that spawn on a side, fire a spread pattern and jump all the way to the other side of the screen look like they can be killed in one hit, but you actually have to focus your fire on them a bit. This is mostly due to the small sprite, as well as the use of that same sprite for earlier popcorn enemies.
-Can we get killed after triggering a bomb? Or is a bomb triggerable during the death animation? I recall pressing bomb once to escape death but I got pushed back and died while the purple force field was starting to surround me.
-I sometimes got a few "Perfect Bonus" and "Overflow Bonus" but I have no idea what triggered them and the game doesn't really give me any visual clues. It feels kinda random.
-The focused speed seems useless. It is too low for the enemy bullets' speed.
-Against the second mid-boss, I can't seem to destroy more than 2 of the 4 guys. Because the second phase in particular feels longer than it should and because the guys just leave, the emotionnal payoff of defeating the midboss is not there. Seeing 3 or 2 of the guys leaving even though I slashed the fuck out them is a let down, and I don't see how I could possibly optimize the kill speed enough to destroy twice as much of those guys. Maybe it was because they could be all killed with the judgement system? Other way I can see this working is if the remaining guys leave on purpose after two of them are killed and then come back later during the game as another midboss. However, the way the surviving units leave looks like a timeout instead of a strategic retreat.
-The blue square container enemy is difficult to hit if you didn't get beneath it before its fires its downwards shots. And in case you do, the spray pattern it fires afterwards can trap you between the downwards shots, forcing you to micrododge instead of macro-dodging as I suppose was the intention behind the attack.
-If you get hit while at the bottom of the screen and get pushed back behind, there seems to be a glitch where the dragon doesn't respond for a longer amount of time than usual.
-To me, the boss' last phase feels much easier to dodge when the boss spawns on the sides.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:14 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Thanks for the feedback! Just a few quick responses:

>The knockback on hit should always go directly down. Maybe you're hitting the roll (bomb button) in the process? Or maybe I glitched O_O

>The whiteout on gameover should be completely skippable with shot/bomb, unless I fucked up

>A lot of people liked the rotar pattern, though I agree it's probably too hard. I might nerf it by making the time they take to completely change direction much longer. One person said they found it easy but the second spinning pattern harder, which boggled my mind.

>The final pattern isn't exactly random in where it spawns. It goes
-Center first
-Left or Right, at one of two heights
-then, the other side it didn't teleport to, at the height it didn't previously use.
-then goes to the center at low height again (starting position)
-then repeats the cycle.

So yeah it won't randomly skip a position, it cycles through them all, just in a slightly random order. Being higher up and farther on the edge of the screen is intentionally easier, yeah.

>You're only supposed to be able to kill 1 of the 4 miniboss dudes before they flee. Two being killable is a glitch. I was aware of it but didn't have time to fix.

>The bomb *should* render you completely immaterial and invulnerable to everything, unless I fucked up again.

>I'll explain the bonuses and scoring shit later, sorry I've been busy!

>And yeah, everything but the dragon and his main shot is a placeholder
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:48 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 408
Location: France
I just tried out bombing during the stun period and that's indeed what made me roll away. That also means the glitch I mentionned where you get stunned for a longer amount of time is in fact normal behavior when you don't press the bomb button. That said, doesn't that penalize you for being late and pressing the bomb button after getting hit as I have been doing all this time?

I can more quickly end the game over message, but there's still an amount of time between me getting hit and the message being displayed that can't be skipped.

Looking back on it, the rotor blade pattern has potential if tweaked but getting killed by it due to unfamiliarility was even more frustrating because it meant I had to redo the very intense stage again.
I wonder if the reason the other player finds the second pattern harder is because they don't stay near the center. I do and that's what gets me killed during the first pattern but allows me to keep up with the second pattern's speed.

