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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:18 am 


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Big thanks! Feedback appreciated! Some thoughts/comments!

M.Knight wrote:
-The heavy screen shake while you are trying to see if the bullets in front of you have been erased by Last Judgement Green Variant is baaaaaaaaaaadu


I thought I turned off the screenshake by default bwaaaaaah

Silly me lol. It's terrible I know, left over from an old prototype.

M.Knight wrote:
-Pre and Post Last-Judgement invincibility frames seem nonexistant. For some reason, I felt like it would make sense to have some.


Similarly, I could swear LJ has I-Frames. Will have to check!

M.Knight wrote:
-The Green Last Judgement weapon is terrible against kamikaze ennemies : one is bound to ram into you

M.Knight wrote:
-Due to the combination of a sudden higher player speed, a high enemy speed in general and the flame's seemingly low width, it is difficult to unlock Last Judgement's Flame variant. Actually, I end up running into a bullet most of the time and I don't think I triggered Flame Last Judgement even once.


After thinking it over a ton and testing out a few new prototypes, I've decided to try simply merging them in the next prototype. It'll simply be one judgment mode with:

[Hold A] Green Aim Attack
[Hold B] Red Flame Thrower

I think it'll be more balanced - and less of a pain in the ass to design around. Which brings me to...

M.Knight wrote:
-Some waves are much easier to trigger Last Judgement on them than others. I know you mentionned the waves are not in sync with the judgement timing yet, but I think it's impossible to do that without forcing the player to do exactly what you want him to do (and that's not fun). The judgement timer increases or decreases due to various reasons (getting hit, bombing, refraining from using the judgement mode when available, etc.) and due to that, you never really know when the player will activate judgement mode. It can theoretically happen anywhere within the level, aside from the very beginning I guess.


Hmmm, well, here was my logic/intention:

-Since Judgment refills based on time and kills, in theory, if you play a stage optimally and kill all extra enemies and never die, Judgment will always refill at the same predetermined points. These points can then be balanced to be the most interesting/challenging to unlock the bonus on.
-If you die or screw up, the rhythm of it will be thrown off, and you'll get less judgments in addition to getting them at different times. But Judgment should feel powerful enough that it will always feel useful (if risky) in almost any situation.

It's true that, optimally, it's very predetermined when the best time to use judgment/hyper is. But that's true of the majority of scoring systems. I'm just trying to make it more telegraphed, so that you don't have to sit down and watch a video or do math to determine when the best time to spend a hyper is. "Speed kill everything, all the time. Use Judgment, every chance you get." is what I wanted the game to tell people, without ambiguity. The challenge of mastery is in learning to execute those demands.

I'm gonna give the system one more shot I think with the above mentioned balance tweaks (among a few other things). I really like the idea of it on multiple levels (going from relatively "normal" combat to a flashy super mode with funky weapons, the unique "kill all the targets" lightgun thing, the change to bullet cancelling emphasis, etc.), and it's worked well in a few older prototypes. But if I have to scrap it, I will!

The only other balance tweak I have planned for next prototype is to scrap the bombs in favor of an Eschatos style shield. This should allow me to keep the bullet speed and formations relatively tough (though I will be nerfing the stage heavily, regardless) while keeping things more fair feeling. And it should make speedkilling more gutsy and meaningful, since you'll be able to defend yourself from difficult shit at the cost of shooting.
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Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:45 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
After thinking it over a ton and testing out a few new prototypes, I've decided to try simply merging them in the next prototype. It'll simply be one judgment mode with:

[Hold A] Green Aim Attack
[Hold B] Red Flame Thrower

I think it'll be more balanced - and less of a pain in the ass to design around. Which brings me to...


Spent the night playing with this, and it plays massively better. It's fun now even on random waves, let alone waves it has been designed around. I think the mechanic is saved.
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:48 am 


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Can't you no longer bomb while in Judgment mode with these new controls, as B now overrides it? Unless not being allowed to bomb in this mode is your intention, I would try tapping A for the flame and holding it for the green circle.
Aside from that, having both weapon types at hand seems much less restrictive, which is great. Both weapons have their strengths and I suppose there won't be any incompatibility issue between the wave you face and the judgement weapons now. Or at least, much less.

Squire Grooktook wrote:
I'm just trying to make it more telegraphed, so that you don't have to sit down and watch a video or do math to determine when the best time to spend a hyper is. "Speed kill everything, all the time. Use Judgment, every chance you get." is what I wanted the game to tell people, without ambiguity. The challenge of mastery is in learning to execute those demands.

I think your system works pretty well in that regard, but only as long as you don't die/bomb early/miss the judgment/etc. Making a mistake desyncs you with the intended judgment spots. That means you may have to use roundabout ways to get yourself back on the optimal track, such as bombing to delay the next Judgment or things like that. And that will require to know the timings rather well.

However, because of the new changes to the judgement weapons, not being on the optimal track may not be that bad and the waves you will trigger Judgment mode on can still unlock Last Judgement without too much trouble. I have the feeling it may put a dent in the learning curve for optimal scoring as an early mistake messes up a significant part of the stage's best scoring route, but at least it seems fine until you get to that point.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:18 pm 


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M.Knight wrote:
Can't you no longer bomb while in Judgment mode with these new controls, as B now overrides it? Unless not being allowed to bomb in this mode is your intention, I would try tapping A for the flame and holding it for the green circle.


Being able to bomb was another "oops" as well,l ha ha.

That being said, the new control scheme is:

[A] Shot (Green in Judgment)
[B] Shield (Flame in Judgment)
[C] Activate Judgment / Last Judgment

As I mentioned, I'm currently playing around with swapping out the bomb for a quick recharging Eschatos style shield. Not sure about this tweak, still playing with it. So we'll see how that goes.

M.Knight wrote:
I think your system works pretty well in that regard, but only as long as you don't die/bomb early/miss the judgment/etc. Making a mistake desyncs you with the intended judgment spots. That means you may have to use roundabout ways to get yourself back on the optimal track, such as bombing to delay the next Judgment or things like that. And that will require to know the timings rather well.

