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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:27 pm 


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kurismakku wrote:
I love the idea of dynamic difficulty ! So better the player is - more challenging the game becomes.
How much did you test this ? Does it actually work ?
And what variables you track when calculating current difficulty ?


Yes, it has been tested and it works. Additional enemies spawn at certain parts, while enemy attack patterns can change--either they begin shooting faster and more frequently, or gain new attacks.

A good example would be the large spiked turtle pods in stage 2: in the current demo, at Rank 0-1 they only fire straight beams, but at Rank 2 they gain a forward spread shot which increases in speed the higher the Rank gets (I nerfed this to Rank 4 in the newer versions which will be released later this month hopefully). Likewise, the flying stingrays in Stage 2 gain twin laser beams at Rank 2, and spreadshots at Rank 4.

A more subtle example would be the Stage 1 boss. The higher the Rank gets, the faster his large waves become. Also, the exploding gravity orbs he throws during Phase 2 will slowly become more numerous (he normally throws 5 at a time, but adds extra orbs when the Rank gets higher). He actually has attacks for Rank 5-9 that you currently won't be able to see without manually altering the code.

If you do particularly well and get up to Stage 3 without dying or bombing too much, you can begin seeing the effects of Rank levels 6 to 9. Smaller enemies will begin firing revenge bullets on death, while bigger enemies will explode into bullet rings. Additionally, slain enemies begin dropping more point items at higher Rank. Some enemies even begin shooting unblockable bullets.

For my game, I chose simpler variables for managing rank. By default I set it so that it steadily increases as you play, but not so quickly as to overwhelm you when you aren't even 1/4 through the game yet (2 Player mode has faster rank increase, and the upcoming Survival modes have even faster rates than even regular 2 Player). Getting hit and bombing will lower the rank, and losing lives will lower it the most. Killing enemies, collecting gems and receiving 1ups will increase it.

It's really up to you how you want rank to be managed; many older games, like Capcom shooters, increased the difficulty simply through not dying and collecting lots of powerups, while dying would calm the game down so you have a chance to recover. Other "advanced" shooters such as the ones programmed by Shinobu Yagawa used more complicated measures like not missing a single bonus medal, controlling your rate of fire and purposely suiciding at key points.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:21 pm 


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I can see rank system working really nice in games where you have combos. So higher the combo is, more difficult is the game.

But system you made is just amazing, I am speechless. Lot of effort is needed to create something great like this, and you did it !
Did you try to see how this rank system would work if rank would increase really fast, but also fall down fast as well ? So rank would increase fast when player collects gems, and it would fall down fast when he doesn't. This way player could change current difficulty, he would be able to chose does he wants to risk or not, but what is even more important is that he would be able to see all great work you did.
( I am guessing you did try this, but I am wondering what is your opinion on this )
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:46 am 


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kurismakku wrote:
Did you try to see how this rank system would work if rank would increase really fast, but also fall down fast as well ? So rank would increase fast when player collects gems, and it would fall down fast when he doesn't. This way player could change current difficulty, he would be able to chose does he wants to risk or not, but what is even more important is that he would be able to see all great work you did.
( I am guessing you did try this, but I am wondering what is your opinion on this )


This would be more akin to a system like the Hyper Modes found in the latest Dodonpachi games, ESPGaluda's Kakusei Mode or Crimzon Clover's Boost Mode. Activating these super modes would grant you score multipliers, tons of bonus items and increased firepower, but with the added effect of making the game go berserk and causing all the enemies to become tougher.

For old timers, this would be more similar to Zanac's insane Rank system that got difficult really fast the more you collect items and kill enemies.

Since my game is also aimed towards non-shmup players and beginners, I simply chose to use a subtler method that depends almost entirely on the basics. The system you see in the game is more lenient in that an entry-level player who makes lots of mistakes will have comparatively low difficulty throughout than either an intermediate player who knows how to survive or an advanced player who knows some of the scoring tricks (hint: Raiden Fighters), though this doesn't mean the game won't become difficult by itself later on.

Sure, they won't see all the new attacks enemies would have, but they'll have a much better chance of surviving the game and thus wanting to see what kind of levels and enemies come next.

In the end it really depends on the job you want the game to perform. I'd rather players enjoy the meat and potatoes of the game than rely on gimmicks to show off some technical prowess of mine, if you know what I mean. I technically could always rebalance it so that the rewards become more obvious though.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:23 am 


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Stop using FRAPS right now. It's a clunky piece of shit made obsolete by Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). Also your sense of sound balance is terrible and if you do another video you should turn your sfx volume down and your music up (although the stage 3 boss is quite loud anyway the rest was inaudible).

