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 Post subject: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:41 pm 


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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 865
Location: France
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Latest demo link : [24 July 2018]
https://mknight.itch.io/remote-weapon-gunfencer

-----

Original post :

Hello everybody !
Well, turns out I am making a shmup.

I thought about the idea a long time ago but didn't act on it until I picked up Unity3D last December. I already tried one of the tutorials a few years ago but didn't do much beyond it.

So, I've been working on something during my free time for a year now, learning things about the engine's intricacies, trying my hand at 3D modelling, and I put together something.

Spoiler: show
Image Image


Anyway, enough introductions !
The game (for which I don't even have a title yet) is a 16:9 hori with a caravan-style scoring : kill waves faster to spawn the following ones. It is inspired by some of my favorite shmups : Radirgy, Dangun Feveron and Thunder Dragon 2 in particular but there are some other influences.

The scoring system in entirely focused on moving all over the place speedkilling and destroying as many enemy waves as possible. For each wave, a time bonus is given to you depending on your performance. On top of that, each wave has a frame threshold that has two effects if you clear the wave under it. Not only does it increases the wave bonus, it also changes the next wave to be a slightly tougher variant. It's like a very basic rank system.
As for bosses, they also have a time bonus.

The weapons follow the Radirgy system, more or less: There's a main forward shot which is narrow on purpose to make you move a lot, a powerful close-range sword, and a rechargeable circular bomb that surrounds you just like Radirgy's ABSNet expect it does more damage to enemies. The bomb is recharged by getting autocollected items from defeated enemies and they drop more items the faster they are killed, like Dangun's discomen. One big difference from Radirgy's system is that the bomb can only be recharged when not active, so having a bomb ready when the previous one hasn't worn off yet is impossible. Oh, and there's no shield if you stop firing.

All of the weapons are available from the very beginning without any need for power-ups.

In short, here's what I am aiming for :
-Fast movement
-Focus on quick dispatching of enemies
-Bombing is rewarded and useful
-No boss milking whatsoever

Here are two videos displaying the differences between a safe run that mostly uses the shot and focuses on survival, and a score-oriented run with lots of melee point-blanking and aggressive bomb usage :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_Yi8cCY9gk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL30FR8pg90


So far, I have a playable demo with a minute long stage with a boss. You can get it here :

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HIfvB ... -_mbiF6cLW

Zipped game filesize : 33.9 MB
Unzipped game filesize : 295 MB

Default Controls :

W / Z : Confirm and Toggle some options (in menus) / Shot (in game)
X : Cancel (in menus) / Sword (in game)
C : Bomb
Directionnal arrows : Move cursor up and down (in menus) / Move (in game)
Spacebar : Pause (in game)

The game was mostly tested on a 1920x1080 resolution with a 60Hz screen refresh rate. If you have issues with different configurations, let me know. Impressions in general would be more than welcome !

Despite the time I spent on it, many elements are still temporary, such as the half-assed opening "animation", or many of the menu graphics. The stage background itself is pretty empty and lifeless compared to what I have in mind. Even the boss patterns may be completely reworked.

Besides, there a few specific issues/topics on which I would like to have other opinions if possible :

- Is the hitbox visibility fine or is it difficult to pinpoint where it is without looking at the mech ? The white sphere in the middle is the hitbox, but even though it is aligned with the player shots, it is not the perfect center of the player's 3D model. Do you think a rectangular or circular indicator around the hitbox should be necessary ?

- Does the sword feel overpowered in range and/or power ? Optimal play involves a lot of point-blanking with the sword, to the point that many enemies don't get to fire their shots. As the stage 1 mostly contains frail enemies, this is particularly noticeable but I am not sure it is necessarily a problem. I also plan to have bulkier enemies as well as enemies coming from the sides or even behind to make the player move all over the place and not just near the right side.


Thanks for reading !
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RegalSin wrote:
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


Last edited by M.Knight on Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:14 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:49 pm 


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I gave the demo a quick try, here's some initial thoughts.

I love the intro sequence, the fact that you have an intro at this early stage gives the demo a nice polished feel, on the whole presentation is pretty good although I found the Hi Score table to be a bit confusing to look at.

The game moves a bit too fast for me to really get a good feel for it, I'm old and my reactions are slow, I'm not sure how far I got into the level but I didn't last very long.