However, because of the new changes to the judgement weapons, not being on the optimal track may not be that bad and the waves you will trigger Judgment mode on can still unlock Last Judgement without too much trouble. I have the feeling it may put a dent in the learning curve for optimal scoring as an early mistake messes up a significant part of the stage's best scoring route, but at least it seems fine until you get to that point.


One other thing I had planned to slightly "stabilize" the Judgment pattern (even in case of screw up) was to have item carriers and minibosses occasionally drop medals that would instantly recharge Judgment. That way, even if you died or missed an activation, there would still be an opportunity or two to "get back on track" in each stage.

Another thing I didn't have time to implement.
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:54 pm 


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju56L0-ZsSI

Little demonstration of the new offensive/defensive mechanic. Some copy pasta explanation from the discord:

Quote:
so uhhh, working on new defensive system. Initially to replace bombs, but now I'm considering having both :thinking:
Basically it's a flame thrower / shield / wide shot hybrid. You take out your little flame thrower and it slows and damages bullets, eventually destroying them. Because you can whip it out around, it also doubles as a close range wide shot (ala the one in Eschatos)
DRAWBACKS
>you're super slow while firing it
>eventually the flame starts to "tire out" and range decreases. This also makes it near impossible to kill bullets as you need a second or two of exposure/slowing to destroy them, and they'll be too close. So you can't just turtle.
>Flame is back at max strength everytime you use it, but there's a slight bit of "recovery" animation on it that you also can't shoot during. So you can't just tap to have max strength all the time
The idea was a defensive mechanic that has some offensive properties if used at close range (top of the screen), but will damage your speedkill score if you use it as a defensive crutch (turtling at the bottom of the screen). If you turtle too much, you can accidentally wall yourself too.

Right now it kiiiiiiinda works similar to the Antibody / Suppression Field in Hellsinker and Akashicverse
It's comparatively tricky to completely defend yourself with, so I'm thinking of leaving the bomb in so you also have a last ditch effort too (kind of like how Gigawing has the reflector shield which has both offensive/defensive potential, and then the bomb for emergencies)

So far it feels pretty good in my test waves. The only thing about this weapon is that, due to its slowing nature, it won't protect you from things that are already a pixel away from your hitbox. So it's more preemptive :thinking:
one of the reasons I'm considering leaving in bullet cancel flash bomb in as well
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:37 am 


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Hagane experimenting a bit with a new melee animation style

New
Image

Compare old:
Image

Keep in mind they're still both more in "concept phase" to test out the different styles. No real polish, just quick mock ups really. So a lot of details can be adjusted.

I'm liking the new version a lot so far, though I'm thinking the "residue" has a little too much emphasis compared to the "body" of the arc itself. Thinking of requesting he put a little more emphasis on the arc, maybe making it an extra frame or two.
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:07 pm 


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Still working on revising level design and mechanics based on criticisms!

In the mean time, here's some rough sketch character design concept art by Tusia for the Dragon!
Spoiler: show
...in human form!Image

I've showed this to a few people already, but it's about time to make it a bit official.

Note that we're still only like halfway through the design process (if that) and these are all more like directional sketches. Here's some more, but note that this album is not safe for work as most of the sketches are nudes. Currently puzzling over why I like the face in sketch #3 more than the one in #4, hmm!

Also monster designs inbound too...
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:38 am 


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In hindsight, it was kinda surprising it took that long before you included an anime-style girl in the game, given how much you like them and how we tend to put stuff we like in what we create. :wink:
As it is commissioned artwork, I suppose you prefered waiting until the sketches were made on the artist's side, which makes sense.

She looks pretty good, and I think my favorite version would be a mix bewteen sketch #1's two portraits. Ears pointed downwards and the right side's hair, but with the tiara and the left-side's clothes. I like the horns as well, they give her a more distinctive appearance.
Kinda odd that you didn't go for a short-haired tomboy, though. :mrgreen: Well, I guess it wouldn't have matched the concept of a dragon's human form as well as the current designs.


As for your 2 sine waves, why not reduce the number of enemies in each of the waves by half or more, and decrease the spawn delay for the right side to make it appear around when half of the left side has already spawned? That way, you wouldn't have to simply stand still underneath a side and wait for the enemies to die but instead would have to juggle both sides.

When designing enemy waves for a speedkilling-based game, it is also important IMO to check the difference between the first and the last enemies' spawn frames. Basically, the higher the difference between the two, the higher the risk to decrease the window of optimization to destroy the wave faster. This is because no matter what, the minimum amount of frames the player will spend on that wave is equal to the frame on which the last enemy spawns. If there is a long delay between the first and the last enemy, then the optimizations the player would have made for the first enemies may not matter as he will still have to wait for the last one to show up.

If you analyze your other waves you can see that most of the enemies spawn around the same time. The player is thus free to tackle them in any order, some orders being more efficient than others. If you drip-feed the enemies, then the player will defeat them one after the other in a very linear fashion. It is the kind of thing you learn by experimenting with waves and replaying them over and over again so I suppose you already know that.

Oh, of course, if the first enemy is a big and bulky one and is probably going to stay alive while the wave's last enemy is spawned (even if the player focuses his fire on it), then this spawn frame difference is much less of an issue.

Other random suggestion : if you make other demos, why not have a "stage/boss select" in case we want to fight/test the boss immediatly? I didn't have many things to say in my previous feedback about Last Judgement against the boss because it wasn't easy nor fast to test it.
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I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:39 pm 


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M.Knight wrote:
As it is commissioned artwork, I suppose you prefered waiting until the sketches were made on the artist's side, which makes sense.


Yah. Actually have been doing sketches for a month now, but I only just now asked if I had permission to show them. She said it's aaaaaallll good.

M.Knight wrote:
Kinda odd that you didn't go for a short-haired tomboy, though. :mrgreen: Well, I guess it wouldn't have matched the concept of a dragon's human form as well as the current designs.


Best not to inject ones fetishes into a game!

For real though, the SRPG sequel will probably have a heroine with short red hair and blue eyes. (vs the current long blue hair and red eyes). I like color coding, contrasting sequel protagonists, and inversions!

