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 Post subject: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:21 pm 


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I've recently started work on Hypership Out of Control 2. The previous Hypership was a very well received game I released for XBLIG, iOS, and WP7. The iOS version was nominated by TouchArcade as a finalist for Best Arcade Game of the Year in 2011. I'm targeting iOS and Android for Hypership 2, possibly PC and Ouya down the road.

The previous Hypership release was retro styled. For Hypership 2 I still plan on keeping the same bright graphics but no longer will we be using upscaled, pixelated graphics. Additionally each of the 10 waves won't be simple a color swap but rather have their own unique look and style. Because I'm looking for a lot of artwork (which I contract out for) I will do a Kickstarter campaign to try and help finance this once I've got something more solid to show off.

It's still really early in development but here is a screen shot of the new ships and a short teaser video. I'd love to hear and thoughts, suggestions, or comments on the game.

Image

Image

http://youtu.be/4-esrKHuRKg
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Last edited by FunInfusedGames on Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:30 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:15 pm 


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FunInfusedGames wrote:
screen shot of the new ships and a short teaser video. I'd love to hear and thoughts, suggestions, or comments on the game.

http://youtu.be/4-esrKHuRKg


Certainly looks slick graphically - a gameplay video would help generate a bit of hype as it's mostly text and then a flash of a "press start" screen.

I haven't played Hypership 1 - so don't know what this is about really :)
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:23 pm 


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n0rtygames wrote:
Certainly looks slick graphically - a gameplay video would help generate a bit of hype as it's mostly text and then a flash of a "press start" screen.

I haven't played Hypership 1 - so don't know what this is about really :)


Unfortunately I don't have much for gameplay right now nor do I have any good quality level artwork. But that will come soon enough. I'd love to have something to show off at GDC but I fear I won't be far enough along by then.

For those unfamiliar with the game, the basic concept is that your ship keeps going faster and faster and you have to traverse the levels with out hitting something. The longer you live, the faster you'll go. There are various items and weapons to help you along the way.

Here is a video from the original iOS verison (there is a free version if you want to try it on the App Store as well) to give you some idea:

http://youtu.be/FZa5bfb9ubQ
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:34 pm 


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Hey, that's really not bad at all dude.

I am impressed by your K.I.S.S approach to game design!

What's with the seemingly unavoidable giant asteroid at the start though?
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:00 pm 


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YES.
My body is ready for HooC2.</awkward>
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:28 pm 


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So this is not Hypership Still Out of Control, right?
Sad to know it won't be in XBLIG. :(
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:43 pm 


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n0rtygames wrote:
I am impressed by your K.I.S.S approach to game design!

What's with the seemingly unavoidable giant asteroid at the start though?


Thanks.

I can't remember if the asteroid is avoidable on the left side of the screen or if this was a level I made just for that trailer. Either way, the game doesn't feature any unavoidable asteroids.

Quote:
So this is not Hypership Still Out of Control, right?
Sad to know it won't be in XBLIG. :(


Nope, not Hypership Still Out of Control... this is completely and totally brand new. New art, new levels, new weapons, ect.

I'd love to make it for XBLIG because I love being able to play this on your living room TV and with four players, but as a whole XBLIG sales have been bad. Hypership Still Out of Control has sold less than 300 copies total on XBLIG... about as much as the iOS version of Hypership sold in the first couple days. Even if the last game had sold a few thousand copies, I could probably justify it to myself, but not at a few hundred.

In addition to that, the peer-to-peer score sharing system sucks on XBLIG. I wrote my own client / server webservice setup for Bad Caterpillar (Android version) that I can use for Hypership 2 as well. Competing for high scores is half the fun and I can't do that as well as I'd like on XBLIG.
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:49 am 


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WARNING - I AM ABOUT TO TRY AND CONVINCE YOU TO WRITE ANOTHER XBLIG GAME. BECAUSE I REALLY LIKE THE LOOK OF YOUR GAME!


