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 Post subject: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Released! Available Now!)
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 5:57 pm 


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Joined: 11 Mar 2017
Posts: 6
Xenoslaive Overdrive (Danmaku/Bullet Hell Game)

Minerva's Crystal Sentient from Pandora begin their invasion to Planet Earth.
The only Earth hope is Xenoslaive, a secret guardian core which recovered from ancient metaform technology, now planted into a ship.
You'll drive this secret weapon to breach into Pandora and to destroy their Crystal Core.

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This game is a thrilling Danmaku combined with some strategy and maze element.
Not only depended on how fast you are dodging the bullets, but also need cunning strategy and timing to avoid the bullet pattern with efficient movement.

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Bravely use your focus and backshot to escape part of the maze.
Efficiently use your charges, and give blast to the enemies or activate your fringe break (quickly press charge after bullet hit to regain power).

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Featuring:

    - Solid gameplay with 3 difficulties (plus No Mercy unlockable mode), and 4 unlockable perks.

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    - 6 stages, ton of bosses, ton of beautiful bullet patterns to dodges, and more.

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    - Xbox 360 / XB1 Controller (with full force feedback/vibration), and other generic/legacy controller are supported.

On Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/654240/Xenoslaive_Overdrive/
Website: evxio.com

Default keyboard controls (Touhou friendly layout :roll: ):
- Movement: W, S, A, D (or Up, Down, Left, Right)
- Shot: Z (or left-click)
- Charge: X (or middle-click)
- Focus: Left-Shift (or right-click)
- Back/Cancel: Esc
- OK/Confirm/Submit: Enter

Default Controller Configuration (XBOX Controller):
- Movement: Left Stick (Analog) or DPAD
- Shot: X
- Charge: LB
- Focus: RB
- OK/Confirm/Submit: A
- Back/Cancel: B

Minimal requirement:
- CPU: 1.6GHz (2GHz recommended at maximum difficulty).
- HDD: 500MB
- RAM: 2GB
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 440, AMD Radeon HD 5550, Intel HD Graphics 4000 (equivalent or faster)

PS: Thank you for everyone who support the greenlight campaign :mrgreen:


Last edited by evxio on Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:19 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Danmaku/Bullet Hell)
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:22 pm 


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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 408
Location: France
Gave the demo a try and played a few runs on Normal and Hard difficulties. Here are my impressions and comments :

What I liked :
- The charge shot is satisfying to use against columns of enemies
- The deathbomb mechanic

What I didn't like :
- The player speed is too low. Aggravated by some bullet patterns on Hard that can be very fast
- The player shot's default power is too low and it takes a few hits before you kill the first popcorn enemies in the game. Not a good first impression.
- The enemy movement speed is too low
- Some vertically moving enemies can fire even at the very bottom of the screen

What I suggest :
- Increase the player speed. I think some of the power-ups slightly increased it, but it is still not enough.
- Increase the enemy movement speed. Some of the formations could be more exciting if both the player and the enemies moved faster, but as it is, they feel not as engaging as they could.
- When you get hit and can trigger the deathbomb, the visual and aural feedback should reflect more upon the urgency of the situation. Here, it looks like you triggered a hyper or something.
- Increase the mid-boss's size. As it is, it looks more like a regular enemy.
- IMO, the mid boss doesn't last long enough to warrant having its own musical theme. Keep the same track for the entire stage and only change it for the boss. I would also ditch the warning signal for the mid-boss as to avoid slowing down the stage's pacing. Boss warning are awesome of course, but I don't think one is necessary for such a short mid-boss.
- The level 1 charge shot doesn't seem to do that much damage to a mid-boss/boss compared to the regular shot, maybe its power should be increased?
- The boss 1 Lasers spawn too low on the screen, leading to unexpected deaths. Make them spawn further near the upper edge of the screen. You can also begin the pattern by spawning the side lasers first, given that they are above the middle lasers (those that are the most likely to kill the player), thus warning the player that other lasers can come out in front of the boss.
- The boss pattern with the three rotating lasers is significantly easier than the one before as you can just stand right in front of the boss and do some slight dodges from time to time.
- The last pattern lasts significantly shorter than the others, which is anticlimatic. Either balance the pattern durations as to have them all be the same duration, or make the last pattern slightly longer than the others.
-What is your scoring system? Is there one, aside from the bonus given at the end of a boss? Why not have multipliers on enemies destroyed with the charge shot? If so, I would also suggest having destroyed enemies increase the charge shot jauge as to have them more frequently and potentially increase the game's scoring rhythm and pace.
- Don't put all the difficulties in the same ranking. Have a separate leaderboard for each difficulty, and list the perk used for each entry. If the differences bewteen each perk significantly change the playstyle, you could even have seperate leaderboards for every combination of difficulty+perk
- Speaking of perks, make sure the game is balanced enough as to not cripple a player for not using them, given that they are supposed to be unlockable bonuses and not already-available alternate shot types. No matter how much delusional euroshmup devs feature that kind of grind-based progression in their games, playing with an underpowered ship for ages before unlocking stuff that makes the game actually enjoyable is not good design.