M.Knight wrote:
As for your 2 sine waves, why not reduce the number of enemies in each of the waves by half or more, and decrease the spawn delay for the right side to make it appear around when half of the left side has already spawned? That way, you wouldn't have to simply stand still underneath a side and wait for the enemies to die but instead would have to juggle both sides.


Yup! I did that already, and it works better! I actually made two "rows" of sines moving in the same direction as well, so you have to kind of rhythmically move back and forth in the middle to catch them both as they approach.

I'm choppin' 'em out and using them later though. They conflict with what I had planned for the next wave because reasons. Happens a lot! Level design is pretty finnicky.

M.Knight wrote:
When designing enemy waves for a speedkilling-based game, it is also important IMO to check the difference between the first and the last enemies' spawn frames. Basically, the higher the difference between the two, the higher the risk to decrease the window of optimization to destroy the wave faster. This is because no matter what, the minimum amount of frames the player will spend on that wave is equal to the frame on which the last enemy spawns. If there is a long delay between the first and the last enemy, then the optimizations the player would have made for the first enemies may not matter as he will still have to wait for the last one to show up.

If you analyze your other waves you can see that most of the enemies spawn around the same time. The player is thus free to tackle them in any order, some orders being more efficient than others. If you drip-feed the enemies, then the player will defeat them one after the other in a very linear fashion. It is the kind of thing you learn by experimenting with waves and replaying them over and over again so I suppose you already know that.

Oh, of course, if the first enemy is a big and bulky one and is probably going to stay alive while the wave's last enemy is spawned (even if the player focuses his fire on it), then this spawn frame difference is much less of an issue.


Yah, I actually use different ways of scripting it per-wave, depending on how it works. Sometimes there's a time frame to get something extra spawned, sometimes enemies decrease other enemy timers if they die before living too long, and sometimes it's just a simple "each wave spawns the moment the last one is finished". Needs a subtle touch! Lot of work.

M.Knight wrote:
Other random suggestion : if you make other demos, why not have a "stage/boss select" in case we want to fight/test the boss immediatly? I didn't have many things to say in my previous feedback about Last Judgement against the boss because it wasn't easy nor fast to test it.


Good idea! Next demo will probably be still stage 1, but with greatly revised level design and mechanics. Good for the boss even so.
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:49 am 


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Still working on level design in between summer semester end assignments. Also beginning to receive and direct enemy concept art.

Spoiler: show
Image

Image


I tend to write 5-8 page design/feedback documents for every piece of art I receive. And I'm receiving a lot lately. Send help.
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:46 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
M.Knight wrote:
Other random suggestion : if you make other demos, why not have a "stage/boss select" in case we want to fight/test the boss immediatly? I didn't have many things to say in my previous feedback about Last Judgement against the boss because it wasn't easy nor fast to test it.


Good idea! Next demo will probably be still stage 1, but with greatly revised level design and mechanics. Good for the boss even so.

Good to know! Don't forget to adjust the Judgment timing to make it sync with when it will activate during regular play. Or you could even adjust the jauge % before starting a practice mode run but that's probably the kind of feature you implement further down the line rather than now.

Squire Grooktook wrote:
Yah, I actually use different ways of scripting it per-wave, depending on how it works. Sometimes there's a time frame to get something extra spawned, sometimes enemies decrease other enemy timers if they die before living too long, and sometimes it's just a simple "each wave spawns the moment the last one is finished". Needs a subtle touch! Lot of work.

Never thought of that second method, that's interesting.

Squire Grooktook wrote:

:lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:53 pm 


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I made a pretty massive update to my (new-ish) Tig Source Thread, with some big updates. I don't feel like rewriting it all, so you can take a look here:

https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php? ... msg1351330

..if you want the juicy details (and lots of massive filesize gifs!)

Otherwise, in short:

>Made the Tech Roll more timing intensive and controllable
>Added an indicator for when charge attack is ready
>Fixed the glitch where you couldn't skip game over sequence, and made it shorter
>Further tweaked the Flame Thrower and Judgment mechanic
>Redesigned half the stage. 70% done rebalancing difficulty.
>Rebalancing boss and miniboss, working to add destructable parts, more weakpoints, and Judgment to the fights.
>Planning on adding a Cho Ren Sha style one-time shield power up, just to be even nicer
>Misc other stuff. Fixed some input bugs and fails, etc. etc.
>Second demo expected in about 2-3 weeks (maybe more like 2-4 weeks now, hue)


aaaaaaaaaaand just special for you guys, here's some bonus monster/enemy concept art that wasn't ready when I made that post!

Image

Wing designs influenced by Lunar Moth's. Relevant!

I think we're about done doing raw aesthetic concept sketches. Gonna move on to hammering out some actual model sheets, which can then be given to my sprite artists for pixelizing and animating.
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:29 pm 


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Found this thread just now. Still got no one for the music? me and my band like to jam some stuff, if you want to i could record some track with guitar, bass, trumpet, keyboard... no drums though.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:56 pm 


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wgogh wrote:
Found this thread just now. Still got no one for the music? me and my band like to jam some stuff, if you want to i could record some track with guitar, bass, trumpet, keyboard... no drums though.


Well, I did have someone for music, but he basically drifted away from the project in order to pursue his own creative endeavors.

Right now, I basically have a list of candidates. People I've been emailing and discussing things with. I'll add you to the list!
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:25 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
wgogh wrote:
Found this thread just now. Still got no one for the music? me and my band like to jam some stuff, if you want to i could record some track with guitar, bass, trumpet, keyboard... no drums though.


Well, I did have someone for music, but he basically drifted away from the project in order to pursue his own creative endeavors.

Right now, I basically have a list of candidates. People I've been emailing and discussing things with. I'll add you to the list!


Don't have to be for ALL the music, if doesnt fit, but we can talk if you need guitars or something. We dont do nothing electronic/synth though, and I say that because many games choose that direction.
Anyway, keep up the creative stuff
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:09 am 


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Been a while!

If anyone has been following here exclusively, I want to say that I have been consistently working on this project for the entire season. I've just kind of moved to my twitter devlog for most posts, since the short updates ("coded a miniboss today..." / "increased the frames on this mechanic...") are easier to handle amidst the busy semester.

