Posted by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -

EDIT: New vid. Just Slidin' around. More deets in post below!

Some Projectile pathing.

New Update. Particle effects on the exploding bombs. I recommend watching it at 720p. Full description will be posted in a new reply below~!

This is a doozy of an update.

I've been on vacation the last three weeks so this is the first time in a while I've had time to start coding again, and man, I've had a bunch of it pent up.

For starters, once again! I have redone my entire force system. The world collision stuff is untouched, but I've redone pretty much the entire way that non world objects interact push and pull with each other.

The main difference is that I've gotten better at coding and understanding how various things work. With this knowledge, I've been able to set up a system of lists that can update on what is associated with what and update accordingly. I'm pretty sure I'm getting the same results with roughly 1/3 of the calculations now. In addition to that, I can now have around double the amount of simultaneous collisions. I guess basically, I'm getting a whole lot more collision stuff done than I had before, at a cheaper cost =)

Now, onto some of the more apparent stuff. I've added a few particle systems to the game. For starters, you can see when the player charges his attacks, he gathers stars and when he attacks, they go flying. They don't do damage and are pretty much just there for show. I plan on updating the way they act further but for now, you can set them to charge at various speeds and also dictate their direction when you send them flying. I forgot to do it, but if you miss the attack, you don't get the smear.

In addition to the stars, I've put in some other things that make the combat feel a little more forceful. Mainly, you may think the game is slowing down, but it's actually a feature. I swear! I can now control the slow motion on the fly. Currently, it'll go into a slight slow motion when the player is charging an attack. It also goes slow for a moment when the player uppercuts a mob upwards. I've got it rigged so that I can have the player and enemy both work at different speeds so when you uppercut an enemy, they'll be going slow but the player can remain at speed so that you can maybe chase him up and give him an aerial beating. . . I really need to put in more combat moves soon -_-;;

In addition to slow motion, I've put in the ability to freeze frame. You can see it when I do the horizontal charged attack. Right when it connects, the game will freeze for a split second and then resume. I can mix and match these. I'm also half done with some camera shake to further add the sensation of powerful hits.

The thing was, well, I got sidetracked into BOMBS! GIANT EFFIN BOMBS! . . . well, maybe not Giant, but you know. Bombs -_-;; Putting bombs in actually forced me to come up with an entirely new damage model which is the area of effect. How it works is, the closer to the center of the explosion you are, the more damage you take, further you fly, longer you get stunned, etc. . . This is also put into attack sets so that I can easily add moves that use this style of damage dealing.

Oh, and I've set it up so that the player can hurt himself as well. It wouldn't really make sense to just be able to walk through it willy nilly.

btw, I've got more particle systems on the bomb, ya know, the fuse =P I'm really lovin this particle stuff and I'm hoping I don't overdo it later on -_-;; I need to come up with some kind of explosion effect for the bombs as well. I'm currently unsure if I wanna do it with particles or just with some schmancy art. Oh, and it's the return of my old targeting cursor =P

The way the bomb tossing works currently is that you use the cursor and it you toss the bomb at the cursors location. Easy right? Depending on the distance, it'll either sorta just toss the bomb, or really huk it. The bombs are also fully interactable with the gameworld so they will ride conveyors, bounce off walls, all that great stuff. In addition to being pushed around and bouncin off enemies and stuff.

There's some other things too. . . but yea. I've got a lot of plans. While on vacation I also came up with a lot of game mechanics I can work in and better ways to do a few things I've already done. Lots of progress.

I'll be back with more soon I'm sure.

Steve

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#1 Edited by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -

EDIT: New vid. Just Slidin' around. More deets in post below!

Some Projectile pathing.

New Update. Particle effects on the exploding bombs. I recommend watching it at 720p. Full description will be posted in a new reply below~!

This is a doozy of an update.

I've been on vacation the last three weeks so this is the first time in a while I've had time to start coding again, and man, I've had a bunch of it pent up.

For starters, once again! I have redone my entire force system. The world collision stuff is untouched, but I've redone pretty much the entire way that non world objects interact push and pull with each other.