The art style is nice and bold, the game certainly has an interesting look, the player character looks very cool but some of the enemy ships maybe looked a little too simplistic in comparison, I liked the backgrounds. I really didn't like the way the player character could partially disapear off screen when at the edges though.

Control pad support would be nice and it should be fairly easy to impliment with Unity, I'm not a big fan of using the arrow keys to move - but I'm guessing I could change that (I forgot to check).

All in all it ran really smoothly and I think the game certainly has potential, I didn't notice any obvious bugs, when I have a bit more spare time I'll give it a proper test.

I'd say this is a pretty good start, keep up the good work. :)
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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:41 pm 


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Joined: 29 Jul 2014
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Location: Florida, Estados Unidos
mm, cake-powered robots

Any reason I can't map the directions to X/Y or POV Hat? It'll still take joystick buttons.

Re: Hitbox - I can see it well enough since it's got an outline, but a) it might not hurt to have an option to change it's color, and b) looking at the replay, it seems like your arm can cover it up sometimes. I'm guessing it's during the sword-swinging animation.

Can't comment much on the game b/c my laptop is shit and can't run it at the right speed. This seems to break the sword animation a bit and causes the scrolling to fuck up at around the gate where the first green box-bot shows up (around 37 seconds in the video).

ps: I like the pajamas option :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:09 pm 


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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
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Location: France
Thanks a lot for the comments! :D

To address the various topics and issues:

-Hi-score table : I agree that it is not the most pleasant nor intuitive looking table out there. I hastily put it together to have the feature in the game, but plan to change it later to make it more readable and better-looking.

-Difficulty : The stage itself lasts a minute and the boss times out after a minute but with speedkilling strategies ~15 seconds are enough to kill it. As I don't plan to make a very long shmup (around 15 minutes would already be great to be honest), even the first stage is a bit challenging. That said, many of the shots are aimed at the player and no enemy spawns on the left side so you can stay near the left edge of the screen to play it safe from a distance. If the difficulty is too much, I can nerf some enemies of course but a Caravan scoring implies some sort of intensity so the pacing will still be tight. At least that's how I feel, I guess.

-Visual design : Thanks! Shaders are a pain and I had to cobble together pieces of code from the internet to have this look so it is still perfectible. As for the designs themselves, I think the simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing for smaller enemies as long as the form is distinctive. You wouldn't want to have an overdesigned popcorn ennemy that distracts attention despite not being super important. However some of the bigger ones lack indeed detail. I think I will change the designs for the pseudo mid-boss (the gray enemy in the park entrance) and maybe the pink sunfish-looking enemy and make them a bit more detailed in the process. I am still not happy with the stage 1 boss' very basic design so it may get (yet another) redesign.

-Player character partial disappearance : Yup, it can feel a bit odd, I'll give you that. The reason the mecha can be slightly off-screen is that the hitbox must be able to use all the space available as it is its only vulnerable part. If you disallow the whole mecha to leave the screen, you will have to create invisible walls near the edges of the screen and in some cases, that can lead to a player getting hit near the edges because he thought he had more space than what was actually available. It can happen even in some commercial shmups (Gun Frontier and the Shikigami no Shiro series come to mind) and it's always frustrating.

-Control Pad Support : When I tackled the Input side of the game, I ditched all those Unity pre-made inputs and set up my own, but I think I set them all as "Key or Mouse Buttons". I'll look into it to make sure Axes can be used. Is switching my four directionnal inputs to "Joystick Axis" in the InputManager a solution that works without breaking the use of buttons as directions?

-Hitbox Color : An option to change the hitbox color is interesting, I'll try to implement that! Any specific colors you have in mind?
I guess there even could be an option to change the mecha color if someone wants a break from its canon blue color scheme. I've gotta be careful with the feature creep though! The entire tutorial segment with its VN-style dialogue is the result of me wanting an excuse to draw my character some more and give more personality to the game tutorial even though it delayed the demo release by ~2-3 months. :lol:

-Hitbox visibility during animations : For the hitbox being obscured by the arm, do not worry : the hitbox is actually a simple sphere detached from the mecha's 3D model and is on a different camera layer. Despite the arm swinging in front of the hitbox, it will still be behind it. You can see that in this screencap from the video for example.