Anyway, winter break is almost upon me, and I plan on spending the next 3-4 weeks once it starts working around the clock to belt out the next demo. I have actually made a ton of mechanical tweaks over the last few months, but the most notable one is the addition of the new homing attack:

https://twitter.com/SquireGrooktook/sta ... 3454009344

Basically, I realized that the "tag with boomerang then rapid fire normal shot" set up I used before kind of conflicted with the "macro dodge and make wide sweaping movement all the time" dodging style that I wanted to achieve. It became especially apparent when I started implementing destroyable parts on bosses, and realized that the boomerang system basically forced you to stand in a narrow point and micro dodge in order to achieve max dps.

So, I ditched it and came up with a new system: Lock on to beefy targets with a melee hit, then charge up for a homing attack! Forces you to be consistently aggressive with melee for max dps, but also allows you more freedom of movement while doing so!

This mechanic has been in the game for about 1-2 months now, and I'm very happy with it. There have been a few other mechanical tweaks to other ares of the game over the last several months as well, but I'll probably explain them over the next few weeks.

I also do in fact have a composer now, and I expect to have some original enemy sprites very soon.
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RegalSin wrote:
Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:50 am 


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:37 pm 


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I look forward to trying out that new demo!
That homing attack looks fun. I wonder how it meshes with the speedkill mechanics though, especially if you can't fire the main shot while charging it. (unless you can?)

By the way, is that white outline the "boomerang ready" indicator? It is useful and it is a good thing you put one in there but it doesn't look aesthetically appealing. Why not use a circle-shaped flash instead, similar to what you have with your homing attack but with a different color and SFX?
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:23 pm 


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M.Knight wrote:
I look forward to trying out that new demo!
That homing attack looks fun. I wonder how it meshes with the speedkill mechanics though, especially if you can't fire the main shot while charging it. (unless you can?)


Thank you!

To answer about speedkill: You can't fire while charging. Basically, speedkilling bosses and tanky enemies is about having the bravery to get into melee range of them on a regular basis. The homing follow up just gives you a brief window to fall back and dodge to the left and right while still maintaining max dps.

I think it's very important with an aggressive stg to give players "breaks" from point blank combat. It's why I think that Dragon Blaze still has the best melee mechanic: the pseudo cooldown on it encourages you to fall back and do some actual dodging, as well as mix up long/close range combat for more variety. Compare to games like Alltynex Second where the optimal murder strategy would be to simply learn how to stand on top of bosses for the entire fight.

There's still more to speedkilling bosses though! Tech Bonus attacks are still in, and I've implemented destroyable parts that inflict bonus damage to the "core" of the boss if you destroy them, which adds an extra layer of finesse to inflicting max damage. There's also one or two other ideas I've implemented that add a little bit of extra depth and variety to the agression, I'll probably show them off more in the coming weeks once I polish them a bit!

M.Knight wrote:
By the way, is that white outline the "boomerang ready" indicator? It is useful and it is a good thing you put one in there but it doesn't look aesthetically appealing. Why not use a circle-shaped flash instead, similar to what you have with your homing attack but with a different color and SFX?


Will think about it! I'm not tooooo concerned about placeholder telegraphs at the moment. Their ugliness certainly offends me, but I have to put the core stuff first with the limited time I have. The circle was something I thought of later, and copy-pasting it onto the melee charge would take a slight bit of time that isn't worth it at the moment.

Xyga wrote:
*Valkyrie Profile voice sample 'Fire Lance'*


:D
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:05 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
To answer about speedkill: You can't fire while charging. Basically, speedkilling bosses and tanky enemies is about having the bravery to get into melee range of them on a regular basis. The homing follow up just gives you a brief window to fall back and dodge to the left and right while still maintaining max dps.

Depending on the other enemies' aggressiveness, I am curious to see if retreating to the bottom of the screen and not firing while charging the homing shot will not turn out to be dangerous in its own right depending on the wave design. The demo will probably clear that up.

Squire Grooktook wrote:
I think it's very important with an aggressive stg to give players "breaks" from point blank combat. It's why I think that Dragon Blaze still has the best melee mechanic: the pseudo cooldown on it encourages you to fall back and do some actual dodging, as well as mix up long/close range combat for more variety. Compare to games like Alltynex Second where the optimal murder strategy would be to simply learn how to stand on top of bosses for the entire fight.


Haven't thought about that. The lack of melee cooldown does not necessarily lead to continuous boss point-blanking but the possibility is indeed there because that's the best quick-kill strategy.

I guess that if the patterns are too difficult to dodge at point-blank distance, if the boss moves all over the place or summons dangerous popcorn enemies away from it that you have to take care of, you can still have some movement and dodging but it is still not as elegant as the Dragon Blaze system.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:30 am 


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M.Knight wrote:
Depending on the other enemies' aggressiveness, I am curious to see if retreating to the bottom of the screen and not firing while charging the homing shot will not turn out to be dangerous in its own right depending on the wave design. The demo will probably clear that up.


Oh yes! I'm not sure if it'll show up in the next demo, but a very basic example would be to have a boss launch destroyable homing projectiles at you. Normally those are a piece pf cake to take care of (often times their used for more of an aesthetic spectacle or to reward milking than anything else), but with a system like this you end up with a real risk/reward dodging trade off. Same for any destroyable bullet or hazard that doesn't give score, really!

-

On another note, some new sprite art incoming! Also very close to beginning on first enemy / zako sprite, now that model sheet / art direction is aaaalllmooooost done! Getting closer to finishing up new stage 1 theme as well!

Image

Image

New explosion serves as an all purpose weapon, hitspark, and death effect. But I like it most for the guwange style hyper mode shot:

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

My plan is for the green shots that trigger the explosion to eventually look like runes. The base aesthetic concept was basically "Guwange's Shikigami + Thunder Force Hunter"

-

Aside from that, things are coming along well. I'm forcing myself to finish off a number of tasks every day. I think it's looking good!
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:54 pm 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
Oh yes! I'm not sure if it'll show up in the next demo, but a very basic example would be to have a boss launch destroyable homing projectiles at you. Normally those are a piece pf cake to take care of (often times their used for more of an aesthetic spectacle or to reward milking than anything else), but with a system like this you end up with a real risk/reward dodging trade off. Same for any destroyable bullet or hazard that doesn't give score, really!