The main difference is that I've gotten better at coding and understanding how various things work. With this knowledge, I've been able to set up a system of lists that can update on what is associated with what and update accordingly. I'm pretty sure I'm getting the same results with roughly 1/3 of the calculations now. In addition to that, I can now have around double the amount of simultaneous collisions. I guess basically, I'm getting a whole lot more collision stuff done than I had before, at a cheaper cost =)

Now, onto some of the more apparent stuff. I've added a few particle systems to the game. For starters, you can see when the player charges his attacks, he gathers stars and when he attacks, they go flying. They don't do damage and are pretty much just there for show. I plan on updating the way they act further but for now, you can set them to charge at various speeds and also dictate their direction when you send them flying. I forgot to do it, but if you miss the attack, you don't get the smear.

In addition to the stars, I've put in some other things that make the combat feel a little more forceful. Mainly, you may think the game is slowing down, but it's actually a feature. I swear! I can now control the slow motion on the fly. Currently, it'll go into a slight slow motion when the player is charging an attack. It also goes slow for a moment when the player uppercuts a mob upwards. I've got it rigged so that I can have the player and enemy both work at different speeds so when you uppercut an enemy, they'll be going slow but the player can remain at speed so that you can maybe chase him up and give him an aerial beating. . . I really need to put in more combat moves soon -_-;;

In addition to slow motion, I've put in the ability to freeze frame. You can see it when I do the horizontal charged attack. Right when it connects, the game will freeze for a split second and then resume. I can mix and match these. I'm also half done with some camera shake to further add the sensation of powerful hits.

The thing was, well, I got sidetracked into BOMBS! GIANT EFFIN BOMBS! . . . well, maybe not Giant, but you know. Bombs -_-;; Putting bombs in actually forced me to come up with an entirely new damage model which is the area of effect. How it works is, the closer to the center of the explosion you are, the more damage you take, further you fly, longer you get stunned, etc. . . This is also put into attack sets so that I can easily add moves that use this style of damage dealing.

Oh, and I've set it up so that the player can hurt himself as well. It wouldn't really make sense to just be able to walk through it willy nilly.

btw, I've got more particle systems on the bomb, ya know, the fuse =P I'm really lovin this particle stuff and I'm hoping I don't overdo it later on -_-;; I need to come up with some kind of explosion effect for the bombs as well. I'm currently unsure if I wanna do it with particles or just with some schmancy art. Oh, and it's the return of my old targeting cursor =P

The way the bomb tossing works currently is that you use the cursor and it you toss the bomb at the cursors location. Easy right? Depending on the distance, it'll either sorta just toss the bomb, or really huk it. The bombs are also fully interactable with the gameworld so they will ride conveyors, bounce off walls, all that great stuff. In addition to being pushed around and bouncin off enemies and stuff.

There's some other things too. . . but yea. I've got a lot of plans. While on vacation I also came up with a lot of game mechanics I can work in and better ways to do a few things I've already done. Lots of progress.

I'll be back with more soon I'm sure.

Steve

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#2 Posted by Mordi (553 posts) -

Looks pretty cool. The sprites are already looking great.

#3 Posted by Choffy (443 posts) -

Please put this on Xbox Live under the indie game section.

#4 Posted by rmanthorp (3910 posts) -

Oh god yes.

Moderator
#5 Posted by RTSlord (1200 posts) -
@Mordi said:

Looks pretty cool. The sprites are already looking great.

this^^
#6 Posted by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -

@Mordi: Thanks =) Most of it is still rough and placeholders till I get the code in. I don't wanna take the time to draw this stuff all nice only to have to scrap it later when I change the moves around or something -_-;;

@Choffy: That's totally the plan. It runs nicely on the 360. The white bars you see along the outside of the screen are for the screenSafe area that gets cut off on most TVs. . . it's a crazy amount of the 720p real estate that gets cut but aside from that, it looks pretty much identical to what's on the PC.

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#7 Posted by ReyGitano (2467 posts) -

Looks cool but... is Lincoln fighting potatoes?

#8 Posted by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -
@SlashseveN303 This is by far the most frequent question I get. I should make a FAQ =P the potatoes are just a test dummy for my combat and various other things. In won't be in the final game. Still, after almost a year, I'm gettin pretty fond of it. Especially now that it doesn't whine like a pig.
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#9 Edited by I_smell (3925 posts) -

I liked the smear thing. It's kinda big though; like Strider- but maybe that's why I like it? I dunno!

I don't know how useful it's gonna be to have a delayed-reaction bomb throw in a beat-em-up. Enemies that're far away are usually gonna be walkin up towards you. I think you should just be able to charge it, sling it forwards, and it blows up on impact. Or if it doesn't hit anyone, THEN it falls and has the delayed explosion.

