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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:43 pm 


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I see, I only played the trial, I am not willing to pay for alphas and such in most cases.


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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:23 pm 


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First of all: thanks for playing/testing the demo AND replying here. Critique sometimes is painful but it's necessary. In the end it just serves the game.

I see much need for clarification in this thread. Mainly because I've chosen a wrong development strategy: breath first. There are many half baked things in the game:
  • explosions
  • shot sprites
  • icons
  • optimization/tweaking
  • etc.

But first things first:

Being in alpha is the blanket excuse for not having this or that. Selling alpha versions was never meant to please my audience. It's just for me, to get my feet on the ground of real-world commerce. To be true: just friends and some dev-interested people bought it so far. And that's OK for me. Beta will have to be commercial relevant.

Pigeonhole Nordenfelt regarding Raizing or Raiden is irrelevenant at the moment. There is just a shallow score system with patterned medal dropouts. This is because I wanted to have them in the game ASAP. The drawback is that people start to think that's all. It isn't, it was just a wrong decision regarding development: get it in soon. I've decided to go on depth first: add features completely - no imposters.

It's true that explosions, sounds, shot sprites, etc. suck. It's no different than medals or scoring - imposters everywhere. I'm sick of it. Sick of pointing out they are not final and sick of encountering them. From now on they get finalized or cut. In the end discussing anything not meant to be final is senseless.

The game is pure 2D. Sprites are rendered 3D models. I'm aware the top down view isn't as fancy as the visuals of iso shmups. I've chosen 2D and birds-view for two reasons: compatibility and simplification regarding dev. Nordenfelt won't become more 3D than it is now. That's a fixed "feature".

ptoing wrote:
It makes stuff look lifeless and muddy. There are no black shadows in nature generally. The colour of shadows is complimentary to the lightsource. Meaning that your shadows should have a blueish/purple tint. You do not have to go too colourful, just not black. Also I can see the tilegrid on the grass, try to make that a bit more seamless.


I've noted your objections for polish. I'm curious if other players were bothered about these details.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:46 am 


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Thanks for the clarification hermitC. It's good knowing that you're going to stomp down on these issues as you get to them before final commercial release, that's for sure.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:05 am 



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ptoing wrote:
Also the graphics are a bit drab. I reckon most of this still is placeholder to some degree.
I would suggest against shading with black. It makes stuff look lifeless and muddy. There are no black shadows in nature generally. The colour of shadows is complimentary to the lightsource. Meaning that your shadows should have a blueish/purple tint. You do not have to go too colourful, just not black.

I have to disagree.

The "color of a shadow" is the color of whatever light-mix that area receives from other light sources. I.e. the "ambient light" color. It's most definitely not the color complementary to that of the primary light source.
Also "shading" with something else than pure black cannot be done with normal alpha-blending. It would require multiplicative blending. That's no problem for any graphics card that's not from the stone age, but AFAIK SFML just doesn't provide an option for it.

So I suggest to just stick to black shading.


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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:52 pm 


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Black shading can work as long as there isn't a lot of gradiation between it and the other colors, as you'll simply end up with nasty greys and browns. I think that's a negative effect he was referring to. Using different colors for shadows is potentially prettier; but you have to take into account how well it will match up with many different combinations of game objects and backgrounds.

Still, many classic Raiden-era arcade games use somewhat harsh black shading alongside soft, bright and muted colors. Done right, this can give excellent contrast and make tiny details pop right off the screen.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:16 pm 


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I did not mean the colours of the shadows which are being cast by ships, I meant the general shading in the background and ship graphics. For example just taking a yellow and then ramping it toward black to shade and white to highlight will make stuff look dead and muddy. Black can wark in backgrounds if you know what you are doing and use it for contrast and whatnot, like Rozyrg discribed.

Well yeah, true, the complimentary thing is not really true, but as far as nature and outside goes you can go by shadows being blueish (due to ambient light and the sky) and lights being more toward yellowish.


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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:55 pm 


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IMO b/w shading works for Nordenfelt. If vivacity isn't met by gameplay coloring shadows won't make it either. As said, I've queued a task for this issue.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:58 pm 


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Yes, of course the game mechanics and how it plays are more important than the gfx.
After all, an ugly game can be a good game, but a bad game wont become good if it looks nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:36 am 


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The colors of the shadows can make your game easy on the eyes of players and spectators, if well worked, of course. Look at the shadows that I use PIXEL FIGHTERS, are of varied colors, and the result may seem confusing, but in my case, I did intentionally, to give that air of ATARI, and test new ideas, such as the use of reflected lights and shadows some objects over others. Some things I'll leave it to the players to uncover, even looking like gibberish or wrong, hehehe!