That sounds like a nice dynamic!
I never really gave much thought about easily destroyable bullets in shmups but they defintely have a useful purpose when you put it that way.

The new explosion looks pretty cool and convincing, I like it!

Squire Grooktook wrote:
I'm forcing myself to finish off a number of tasks every day.

Setting up specific tasks has to be the only way I can somehow be productive so I can vouch for this method's effectiveness. :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:30 pm 


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New playable demo in 13 days.

https://twitter.com/SquireGrooktook/sta ... 7860093953
https://twitter.com/SquireGrooktook/sta ... 0804152320

Will have music.

Enemy spriting has also begun.

Image

(Work in progress, animation soon)
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:16 pm 


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Excellent; look forward to seeing the progress on it.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:07 am 


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The time has come!

I'm up at 3 am, and I had 3 hours of sleep last night, so I'll make this quick:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BERi9D ... AIxCc/view

Here's the new demo! Features a radically revised first stage and boss encounter, altered mechanics, some new sprites (that enemy above? Animated now! Though he's still not done), and other stuff! Unfortunately, I can't use those new tiles yet I posted above. Need to rewrite my tile controller later this month, urgh. On the bright side, that'll see the return of those "Mode 7" distortion effects, etc.

I'm somewhat unhappy with this, though less so than that last travesty of a demo *shudder*. Good enough for a second demo, I guess.

Anyway, a quick break down of the controls. I'll post a more detailed post-mortem and plans for the future tomorrow or so.



[TAP A] Eversor

Rapid straight shot. Melts zakos but sucks against anything with more than one hitpoint.

[HOLD A TO CHARGE AND RELEASE] Kestral Blade

Melee attack. Good spike damage, and locks onto all surviving enemies struck by the slash, allowing you to perform a homing attack. Note that firing again with [A] will break the lock on.

[RELEASE ALL BUTTONS TO CHARGE AND PRESS A] Banishing Sigil

Mine trap. The excessive charge time makes it poor for dps, but if you do find time to charge it (ie while crossing the stage, or when a boss is invulnerable) it'll give you good extra damage and let you attack from two places at once

[AFTER LOCKING ON WITH MELEE, HOLD B TO CHARGE, AND RELEASE] Divine Hunters Arrow

Homing attack. This is the strongest dps weapon you have available. Can be charged up to 3 times for max damage. For convenience, if all enemies currently locked on would be killed by the current charge level, the weapon will be automatically primed, and enemies will be marked with a death symbol.

[HOLD A + B] Judgement Hymn

Defensive Flame Thrower. Slows enemy bullets, but has low dps and a lengthy recovery wherein you cannot shoot after it is released. Use with caution.



I'll post a bit more about how Judgement mode works tomorrow. Basically, when you fill the meter by killing stuff, activate it and then kill everything on screen with your new weapons for a bonus and a finishing attack. Against bosses, you have to target the flashing weakpoints that appear to achieve this effect. Rest of the scoring is just speedkilling for extra waves (it's a little wonky because I underestimated a few variables this time - some waves are literally impossible to reach in time, while others are too easy. Lesson learned!)

Rest assured, I've already spotted and felt problems wit all of this. Changes will be made. But your feedback is still invaluable, so please play as much as you can and tell me anything that comes to mind.

And with that, gotta sleep! Let me know if anything broke when I removed that stupid wall paper right before compiling this...
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:23 pm 


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Initially this was giving me a lot of trouble, but I had a much better time of it after reading the instructions. 。◕‿◕。

Others will no doubt be able to give you a more technical analysis, but speaking personally I am a big fan of the gamefeel at this point. Things feel very quick right out of the gate, which sets it apart from other recent STGs I've played. I found myself falling into a very aggressive playstyle thanks to the focus on melee attacks and use of the lock-on weapon. I actually really like how you have to hold off from using your bug zapper in order to use the lock-on weapon; the boss battle in particular have a kind of "bait and strike" dance feel to them because of it, rather than just "hold beam, check watch."

I didn't make use of the dragon breath sub-weapon very much. Perhaps it's just that I prefer to dodge stuff and play in a more agile way, but I didn't really feel like there was any need to use it at this point? I'd imagine this will change as the game goes on. I get the impression Judgment mode isn't fully implemented yet, so I'll hold off on comment there.

You've got something here.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:07 pm 


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I played a few runs, managed to clear the level and wrote down some comments :

-What is "define music pack" ? I activated the option but it asked me to choose a .ini file in my file system, so I cancelled the whole thing.

-Are some default hi score names references to other shmupsforum players/developers? I thought I saw initials referencing BPzeBanshee and Udderdude for example. Nice touch if true.

-I still have the "__A" glitch when inputting a hiscore. Am I the only one who has it or did other players mention a similar error? On a side note, the glitch didn't occur on the run where I killed the boss.

-The default music volume is too low. A shame because it's actually pretty good. I find it rather intense and climatic, the kind of track that would play in a very important fight in a JRPG for example. On the other hand, I feel that the stage background and visual atmosphere may not be up to par with the track's intensity.

-I had a tough time setting up my controls. I initially set Shot to W, Bomb to X, Focus to Shift and Pause to Space with the "Define Keyboard" option. The result was : Shot is properly set, X did nothing, Shift is Bomb and Pause is bound to A. After fiddling a bit with the option, I managed to properly set up most of my key bindings, save for Pause which stays on A no matter what. For the record, I have an AZERTY keyboard and also have the previous version of the demo if for some reason, there are some shared metafiles.

-Before I learned how to properly use all the weapons, the mid-boss felt like it was never gonna end. Actually, it feels too long for a stage 1 midboss even when using the slash + homing attack.

-The mine trap attack looks very stylish, however there is no indication when it is ready, so it can be frustrating to stop shooting and hoping to have the mine trap tready when you resume firing, only to realize it isn't.