The one time I died while having the bomb animation active was when I lost my last life. I am trying to replicate the behavior but I can't. Could it be that it happens if you bomb the exact same frame you get killed? This happened to me only once in a few dozen runs and I was dead anyways so it may not be that big an issue.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:52 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Hmmm, yeah there's no touhou-style death bomb timing, so that's possible.

Maybe if the rotar begins it's spinning/reversing action while it's initially closing in after transitioning phases? That might telegraph what it's about to do. I'll think about it!

Good point about the accidental rolls too. I'll think about that!

Thanks again for feedback! Very helpful! Feel free to post more thoughts if you play it more.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:42 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 05 Nov 2013
Posts: 4944
Location: EU
Oopsie!
Code:
****CONFIG.INI NOT FOUND****
Using defaults. Go to Options Menu to adjust settings.

Problem is I can't get any reaction from either the keyboard nor my USB pad (Saturn SLS) so I cannot access that menu.

Couldn't find anyting useful in options.ini, also tried creating a blank config.ini but nope.

(Win 8.1 64bit)

EDIT: scratch that, I have an AZERTY keyboard and the primary key to use stuff/validate turned out to be Z.
Still got some of the pad's buttons not detected though, I'll research that.

Two things I've noted:
- the scanlines option has too many of them (1:1 it seems), not looking 'low res' but rather like an old pc crt. If you can try to include 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 2:4 (etc lol)
- I've tried AA by curiosity and it produced garbage that wouldn't go away so I had to quit. That was with an Intel HD iGPU though, no garbage after switching to the onboard mobile nVidia, but it supports only 2x, which barely makes any visisble difference. So I'm using no smoothing option at all (the filter option that I guess is bilinear is too strong/muddy anyway, in such cases I much prefer bicubic)

EDIT: how long is the sword's charging time actually? I find a little disturbing that there's no little animation nor 'ok / ready' sound to indicate that you can release, makes it hard to time the swings.
Also what's the sword's hitbox lenght and shape? I've had a feeling that sometimes it really needs to hit the target, visibly I mean, and sometimes it hits further than the swing animation. Or was it just my imagination? (there's a lot going on screen and fast so I can't be more precise)

YEAH ONE MORE EDIT: posted all that before reading any other posts, I always like to tell my first impressions without any sort of influence.
So I agree with M.Knight that
- it isn't clear when the melee/sword is ready to release
- I don't use the focus button either because it is too slow, but also because I couldn't map the pad buttons how I wanted yet and it's not currently on a conveniently reachable button (basically I have button A unmappable)
- the whiteout is long indeed, have you noticed the FPS drop to 30 during it?
_________________
Image
Goompaolo9500 wrote:
Puyos are basically the things that you should shoot to counter nuisance puyos


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:53 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 408
Location: France
As far as I understand, the sword works as follows :
-When you release the sword, a close-range attack is triggered and a boomerang is launched at the same time. The close range attack might be difficult to see because it has the same color has the shot but there is a slash sprite in front the dragon for a few frames.
-If the close-range attack connects with a big enemy, the boomerang latches onto it and inflicts continous damage for a while.
-The melee attack has no real charge-up time but you can't use it if the boomerang hasn't gotten back to you yet or if it is still locked on an enemy.

In that case, I guess a clearer indication of when the boomerang has returned to you would be helpful.

You're right about the framerate dropping at 30 during the fade-to-white! It also happens to me. That explains why this sequence takes so long even though it isn't supposed to.

Squire Grooktook wrote:
Maybe if the rotar begins it's spinning/reversing action while it's initially closing in after transitioning phases? That might telegraph what it's about to do. I'll think about it!

