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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:11 pm 


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Thanks for the comments!
Lobo wrote:
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

Yup, this is exactly how I approach the game's developement and design, as part of me wants to play the final version and have fun with it.
Lobo wrote:
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).

It is true that the video can give this feeling. There are no power ugrades nor hypers at all in the game so the shot, sword and the rechargeable bomb are all at the power level they'll be during the entire game.
Because the game is caravan-oriented and has a scoring system with waves to destroy very quickly, I don't want the waves to last too long and most enemies don't have tons of HPs. The later stages are supposed to have tougher and more resilient enemies though, obviously, but the feeling of being powerful and chasing the high scores is also part of the appeal IMO.

One of my main inspirations is Radirgy, and in that game, you don't dodge that many bullets as you spend a lot of time under the protection of the rechargeable bomb while slashing as many enemies as you can. I wanted to recreate the same fun feeling of slashing tons of enemies at a high pace, that might be why the sword seems so powerful.

Another reason why the enemies don't always have time to fire bullets is due to that sword mechanic. Because the game expects top-scorers to melee enemies at point-blank range, having enemies fire immediatly can be seen as unfair or frustrating. If you look at some of the Ketsui enemy patterns for example, the bullets start out slow because there are proximity mechanics in the game. In my game, I have a less complex solution to that potential problem.

I am in the final tweaks before a new demo release (no ETA as always) and I imagine the players will then be able to tell whether or not the weapons really are too powerful. Also remember that the run was played by a guy who kinda knows the game by heart so entry-level runs won't look as easy. I recently had the opportunity to see some fellow shmup players try the game at a meet-up and they weren't easily clearing the game as feared, because the bullets can get rather fast if you let the enemies fire them and the pace is pretty fast in general. Maybe the difficulty can be an issue when the player gets comfortable with the game as it would become too easy, but despite the relatively low bullet count I face when quick-killing the waves, I still find myself losing lives here and there in ways that remind me of how I lose lives in Radirgy. The demo will hopefully clear all that up, or confirm your concerns over the difficulty. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:53 am 


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Ah, I see, make sense design wise. I also have to apologies as I watched the gif animation as it was slower than video, the video gives better impression of the whole.

OK, now that I now the rules of the upgrades and such, I would only add one thing which still sticks with me after watching the video, that some of the medium size enemies (like the 'half circle' mid enemy at some point) go down after about 3 slashes of sword attack, now if you consider that the regular or 'popcorn'/cannon fodder' enemies goes down after 1-2 slashes (and I apologize here again cause sword attacks included in some stgs are not what I'm usually good at, being 'Cave type' player mostly :D) and then a medium ship goes down after 3 slashes (I believe I counted about 3 slashes), I would consider giving the medium ones a bit of more energy to linger around for a bit longer and pose a threat cause either you are playing too good (granted to happen when you know your own game so well) or they just might be not much of a challenge.

I am struggling with the same issue myself and keep tweaking things (it's been months really) to get that 'medium' right and it is a tough one but yeah, maybe just check the medium ones to pose a bit more trouble for the player because no amount of additional enemies if they are taken down fast will remove the effect that you just got through the area without much trouble, tho I admit, maybe the demo itself might be more challenging as the videos cannot really tell the whole story effectively. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:28 pm 


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https://youtu.be/ZPbitFABVAM
Here is a video showing off the new medal spawning system : almost every enemy now spawns a medal upon destruction.

The three types of medals are the same as before and each retains its static point value, and which medal type is spawned simply depends on the enemy that was killed.

The other major change is that those medals now behave like the Dangun Feveron discomen. They will move on the left side, then bounce on it and leave by the right side. Unlike Dangun Feveron though, there is no penalty for missing a medal.

Scoring is still focused on quickly killing the enemy waves as the wave bonus is higher than the medals' worth, but you have to juggle both to maximize the score. The idea is to make the game even more frantic and have even more stuff to do while playing. The bomb's medal-attracting property also becomes more useful and it becomes even more interesting to use it regularly to quick-kill the waves but also grab as many medals as possible in the process.

--------

Lobo : It's fine man, no need to apologize! :)

In terms of slashes required to destroy an enemy, you mostly need a single one to destroy every popcorn enemy. Shots work too obviously but the sword has the advantage of not being "absorbed" by the enemy it hits so you can more easily take down a group of popcorn enemies in one slash. Medium enemies can take either 2 or 3 slashes but there are two types in the video that take 4-5. (the blue and yellow half-disk as you noticed and the orange plane near the end) I may have to buff the light blue medium enemy near the beginning of the video as its health makes it require either 2 or only 1 sword slash if you weaken it a bit with the shots beforehand, and if I do I'll probably have to make it move slower in the process. There is also the triangular dark blue planes that come from behind that look like a medium enemy but can be killed in one slash, though that one is on purpose.

Balancing those medium enemies is indeed not an easy task. I don't want to have them require too many sword slashes because it weakens the feeling of power and destructiveness you get from it and they don't look big enough to actually last a long time on the screen, but there might be some health buffs to do nonetheless if the game really becomes too easy.

By the way, have you played Dangun Feveron? If there's one CAVE game that plays a bit like mine, that would be it. The very fast pacing and the low amount of time enemies stay on screen is around the same I think.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:51 pm 


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Yep, that video looks more frantic and there are bullets seen this time around. :D
I guess I'm mostly used at playing/ seeing a lot of bullets around me to dodge so was caught unawares. And yea, the small enemies going down fast is always good but medium ones I somewhat expect them to stay just a bit longer or pose a bit more threat, I think at 0:12 one of the medium ones spat bullets after exploding so that's something that makes medium sized ships more of a threat compared to small enemies, either spawn bullets upon appearing or after expiring if they are taken down so fast by the player that they haven't time to fire regular pattern.
Do you have like bigger ones or Big Bosses at the end of stage?

I haven't played that one but am familiar by proxy, meaning watching others playing it. :P
It looks like the speed is about the same as in your game, tho this one does create a bunch of bullets but then again, hard to judge from videos as some players out there are so frickin good they clear the screen before anyone has a chance to even appear properly. :D
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:14 pm 


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Here is a new demo! You can get it here :
https://mknight.itch.io/remote-weapon-gunfencer


Compared to the previous itch.io release, it adds a lot of stuff, including the Stage 3, but also a lot of audiovisual effects and re-balancing, as the Stage 1 boss and Stage 2 have been modified and ajdusted. Given that the previous version was a few months old, the changelog is pretty huge.