The running shoulder-tackle's nice, but be careful with that. Once I worked out how to do it in Golden Axe it turned into literally the only move I'd use.

I think he stick with the people he uppercuts if you hold the button down.

+I get what you're goin for with the way everything stops when you hit it, but you didn't pull it off.

EDIT-- I'd suggest instead of having the stars spin around when you charge that punch, you should have them being sucked into his fist... I just think it'd look cooler.

#10 Posted by LittleBigJono (252 posts) -

I like it, can't wait to see future builds

#11 Posted by kashif1 (1428 posts) -

it cool, just wondering if you're going to add aerial attacks.

#12 Posted by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5GqD6uG51k

So, I was really sad about the whole, bomb exploding without any sort of an effect. I went to work!

You can obviously see the effect -_-;; I could see how someone might not like it, but I really dig it. Originally, I went for the typical route which yeilded a nice effect, but an explosion that didn't look like it fit in with the rest of the aesthetics of my game. Pretty much, the realistic look was easier to achieve, and outside of the context of this game, actually might look better than what I've got now, but it looked no good against the cartoony look of my art.

So, what do I do? Well, for starters, I redrew the explosion assets. The explosion has 4 different pieces of art. The main explosion cloud, the long streak explosions in the back, the white thing that becomes a long line and the white circles.

I went ahead and added a few things that should demonstrate that the bomb is about to blow. The most noticible one is the giant flash looking pre-explosion rotating lines with the clear circles. That was more for a cool effect than to warn the player as unless the player is in slow motion, it'll be almost unavoidable at that point. The big tells are the stars that emit from the top of the bomb. They change from a solid yellow, gradually to a red prior to exploding. This allows the player from a good distance to immediately gauge roughly how much time is left before explosion. A smaller touch is I added a lit top to the fuse, and it shrinks down into the bomb as time passes. This is hard to notice from a distance but because of the lit top, you CAN sort of see it.

The long white lines I've set up to start at a random rotation, and forced them to always be perpendicular to each other. They also spawn with a slightly random width so that it's not always the same. They will spin and grow in length then slow down as they shrink back into themselves.

The circles spawn randomly as well and slowly move away from the center at random speeds. . . random seems to be the word of this post. Anyway, I'm considering having their size change also but I don't know that that's really necessary and might just make the thing look too crazy. In addition to that movement though, I've set them up to change alpha every update to give it a sort of glimmering look that I find appealing. This sort of pre-explosion effect isn't something I've seen in a lot of games before as it's not a realistic type effect. It's more from the anime scene -_-;; Speaking of which, I've got some great ideas for other particle thingies I want to add that I may or may not be stealing from anime =P

Now, the explosion particles itself were a bit of a hassle to get right. The first thing I wanted to do, was to make sure that the black outlines were always facing the top as I didn't want the bottom of the explosion outlined. So pretty much, every explosion has one fairly large particle in the center middle facing exactly the right direction. The remaining fluff is set up to randomly choose a spot at a set range from the middle, and to travel at a slow but random speed in the direction that the top of the particle is facing. All this makes for what you see here.

Another small thing I added is that the bomb will now detonate if you hit an enemy directly with it. I thought that'd be useful in the game -_-;;

Oh, and I worked out during all this a way to have all my particle effects also obey the slow motion. This way, things don't happen too fast. Of course, it's set up in a way where they can work with the slow motion effecting the enemies, the player or neither. I only show it once but you can sort of get a better look at my current smash particle effect. Watching the vid now, it's not a good example of something I changed there which is that some of the stars don't streak out and instead slowly rotate and move as opposed to all of them going previously. It looks sorta cool when it happens but the random nature of particles doesn't allow it to happen every time.

That's it for now. Wooooo!!

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#13 Edited by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -

@I_smell: If you actually pull the camera back, It doesn't really go too far, but just far enough to look cool imo -_-;; Also, we're totally on the same wavelength as far as the impact explosion. I added that the other night =D Initially I had it immediately explode on impact, but that felt a bit too sudden and in close encounters, you'd ALWAYS blow yourself up. Now there's that pre-explosion effect that goes off before it blows which gives you juuuust enough time to gtfo. At least, that's the idea once I put in the quick evade. I'm planning on the player taking extra damage and stun if you take a hit while using the evade so you don't just try to roll around everywhere.