FunInfusedGames wrote:
I'd love to make it for XBLIG because I love being able to play this on your living room TV and with four players, but as a whole XBLIG sales have been bad. Hypership Still Out of Control has sold less than 300 copies total on XBLIG... about as much as the iOS version of Hypership sold in the first couple days. Even if the last game had sold a few thousand copies, I could probably justify it to myself, but not at a few hundred.


I think this is probably your biggest gripe with XBLIG. For what it's worth - Chronoblast isn't looking in much better shape, it's hit 506 in its first 8 days and it's fallen off newly released. We are no longer in the era of Shoot-1-Up being a contest finalist with a massive pair of tits on the box art getting it a lot of attention. We're in the era where MS are trying to shift Indie Games as far to the back as possible - for reasons best not gone in to here.... Anyway - I got the usual downvoting shit that everyone and their dog suffers from on the USA marketplace these days - but had a #1 spot for a day which actually helped sales. It pretty much disappeared in to the depths of XBLIG hell after that. This isn't even a months rent after a couple of years of working on this between jobs. But I never set my expectations higher than even 100-200 sales at best. Honestly, I didn't think anyone would care.

If you need an example of what I mean:
Sales went diagonally UP on a graph. Ratings went diagonally DOWN on a graph. Does that strike you as remotely logical? The only scenario would be that people who didn't like it went "Okay, 2-3 stars because it just wasn't my thing" and everyone who actually liked the game was too busy playing it. Since then - the players have been rating it fairly and it's actually crawling back up - but the first week is usually hell for any XBLIG developer. In the UK I'm ranked #4, in Japan I'm ranked #10. USA? Irrelevant. You know how it is - you know precisely how "vicious" it can get.

In that sense, I can completely understand your reasons for not wanting to do XBLIG stuff. Is it for the love of the genre, or financial gain? The latter being the reason most people wont support things like Tate - because they consider it "too niche" or even bother with:-

Quote:
In addition to that, the peer-to-peer score sharing system sucks on XBLIG. I wrote my own client / server webservice setup for Bad Caterpillar (Android version) that I can use for Hypership 2 as well. Competing for high scores is half the fun and I can't do that as well as I'd like on XBLIG.


This.. which I actually have to strongly disagree with. However, I can only disagree with that up to a point. The biggest flaw with XBLIG is that we cannot punch out of the XBLA Garden Wall as I like to call it. There is no way to talk to my box sitting in my rack at the datacenter over some arbitrary port with even a simple web request. Simply cannot be done.

However, that said - I think a lot of it comes down to how much you're prepared to support high scores in your game. I've spoken to a lot of people who want to write or work on shmups who actually say "Well I don't give a shit about scoring" and genuinely don't care about leaderboards at all. I'm quite happy hosting high scores for periods of 24-48 hours and taking my xbox session down for development for a day. The reason being that when I'm offline - people who are playing, are seeding the high scores to other people. When I put it back on, there's usually another player within an hour.

It's a fully redundant system. Yes, we've had scores go missing temporarily. Then we've had scores be retransmitted back to us within an hour. Shit happens, you can't stop it - but there's no reason to completely avoid doing high scores.

If we had the ability to talk to our own servers outside of XBLA - a peer to peer system would add an extra level of redundancy to that single homed solution. Basically, if you're prepared to support your games score system by actually running a service then this isn't a problem. Because really, the only major gripe comes down to the fact that you might enter in to a scenario where for 60 minutes of some poor bastards life - scores are out of sync. If that one guy bitches about it - that one guy is more than welcome to bitch at me directly and I shall bore him to tears with over half a decades experience in the ISP industry talking about the absolutely ridiculously batshit infrastructure required to provide 99.9999% uptime.

There might be 60 minutes where your datacenter have to perform routine maintenance, or you might lose routing to your box temporarily. Ultimately, a shmup on xblig is gonna be a $1 game.