Unfortunately, I haven't yet found properly fitting placeholder music, so there isn't any BGM in the game.

Changelog :

Spoiler: show
-[FEATURE] Added child enemy mechanic : some enemies/bosses spawn child enemies that inflict damage on the enemy that spawned them when they are killed
-[FEATURE] Medals now behave like the Dangun Feveron discomen, with almost every enemy dropping a medal and them moving to a side before boucing and going in the other direction. There is no penalty for missing a medal though.
-[FEATURE] Added a 1-Up and an extend item


-[BUGFIX] Stick axes inversion option for Arcade sticks
-[BUGFIX] Fixed scaling errors in the stage 2 backgrounds
-[BUGFIX] Stage 2 pink sunfish enemy properly moves more slowly if the game slows down
-[BUGFIX] Fixed the truck wheels rotation

-[ADDITION] Added Stage 3

-[ADDITION] Cake slices are spawned when you are hit to instantly recharge the bomb
-[ADDITION] Bullets have a small scale-based animation and a sound effect when spawned to better telegraph them. The bullets are harmless during that animation.
-[ADDITION] Added a visual effect in front of the mecha's machine gun when firing a shot
-[ADDITION] Added a particle effect on top of the previous indicator to better tell when the bomb is ready
-[ADDITION] Added SFX for the autobomb
-[ADDITION] The mecha's visor's 3D model also flickers with it when the player gets hit by a bullet

-[ADDITION] Updated stage intro visuals
-[ADDITION] Added boosters effects to some enemies
-[ADDITION] Added SFX to Warning sequences
-[ADDITION] Added Dialogue Boxes with some snippets during stage intros, boss intros, and boss destruction
-[ADDITION] Added background objects and events in both stages
-[ADDITION] Added Background SFX in Stage 1
-[ADDITION] Added square cursor that hovers over the current initial on the name entry screen as well as a sound effect when an initial is entered

-[ADDITION] The SFX level in the option menu dynamically changes the SFX level and plays a sound effect to give an idea of the new sound level
-[ADDITION] Pressing "Cancel" on the main menu returns you to the title screen
-[ADDITION] Added transparency effect to pause menu

-[ADDITION] The pause menu can be closed by pressing the pause button again
-[ADDITION] Confirmation menus appear in the option menus when leaving it while having unsaved changes or when trying to delete the high scores
-[ADDITION] Added tutorial sections to explain some of the new mechanics
-[ADDITION] The "Escape" key always works as a pause button.
-[ADDITION] Added disclaimer text on the title screen


-[CHANGE] Rehauled Stage 2 waves and enemies.
-[CHANGE] Boss Time bonus and boss point values rebalanced to better focus on the speedkilling and increasing the point difference bewteen a fast and a regular clear.
-[CHANGE] Adjusted cake spawning during bosses so that sword slashes give less cake slices and so that the generated items don't give points
-[CHANGE] Nerfed pink tank agressiveness to make it only fire once
-[CHANGE] Modified boss 1 patterns
-[CHANGE] Boosted the number of cake slices given by the pink sunfish enemy in Stage 2
-[CHANGE] Mid-bosses can now generate enough items to recharge the entire bomb when quick-killed
-[CHANGE] Adjusted some small enemies' behavior so that they don't fire at the player if he is very close
-[CHANGE] Various tweaks to enemy waves

-[CHANGE] Removed camera shaking when player gets hit : instead, a particle effect is played
-[CHANGE] Changed Stage 1 skybox to be more colorful
-[CHANGE] Changed stage 2 floor color scheme to be much less bland and gray
-[CHANGE] Improved Stage 1 Park bridge 3d model
-[CHANGE] Adjusted BG camera motions to be a bit smoother
-[CHANGE] Cake slices movement is more dynamic-looking
-[CHANGE] Minor optimizations to some 3d models, textures, 2 assets and tutorial sprites

-[CHANGE] Restarting the level does not reload the entire scene but properly resets all the parameters and objects. This makes restarts much faster.
-[CHANGE] Changed the Stage Select menu visuals
-[CHANGE] "Set Default Options" in the options menu only reverts the options to default without immediatly saving them.
-[CHANGE] Fixed typos in the tutorial text

------

Lobo : When you play the game well, it is like in Dangun where enemies don't even get the chance to fire, but there are plenty of bullets if you don't quick-kill them. The bullet count it still going to be lower than in your average CAVE game for two reasons :
-The bullets are big. Micrododging tiny pellets you can barely see is not my idea of fun so big threatening bullets can do the job well without being very numerous.
-The game is about moving all over the place to kill the enemies so a very high bullet density would make fast movement way too tricky to do without colliding with a stray bullet.
That said, I'll keep that in mind when designing the future stages because it's a valid point and the later enemies and stages should be instantly threathening even for a fast player. As for the bosses/mid-bosses, there are indeed more of them in the game. With proper bomb management, it is still possible to bypass some of their patterns and go for the quick-kill, but the bosses will end up firing stuff at you no matter what.

The revenge bullet mechanic is one I haven't implemented for the moment but it can be interesting. In the video, the midboss dies in the middle of its bullet pattern, so that's why it seems like it released them upon death, but it isn't actually related. The issue with the revenge bullets though, is that it can easily take a meleeing player off-guard. It punishes people who actually use the sword even though everything else in the game suggests they should use it. Maybe it could work with range limitations and on specific enemies only, I'll think about it.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:53 pm 


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Tbh, now that you mentioned it, the revenge bullets would likely not work due to melee attack putting player way too close to the dying enemy who might spawn these, you would end up dead in a sec. Perhaps its better just to play it till you see exactly which bigger enemies (or mid ones) have no chance to fire and be a threat and simply make them shoot a volley as soon as they appear, just to balance them out so they are not taken down as easily as the small enemies.

I'll have to try the demo tho and see how I fare. :D
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:35 am 


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Yeah, that's why it is important to think about how the game in question works when considering adding new mechanics in it. Sometimes it matches, sometimes it doesn't.
Revenge Bullets can easily work in a game where you don't get too close to enemies and you could potentially have them in your game for example, but here it can be unfair due to the melee focus. A similar mechanic that usually works but wouldn't feel too much at home here is cancelling bullets into score items. The reason for this is that you have to let enemies stay alive much longer than usual to let them fill the screen with bullets you will cancel, whereas the speedkilling scoring system wants you to destroy the enemies as soon as possible.