I'm completely with you on the rank setting. Battle Garegga didn't have all of its intricacies open for all to see on the first week of its launch, it was there for the challengers to find it but not immediately visible. I see nothing wrong with doing the same thing with Papilio with a bit of balancing for newcomers in mind.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:30 am 


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BPzeBanshee wrote:
Stop using FRAPS right now. It's a clunky piece of shit made obsolete by Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). Also your sense of sound balance is terrible and if you do another video you should turn your sfx volume down and your music up (although the stage 3 boss is quite loud anyway the rest was inaudible).


I think Realtek is to blame for the volume balancing on my PC. I can just turn the individual in-game SFX volume levels down since my original PC muted them a bit (that and I tuned some of the effects off, like chorus and flangers. They were partially responsible for muting the SFX in the originals).

The stage 3 music is kind of too low. I may have to resample it along with the Stage 3 boss BGM and replace the files, since I had to turn the music volume down a bit in the game settings (in the video the music volume is at around 80%).

I was thinking of DXtory, but thanks for the OBS tip. Downloading it now.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:00 am 


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BPzeBanshee wrote:
Stop using FRAPS right now. It's a clunky piece of shit made obsolete by Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). Also your sense of sound balance is terrible and if you do another video you should turn your sfx volume down and your music up (although the stage 3 boss is quite loud anyway the rest was inaudible).

I'm completely with you on the rank setting. Battle Garegga didn't have all of its intricacies open for all to see on the first week of its launch, it was there for the challengers to find it but not immediately visible. I see nothing wrong with doing the same thing with Papilio with a bit of balancing for newcomers in mind.


Hopefully S20-TBL will not mind I am asking here. :D
I am using FRAPS as well, I tried now OBS, but video quality is still not the best. What quality settings you suggest when recording SWF that have screen size between 500x500 - 700x700 ?
Also, I upload all my videos to YouTube after, I compress them first with Handbrake. Video looks okay locally, but on YouTube it is always just terrible.

@S20-TBL - I still managed to die in level two, but I am not really shmup expert. Most problems gave me enemies that come off screen, and I didn't manage enemy population really wel so I run out of free space. Thanks for the suggestions, I will check this games out. It really seems everything was already invented, and we are just playing, not inventing anything really new anymore. :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:15 am 



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Youtube compression is well known to be horrid, but the bitrates depend on resolution (the resolutions that Youtube uses, the maximum of which is chosen based on the resolution you upload).. so you can usually get better results if you upscale your videos to a higher resolution such that Youtube will make at least 720p version (I guess it might be enough to make sure they are 720 pixels high, but experiment), which is usually more or less acceptable (where as the 480p version usually can't handle busy computer graphics well).


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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:20 am 


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Going slow lately. Fatigue is getting to me and the weather's just begun getting colder, but development on v0.4 is still ongoing.

mystran wrote:
Youtube compression is well known to be horrid, but the bitrates depend on resolution (the resolutions that Youtube uses, the maximum of which is chosen based on the resolution you upload).. so you can usually get better results if you upscale your videos to a higher resolution such that Youtube will make at least 720p version (I guess it might be enough to make sure they are 720 pixels high, but experiment), which is usually more or less acceptable (where as the 480p version usually can't handle busy computer graphics well).


This is what I did with the current video. I uploaded an earlier, arguably better playthrough vid, but since I compressed it to well below 500MB Youtube reduced it to a very garbage looking 240p with tons of artifacts. It forced me to re-record a different run and save it at the highest quality, resulting in a 1.79GB file.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:55 am 


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New hidden midboss for Stage 2.

Image Image
Image Image

The drones in the third screenshot were broken at the time that shot was taken. The first and second show the correct behavior (they will continually circle you after being ejected from those hexagonal launch bays on the boss's segments while firing small lasers--was inspired by the yellow green drones in Cho Ren Sha stage 4 as well as the hidden boss drones in Stage 2).

There's also a different one for the upper path. To fight them you need to accomplish a few things in that particular stage before a certain point and they'll show up, Batrider style. Hopefully I can sneak in a few more of these in other stages.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:45 pm 


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Looks really amazing ! Specially the picture in bottom left corner ! :D
Right now I can only dream to have cool hidden features like this in my game...

As for YouTube video, I tried OBS, and I found quality settings for it. ( if you need them let me know )
Then I encoded video with Adobe Media Encoder to 1280x1080 ( original is 720x580 ).
So now there is black area on left and right side of the screen, but overall it is much better quality.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:11 am 


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If you don't mind posting the OBS settings here I'm sure S20 won't either. It's a newish tool and the more info for it present on the forums, the better.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:34 am 


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BPzeBanshee wrote:
If you don't mind posting the OBS settings here I'm sure S20 won't either. It's a newish tool and the more info for it present on the forums, the better.


