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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:18 am 


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Big thanks! Feedback appreciated! Some thoughts/comments!

M.Knight wrote:
-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 baaaaaaaaaaadu


I thought I turned off the screenshake by default bwaaaaaah

Silly me lol. It's terrible I know, left over from an old prototype.

M.Knight wrote:
-Pre and Post Last-Judgement invincibility frames seem nonexistant. For some reason, I felt like it would make sense to have some.


Similarly, I could swear LJ has I-Frames. Will have to check!

M.Knight wrote:
-The Green Last Judgement weapon is terrible against kamikaze ennemies : one is bound to ram into you

M.Knight wrote:
-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.


After thinking it over a ton and testing out a few new prototypes, I've decided to try simply merging them in the next prototype. It'll simply be one judgment mode with:

[Hold A] Green Aim Attack
[Hold B] Red Flame Thrower

I think it'll be more balanced - and less of a pain in the ass to design around. Which brings me to...

M.Knight wrote:
-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.


Hmmm, well, here was my logic/intention:

-Since Judgment refills based on time and kills, in theory, if you play a stage optimally and kill all extra enemies and never die, Judgment will always refill at the same predetermined points. These points can then be balanced to be the most interesting/challenging to unlock the bonus on.
-If you die or screw up, the rhythm of it will be thrown off, and you'll get less judgments in addition to getting them at different times. But Judgment should feel powerful enough that it will always feel useful (if risky) in almost any situation.

It's true that, optimally, it's very predetermined when the best time to use judgment/hyper is. But that's true of the majority of scoring systems. I'm just trying to make it more telegraphed, so that you don't have to sit down and watch a video or do math to determine when the best time to spend a hyper is. "Speed kill everything, all the time. Use Judgment, every chance you get." is what I wanted the game to tell people, without ambiguity. The challenge of mastery is in learning to execute those demands.

I'm gonna give the system one more shot I think with the above mentioned balance tweaks (among a few other things). I really like the idea of it on multiple levels (going from relatively "normal" combat to a flashy super mode with funky weapons, the unique "kill all the targets" lightgun thing, the change to bullet cancelling emphasis, etc.), and it's worked well in a few older prototypes. But if I have to scrap it, I will!

The only other balance tweak I have planned for next prototype is to scrap the bombs in favor of an Eschatos style shield. This should allow me to keep the bullet speed and formations relatively tough (though I will be nerfing the stage heavily, regardless) while keeping things more fair feeling. And it should make speedkilling more gutsy and meaningful, since you'll be able to defend yourself from difficult shit at the cost of shooting.
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:45 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
After thinking it over a ton and testing out a few new prototypes, I've decided to try simply merging them in the next prototype. It'll simply be one judgment mode with:

[Hold A] Green Aim Attack
[Hold B] Red Flame Thrower

I think it'll be more balanced - and less of a pain in the ass to design around. Which brings me to...


Spent the night playing with this, and it plays massively better. It's fun now even on random waves, let alone waves it has been designed around. I think the mechanic is saved.
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:48 am 


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Can't you no longer bomb while in Judgment mode with these new controls, as B now overrides it? Unless not being allowed to bomb in this mode is your intention, I would try tapping A for the flame and holding it for the green circle.
Aside from that, having both weapon types at hand seems much less restrictive, which is great. Both weapons have their strengths and I suppose there won't be any incompatibility issue between the wave you face and the judgement weapons now. Or at least, much less.

Squire Grooktook wrote:
I'm just trying to make it more telegraphed, so that you don't have to sit down and watch a video or do math to determine when the best time to spend a hyper is. "Speed kill everything, all the time. Use Judgment, every chance you get." is what I wanted the game to tell people, without ambiguity. The challenge of mastery is in learning to execute those demands.

I think your system works pretty well in that regard, but only as long as you don't die/bomb early/miss the judgment/etc. Making a mistake desyncs you with the intended judgment spots. That means you may have to use roundabout ways to get yourself back on the optimal track, such as bombing to delay the next Judgment or things like that. And that will require to know the timings rather well.

However, because of the new changes to the judgement weapons, not being on the optimal track may not be that bad and the waves you will trigger Judgment mode on can still unlock Last Judgement without too much trouble. I have the feeling it may put a dent in the learning curve for optimal scoring as an early mistake messes up a significant part of the stage's best scoring route, but at least it seems fine until you get to that point.
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:18 pm 


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M.Knight wrote:
Can't you no longer bomb while in Judgment mode with these new controls, as B now overrides it? Unless not being allowed to bomb in this mode is your intention, I would try tapping A for the flame and holding it for the green circle.


Being able to bomb was another "oops" as well,l ha ha.

That being said, the new control scheme is:

[A] Shot (Green in Judgment)
[B] Shield (Flame in Judgment)
[C] Activate Judgment / Last Judgment

As I mentioned, I'm currently playing around with swapping out the bomb for a quick recharging Eschatos style shield. Not sure about this tweak, still playing with it. So we'll see how that goes.