Why not! Give it a shot and see what happens~
I would also suggest making the direction changes less abrupt to improve the telegraphing on them. Why not have the boss's core flash in a specific color when it is about to change direction?
On an additionnal note, even if all enemies are placeholders, I am quite fond of the very first enemy. (the small purple one with an eyeball) It truly looks like a demonic zako and fits your universe I would say.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:10 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
M.Knight wrote:
As far as I understand, the sword works as follows :
-When you release the sword, a close-range attack is triggered and a boomerang is launched at the same time. The close range attack might be difficult to see because it has the same color has the shot but there is a slash sprite in front the dragon for a few frames.
-If the close-range attack connects with a big enemy, the boomerang latches onto it and inflicts continous damage for a while.
-The melee attack has no real charge-up time but you can't use it if the boomerang hasn't gotten back to you yet or if it is still locked on an enemy.


Yeah, that's exactly right! Continuing to shoot at an enemy while the boomerang is wedged inside is the way to get the highest dps and kill things fastest.

M.Knight wrote:
You're right about the framerate dropping at 30 during the fade-to-white! It also happens to me. That explains why this sequence takes so long even though it isn't supposed to.

Xyga wrote:
- the whiteout is long indeed, have you noticed the FPS drop to 30 during it?


Ah ha ha that's not lag. That's actually an intentional bit of "real" slo-mo. I was trying to replicate the final ko sequence from King of Fighters - where you get knocked back as the screen fades to white at a slight speed reduction - since I didn't have a death animation yet lol. The length is just me not having time to balance it still lol. Will fix.

Thank you all for the feedback, keep it coming! It really helps!
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:24 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 05 Nov 2013
Posts: 4944
Location: EU
M.Knight wrote:
As far as I understand, the sword works as follows :
-When you release the sword, a close-range attack is triggered and a boomerang is launched at the same time. The close range attack might be difficult to see because it has the same color has the shot but there is a slash sprite in front the dragon for a few frames.
-If the close-range attack connects with a big enemy, the boomerang latches onto it and inflicts continous damage for a while.
-The melee attack has no real charge-up time but you can't use it if the boomerang hasn't gotten back to you yet or if it is still locked on an enemy.

So that's it! Thank guys.

Squire Grooktook wrote:
Thank you all for the feedback, keep it coming! It really helps!

Did I say I like the brutality? of course it's too much for a first level, but there's an 80's flavor upgraded to kick balls that really dares you to come back and fight for your honor.
Furious soundtrack required!
_________________
Image
Goompaolo9500 wrote:
Puyos are basically the things that you should shoot to counter nuisance puyos


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:49 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
^^^Ah, thank you. That's good to know. I definitely agree that it needs to be easier (also considering ways to retool its pacing and length, as I mentioned here).

For the record, I'd like to aim for a kind of Touhou Lunatic (though easier) kind of difficulty ramp: Where the game starts out relatively high, but only ramps incrementally. Making it so the early game still feels engaging, but the end-game doesn't feel overwhelming by the time you reach it.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:51 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Long overdue, but here's a little guide I through together which explains a few things, most notably the Judgment Mechanic.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1i6O0 ... sp=sharing

I didn't have time to proof read this due to being busy, so if anything doesn't make sense, let me know. I know the very last sentence on Judgment vs Bosses might be a little hard to grasp, but it's the kind of thing I think you'll have to see in game.

But anyway, that should explain Judgment. So for everyone still interested, maybe give it a try. It's not synced to the stage (ideally it should be set up to optimally trigger at certain segments designed around it) and it's very rough, but maybe it'll give you a hint of something fun. Or not. Lemme know.

I'm currently toying with a revision to the mechanic based on a sub weapon that might make things a bit snazzier. I'll talk about that more later, which brings me to another thing:


I think I'm going to share betas and prototypes more often. I'd like to have your feedback with me as much as possible! So please stay tuned!
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:25 am 


User avatar

Joined: 18 Jun 2012
Posts: 2779
Location: Chicago, IL
I look forward to playing the demo over the next day or so and trying to give some thoughts. I don't know how much I can add that the other folks above haven't commented on at great length, but I am excited to see the fruits of your labor. :wink:
_________________
Image
Devil Engine ~ Music and Sound Design || EC2151 ~ My FM music & more! || 1CC List || PCE-CD: The Search for Quality


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:01 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 408
Location: France
Squire Grooktook wrote:
Long overdue, but here's a little guide I through together which explains a few things, most notably the Judgment Mechanic.

