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 Post subject: S.T.E.E.L
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:41 am 


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Joined: 09 May 2019
Posts: 21
Hiya, I've been working on a shmup in my spare time for just over a year and I just released the demo.

It's a shmup with rogue-lite elements (randomly generated levels and powerups) - a bunch of weapons to find and bosses to destroy :)


Image


Check it out and tell me what you think!
Download here: https://leanderish.itch.io/steel


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 Post subject: Re: S.T.E.E.L
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:04 pm 


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Joined: 20 Sep 2018
Posts: 12
Hey, this is pretty cool, thanks for the demo! I like it once it opens out and more levels and unlocks become available, but it doesn't seem that clear that that's going to happen after the first couple of plays, and I can see people potentially bouncing off it not realising there's more to it. I dunno, maybe something to think about...


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 Post subject: Re: S.T.E.E.L
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:15 am 


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Joined: 09 May 2019
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Retchy wrote:
Hey, this is pretty cool, thanks for the demo! I like it once it opens out and more levels and unlocks become available, but it doesn't seem that clear that that's going to happen after the first couple of plays, and I can see people potentially bouncing off it not realising there's more to it. I dunno, maybe something to think about...


Thanks for trying it out :)

You make a good point. I was hoping the unlock progress bar when you game over would be a hook to get people to wonder what they were going to unlock next, but maybe that is not enough, or not obvious?


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 Post subject: Re: S.T.E.E.L
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:10 am 


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Joined: 20 Sep 2018
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Yeah I did notice that, but then I was taken by surprise when the new menu options appeared after a couple of plays - maybe have them there from the start but locked off or greyed out or something, just so it's really clear?

What's your plan with the game, you aiming for a full release at some point?


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 Post subject: Re: S.T.E.E.L
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:56 pm 


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Joined: 09 May 2019
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Retchy wrote:
Yeah I did notice that, but then I was taken by surprise when the new menu options appeared after a couple of plays - maybe have them there from the start but locked off or greyed out or something, just so it's really clear?

Yeah, thanks. I will do that.

Quote:
What's your plan with the game, you aiming for a full release at some point?

Yeah, I've still got a lot of content to make though. The current ETA is early 2021 I would say, but everyone knows the folly of estimating game dev. time.


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 Post subject: Re: S.T.E.E.L
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:09 pm 


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Joined: 02 Aug 2018
Posts: 13
Location: Sweden
I play your demo, here are some observations:
- Would be nice with some hint what's the difference between the planets when you choose between them.
- Descriptions of items in the shop.
- Levels doesn’t drag on too long which is great, and there is a lot of variety with the different mini bosses. Most bosses I played have interingsting attacks, not too many phases and different patterns, but enough considering how long it takes to beat them.
- The player will replay the first level a lot, so it's good as a general rule to have extra content in the first level.
- Boss attacks that move forward to collide with the player: use a lot of telegraphing on them, like blinking, or showing arrows.
- I like the bomb animation, but it blinks a little too fast, might be worth changing it, or put an epilepsy warning while the game start up.

Tweaks aside, I think that it’s worth taking a step back and looking at the big picture of shoot em ups and generated levels, permadeath and upgrades.

Why do people play shoot em ups? I would say mostly in these playstyles: survival, 1CC, scoring, mastery of segments, flow.

- Survival - Try to survive as long as possible and experience the content of the game.
- 1CC - Plot out a safe path that can take you to the end of the game with one continue, and train to execute it.
- Scoring - Like 1CC, but more risky tradeoffs for a higher score.
- Mastery of segments - You replay a short challenging segment over and over until you master it.
- Flow - Just turn on the game and play it, die and feed the machine with coins for a good time.
There are probably more ways as well.

The question is: what does generated levels, permadeath and upgrades add to the different playstyles? To be fair, I don’t really now, and you don’t need to answer now. The interesting thing is how can a rougelite shmup better support more of the different playstyles?

Some ideas I got while playing:
- Replay with the same seed
- Add continues
- Add an arcade mode, doesn’t cost that much in development time when you already have all the assets and add a lot of value to the player.

I have been thinking of rougelites and shmups and have no clear answer on how to approach them game design vice, so it's up to you to figure out an implementation that works well in your game. If you figure out some changes that appeal to more playstyles will it add a lot of value to the game.

On longterm game play: Deadcell have an extra currency which is used to unlock permanent content, and you use them in the ingame store, and lose unused when you die. You can pay a lower amount then the total cost of the item which will stay between runs. The things you buy are more item types that drop from enemies and buy from stores and abilities to gain etc, no stat upgrades like “start with extra health”. The upgrades are also visible in the starting room of each run.
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 Post subject: Re: S.T.E.E.L
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:04 pm 


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Joined: 09 May 2019
Posts: 21
Thanks Risto, some great feedback :)

Risto wrote:
- Would be nice with some hint what's the difference between the planets when you choose between them.

Like "ForestPlanet"/"Desert planet"? The image of the planet is meant to do that job without making it sound lame :)

Risto wrote:
- Descriptions of items in the shop.

Yeah, good idea.

Risto wrote:
- Boss attacks that move forward to collide with the player: use a lot of telegraphing on them, like blinking, or showing arrows.

I'll try making it more obvious.

Risto wrote:
- I like the bomb animation, but it blinks a little too fast, might be worth changing it, or put an epilepsy warning while the game start up.

That's a good point. I reduced the flicker a little but it looks really lame if I reduce it too much.

Risto wrote:
Why do people play shoot em ups? I would say mostly in these playstyles: survival, 1CC, scoring, mastery of segments, flow.

Okay, so this game is tailored toward my preferences. I'm not an amazing player and time poor so it's mainly about survival and dodging rather than memorisation and optimisation.

Risto wrote:
Some ideas I got while playing:
- Replay with the same seed

This is already in the game (not sure if you didn't know or just wanted to call it out.)
Risto wrote:
- Add continues

I'll decide on this one when the game gets long enough to possibly warrant them :)

Risto wrote:
- Add an arcade mode, doesn’t cost that much in development time when you already have all the assets and add a lot of value to the player.

This is already planned (I am going to push an update sometime soon with some UI updates which makes this more obvious.)

Risto wrote:
On longterm game play: Deadcell have an extra currency which is used to unlock permanent content, and you use them in the ingame store, and lose unused when you die. You can pay a lower amount then the total cost of the item which will stay between runs. The things you buy are more item types that drop from enemies and buy from stores and abilities to gain etc, no stat upgrades like “start with extra health”. The upgrades are also visible in the starting room of each run.

Yeah, at the moment upgrades in STEEL are just unlocked based upon your total score. I could add some sort of token system but I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

Cheers!


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