-Issues when not running at full speed : That's a good point. I haven't tested the game on underperforming hardware so the slowdown and desyncs might be all over the place. :?
The background camera movements are handled by DOTween motions, and those are given an amount of seconds to travel a path. As the stage is cut in two 30 second-long sections with each their own camera movements, the transition between those two happens in the park's entrance and I suppose that's why it was messed up on your laptop. Was the camera at the park entrance too early and stopped abruptly or was it different? If some parts of the game do not properly slow down while the rest is slow, I suppose I'll have to check whether there is a way to get the current FPS and use it as a speed coefficient or something.

-Pajamas : Glad you like them! :lol: You can also thank Darius Burst ACEX's Violent/Golden Ruler for introducing me to the coolest animal ever, otherwise it wouldn't have been featured on the pajamas. :mrgreen:
For now the heroine's VN-esques portraits only appear in the tutorial but I am thinking about putting one (with the chosen outfit) in the transitions between two stages to give that option a bit more weight in the main game.
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:10 pm 


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Quote:
-Issues when not running at full speed : That's a good point. I haven't tested the game on underperforming hardware so the slowdown and desyncs might be all over the place. :?
The background camera movements are handled by DOTween motions, and those are given an amount of seconds to travel a path. As the stage is cut in two 30 second-long sections with each their own camera movements, the transition between those two happens in the park's entrance and I suppose that's why it was messed up on your laptop. Was the camera at the park entrance too early and stopped abruptly or was it different? If some parts of the game do not properly slow down while the rest is slow, I suppose I'll have to check whether there is a way to get the current FPS and use it as a speed coefficient or something.

Basically what happens at the gate is that the scrolling completely stops as it continues to spawn enemies up until a third set of the green box-bots, and then just sits there for an additional ~14 seconds until it resumes scrolling. Guess I should mention that it takes longer to get to the gate than it does in your vid, probably proportionate to the amount that everything else is slowed down by. (Oh, and re-watching the vid, the scrolling also pauses for a few moments at the start when the alarm-clock time is displayed)
I'm going to assume those enemies were the bonus ones I'd normally have to be quick-killing to see, so while at this point I'd normally say "don't worry about my laptop it's hopeless", this seems like basically any frame drops a person gets are directly translated into additional scoring opportunities? so that definitely sounds like something that should be fixed.
You might be able to replicate this behavior for yourself using a CPU Limiter? My CPU is limited by default so I've never used one, but if it does what I think it does then it should help in seeing what that's about.

Something else to mention: Is it intentional that you can survive the first level segment just sweeping up and down with the shot button glued down? I know MileStone games are supposed to be trivial to play for survival, so I don't know if this is deliberate, or if you're just so focused on the score-play that you didn't think to test how super-lame playing (like, way lamer than your "regular play" vid) would pan out. I can't tell if enemies are shooting less frequently on my machine or not.


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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:10 pm 


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I will look into using a CPU Limiter tool to test your issues.
The way my coroutines are programmed, every frame adds to a bunch of counters that manage the enemies and the stage sections' behavior and I don't think I implemented anything in paricular to handle frame drops, so this is something I'll have to fix, indeed.
The camera movements are given a set amount of seconds to do their magic but the enemy waves are handled frame per frame, which can explain the disrepancy between the enemy spawning and the scrolling when frames are dropped left and right. The ~14 seconds of waiting after the first section's last enemy wave in particular is really odd.

I tried some lame runs and even pacifist runs while playtesting and I know that the game can become quite easier this way, especially when you only face a third of the programmed waves. The survival difficulty is not a top priority but I still try to keep it in mind. The stage's first half has no enemies that can't even withstand a single sword slash so that's why it can be pretty easy and I am okay with it as it is the very first section of the game. However, starting from the stage's second half, I am introducing more resilient enemies. That alleviates the issue a bit I think.

By the way, I implemented the option to change the hitbox colors. Here are the addtionnal colors I have for the moment.
Blue :
Spoiler: show
Image

Green :
Spoiler: show
Image

Pink :
Spoiler: show
Image

Orange :
Spoiler: show
Image

Putting other colors is pretty easy for me, so let me know if there is a specific color that should be put.
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:25 pm 


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https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nSVPS ... EiGoDb4y3q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd4IVVtPJ6U

I uploaded an improved version of the demo, with the following changes :