See:

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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:09 pm 


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Currently I'm finalizing explosion effects. These are for small units:

Image

Next steps: shockwaves, wreckage, exploding parts.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:06 am 


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Time to update this thread. :)

I was quite busy coding/drawing/sound-arming Nordenfelt 0.5.3. One of the latest improvements are the first boss' cannons which can be blown up separately now:

Image

There are just a handful of tasks left before 0.5.3 hits the shelves.

BTW: I've set up twitter feed @nordenfeltgame which is dedicated to updates and news regarding Nordenfelt. Feel free to follow.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:00 am 


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How's the project going so far hermitC? I had a look at the forum for Nordenfelt and it looked pretty empty (and if the post information besides your secret Development forum is accurate it seems there's not much activity in there either).

The new explosions look pretty sweet by the way (and from what I read of the blog some time ago its all sprite-based now?) so I imagine performance would be not much worse than the current release either, but I need not hark on about issues you're already aware of. :P
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:01 am 


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Indeed, there isn't much going on in the forums at the moment. Version 0.5.3 came out silently last week while 0.5.2 had been released in September 2011. So there was nearly a half year of silence in the (public) forum.

Explosions are sprite-based particle systems. Maybe I have to bake them when performance becomes an issue.

Right now I'm updating http://www.nordenfelt-thegame.com with latest screenshots and maybe a video. The latter is quite a struggle. Recording the game with Fraps does not work very well on my machine. No clue if it's a config problem or just a weak graphics card. I've to figure that out before I can do any ingame videos.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:08 am 


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FRAPS is a hog anyway. I recommend the cutting-edge latest release of VirtualDub which has an AVI Capture function, and then using XVid as your codec of choice. It's not as friendly for setting *where on the screen* to record but it will do it, and with little effect on performance unlike FRAPS. I use it for my GMOSSE videos now after trying like everything else and swear by it.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:16 am 


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BPzeBanshee wrote:
I recommend the cutting-edge latest release of VirtualDub which has an AVI Capture function, and then using XVid as your codec of choice.


Didn't know VirtualDub (which I already use) has a capture function. Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out ASAP.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:16 pm 


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Yeah the experimental versions have it I believe. Using XVid as a codec for it helps too on the default settings if filesize is a worry (or you like, don't have a SSD where everything writes to file extra-fast :P).
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:22 pm 


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Part of the current "old feature revival":

level selection on world map

Image

Read here what's getting revived and why.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:39 pm 


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Megabump!

http://www.nordenfelt-thegame.com/blog/

Thought about this project tonight (and may be bumping a few more) while looking at something by tangent and discovered that the actual website's buttons don't seem to work, so I went to find the blog to see what's up.

Looks like a bit of nothing, a bit of sound effect improvements, switching back to 2D rendering because he's awesome at 2D, etc. I'm liking the latest screenshots and simplification of the weapon get factor too.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:10 pm 


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Quite a while since I've updated this threat. Thx for bumping.

The reason I've almost quit sharing progress: talking is just talking. I decided to keep my mouth shut until there is something worth mentioning. The upcoming Desura launch may be of interest for you guys. I'll drop a line here when this gets real.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:22 pm 


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hermitC wrote:
I decided to keep my mouth shut until there is something worth mentioning. The upcoming Desura launch may be of interest for you guys. I'll drop a line here when this gets real.


I think this is worth mentioning:

Nordenfelt launches on Desura on 9th of July.

Image

Man, I'm really excited about going public on a portal. I'm curious if Desura cuts the mustard.

Image
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:26 am 


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Good to hear. And it's looking a lot better too.

I tend to notice Paid Betas don't sell well on this forum, but I can't imagine this thing being any worse than say, Sine Mora for $5.

Is this available only from Desura now or is the direct option with Developer's Forum still accessible?
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:40 am 


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BPzeBanshee wrote:
Is this available only from Desura now or is the direct option with Developer's Forum still accessible?


The direct option is still available. I just have to update the homepage, it shows the way outdated 0.5.3 version.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:57 pm 


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hermitC wrote:
I just have to update the homepage, it shows the way outdated 0.5.3 version.


I've updated the Nordenfelt demo to version 0.6. Head over to www.nordenfelt-thegame.com and hit the demo download button.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:28 pm 


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Finally got around the trying the demo. Few pointers:

- shows 0.7 in the bottom-right corner.
- what inputs are supported? I saw what looked like joystick support available in default_input_configuration.xml but editing it made no difference when I wanted to bind the fire key from left-control (bad idea for default btw) to Z. Maybe an in-game menu or separate config program in the future?
- gameplay is definitely improving on what was present before. I'm not so sure I'm liking the tech-tree structure or the RPG-like level progression but it seems clear from your blog that it's not fully realised yet.
- is there any use of the equipment key in this? didn't seem to do anything. Also, I must confess the menu system took me playing a stage or two for me to understand what was happening. Do I click the green shot button to get green shots? How do I unlock this other doohickey? Various questions popping in my head.