Also, to be perfectly realistic and look at this from a gamer perspective - if there's a guy whos scores go missing and he's got 40,000 points ranked right down in the bottom 10 players - his score disappearing for a few moments is honestly a drop in the ocean. If he ever starts playing for score to the point where he's legitimately caring about his scoreboard ranking (i.e practising for more than 3-4 minutes) -- then he's going to receive a retransmission at some point during his play time and there's a very high probability that it will contain his (rather low) score! So he's not going to lose out in a way he's going to get upset over long term. The higher scoring players generally put more time in to the game - so are in fact contributing more time to the score system. The highest score on the leaderboard has gone missing once and it was re-received within 20 minutes without me actually having to ask anyone. This is largely why I'm not overly panicked about my bizarre save corruption bug - because the system surrounding it is robust enough to recover so long as people are playing the game. If people are not playing the game anymore - then scores are pretty much irrelevant and if you want to play the game at that point - I'll have an online ranking system you can go compare yourself against. Re: the saving bug.. I'm simply trying to make it not do that, because having a broken feature is basically completely bollocks... :-)

At the time of writing this I can see that I've just transmitted over 150 scores to at least 3 other players - one of whom was a new player. So those scores are perfectly safe.

Now, will you please come back to XBLIG? Pretty please? That was the whole point of this rant. To convince you it can still be a fun place... I'll even give it a proper Peer Review it for you!




Anyway, I'm going to go and play the original. Since it looks fun. I'm also going to go and give it a nice rating.
:0)

p.s - I completely understand if you're leaving for financial reasons!
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:24 pm 


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n0rtygames wrote:
In that sense, I can completely understand your reasons for not wanting to do XBLIG stuff. Is it for the love of the genre, or financial gain?


To be clear, making the games I really want doesn't limit me to one specific platform. Multiplatform development is going to be one of my focuses going forward (iOS, Android, and PC are my big three targets at this time). I always make the games I want to make but I also am conscious of the sales they make and if I want to do this full time or be able to afford better artwork or assets, I need to factor that in when considering platforms. Let's say the original Hypership on XBLIG (release 9/15/10) sold X total copies. The iOS version released in 2011 (in less time) sold sold X * 6 total copies (this version got updated graphics over the original). Hypership Still Out of Control for XBLIG (it got the updated graphics and modified sections of levels) sold X / 6 total copies. Comparing the iOS release to my latest version of Hypership on XBLIG shows that iOS outsold it 12 to 1. Based trial downloads of my other games and Hypership, I'm seeing XBLIG as a diminishing market for the genre of games I prefer to make. Based on my time and the money I intend on spending on artwork / music for Hypership 2, I can only see losing money on XBLIG with a Hypership 2 release. Conversely on iOS (Android is a bit of an unknown for me, so I'm leaving that out of the equation for now), I fully expect that I can sell much more than I did with the original Hypership.


Quote:
This.. which I actually have to strongly disagree with. However, I can only disagree with that up to a point. The biggest flaw with XBLIG is that we cannot punch out of the XBLA Garden Wall as I like to call it. There is no way to talk to my box sitting in my rack at the datacenter over some arbitrary port with even a simple web request. Simply cannot be done.

However, that said - I think a lot of it comes down to how much you're prepared to support high scores in your game. I've spoken to a lot of people who want to write or work on shmups who actually say "Well I don't give a shit about scoring" and genuinely don't care about leaderboards at all. I'm quite happy hosting high scores for periods of 24-48 hours and taking my xbox session down for development for a day. The reason being that when I'm offline - people who are playing, are seeding the high scores to other people. When I put it back on, there's usually another player within an hour.


The original Hypership on XBLIG had online high scores. It took a lot of time to setup and was difficult to test (requiring two Xboxes and two Gold Xbox Live subscriptions... which left me mostly to have to coordinate with others to try things out). It worked pretty well for the first month or so. During this time I was leaving my own Xbox on all the time. But how long can I do that for? Honestly very few games on XBLIG reach the critical mass required to keep a peer to peer scoring system going without the developer keeping their own Xbox running as a server. After a month and a half of this, online scoring hardly seemed worthwhile and I was very tired of keeping my own Xbox on running with the game all the time. The amount of effort to maintain and setup this system is just too much for the small amount of use it gets, especially more so when I'm seeing fewer and fewer shooter fans on XBLIG.

GameCenter for iOS works really well, gamers are already setup for it and it is a true client / server model. Additionally for non-iOS release, I've written my own similar system. Overall it's just a lot better doing it this way than the peer to peer model.