I haven't put enemies that fire as soon as they appear yet, but some mid-sized enemies have enough health to fire at least once before they die. That said, with some proper bomb management, you can take most of them on under the safety of a bomb as you saw on the video. There might be some balancing to do on this side to give less bombs throughout the levels, but at the same time, pseudo-chaining them properly is also part of the appeal and you have to speedkill the enemies to get those bombs quickly, so I'll have to playtest more before making any nerfs.

If you have any comments and suggestions after playing the demo, feel free to share them!
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:41 am 


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Yup, some things will naturally land well to certain shmups, others might do the opposite.
I did play the demo and I see what you're getting at although I haven't really played sword attacks (tho there's lasers too) focused horizontal shmups before, tbh. So, yeah, that was the reason why I expected more resistance from the enemies like mid bosses and such but I see that the focus is more on getting them at the close range as much as possible (I ended up not using bullets that much and at some point even forgot about them) and getting as much score as you can catch. I do think that its a bit on the easy side as I managed from the first play to finish it and only Boss gave me some headache but only till I got his pattern, tho this might be intended or simply the side effect of the sword based attack which is rather powerful (or just maybe I might be good at it :D).

One minor thing, in menu when you press Up or down to navigate, it happens that it goes too fast sometimes going two selections up or down instead of one so perhaps to add some little delay to avoid this issue.
I like the little touches such as selection of Mech color and humorous stuff where the cars in the bkg hit the buildings and trees in panic, such things always add to the atmosphere to me (Cave used to do these as well and I'm also putting some in my game) and make the game look somewhat more alive so I would recommend continuing to add some little details here and there like this on later stages. :D
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:41 pm 


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Thanks for trying the demo, and congrats on clearing it on your first try! What was your final score by the way? Above 3 million points should be a good score, and I think my own hiscore is around 3.35 mil.

Low difficulty can be a deal-breaker for some shmups, but there can be examples like Illvelo or Karous where despite a low difficulty ceiling for a clear, the scoring makes the games a lot more involving and interesting. Did you find that the game being rather easy for you was detrimental to the experience or not? Did it impact the raw fun of the game? I am definitely going to make the next stages a bit tougher, but do you think the current ones should be harder, or was it actually fine the way it is?

A little detail about the shot : you should actually keep shooting all the time instead of only using the sword. When you want to slash with the sword, the shot pauses during the sword animation but the sword itself isn't penalized when you use it while you were shooting.

-Menu cursor navigation : Got it! Was the speed issue only for the main/option menus or was it also a problem when inputting your initials?
-Background events : Making the world more alive is exactly what I am going for! I'll keep adding stuff in the stages to give them a bit more cinematic appeal. Right now, only Stage 1 really has a lot of these events, but I plan to have them in every stage.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:00 am 


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I didn't pay attention to the score, tbh as I was looking at what enemies/bullets do and what's happening in the bkg, unless the score is auto saved then I'll check (I'll see what AAA did :D). Methinks it should be rather large as I kept collecting cakes and other bonus medal things, so will see.

It wasn't really detrimental to anything that I found it easy, the game has the flow in its own way and frankly the first level or two might as well be easier to get player ease into harder action later. I think perhaps to make mid bosses later on to change their behavior in terms of movement could work well so they don't end up being sitting ducks which currently I think is what makes them an easy target. With some clever 'now you see me-now I'm over there' movement, I think it can work even better without adding giant energy bar or a lot of bullets to these types of enemies. So yeah, the next stages should probably benefit of having a bit more cunning mid bosses.

Yeah, I figured I can keep slashing and shoot will continue after slash but I really ended up doing slashing only at some point tho the End Boss does need some combination of both as he shoots those nasty 'lock onto your position' bullets so you must use both attacks.

I only noticed at menu selection the issue with button skipping, just in case check all the menus, a little delay in overall can fix this nicely.

Yep, I like those bkg stuff, they really add something to the panic, also the way the ships that will attack later kinda zoom into the scene from the back just to appear later on, I have a few of these in my game as well and I think these little touches are definitely worth the time and effort to add. :D
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:28 pm 


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Scores are indeed saved for full runs and for stage select runs after you confirm your initials, and there should be a Ranking option in the main menu to see them.

It's good to hear that the game manages to keep a flow even if you don't especially try to score but play normally. :)
Good point about the midbosses! Actually, the stage 1 mid-boss doesn't stay very long in its position and quickly leaves, so it encourages you to quick-kill it with the sword. The stage 3 mid-boss showcases the child enemy destruction mechanic, as the faster way to kill is to destroy the rotating shields around it, but the stage 2 mid-boss is defintely a sitting duck so maybe I should make it move a bit more. In any case, I'll think about movement when designing the next midbosses. I want the game to be about large movements so very static mid-bosses absolutely conflict with this.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:41 am 


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Yep, score is there, not as funky as I thought, a bit short of 1.8 million, I could've missed some cakes after all. :D
Btw, noticed a typo at the first conversation with boss1, the word 'perpetrator' was misspelled.
Later mid bosses or larger crafts do better in movement overall and fight better as well, especially with 'helpers' around them.
Oh yes, and that train is quite cool. :D
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:54 am 


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Huhu, you still have room for improvement then! :)
In a very good run, you would reach 1.8 million at the end of the second stage I think. So far, my high scores per stage are at around 780k for Stage1, 1.25 mil for stage 2, and 1.38mil for Stage 3.

Cake slices contribute to the scores but unlike Cave gems, they are not a major source of points. Each cake slice is worth 10 points (just like the Metal Black newalone particules actually), aside from the pink ones spawned during a boss who are worth 0 to prevent boss milking. If we don't count the pink ones, you get around 8k of them in a good run, which means a total of 80k points coming from cake items. While it is far from nothing, it is not worth as much as the speedkill bonuses you get. On average, a speedkilled wave (with the red bonus indicator and not the orange one) gives you a 7.5k point bonus, so your objective is to get as many of those red bonuses as possible.