- [BUGFIX] The game speed is the same for all of the elements on screen even when slowdown occurs, instead of having lots of desyncs with the camera not being affected by the slowdown for example.
- [FEATURE] An option allows you to switch the hitbox color. 5 colors so far : White, Blue, Green, Orange, Pink
- [FEATURE] Additionnal input options in the Input menu, with Horizontal and Vertical axes, if you want to use Joysticks.
- [ADDITION] Added more background items (Bus Stops, Trees, Park entrances, etc.)
- [ADDITION] Some background elements can now be animated. The stage intro and the beginning of the stage proper have some background action involving cars and enemies.
- [CHANGE] The mid-boss as well as the sunfish-looking ennemy are replaced by different designs. Their behavior remains unchanged.
- [CHANGE] The sword slashes, lacking in visiblity, have been updated with much easier to see variants.
- [CHANGE] Due to a bug that I haven't fixed yet and that is caused by the solution to the slowdown problem, the camera shaking when hit has been replaced by a flash for now. (well, it is actually a camera shake so intense that the background disappears for a second, giving the impression of a flash)
- [CHANGE] Changed the ranking menu graphics to have a more coherent and readable score ranking.
- [CHANGE] Changed the game icon to a smaller resolution equivalent.

mamboFoxTrot : If my bugfix is successful, the game should now properly lag on your laptop, instead of having some elements that lag and others that don't. That may also increase the difficulty a bit, as the shots used not to slow down if the game does which resulted in a higher DPS on the bulkier enemies.
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:13 pm 


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The bugfix seems to have worked, for the most part. The only problem is the player's bullets slow down more than everything else.
Otherwise, as far as I can tell, on my machine it looks identical to your video -- when setting the playback speed to 0.25x! :lol:

I like the new sword-slash graphic. A lot easier to see, and a bit more "satisfying", too!


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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:40 pm 


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mamboFoxtrot wrote:
The bugfix seems to have worked, for the most part.

Ah, that's good to know! :)
Adjusting every game element's speed on the actual game speed was no easy feat but I realize it was defintely necessary and I may not have tackled this problem this early if it weren't for your laptop's poor performance. So thanks for having such a low-end computer! :lol:
I will look into the player shot speed disrepancy which shouldn't be too difficult to fix now.

I changed the slash graphic as I was told that it wasn't always very visible indeed. I am quite happy with the new one and am glad you prefer it too.
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:29 pm 


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I am currently working on the second stage, ironing out a few things, and notably added collectible medals to the game :

Image

The cake items were auto-collected so there was something missing compared to Dangun's holy trinity of shooting, dodging and collecting stuff. The way the medals work is simple : some kind of enemies drop a medal among three types. Each medal type has its own fixed point value. That's it. There's no chaining or anything as that would go against my design principles.

No ETA for the next demo but it will be released after I finish the stage 2 background and boss attacks, and clear up a few side issues.
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:13 pm 


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I gave the demo a spin :)

It was pretty fun. Brutal difficulty for a first level though, but maybe I am also getting old :D
I can't stand it when enemies manage to get past, so I tend to fly up close and then ... get shot :D

I like the art you made for the title screen.

I dig the scrolling backgrounds. Adds some nice motion to the visuals. The only thing that was a little jarring to me was how sudden the changes in direction were in the background. Movement really seemed to be at right angles.

I think the player character looks great. The ships look okay. Could maybe use a little extra detail work or some animation somehow.

Keep it up! :)
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 Post subject: Re: My (untitled) shmup project [with Caravan-style scoring]
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:19 pm 


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Thank you for your impressions and comments! :)

I haven't prevented enemies from shooting at you when you are very close but if it is a problem, I'll have to adjust that, especially given how it is a standard feature in shmups.
Good point about the changes in the scrolling, I'll try to smooth that! right now, I have a camera that follows a path with very sharp angles and no curves at all so that's why the movements changes are sudden.

I'll also see if I can add some animations for the more static enemies.