-It is kinda weird that the same enemy (here, the animated insect-winged ghost) appears several times with completely different HPs and attacks, one acting as a pseudo-mid-boss while the others are more like popcorn enemies. I don't mind having one be much tougher, but in that case, give it a color change or something to indicate its superior strength, like the Judgement Silversword boss where one of the popcorn enemies turns metallic gray.

-On the other hand, that pseudo-mid-boss has a pretty cool-looking teleport animation.

-Don't forget to implement time outs! I managed to keep the pseudo-mid boss alive long enough to have the BGM loop twice and reach the judgement mode activation threshold 4 times with the enemy never changing its attack patterns nor leaving the screen. I suspect the mid-boss and boss are similar.

-The boss' first phase's patterns have the right amount of difficulty. Not too easy, not too hard, but still enough to keep you on your toes.

-The boss's rotating razor phase has much better telegraphing than its Demo 1 equivalent. I have no complaints about this phase aside from the fact that triggering Judgement mode during it forces you to either get hit by the blades while trying to hit the markers or let the judgement mode pass.

-If I game over or clear the level, enter my initials, and then immediatly go back to the Hiscore table after the game brings me to the main menu, I am asked for my initials again, which will then register a new entry with the same score as the one I just had. It looks like you forgot to delete a temporary object that contained the newest highscore and is checked whenever you enter the Hiscore menu. Or something like that.

-Is it normal if successful Judgement attacks only last a second or two? There's a bunch of spinning flames around me that destroy everything and then it's quickly over.

-The round purple enemy with 4 diagonal antennas that fires 3 volleys of 2 bullets has a bit too much health given its size. It is actually slightly more resilient than the insect ghost whose sprite is twice as imposing. I know that enemy is a placeholder, but simply keep that in mind when you replace it by the final sprite.

-Judgement mode activation against the mid-boss gives me like half a second to do something, and it's often over before I even realize what happened. It's better on the boss fight's first phase but sometimes, it doesn't feel like I have enough time to hit every marker.

-There are four buttons, aren't they? Shot + Homing + Bomb/Judgement + Focus. That's quite a lot, especially for a game that can be directly played with a keyboard. (even though I never use Focus) Not saying that you should go full Yagawa-style and have weird two button combinations for everything to make the game playable on arcade sticks straight out of the 80s, but that means the best way to play the game would be an arcade stick. (Controllers wouldn't be too great due to the tapping on the main shot)

-Try to remove the flashing effect on the very small circular red bullets to see it it improves the lisibility. I don't have issues with other bullets but these ones are a bit tricky to properly see.

-Due to the rapid switching between the sword and the homing buttons, I sometimes trigger the flamethrower instead. Bit of an annoyance, but oh well.

-Speaking of which, what little did I do with the flamethrower didn't convince me much, but I despise the very unreliable and finicky Eschatos shield so I doubt I would like this defensive weapon anyway.

-The homing attack mechanic is fucking elegant! It gives such an intense dynamic and rhythm to the boss fights. I am kinda worried about the shot power balance though. Because the homing mechanic is not necessarily mastered right from the get-go, a new player might stick to the main shot for a a while, and if the boss fights last forever because the main shot alone is too weak, it can be annoying.

-In terms of pacing, I think it is better than the previous demo. However, mid-bosses and the boss still take up a lot of time and have too many phases for a first level, whereas the portions where you kill regular enemies waves do not seem long enough to really make a difference between a run where you speedkill them efficiently and those where you don't. It is possible that there are still a lot of waves that I haven't reached because I still have lots of speedkill potential, but at least that's how I feel with a few runs under my belt.

-Oh, by the way, I managed to get a game-ending error! =D
It happened as I activated the judgement mode while the mid-boss was leaving. I had one of the 4 cores with a marker on it and focused my fire on it, which prompted the following beautiful Error Log. For the info', I had to manually kill the process in the Task manager even after clicking on "Abort".

############################################################################################
FATAL ERROR in
action number 1
of Draw Event
for object obj_bossRingTracker:

Unable to find any instance for object index '621338' name '<undefined>'
at gml_Object_obj_bossRingTracker_Draw_0
############################################################################################
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:53 am 


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Oh, there's another thing I forgot to add about the Judgement timer!
The thing is, the circular bar appears when the judgement jauge reaches a certain threshold and the circle's progression matches the actual judgement jauge's progression.

What does that mean? Well, if you don't kill a lot of enemies, the bar will increase slowly but if you are on a killing spree, it fills much faster. Thus, the timing on the judgement mode activation is inconsistent. It is like a rhythm game that randomly speeds up or down its notechart.
From what I recall, it can even instantly jump from no circle to a filled circle sometimes when I kill a major enemy or get a bonus item.

Why not have a fixed circle animation with the same timing every single time it occurs, and this circle animation plays when your judgement reaches a specific threshold. Moreover, during the circle animation, the actual judgement bar value stays the same as it is not directly bound to the circle's animation progress and is only used as a trigger to start the circle animation. Depending on the player's actions during the circle animation (dying, letting the judgement mode go, or triggering it), you can then decide to resume the judgement bar progress or reset it accordingly.
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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:26 am 


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Okay, first off, thanks for the feedback all ^_^

Little busy, so takes a while to respond.

I've responded to some of M.Knight's post on the discord, but I wanted to respond to a few things here too:

M.Knight wrote:
-What is "define music pack" ? I activated the option but it asked me to choose a .ini file in my file system, so I cancelled the whole thing.


It's a relic! Ignore!

M.Knight wrote:
-I still have the "__A" glitch when inputting a hiscore. Am I the only one who has it or did other players mention a similar error? On a side note, the glitch didn't occur on the run where I killed the boss.


Hmmm, could you describe the glitch a little more? Is it defaulting to an abnormal letter, or is it actually entering your initials wrong?

M.Knight wrote:
On the other hand, I feel that the stage background and visual atmosphere may not be up to par with the track's intensity.


It'll be improved! Still acquiring more sprite assets. I'd also like some sort of take off sequence or intro, etc.

