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fog
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« Reply #450 on: March 20, 2009, 01:05:43 PM »

They look fairly good, although I can't promise they will make it any easier to see what is going on  Tongue
I would be pretty disappointed if they did. Smiley
lol.  Well any increased difficulty in seeing what's going on with the new graphics modes is just a side effect of the new styles.... as opposed to making things intentionally harder to see what's going on such as in the obvious "uber psychedelic mode".
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fog
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« Reply #451 on: March 28, 2009, 02:09:41 PM »

Curiosity got the better of me this morning.   BunnyMonkey!

I wondered how we were doing performance wise on the 360 version so I decided to spawn a load of enemies and see what happened.  So I filled the screen (literally) with a mixture of enemies making sure I had plenty of the larger ones so we had a decent stress test.  Well 1000 on screen enemies later and with everything running fine, I decided we should be ok performance wise  Tongue

But just how many enemies were there on screen during the PC version of Echoes I hear nobody cry?  Well I did a quick test on that code and even during the times the screen looked fairly full, the enemy count only topped out at 62.  I was surprised at how low that was as it certainly looks a lot higher in action to me.

Anyway that should give you an idea of how packed the screen looked on the XBox with 1000 enemies displayed.  That's 16x as many as the old version !  Completely unplayable, but rather satisfying  BunnyMonkey!
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fog
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« Reply #452 on: March 30, 2009, 08:53:36 PM »

As it doesn't look like sales from XBCG will be enough for us to achieve world domination on, I've decided to use the brute for and ignorance approach (something of a speciality) and design some big sod off weapons instead. BunnyMonkey!

A while ago I ditched the old Echoes weapons that everyone loved and hated in equal measures (lovely bullet patterns but crappy progression) and now it's time to lose the temporary weapons I created for testing and finally drop the proper one's into place.

As usual I've probably overstretched myself by deciding I need 20 different weapons when 5 or possibly 10 would have been more than enough.

Designing a bunch of weapons that get progressively more powerful isn't as straight forward as it sounds. Tweaking a single bullet stream angle by a couple of degrees or a reload time by 5/100ths of a sec makes a huge difference. It's a fine balancing act but if all else fails I just throw a shit load more bullets at the problem.

Get carried away and by weapon No.8 you've got enough freakin firepower to wipe out the whole of civilization before breakfast.... and it's then you realise that you still need to come up with another dozen weapons each more powerful than this one. BunnyMonkey!
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #453 on: March 31, 2009, 02:48:27 AM »

The best thing about mono was the second-to-last weapon.
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T_M_C
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« Reply #454 on: March 31, 2009, 09:52:07 AM »

Quote
But just how many enemies were there on screen during the PC version of Echoes I hear nobody cry?  Well I did a quick test on that code and even during the times the screen looked fairly full, the enemy count only topped out at 62.  I was surprised at how low that was as it certainly looks a lot higher in action to me.

That sounds an incredible improvement. 

But was that simply a draw image stress test for both echoes and xbox, or was echoes running the game as well ?

I also tried a stress test when i first coded my background level editor and it also could handle hundreds of on screen images and several thousand per level before any fps drop.
But, running the whole game now, has caused a fps hit where the amount of processed images has dropped quite a bit.


Quote
Designing a bunch of weapons that get progressively more powerful isn't as straight forward as it sounds. Tweaking a single bullet stream angle by a couple of degrees or a reload time by 5/100ths of a sec makes a huge difference. It's a fine balancing act but if all else fails I just throw a shit load more bullets at the problem.

Get carried away and by weapon No.8 you've got enough freakin firepower to wipe out the whole of civilization before breakfast.... and it's then you realise that you still need to come up with another dozen weapons each more powerful than this one.


As far as i could see, your weapon upgrades for echoes and mono, were bullet pattern changes, with the patterns that gave the largest bullet count usually being the best ones to use.

I wasn't aware of a bullet power increase as the action is pretty fast and furious.  So i didn't know if you had implemented them in game or not.

Bullet strength ( upgradable amount of damage it does ) is the obvious power up solution along with different patterns.

Have you also thought about adding homing missiles.  Again, forgive me if you've already coded these but i wasn't aware of them in your previous games.

TMC

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fog
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« Reply #455 on: March 31, 2009, 11:19:28 AM »

The best thing about mono was the second-to-last weapon.
Christ how do you remember that? lol.  I've got no idea which one that is.


Quote
But just how many enemies were there on screen during the PC version of Echoes I hear nobody cry?  Well I did a quick test on that code and even during the times the screen looked fairly full, the enemy count only topped out at 62.  I was surprised at how low that was as it certainly looks a lot higher in action to me.

That sounds an incredible improvement. 

But was that simply a draw image stress test for both echoes and xbox, or was echoes running the game as well ?
A bit of both. Smiley It was the Echoes game engine running so enemy behaviour was exactly as in game, homing in on the player, firing etc. but the players weapons were disabled.  So the extra collision checks from those bullets would impact on performance, however as I'm displaying 16x the number of enemies I really ned then it wont be an issue


I wasn't aware of a bullet power increase as the action is pretty fast and furious.  So i didn't know if you had implemented them in game or not.

Bullet strength ( upgradable amount of damage it does ) is the obvious power up solution along with different patterns.
Yeah there were a few different bullet types in there but they weren't all obvious.  There are 2 different "strengths" some that bounced off the screen edges and the "ring of bullets" ones were actually indestructible and ripped through everything right across the screen.