Where the cakes slices are important is in how they recharge the bomb. If you want to quick kill waves, the bomb's invincibility, added damage and circular range come in handy. And to be able to fire it more often, you'll have to get cake slices. Most enemies spawn more cake slices when killed if you destroy them faster (like Dangun's discomen) so everything is designed to encourage you to quick kill enemies and even if the cake isn't worth that much points, you have to get as much of it as possible to speedkill the waves and get the high scores. Hopefully it all makes sense and is designed tightly enough.

Nice catch about that typo by the way. I'll fix it.

And glad you like the train sequence! :D
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:02 pm 


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Here are some gameplay and level design thing I noticed when I played through GunFencer:

Hold down the shoot button: would it work to fire automatically? Or add something extra when you release the button. ex move faster, spread shoot or load charge attack?

Background scrolling: I think it need to scroll in the same direction as the enemies appear, aka scrolling right. It feels strange when the camera changes direction unless the enemies also change direction. Ex it works well when the first boss appear and the scrolling slows down a little.

The wave system is interesting, here are some extra ideas:
    - Add enemies outside of the waves, so the player can decide if it's worth killing it or just trying to ignore them.
    - Having enemies belong to different waves, so you have two waves on the screen at the same time, top and bottom. And depending on which one you complete you get other enemies in the next wave.
    - Some waves could have “weak spots” where you only need to kill one enemy to progress to the next wave. I think some of these things would make the wave system more open ended and up to the player to decide how to approach each wave.

The red tank have a lot of hp when you try to shoot it with bullets, but are very easy to kill with the sword. Maybe lower the damage gap when killing bigger enemies with sword/bullets?

The game restart needs to be faster. It would also be nice with some continues.

Music, there’s a lot of creative common music out there, any music is better than no music. Ex from: http://freemusicarchive.org/

The game slows downs on level 2, and then speeds up in level 3 again, but slows downs on some places there. This does not affect frame rate, only the game speed.

One rule of thumb I use when designing boss attacks is to combine two different firing patterns, like one aming and one static pattern. I was also thinking about how to make the bosses more like the levels, with the focus on fast kills. Maybe also having enemies in the boss part, or having different destroyable boss parts, which would trigger a different pattern?

I played some Dangun Feveron and here’s a short list of things I noticed in the level design compared to GunFencer.
    - Dangun Feveron has a lot more bullets.
    - Dangun Feveron is zoomed out compared to GunFencer. Feels like x2. This makes it possible to have more enemies in each wave and build a greater variety of waves.
    - In GunFencer it feels like you pick up the pickups without any effort, in Dangun Feveron it’s easy to let some of them slip by if you don’t focus on the pickups, which gets challenging because you also try to focus on avoiding bullets and shooting enemies.
    - Dangun Feveron has some ground units which moves slower compared to the air units.
    - In GunFencer because of the swords strengths you play a lot on the right side of the screen leaving around 50% of the screen unused. In Dangun Feveron you can play on the top, but it’s a lot more dangerous because of all the bullets, and you can move up and down using more of the screen, which is sometimes required to pick up stray medallions.
    - In GunFencer’s level 1 it’s a okay strategy to just move up and down and shoot, in multiple waves. In Dangun Feveron the enemies spawn on different sides of the screen, sometimes more on the right or left and some enemies have more hp so you hover under them longer etc, which makes the players movement pattern different within a level and compared to the different levels.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:44 am 


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Thanks a lot for the comments! :D

-Auto-Shot/ Releasing the shot button : It is true that there is no reason not to hold the shot button all the time, but having it fire on its own outside of a web/mobile environment just feels janky to me.
On the other hand, having the shot button charge an attack when not pressed seems like an interesting idea, though it is not without its balance challenges. The game is caravan-styled so the charge time shouldn't be so long that it becomes counterproductive to scoring to wait until you get the charge shot. I also should be careful not to have the charge shot overshadow the sword or vice-versa. But I can see a charge shot working in tandem with the sword : you would only use the sword for a little while as to charge the shot and then fire it alongside the sword attacks.
Now there is also the problem of the regular shot. As of now, it is useful as a damage boost to sword attacks and as a way to kill the popcorn enemies from afar, but the charge shot shouldn't make it pointless. I could try to test that and see if it breaks the game/weapon balance or not but honestly I am not even sure it's worth the hassle.

As for a wide shot, it is a hard no. The narrow shot and sword ranges were made on purpose to force the player to move a lot to kill every enemy in a wave, even if the movement itself isn't always the most original out there. The bomb having a wider, circular range, is a reward in itself and a reason to take risks to recharge it as often as possible. With an always-available wide shot, you just stay in one place and barely move while everything dies anyway like in Bullet Soul. If there has to be a spread shot though, I suppose it'll be like the Eschatos one which is has very limited forward range.

-BG scrolling : I can try making turns with the camera during those sections but at the same time, that would require to render even more stuff on the screen as to have the BGs not empty when rotating the camera, which probably won't help the game performance. Some of the background events and background setpieces were also made with the lack of camera rotation in mind. You would be missing some train and car movements in Stage 1 for example. In any case, the camera movement turns are not all very smooth and that's something that I am progressively fixing. Maybe that would alleviate the odd feeling a it?

-Wave-independant enemies : Defintely not a bad idea, I'll think about it. The visual issue with ground enemies is that the player/enemies/shots/etc. are disconnected from the background itself and it would look very odd to have stuff that seems to be part of the background while blending in with the air waves. I can still make those enemies behave exactly as if they are air enemies but then I'll have to think of a way to make it obvious which ones are part of the waves and which are not.

-Multi-wave system : This suggestion is actually the system that Radirgy and Karous use. There is one set of waves for the big enemies and sets of waves for the popcorn enemies. I only noticed that after having implemented my own linear wave system. :lol: My system compartimentalizes the waves but it gives me more control over the combination of enemies that spawn on the screen. When multiple wave systems are working at the same time, you can get combinations that won't feel as tight as hand-crafted waves where the big enemy and the popcorn are supposed to spawn together. Radirgy and Karous' waves are fun to defeat but the popcorn waves are a bit generic. You can't make a wave with a big enemy on a part of the screen and one with tons of popcorn elsewhere (to give you different ways to tackle it) and hope they will be synced.

It can still work here too, but there would be a lot more balancing to do I imagine. On top of that, the current wave bonus system shows a point value for each wave that was defeated, a bit like Macross 2's flashing bonus point indicators, as to instill some desire to score. If each independant wave generated its own indicator, things would get a bit messy here.