I wanted a fast-paced game to go along with the carvan scoring, so the intensity in general is a bit high indeed, especially if you try to score and play aggressively. I am currently working on the stage 2 and while some enemies are a bit more difficult, I think the general difficulty is about the same. I'll let players evaluate that by themselves when the stage is finished.
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:00 am 


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Finally decided on a name for the game, now called Remote Weapon GunFencer, or GunFencer for short. That's the name of the mecha, which is - as you guessed- remote controlled.
Here's the title logo I made for it :
Spoiler: show
Image


I just finished stage 2's first draft. Still have a few tweaks to make on stage 1 and menus before the next demo is ready! In the meanwhile, here are a few screenshots :
Spoiler: show
Image
Image
Image
Image
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:51 pm 


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Finally finished working on this newest demo, which most notably includes the entire Stage 2! You can get it here :

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LUR-z ... zs75cniLdR

I also recorded two Stage 2 videos to show the difference between a regular run and a scoring run :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_6O8lrTYDs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpLKtP5uGGM

Demo 3 Changelog :

- [ADDITION] Stage 2
- [ADDITION] The game finally has a name, a title screen and a kickass logo !
- [ADDITION] Added BG elements and events in Stage 1, including the cheapest-looking and cheapest-animated fire effect known to man~
- [ADDITION] Added icons to menu options, so you can navigate them even if you don't know how to read ! (or due to language barrier)
- [ADDITION] Player shots now have a black outline
- [ADDITION] The mecha is displayed in the options when the selected option is relevant to it.
- [ADDITION] Emily's sprites are displayed in the options menu when the Clothing Change option is selected
- [ADDITION] Added a sound effect for non-lethal sword damage inflicted on an enemy
- [ADDITION] Player mech has booster animations when he moves forward
- [ADDITION] Added a booster animation to one of the enemies (The light orange one that fires two long blue bullets forward)


- [FEATURE] Some enemy types drop a medal (among three types) when killed. These medals are each worth a fixed amount of points, depending on the medal type
- [FEATURE] Stage select mode
- [FEATURE] Individual ranking tables are available for each stage played in stage select mode
- [FEATURE] Customize the mecha color among four color schemes : Blue, Red, Green, Orange
- [FEATURE] More screen aspect ratios are available, but bars will be added to always keep 16:9 aspect ratio in-game
- [FEATURE] Added animated arrows in most menus
- [FEATURE] Togglable circular indicator that surrounds the hitbox, for those who have issues keeping track of the hitbox's current location at any time
- [FEATURE] An option allows to automatically skip the opening animation
- [FEATURE] When changing the language in the options menu, the option menu text changes


- [CHANGE] Boss 1 is different : new design, some differences to the patterns
- [CHANGE] Adjusted camera movements in Stage 1 to avoid passing right behind lampposts
- [CHANGE] The autobomb penalty that increases the amount of cake items required to get another bomb ready is no longer active once you bomb again manually
- [CHANGE] The whole mech flickers when damaged
- [CHANGE] Tweaks to boss warning sequences
- [CHANGE] Tweaks to the enemy explosions (sound effects and graphics)
- [CHANGE] The cursor in menus only reaches the bottom if it is the last item in the menu list, and only reaches the top if it is the first
- [CHANGE] Changed color of two of the enemies to a lighter shade of gray, to help them stand out against the roads
- [CHANGE] Adjusted some hitbox color options to avoid them completely blending with the available mecha colors
- [CHANGE] Most of the smaller enemies don't fire at point-blank range anymore


- [BUGFIX] When game is slowed down, the speed decrease applied to the player's shots matches the general slowdown instead of being even slower
- [BUGFIX] Fixed the camera shaking glitch where getting hit the instant the camera moves from a path to another made it fly very high and slowy descend to where it should be
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:19 pm 


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Based on the feedback I have received from some players who couldn't run the game at full speed on their machines, I have released an updated version, that you can get here :

https://drive.google.com/open?id=12M7xM ... z20SAzl9Hd

Demo 4 Changelog

[CHANGE] Removed Debug Info, cleaned up player shot 3D model, reduced amount of pooled bullets, and adjusted camera settings to improve game performance
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:15 pm 


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Before working on stage 3, I would like to replace many of the placeholder graphics I have in the interface and menus. Here are some comparison pictures with the newer visuals on top and the old one at the bottom :
Initials entry :
Spoiler: show
Image

Ranking :
Spoiler: show
Image

Tutorial Dialog Box
Spoiler: show
Image

Main Menu
Spoiler: show
Image
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:04 pm 


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Ooh. The new menu assets look a lot better. The detailing really glues it all together much more :)
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:54 pm 


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Thanks! :)
In addition to the details, I also tried to have some recurrent visual design choices to have all interface elements maintain a sense of cohesion and similarity. Borders that end with arrows, or circular logos on a corner of almost every window.
I didn't think it would be interesting, but designing those menus can be kinda fun!
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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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:50 pm 


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Designing UI always grinds my gears, but it is very important indeed. It's the first thing players see and can be a huge turnoff if it looks crappy.