Here : https://obsproject.com/forum/resources/ ... rdings.16/
I also played with x264 CPU presets, try lowering this down to increase quality, but you need to have strong PC for this.
( I have i5 processor that handled medium settings well )

But in the end I again switched to FRAPS because I am using Adobe Premiere, and OBS was compressing the file.
( though, maybe there is workaround, but I didn't find it yet )
So the best thing for YouTube is that you keep current resolution of the video, my was 720x580, and then you place it on 1280x720 background ( for 720p ) . That way YouTube will not stretch the video and it will look better.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:24 pm 


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Kurismakku, thanks for the OBS settings info. :)

Kind of in a rut. I've already contacted Desura about setting up Early Access for this game, still have to wait for their replies. But I'm stuck trying to come up with music for Survival Mode, which currently uses the Stage 2 BGM as a placeholder. I have a melody in mind but my synth VST plugins aren't producing the sound I want.

In the meantime I added some new hidden stuff in the game and made balance changes, including but not limited to reducing the sprite sizes for two of the most annoying enemies and overhauling the code for a few others. Also, working on Stage 4 and its background / enemy sprites.

Anyway, since it seems in vogue to do preview artwork recently, here goes:

Image

Battleship for Stage 6. I'm going full TecnoSoft + Irem + NMK with that level.

The two mechas at the top and far right are bosses for the alternate paths. Screenshot to scale (my freehand drawing estimates were off).
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:40 pm 


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I just came across this game, and I have to say that I just love the way it looks! The backgrounds move fantastically! I've always liked the older-school way of representing enemies taking damage by a color pallet change to something red.

Plus hidden stuff is always cool :) I'm excited to see more!


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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:21 pm 


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Incredible concept art, man! The battleship with your logo reminds ZENTRAED ships, with their ID shipnames identifying it :) Very good!


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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:23 pm 


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billzo wrote:
I just came across this game, and I have to say that I just love the way it looks! The backgrounds move fantastically! I've always liked the older-school way of representing enemies taking damage by a color pallet change to something red.

Plus hidden stuff is always cool :) I'm excited to see more!


Thanks. :) I plan to include more hidden stuff later on.

tiaoferreira wrote:
Incredible concept art, man! The battleship with your logo reminds ZENTRAED ships, with their ID shipnames identifying it :) Very good!


Thanks. :) The actual ship logo is supposed to be between the T and B (I have yet to study Sanskrit; the alphabet used in the game is Mongolian), but now that you mention the Zentradi it gave me an idea...
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:23 pm 


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Zentraedi ara cool! Too many machine for study :)


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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:56 am 


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Some updates. I had a chat with a Desura rep and found that setting up early access is quite simple, so I'll try this weekend hopefully. But I might release a demo version simultaneously, which would contain at least some of the bugfixes and balance changes I made since v0.35. This would address some issues like oversized enemy sprites, nearly invisible projectiles, a few changes to some Rank-affected attack patterns and adding tells to some enemies like those beam shooting pods in Stage 2.

In other news, I found the source of the immobile viewport bug for the stage 3 Spider boss (Hidimba) and it was actually a misplaced invisible wall that was generated at the wrong height and could end up trapping the camera object at the left side of the boss arena if you skirt the edges too much.

It's been fixed, but now I have a new, albeit aesthetic bug: the second boss sometimes gets stuck in the "red hit flash" color for some reason and I can't locate anything in the code that caused this yet (EDIT: might have something to do in the Step event that I added for the EX version)

Currently working on backgrounds for Stage 4. Going Symphony of the Night again.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:31 pm 


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Good news: I am (almost) done promoting the game on Desura.

Bad news: Apparently their terms of service include not paying the developer until their revenue hits a USD $500 ceiling which caused me to back away. I'm not so sure there are enough shmup lovers in the world to meet that amount, and even then I will make only slightly less than $350 out of the $500.

Good news: I found an alternative, Indie Game Stand, which has a lower ceiling and even has Pay What You Want options.

Bad news: they rejected my game on vague considerations.

Already considering taking a fourth (part time) job. This thing needs to be finished! Can't stop now.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:08 am 



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I'm thinking about using itch.io. It appears to be the best option for indie games right now from what I have seen.


