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 Post subject: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:05 pm 


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!!! UPDATE !!!

Grab the free demo (pay what you want) on the Los Geekos Studio site, Itch.io or GameJolt:

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Have fun and tell me what you think about the demo!

!!! END OF EDIT !!!



Hi, my name's Greg, and i'm making Hawkwing, a retro shoot'em up, as Los Geekos Studio.

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About the game
The game focus to recreate the feeling of late 80's / early 90's arcade and consoles shmups, with lot of action, colorful 2d low resolution sprites, medium sampling quality sounds and a catchy soundtrack emulated on those old chips.
For the moment, the plan is essentially to finish a full level of more than 5 minutes of gameplay, with variety of enemies, and a big bad boss! ;)

Then i'll release it as a free demo, and depending on the hype, i'll consider making a full game or not.
The game is built in C# with the Monogame framework.

Status
The demo level is done, enemies are too, i'm reworking the weaponry, few POW sprites, doing SFXs, musics and menus.

Features
  • Arcade controls for arcade action
  • Story & Arcade modes
  • 2 players local Coop
  • Only 1 long level for the demo version
  • Over 16 enemy types plus 1 boss
  • 6 Weapons, 4 POWs and 1 Secret
  • Playable on Keyboard, and 360/XbOne compatible controllers (PS4/Steam controllers could be added)

Platforms
Actually only planning a PC release. (Linux/MAC could be added)

Team
Just me.

Contacts
Weekly updates on IndieDB and TIGSource, follow me on Twitter, Facebook or the Los Geekos Studio Site, :D

Thanks you for reading, see you,
Greg


Screenshots
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Last edited by LosGeekosStudio on Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:19 am 


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Looks cool. 16 enemies is definitely a healthy amount for 1 level. Looking forward to a demo.
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Next game is a new giant arcade-adventure: Pig Eat Ball. Also made shmup with multi-ships: Shoot 1UP, Gunstacking game: Serious Sam Double D XXL, and more shooters.
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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:57 pm 


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MommysBestGames wrote:
Looks cool. 16 enemies is definitely a healthy amount for 1 level. Looking forward to a demo.

TY dude. That's true, 16 is a lot, but the number grows fast when you populate a showcase/demo level! With a steady 4m15s road to the boss, the level is not that short compared to some 1-2mn levels we can found in some old shmups. :)

Ps: Sorry for the delay, once again i didn't checked "notify me..." :/


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:28 pm 


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Why would you not target other platforms? Isn't that a major selling point of monogame? Mac users like shmups too :)


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:50 pm 


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Legendre wrote:
Why would you not target other platforms? Isn't that a major selling point of monogame? Mac users like shmups too :)

Yep so true, but i don't have a mac ;)
That's why i don't prioritize it while developing the game, but the "port" should be easy as i got people to test it!


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:35 pm 


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Hey!
Sorry to not give informations more regularly, but between daywork, family (i'm daddy), and the evening project development, i don't do enough communication.

Here are the Dev Diaries links, with screenies ;)

Dev Diary 2: Arcade / Story modes

Dev Diary 3: Weapons

Dev Diary 4: Game mechanics

Dev Diary 5: UI, shader, and code

Dev Diary 6: Influences I - hardware

Dev Diary 7: Influences II - games !NEW!

So here they are, i'll try to post next links as they come out.

Don't be shy to comment!
Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:57 pm 


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The demo boss in the indie db gif looks good!
Ready to deliver some swift plasma-shot justice to the boss.
Bring on the demo.
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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:28 pm 


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Hey thank you sam! :D


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:32 pm 


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First thing first, Happy New Year 2017! Let's make this year greater than the previous. (not so hard imo)

The work on the game was really slow lately, especially cause i'm daddy, but i managed to finalized few things. One of those, is the poster, or the cover, of the game, so here it is:

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Obviously, you can feel the old arcade direction we take with this project. The illustration was done by artist Christophe Sonesaksith, he did a great job capturing the essence of the demo, i really feel it could've been a 16 bit era box illustration!


I personally did a few sketches for the project myself, and i was planning to use these as a cover base before Chris proposed his collaboration.
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Far from his incredible work, i admit. :)



Another good news, is that we have few tracks ready to rocks the game, made by Thomas Casamento from The One Man Army Game Studio. The guy did amazing soundtracks for his two previous games Overdriven Reloaded & Jimmy vs Zombies, and accepted to work on Hawkings OST.
Hawkwings OST is a bit different, as i wanted it to sound like it was made on an old ***Megadrive / Genesis*** hardware, you can listen a sample (still WIP) here:

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All in all, the project start to have a real identity! What do you think about all of this?

