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 Post subject: MetaRay Type 5
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:02 pm 


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Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 12
Location: Sweden
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Here's a game I have been working on for a while. It's a bullet hell with very short levels. You have a sword which destroys bullets and gives score, and there's a score combo meter.

There are bosses in the game, but they are more like minibosses, so I would like to expand on that. There's also more enemies in the game then in the levels, so more levels and more difference between them. I would also like to try different things with the different versions / types, so maybe have different ships per stock like in batrider or try out semi random levels.

I'm not really 100% on the scoring systems, so if you have any suggestions I'd appreciated it.
Also things like difficulty, too easy, too hard?
And all other feedback is also appreciated :)

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Last edited by Risto on Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: MetaRay Type 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:46 am 


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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 977
Location: France
Cleared the Original mode.

The game's pacing is intensely fast with its myriad of mini-stages, which is not a bad thing at all, but the enemies are relentlessly agressive, to the point where you wonder if it's even possible to clear the game with just three lives instead of relying on the life restore at the end of each stage.
As long as they are on the screen, the enemies keep firing at a very high rate (even when they are near the bottom of the screen) which quickly fills the screen and makes it difficult to stay alive and the sword's bullet cancelling ability is very unreliable because it takes a while to swing, and there is no visual indication to tell you when you can swing it again. On top of that, it's not rare to get killed a second after entering a stage as we don't even get the time to properly asses the situation before the enemies start firing.

Oddly enough, the bosses were the easiest part of the game, as their patterns are much less chaotic but nonethless interesting to dodge.

I also noticed that there are invisible walls at the edges of the screen which forbid the hitbox from moving all the way down the screen. Given how easy it is to be pushed back there by the patterns, it's also easy to die while thinking there was still room to dodge downards only to get stuck.

The invincibility period after a death is way too short, so dying twice in a row is something that happened rather frequently.

The idea of having tons of mini-stages like this with some flavor text is interesting but the difficulty level relies too much on the fact that each part only has to be cleared once with a set amount of resources before you move on to the next stage, unlike a regular shmup where you have much more long-term resource management. What I am saying is that if you put all those stages in a linear fashion in a game that sends you back to the beginning once you lose all your lives, it would become much more frustrating because the super agressive enemy behavior is usually bypassed here by sacrificing lives and hoping for the best with the sword and the bomb.
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 Post subject: Re: MetaRay Type 5
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:57 pm 


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Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 12
Location: Sweden
Thanks for the feedback!

M.Knight wrote:
The game's pacing is intensely fast with its myriad of mini-stages, which is not a bad thing at all, but the enemies are relentlessly aggressive, to the point where you wonder if it's even possible to clear the game with just three lives instead of relying on the life restore at the end of each stage.


I checked and it's possible to complete each segment without losing a life and without the sword and smartbomb. Some levels got a little too extreme, so I will tone it down a little in the next batch of levels.

M.Knight wrote:
the enemies keep firing at a very high rate (even when they are near the bottom of the screen)

The non-firing zone was about 25% of the bottom of the screen, I made it slightly bigger now, to around 40%.

Sword swing unreliable: It’s pretty slow. I changed it now so it's starting angle is the same as one of 8-direction the player is moving. This makes it a little easier to hit objects on ex the left side. If I add more ships later on, some of them will have more reliable survival subweapons.

M.Knight wrote:
there is no visual indication to tell you when you can swing it [the sword] again.

Yeah, I used to have a GUI bar in the bottom left side, but I’m trying to minimize on screen GUI from now. There’s short white strips behind the ship which indicates number of sword swings available, 1-3. But, it can be clearer.

M.Knight wrote:
On top of that, it's not rare to get killed a second after entering a stage as we don't even get the time to properly assess the situation before the enemies start firing.

There’s 1.5 seconds from when the player die until the invisibility wears off. If the level is short the invincibility can’t be too long. But I change so enemies don’t fire bullets for 1.5 seconds after the player dies, so that might help against spawn kills.

M.Knight wrote:
I also noticed that there are invisible walls at the edges of the screen which forbid the hitbox from moving all the way down the screen. Given how easy it is to be pushed back there by the patterns, it's also easy to die while thinking there was still room to dodge downwards only to get stuck.

True, made it a lot smaller now!

M.Knight wrote:
The idea of having tons of mini-stages like this with some flavor text is interesting but the difficulty level relies too much on the fact that each part only has to be cleared once with a set amount of resources before you move on to the next stage, unlike a regular shmup where you have much more long-term resource management. What I am saying is that if you put all those stages in a linear fashion in a game that sends you back to the beginning once you lose all your lives, it would become much more frustrating because the super aggressive enemy behavior is usually bypassed here by sacrificing lives and hoping for the best with the sword and the bomb.


Yeah, this is kind of a experiment how a shmup with short levels would play out. I might add some long term resources later on, like a mana pool which can be used for extra bombs or sword slashes. But for now it’s pretty convenient to not have to think of the long term when balancing levels. Also when I playetested some levels with non-shmup players most of them have enough to think about with a 15s game loop. But I will keep it in mind later on!

Thanks for the feedback, it helps a lot :)
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 Post subject: Re: MetaRay Type 5
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:01 am 


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Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 12
Location: Sweden
Here's a update, Type 6.

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Change log:
- Some enemies fires fewer bullets.
- No recharge on sub weapons, you get three per level instead.
- Removed HP GUI, added a “player shadow” for each hp.
- Adding two new ship types, Octagon and Spear with different sub weapons and bombs.
- The “normal” ship got a buff on its sub weapon making it more reliable.
- There’s fewer levels in this version, but I tried to make them more balanced and add some environment details.
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