I think the time investment was definitely worth it. Looks much more cohesive now.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:03 am 


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I know its like a month or so after the fact, but I thought I'd chime in and report that all the game speed stuff works properly on my toaster now. Though, the sword animation plays twice sometimes (50/50 chance or greater, no slash the second time), but it doesn't affect how frequently you can slash so its not important.

About the medals, tho: if you want some of that Dangun flavor, then shouldn't they move faster or something? As it is, it seems unlikely that you'd ever really miss one.


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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:08 pm 


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Even if it is a month later, I don't mind at all! It's good to see the speed fixes work as intended on someone else's machine.
I'll have to look into how the sword animation is handled by the game, because it is a bit glitchy anyway. Even at full speed, the animation works fine, but tends to spaz out when you hit pause while swinging. It does not affect the gameplay but looks unpolished.

Good idea about the medals! Up until now, I thought of them more like the Thunder Dragon 2 medals, who move rather slowly but don't bounce back upwards when reaching the bottom of the screen. A faster medal movement speed can be more dynamic and also justify more uses of the bomb to suck them. I'll playtest that.
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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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:56 pm 


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Good news : the game now has an itch.io page!

You can get the latest demo here :

https://mknight.itch.io/remote-weapon-gunfencer


This version has a lot of UI updates and a few bugfixes and balance tweaks. Now that this is done, I can start working on stage 3.

As always, your feedback is welcome!

Demo 5 Changelog

-[BUGFIX] Fixed a ranking display glitch where some of the initials (the empty space and the numbers) produced unwanted characters on the scoreboard.
-[BUGFIX] Fixed bug where pressing the Cancel button during initial entry when no initials were entered actually entered characters related to the cancel symbol.
-[BUGFIX] Fixed a bug where a boss could get locked in the knockback state and become a sitting duck until its death if it was knocked back on the exact same frame where it had to move to the next attack in the previous phase.
-[BUGFIX] Fixed the error where the sword animation would sometimes spazz out like crazy when the player pauses the game mid-swing.


-[ADDITION] Added a boss destruction sequence. The boss now explodes a lot when destroyed instead of instantly disappearing, and the BG camera shakes a bit during the final explosion
-[ADDITION] Animated the Game Over, Stage Clear and Score Recap sequences at the end of a run.
-[ADDITION] Added a point display for every ennemy killed
-[ADDITION] Added visible lifebars during boss fights.
-[ADDITION] Added names to the 2 bosses. Boss 1 is "ROCKET CLAW". Boss 2 is "INDIGO WING"
-[ADDITION] Added the last three planned poses/sprites for Emily in the tutorial menu.
-[ADDITION] Added a fade-out transition effect to Emily's portaits in the tutorial section.


-[CHANGE] Replaced many placeholder UI elments with proper art assets : Pause menu, menu arrows, ranking screen, options, tutorial menu, boss warning, wave bonus displays, boss time bonus display, medal bonus display, Game Over, Stage Clear
-[CHANGE] The in-game Life/Bomb/Score counter's 3D model has been replaced by an art asset that visually matches the other UI elements' style.
-[CHANGE] The score recap at the end of a run is now visible even for players who didn't make it to the ranking
-[CHANGE] Renamed "Practice" to "Stage Select" to reduce confusion about the mode
-[CHANGE] The Stage Select mode now displays a preview of the selected stage's background instead of the same artwork as in the main menu
-[CHANGE] Changed most if not all the text displayed on screen for an outlined variant.
-[CHANGE] Replaced the empty space initial by an underscore.
-[CHANGE] Multiple wave bonuses indicators can be displayed on the screen at the same time.
-[CHANGE] Changed the Gunfencer's 3D model's orientation to a side-view in order to help locating the hitbox.
-[CHANGE] Decreased the outline thickness on the GunFencer's sword
-[CHANGE] Replaced Stage 1 mid boss' 3D model for yet another redesign.
-[CHANGE] Updated one of the Stage 2 spotlight textures to be darker
-[CHANGE] Decreased the size of cake slices to improve lisibility
-[CHANGE] Darkened the BG to improve visibility
-[CHANGE] Updated the "Rayons de Soleil" texture on the stage 1 bakery.
-[CHANGE] Replaced BG advert mockups in Stage 1 by higher quality fake-ads.
-[CHANGE] Changed the Stage 1 boss entrance camera movements to turn towards the plaza during the warning and not during the fight
-[CHANGE] Updated Stage 2 boss entrance SFX
-[CHANGE] Tweaked the BG camera movements for smoother turns and transitions
-[CHANGE] Nerfed HP of the stage 2 blue popcorn enemy that fires clusters of 4 bullets so that it matches the other popcorn enemies's health.
-[CHANGE] Increased the medal movement speed a bit
-[CHANGE] Slightly updated Emily's artwork to fix a few shading and line errors
-[CHANGE] Updated the tutorial dialogue to make it clearer that Emily is the one to pilot the mecha in-universe instead of the player.
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:41 pm 


