Pre-production blog

Hey, a while ago I posted a prototype for a game I'm doing, and literally nobody made a comment, so I'm guessing nobody's that interested. But here's an update anyway.

I wrote all about what this game is on tinyBuild.com last week

I'm tits-deep in job work on other stuff, so I only get to work on this sporadically, which is why it's taking so long to get anywhere.

I'll sum up what the game is first.

I like shooters, but I hate bullet-hells. That is to say that I like going fast, I like bursting spaceships, and I like giant space-egyptian heads- but I don't like when all that stuff gets boiled down into a slowly opening spiral of purple dots. So I wanna make a scrolling shooter where you can hit guys hard, like a beat-em-up. I want a load of tactile, really physical feeling things like grabbing enemies, catching missiles in mid-air, stealing a guy's shield out of his hand and throwing it back at him etc. Then I want the enemy behavoirs to live up to that, like enemies that circle around you and punch you and have strange interesting abilities.

Read more about the design philosophy behind the game here.

The final game will hopefully be made in Unity and be a strong, capable, functional package; but I'm prototyping it in Flash first becuase that's what I'm good at.

You can play this prototype if you go back in time a month.

Here's some more enemies I've come up with since:

This is the point I figured out how to do THIS:

Enemies that interact with each other. These little pistol ships (which you can grab, and hold as an outward-facing weapon) will swarm around an electric storm ball if one is onscreen. The storm ball will electrocute you and drain health if you get close, so they do it for protection. Also it makes their shots more concentrated around one spot, which means getting hit will FUCK YOU UP!!

The snake guy is an extension of that idea, as it's actually 30+ enemies that will seek out, and hold onto, each other's butts. The idea for this one's evolved since I made this video, he know splits into seperate snakes with seperate heads that chase you. Don't use an explosive weapon like a mine, cos it'll just unclip ALL PIECES and you'll have 30 heads chasing you, and will probably die.

These enemies hold shields, which means they're invincible unless they're attacking. You can see in the video that you can brute-force through the shield, and also steal it off him to wear for yourself. Or throw. Their AI is coded to stand infront of smaller enemies, protecting them and soaking up bullets.

Gonna keep going...

So far there's 10 enemies and a buttload of weapons, all of which you can check out on my Youtube channel. That's a great number for a web game, but I wanna get this to the point where I can sell it for $5 to $10. This is crappo programmer art, btw, it's not gonna look like this. I can DO THAT, but I've not pitched it to Alex, my producer, yet. I wanna have a SOLID SOLID SOLID outline of what the game is before I dive in head-first, cos otherwise it'll seem thin and messy like my last game. Also I'll have to find someone who can code in C# or C++, because Flash will piss everyone off. Hopefully coding this all myself first will let people feel confident that we're not just some idiot jerks.

I'm doing concept art, and I'll be doing more to just communicate what atmosphere I'm thinking of. I want it to be all wild, colourful, impactful Gainax bullshit (which is why there's so much fucking camera shake). Also I want it to be MAD FUNKY and pink as all fuck. You play as a bear riding a mech by accident, kind of... KIND OF!! It's a goofy plot.

Anyway this post is getting really long and is all disjointed. As usual, my GiantBomb posts are an amalgamation of posts I've made on other sites, because I don't wanna spam these forums every week and I don't think anyone here's really that interested in my games anyway. So if you're super interested in how this is getting made, then hit up this kind of rush or read the post on tinyBuild.com.

The main thing is that I'm in pre-production for a chunky impactful shooter, enemies do cool things, it's all pink and lasery, and that's more or less what's up.

10 Comments
11 Comments
Edited by I_smell

Hey, a while ago I posted a prototype for a game I'm doing, and literally nobody made a comment, so I'm guessing nobody's that interested. But here's an update anyway.

I wrote all about what this game is on tinyBuild.com last week

I'm tits-deep in job work on other stuff, so I only get to work on this sporadically, which is why it's taking so long to get anywhere.

I'll sum up what the game is first.

