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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:05 am 


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~Minor Update~

In the process of fixing some bugs and streamlining code in preparation for the big stage 1 demo, I've retooled a few visual effects. Thought they might be worth sharing here:

Turnin' the heat up
Hyper Laser now with additional POW
Authentic Taito Bendy Lasers

Also due to corresponding with somewhere there, I've lately been using Twitter to post minor updates and daily work stuff like this. Check it out if interested.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:04 am 


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That wavey background visual effect is fucking sick! Quite curious as to how you managed to pull that off since there seems to be a few mechanisms and mine sucks.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:25 pm 


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Thanks!

I used the classic method of applying a sine wave to the x/y location of the pixels in the image. Did it using draw sprite part function

My mistake when I first tried this was attemting to use draw sprite part on every pixel in the image, which was a bit too stressfull on gm. I talked to Eebrozgi, who actually uses the same effect in Final Boss, and he told me he uses the same method to accomplish it, except he only draws every line in the image. So far this has worked perfectly and GM hasn't had any problems with it.
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:45 pm 


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Last week I was daydreaming in math class, only to be suddenly struck by inspiration on how to execute the "tubular" background distortion effect (and various other works of psychadelia) Taito used in Darius/Metal Black/etc.

With a lot of guidance through the finer points of the basic concept by Trap15, managed to pull it off, please take a look ^_^

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_cA1hRakRU

Absolutely no polygons or 3d effects here. This is purely 2d sprite based tomfoolery.
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:31 pm 


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I really like the very last example, with the warping texture incorporated against the static space background. Instantly reminded me of Rayforce's st2 moon flyby, where you can look "over the edge" of the lunar canyon to see the Earth miles below. Lots of potential for cinematic perspective trickery!
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:50 am 


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Yeah, I'm fond of that one.

There's actually quite a lot more different shapes and effects I could try. Could probably fool with this for weeks. This is just a proof of concept though, so I figured that was enough for now lol
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:10 am 


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Really diggin' the progress on the visual effects, between the visceral heat distortion and the BG layer manipulation.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:47 am 


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Those effects are impressive! They really channel the old Taito sprite bending pseudo-3D shenanigans. :mrgreen:

Out of curiosity, I was wondering something : are those Taito-lasers made out of a bunch of independent sprites stuck together or are they one single object that can extend or compress their length depending on their movement?
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:25 pm 


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Thanks, all :D

M.Knight wrote:
Out of curiosity, I was wondering something : are those Taito-lasers made out of a bunch of independent sprites stuck together or are they one single object that can extend or compress their length depending on their movement?


You can probably do it both ways, but mine is the former, and based on some observations I suspect Darius also used the same method.
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:32 pm 


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I see! Thanks for the answer. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:09 pm 


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You're welcome!
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:41 pm 


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Yeah, the former is basically the only way to do it. Just a bunch of circles or squares in a trail.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:27 pm 


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I reckon on a modern platform you could also do some stuff with vector lines.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:47 am 


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Work in progress Afterimage effect

This is for when hyper mode aka Judgment is active only. Not regular movement.

Not sure about this. Toying with going for oldschool flicker only instead of alpha transparency fade out (Dodonpachi does this). Might also experiment later with a more thorough palletization of the sprite instead of a total white out (think Castlevania SOTN/HOD).

Feedback appreciated.
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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 Feb 24, 2017 11:01 am 


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"Oldschool flicker" sucks when recording or streaming in 30fps, not sure if that's important at all to you but just throwing that out there.

The afterimage in that video is too strong IMO. Looks fine at low speed but at high speed it overpowers the sprite itself. My eyes are drawn more to the dark blue than the light blue. Might be how the white afterimage sort of accentuates the dark trailing images since it looks a lot brighter in motion than it does in stills.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:17 am 


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Eebrozgi suggested a 30 fps flicker option. That would work. I don't care tooooo much about recording issues, but it'd be an easy fix.

Shepardus wrote:
The afterimage in that video is too strong IMO. Looks fine at low speed but at high speed it overpowers the sprite itself. My eyes are drawn more to the dark blue than the light blue. Might be how the white afterimage sort of accentuates the dark trailing images since it looks a lot brighter in motion than it does in stills.


Yeah I'm actually fond of the accentuation but it might be too much. One more reason to try the castlevania style palletization as well

Image

Keep in mind that this is primarily during the bullet cancel heavy Judgment mode, so you won't be doing as much in depth dodging. It's probably something I'll need to wait on demo-feedback before making a final choice on.

Thank you for the feedback.
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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: Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:34 am 


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I agree with Shepardus. At high speeds, it is not easy to focus on the actual player sprite but it looks great with focused movement.

That said, if you do have transitions between stages, that strong afterimage effect could still be used if the dragon leaves the screen Zanac Neo style after you beat a boss.
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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: Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:26 am 


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Yeah. Another similar alternative that occurred to me would be to reserve it for invulnerable periods (bomb activation, after receiving damage, etc.)
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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: Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:42 am 


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The afterimage looks really cool, and honestly, I did rather like its use in the Dodonpachi games when lasering, but it's less distracting there since when you're sitting still the ships don't flap/move.

