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 Post subject: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:11 am 


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Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 3974
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Hello guys.

This is a game I've been working on with a team for a couple of months now, and this is the first video the team made to show it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFx1bCx02ZU

It's already pre-approved on Steam.

Hope you guys enjoy the video. People on the team have been doing live streams on twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/banana_bytes) every tuesday at 20:00 (Brazilian time) . It's most in portuguese (since the team is completely made of Brazilian people), but we can answer questions in english too, if anyone is interested :D

We also have a discord server if any of you guys wanna chat with the Banana Bytes team: https://discord.com/invite/WsBt9Y6
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:00 am 


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Joined: 26 Jan 2005
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Location: Germany
Looks interesting. The pacing reminds me a lot of our abandoned Megaship SBE project, and in a good way. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

P.S.: Good to see you're still around. Us oldtime forum members tend to post less and less as the years go by, so it's always nice to see someone you haven't heard from in a while return.


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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:36 am 


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Really like the look of this. Will there be an itch release?
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:27 pm 


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Herr Schatten wrote:
Looks interesting. The pacing reminds me a lot of our abandoned Megaship SBE project, and in a good way. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

P.S.: Good to see you're still around. Us oldtime forum members tend to post less and less as the years go by, so it's always nice to see someone you haven't heard from in a while return.


I'm glad someone still remembers me, hehe :D I still do game a lot and when someone asks me "What's your fave genre", I still reply "shmups" but, truth is, I haven't touched a shmup seriously for ages now. Well, except now Sophstar which I need to keep testing over and over. From what I get, the genre is basically at the hands of indie devs by now (and I do have a few shmups on my Steam game list), with the "AAA" shmup teams basicaly living from re-release to re-release. The amount of games playable on Mame that are available on Steam really surprises me (And, well, I even have Mushihimesama because it was a gift from a friend :D)

I always think you'll be pissed at me by never finishing Megaship, you did some wonderful job with it.

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Really like the look of this. Will there be an itch release?


Steam release is 100% guaranteed by now. An Itch release is something people on the team has been discussing, some are in favour of it and some are deeply against it. I don't know much about Itch, I only used it to host a couple of games I did for fun, so I am kinda on the fence in there. We are still looking at other online stores, Nuuvem may be an option, Epic Games also a possibility.
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:53 pm 


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Location: Germany
Shatterhand wrote:
From what I get, the genre is basically at the hands of indie devs by now (and I do have a few shmups on my Steam game list), with the "AAA" shmup teams basicaly living from re-release to re-release.

That's true. I think the genre is in quite capable hands right now, as some of the latest indie shmups have been nothing short of amazing. If they aren't on your list already, definitely check out ZeroRanger and Infinos Gaiden.

Shatterhand wrote:
I always think you'll be pissed at me by never finishing Megaship, you did some wonderful job with it.

Not at all, don't worry. After all, the work I did back then bagged me the best job I've had in my life so far, even though that lasted only a couple of years, sadly. Besides, it set me on a path that lead me to making my own caravan shmup eventually, so it's all good.


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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 4:45 pm 



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 461
Location: US
Looks awesome but in particular I'm happy to see another shmup that has a quick warp system. After playing Valkyrius I was convinced we need more of this flavor of teleportation in our shmups.

On that note, what I'm not too excited about is the "introducing the revolutionary teleport feature to shmups" claim in the trailer, which comes across as factually incorrect marketing fluff that doesn't belong in an indie setting. I'm sure there's no malice intended, but just putting that out there.
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:41 pm 


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kane wrote:
Looks awesome but in particular I'm happy to see another shmup that has a quick warp system. After playing Valkyrius I was convinced we need more of this flavor of teleportation in our shmups.

On that note, what I'm not too excited about is the "introducing the revolutionary teleport feature to shmups" claim in the trailer, which comes across as factually incorrect marketing fluff that doesn't belong in an indie setting. I'm sure there's no malice intended, but just putting that out there.


I Had never heard about Valkyrius before. We never thought anyone would take that claim too seriously, though one of our members thought it was "A little too forced" :D But I'll consider this and take it to the team.

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That's true. I think the genre is in quite capable hands right now, as some of the latest indie shmups have been nothing short of amazing. If they aren't on your list already, definitely check out ZeroRanger and Infinos Gaiden.


ZeroRanger is on my WatchList and I'll certainly going to get it at some point, I saw some videos of it and was like "Holy Crap!". It looks gorgeous using a very nice looking low-color palette. One of the guys in our team is a huge fan of it, keeps talking about it all the time :D I must admit when I saw it I was already working on Sophstar and was like "Holy shit, there's no way we are going to compete at this level".

And I didn't mean to be negative about the genre being on the hands of indie teams. I've seen a few games on Steam that look really amazing. Sometimes they are very well hidden in the deeps of Steam (Like I just found out about Valkyrie Prime.) I just find kinda silly to see the same game being released over and over and over (I mean, Ikaruga for the Switch? Again? AS A PHYSICAL RELEASE? How many times do we have to buy Ikaruga?)
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:11 pm 


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Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Hello.