I like shooters, but I hate bullet-hells. That is to say that I like going fast, I like bursting spaceships, and I like giant space-egyptian heads- but I don't like when all that stuff gets boiled down into a slowly opening spiral of purple dots. So I wanna make a scrolling shooter where you can hit guys hard, like a beat-em-up. I want a load of tactile, really physical feeling things like grabbing enemies, catching missiles in mid-air, stealing a guy's shield out of his hand and throwing it back at him etc. Then I want the enemy behavoirs to live up to that, like enemies that circle around you and punch you and have strange interesting abilities.

Read more about the design philosophy behind the game here.

The final game will hopefully be made in Unity and be a strong, capable, functional package; but I'm prototyping it in Flash first becuase that's what I'm good at.

You can play this prototype if you go back in time a month.

Here's some more enemies I've come up with since:

This is the point I figured out how to do THIS:

Enemies that interact with each other. These little pistol ships (which you can grab, and hold as an outward-facing weapon) will swarm around an electric storm ball if one is onscreen. The storm ball will electrocute you and drain health if you get close, so they do it for protection. Also it makes their shots more concentrated around one spot, which means getting hit will FUCK YOU UP!!

The snake guy is an extension of that idea, as it's actually 30+ enemies that will seek out, and hold onto, each other's butts. The idea for this one's evolved since I made this video, he know splits into seperate snakes with seperate heads that chase you. Don't use an explosive weapon like a mine, cos it'll just unclip ALL PIECES and you'll have 30 heads chasing you, and will probably die.

These enemies hold shields, which means they're invincible unless they're attacking. You can see in the video that you can brute-force through the shield, and also steal it off him to wear for yourself. Or throw. Their AI is coded to stand infront of smaller enemies, protecting them and soaking up bullets.

Gonna keep going...

So far there's 10 enemies and a buttload of weapons, all of which you can check out on my Youtube channel. That's a great number for a web game, but I wanna get this to the point where I can sell it for $5 to $10. This is crappo programmer art, btw, it's not gonna look like this. I can DO THAT, but I've not pitched it to Alex, my producer, yet. I wanna have a SOLID SOLID SOLID outline of what the game is before I dive in head-first, cos otherwise it'll seem thin and messy like my last game. Also I'll have to find someone who can code in C# or C++, because Flash will piss everyone off. Hopefully coding this all myself first will let people feel confident that we're not just some idiot jerks.

I'm doing concept art, and I'll be doing more to just communicate what atmosphere I'm thinking of. I want it to be all wild, colourful, impactful Gainax bullshit (which is why there's so much fucking camera shake). Also I want it to be MAD FUNKY and pink as all fuck. You play as a bear riding a mech by accident, kind of... KIND OF!! It's a goofy plot.

Anyway this post is getting really long and is all disjointed. As usual, my GiantBomb posts are an amalgamation of posts I've made on other sites, because I don't wanna spam these forums every week and I don't think anyone here's really that interested in my games anyway. So if you're super interested in how this is getting made, then hit up this kind of rush or read the post on tinyBuild.com.

The main thing is that I'm in pre-production for a chunky impactful shooter, enemies do cool things, it's all pink and lasery, and that's more or less what's up.

Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

Looks as if people still aren't interested. People are assholes. Oh well, back to L.A. Noire.

Posted by mracoon

The link to your previous post is giving a 404 error.

Moderator
Posted by I_smell

God fuckin dammit, I knew I should've mentioned the interrogation systems.

Posted by Hugh_Jazz

I'm interested as all fuck. I was a big fan of No Time to Explain, faults and all. I'm also a huge proponent for moving away from Flash in order to get more solid results, performance- and stability-wise.

I'm not at all familiar with Flash, but from what I've seen of the XNA framework for C#, that shit is hella easy to code for compared to most other stuff. If you have even a little experience with object-oriented code you could probably get the ball rolling on that stuff even without a dedicated programmer hired. Just get Visual Studio Express with XNA Game Studio and you're set to go. Of course, portability becomes a problem with that if you're looking for an iPhone release.

Edited by I_smell

@Hugh_Jazz said:

I'm interested as all fuck. I was a big fan of No Time to Explain, faults and all. I'm also a huge proponent for moving away from Flash in order to get more solid results, performance- and stability-wise.