Hope this helps!
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 Post subject: Re: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Danmaku/Bullet Hell)
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 6:41 pm 


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Joined: 11 Mar 2017
Posts: 6
Thank you M.Knight! Your feedback is very great!

I'll try to make minor tweak for final version. Also I hope I can release free public beta after passing greenlight here too.
For your current feedback I can reply some:

What I liked :
(S = Statement, F = Feedback)
S: The charge shot is satisfying to use against columns of enemies.
F: Thanks, I love it too!!

S: The deathbomb mechanic.
F: I hate instant death, so I yes I create fringe break (deathbomb) mechanic to give player second chances :D

What I didn't like :
(C = Complaint, A = Answer)

C: The player speed is too low. Aggravated by some bullet patterns on Hard that can be very fast.
A: Player speed already tested with "No Mercy" mode, at 1cc. I'm not sure how can i tweak this, but it is the speed I liked atm (not too fast, not too slow). Since I'm aware with old-school fast movement not because it like programmed that, but the old shooter only have small internal exact resolution (around 320x240) so moving 2-3 pixel just need ~2.5 sec from side to side, if it 1 pixel got too slow. So not much option for it for classic shooter. Xenoslaive have floating internal resolution, and I choose to use ~3 sec from side to side after long consideration.

C: The player shot's default power is too low and it takes a few hits before you kill the first popcorn enemies in the game. Not a good first impression.
A: Exactly, it needs about 2 shots to kill first popcorn... kill the popcorn leader to grab powerup, then it will need only single shot to kill em. Erm.. It's just like hard to kills zombie with handgun, to give thrilling experience. I'm already bored with weak popcorn enemies. So I design it so the player start to feels weak and useless at very beginning. So don't die, survive, kill very first enemies to gain power or you get more trouble ahead. For survivor at last, there's a unlockable perk to enable player start with full power after finished the game (in final release). :mrgreen:

C: The enemy movement speed is too low.
A: Yes, the very first stage have slow enemies. It will get faster at next stage.

C: Some vertically moving enemies can fire even at the very bottom of the screen.
A: Any enemy who not yet leave the screen able to shoot. So don't hide at bottom, it's not safe there. :mrgreen:

Some Suggestion:
S: When you get hit and can trigger the deathbomb, the visual and aural feedback should reflect more upon the urgency of the situation. Here, it looks like you triggered a hyper or something.
A: Ah, thank you!! Good point, I'll try to add more specific fringing visual there.

S: Increase the mid-boss's size. As it is, it looks more like a regular enemy.
A: The image i have in mind that midboss is just slightly more than regular enemy with hardened shell and aggresive attack, but didn't have overdrive. That's why it just looks slightly larger than regular. Also I already try make it more larger, it just don't fit the image. Or it just me :?

S: IMO, the mid boss doesn't last long enough to warrant having its own musical theme. Keep the same track for the entire stage and only change it for the boss. I would also ditch the warning signal for the mid-boss as to avoid slowing down the stage's pacing. Boss warning are awesome of course, but I don't think one is necessary for such a short mid-boss.
A: Next stage comes with more longer and harder fight midboss so musical theme can be noticed. I put warning [and delay] there to make player able to rest, but yes maybe it's too long for first stage. I'll tweak if i can.

