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Author Topic: The Binary Zoo Bog  (Read 606087 times)
fog
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« Reply #1005 on: June 01, 2010, 11:09:31 AM »

I should have guessed that just dropping in the voice samples wouldn't be as simple as I thought.  I already had sound fx playing for some events that I was adding the voice samples for and playing the two together is a horrible incomprehensible mess with all the other background fx and music playing too.

So I need to decide where playing only a sound fx or voice sample is most appropriate or whether I need to mix the two into a single sound fx and balance the volumes of each part better.

Now I just need to work on balancing the existing levels a bit so as to give a better feeling for the game during playtesting.  There's a certain way I want the game to be played (strategy wise) so I'm trying to design the enemy attack waves and powerup usage in that direction so it feels natural for the player to play that way.

What I definitely don't want to do is add extra rules and elements that force the player to play as I want.  If the player wants to play as a straight Invaders/Galaxian style game and not worry about powerup usage then they should be able to but anyone wanting to manage their powerups cleverly should find enough depth to keep it interesting.

That's the theory....
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fog
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« Reply #1006 on: June 01, 2010, 10:16:38 PM »

Well I stumbled across one of the Zoo Trial triggers for Echoes+ still in the 1982 code.  (The Zoot triggers are one of the few bits of game specific code in my engine because they obviously have to be different for every game.)

Anyway while checking there weren't any more I got sidetracked and ended up putting in the data for the proper 1982 Zoots. So there are a total of 20 and I just need to tweak the target values to set realistic targets now.  I might do that before playtesting or I might wait until I get some feedback first.

Oh what fun I had naming them all  Tongue
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T_M_C
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« Reply #1007 on: June 02, 2010, 10:04:19 AM »

On the graphics front.

I was wondering, that you seem to have a nice regular disposable income, always seem to be buying gadgets and games ect, and i thought to myself, that money could also be used to purchase media for your games.

I'm thinking specifically 3d model collections which could be used to render out high quality 2d images and animations.

www.3drt.com has some awsome collections, as does tubosquid.

It's a new direction you could take.  From the very simple ( retro and neon styles ) to the high quality bitmap styles.

If i had the money spare it's definately an area i would look at.

Just an idea anyway.

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« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 10:06:43 AM by The_Masked_Coder » Logged
fog
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« Reply #1008 on: June 02, 2010, 05:57:58 PM »

Some amazing stuff on that link Smiley

I've considered using models in some form in the past but I like abstract stuff so I'd probably do that myself ( I model a lot at work so actually creating what I would need isn't a problem.

For all my moaning and indecisiveness with regards to graphics I really enjoy doing them myself now...even if the quality can sometimes be suspect.   BunnyMonkey!
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JDog053
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« Reply #1009 on: June 02, 2010, 08:43:19 PM »

I will agree, making the graphics is a massively fun part of the game making process, from Pixel Art to whatever, its all fun to me tbh Wink
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fog
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« Reply #1010 on: June 03, 2010, 07:29:40 PM »

After trying out the other spritesheets of alternative graphical styles I had prepared I've come to the conclusion of sod it.  I like the original look, it suits the game best IMO and that's the end of it.  Smiley

I'm sure you're all as pleased to hear the end of that debate as I am Wink

Meanwhile I'm swinging towards using just a player lives system instead of a more forgiving energy system the more I play. I was contemplating including both depending on what difficulty the game is played at, but the difference between them is so vast (*) that gameplay balancing for both would be tricky and I'm worried it would end up spoiling both modes.

For playtesting I think I'll leave things as they are with the energy only system and get some feedback before ripping things apart as changing to a Life based system will mean a lot of changes (not time wise, just small tweaks to a hundred or so scripts to alter enemy speed, firing rate etc)

(*) You're effectively talking 3 hits for game over compared with maybe 50!
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fog
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« Reply #1011 on: June 03, 2010, 09:39:09 PM »

And another gameplay tweak tonight....

  • One of the powerups temporarily freezes any on screen enemy.
  • This was then modified to also destroy any enemy bullets as freezing them could trap the player in a very tricky position.
  • This was further tweaked to delay any new enemies from coming on screen for 5 seconds.
  • And finally I've also silenced any on screen enemies caught in the blast so they can no longer fire at the player.

