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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 4:09 am 


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Really looking forward to this. I was wondering if there was anyway to create a touhou style bullet hell game?


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 8:45 am 


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You can make a bullet hell game with the SHMUP Creator. There's way to create complex bullet patterns and to use scoring systems.

As for touhou, shame on me, but I never tried any game of the serie.
Is there specific features you'll be interested in, in order to make such a game ?

S.
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2016 4:54 pm 


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suny wrote:
You can make a bullet hell game with the SHMUP Creator. There's way to create complex bullet patterns and to use scoring systems.

As for touhou, shame on me, but I never tried any game of the serie.
Is there specific features you'll be interested in, in order to make such a game ?

S.


I think having easy dialog implement before bosses would be cool.

There are lots of really wonderful touhou style spell cards that would be really nice features.

In terms of bullet hell games, what patterns are you familiar with?
I could make a list of things that I'd like to see.

Touhou Danmakufu has a good variety of bullet boss style patterns, length and bullet projection range.


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:31 am 


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Original post:
http://bulostudio.com/2016/10/16/october-update/

OCTOBER UPDATE

We’ve been busy these last weeks, but not necessarily on the SHMUP Creator. We worked again for a big company on a cool project. It’s always frustrating because we can’t make progress on the SHMUP CREATOR while we work for someone else, but to be honest our contract was really interesting and we learnt a lot.
Then we took our summer holidays, in September :)
Now: back to work!

ASSETS MANAGEMENT
I wasn’t happy with the way users had to import 3D assets in the editor: you had to use an exporter to save a file from your 3D modeler in the Ogre3D format (.mesh).
Now, you can copy an .FBX in the asset directory of your game and it will appears at once in the Gamebox. You can immediately drag and drop it in the level and start to play. It’s quite simple and easy!
You can then modify any textures, meshes or sprites, and when you go back to the editor all the objects are updated!

BUGS, BUGS EVERYWHERE
We are testing every features of the game one by one.
Debugging can be excruciating: sometimes I spend ages on a simple bug. But most of the time, it can feel surprisingly good: I can feel the game and the editor becoming more stable and more polished everyday. I know more bugs are hiding everywhere, though…

WHAT’S NEXT?
There are a lot of features to test and debug : the bullets patterns editor, the start menu editor (which is a mess right now GUI-wise), the scoring system…
Then, there are features which are working well but which are too difficult to grasp for the user. Not because of the way they work, but because of the GUI and the way we are presenting the functionalities. We need to rework them.

We are making progress, the end is near, but there is so much to do…
S.
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:44 am 


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Hey suny,
i just just seen your post about redoing the R-Type Leo level.
Looks realy nice so far.
I´m very interested about your progress.


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:49 pm 


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Not enough time to work on this as much as I want these days, but I'm slowly making progress.
I'll post some r-type leo videos this week-end, and next week I'll write an update on my (too slow) progress.

Image

S.
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:08 pm 


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R-TYPE LEO

I needed to test the 2D features of the SHMUP Creator but unfortunately didn't have the time to create assets right now. So, I choose to re-create parts of the first level of R-Type leo using sprites I ripped. A good tool to make progress, debug and polish.


So, there you are, the beginning of the game:
Image


Inside the SHMUP Creator:
Image


Of course, using a drag-and-drop tool, you can't do everything: the rotating orbs from the game are absent in my demo. I plan to allow users to use objects for weapons, but not in the upcoming release.
I tried to re-create the laser field with the simple tools of the SHMUP Creator, and I was happy to make it work in 5 minutes:
Image


On this tweet, you can see more of the level, with the intro:
https://twitter.com/bulostudio/status/817735716537061376

Next week, I promise I'll do a small update on the dev progress!
S.
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Last edited by suny on Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:48 pm 


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Looking good as always, suny! :D


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:37 pm 


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Will it be possible to implement some GigaWing like shield to reflect bullets?
I play a lot of GigaWing at the moment and thought about making a game with similar mechanics.
Can´t wait for your upcoming report :D

suny (or anyone else), were can I read up how to rip sprites out of roms?