S: The level 1 charge shot doesn't seem to do that much damage to a mid-boss/boss compared to the regular shot, maybe its power should be increased?
A: Lv 1 charge only ~20% weaker than Lv 2 charge. What happenend with Lv 2 actually, you got 50% extra reaction fringe time for deathbomb and 100% fringe break power up conversion. To get stronger effect actually, you need to release it closer to mid/boss' core.
* First stage boss have outer shield to prevent this effect if you blast it from distance. (Not to mention the first lifecycle prevent you to effectively use focus shot and distract it to outer passive core too).
Survive! The charge aim to safe player in difficult situation and key to gain highscore, not designed for spam killing. :wink:

S: The boss 1 Lasers spawn too low on the screen, leading to unexpected deaths. Make them spawn further near the upper edge of the screen. You can also begin the pattern by spawning the side lasers first, given that they are above the middle lasers (those that are the most likely to kill the player), thus warning the player that other lasers can come out in front of the boss.
A: The maze element trap seems works there :mrgreen:

S: The boss pattern with the three rotating lasers is significantly easier than the one before as you can just stand right in front of the boss and do some slight dodges from time to time.
A: Let the player rest after hard dodging. Until they got panic from a trap mentioned above.

S: The last pattern lasts significantly shorter than the others, which is anticlimatic. Either balance the pattern durations as to have them all be the same duration, or make the last pattern slightly longer than the others.
A: It is last release from boss before die. Save your charge there and release it, you'll get more bullet's wipe score (part of scoring system). I already make it longer, feel bored and frustating since it seems [first] player often only have zero life there, so i tweak it short so player can choose to dodge or release the charge. Let player die there is also not good too :(

S: What is your scoring system? Is there one, aside from the bonus given at the end of a boss? Why not have multipliers on enemies destroyed with the charge shot? If so, I would also suggest having destroyed enemies increase the charge shot jauge as to have them more frequently and potentially increase the game's scoring rhythm and pace.
A: Kill bosses fastest as possible and get more score from bullets wipe.

S: Don't put all the difficulties in the same ranking. Have a separate leaderboard for each difficulty, and list the perk used for each entry. If the differences bewteen each perk significantly change the playstyle, you could even have seperate leaderboards for every combination of difficulty+perk.
A: Reason why I design this odd [or funny] [irritating] leaderboard. As this indicate:
- Playing at easy difficulty doesn't let player have higher score than normal or hard or No Mercy. Should play it higher to get more score. *evil laugh*
- Playing at higher difficulty doesn't give player higher score than lower difficulty, if they can't play it better or have the same tactics over and over again.
- Playing at higher difficulty exactly have the same score achievement for killing bosses and enemies (as i hate penalty or bonus differentiation). The only difference is the number of enemy bullets. Higher difficulty have more bullets, so use charge where the bullet spamming a lot, then you got your score. The scoreboard theme is "Bravest player who play better, get more score".
- Perk just indicate what player used to get highscore. It is shame if someone get higher score while just use blank perk. It's showed on scoreboard too, so player also can't disguise it.

S: Speaking of perks, make sure the game is balanced enough as to not cripple a player for not using them, given that they are supposed to be unlockable bonuses and not already-available alternate shot types. No matter how much delusional euroshmup devs feature that kind of grind-based progression in their games, playing with an underpowered ship for ages before unlocking stuff that makes the game actually enjoyable is not good design.
A: Perk mostly unlocked after finished the game or special act (that doesn't need ages). It is wiped from 8 planned perk to only 4 because of this reason too (make gameplay not competitive). :wink:


For all good suggestion. But if for some reason of feedback I can't change this time (by theme, technical thing, or design), I'll try to cover it in next game sequel preparation. Thank you M.Knight! :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Danmaku/Bullet Hell)
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 11:37 am 


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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 408
Location: France
You're welcome!
I understand that making some big changes is difficult when the game is close to release/completion. Hopefully, you'll be able to use some of the advice for future games.
The smallest tweaks can still be implemented here and I think some can really make a difference. For this issue in particular :
evxio wrote:
S: The boss 1 Lasers spawn too low on the screen, leading to unexpected deaths. Make them spawn further near the upper edge of the screen. You can also begin the pattern by spawning the side lasers first, given that they are above the middle lasers (those that are the most likely to kill the player), thus warning the player that other lasers can come out in front of the boss.
A: The maze element trap seems works there :mrgreen:

If you want to keep the pattern as it is to enforce its maze-like nature, it's fine. However, you will defintely need some proper telegraphing. My gripe with that attack was not that it trapped me when I was at the bottom of the screen, but that I was a bit below the boss, near the center of the vertical axis, and the massive laser spawned on top of me with no warning whatsoever, which in unfair.
I suggest you take a look at how Touhou does that for instance. Notice how there's energy particles being sucked in the boss before the pattern is fired, alongside with some sound effects that suggest that the boss is charging its attack? That's the kind of telegraphing that tells the player not to stay too close to the boss as something is coming up. :wink:


As for the leaderboards, I think the way you designed it is more frustrating than else for someone who wants to try out all difficulties. If harder difficulties have better scoring opportunities, that means the leaderboard ends up filled with Hard scores. But what if I also want to maximize scoring in Easy mode? My scores would end up never appearing on the leaderboards because all the slots were taken by Hard scores, even if my Easy run was god-tier. :?
Besides, because the score values are different from a difficulty to another, that means the scores are not comparable at all. A leaderboard should encompass scores that can compared with one another and were played in similar conditions. Otherwise, I might as well put scores from an entirely different game as well in that leaderboard, it would make just as much sense.

If your goal is to encourage players to try out the higher difficulty modes, you could perhaps bind some perk unlocks to higher difficulties (while making sure to relay that information to the player)?


Anyway, good luck with the game! :)
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 Post subject: Re: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Danmaku/Bullet Hell)
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 3:40 am 


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Joined: 14 Sep 2014
Posts: 15
Hi evxio!

Just played your game while recording the screen and myself and commented on the process. Check out the video below.
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 Post subject: Re: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Danmaku/Bullet Hell)
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:29 pm 


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Joined: 11 Mar 2017
Posts: 6
Hello hello! Back again! Kinda busy with life stuff.... :D

@M.Knight:
1) It already comes with bit warning, the laser initiation (hairline) will not hit player until it expand large enough. I choose this since it is not charged giga laser style, and other stage contain popcorn enemies that able to fringe the laser too. The enemies also are cold crystal sentient, (it is like firefly emmision) so puts laser absorbing fx there just didn't fit.
2) the Guardian's maze actually connected with spatial, time, sync, and difficulty. Yes, it bit frustating and brute, since Garganta Guardian designed to be the boss who guards Garganta (wormhole where the enemy invades, and connected to their constructor base). In abstraction, Garganta Guardian with its laser try to wipe all entity closes to the wormhole before all-out overdrive self-destruct if first trial didn't works. Tips: keep close enough to the boss and laser maze are easy part.
And don't worry, I'll put charging blast effort in the list for the next sequel. Thanks :D

@SergioAlonso:
Great video there, I put it to Greenlight page next to main trailer so people can see you play there too. Is it ok? :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Danmaku/Bullet Hell)
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:28 am 


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evxio wrote:
@SergioAlonso:
Great video there, I put it to Greenlight page next to main trailer so people can see you play there too. Is it ok? :mrgreen:


I'd not recommend that, because my gameplay was not a positive gameplay. It was a gameplay full of criticize. You should watch the gameplay and listen to the feedback.
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 Post subject: Re: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Danmaku/Bullet Hell)
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 5:29 am 


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SergioAlonso wrote:
evxio wrote:
@SergioAlonso:
Great video there, I put it to Greenlight page next to main trailer so people can see you play there too. Is it ok? :mrgreen:


I'd not recommend that, because my gameplay was not a positive gameplay. It was a gameplay full of criticize. You should watch the gameplay and listen to the feedback.


Whooah Ok, now I didn't skip the video and I notice the joystick/gamepad complain, LOL. Yes, i catch some of the problem happened too with tester with XB1 Controller / Win 10 (by default driver). Win XP/7/8/8.1 seems fine. Is it what you used to play SergioAlonso?

I'll check it and fix it in beta.


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 Post subject: Re: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Danmaku/Bullet Hell)
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 1:53 am 


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Yes. I used Windows 10 and Xbox 360 controller.
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 Post subject: Re: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Full Beta Available Now)
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 6:34 am 


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As promised, full beta game now available. Which including:

♥ Full content and gameplay.
♥ Fixes and updates.
♥ Availability until 30 June 2017.

Download link: <expired>

If you known any bug or issue, please give you comment and feedback.
If someone able to beat the game (all unlocked or at least no mercy unlocked) and want to included in final game as tester, please include your realname so I can include it in the final credits. (As I only have some partial tester here *sigh*).

Happy playing! :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Xenoslaive Overdrive (Released! Available Now!)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:27 pm 


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Update:
The game finally released on Steam.
Changes include: more balanced boss, more attack pattern, added misc AI behavior, and extra enemy.

Thank you for everyone who support the development! I'm working for linux port now, may release it after some time. :)


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