After sometime, we finally have our Steam page up and running. There's a new trailer there :D

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1410440/Sophstar/

Some of the graphics on the trailer are still placeholder (all the background are, most the player shots are too), but we want to show you gameplay, and gameplay is there :)

If you like what you see, of course, feel free to wishlist it :)
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:58 pm 



Joined: 03 Mar 2020
Posts: 143
Looks good. Some of those weapons seem really silly which is a great thing in my book, letting loose with the designs is the way to go. The chaotic teleport seen at 0:18 on the new trailer looks fun too.


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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:39 am 


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I think this looks terrific! Shatterhand, will it be Windows only? Got a Linux machine here....


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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 5:50 pm 


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Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
I am glad to get some feedback , and its all positive so far :) I'm really happy with this.

Bydobasher wrote:
I think this looks terrific! Shatterhand, will it be Windows only? Got a Linux machine here....


Linux version is 99% certain, I just can't assure you it will be available on the same day as the Windows one. It probably will though :)

There's a fair chance we will have a Switch version later in the year, but this isn't certain yet.
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:17 pm 


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Location: The Bydo Empire
Shatterhand wrote:
I am glad to get some feedback , and its all positive so far :) I'm really happy with this.

Bydobasher wrote:
I think this looks terrific! Shatterhand, will it be Windows only? Got a Linux machine here....


Linux version is 99% certain, I just can't assure you it will be available on the same day as the Windows one. It probably will though :)

There's a fair chance we will have a Switch version later in the year, but this isn't certain yet.


I will certainly buy! Heck, I'd probably buy the Windows version if that's all there was, and take my chances on my not getting it to work . . . but if there is Linux version I will buy instantly.

Good to see you Shatterhand, after all these years. :) I am ecstatic to see you working on this project, and I look forward to its release with great anticipation!


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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:46 pm 


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We have a playable demo! Only Windows for now, I'm afraid. But if anyone wants to check it out, it's available on our Steam page

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1410440/Sophstar/

Any feedback is welcome :)
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:01 pm 


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kane wrote:
Looks awesome but in particular I'm happy to see another shmup that has a quick warp system. After playing Valkyrius I was convinced we need more of this flavor of teleportation in our shmups.


The teleport mechanic in Valkyrius was really surprisingly well implemented. Kind of a shame that that game never got much popularity (at least not around these parts). Will have to check this one out!
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:52 pm 


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From warp/teleport games I really love this:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/4370 ... T_MEGLILO/


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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:18 pm 


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Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Most of those games make the use of the teleport obligatory, with level design all made towards its use. We didn't want to do it like that, but to have the teleport as an extra feature you can use to beat the game. But like the shield in Gigawing, you can finish the game without ever using the teleport if you want to give it a try.

A few patterns will be a lot easier if you use the teleport... but the game was fully designed so you could finish it by just dodging bullets normally and shooting , at least the arcade mode :) The Cadet School mode does have a few levels where using the teleport is obligatory, but then those are very short levels and each one has a very different feeling from the previous one.

Also, some of the telports have some extra resources. Nina's teleport, for example, leaves a drone ship at the original point... most of the enemy fire then will be aimed at the drone (which also keeps firing from the original point - and also can pickup the bonus icons), so you can use it to, for example, focus firepower at one point of the screen while you move to another point to grab bonus icons. Or you can use it to just draw enemy fire to another point of the screen.

Leo's teleport leaves a black hole on the original point, which sucks into it basically everything... enemies, enemy bullets, bonus icons, your own bullets... you can use it to escape but also to make one area of the screen really safe if you want it to.

Z2's teleport is actually extremely offensive, you dash into a direction doing heavy damage to all enemies on its way . It's the teleport with the quickest cooldown time (1.5 seconds IIRC), so you can use it a lot to just keep killing enemies and collecting the bonus at full value.

And so on and on and on :) There are 9 different ships to choose from, and each one will lead to a very specific playstyle. At least that's what we tried to do.


I uploaded a small gameplay video taken from the demo. Quality isn't very good and it's only in 30 fps (game runs at 60fps obviously), but it gives an idea of what the demo is about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lel4lX3kLmY
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:03 pm 


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I see, it would've made a great game looking at the demo but one thing that's missing here for me is the Motivational System. For quite a while I follow the strict rule "No Girl = No Game" unless the game is really good.

Unfortunately most aren't that "outstanding" to be honest, of course all can play what they want but for me the need arrived to add some flavor, what am I playing games for if not for fun. It doesn't necessarily have to be a flying magical girl but in case we play an aircraft then the pilot must be a girl confirmed in-game with pictures.


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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:21 pm 


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Okey.............. that's kinda weird.

But it's a girl flying the aircraft, her name is Soph. She will appear on the cutscenes and the plot of the game revolves around her finding about her past with the war that's starting now. It's just that the cutscenes are turned off on the demo.

Or actually.. she's an alien, she's from another planet. So she can be whatever you want her to be, since her gender is not relevant to the plot. :D


This is a concept art from her, you can see it on the Demo if you play it on Yoko mode, go to Video Options, turn border ON and choose "Concept Art" as your border.

