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 Post subject: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:51 pm 


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Hi everyone !
The alpha demo is here ! Download links: Itch.io or Gamejolt

I'm presenting DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge...the game i'm currently working on along with ClemenC, a graphic artist.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KTfHwhVRgY

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    Fast shoot'em'up gameplay with big boss fights
    10 different weapons, 4 different ships
    Tons of other customization options (armors, engines, shields, special items)
    5 levels and more bosses
    3 difficulty levels
    Experience, level up, skill points
    Pixel art cutscenes and chiptunes music made on Atari-ST and ZX Spectrum
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The gameplay is fast paced and based more on killing enemies than escaping thousands of bullets.
The inspirations for the gameplay are games like Raiden, Donpachi and other "older" shoot'em'up games that did not have tiny hitboxes and did not throw 10000 bullets at you.
Skill, dedication and patience is what you will need to be able to defeat your enemies but if you can't, you can always warp out of a level, upgrade your ship and come back with a vengeance !
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That's me (if we lived in a pixel world ^^). I'm working on programming and game design.

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And this is ClemenC, the graphic artist who's been working on the game for some months now and thanks to who we have great backgrounds, new ships, new objects, Redbeard's workshop, pixel art cutscenes and everything else...

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The music was made by Yerzmyey, very talented composer that has a love for chiptunes and uses the real hardware (Atari-ST, Amiga, ZX-Spectrum, etc.) to create his music.

The game is on steam greenlight so don't hesitate to vote for the game and please give me any feedback here, on the greenlight page or on facebook, twitter or google+ pages.
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DreadStar - Development topic


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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:05 am 


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Hmm no one, really ? :(
We're working on a demo that i will be posting soon...and a new video is incoming as well.
Hope some guys here will give us some feedback from what we've shown !
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:06 am 


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Sorry, that happens here sometimes.

I'm getting a Tyrian vibe from what I'm seeing.
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:12 am 


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No worries, i guess i'm just a bit too excited with the greenlight campaign and all :mrgreen:
Yes, Tyrian was one of the inspirations for the items and upgrading of the ship...(along with non-shmup games like diablo, etc.).
Not for the gameplay however... (too many uninspired levels and no weapon balance ^^).
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:30 am 


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Just asking out curiosity, this game seems to be some kind of reboot of this previous project of yours?

I'm pretty sure most of us are simply withholding feedback until the demo surfaces. So until then I'll just echo my concerns of RPG/shop elements in the previous thread :P
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:46 pm 


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Indeed, it is. We are now a team, and so we changed quite a lot of things (concept stayed the same but we are using brand new graphics ^^ and some parts that were never even done will now be different since we can do whatever we want, graphics-wise).
Np, the demo will be coming soon so i'll be sure to post here when it is.
Just a quick question since you can compare, what do you think about the graphical update, so far ?
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:03 pm 


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Hi everyone ! Sharing some news and a preview for a new boss...
Image

The alpha demo is just a few weeks away (tweaking some things about the level that's included in it, a bit of balancing and removing some bugs ^^ ).
Please give us any feedback here, on Facebook, twitter, google+ or the greenlight page !
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:01 am 


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Hello everyone !

The alpha demo is here ! Download link: https://mega.nz/#!kNFjhaCJ!_5cu3AucdVR0 ... HvHSXc2CYg
Please post any feedback and/or problems here :)
This is a demo with only 1 level and the shop. The item prices and a bit of the level balance will probably change before the full release but i would like to ask for your feedback first. Please tell me what you like, don't like, would like to have in the game, etc.

Thanks and shmup on! :P
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:23 pm 


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So I decided give it a quick go, here are some of my initial thoughts:

- The UI for both shop and ship feels very messy and "style over substance". It took me a lengthy moment to realize where stage select was and then just a bit longer which stage I'm actually supposed to enter first. The shop is the real deal breaker with its overly busy design with the information being spread all over the screen in different windows. Just finding the items' prices took me a second, comparing different weapons is a hassle, just like not being able to equip new piece of equipment during purchase, some of the text is unnecessarily small etc. The interface needs a serious overhaul with a much more straightforward design.

- When I finally was able to figure out the menus and start the game, I actually had some fun. Besides one big gameplay issue (I'll get to that in a moment) it feels alright blasting the alien menace away while testing out different weapons. But the level design does seem somewhat bland with similar enemies just passively flying through the screen and I'm kind of concerned whether or not I'd like to return to this game once the novelty of new weapons wears off.