Quote:
Now, will you please come back to XBLIG? Pretty please? That was the whole point of this rant. To convince you it can still be a fun place... I'll even give it a proper Peer Review it for you!


Never say never. But as of right now, I have no plans to do so. My trivia games actually sell decently well but my shooter sales are terrible. So at the very least, it's extremely doubtful I'll do any more shooters on XBLIG.
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:59 pm 


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FunInfusedGames wrote:
Hypership Still Out of Control


I did not realize this existed and I will go buy it posthaste because the original is still my favorite game on XBLIG.
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:20 pm 


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FunInfusedGames wrote:
Never say never. But as of right now, I have no plans to do so. My trivia games actually sell decently well but my shooter sales are terrible. So at the very least, it's extremely doubtful I'll do any more shooters on XBLIG.


Ah well - all very solid reasoning. I tried my best! :D

I fully understand Microsofts reasonings for not allowing us to punch out of XBLA - anyone with half a brain does. Too many legal implications if someone goes a bit mental and writes some malicious code that's hidden during PR. To be honest if I was hosting a /mostly/ unregulated service - I'd probably be forced to take the same stance if I was in their position. (Speaking from a self preservation perspective)

As I said though - there will come a point where I basically take a copy of the save data, extract the xml contents and then manually put those in my code and upload a patch so everyone has my most recent scores - for the reasons you outlined about the decay of a game.

You've pretty much said the same things I have, but you've chosen to highlight the cons over the pros -- which I guess makes for a nice healthy balanced argument. Essentially: p2p scores are only good for as long as the developer is committed to support the scoreboards and people are playing the game.

I hope you do well on your platforms of choice, these all look pretty darned fun :)


nZero wrote:
I did not realize this existed and I will go buy it posthaste because the original is still my favorite game on XBLIG.


Everyone should support FIG.

Then he might make more xbox shooters ;-)
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:15 pm 


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Quote:
I fully understand Microsofts reasonings for not allowing us to punch out of XBLA - anyone with half a brain does. Too many legal implications if someone goes a bit mental and writes some malicious code that's hidden during PR. To be honest if I was hosting a /mostly/ unregulated service - I'd probably be forced to take the same stance if I was in their position. (Speaking from a self preservation perspective)


Opening things up is probably not realistic because of issues like what you've described. XBLA though has it's own leaderboards and it's unfortunate that a similar system was never offered for XBLIG. Apple does this with GameCenter and it would add a lot to the XBLIG service if they allowed it.

Quote:
You've pretty much said the same things I have, but you've chosen to highlight the cons over the pros -- which I guess makes for a nice healthy balanced argument. Essentially: p2p scores are only good for as long as the developer is committed to support the scoreboards and people are playing the game.


I speak from experience as well. It's a solution to a problem but a poor solution.

And just to get a little back on topic, here is a basic picture of the purple ship in space and some very early UI work...

Image
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:01 pm 


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Just so you don't think I've stopped working on this, here is a recent screen shot and early work on the new box art. Most of my work lately has been setting up the engine and basic level editor. I'm getting to a point now where levels are nearly playable.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:21 am 


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Diggin' it


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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:28 pm 


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Here is our final cover art.

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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:25 pm 


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Sexy ships! :shock:
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:48 pm 


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New video that's starting to show a little better what the game is really like. Added parallax layers to this one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG-sIxYQdbE

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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:07 pm 


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Few things are more cringeworthy than the phrase "oh no, not again" in anything, especially sequels.

Don't. Just...don't.
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:16 pm 


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DJ Incompetent wrote:
Few things are more cringeworthy than the phrase "oh no, not again" in anything, especially sequels.

Don't. Just...don't.


That's just one of several random quotes you can get when starting the game, though the only one currently implemented. It's intended to be a tongue in cheek type response.
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:35 pm 


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It's so tired though. Ya can't even tongue'n'cheek that.

For a game scenario this preposterous to happen again, I think letting the player's imagination fill in the details would be better than shoehorning throwaway quotes into a forgettable unskippable intro for a replay-heavy game. As a player who has to deal with false-start reels often, just let it begin in silence like your first game.