Amusingly, I think this fucking space castle is gonna end up being this games equivalent of the cho ren sha ring for a good long time, given how long it takes to get stages concepted and tiled out lol.

M.Knight wrote:
-I had a tough time setting up my controls. I initially set Shot to W, Bomb to X, Focus to Shift and Pause to Space with the "Define Keyboard" option. The result was : Shot is properly set, X did nothing, Shift is Bomb and Pause is bound to A. After fiddling a bit with the option, I managed to properly set up most of my key bindings, save for Pause which stays on A no matter what. For the record, I have an AZERTY keyboard and also have the previous version of the demo if for some reason, there are some shared metafiles.


Will look into this when I have time. On that note, did you have any such issues on the previous demo?

M.Knight wrote:
-Before I learned how to properly use all the weapons, the mid-boss felt like it was never gonna end. Actually, it feels too long for a stage 1 midboss even when using the slash + homing attack.


Yeah the DPS is poorly balanced due to me making some necessary changes on the last few days and then rushing to rebalance it again. Even just using shot like a coward, it shouldn't take that long to kill bosses.

M.Knight wrote:
-It is kinda weird that the same enemy (here, the animated insect-winged ghost) appears several times with completely different HPs and attacks, one acting as a pseudo-mid-boss while the others are more like popcorn enemies. I don't mind having one be much tougher, but in that case, give it a color change or something to indicate its superior strength, like the Judgement Silversword boss where one of the popcorn enemies turns metallic gray.


Yeah, I actually have an alternate pallete for the wraith. Didn't have time to impliment it though. We've also talked about having a few minor interchangeable parts in the long run: different head / wing designs, etc.

M.Knight wrote:
-Don't forget to implement time outs! I managed to keep the pseudo-mid boss alive long enough to have the BGM loop twice and reach the judgement mode activation threshold 4 times with the enemy never changing its attack patterns nor leaving the screen. I suspect the mid-boss and boss are similar.


Yeah, there's deliberately no time outs. Bosses don't give any score except by killing them and by Judgement, and the latter only gives score once per boss. So milking isn't or shouldn't be a thing.

M.Knight wrote:
-The mine trap attack looks very stylish, however there is no indication when it is ready, so it can be frustrating to stop shooting and hoping to have the mine trap tready when you resume firing, only to realize it isn't.


Lack of telegraphing on the charge was another conscious sacrifice due to time constraint, yeah. Expect one next time.

M.Knight wrote:
-The boss's rotating razor phase has much better telegraphing than its Demo 1 equivalent. I have no complaints about this phase aside from the fact that triggering Judgement mode during it forces you to either get hit by the blades while trying to hit the markers or let the judgement mode pass.


Hitting the markers is supposed to freeze him and temporarily disable the blades. Hope I didn't accidentally remove that...

M.Knight wrote:
-If I game over or clear the level, enter my initials, and then immediatly go back to the Hiscore table after the game brings me to the main menu, I am asked for my initials again, which will then register a new entry with the same score as the one I just had. It looks like you forgot to delete a temporary object that contained the newest highscore and is checked whenever you enter the Hiscore menu. Or something like that.


Thanks, never seen that. Will look into that!

M.Knight wrote:
-Is it normal if successful Judgement attacks only last a second or two? There's a bunch of spinning flames around me that destroy everything and then it's quickly over.


Depends on how many enemies are around to be marked. Basically, when you activate, it spends the next 2 seconds marking all the enemies that are on screen or about to spawn. Once you kill all of them, you unlock the final attack and bonus. If the enemy desnity isn't high, then yeah you can activate it quickly.

M.Knight wrote:
-There are four buttons, aren't they? Shot + Homing + Bomb/Judgement + Focus. That's quite a lot, especially for a game that can be directly played with a keyboard. (even though I never use Focus) Not saying that you should go full Yagawa-style and have weird two button combinations for everything to make the game playable on arcade sticks straight out of the 80s, but that means the best way to play the game would be an arcade stick. (Controllers wouldn't be too great due to the tapping on the main shot)


I use a SNES controller ^_^

Technically, the focus is optional and more there for testing purposes and "just in case it proves handy 1 in a million" since I try to design patterns so that slowing your movement is more likely to get you killed than anything else.

M.Knight wrote:
-Due to the rapid switching between the sword and the homing buttons, I sometimes trigger the flamethrower instead. Bit of an annoyance, but oh well.

-Speaking of which, what little did I do with the flamethrower didn't convince me much, but I despise the very unreliable and finicky Eschatos shield so I doubt I would like this defensive weapon anyway.


Yeah, mulling over ways to change it, possibility of removal, and a control shift.

I want to make it a bit more offense oriented when used right, with a unique purpose / ability, but we'll see.

M.Knight wrote:
-The homing attack mechanic is fucking elegant! It gives such an intense dynamic and rhythm to the boss fights. I am kinda worried about the shot power balance though. Because the homing mechanic is not necessarily mastered right from the get-go, a new player might stick to the main shot for a a while, and if the boss fights last forever because the main shot alone is too weak, it can be annoying.


Glad you felt that way about the homing! Very encouraging! Will definitely be fixing dps as well for the main shot.

M.Knight wrote:
-In terms of pacing, I think it is better than the previous demo. However, mid-bosses and the boss still take up a lot of time and have too many phases for a first level, whereas the portions where you kill regular enemies waves do not seem long enough to really make a difference between a run where you speedkill them efficiently and those where you don't. It is possible that there are still a lot of waves that I haven't reached because I still have lots of speedkill potential, but at least that's how I feel with a few runs under my belt.


Noted!

The stage isn't *quite* as high on speedkill potential as it could be, because I over/under estimated a few variables. That being said, if you play really fast you can get 6 wraiths to spawn before the miniboss, as opposed to the 4-5 if you just do well. There are also "extra" enemies that appear in some ways when you kill things fast enough. IE the first wave of 3 enemies can actually spawn 5 if you kill certain key members fast enough.

I think I can improve the depth on the first stage, though I think things aren't going to get really deep until there's more bullets littering the screen on later stages. That's really what drives the speedkill depth in Dangun and Gundemonium too.