- Now that one big issue: The hitboxes in this game are huge. Nowadays many shooters opt for more smaller hitbox sizes for both player ship and enemy bullets making for more exciting dodging. I'm not necessarily rallying for bullet hell sized hitboxes (those can be as small as few pixels) but some adjustment would be more than welcome. As it is the dodging in this game feels very unwieldy, even downright inaccurate. Pretty much everything has to be macrododged in order to avoid hits. The invulnerability period between hits feels unnecessarily short as well and I'd like to have more prominent feedback while taking a hit.
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:43 pm 


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Thanks for the feedback !
There will be changes to some areas (this is only an alpha demo) and you raise some interesting points.
Especially about the UI / hitboxes. The UI lacks some feedback in several areas and we are aware that we need to improve it on some levels.
About the gameplay, i think the hitboxes need a bit of fine-tuning but it is hard to do and that is one reason why we made this alpha demo, to gather feedback and know what is good and what isn't. Hitboxes will always be bigger than in most other games (since a lot of those are bullet hell) but we don't want them to get annoying either so i will definitely tweak them.

So thank you again and i am glad that besides the issues currently within the game you still had some fun!
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:09 pm 


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The demo has been updated !
Some fixes about small bugs, hitbox tweaks, added some feedback on the UI and a mini-tutorial at the start of a new game.
Feel free to (re)test it and give me your opinion !

Download links: Itch.io or Gamejolt
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:53 pm 


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The first thing I'd recommend is the ability to map multiple weapons to one button; firing more than one shot at a time is the only way to kill anything fast enough to survive, let alone score. IMO the hitbox still feels too big; if you don't kill certain formations before they get a shot off you can easily wind up trapped.
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:36 pm 


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It is already in the game (and the alpha demo) x) you can use the same key for several functions (so you can use 1 for main weapon, 1 for secondaries or 1 for all, etc.). You could also use it for warp and going left even though that doesn't make much sense :lol:

We're going to add a sentence saying you can remap keys because it isn't clear, based on feedback (people just look at the keys and don't click on them to change the binding).
The bullets speed is being reviewed, i'm considering tweaking them as well for several enemies (or altering the way they shoot). The hitboxes are better now so i don't think it's a hitbox issue, rather a shot one. But i think the game feels fun this way.

Thanks for the feedback ! :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:19 am 


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My initial impression is that a lot of the enemies are way too sturdy and move too fast to kill, but then again it might be because of BulletMagnet's concern: the instructions on how to upgrade your ship aren't clear, and I may have simply been underpowered.
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:37 am 


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Thanks for the feedback !
That's partly because of the game's design. You are a bit underpowered when you are level 1 with a basic ship and equipment. That's why you need to upgrade it, buy new weapons, invest your skill points once you level up, etc.
The level is totally doable with basic equipment, however. I'm not the greatest shmup player around but once you've gotten the hang of it, you can clear the level without getting hit.

The UI lacks instructions on several areas and we need to improve this. We are aware of it as we have got a lot on feedback on this thanks to the alpha demo.
I made the new players have 1000 gems so that you can try different things in the alpha demo without having to farm the gems too much. In the release, you won't start with 1000 gems ^^

Again, thank you all for the feedback, it will help us make the best game we can !
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:25 pm 


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Hello everyone !
The alpha demo has been updated...
I have fixed some issues, notably the boss being at a lil kid's plush level of threat (he's now much tougher and also invulnerable while arriving), some miror tweks about some hitboxes again and a fix on a laser bug (only occuring on the boss).
Feel free to try it (/again) and give me feedback.
Cheers !
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:44 am 


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Hi everyone !
Here are some new visuals from the 5th level (only 1 remains to be done graphically)...
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Image

We also post regularly on our devlog so if you're interested in the development side of it, go check it out @ http://www.augmented-irreality.fr/
Don't hesitate to give us your opinion, feedback or suggestions !
Cheers !
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:48 pm 


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Hi all, small update here!
Some animated midboss...(missing several anims but you get the idea ^^)
Image

And another quick preview of a boss:
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Everything's going well...i'll probably post a big gif/video of a fun midboss fight (the level 5 one i posted earlier).
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:29 pm 


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Aaaand...here's the video :mrgreen:
(too bad i can't embed it in here heh)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/T5cKmfEKAw0
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:28 am 


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Faenrir wrote:
Aaaand...here's the video :mrgreen:
(too bad i can't embed it in here heh)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/T5cKmfEKAw0

0.
The art is good, the game looks pretty cool! Music is nice too.
Now for all the issues.

1.
Okay, I don't know what build version number BulletMagnet and others played, but I just tried the demo that's on itch.io, and the collision is still too big on many objects. I was dying on things I never thought I would hit.
And look at your own video you posted! In the preview just above, at 16 seconds--please understand--no one would think that would get when, you're ship gets hit in this video.
Let that' sink in.
When the game collision is like that... it's not fun to play.
You can improve this game! But the build I played--and even the video you just showed--it's just too easy, and not satisfying by getting hit by things you don't think should hurt you.