If you really wanted it available, you could do what SaiDaiOuJou does and make it an option players can choose to turn on and off (you could make it toggle between off/on/only when invulnerable).
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:26 pm 


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Yeah the flapping was something I noticed immediately when I implemented it. Certainly puts a twist on it, not sure how to feel about it.

Also yes the option was exactly what I was planning after giving it more thought. I figured I'd make an "advanced options" menu allowing players to turn afterimage and screenshake on/off, change flicker to 30 fps, other misc aesthetic details etc. I'm definitely of the opinion that more choices = better.
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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 Mar 29, 2017 5:22 am 


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~'nother minor update~

Been doing some heavy mechanical rebalances. Almost finished: just need to balance out that fucking flame thrower (been struggling with this one from the beginning). I swear, if it cancels/slows bullets it's too easy. And if doesn't it's suicide. Need to be clever here.

In the mean time though, I took a break this week to work on the title screen!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAVQI2Kj_PY

Bit rough. The "water" is a simple gradient placeholder I worked up. The titles themselves are "official", and were drawn by a sprite artist I was working with previously. They weren't finished (he was in the middle of polishing them before he had to leave the project), so I'll probably have them fixed up a bit more later.

I am slightly proud of the materialization and reflection though. Big thanks to all the feedback I got from the shmups discord.

There's more tweaks that could be done, but it's been a week and I need to both catch up on some homework and get back on schedule with level design / boss / mechanical balances for the demo to be released in the next few months, so I'll probably leave it as is for the immediate future.

By the way, the Japanese on the title wasn't my idea, and for the longest time I had no idea what it said. I was half expecting it to be gibberish or to say "fuck me", but Trap says it's actually just Aeon Zenith in perfect jp. In a way, that actually kinda disappoints me.
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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.


Last edited by Squire Grooktook on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:53 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
just need to balance out that fucking flame thrower (been struggling with this one from the beginning). I swear, if it cancels/slows bullets it's too easy. and if doesn't it's suicide.
You see, here's the thing about flamethrowers in video games...


This project looks pretty cool and unique! Very curious moveset you're working on here.

Hopefully I won't be left foaming at the mouth by all the super high-technical fx


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:56 am 


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I'LL MAKE IT WORK, JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE ):<

For real thanks though ^_^
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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 Mar 29, 2017 9:41 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
I'LL MAKE IT WORK, JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:34 am 


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:lol: perfect
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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 Mar 29, 2017 8:49 pm 


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Amazing. :lol:

I have a suggestion : why not remove the bullet-cancelling property and put a deadzone around enemies as to not get shot at point-blank range if that's what deters the player from using this weapon? That would require a lot of tweaking though, I suppose. You would have to adjust the range so that it is still possible to have nearby enemies firing at you but not the ones you are moving towards with the flamethrower on. If your level design has enemies coming from either sides, I think you'll still have plenty to dodge while having enough time and space to react.
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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: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:43 pm 


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M.Knight wrote:
Amazing. :lol:

I have a suggestion : why not remove the bullet-cancelling property and put a deadzone around enemies as to not get shot at point-blank


Already in, actually! This was very much necessary in general, since zakos like to shoot fast bullets and will move to the bottom of the screen if left unmolested. Without it, it leads to a lot of unreactable situations, and I don't think that's a fair punishment for failing to keep the situation under control.

It's not quite enough to make the flame-thrower feel good though. I have a few other ideas I was going to experiment with later (like having destroyed enemies explode into bullet slowing/cancelling auras), and that actually gives me another one: Maybe when the flame thrower mode is active, I could do something akin to the slowing/cancelling point-blank auras in Hitogatta Happa. That might be interesting.
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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: Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:45 am 


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Perhaps it could be like in Eschatos or Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu, where bullets aren't immediately cancelled, but they get pushed back. Some bullets being tougher to cancel than others. Then you could have Fire bullets that can't be cancelled at all. (And then you have ice breath, which reverses the polarity, making it easy to cancel Fire bullets, while Ice bullets can't be cancelled, and, and...)


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:33 am 


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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, encouraging small, careful movements instead of the big, sweeping movements you seem to like so much.

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.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:07 am 


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BIL wrote:
I really like the very last example, with the warping texture incorporated against the static space background.


Curses! I only saw the video just now and wanted to say everything you said but I am both overjoyed and mouthfrothingly mad that you beat me to it. WHARGHARBL~

Shepardus wrote:
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.


And Judgement Silversword's is even worse since the shield size is a major factor. Giga Wing's shield feels much more reliable. I've 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. Often disliked charge shots in shmups for that reason cause it annoyed me to charge up, then get rammed or overwhelmed because I didn't kill something I could have with normal shots in that same time.

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?).

This may be a stupid idea so please don't blame me if it is. >.>
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