Cheers, Greg. :)


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:55 pm 


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Apologize to not post sooner, but the last steps to release the demo take sooo much time.



So what did i do last days? First i created the Hawkwing page on Itch.io !

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Then, i made a cover for Hawkwing's soundtracks! You can listen it on the soundcloud of its creator, Thomas Casamento (click on the image below):

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Next, the Headquarter captain portrait i made previously was a cameo of Captain Gloval from Robotech, as BentMyWookie mentionned, making such homage will be ok as long as i give credits to owners (that's what i do in the credits), and as long as the game stay in its free form. As i really don't know if the Demo will eventually become a full game, i prefered simply to redo it. So here come the sketch for him and the final ingame result:

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Finally, i added a last part in the stage, new enemy, a new "Throw weapon" mechanic, then updated the Los Geekos Studio site with new screenshot from the actual build (0.9.x), added a new "How to Play" state to the game, reworked the boss intro shader, the credits, added an empty "spectate"/demo mode, added/removed choose your language screen, made few new sprites for FX, made an exe game icon, etc.

The good news is that the game demo **should** be released BEFORE february! So be prepared to save the galaxy! See you! ;D


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:30 pm 


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Grab the free demo (pay what you want) on the Los Geekos Studio site, Itch.io or GameJolt:

Image


Image


Image



Have fun and tell me what you think about the demo!


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:25 am 


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In the finished version, will we be able to turn off all the graphical filters and have the game looking sharp and clean? I hate the smudgy vaseline look and the crt warping.


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:26 pm 


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clippa wrote:
In the finished version, will we be able to turn off all the graphical filters and have the game looking sharp and clean?

Seconded. The game looks decent (with some minor inconsistencies here and there) but the emulated screen effects and artifacts feel more distracting than anything else.

The default keyboard controls are pretty cumbersome. Implementing options for custom configurations would be the optimal solution although simply mapping the actions to ZXC buttons (or something similar depending on your keyboard) would suffice for now. Anything is better than using spacebar as a fire button in a game where autofirerate is slower than simply button mashing :P Speaking of which, is this intentional design choice? I know some arcade games work in a similar way but there doesn't seem to be any hard cap for the firerate in this game which makes the button mashing feel much more powerful than it was intended.

The actual gameplay is very tried-and-true for the most part but some of the more unorthodox gameplay mechanics come across somewhat underdeveloped. The weapon throw seems especially odd since the way power ups work in this game. All the power up states feel like different weapons altogether but instead of simply swapping between them you'll have to sacrifice other weapons completely to use them. On other hand there seems to be hardly any benefit in throwing your maxed out weapon away since the laser has most firepower and can even shoot through solid objects. The dodge roll is much more straightforward inclusion but the level design doesn't really accommodate its usage. To be fair I didn't try using it that much because of the control layout but some food for thought anyway.

And as much as I adore that giant laser cannon at the end of the stage as a concept, after few tries I opted not use it because the movement speed was not just enough when coping with those giant snake enemies. Wasn't able to kill either of them in time anyway, maybe you should drop the amount of health they have and make more snakes appear if you destroy them quickly enough? The stage boss could use some significant health cut as well. I was pretty discouraged to notice the boss had a second health bar and if you're not powered enough the battle can take forever. As they say, brevity is the soul of wit.
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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:02 pm 


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Ebbo wrote:
clippa wrote:
In the finished version, will we be able to turn off all the graphical filters and have the game looking sharp and clean?

Seconded. The game looks decent (with some minor inconsistencies here and there) but the emulated screen effects and artifacts feel more distracting than anything else.

That honestly part of the whole "retro" package, every sprite of the game was made with that filter in mind, and the unfiltered result can be average without it on this extra low resolution (320*180), but i can understand you're not into it, and as you can see into options menu, the ability to disable it is already existing. Just force enabled into the demo.

Ebbo wrote:
The default keyboard controls are pretty cumbersome. Implementing options for custom configurations would be the optimal solution although simply mapping the actions to ZXC buttons (or something similar depending on your keyboard) would suffice for now. Anything is better than using spacebar as a fire button in a game where autofirerate is slower than simply button mashing :P

Lesson learned. You're right. Whatever comes next, i'll go for a XCVB buttons layout as ZXCV always bring additional problems with Azerty/Querty/Whatelse keyboards.