Spell text and draw things in coins, or play with your parallax layers to line bits up to spell secret simple messages at certain segments. Put dat charm 'n creativity into the obstacle course that players will see again and again and again. You want players to catch harder-to-spot things in the details they overlooked the first few times. That's how you get smiles from simple games.


I'm looking forward to your game!
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 2:12 pm 


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DJ Incompetent wrote:
It's so tired though. Ya can't even tongue'n'cheek that.

For a game scenario this preposterous to happen again, I think letting the player's imagination fill in the details would be better than shoehorning throwaway quotes into a forgettable unskippable intro for a replay-heavy game. As a player who has to deal with false-start reels often, just let it begin in silence like your first game.

Spell text and draw things in coins, or play with your parallax layers to line bits up to spell secret simple messages at certain segments. Put dat charm 'n creativity into the obstacle course that players will see again and again and again. You want players to catch harder-to-spot things in the details they overlooked the first few times. That's how you get smiles from simple games.

I'm looking forward to your game!


We shall do all those things! There is the briefest of intros this time around but it won't be obtrusive and it won't last long. I'm not going to get into any deep storelines or anything like that. Thud, your ship breaks. That's about it.

I'm going to try and add a lot more charm and character this time around. With a larger art budget than before and higher res graphics, things are opened up a lot for that. For instance we've got women laying out on the space docks sun tanning... in space! I want to add many funny little touches to the game like that, stuff I couldn't do w/ the low res graphics of the original.

New video goodness as well http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWbS3ssCOAc

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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 4:18 pm 


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Im not realy one to talk, but not sure the thrash metal goes with the graphics too well..looks more of a chiptune sort of game..(the rest of it fits)

Looks a kind of canabalt shump sort of hybrid :D im sure youl do ok with that
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 2:26 pm 


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railslave wrote:
Im not realy one to talk, but not sure the thrash metal goes with the graphics too well..looks more of a chiptune sort of game..(the rest of it fits)

Looks a kind of canabalt shump sort of hybrid :D im sure youl do ok with that


Some people I guess don't like rock music w/ this genre of games??? I got similar comments on my release Bad Caterpillar. Though this time if you listen a little further, there are some less rocky elements too.

The first game we did exclusively with chiptune music but I felt for this one, since it is no longer a lower res pixel game, we should also let the music evolve to something more modern.
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:51 pm 


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I like the music and I like this music in this genre of games, even if it were heavier. To be honest, thats the sort of music that will bring me back to your game, but no matter what music you choose, you won't please everyone. The whole casual slow electronic style music you hear in a lot of puzzle games, is the main reason I don't play casual puzzle games, I find it irritating.

I played the first game but didnt buy it, since theres no XBLIG in my country. To download the demo I had to sign into my US account, which still doesn't let me buy games from my IP address. I have to let a US person on my US account and buy through xbox.com if I wanna purchase, then it downloads on my console, so it's mostly too much trouble.

Anyway, looks cool so far, really like your cover art too. And actually, the whole touch (mouse?) style gameplay will probably work kinda good for your type of game anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:08 am 


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So for the past few months I've mostly been working porting one of my previous games to Ouya. I've done some Hypership 2 work here and there. I figured it was high time I showed off some of the improvements as it's a good deal more polished since I lasted posted about this in June.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kauG-miubMc

Let me know what you think! Thanks!
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:19 pm 


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Checking in once again. It's been over a year since I started this game though I've worked on (and released) several other projects in the meantime. Over the last few weeks I've gotten into working on Hypership 2 primarily again and have added several cool things. I added helper ships, max speed up and down powerups, branching levels, a wider screen area, and I cleaned up some of the graphics (more work on that, especially the UI and particles, is still coming).

Image

Here is the latest video of the game too. Please let me know any comments or suggestions! Thanks!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3NUyPmBVQs
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 Post subject: Re: Hypership Out of Control 2
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:57 pm 


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Just wanted to share some UI updates we've made. Let us you know your thoughts. Thanks!

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