So one powerup actually does 4 separate things behind the scenes although the player might not realise it at the time.  Smiley

In 1982 each powerup has 2 uses and the other for this is to give the player a shield for 10 seconds.  The two uses have to have fairly balanced otherwise the player will always use the same one and the whole multi-use thing becomes a bit pointless.  Anyway this feels right now.   BunnyMonkey!
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JDog053
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« Reply #1012 on: June 03, 2010, 10:01:32 PM »

Sounds like they are all changes for the better tbh, simplifyin stuff and keeping it pure to the idea is what i'm aiming to do and for this game especially its working a treat. Can't wait to play it... on PC since my XBCG thing has ran out Sad
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T_M_C
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« Reply #1013 on: June 04, 2010, 10:00:38 AM »

Well, as long as you're creating a game that you enjoying playing you know you're on the right track.

It seems to me you're game engine is in a pretty complete state.

And i would love to see some high quality graphics used with it.  3d model renders as 2d sprites for future projects.

You could make real killer looking games with your engine now.

But, thats just my opinion.   Smiley

Keep doing what you're doing if you enjoy it.

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« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 10:02:55 AM by The_Masked_Coder » Logged
fog
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« Reply #1014 on: June 04, 2010, 06:48:50 PM »

Yup definitely enjoying it  Smiley

And yet another minor tweak...

The Galaxian style enemies....well not that Galaxian TBH but you get the idea...anyway they fly in loops or SIN curves so it was possible for them to fly past the player and loop around and hit you from behind. Now you can see behind you a bit but getting rammed from behind isn't fun (obligatory  Shocked smilie) so when they now get level with the player I've added some extra code to make their flight paths straighten up ensuring no rear ramming occurs.

It's the little thing.
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JDog053
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« Reply #1015 on: June 04, 2010, 07:04:54 PM »

Thats a good idea, though the flight path may look unnatural, hence unpredictable from a players standpoint. Still saying that, i'm glad i won't get owned unexpectedly Wink
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prince caro 19
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« Reply #1016 on: June 04, 2010, 08:22:48 PM »

Meanwhile I'm swinging towards using just a player lives system instead of a more forgiving energy system the more I play.
although I personally love the energy system, if you are aiming for the 1980's experience, then I suppose that actually would be best.
but hey, if you ever make a '1992' then you can use an energy system.
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fog
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« Reply #1017 on: June 04, 2010, 08:25:34 PM »

Meanwhile I'm swinging towards using just a player lives system instead of a more forgiving energy system the more I play.
although I personally love the energy system, if you are aiming for the 1980's experience, then I suppose that actually would be best.
but hey, if you ever make a '1992' then you can use an energy system.
I've already thought about doing that lol Smiley

Thats a good idea, though the flight path may look unnatural, hence unpredictable from a players standpoint.
I can hear your game designers mind at work there...

It's ok though it looks perfectly natural as I make their flight paths curve to go down the screen rather than going straight immediately. It's in the details Smiley
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fog
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« Reply #1018 on: June 09, 2010, 11:11:23 PM »

A couple of enemy tweaks.  I created an all knew one too but it didn't quite work in game the way it did in my head so I'll be removing it. 

A bit like Echoes+ I've discovered that any enemy that doesn't display simple, relatively dumb behaviour, just doesn't fit in with the style of gameplay.  I guess that was true in 1982 too. Smiley

And finally I've ripped out my old level definition code, simplified things and made the whole level creation process quicker and more consistent.

The previous system was built before I had a final idea of how the game would be structured and required more input than entirely necessary (one of the few drawbacks of making shit up as you go along  Tongue

So in the old system to create an attack wave I had to define Enemy Type, Quantity and the Time Gap before the next wave.  All a bit silly really as the Quantity and Time Gap can be standardised so they are always the same for a given enemy type.  Now a level is a simple list of enemy types and nothing more as it should have been.
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T_M_C
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« Reply #1019 on: June 10, 2010, 09:46:56 AM »

Cool.

Glad to see your still plugging away.

I used a system for my shooter that uses sprite size as the defining attribute for it's wait time ( gap ) before it gets released onto the screen.
So my snakes of enemies don't appear on top of each other.
It's quite easy in Blitzmax, as it has a 'get sprite size' in built function.
Alot easier than manually defining the attributes for each attack wave.

Are you still planning on implementing any background graphics ?

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