-Weak spots : I feel like this is actually going to reduce the numer of ways you can kill a wave. Why bother with trying different ways to kill all the enemies when you can only focus on the weak spot? Given how the scoring is based on speedkilling waves, there would be no reason not to ignore every enemy in that wave that isn't the weak spot.

-Shot/Sword power disrepancy : The reason why the sword is so powerful is to push you to use it and play it less safe. The shot is not the main weapon you use against big enemies, otherwise you could just sit back and relax. I can still nerf the sword a bit if its power gets out of hand but so far the dynamic it provides does not feel unwelcome.

-Restart : True! My current dev build actually already tackled that problem and the restart is almost instantaneous now. I used to lazily reload the entire level but now everything is simply properly reset which drastically reduces the loading time.

-Continues : At least unless I find a system that forbids players from just abusing the hell out of them, it's not planned. Scoring penalties are also mostly useless when it comes to deterring anybody from credit-feeding. The game does not run on a arcade machine so I am not even sure of their purpose here. Well, continuing is useful when testing the game though, but there is a stage select (and I should probably add a boss select too, come to think of it)

-Music : Thanks a lot for the link! I'll check it out.

-Slowdown : Noted! I'll probably rearrange the Stage 3's location in regards with the Stage 2, which should allow me to display less objects on screen at the same time in both stages and decrease the camera ranges. Hopefully, that can fix the slowdown problems.

-Boss patterns : The static + aimed is defintely a good way to design boss patterns, I agree. I'll keep that in mind when designing/retooling boss patterns. As for the fast-kill mechanics, there are some enemies that the bosses spawn that can be killed and reflected on them for more damage. The entire third boss is based on this, with plenty of summoned enemies and funnels to kill. If you had the opportunity to fight it, do you think that's a step in the right direction?

-Bullet Count : I don't want to increase the early game's difficulty too much but there definitely aren't that many bullets if you quick-kill waves. Lobo suggested enemies that fire as soon as they spawn to ensure some bullets have to be dodged. I can try implementing that on some popcorn enemies and see how it fares

-Zoom level : GunFencer's relatively zoomed-in aspect is intentionnal. Remember that the game has a 16:9 aspect ratio, so a ship with the same size as a 4:3 game ship would probably be too tiny.
I also don't like dodging super tiny bullets so the bullets are rather big too.

-Pickups : Do you mean the medals are too easy to grab? The cake slices that recharge the bomb are attracted to the player but you have to move near the medals to get them. Should they move a bit faster then?

-Staying on the right side : Definitely a valid issue to tackle. I already have some enemies in Stage 2 onwards that come from behind to force the player to go back to the left side. I have a few ideas to increase that necessity in Stage 2, and I'll put an increased focus on that kind of enemy in the following stages.

-Stage 1 movements : As long as this relatively easy movement strategy is only prominent in stage 1, I don't think it is that much of an issue. GunFencer's first stage's first half only features rather easy to defeat enemies as a an introduction to the game and a way to ease him into it. The bulky tanks only appear after the mid-boss so that's when the movement strategy changes a bit and you have to stay on those enemies a bit longer. Besides, the up and down movement is not necessarily an issue in itself if the wave contributes to the flow. In Thunder Dragon 2, there's a lot of waves where you can sweep from left to right to take them out, but it never feels boring or redundant because the wave composition is not always the same and those waves aren't repeated a lot.

That said, it's still something I have to take into account when designing the waves and the big enemy placement.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:20 pm 


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Wide shoot: It doesn't need to be wide, maybe shoot backwards, to the sides, of 45 degrees, just something with use in different situations.

Background scrolling - At some point the background scroll out of the screen, you would then expect the enemies to spawn from the bottom screen when that happens, instead of spawning from the right.

Multiple wave system: One solution might be to have two waves, but when one is completed the other enemies just hang around as "no wave" enemies or disappear, to avoid the pairing issue.

Weak spot: You could leave the remaining enemies on screen making fast kills of the core dangerous for survival because in the next wave you would have to deal with enemies from both of the waves.

3ed boss: Interesting. I like that there are multiple moving targets but would also be interesting with smaller enemies what would die as easy as in the normal waves, and give score bonus on how fast you kill them.

Continue: I think that it should be up to the player if they want to coin feed the game or try to cc1 it. I like to coin feed it at first and then try to use less and less continues. 3 or 5 continues would at least be more than 1.

Restart speed: good, it would also be nice to not have to input score initials most of the time. Maybe just input the best score you get when you decided to quit instead of retrying the level. Or just input initials when you start the game.

Zoom level:

Image

I checked the zoom level and the difference was close to about 25%. Dangun Feveron can have 8 enemies on screen in a row compared to 6 for GunFencer. It's not a lot more, but I think Dangun Feveron's enemies overlap more often and move closer to each other, which makes it possible to have more spots where multiple enemies can spawn. It's mostly the enemy size that matters, how many enemies you can have on the screen at the same time and how much space they use up aka how easy they are to hit.

Pickups: Speed would work. I was mostly thinking of making the characters pick up range smaller. If the playing field is bigger there's more space between the player and pick ups, and if there's some bullets on the screen the player has to avoid them too. There's a lot of different parameter that can affect that dynamic. I got surprised how well it works in Dangun Feveron!

Up and down movement. Easy parts are fine, but there is a fine line between easy and monotonous. You never want a game to have monotonous parts. If you just think about the player inputs, press left or right, here are two made up examples, A and B:

A:
Left 1s
Right 1s
Left 1s
Right 1s
Left 1s
Right 1s
Left 1s
Right 1s

B:

Left 0.25s, Right 0.25s, Left 0.25s, Right 0.25s
Left 0.5s, Wait 0.25, Right 0.25s
Right 0.25s, Left 0.25s, Wait 0.1, Right 0.4s
Left 0.1s, Wait 0.1s, Left 0.1s, Wait 0.1s, Left 0.1s, Right 0.5s
etc...