Ebbo wrote:
Speaking of which, is this intentional design choice? I know some arcade games work in a similar way but there doesn't seem to be any hard cap for the firerate in this game which makes the button mashing feel much more powerful than it was intended.

It is intended. It'll unlock a world of possibilities for mashers/scorers in arcade mode. I could have capped it to a "reasonable value" tho.

Ebbo wrote:
The actual gameplay is very tried-and-true for the most part but some of the more unorthodox gameplay mechanics come across somewhat underdeveloped. The weapon throw seems especially odd since the way power ups work in this game. All the power up states feel like different weapons altogether but instead of simply swapping between them you'll have to sacrifice other weapons completely to use them. On other hand there seems to be hardly any benefit in throwing your maxed out weapon away since the laser has most firepower and can even shoot through solid objects. The dodge roll is much more straightforward inclusion but the level design doesn't really accommodate its usage. To be fair I didn't try using it that much because of the control layout but some food for thought anyway.

Once again, the Arcade (read score attack) mode in mind, the 4th weapon (cyan lasers) have a weakness: score multiplicator is capped down when compared to other weapons. That's where/why weapon throw shine, plus you can sacrifice firepower for a module & bomb it for a (boss) finisher! ;)

Ebbo wrote:
And as much as I adore that giant laser cannon at the end of the stage as a concept, after few tries I opted not use it because the movement speed was not just enough when coping with those giant snake enemies. Wasn't able to kill either of them in time anyway, maybe you should drop the amount of health they have and make more snakes appear if you destroy them quickly enough? The stage boss could use some significant health cut as well. I was pretty discouraged to notice the boss had a second health bar and if you're not powered enough the battle can take forever. As they say, brevity is the soul of wit.

Maybe i went bananas on boss health i admit, as it take forever to kill him with weapon 1 & 2, or without any bomb. that's why the UltraCannon is so important, or at least weapon 3 & 4 plus 2-4 modules (to bomb).
About the giant snakes, in fact, they're not intended to die at all... as they should back as a "real" boss into a later stage. The fact they're not tagged invincibles is only for "leaching" on them.

Thanks for feedbacks, i really appreciate. :)


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:40 am 


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LosGeekosStudio wrote:
Once again, the Arcade (read score attack) mode in mind, the 4th weapon (cyan lasers) have a weakness: score multiplicator is capped down when compared to other weapons. That's where/why weapon throw shine, plus you can sacrifice firepower for a module & bomb it for a (boss) finisher! ;)

This sort of reminds me of the way bombs are often handled in many games. More often than not bombs in stock grant a stage end bonus which discourages player from using bombs altogether if they are playing for score. In the worst case scenario high score run of this game would similarly force the player to use more weaker weapons all the time because of the cyan lasers' artificial scoring handicap. It feels more like a crutch rather than attempt to balance things properly. I'd rather have different weapons that offer the player opportunities for more scoring potential when used effectively in different situations rather than have some weapons that simply grant more score when being used.
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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:38 pm 


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Ebbo wrote:
I'd rather have different weapons that offer the player opportunities for more scoring potential when used effectively in different situations rather than have some weapons that simply grant more score when being used.

That's the point here. every weapon got its spot in the demo level where it really stand out and help to clear, and so, to score better.
In hardest arcade mode time give you a significant score boost, and multiplicators too. So you have to learn the stage and adapt your strategy to get the best out of each area, choosing the right weapon, or simply using a bomb and recollect another power up later, or whatever. You don't take risks with lasers, but still get a reasonably good multiplicator on each enemy crossed by it, as opposed to other weapons, where to get the at minimum the same result, you have to be really near each enemy. Risk & reward.

But you're right on the fact weapon throw was a solution found late in the project dev, and it certainly not the most common gameplay mechanics you see in modern shmups, but it's not intended to be. really sorry if you don't like the way it is. :(

Hawkwing is just my (first) try on bringing back old players memories about euroshmups.


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:59 am 


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Greg!
I played the demo!

What follows is the raw feelings I've had while playing--I haven't read anything outside of the game (like in this thread) so you'll hear how one old shmup player (who's lived through and played the golden oldies) felt.