M.Knight wrote:
I think your system works pretty well in that regard, but only as long as you don't die/bomb early/miss the judgment/etc. Making a mistake desyncs you with the intended judgment spots. That means you may have to use roundabout ways to get yourself back on the optimal track, such as bombing to delay the next Judgment or things like that. And that will require to know the timings rather well.

However, because of the new changes to the judgement weapons, not being on the optimal track may not be that bad and the waves you will trigger Judgment mode on can still unlock Last Judgement without too much trouble. I have the feeling it may put a dent in the learning curve for optimal scoring as an early mistake messes up a significant part of the stage's best scoring route, but at least it seems fine until you get to that point.


One other thing I had planned to slightly "stabilize" the Judgment pattern (even in case of screw up) was to have item carriers and minibosses occasionally drop medals that would instantly recharge Judgment. That way, even if you died or missed an activation, there would still be an opportunity or two to "get back on track" in each stage.

Another thing I didn't have time to implement.
_________________
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:54 pm 


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju56L0-ZsSI

Little demonstration of the new offensive/defensive mechanic. Some copy pasta explanation from the discord:

Quote:
so uhhh, working on new defensive system. Initially to replace bombs, but now I'm considering having both :thinking:
Basically it's a flame thrower / shield / wide shot hybrid. You take out your little flame thrower and it slows and damages bullets, eventually destroying them. Because you can whip it out around, it also doubles as a close range wide shot (ala the one in Eschatos)
DRAWBACKS
>you're super slow while firing it
>eventually the flame starts to "tire out" and range decreases. This also makes it near impossible to kill bullets as you need a second or two of exposure/slowing to destroy them, and they'll be too close. So you can't just turtle.
>Flame is back at max strength everytime you use it, but there's a slight bit of "recovery" animation on it that you also can't shoot during. So you can't just tap to have max strength all the time
The idea was a defensive mechanic that has some offensive properties if used at close range (top of the screen), but will damage your speedkill score if you use it as a defensive crutch (turtling at the bottom of the screen). If you turtle too much, you can accidentally wall yourself too.

Right now it kiiiiiiinda works similar to the Antibody / Suppression Field in Hellsinker and Akashicverse
It's comparatively tricky to completely defend yourself with, so I'm thinking of leaving the bomb in so you also have a last ditch effort too (kind of like how Gigawing has the reflector shield which has both offensive/defensive potential, and then the bomb for emergencies)

So far it feels pretty good in my test waves. The only thing about this weapon is that, due to its slowing nature, it won't protect you from things that are already a pixel away from your hitbox. So it's more preemptive :thinking:
one of the reasons I'm considering leaving in bullet cancel flash bomb in as well
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:37 am 


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Hagane experimenting a bit with a new melee animation style

New
Image

Compare old:
Image

Keep in mind they're still both more in "concept phase" to test out the different styles. No real polish, just quick mock ups really. So a lot of details can be adjusted.

I'm liking the new version a lot so far, though I'm thinking the "residue" has a little too much emphasis compared to the "body" of the arc itself. Thinking of requesting he put a little more emphasis on the arc, maybe making it an extra frame or two.
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:07 pm 


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Posts: 5180
Still working on revising level design and mechanics based on criticisms!

In the mean time, here's some rough sketch character design concept art by Tusia for the Dragon!
Spoiler: show
...in human form!Image

I've showed this to a few people already, but it's about time to make it a bit official.

Note that we're still only like halfway through the design process (if that) and these are all more like directional sketches. Here's some more, but note that this album is not safe for work as most of the sketches are nudes. Currently puzzling over why I like the face in sketch #3 more than the one in #4, hmm!

Also monster designs inbound too...
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:38 am 


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Posts: 413
Location: France
In hindsight, it was kinda surprising it took that long before you included an anime-style girl in the game, given how much you like them and how we tend to put stuff we like in what we create. :wink:
As it is commissioned artwork, I suppose you prefered waiting until the sketches were made on the artist's side, which makes sense.

She looks pretty good, and I think my favorite version would be a mix bewteen sketch #1's two portraits. Ears pointed downwards and the right side's hair, but with the tiara and the left-side's clothes. I like the horns as well, they give her a more distinctive appearance.
Kinda odd that you didn't go for a short-haired tomboy, though. :mrgreen: Well, I guess it wouldn't have matched the concept of a dragon's human form as well as the current designs.


As for your 2 sine waves, why not reduce the number of enemies in each of the waves by half or more, and decrease the spawn delay for the right side to make it appear around when half of the left side has already spawned? That way, you wouldn't have to simply stand still underneath a side and wait for the enemies to die but instead would have to juggle both sides.

When designing enemy waves for a speedkilling-based game, it is also important IMO to check the difference between the first and the last enemies' spawn frames. Basically, the higher the difference between the two, the higher the risk to decrease the window of optimization to destroy the wave faster. This is because no matter what, the minimum amount of frames the player will spend on that wave is equal to the frame on which the last enemy spawns. If there is a long delay between the first and the last enemy, then the optimizations the player would have made for the first enemies may not matter as he will still have to wait for the last one to show up.