Would you agree that pressing pattern A is less interesting then pressing pattern B? I’m not sure if it really explains it, play some shmups you like and try to focus on the directional input and compare it between different games.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:46 pm 


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I don't think directional inputs and frequency of directional inputs is a good metric of how engaging a game is, because players don't really think of their actions in games in terms of raw inputs. If they are conceptualizing the game that way I would argue that the game is too input-intensive, forcing players into that mindset, or the higher-level actions those inputs represent (sweeping across the screen, clearing a barricade, cancelling destructible projectiles, misdirecting an attack, cycling a bell's color, etc.) aren't interesting and varied enough.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:58 am 


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Wide shot : I know that a shot that fires a bit backwards could be useful if you let a small enemy escape. The bomb can already help you catch such zakos but it has to be charged and you don't always want to use it just for that.

BG scrolling : Hum, I see your point. Synching BGs with waves is tricky due to the caravan nature of the wave spawning, but on the other hand I have also received some positive feedback about the 3D-ness of the BG so I am reluctant to always have the camera only scroll to the left or the right.

Multi wave system + weak spot : With both solutions, I fear they will distract the focus from having to destroy all the enemies. The main scoring trick in this game is quick-killing a wave to get a higher bonus. If we regularly let air enemies be no longer part of the wave system, either in the multi-wave system when the other wave was defeated, or in the weak spot system when you hit the weak spot, then you would end actually ignoring them because they are no longer part of the main scoring loop. They could theoretically be more of a threat as you said but given that the popcorn enemies never stay that long in the first place, that would mostly apply to larger enemies I think, which would probably be the weak spots anyway.

Bosses : The funnels the third boss spawns are as bulky as a stage medium-big enemy, and they take 3-4 sword slashes to kill so the difference is not big. They don't spawn in a caravan way though, as they are part of the boss attacks. The idea is to have the player focus his attention on other enemies than the boss because he would otherwise always try to slash it ar close-range which is a bit boring. Those enemies don't stay on screen too long as well so it also forces the player to be accurate when focusing on them.

Having regular caravan-style enemy waves you kill alongside the boss is an idea I already thought about and will probably implement but only in specific situations as there are some tricky things to think about. The scoring against bosses is entirely based on kill time. The faster you defeat one, the higher the score bonus. Right now, your score doesn't even budge during the entire boss fight, as the spawned enemies don't even give points. If I put waves that can be quick-killed and give you bonus points, then there will be a contradiction between the wave bonus and the boss bonus. The former would push to not damage the boss to milk as many waves as possible in the allocated time, while the latter wants you to damage bosses as fast as possible.

I don't want any boss milking in the game so I would have to tweak the wave system for a boss-specific application if I want to make it work. There already is the enemy reflect system where the defeated enemies actually inflict damage on the boss, but if I get a bonus for killing a wave, there still is the desire to never damage the boss directly to maximize the amount of enemies that can be killed before they kill the boss. I could still remove the enemy wave bonus while keeping the caravan mechanics but it would look like a watered down version of the stages themselves.

Continues : Even though experienced shmup players like you know how to properly use credits and have the 1CC mentality, anybody who isn't familiar with the medium is bound to use them and then complain the game was too short and too easy. After all, why wouldn't they? It's the game itself that asks you if you want to break its difficulty balance by giving you unlimited resources.
Once again, maybe I could implement a more clever system, but thinking about it is one of the last things on my mind.

Restarting : Fair points! I was thinking of pre-filling the initials with what the player entered last time (unless he just booted the game) and also display a small menu after that kinda like in Touhou games to let the player either go to the ranking menu, the main menu, or immediatly restart a run so repeated runs are much faster to chain. That would also avoid having to reload the level from the main menu every time you want to play again.

Zoom level : Thanks for the detailed breakdown! One little thing you missed in the analysis is how your shot type behaves. Dangun Feveron can indeed have more enemies on a line but your shots can be much wider than GunFencer's. Even the narrow A shot in Dangun can rely on the lock shot to quickly hit enemies on the other side of the screen.

Medal pickups: I'll experiment with a lower grab range, as to make medal grabbing a bit more deliberate. Remember though, that unlike Dangun, collecting the pickups is not the main scoring focus. If you miss a discomen in Dangun anywhere except at the beginning of a level, your score for that stage is heavily compromized. If you miss a medal in GunFencer, you only miss out on the few hundred points it was worth. Picking up medals is more a side thing here to help you boost your scores and keep you busy so I don't want it to become so tricky that you would have to jeopardize your quick-killing to get them, as in that case you would simply ignore the medals altogether because they are not worth losing the quick-kill bonuses for.

Movement : I agree with Shepardus that the analysis is too simplistic. There is a lot more to the game than the raw inputs. And even if you only think of the inputs, you are missing the action buttons. Shooting, bombing, and in GunFencer's case, slashing. You can have repeated up and down movements but if you have to time your sword and bomb uses to maximize your scoring potential, you can see how it paints a more nuanced picture of the game's playstyle.

The other game elements such as the levels design and the scoring tricks also influence whether you mind those directional inputs or not. I mentionned Thunder Dragon 2 earlier which has a lot of rather simple sweeping movements but it never feels boring or unengaging as there's a good pace and flow to them. On the other hand, in Bullet Soul IB you can move all over the place to quick kill waves and collect coins but the game is pretty much sleep-inducing because most bullets are easily cancelled and there's not much to the shot itself that makes it interesting to use because it's so damn big anyway.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:40 pm 


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Shepardus wrote:
I don't think directional inputs and frequency of directional inputs is a good metric of how engaging a game is


Yes I agree, if one game require more input, it doesn’t make that game more interesting. But I think that if a game requires a very low number of inputs, and the same kind of input without variance, it’s going to get repetitive very quickly. That’s at least what I use to think is the reason when I play some games that feels repeditative, but there’s probably more to it.

Shepardus wrote:
because players don't really think of their actions in games in terms of raw inputs. If they are conceptualizing the game that way I would argue that the game is too input-intensive, forcing players into that mindset, or the higher-level actions those inputs represent [...] aren't interesting and varied enough.


Yeah, it’s hard to think consciously about the raw input while playing a game. I have tried a lot. It’s interesting because it’s easy to feel the difference how you move around in different patterns in different games, but it's hard to put it into words. I think a list of raw input is one piece of the puzzle, but if there’s a better way to describe it I would be happy to know about that :) Aslo the bells are awesome, more games should have them.

M.Knight wrote:
There is a lot more to the game than the raw inputs. And even if you only think of the inputs, you are missing the action buttons. Shooting, bombing, and in GunFencer's case, slashing. You can have repeated up and down movements but if you have to time your sword and bomb uses to maximize your scoring potential, you can see how it paints a more nuanced picture of the game's playstyle.


