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 Post subject: Anthro 8-Bit Style SHMUP
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:46 pm 


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Joined: 25 Sep 2021
Posts: 9
Location: My house
Heyo! Here is my latest indie game project I have been working on:
NEW SCREENSHOTS
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


It's being developed in UE4 as a solo project, so you could call it my 'dream game'. It's less of an arcade shooter and more adventure-esque with minor rpg mechanics. You get coins instead of points and can use them to purchase upgrades and other cool stuff outside of the story mode ;)

Here is some older gameplay footage from the Python version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUNwelj3TQQ

And some showcasing of the main menu and an option to change the music type:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOY9IM96TwI

I will keep you all posted with new updates as they come along ^^
Cheers!
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Last edited by SolDirix on Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:22 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Anthro 8-Bit Style SHMUP
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:41 am 


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Joined: 11 Oct 2019
Posts: 27
Your art direction here rules. The color pallet is unique and eyecatching and I like you spritework. Enemy bullets are easy to identify at a glance. Also props to your good menu style; those gui window borders and font detail really enhance this game’s vibe.
Antro/Furstuff isn’t really my thing, but I like the animal characters. They’re well designed and fit right into the aesthetic style of the rest of the game.
Also since I’ve seen this before pls don’t have sidebar art that deter average players from playing your game in public. https://jackdarx.itch.io/jet-buster
(Sidebar art should never feature any kind of characters by default imo)

I'd suggest seeing if you can make the player shot appear a little brighter. Player bullets use the same blues and purples as the background making it hard to see. Player fire should stand out less than enemy bullets, but should be easy to see, as experienced players will want to watch their own stream of fire to assist aiming and dodging. It’s also generally best practice to make the player’s shot appear below all enemy bullets, so as not to obscure them.

I’d also offer caution for using RPG elements in shmups. It’s a common pitfall for shmup devs. If you have one, keep it simple. 1943 (nes version) and Carrier Air Wing do some basic shops or upgrade systems that work well.

For technical side, UE4 seems overkill for what this game is, but if UE's 2D tools are robust and to your liking and the engine doesn't have a huge sysReqs overhead for simple 2d games then stick with it if you think you should.

If you’re new to deving shmups, don’t forget to check out the pinned Developer-friendly Topics post; there’s lots of good info there.
Keep up your good work.
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 Post subject: Re: Anthro 8-Bit Style SHMUP
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:13 pm 


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Joined: 25 Sep 2021
Posts: 9
Location: My house
Don't worry, I do not have any plans to place artwork on the sides of the game screen (I personally don't like that concept either and also find it distracting).

I will definitely change to brighter player bullets for that level. I have different player bullet sprites for different backgrounds that vary in brightness and I can switch them around.

I didn't notice the player bullets were over top the enemy ones. The enemy bullets actually consist of 2 sprites, the back colors and the white circle. The player bullets actually get obscured by the white circle, but not the background color, but I can still place them below both. I'm just worried it will make it harder for the player to see their own bullets if there are a lot of enemy bullets on the screen.

I assure you that the RPG elements are very simplistic and it isn't required to get all upgrades to beat the game.

Thank you for your input!
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 Post subject: Re: Anthro 8-Bit Style SHMUP
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:47 pm 


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Joined: 03 Oct 2011
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Location: Southern Ontario
The colour palette is really snazzy. I dig games that use a limited palette to their full potential like Downwell or ZeroRanger. I would caution that the player sprite's brightness is very similar to the background elements, which could cause visibility issues for players with vision issues like colourblindness (consider a high contrast player sprite option or colour palette options). Most 8 bit shmups deliberately make the player ship either bright, or highlighted with white elements, or will use a colour that is reserved entirely for the player and the player's own shots to maximize visibility.

Agreed with the sidebar art. Jet Buster is a lot of fun to play but I would not say its art is a highlight of the game. In your case I think the art style very slick, and the "furry" elements shouldn't immediately deter anyone, but generally sidebars that feature anime characters and whatnot are not as appealing as more minimalist, lest distracting ones. At least don't make the sidebar art default to them and you should be fine.

Don't feel bad about making an RPG shmup hybrid. It is possible to make them work; Guardic Gaiden/The Guardian Legend does a decent job of it, Tyrian 2000 does too. However, both those games also feature pure shmup/arcade modes that drop the RPG elements (in Guardic Gaiden's case as a password you get for beating the game normally) so consider that as an idea for satisfying both a more casual audience as well as appealing for more hardcore shmuppers. It depends on who you're wanting to play the game.

Not sure how much screen shake there is, if any, but screen shake is horrible and has shown up in a number of recent games I can think of without the option to disable it. This is quite unfortunate, so consider having the option to disable screen shaking if it's a thing (Downwell would be infinitely more fun without screen shake, Monolith certainly is better with it turned off since most of its weapon cause shake every time you fire them, ick, Score Rush Extended is a rare exception that's fine because you're invulnerable during screen shake so the shaking is actually more of an indicator rather than a hindrance).

Quote:
I'm just worried it will make it harder for the player to see their own bullets if there are a lot of enemy bullets on the screen.


The thing that always, always needs to be visible at all times are enemy bullets. If you're firing a constant stream of shots, the player shots will be visible enough, but the priority on visibility should always be on enemy bullets. It's far less of an issue if player shots are obscured slightly by enemy shots because you can use your position onscreen to know where you're firing, but if enemy shots get obscured then you're getting hit by things you can't see, and that is Extremely Bad in a shmup. For an example of this, look at the windows-era Touhou games like Imperishable Night; the players shots appear to be partially transparent, and are much less bright compared to enemy shots. The focus is entirely on maximizing enemy attack visibility, but because the player's shots move so rapidly and fire so quickly, they contrast well and you can still see them just fine distinct from other elements.

Generally speaking, the order you want to layer things is:

Enemy Bullets
Player Bullets
Enemy Sprites
Player Sprites

This way if the player has a small hitbox relative to their sprite (something like Battle Traverse is an exaggerated example), the enemy bullets won't be covered up by the sprite and hidden while they're still far enough from the hitbox to dodge. Judgement Silversword is an example of a game that is fantastic, but has the unfortunate design flaw of having the player sprite be ABOVE enemy bullets. The hitbox is just small enough that it's possible for a bullet to go under your sprite but still be in a position you can dodge, resulting in some visibility issues during dense, slow attacks (Mirror Shield boss in particular).
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 Post subject: Re: Anthro 8-Bit Style SHMUP
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 8:14 am 


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Joined: 25 Sep 2021
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Location: My house
Thanks for the tips! I will not be adding any screen shaking, so no need to worry about that. I will look into making the player's sprite stand out more.

My game does have a challenge mode that gives the player harder levels to play that start you off with max rpg stats. No high scores are recorded, as there is no scoring mechanic, but I could keep track of the largest amount of coins collected per level. There is some RNG that is meant to keep things fresh, so I don't know if that will be a big scoring issue as that may vary the difficulty a little.
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 Post subject: Re: Anthro 8-Bit Style SHMUP
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:38 am 


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Joined: 25 Sep 2021
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Location: My house
Added the training mode and card menu. Also fixed up the player sprites.
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