If you analyze your other waves you can see that most of the enemies spawn around the same time. The player is thus free to tackle them in any order, some orders being more efficient than others. If you drip-feed the enemies, then the player will defeat them one after the other in a very linear fashion. It is the kind of thing you learn by experimenting with waves and replaying them over and over again so I suppose you already know that.

Oh, of course, if the first enemy is a big and bulky one and is probably going to stay alive while the wave's last enemy is spawned (even if the player focuses his fire on it), then this spawn frame difference is much less of an issue.

Other random suggestion : if you make other demos, why not have a "stage/boss select" in case we want to fight/test the boss immediatly? I didn't have many things to say in my previous feedback about Last Judgement against the boss because it wasn't easy nor fast to test it.
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:39 pm 


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M.Knight wrote:
As it is commissioned artwork, I suppose you prefered waiting until the sketches were made on the artist's side, which makes sense.


Yah. Actually have been doing sketches for a month now, but I only just now asked if I had permission to show them. She said it's aaaaaallll good.

M.Knight wrote:
Kinda odd that you didn't go for a short-haired tomboy, though. :mrgreen: Well, I guess it wouldn't have matched the concept of a dragon's human form as well as the current designs.


Best not to inject ones fetishes into a game!

For real though, the SRPG sequel will probably have a heroine with short red hair and blue eyes. (vs the current long blue hair and red eyes). I like color coding, contrasting sequel protagonists, and inversions!

M.Knight wrote:
As for your 2 sine waves, why not reduce the number of enemies in each of the waves by half or more, and decrease the spawn delay for the right side to make it appear around when half of the left side has already spawned? That way, you wouldn't have to simply stand still underneath a side and wait for the enemies to die but instead would have to juggle both sides.


Yup! I did that already, and it works better! I actually made two "rows" of sines moving in the same direction as well, so you have to kind of rhythmically move back and forth in the middle to catch them both as they approach.

I'm choppin' 'em out and using them later though. They conflict with what I had planned for the next wave because reasons. Happens a lot! Level design is pretty finnicky.

M.Knight wrote:
When designing enemy waves for a speedkilling-based game, it is also important IMO to check the difference between the first and the last enemies' spawn frames. Basically, the higher the difference between the two, the higher the risk to decrease the window of optimization to destroy the wave faster. This is because no matter what, the minimum amount of frames the player will spend on that wave is equal to the frame on which the last enemy spawns. If there is a long delay between the first and the last enemy, then the optimizations the player would have made for the first enemies may not matter as he will still have to wait for the last one to show up.

If you analyze your other waves you can see that most of the enemies spawn around the same time. The player is thus free to tackle them in any order, some orders being more efficient than others. If you drip-feed the enemies, then the player will defeat them one after the other in a very linear fashion. It is the kind of thing you learn by experimenting with waves and replaying them over and over again so I suppose you already know that.

Oh, of course, if the first enemy is a big and bulky one and is probably going to stay alive while the wave's last enemy is spawned (even if the player focuses his fire on it), then this spawn frame difference is much less of an issue.


Yah, I actually use different ways of scripting it per-wave, depending on how it works. Sometimes there's a time frame to get something extra spawned, sometimes enemies decrease other enemy timers if they die before living too long, and sometimes it's just a simple "each wave spawns the moment the last one is finished". Needs a subtle touch! Lot of work.

M.Knight wrote:
Other random suggestion : if you make other demos, why not have a "stage/boss select" in case we want to fight/test the boss immediatly? I didn't have many things to say in my previous feedback about Last Judgement against the boss because it wasn't easy nor fast to test it.


Good idea! Next demo will probably be still stage 1, but with greatly revised level design and mechanics. Good for the boss even so.
_________________
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:49 am 


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Still working on level design in between summer semester end assignments. Also beginning to receive and direct enemy concept art.

Spoiler: show
Image

Image


I tend to write 5-8 page design/feedback documents for every piece of art I receive. And I'm receiving a lot lately. Send help.
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:46 am 


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Posts: 413
Location: France
Squire Grooktook wrote:
M.Knight wrote:
Other random suggestion : if you make other demos, why not have a "stage/boss select" in case we want to fight/test the boss immediatly? I didn't have many things to say in my previous feedback about Last Judgement against the boss because it wasn't easy nor fast to test it.


Good idea! Next demo will probably be still stage 1, but with greatly revised level design and mechanics. Good for the boss even so.

Good to know! Don't forget to adjust the Judgment timing to make it sync with when it will activate during regular play. Or you could even adjust the jauge % before starting a practice mode run but that's probably the kind of feature you implement further down the line rather than now.

Squire Grooktook wrote:
Yah, I actually use different ways of scripting it per-wave, depending on how it works. Sometimes there's a time frame to get something extra spawned, sometimes enemies decrease other enemy timers if they die before living too long, and sometimes it's just a simple "each wave spawns the moment the last one is finished". Needs a subtle touch! Lot of work.

Never thought of that second method, that's interesting.

Squire Grooktook wrote:

:lol:
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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.


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