Yeah I agree that directional input is just one part. But if you only have directional input, no other action, and it feels interesting to play the game it's a good start to build from, to add alternative firing, subweapons and smart bombs for extra depth. But if the directional input is less interesting, the other parts will have to do more of the heavy lifting.

I don’t really think that the first level is uninteresting when you are using the sword and focus on scoring. It’s more that it takes some time to learn these mechanics. So a new player are not going to use the sword that much or know about the scoring system. They are just going to shoot from the other side of the screen and dodge bullets, and if that isn’t interesting enough, odds are that they are not going to stick around long enough to see the rest of the depth the game has.

I also made recording from the first level of GunFencer, Thunder Dragon 2 and Dangun Feveron. I tried to use minimal directional input, and focus on dodging bullets, killing enemies and picking up pickups, in that order. I was expecting it to be clear why Dangun Feveron is so epic, but the only thing I could cleary point out is that you need a lot more movement to pick up all of the disco guys in Dangun Feveron. I post them here if any of you notice more things.

GunFencer Lv 1 (sorry for low quality mobile recording, the game was to demanding to record with obs on my set up)
Thunder Dragon 2 Lv 1
Dangun Feveron Lv 1

It's great to finally talk about some shmup level design :)

Multi wave system: Seems to be a lot of things to think about. It's starting to make me interested to try out some variants and see how it would work in practice!
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:12 pm 


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You are right about a newcomer not using the sword and bomb mechanics to their full extent straight out of the gate. I was also thinking about a (togglable and enabled by default) interactive tutorial that can be played before the run starts so you can try the buttons and see that there is a sword. That will not force a player to use those tools of course but at least it makes them aware that they exist.

I agree that it's pretty good if the player movements alone are fun and enjoyable. One of the reasons I like Milestone games and Radirgy in particular is that you do move all over the place when playing it for score.
But it's obviously not all there is to it. If the other elements (shooting, using secondary weapons and bombs, collecting items, etc.) are strong enough, then the motions won't feel that repetitive because you what you are doing on top of the movement inputs is varied enough. You said yourself that it wasn't easy to consciously focus on movement inputs when playing and I would say it's because the other actions the player can do are just as important in the context of the game loop. Instead of just looking at the motions and inputs, I would also look at the actions they create and the context in which they are performed. For example, if I always perform some left to right and right to left movements in a game with very fast aimed bullets, it wouldn't necessarily feel boring or repetitive if I am so focused on dodging those fast bullets that I am on my toes the entire time, even if the inputs themselves are not too varied.

Are there any examples of shmups with repetitive inputs that you thought were boring? It could be interesting to see what caused this feeling in those games, and whether it is due to the inputs themselves or due to everything else around them.

The videos you recorded are pretty interesting to watch from a design perspective. Of course, as I play those three games quite a bit, the playstyle shown feels a bit boring and safe, but that's part of the point.
It's true that out of all three, GunFencer is the one where the most repetitive movement input can be used, especially in the first half. At the same time, I would argue that judging from the videos, it is actually also the one where it is the most obvious that this playstyle is basic and that there is a lot more to the game than staying on the left side and playing it safe. (though I might be biased for obvious reasons :lol: )

The Dangun Feveron run shows enemies being properly destroyed and discomen collected without issues, and there isn't much to directly tell you that you can trigger at lot more waves if you play more confidently. The same can be said in the Thunder Dragon 2, where the only actual moment where you can really see how this way of playing is far from efficient is the missile carrier sections where several of them flee before you can destroy them.

However, in GunFencer, there are a lot more enemies that leave the screen unharmed, the wave bonuses are not always the big red ones (hopefully the lower-pitched orange wave bonus sound effect makes it clear that it's not as good as the red bonus when you play), and the mid-boss even leaves before it could get killed, because it was designed to require to use the sword. There are UI/enemy wave elements that are made to try to get the point across that the player can do better and should be more aggressive, and I am not sure these are as flashy and obvious in the other games.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:50 am 


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Optional interactable tutorials are always a nice touch. I think the basic one is when you have text in the background and just a empty room to move around in, like in alien soldiers. But it’s also good to kill some enemies. I actually didn’t understand exactly how the scoring system works in gunfencer, just that if you faster you score more. I missed the orange popups when I played the game, but could see them clearly in the gameplay video. I think players focus only specifically on the parts on screen where things happens. Ex I had a meter in the left bottom corner and none of the people I playtested with noticed it. So the scoring could be explained in a tutorial and maybe made clearer with voiceover or sound effects.

Movement input and weapons: Maybe it's worth to upgrade the sword to the main weapons? And make the bullets more like a subweapon, ex shoots in bursts instead of stead fire? Or maybe give it a cool down or use some stamina meter. In that way you would automatically have to use the sword more often.

Shmups with slow or repeditative input: I don’t really keep a list for game I don’t like, maybe one should do that, because you usually learn a lot from them, what think can be improved. But I will look around a little.

A lot of hobby shoot em ups, from ex game jams or similar event, usually have a few number of enemies and a slower pace compared to arcade shoot em ups, but I don’t really want to point out one of these as examples, feels unfair for the developer of that game. But it’s mostly one enemy type spawning from the top of the screen, you move in front of it and kills it, then waits for the next one to spawn.

I also remember the mini game from Gameboy camera the level is just 1-2 minute.

But I’m starting to think that you can create interesting set ups with a low number of player inputs by having a small timing window or with a lot of planning / setting up good situation like alining enemies to use a bomb etc. I usually try to make prototype games to try different ideas, in game jams or “game a week”, so I will try to implement a shmup with low player inputs and interesting situations. Or I will write it up on a list of game ideas, it’s quite long by now :)

One thing I noticed now in the videos from the level 1 i posted earlier is that Thunder Dragon 2 and Dangun Feveron spawn enemies one after the other. So a wave could have a enemy spawner in the right corner which spawns enemies for 3s. Most of the waves in gunfencer spawns enemies and then wait until all of them are dead, then spawn another wave. So that might be an idea. I think I will try to implementer later on in my game.