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Since the latest demo's release, I was able to add a new stage intro, with a name given to each stage, and with a less prominent clock on the top left.

On top of that, the feedback I was given pushed me to implement the following two quality-of-life improvements :
-Bullets have a small scale-based animation (during which they are harmless) when they spawn to make it easier to notice them on time and dodge them.
-Cakes slices are spawned whenever you get hit. They will immediatly recharge your bomb. Their color is slightly different simply because they are not worth any points.
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:56 am 


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I started designing enemies for GunFencer's stage 3. Here is a little showcase with a few test waves. Not sure they'll all be used in this stage, (first enemy was originally designed for St2 for example) but we'll see.
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 12:17 pm 


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In parrallel with stage 3's enemy waves design, I also took some time to implement little dialogue snippets that occur right before a boss, or once it is defeated. Before that point, the only place where the main character talked was in the tutorial section, and I was told her sass could be put to good use in the game itself. I was looking for ways to incorporate more of her within the game so that sounded like a good way to do so.

I am aware of how story bits can be a bother if intrusive. Those dialogue snippets do not stop the action nor your mecha's movements, do not require you to press buttons to read through them, are very short and only happen in moments where you are not in danger. On top of that, there are some variants for each encounter and one is selected pseudo-randomly every time, to keep things a little bit fresher. Not to mention the lines themselves being sarcastic quips or one-liners rather than completely serious dialogue. The game's mood is supposed to be a little bit on the goofy side so that fits.
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:41 pm 


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I've been messing around with particle effects ever since I came back from Stunfest. The previous explosions for example were almost invisible. There was also a significant lack of impact effects when hitting enemies, so I tried to fix that. I also tweaked the cake slices' movement to make it more fluid and dynamic.

Image
Mirror with better quality : https://streamable.com/jgw0p

Some mid-bosses can also spawn a 1UP upon defeat :
Image
Mirror with better quality : https://streamable.com/5dgkt

And here's some artwork of a recurring NPC cop who sometimes (unsucessfully) tries to help in the background during the stages or before a boss fight:
Spoiler: show
Image
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:03 am 


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Looks a lot more dynamic :)
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:00 pm 


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I added a new mechanic to the boss fights. They can spawn child enemies which deal back some heavy damage to the bosses when killed. The idea is to rebalance the optimal boss scoring strategies because the melee-oriented weapon system and the kill speed being the key element to the best scores made most fights be just you trying to point-blank the boss with the sword as much as possible. While the risk taking involved is nice, I want the player to move around a lot more and do more varied things than focusing on a single enemy, so this should alleviate this issue.

The mechanic is still pretty experimental and unbalanced as the damage inflicted recharges your bomb very quickly, but I'll keep on improving it.

And here's some eyecatches with the game characters and their mecha/aircrafts that are in the game so far :
Spoiler: show
Image

Spoiler: show
Image

Spoiler: show
Image


Sai'ke wrote:
Looks a lot more dynamic :)

Thanks!
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RegalSin wrote:
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: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:16 pm 


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Hi!

Today I am writing a lengthy analysis on my game's Stage 2. The reason for this is that I decided to completely rework its enemy waves and the design process behind this seemed interesting to document so there we go!

For reference, here are the old and new versions of the Stage.
New : https://youtu.be/fDImDAqLvP4
Old : https://youtu.be/dXfpXgUB5Zs

Around a month ago, I finished a first version of Stage 3 which seemed pretty fun to play. As I was play(test)ing the game and its three stages over and over again, I noticed something. I liked playing Stage 1 to try to get a higher score as it's a short ~1m20 challenge. I enjoyed playing Stage 3 with its variety of enemies and locales. But Stage 2 for some reason was much less played. Subconsciously, I didn't want to play it as much.