Yea, I'll have to work in a lot of balance later once I get my moveset in. It should work well with the combo meter system I've got planned. In a nutshell, variety in combos and moves will yeild the player more points/rewards/exp over using the same thing over and over. Sort of like the trick system in the old tony hawk games, cept with combat. In addition to this, I plan on having the enemies tendency to block be directly related to whether or not they've been hit with the same move a bunch of times. The first thing I'm puttin in for sure as it's going to the the crux of my game while the second, I'll have to wait and see.

I'm not sure what you mean about sticking and holding down -_-;;

The stop thing is just there for implementations sake. I'll use it properly later once I have the combat more fleshed out. I'm thinking it might be better off to use in situations where a move hits more than once. For example, the super attacks in SFIV.

As for the stars being sucked in, I tried doing just the suck in and it looked a little bland so I added an overall spin to them AS they're being sucked in. Maybe it's hard to tell from the vid or I may need to tweak things a little bit but them is definitely getting sucked in =)

@kashif1: Yes, most definitely. I'm still not completely set on the style of air combat but I do know that it's going to be necessary. The entire point of the uppercut move is to set up for air attacks -_-;; Now that I have fully separated slow motion, I can make all launch attacks slow the enemy down so you can chase for a follow up. I need to figure out if during air combat, gravity will be turned off or just reduced =\ That and a whole lot of other things. . . .

@LittleBigJono: I'll be sure to keep posting =)

EDIT: So, I just watched the vid, and it looks like a lot of the frame by frame changes don't show up very well. When the game runs at 60fps (which it currently does), the effects look different (better) than whatever framerate youtube converts to. Particularly the flashing circles on the pre-explosion. This makes me sad =\

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#14 Edited by kashif1 (1428 posts) -
@Fobwashed: by the way you might wa nt to try this out 
it has some of the most fun beatemup combat i've ever played.  Should give you some ideas as far as combos and special moves go
#15 Posted by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -

@kashif1: Just tried it out for a bit. I guess it's not bad but it's really basic as far as I can tell. Maybe it gets deeper later on, but it's just not fun enough for me to want to invest the time in it to find out -_-;; Thanks for the suggestion tho!

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#16 Posted by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -

This is a short and sweet one. I've added a thing that shows you the path projectiles will take when thrown. In addition to this, I've finally gotten the targeting code to work nicely with my platforming code so as you can see, it's accurate regardless of whether you're on a platform, or the target is on a platform, or you're both on platforms. This was a bit of tricky math but it's damn juicy now that it's in.

In addition, I've also split up a bunch of the functions used for these actions so that I can pull em up from other areas. Namely, I can just feed in some variables and get any object to throw any other object at any object. The variables include things like maximum and minimum height and speed.

The targeting dots were a bit more difficult than I originally anticipated them to be as I needed a way to find the proper height at a given point in the throw. To boil it down, I figured out all the actual toss variables (speed, distance, direction, upwardForce) into a formula, then insert a float (1~0.0f) to determine where in the length I want the calculation for. With that information, I then determine how much gravity has pushed the object down at that point in time. The amount is cumulative. So say, the first second it's pushed down 2 units. The second second, it would have pushed down 6 units. The 2 from the first, 2 from the second, and an additional 2 from the continuing downward push that was set in the first second. . . I don't think I'm describing it too well but it was pretty easy to figure out once I mapped out some XY coordinates.

Also made some little tweaks here and there to things including the point counter register but those are things you can't see so no use in running around collecting coins.

I'll be back with more later!

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#17 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5140 posts) -

The game looks significantly better each post. What's your programming background?

#18 Posted by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -

@Mr_Skeleton: Thanks =) I have no programming background! So I guess the only language I know is the one I've been learning while building this which is C#. If you add about a month and half to my earliest posted Vid is just about when I decide I wanted to make my own game and started learning how to program. At this point I think I've got a pretty solid grip on C#. The internet is an amazing source of information and C# is actually pretty easy to use. I can only imagine how much easier it would be for someone coming into it already knowing any other language. I think the single most used book I have is the O'Reilly C# 4.0 pocket reference book. Best coding purchase ever!

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#19 Posted by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -

I was planning on holding off on this stuff till later in the week but I got antsy and just put it in.

The player character now slides around when he's got momentum built up. This means no more stopping on a dime! I thought it was really weird to be able to sprint one way, then immediately sprint in the opposite direction. Not only did it look wrong, it felt wrong.