Also considering shortening the miniboss a lot. Boss is...probably where I want him in length. Keep in mind you can speedkill him in 50 seconds (most people I've seen take 70+) if you know all his weaknesses, which will net you a bonus.

M.Knight wrote:
-Oh, by the way, I managed to get a game-ending error! =D
It happened as I activated the judgement mode while the mid-boss was leaving. I had one of the 4 cores with a marker on it and focused my fire on it, which prompted the following beautiful Error Log. For the info', I had to manually kill the process in the Task manager even after clicking on "Abort".

############################################################################################
FATAL ERROR in
action number 1
of Draw Event
for object obj_bossRingTracker:

Unable to find any instance for object index '621338' name '<undefined>'
at gml_Object_obj_bossRingTracker_Draw_0
############################################################################################


Yikes! Will fix!

M.Knight wrote:
Oh, there's another thing I forgot to add about the Judgement timer!
The thing is, the circular bar appears when the judgement jauge reaches a certain threshold and the circle's progression matches the actual judgement jauge's progression.

What does that mean? Well, if you don't kill a lot of enemies, the bar will increase slowly but if you are on a killing spree, it fills much faster. Thus, the timing on the judgement mode activation is inconsistent. It is like a rhythm game that randomly speeds up or down its notechart.
From what I recall, it can even instantly jump from no circle to a filled circle sometimes when I kill a major enemy or get a bonus item.

Why not have a fixed circle animation with the same timing every single time it occurs, and this circle animation plays when your judgement reaches a specific threshold. Moreover, during the circle animation, the actual judgement bar value stays the same as it is not directly bound to the circle's animation progress and is only used as a trigger to start the circle animation. Depending on the player's actions during the circle animation (dying, letting the judgement mode go, or triggering it), you can then decide to resume the judgement bar progress or reset it accordingly.


Basically the circle is just a representation of the meter in the top left corner of the screen, so you don't have to glance at it to see when it's ready.

Judgement is filled both overtime and by killing enemies and grabbing certain medals, so that's why the ring fills differently.

I'd say more but tired of typing right now, ha ha. Thanks for ALL the feedback! <3
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Japan an almost perfect society always threatened by outsiders....................

Instead I am stuck in the America's where women rule with an iron crotch, and a man could get arrested for sitting behind a computer too long.

Aeon Zenith - My STG.


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 Post subject: Re: Aeon Zenith
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:57 pm 


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Location: France
__A glitch :
Here's what I said about this glitch last time :

In the previous episode, I wrote:
I have a bug where every time I submit a score, I have my entry added to the ranking, along with a copy of my score that has the initials "A__".

The same thing happens here, the only difference being the glitch not happening whenever I input my highscore after clearing the stage or due to the other high score entry glitch. Here's a screenshot of my high score to show its consequences :
Spoiler: show
Image

The first score is me beating the demo, the second one is me triggering the glitch when you enter the high score menu again, and the __A glitch can be seen on the entries 4+5, 7+8, and 9.

Control issues : As far as I remember, I didn't have any issues with the first demo's controls. Otherwise, I think I would have mentionned them in my previous feedback.

Timeouts : Even if there are no ways to gain points from milking, I still think it is crucial to have timeouts just in case, as a failsafe. Having a run potentially last forever is an issue, more so if you want to implement replays later on. But even without that kind of features in consideration, it can be a problem with the judgement system. Given that the judgement timer grows over time even if you don't shoot and that every mid-boss or boss only gives the Judgement bonus at least once, it means that if a player used a successful Judgement attack right before a mid-boss and that the mid-boss is too weak to fully recharge the Judgment jauge without being killed before, then the best course of action scoring-wise is to wait ages before the judgement bar increases on its own and can be triggered again, as to not miss out on those bonus points. If there are no incentives to kill the boss faster that outweigh waiting forever to get one Judgement Mode per boss, then this scenario may happen, even if the conditions are kinda obtuse.

That's the kind of potential exploits than can make high-level scoring annoying and I would put hard timeouts on everything to limit the potential for that type of degenerative play.

Rotating blade Judgement markers : In the heat of the action, I can't say if the blade was stopped or not. It is quite possible that they are properly frozen but I got killed before I even had the chance to hit one of the markers due to the blades catching up to the immobile dragon.

Stage 1 pacing : I agree that the scoring potential and the amount of "unlockable" waves can't be as high in Stage 1 as in the following stages, but given the amount of times players are going to go through when trying to nail the 1CC or for scoring purposes, I think it is important not to make the stage 1's skill ceiling too low. Otherwise, it can get kinda boring for an experienced player. You don't even necessarily need to have lots of bullets on the screen, as long as the enemy waves placement allows for a good amount of speedkill optimization.

That also goes for the bosses. 50 seconds for a Stage 1 boss speedkill is way too much IMO. That should actually be how long you need to take it down when you are unfamiliar with the boss and don't know the speedkilling strategies. I think 20~30 seconds to speedkill it is a better estimate and will be more pleasant on repeated playthroughs. Take a look at some arcade shmups' stage1 bosses and how long it takes to quick-kill them : 10 seconds for XII Zeal, around 20 seconds for Dangun Feveron, Darius Gaiden, Thunder Dragon 2, DoDonPachi, Guwange, 40 seconds for G-Darius, Illvelo, Radirgy.

It is important to have a stage 1 boss that does not feel too long because once again, it is the easiest and the one you'll fight the most. Having a first stage that is too long with a boss that is too resilient can be a deterrent for playing the game altogether once the player reaches a skill threshold.

Judgement timer circle : It's actually the fact that the ring is a direct representation of the bar that bothers me as it changes the element of timing involved in triggering the Judgement mini-game. Depending on my performance and the part of the stage where I am when the circle first appears, I may have to press the Judgement button in a second, two, twenty, or even immediatly, which is distracting. That was why I suggested unbinding the ring from the judgement bar to make the time between the ring's appearance and the moment you'll have to press the judgement button consistent.


Hope this helps!
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I think I have downloaded so much I am bored with downloading. No really I bored with downloading stuff I might consider moving to Canada or the pacific.

Remote Weapon GunFencer - My shmup project


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