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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:15 am 


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S20-TBL wrote:
Bad news: Apparently their terms of service include not paying the developer until their revenue hits a USD $500 ceiling which caused me to back away. I'm not so sure there are enough shmup lovers in the world to meet that amount, and even then I will make only slightly less than $350 out of the $500.

Do you really think your game won't reach the $500 ceiling...? I know shmups are a niche community, but I think there are a good number of people even just here who are willing to spend money on a quality game.

I'll definitely be buying it when you make it available!


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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:31 am 


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rfeese wrote:
I'm thinking about using itch.io. It appears to be the best option for indie games right now from what I have seen.


Good point. I've seen mice's stuff on there along with several others. Might be worth a look but I'll try contacting them first.

billzo wrote:
Do you really think your game won't reach the $500 ceiling...? I know shmups are a niche community, but I think there are a good number of people even just here who are willing to spend money on a quality game.

I'll definitely be buying it when you make it available!


You have a point: it's still worth a try, and besides nothing in their clause is stopping me from putting it up on multiple providers. :p

I'm almost done uploading the free demo there, the early access one will be up next. I'm hoping to get enough to be able to finish the game around the middle of next year, but just to be sure I'm looking for a (5th) day job. Them darn tootin' electric bills ain't gonna pay themselves none.

EDIT: A friend made a Wine wrapper of the latest demo version (v0.35) for Mac, which you can get here: https://app.box.com/s/tsdfrdlryzupmmycwxeh
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:11 am 


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On itch.io you just upload and you start to get paid.
Each transaction is immediate as well and at the moment (I think) there is no fee (except paypals).
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:46 am 


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My game is now in itch.io; Indie Game Stand contacted me back but I have yet to hear from them again, and Desura's taking too long.

I'm still finalizing the game page design so it's set to Private for now, though.
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.35 DEMO VERSION (Bugfixes)]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:13 pm 


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Sorry for (almost) double posting, but the itch.io site is up now after some frustrating struggles with the upload widgets timing out on me.

http://s20-tbl.itch.io/papilio

Updates in the v0.4 version:

  • Survival Mode is now available for play. In this mode you have no special shield powerups and cannot gain extra lives. Just you and a bunch of weapon switch powerups to help keep your tactics flexible. Enemies will slowly increase in number the longer you play, and bosses will even appear at intervals.

  • Discovering the secret bonuses in each stage will now unlock hidden bosses and even EX bosses. Note that this has not yet been implemented for Stage 3.

Updates for both v0.4 and the free demo:

  • Many balance changes. Certain enemies have been rebalanced to make them more fair even as Rank increases. Some enemies have been given warning tells, while others had their high-rank projectile and attack patterns reworked. Some enemy projectiles were redrawn for more visibility, and a couple of problematic enemy sprites were substantially resized to make them less threatening. Lastly, the player hitbox has been slightly reduced for more breathing space, and the flashing hitbox graphic redrawn for better visibility.

I feel asleep. :p
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.4 EARLY ACCESS + v0.35 RE-BALANCED DEMO]
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:33 am 


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Man, what the original screen resolution of this game? the graphics is really very cool! I saw some files from the older version, it shows 480 x 320, is really this?


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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.4 EARLY ACCESS + v0.35 RE-BALANCED DEMO]
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:51 am 


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tiaoferreira wrote:
Man, what the original screen resolution of this game? the graphics is really very cool! I saw some files from the older version, it shows 480 x 320, is really this?


Ah no, the 480x320 is simply to account for the vertical wobble. The current resolution of the game sits at 360x240. I'm glad you liked the graphics though. :)

Working on Stage 4 graphics now:

Image
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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.4 EARLY ACCESS + v0.35 RE-BALANCED DEMO]
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:52 am 


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What? Are you using GIMP? I'm impressed! WOW!


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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.4 EARLY ACCESS + v0.35 RE-BALANCED DEMO]
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:55 am 


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Ah, I've tested the last version, is harder than "pub demo 2011-11-17" version. And only one char is selectable, did you removed the other chars?


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 Post subject: Re: Papilio [v0.4 EARLY ACCESS + v0.35 RE-BALANCED DEMO]
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:58 am 


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Yes, I have been using GIMP for almost 10 years now. I was there back when it still had numerous separate windows to handle all the different tools... :)

tiaoferreira wrote:
Ah, I've tested the last version, is harder than "pub demo 2011-11-17" version. And only one char is selectable, did you removed the other chars?


In 1 Player mode, you can switch to the female Naajira by clicking the Right Mouse Button, since the current version allows you to change your starting weapon by tapping Up or Down. This is only an aesthetic choice however, there are virtually no gameplay differences between her and the male Naajira apart from the sprites and voice samples.
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