-The player ship is gigantic. Feels uncomfortably big. Looks nice though, but too big.
-The ship feels kinda slow.
-The powerups are confusing. I don't understand why I sometimes get a new weapon and sometimes don't and sometimes when I get a powerup, it doesn't feel like anything important happened. It is annoying and confusing.
-I don't know when to barrel-roll into the background, seems kinda useless in a non-bullet-hell game. At least, I pretty much always forget I can. It's also not terribly interesting.
-I don't understand the weapon throwing. Didn't come across as useful.
-There are some cool weapons! Like the blue lasers that go through stuff. But why can't I change weapons? Seems like I should. What I'm saying is--don't explain to me here in the thread "why I can't". Just understand, I don't understand why I end up with certain weapons and I'm sure others will be confused. I think the design here needs some serious help.
-Some of the collision feels arbitrary as to when it hurts the player ship. There's some green crystals that don't, but some grey building parts that do and they are all very close to the same brightness level (with no parallax difference).
-The bombs that circle me look like Options. Why are they not Options? Why do they not look like bombs? I sure wish those bomb things looked like bombs and not options. These are the annoying things that I think about while playing.
-The art looks good!
-The score hud at the top is too big and covers up the gameplay too much when I'm dodging under it. Shrink it or fade it when I'm under it or something.
-The music is good!
-The hairy snake monsters are great! They look wonderful.
-The mega gun that you can pick up is cool, but the metal beams in that area should be brighter so it's more clear that they will hurt the player.
-The end boss looks amazing! The seeking red ball is mean!
-The mega beam is really cool, but the seeking red ball with the mega beam that tracks a lot is a bit much.
-There should be a checkpoint in the middle, but fewer player lives.
-The main player shot is kinda boring. No charge beam or anything else interesting to spice things up.
-There should be something about this game to distinguish it from other shmups.
It's well made!
And it's *close* but the gameplay is generic with a few nearly interesting weapons, but not much more. I wish there was something special about the shots or weapons or player somehow.
Maybe the throw weapon thing? But as it stands, I didn't seem to need it and it wasn't communicated to me how or why to use it.

--
Okay, take that information as you will!
I'm excited for the game and I hope it improves, because I like it now, but I want to *love* it! :)
That was my tough-love for you game, since I care about it!
-Nathan
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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:41 am 


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@Ebbo: Don't get me wrong or missunderstand, i'm taking everything you say seriously, and i really thank you for your feedback! ;)

@MommyBestGames: Such a feedback is a big source for Hawkwing improvement, thanks you for that, too.

If i go full game, i'll really have to *fix* the weapon handling/switching/throwing, as it's something that confuse, at minimum, a lot of player.
The dodge mechanics also need some love imo, maybe the level design could help it a bit.

Thanks for sharing your feelings!


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:31 pm 


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You can see an Hawkwing review by Chef Fitaurus here:

https://youtu.be/wsnCZYqsK68


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:19 pm 


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What do you think about this? :D

Image Image Image


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:17 pm 


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LosGeekosStudio wrote:
What do you think about this? :D


I think it's a standup arcade cabinet which is a style that should have died ages ago. Sitdown cabinets are quite literally infinitely more comfortable to play on (let alone more accessible for folks in wheelchairs, etc). Has anyone ever made a dedicated sitdown cabinet before? I guess if you have back problems or you're really tall or something a standup cab could be more comfortable though. :P

It looks really cool though, will see about grabbing the demo.

I misread the thread title as "Hawking" and was hoping for a Stephen Hawking themed shmup. ;____;
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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:14 pm 


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Hi guys!

Demo2 (1.1) released! lot of fixes, some game balanced, directinput to handle every controllers, configurable CRT/scanline effect, etc. get it on Itch.io & GameJolt!

Plus i ran a Twitter question: What 2D type of game should i prototype next?
https://twitter.com/GregoryLepers/statu ... 1014703104

Help me, Tell me!


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 Post subject: Re: [WIP][PC][DEMO] Hawkwing | Retro shoot'em up!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:23 pm 


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Hi guys, i want to share with you two Hawkwing's review videos:

Fitaurus' Kitchen Shoot'em Up Saturday - Hawkwing (1.0) - PC:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsnCZYqsK68

The Classy Crane: 80s/90s Style Sidescrolling Bullet Hell Arcade Fun - Hawkwing (1.1):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcEDRclrBDM

If you don't already know, the project is officially on hold until mid 2017 at least.
Thank you.


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