Ran fine on my i3 though.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:37 pm 


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BPzeBanshee wrote:
Finally got around the trying the demo. Few pointers:

- shows 0.7 in the bottom-right corner.
- what inputs are supported? I saw what looked like joystick support available in default_input_configuration.xml but editing it made no difference when I wanted to bind the fire key from left-control (bad idea for default btw) to Z. Maybe an in-game menu or separate config program in the future?
- gameplay is definitely improving on what was present before. I'm not so sure I'm liking the tech-tree structure or the RPG-like level progression but it seems clear from your blog that it's not fully realised yet.
- is there any use of the equipment key in this? didn't seem to do anything. Also, I must confess the menu system took me playing a stage or two for me to understand what was happening. Do I click the green shot button to get green shots? How do I unlock this other doohickey? Various questions popping in my head.

Ran fine on my i3 though.


That's what I call feedback. Thanks.

- input config is described in readme.txt, joystick is not supported yet, in-game input config is planned but has low priority right now
- I know that RPG elements are not really shmupers gusto. Finally it should define some different routes in the game how to play.
- the equipment key became obsolete for bots and tesla gun. I'm not sure if it will cease in upcoming releases.
- the tech tree seems to be not as intuitive as planned. I have to make it's functionality more obvious.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:51 am 


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Ah, of course. RTFM BP. :P I'll try to rebind my controls and get back to you.

One other thing I forgot to mention was the powerups on the second stage. I had visibility issues picking up the shiny star things against the bright lava background. I liked your 0.4 system better for upgrading the main shot to be honest, but something similar could be done here too just by changing the colour of the shiny star things and maybe showing a gradual increase of the main shot power before it goes green.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:55 pm 


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BPzeBanshee wrote:
One other thing I forgot to mention was the powerups on the second stage. I had visibility issues picking up the shiny star things against the bright lava background. I liked your 0.4 system better for upgrading the main shot to be honest, but something similar could be done here too just by changing the colour of the shiny star things and maybe showing a gradual increase of the main shot power before it goes green.


The contrast problem is already on my todo list. There are several contrast flaws in the game which need treatment. Learned lesson #328: color scheme dictates contrast.

Shmups seem simple to make but there are so many rules to obey. Constant learning is mandatory.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:53 pm 


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Wow, that's a long time since the last post...

Finally Nordenfelt went beta. Therefore it's time to call for beta testers!

Image

Image

Image

If you want to help improve Nordenfelt over the next few weeks you can either test the demo (direct download) or get the full game from the sales page for free using any of the following coupon codes:

  • BETAONE4ZMTU
  • BETAONE5PBYA
  • BETAONE5UPPP
  • BETAONE6DESK
  • BETAONE6YARY
  • BETAONE7TARK
  • BETAONE8SZZR
  • BETAONE9EXWE

I'm curious what you shmup loving guys think about the game.

I'm looking forward to your constructive critique.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:08 pm 


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Some notions I made while playing the beta demo:

- Bots 1 description box is slightly obscured by the Doppler bomb BUY graphic above it. Overall the shop/weapon selection screen could use some streamlining. For an example when I buy a new equipment I shouldn't need to press equip separately to use it in the next stage.
- The glowing power up orbs were a bit too distracting in my opion and their effect isn't instantly evident to the player.
- Some of the turret enemies fire aimed bullets just before dissappearing from the screen. I managed to dodge those pesky bullets but I was wondering whether or not it was an intentional design choice?
- I was slightly confused by the fact ship explodes so violently after taking a hit, yet still remains on the same position. Since I did lose a life, I would expect the ship reappear in the fixed starting position after dying.
- The vigour meter had me scratching my head initially as well until I realized it was a boss health bar. Its layout in the HUD doesn't really fit its purpose since when I'm dodging boss' patterns, my eyes are most likely focused on the boss at the top of the screen instead of the left-hand corner. This isn't a big deal since the bosses do take visible damage as the fight goes on. I just thought the health bar was kind of unnecessary, confusing addition.

I'm not a big fan of the graphical style chosen for this game which is a shame since I do think the gameplay works competently for the most part. Style aside, sometimes the graphics lack enough detail to convey what I'm supposed to look at. The turrets on the trains and the bosses were biggest offenders: the turrets simply aren't clear enough while the latter lack an impact I expect from bosses in general. But I also understand one person can only do so much especially when it comes to graphics.
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 Post subject: Re: Nordenfelt - 2D Steampunk Shmup
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:46 am 


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Thanks for your extensive feedback, Ebbo. I'm glad that the gameplay works for the most part. What I discern from your reply is that clarity and streamlining are points to work on. Cosmetics like the bosses impact are important as well which serve the "game feel". It's hard to decide which one I'll spend polish time on: gameplay or "game feel"...

Thanks again!
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