Before you ask for any more feedback, but I'd really, really, really look at your collision on all objects carefully. I'd take your player collision size down by 50% of what it is.

2.
The player is fundamentally underpowered. All other testers here have said, I agree, and you've acknowledged this.
Again, this is not a good thing. It's not a fun feeling.

3.
The menus look awesome, but are confusing. It took me forever to find that I'm supposed to only play "faraway sector"?? And I had to outfit my ship with things from the shop before I played?

I would consider a big re-design of your level structure and game flow.
Consider the following:
A. Show players the current menu, but they can't play in the shop, or the anywhere else. They can only click the map (it's lit up, everything else is shadowed). There is only one level that is lit (everything else is dark). They click that area, and they play it.
B. That new, first level, plays *as fun as any basic shooter*. Right now the game is not fun, and the ship is underpowered and dies too easily. Go back to the drawing board, and get an "intro" level working that is fun. This means pop-corn enemies die very quickly, bigger enemies take a bit. Play some Raiden games, play some Crimson Clover, something--play some other games, and try to match those in this new intro level.
C. Then, after the player plays that level, they menus and shops are opened up, and they can upgrade to take on harder levels.

The game is pretty and has shows promise!
But it needs some serious tweaking.
Good luck!
-Nathan
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:24 pm 


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Thanks for the feedback !
Keep in mind it is only an alpha demo and there a lot of things that will change in the full release.
The balance isn't fully done yet (I need to have everything done in order to work on better balance) and it is a big part of the game with the rpg side of it. However, i have seen players that had never played the game finish the first level in 2 or 3 tries...so i guess it isn't really that underpowered ;)
Did you use the three weapons or only one ? I have seen that happen as instructions aren't that clear right now. You can even map all three weapons to the same key so that you don't have to bother (but you won't be able to fire the main weapon while avoiding overheat if you do).

About the collision hitboxes, i think most shmup players are too used to bullet hell collisions (we're really going for something more in the vein of older games). They will probably be tweaked a bit but they will probbably never be 50% of what they currently are. I can, without any trouble, get between the 2 shots of the Strong Hunter enemy...but maybe it is because i'm too used with the game's gameplay (and i think several hitboxes from enemies/shots need to be tweaked as well).

As for the map, it will be changed to only show the faraway sector and the shop at first. Then you will unlock the "second" level and so on...it will give a sense of progression and also help the player understand where he can go.

With all that said, you make valid points and i want to thank you again for the time you took to give us this feedback ^^
Loved shoot'1'UP and Weapon of Choice btw ;)

Here's a gif of the space dragon boss btw:
Image

Lately i've been working on bosses but also on redesigning some UI parts such as the tooltips (they now show much more informations like price, which slot it goes in, etc. ). I'll probably post about it in the devlog (http://www.augmented-irreality.fr , in case you like reading about the dev part).
That's all for now...stay tuned ! :)
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:13 pm 


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Hi everyone !
All is well in dev land and the game is progressing. Enemies are almost entirely done (then i will tackle the remaining bosses) and we'll soon be in the final level design / balance phase.
We will then need beta testers (in about 2 months, i guess) so if anyone is interested, you can contact us on our facebook page or twitter about it.

In the meantime, please take some time to vote for us in the 2016 indie of the year on IndieDB, it would mean a lot (no registration needed)! Thanks!
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:17 am 



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Good luck with Dreadstar man ! looks really promising !
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 Post subject: Re: DreadStar: The Quest for Revenge (Alpha Demo available)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:34 am 


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Hi everyone !
Elunil wrote:
Good luck with Dreadstar man ! looks really promising !


Thanks, man ! Good luck to you guys as well...


The game is improving day by day and we're nearing completion...In fact, we're fast approaching the beta-test period.
Still have to finalize the levels and try to balance the game before that (balance will then again be tweaked based on feedback).

Right now, the enemies and bosses are all done (and the hitboxes have been tweaked again, as i said the bullets hitboxes weren't right and it meant getting hit too often).

Here's a preview of that dragon boss fight!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG7toB_iQng

Hope you like it. For those that are interested, please contact us on the facebook page about beta-testing the game. It should start in a month or two at most.
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