Some more ideas for waves. What if a new wave is spawned when you killed half of the current wave? In that way the player never “runs out of enemies” on screen. And you would get the score bonus when all of the enemies in one wave are killed.
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 Post subject: Re: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:47 am 


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Due to how the bomb requires killing enemies to get cake items and recharge it, it can be safe to assume the interactive tutorial should have enemies to destroy, yup! There already is a tutorial in the game that explains the mechanics and stuff, but it is disconnected in its own VN-like section, and doesn't yet have the proper visuals to show what each part of the tutorial is talking about.

The scoring system is also just as you described, but the orange/red bonus is probably something that is not as obvious as the rest unless you know about it or pay attention to the bar that's a bit far away from the action anyway. I was thinking about putting the wave timer in a circular bar around the player but even this is not necessary as the red/orange bonus also boils down to "kill enemies fast". The bomb bar also isn't that necessary to keep track of at all times as you get notified on the player ship and with an SFX whenever you can use it again.

Burst shot/shot cooldown : While the mechanic can work well if properly implemented or in some other genres of games, here it looks like a euroshmuppy way to do things.
As if the dev can't balance his weapons so he forces arbitrary cooldowns and restrictions upon it instead of regulating its power or some other properties in a way that still allow you to use it continously. Restrictions of that kind on the shot are usually a big red flag.

It's also very inorganic because the only reason you don't use the shot as much with that restriction in place is due to the restriction itself. The game's enemies and level design should actually make you want to use other weapons than your shot so that you won't need any cooldown. Instead of using the sword because the game punished me for using the shot, I should be using because I noticed that it's pretty effective and does stuff that the shot can't, even though it makes me take a bit more risks. That's the reason why several mid-sized enemies die in one sword slash while they can sustain several shots, and why the mid-boss leaves before you can kill it if you only rely on the shot.

Because the sword is a riskier weapon that the shot, I am not sure I would promote it to main weapon. While it's actually the game's best ofensive tool, the shot is the weapon you'll use during the entire run, so even the default controls emphasize the frequency at which you'll have the buttons pressed. From left to right, Shot is pressed almost all the time so it's first, Sword is used regularly but not always so it's second, and bomb is used from time to time at specific moments so it's third. Of course it's all rebindable and stuff, but wouldn't it feel weird if the main shot button on a stick is B?

Wave set-ups : You are right. Sometimes, it is more about timing a specific button press rather than having tons of inputs that matter. The Mushihimesama Futari Stage 2 ice cones for example are all about destroying them at the right moment so you cancel tons of bullets. Of course there's some dodging involved but the key element is the shot timing. I have some waves/enemy formations where using a bomb allow you to take them out much faster so there also is a bit of this timing element here.

Spawn delay : Several waves in Stage 3 and a few in stage 2 do that. The reason there isn't as much of it in Stage 1 is because most of the enemies are rather weak so I don't want to penalize a player who quick-kills the enemies by forcing him to wait until the wave spawns the next enemies. When you have a big enemy that can't be insta-killed, that's when you can have some other enemies than spawn later without reducing the quick-kill potential to a noticeable degree.

Reducing the next wave spawn requirements : I would have to balance a lot of things to make this work I suppose. The first thing is that not all enemies are equal. If you can just kill the popcorn and ignore the bigger enemies yet still spawn the next wave it may not be worth to focus on the big enemies even if the wave bonus is not as big because there will be new waves anyway. And even if I balance each enemy's weight in the wave value to regulate this, I don't always have a big enemy in every single one of waves, to provide a balance and rhythm between popcorn waves and harder waves and each has the same quick-kill bonus potential, so there's the risk that it's preferable to let some waves not fully killed.

I don't want the players to have to make calculations beforehand to know what waves can be fully-killed and which ones can be half-killed and then ignored because it is more lucrative to focus on the next waves. The scoring system's main concept is very simple and boils down to one thing : kill everything fast. Forcing the waves to be intertwined even though they weren't initially designed to be presents its own set of issues to fix and balance before being as simple as the current wave system.

It can for example get out of control if too many big enemies from sucessive waves manage to be spawned at the same time. I crafted each wave so that it never gets too cluttered with tons of big enemies everywhere, but if I don't know exactly what enemies will be spawned at the same time due to that new wave system, then there can be some overly difficult overlaps compared to what I intended. In Radirgy/Karous/Illvelo, it works because the big enemies and the popcorn are in their own waves, but here they are both together.

And the current wave system isn't really broken as far as I know. if you are a good player, you won't run out of enemies during the stage anyway so I'm not even sure there is a need to have the next waves spawn earlier than intended. Thunder Dragon 2 and Dangun Feveron are exactly the same and don't spawn waves in advance and it works without 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: Remote Weapon GunFencer [shmup with Caravan-style scorin
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:57 pm 


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Location: France
I am currently remaking the game's animated intro to try and make it a bit more lively and dynamic. Here's what I have so far on the mecha initialization sequence :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UKWBxJIbkE
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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: Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:09 pm 


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I am adding a few features to GunFencer such as a Background brightness option. The video also shows the two new alternate color schemes for the player mecha : Purple and Black.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN_v2-6ZWSk
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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: Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:50 am 


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Location: France
Here's a little showcase of the training/practice room I have set up. The enemies here are harmless and the waves loop forever, so it's good for messing around with the various game mechanics and weapons in a test environment before heading off to real fights.

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

I also found myself enjoying playing that training mode even without any bullets so I imagine it is a good sign that the offensive weaponry is pleasant to use on its own.
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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: Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:02 am 


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Location: France
Thanks to feedback I received on the demo, I realized the sword slash effect was lacking in frames of animation and didn't look as polished as most of the other effects. A shame for a game about a mech with a sword that even emphasizes this in its name hahaha.

Here is a preview of the new sword slash effects I have. Not only the player sword swings look more fluid, but there are also additional impact effects on the enemies when they are slashed. Hopefully, it makes the sword feel even more fun and rewarding.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RnFHevyw0k
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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: Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:46 pm 


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

The enemy spawns during boss fights used to be static and predetermined, but they are now dynamic : during attacks where the boss can spawn more enemies on the screen, the faster you destroy the spawns, the faster the boss spawns them again.

The dynamic is pretty similar to the enemy waves during the stages themselves and pushes you to destroy the waves of helper enemies quickly, especially since those inflict damage to the boss when destroyed.

This video showcases the new way bosses spawn helper enemies as well as the difference between a player who lets the helper enemies live for a while and one who will kill them ASAP.

And here is some artwork of the game's heroine I made for fun :
Spoiler: show
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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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