But I'm glad to know you at least found the game good judging by the demo :)

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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:33 pm 



Joined: 03 Mar 2020
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Shatterhand wrote:
Most of those games make the use of the teleport obligatory, with level design all made towards its use. We didn't want to do it like that, but to have the teleport as an extra feature you can use to beat the game. But like the shield in Gigawing, you can finish the game without ever using the teleport if you want to give it a try.

Yeah I strongly got that impression about the purpose of the teleport, so that part has come through. It's very hard to use reflexively on the high difficulties anyway.

I have two minor criticisms:
- The small enemy bullets can be confused with the bonus items at a glance. Obviously they're different colors, but they're the same shape, they both have a flashing border, and on the lower difficulties they move about the same speed.
- I feel like stage 1 goes on for a bit too long. There's really nothing much happening throughout, even on Brutal.


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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:43 pm 


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Lethe wrote:
Shatterhand wrote:
Most of those games make the use of the teleport obligatory, with level design all made towards its use. We didn't want to do it like that, but to have the teleport as an extra feature you can use to beat the game. But like the shield in Gigawing, you can finish the game without ever using the teleport if you want to give it a try.

Yeah I strongly got that impression about the purpose of the teleport, so that part has come through. It's very hard to use reflexively on the high difficulties anyway.

I have two minor criticisms:
- The small enemy bullets can be confused with the bonus items at a glance. Obviously they're different colors, but they're the same shape, they both have a flashing border, and on the lower difficulties they move about the same speed.
- I feel like stage 1 goes on for a bit too long. There's really nothing much happening throughout, even on Brutal.


That's good feebdback, thank you. There's a chance we will add a lot of... secret bonuses... on level 1... so there will be some extra stuff to figure out, but this really isn't on the demo yet. Well maybe not "a lot" because I don't think a Raiden Fighters Jet resetitis syndrome will be that cool, but some extra stuff for the player to do on the 1st level.

But I've seen people not even being able to beat level 1 with 3 lifes on its first try in the default level. Yeah, people with not much prior shmup experience, but still.... heh.


And for the bonus itens.... feedback noted :D I'll throw it back to the team.

Did you try the Cadet School mode?
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:26 pm 


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Shatterhand wrote:
Okey.............. that's kinda weird.

But it's a girl flying the aircraft, her name is Soph. She will appear on the cutscenes and the plot of the game revolves around her finding about her past with the war that's starting now. It's just that the cutscenes are turned off on the demo.

Or actually.. she's an alien, she's from another planet. So she can be whatever you want her to be, since her gender is not relevant to the plot. :D


This is a concept art from her, you can see it on the Demo if you play it on Yoko mode, go to Video Options, turn border ON and choose "Concept Art" as your border.

But I'm glad to know you at least found the game good judging by the demo :)


Oh, okay. Maybe I'll see into it because I'm still looking for something to play but the artwork isn't quite my style, really. It's just a matter of taste but the other thing is, I'd sooner pick up an average game with good artistic background than a very good game with a bit shallow art.

That's part of what I meant a while back bringing my Impossible Spell Card problem. For a while main Touhou games started to lack more and more of this little bit of extra magic. Say Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, such interesting stage design but for me not much to back it up in terms characters, music arrangement, not quite enough to keep me in game for a long time.

But sorry for getting a bit too much off topic here, all just matters of taste, I'm not calling anything outright bad or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:04 am 



Joined: 03 Mar 2020
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Shatterhand wrote:
There's a chance we will add a lot of... secret bonuses... on level 1... so there will be some extra stuff to figure out, but this really isn't on the demo yet. Well maybe not "a lot" because I don't think a Raiden Fighters Jet resetitis syndrome will be that cool, but some extra stuff for the player to do on the 1st level.

Sounds good. I'm a fan of stuntman gameplay stuff myself and I think the movement/hitbox + pattern style the game seems to be going for would play into that well. (It already kind of is with the medal decay...)
One note about the Cadet mode: Currently you get a message every time you enter and every time you complete a drill regardless of whether you've improved your rank or not. It can add up to quite a lot more button presses.

wht11 wrote:
Say Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, such interesting stage design but for me not much to back it up in terms characters, music arrangement

Funny because I have exactly the opposite opinion about that game. :lol: Of course the true patrician route is wacky mecha designs AND characters everywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:18 pm 


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Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Just to let people know we got people being able to play the demo on Linux with zero problems, even with the Windows version. I am not too used with Linux, I guess people are using Wine or something, but I'm glad Linux users are being able to play it too :)
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 Post subject: Re: Sophstar
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:25 pm 


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Shatterhand wrote:
Just to let people know we got people being able to play the demo on Linux with zero problems, even with the Windows version. I am not too used with Linux, I guess people are using Wine or something, but I'm glad Linux users are being able to play it too :)


I thought about that for quite a while, the thing is I follow some retro and classic gaming and I fear to run into too many problems with that, I like to play my games customized however I like it. I did read about Wine, it has quite an extensive support but I just fear to run into some minor issues with compatibility for obscure games, often they end up difficult to run even on Windows.


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