Why is that? That's goddamn weird. Every stage of the game has to be fun. Every single one should make me want to play it. Something's not right.

So I wondered why it wasn't that fun and analyzed that problem by comparing Stage 2 with the other stages. Why are those much more fun than this one? The answers I found mostly boiled down to two things : pacing and variety.

Stage 1 is seperated into two 30 second-long halves, with mostly small and medium enemies in the first half, a mid-boss in the middle and then bigger enemies accompanied by the previously introduced small enemies. This creates a sense of progression because the first half feels like a fast-paced introduction to the game in general and when you are comfortable with it, you've got tougher enemies that spawn. While every single one the enemies before the midboss could be killed in one sword strike, now there's a pink tank that can endure around three slashes, which changes the feeling you get from the waves. Another enemy introduced is an orange pistol drone that fires long bullets forward, while all of the previous enemy types fired circular aimed bullets. Those reduce your mobility potential in a different way and shake things up. You can kill them easily but you have to move near the right side and take risks.

Stage 3 also adheres to that design philosophy with various "segments" that each have exclusive or new specific enemy types and are accompanied by small fry that you are already familiar with, or even some new small fry.

So what's the problem with Stage 2 ? Well, it lasts twice as long as Stage 1 but the changes in the enemy waves and enemy types are not that drastic. Which is weird because given the added length, it should actually feature even more changes. In the one minute-long first half of the stage, only two new enemy types are there : the blue planes and the pink sunfish enemy. The blue planes are interesting IMO because they spawn from behind and thus make you sometimes fall back near the middle instead of always being on the right side. The sunfish is not bad but it's a popcorn enemy. None of these two enemies are enough to carry an entire minute of content, so the waves recycle lots of already-seen enemy types. While those waves' configurations are different from Stage 1 and some challenges they create are new, the sense of discovering a new enemy type is not there at all.

The second half of the stage also has to do with only one new enemy type, the little blue drone that fires a 4-bullet cluster. But that's a just a popcorn enemy, and yet I treated it as a big enemy in the way it is introduced as a special thing instead of being there to accompany something bigger.

Stage 1, being the first stage, introduces around 8 enemy types, but Stage 2 only had...3, and none of them are big enemies. Thanks to the caravan scoring and the wave pacing, the stage still managed to be playable and relatively enjoyable of course, but deep within my heart (lol) I knew something felt off, and that's why.

What did I do then? Well, introduce more enemy types for starters! Stage 2 now has 10 enemy types in it, with a mix between popcorn and mid/big enemies. Thus, this allows me to make those short segments within the stage that feature specific enemies and then move on to the next big enemy type without stretching and padding the potential of the previous enemy type for too long. The first and second half of the stage also feel more distinct thanks to that. It's important to have memorable moments and parts in your stages and those different enemy types with different patterns help a lot. Now the entire stage has a real identity with its exclusive enemies. And it even has a recurring theme in most of its enemy visual designs, will you find it? It's rather easy to guess actually.

The second thing that I did was increase the amount of cake slices the pink popcorn enemies give. It recharges the bomb a bit faster and thus improves the pacing by giving you more quick-kill opportunities.

Ultimately, you'll be the ones to see if it's genuinely more fun when the next demo releases, but so far I like playing Stage 2 again. Hopefully you will, too.

And thanks for reading!
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RegalSin wrote:
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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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:16 am 


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It probably happens to everyone so it's a good idea to play your own game a lot to figure out what you don't like and squeeze it until you're interested in playing it yourself (granted this is the hardest part to achieve but if you like it-the chances are the others will too). Videos seem to help a lot where sometimes gameplay doesn't. Now, I don't know but sometimes removing works, other times adding, or even some combo of both, it's all about them fine tuning.

I watched the video and my impression is that the player is so powerful (unless you're in God Mode or have all the upgrades to best weapon) that there is no challenge from the enemies, most of them did not even properly fire whatever bullets they have. If this is the 'best upgrade/something' mode, maybe it would be the best to try a video with lower skill level or something and see how it feels then, right now I have a feeling that the game could be beaten easily or that sword attack might be too powerful (think about that no enemy stays on screen for longer than a second or so).
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