So, whenever the player is running, it stores the speed that he's running at. When the running stops, the stored speed is calculated into the players overall motion. This effect transitions over to combat moves as well. I think I'm going to go ahead and add some combat moves that can only be done during this sliding motion. Maybe even a Mario like jump. . . Prolly not the jump =P

Anyway, I'm all into the whole particle effects bit now so I also took some time and made a basic dust generation type deal. I can now trigger that thing to go off any time I want. The sound effect associated with it is just me blowing into the mic at the moment because I didn't want it to be empty -_-;;

I've also added a bunch of little things to enhance the feeling of the slide. For one thing, if you're sliding in a direction, you can resume running in that direction if you so feel like it and actually start at a higher speed than if you started at a standstill. Also, you can jump and maintain your run so that you're not sliding every time you land. You still lose your run and slide if you fall from a high enough height though.

I've also added some new damage frames. Pretty much, the player now has an in air damage frame so he doesn't look like he's ground stunned when flying through the air. The air hit will come up when the player is hit hard enough to be knocked down as well. If the player isn't hit with enough force, he'll slide a certain amount in the standing hit animation.

The big difference between being knocked down and just being knocked back is that I've added a get up phase for the player as well. He will now take a moment (the duration depends on how hard he was hit but I may just make it the same regardless of what's happening) to stand and be ready to take action.

I feel this is something I'm going to have to be careful with because I definitely do NOT want to get into a permastun type situation where enemies constantly bang on the player as he tries to get up. Currently, I'm thinking of allowing the player do do a dodge roll at any point in the get up phase. This will be the same roll that the player can use at any time in combat but there are some risks associated with the roll. The primary one being that if you get hit during the roll, you will take extra damage.

Anyhow. That's about it. I also show off a bit of the bomb tossing again in this vid because I really like how the aiming thing is turning out. I know that I'll be replacing the targeting cursor for sure, but I may just keep the balls albeit in a different color and maybe a bit more transparent. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but the aiming cursor is set so that you can see where it is even if it's placed behind objects. You can tell that it's behind something by the way it seems more transparent. That way you can target the ground behind objects/enemies and still know where it's going.

Oh, the video ends somewhat abruptly because at the tail end, I totally thought I ran into a bug with the player moving by himself. After stopping the recording and looking for a bit at the code and the video and trying to recreate the "bug", I realized that I had actually put in a conveyor there without any textures to represent it to test whether or not the bombs would act appropriately on them. So yea, bombs act appropriately on conveyor belts -_-;;

If you want to actually see the conveyor in action, I've got some old vids up where I've got some actual textures down and am sending things down it.

Well, that's it for now. I've got some solid ideas on a few more combat moves and some inventory management I may be able to work on this weekend.

Peace!

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#20 Posted by Duncs (43 posts) -

Looks great - the sliding looks solid, the bombs are nifty and the fighting looks pretty good.  One problem, and sorry if I have missed this in the walls of text above - ignore me if you've already covered this. The freeze-frame effect when you do a horizontal attack. You mention it's a feature, and I liek the idea, but it is really jarring. It looks like a FPS drop rather than a cool effect to me, and it really takes you out of the otherwise-smooth game (or so it seems). I'd recommend (just off the top of my non-game-developer-head, so this may be stupid) having some animations continue (perhaps a quick 'being hit' animation for all enemies on screen where they reel back slightly) as the freeze happens, just to stop that jarring feeling and to make it clear that the freeze is an aesthetic choice and part of the game rather than a fps judder. Or perhaps a camera effect, a slight zoom-in or a coloured border (not sure how to describe it, like a 'James Bond intro focus' around the character?). It's the fact that absolutely everything stops that's the problem, IMO.
 
Then again, this might just be me and it might be something you like. If so, go with it! It's your game and all. :)

#21 Posted by Fobwashed (1965 posts) -

@Duncs: Woo, thanks! I hear what you're sayin about the freeze. It's on the horizontal attack for now just for testing purposes, as is the slow motion on the uppercut. I agree with you that it could easily be mistaken for dropped frames so if I do use it, it'd be at specific points in an attack and most likely alongside some camera movement to indicate the game isn't frozen. I still haven't implemented actual camera controls yet so once I get around to that, it should look better -_-;; Part of the reason I'm upping vids is to hear constant feedback since I'm a team of one and I can easily get lost in what I think is "cool" and lose sight of making the game fun. This being my first attempt at a game, everyone here is just as much a "developer" as I am =)

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