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:48 pm 


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Shadolf wrote:
Will it be possible to implement some GigaWing like shield to reflect bullets?
I play a lot of GigaWing at the moment and thought about making a game with similar mechanics.
Can´t wait for your upcoming report :D

suny (or anyone else), were can I read up how to rip sprites out of roms?


There is a kind of bugged program called Artmoney. Some people used to use it for Mugen works, ripping fighting game characters.
You could also use debug options on the emulator to disable the tiles that you dont want to, and then run a program like Animget, which can take screenshots each 10 miliseconds.
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:31 pm 


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Amazing.
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:39 pm 


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Are there any news on an alpha/beta version?


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:59 am 


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Quote:
Will it be possible to implement some GigaWing like shield to reflect bullets?
I play a lot of GigaWing at the moment and thought about making a game with similar mechanics.


No, it's not possible for now. I'll put this on my v2 to do list.

Quote:
Are there any news on an alpha/beta version?

Not yet. I can't give you a date, because I'm not working full-time on the SHMUP Creator right now.
But I have only 2 features to complete before the pre-alpha (the 3D snap and some kind of in-game tutorials). Then, I really need to write some docs before going alpha, and I can't say when I'll have time.
The good news is that the tool is almost complete. The bad news is that the last bit is always the longest :)
S.
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:08 am 



Joined: 25 Dec 2016
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suny wrote:
The bad news is that the last bit is always the longest :)


That's equally true for games, not only for tools. It may be a bit different with shooters, due to the super rigorous gameplay testing you need to do, but on the average indie game the last 10% of the user experience take like half of the overall time ;)


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:21 pm 


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Original post:
http://bulostudio.com/2017/03/05/february-update/

FEBRUARY UPDATE

DEBUG, POLISH:
I corrected the weapons and the gameplay code, as well as a huge amount of small bugs. There was something wrong in the resource management which could cause a lot of problems in the futur between different games sharing their assets in the wrong way (if the assets share the same name). Now, everything is separate and it’s neater.
I also did a lot of small corrections and modifications to the UI until it felt “right” to me. A lot of things no one will remark, but which make the user experience smoother.

LAYER PRIORITY:
I worked for a long time on the priority and display order of the sprites and objects: users can use layers to control the rendering order, and I force the bullets and items order: the enemy bullets are always on top, then the player bullets, then the items. Same thing for the explosions, which should never hide the bullet during gameplay.

PARALLAX:
Speaking of layers, I wrote a small tool which allow to add parallax between layers. It was not trivial, because everything in the SHMUP Creator is 3D. The idea is to move away in depth the layers moving slower and to scale them to keep their apparent screen size. It was not easy to do, but it works :)

SNAP 3D:
I’m currently working on the snap 3D: I was proud of my sprite snapping, but I discovered that it was sometimes not working well. Instead of correcting it, I decided to write a new snap working in 2D as well as in 3D. It’s working well now. Still some polish in the next few days and it will be complete.

AND AFTER THAT ?
Next I will work on some in-game tutorials: it will not be full Nintendo-style tutorials, because I don’t have the manpower nor budget to do this in this version of the tool, but at least it will provide some basic explanations and an UI tour. I don’t want the new user to be completely lost at the beginning.After that, there will be on-line tutorials to help and teach people how to use the different features, which we need to write (crap…).
The 3D snap and the in-game tuts are the last two big features.

It’s not the end of the road, but my big to-do list is almost empty !!
S.
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 7:33 am 


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I am so excited!
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:21 am 


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suny wrote:
Original post:
http://bulostudio.com/2017/03/05/february-update/

FEBRUARY UPDATE

DEBUG, POLISH:
I corrected the weapons and the gameplay code, as well as a huge amount of small bugs. There was something wrong in the resource management which could cause a lot of problems in the futur between different games sharing their assets in the wrong way (if the assets share the same name). Now, everything is separate and it’s neater.
I also did a lot of small corrections and modifications to the UI until it felt “right” to me. A lot of things no one will remark, but which make the user experience smoother.