I'm not at all familiar with Flash, but from what I've seen of the XNA framework for C#, that shit is hella easy to code for compared to most other stuff. If you have even a little experience with object-oriented code you could probably get the ball rolling on that stuff even without a dedicated programmer hired. Just get Visual Studio Express with XNA Game Studio and you're set to go. Of course, portability becomes a problem with that if you're looking for an iPhone release.

Ok, cool- out of curiosity did you play the No Time Season 2 expansion when that came out? A lot of people on Twitter are saying "huh, I never really check that out" and asking for us to send it again.

I've made some tutorial-level stuff in Unity and it's all pretty familiar. I can sort-of understand the coding and I've done loads of 3D modelling n animation stuff so that's all easy to slide into. I just don't want my FIRST game in this new style to be a thing I put out as a company and ask people to buy. Learning new code and new software while also releasing a game would be a nightmare, so hopefully I can just do everything I can to set someone with more experience up for an easy ride. I'm still doing everything else.

I've bin making Flash games for like 5 years, but y'know... Now is the time to break out of that. Our last game not having real controller support, and having really fudged fullscreen was the easiest complaint about it, apart from the fact that my games always have at least one or two huge glitches.

Posted by Hugh_Jazz

@I_smell: I played Season 2 day and date, when it came out. Never got to the very end, though, but almost. The whole keyboard and mouse setup was fucking balls, so my patience didn't hold. But other than that, and some horrific performance issues, the game had a nice tone and some really funny moments.

I had the idea that you could do some basic prototyping of the thing in whatever language was deemed the most appropriate, in order to set the stage for whoever would come on to program the whole thing. On the other hand, if you're unfamiliar with how games of this size are generally structured, code-wise, you might do more harm than good. Shit ain't easy.

Posted by SSully

Dude I am very interested. I love how powerful everything comes off. I think the way you have the screen shake, and the sudden movements of both the character and enemies is what does it. I look forward to see more, keep up the great work.

Posted by Fobwashed

C# and XNA are easy to use IMO. Also, for what you're doing here, and working with 2D sprites on one plane should be a cinch. I've been futzing around with it for about a year and half now so if you have any basic questions, I'm all ears and part mouth.

Edited by Still_I_Cry

@I_smell:

Don't know if I am into this kind of game. I like the picture at the very top of the post though.

Either way, good luck.

Edited by I_smell

UPDATE! I've written down some new enemies and boss stuff in my lil pencil book, but the main thing I'm doing right now is making more art to solidify the world and the game's style.

Here's the two scientists who build the suit. When they're given the task to create a juggernaut-stopping man-tank, they come up with a quick fix to finish the final 10% that could get them torn asunder if anyone notices they aren't the world-saving geniuses they've accidentally come off as.

No prizes for guessing who they're based on! A tonne of other forums already got it.

The actual ART side of this image is kinda crummy, I should've picked one perspective n stuck with it- BUT it was a good excercise in trying out an art sensibility. Someone reminded me that Rtil existed, and I was like OH SHIT, I REMEMBER THAT GUY! And it turns out all he does all day is draw thick-cut chunky-ass females in space shooting pink lasers out o here there n everywhere. So I thought I should pay more attention to that guy.

The gravity on Mars is 38% that of Earth's, which is great news to me cos it FINALLY means I can have a world where little girls climb around and work on heavy machinery.

In this and the last one I evidently can't draw hands, so... try n ignore that... I'm not usually an art person.

Her face was originally this:

until I came up with what, in my mind, is a much funnier character. YES it's cuter if she's a Strawberry Shortcake character, but that's just not me.

Hopefully this is the kind of stuff you'll see in-game. I think this is the Horse-head nebula in the background, which I've already used, but I guess it's just my favourite nebula. Boy, isn't deep space pretty? That's a thing that exists in real life you're lookin at. It's billions of trillions the size of the sun, can you believe that?

Again, I should say, I want most assets in this game to be polygonal- but with the kind of lighting I'm showing here. Everything has a distinct highlight rim to make it pop from the background, and the shadows are COOLER HUEs rather than just being darker. I learnt that from Team Fortress!

Side-note: I hope to have boss fights take place in a letter-box screen, where the letter-boxing is an actual hitbox that you stop up against- but the bosses don't.

Just a funny lil 4th-wall thing that'll hopefully make the boss fights feel bigger and more focused in more ways than one.