Thanks for the little guide! I'll play with the judgement mechanic on and see what kind of feedback I can give.

EmperorIng wrote:
I don't know how much I can add that the other folks above haven't commented on at great length, but I am excited to see the fruits of your labor. :wink:

More feedback can't hurt, even if it is similar to already made comments. If many testers positively agree on something, that gives it more weight I suppose. :)
And on the other hand, some people sometimes point out a specific flaw that everybody else overlooked.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:42 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Indeed, everyone has different tastes, and the more voices I get, the better!

Also:

Image

Soon.
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:00 am 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5165
Toying around with a little test prototype for Judgment and possible new mechanics.

Also playing with some new original background tiles and art assets I got.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhP9Jakpm20

Obviously gonna need more then a single brick tile for the castle aesthetic, but it's a start!

Image

Image
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:31 pm 


User avatar

Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 408
Location: France
Had a busy week so I didn't have time to post detailed impressions on the Judgement mechanic earlier, but here there are :

-I had a bit of trouble getting the hang of the Green Judgement mode at first. I tapped the shot button as usual and I got that circle that I couldn't do much with and the Judgement mode ended before I realized what was going on. It was only after a while that I understood I was supposed to hold the button to move the cursor.
-The first mid-boss does not freeze Judgement mode, while the second does as intended.
-Pre and Post Last-Judgement invincibility frames seem nonexistant. For some reason, I felt like it would make sense to have some.
-Judgement/Last Judgement can mess up the enemy spawning and despawning : the red mid-sized enemies (whose green palette swap is the first mid-boss) get stuck to the sides of the screen, the popcorn get stuck at the bottom after their routine is done.
-Due to the combination of a sudden higher player speed, a high enemy speed in general and the flame's seemingly low width, it is difficult to unlock Last Judgement's Flame variant. Actually, I end up running into a bullet most of the time and I don't think I triggered Flame Last Judgement even once.
-Some waves are much easier to trigger Last Judgement on them than others. I know you mentionned the waves are not in sync with the judgement timing yet, but I think it's impossible to do that without forcing the player to do exactly what you want him to do (and that's not fun). The judgement timer increases or decreases due to various reasons (getting hit, bombing, refraining from using the judgement mode when available, etc.) and due to that, you never really know when the player will activate judgement mode. It can theoretically happen anywhere within the level, aside from the very beginning I guess.
-The circle warning before Judgement mode is available is way too long while the actual window seems pretty short in comparison and that can be very distracting. On the other hand, I have seen the circle warning last much shorter when it started when I was fighting the enemies that you are supposed to send flying into one another with the melee attack.
-The initial time to kill circled enemies in judgement mode is so short that it sometimes makes sense to let zako live just so that their kills can increase the timer so I can stand a chance to kill the bigger enemies on time.
-Last Judgement Green Variant's ability to slow down bullets and then cancels them is rather useful but not always as it can make things confusing whenever you lose track of whether a bullet was canceled or just slowed down. Plus, you can't always focus on destroying everything as you are too busy keeping the eraser in front of you to survive.
-The heavy screen shake while you are trying to see if the bullets in front of you have been erased by Last Judgement Green Variant is baaaaaaaaaaad
-The flame laser when you bomb while in Flame Judgement mode looks and sounds pretty cool!
-I managed to trigger a second judgement mode after a Last Judgement by cancelling it with a bomb or when I picked up a judgement item right after Last Judgement ended. Even though it seems to be unintended behavior, I like that.
-The Green Last Judgement weapon is terrible against kamikaze ennemies : one is bound to ram into you
_________________
RegalSin wrote:
I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.


Top
 Offline Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 96 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Space Pilot 3K template by Jakob Persson
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group