LAYER PRIORITY:
I worked for a long time on the priority and display order of the sprites and objects: users can use layers to control the rendering order, and I force the bullets and items order: the enemy bullets are always on top, then the player bullets, then the items. Same thing for the explosions, which should never hide the bullet during gameplay.

PARALLAX:
Speaking of layers, I wrote a small tool which allow to add parallax between layers. It was not trivial, because everything in the SHMUP Creator is 3D. The idea is to move away in depth the layers moving slower and to scale them to keep their apparent screen size. It was not easy to do, but it works :)

SNAP 3D:
I’m currently working on the snap 3D: I was proud of my sprite snapping, but I discovered that it was sometimes not working well. Instead of correcting it, I decided to write a new snap working in 2D as well as in 3D. It’s working well now. Still some polish in the next few days and it will be complete.

AND AFTER THAT ?
Next I will work on some in-game tutorials: it will not be full Nintendo-style tutorials, because I don’t have the manpower nor budget to do this in this version of the tool, but at least it will provide some basic explanations and an UI tour. I don’t want the new user to be completely lost at the beginning.After that, there will be on-line tutorials to help and teach people how to use the different features, which we need to write (crap…).
The 3D snap and the in-game tuts are the last two big features.

It’s not the end of the road, but my big to-do list is almost empty !!
S.


Hey suny, how is it going?


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:39 pm 


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Quote:
Hey suny, how is it going?


I didn't had a lot of time recently, but I'm still working, slowly, on the SHMUP Creator.
It's feature complete now, but I have some urgent debugging to do.

I hope to work on it full time starting next week, and I'll give you some progress report very soon.
S.
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Bulo studio twitter : @bulostudio


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:21 am 


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I'm making good progress right now, and the SHMUP Creator is almost alpha :)
I'll talk about all this in a new post soon.

For today:
I added Snap 3D, a tool which allow users to snap any 3D objects with other objects. It can speed up the level creation of a game and is easy to use.

Image

S.
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:12 pm 


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Always good to see updates from this project. :D


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:04 am 


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Hi!
A technical post today. I'm going to give you more information on the state of the project very soon.

Image

BULLET ENGINE OPTIMIZATIONS:

My bullets code was terrible: I wrote it a long time ago without any optimizations and forethought. It worked and it was enough for me.
Then I had second thoughts, some nightmares and bad nights, and I finally decided to write a real bullet manager and optimize the guy.
Keep in mind that I’m not a real coder by trade (I’m a tech artist / coder) so please don’t laugh at my naive way of doing things :)

. BULLETS MANAGEMENT
I knew that creating and destructing a lot of objects every frame was bad, so I created a pool of bullet objects at the SHMUP Creator runtime. It worked. What was bad was the way to manage the active and free bullets in an efficient way. I was iterating on all the bullets to find a free one before spawning it and to update the alive bullets and so on. Not too bad with the CPU power of 2017, but not very efficient with 6000 bullets.
So I wrote a bullet manager which keep tabs on all this. I still create a pool of bullet objects but also 2 lists of bullets IDs: one of active bullets and one of free bullets. Those IDs are references of the pool’s bullets.
If I want to spawn a new bullet, I can use the last free bullets ID and set the bullet from the pool sharing this ID to “active”. I then remove this ID from the free bullets list and add it to the active bullets ID list.
This active bullets list allow me to only update the active bullets and also to maintain an ordered bullets list, which I need for rendering (more details in the next section).
When a bullet is dead, I set its state to “DEAD” and I erase his ID from the alive bullets vector (I know it’s not the most efficient thing in the world, but…) and add it to the free bullets vector.

. DRAWING the BULLETS and DRAW CALLS
The most terrible thing I was doing was to draw individually each bullet. It was working on my laptop, so what the heck?
But I really felt bad about it, and with a lot of bullets, I began to see some performance drop. On top of this, ordering the rendering of thousands of objects was not easy with Ogre and was slowing down the game a lot.
So, I wrote my own bullet renderer. For each bullet type I create a polygons list using all the current bullets positions and orientations and draw it with its own material. Thanks to the active bullets list I’m able to draw each bullets in the right order.
At the end, I have only one draw call for each bullet type, instead of 3000 draw calls for 3000 bullets. Much better!

. ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
At the end, the bullet manager is not perfect and could be more optimized but I’m pretty happy with it. Maybe one day I’ll go back to it and make it better.

But for now, yes, it’s much faster :)

Image
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:24 pm 


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:shock: TLB for Trigonometry Wars 5 leaked??

Can't say I understood everything you just said, but more bullets sounds more better! Even if you know people will use this power for evil :twisted:

by contrast, my own project is so lazily programmed that if I spawn 100 homing lasers, the game just crashes...


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:17 pm 


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Very excited for you to finish the kit. Keep the updates coming.


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:49 pm 



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Very impressive work! I'd love to goof around in this


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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:00 pm 


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Quote:
Very excited for you to finish the kit. Keep the updates coming.

You asked for it: an update :)

NOVEMBER UPDATE

Last monthly update was in February… Ouch. So many things happened during the last 10 months… Time flies.
But first, the good news:
The SHMUP Creator is feature complete!
It means that every features are there and that we can begin the last part of the journey: completing the SHMUP Creator and at last release it to the public. We are not there yet, but we can see the light :)

NEW FEATURES INCLUDE:
. a scroll bar int the bottom of the screen to navigate quickly in a level
. I wrote about the 3D snap in the last update: it is complete and it works. Yeah!
. users can import FBX 3d models directly
. there are in-editor tutorials now. “Prof Bulo” will teach you the basics of using the SHMUP Creator
. the tool is translation ready. We plan to release it in English and French first.

Image

IMPROVED FEATURES:
. the builds of the games are now more compacts
. there are tons of small UI improvements: animated transitions, new keyboard shortcuts, contextual help…
. dozen of bugs are now gone. (dozen of bugs are still lurking, but I’m watching them)
. did some more work on scoring systems and medals
. a new and faster bullets engine (read the last post for more)

WHAT WE ARE DOING RIGHT NOW:
. I’m working on the documentation. It’s taking shape but it takes a long time.
. we are still working on the UI: the menu editor and the HUD editor are still a mess and need a lot of work.
. I’m still unhappy with some parts of the tool: the weapon system is too complex and need some work. We can’t release a beta until we can have time to address that.

Image

WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO but HAVE NO TIME right now:
. we still need to make a 2D level to test the tool and to include in the package
. some assets are still missing: I’d like to include more bullets types, more enemy moves presets…
. we need to do more marketing. Like not posting an update every 10 months (…).
. we need to translate the SHMUP Creator and the documentation in French

So yeah, it’s going well. I can feel some external forces luring me away from the SHMUP Creator and so I’m dedicated to work harder right now, when I still have some free time.
The beta version of the SHMUP Creator is coming, I can feel it!
S.
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:43 am 


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Good to see the project still going! I don't think I have what it takes to create a whole game when you release, but I may try to work on some artworks and sounds. Looking foward!
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 9:47 pm 


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Seems good so far, but with external scripting (lua, javascript, python...) it would be killer-feature for me.

Any plans to support it? Every game engine out there supports at least one type of scripting :(

(Basically I was planning to use the engine with my code library I written before)
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 2:37 pm 


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Quote:
Any plans to support it? Every game engine out there supports at least one type of scripting :(

I know, I'd love to add this kind of support. Unfortunately, I'm alone working part-time on my tool, and at Unity they are more than 2500 engineers (last time I checked). It's not fair :)

Right now, the engine in the SHMUP Creator is a black box, it's not a stand-alone engine. You have to use the tool to use it, there is no way to code or plug it to another engine, and I don't plan to do that, because it's the inverse of the idea of the tool: to allow people without coding experience to make games.
That being said, if there were a market for a "pro version" of this tool, I would love to allow people to use Lua or other scripting method to add properties to the bullets or the enemies.

To be honest, I'm not familiar with scripting myself:
How do you think scripting could be used in the SHMUP Creator, in a minimal way?
S.
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 4:01 pm 


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What language are you developing this in?
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 Post subject: Re: SHMUP Creator: build and blast
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 5:36 pm 


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C++ and a bunch of libraries: mainly Ogre3D for visuals.
S.
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