During testing the new bullet patterns last night I temporarily had different images for the different bullet types. This was just to help me out, but maybe I should make the difference permanent. It's one of those things where I as the developer know the bullets are different, but as you say in the heat of the action it wont be obvious to other players. I'll put some subtly different images in and see how it looks Smiley


Have you also thought about adding homing missiles.  Again, forgive me if you've already coded these but i wasn't aware of them in your previous games.
I don't have any in Echoes ATM.  I'll see how balancing the new weapons goes and maybe add some.

The game engine already handles them though.  Well as all my objects are integrated and all use the same code I can have homing enemies, bullets, powerups or anything I can think of.


One of the things I was thinking about when planning the code for the new engine was what is the difference between an enemy and a bullet?  Not as stupid as it sounds Smiley Generally enemies have more complicated behaviour patterns and maybe some AI whereas bullets tend to be dumb objects that travel in straight lines.  However with a lot of the stuff I write the enemies are the dumb bouncy blobs and the bullets travel in nice patterns.  When you think of it like that then coding them as separate object types just doesn't make any sense.
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #456 on: March 31, 2009, 11:27:30 AM »

The best thing about mono was the second-to-last weapon.
Christ how do you remember that? lol.  I've got no idea which one that is.
I remember it because it always made me want to cry; got me so tense Wink

I called her "the Sweeper" as it was basically 10 streams sweeping a wide angle, I'd say at least 110 degrees. The next gun had more rear coverage but far less forward killing power and that didn't really suit me as I preferred to swoop around killing rather then moving slowly, playing defensively. So when I got to the top of the progression tree, I had a lil' problem cause I'd try and stay on the sweeper, balancing powerups, saving them for if I got hit, trying to stay on that glorious pattern.
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« Reply #457 on: March 31, 2009, 03:37:10 PM »

The best thing about mono was the second-to-last weapon.
Christ how do you remember that? lol.  I've got no idea which one that is.
I remember it because it always made me want to cry; got me so tense Wink

I called her "the Sweeper" as it was basically 10 streams sweeping a wide angle, I'd say at least 110 degrees. The next gun had more rear coverage but far less forward killing power and that didn't really suit me as I preferred to swoop around killing rather then moving slowly, playing defensively. So when I got to the top of the progression tree, I had a lil' problem cause I'd try and stay on the sweeper, balancing powerups, saving them for if I got hit, trying to stay on that glorious pattern.

Well the top weapon currently looks like this.  I may tweak it to have a wider angle of fire, but I need to do some proper gameplay testing for that (this image also clearly shows the 3 different strengths of bullet)



* echoes_weapon,jpg.jpg (55.7 KB, 502x447 - viewed 277 times.)
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JDog053
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« Reply #458 on: March 31, 2009, 03:50:30 PM »

Wow that looks sweet!

I'm very keen on the sweeper aswell, as it more than suits my play style! Its good that you are paying more attention to the progression instead of beautifying the patterns, although both look cool IMO, you just learn to use each gun as it expects you too!

On the whole looking forward to playing it however it may be.
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fog
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« Reply #459 on: March 31, 2009, 07:39:12 PM »

Its good that you are paying more attention to the progression instead of beautifying the patterns, although both look cool IMO, you just learn to use each gun as it expects you too!
With Echoes bullet patterns I'm very much concentrating on the progression element.  The beautiful, more OTT bullet patterns are more suited to mono, so I'll be saving them for when I do that.  It helps give a nice clear distinction between the two games which, on reflection, the two original games didn't have.

Anyway that's all 20 done for now.  The difference between two individual weapons isn't always that obvious, but before you know it you've jumped up 3 or 4 and the differences are more than clear.
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JDog053
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« Reply #460 on: March 31, 2009, 11:44:30 PM »

It'll be interesting to see how you differenciate the two. It sounds like a reverse bullet hell game, where you produce the hell! You can quote me on that when the time is right Wink

On another note, I couldn't even think of 20 designs let alone code them  Grin
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TheKhakinator
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« Reply #461 on: April 01, 2009, 12:56:14 AM »

You should do a background like that pic you just had. I rather like the coloured bullets.
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« Reply #462 on: April 01, 2009, 09:54:57 AM »

Yeh, not only do those colored bullets look great they also give an instant display of strength. 

I vote to keep colored bullets.   Cheesy

TMC
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fog
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« Reply #463 on: April 01, 2009, 10:22:39 AM »

Three votes in favour of keeping the coloured bullets then?  I like em too Smiley 

It may cause me a slight problem with my new powerup design though, as the colours for those are very similar and in the heat of battle it's going to be difficult to pick them out.  But we do like a challenge  BunnyMonkey!
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fog
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« Reply #464 on: April 01, 2009, 07:57:01 PM »

Hmm.  I did a little test tonight on a couple of people to see what they thought of the new graphics and whether the extra FX now made things slightly confusing.  One rather unexpected report from someone was that they couldn't watch for more than a few seconds without feeling sick. (I can't decide if this is a good thing lol)

I thought it could be down to the fact the play area is now bigger than the screen and everything pans to track the players movement.  So I suggested they take control of the player and therefore the scrolling to see if that eliminated the problem.  No.  In fact focusing on the player sprite apparently made things a lot worse.

I thought the flashing explosions might need an epilepsy warning, but not a motion sickness one  BunnyMonkey!
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