edited in Projects
So there is a game I've been missing ever since I played Jamestown. The game was called Raptor : Call of Shadows.

And this is the main inspiration for the prototype found here. It's a very crude start so I don't think there will be much to say about it at this point in time. But have a play so long.

Prototype Build

I apologize for still forcing you to download stuff. I haven't figured out the web player yet. The controls are pretty basic. Arrows for control, space for main gun and ctrl for missiles. The idea is to have your plane be customisable with weapons and ammo types.


  • Cool! Going to try this later. In the past when I've made this kind of game before (and never finished), for me the hardest part was coming up with cool patterns and AI behaviours and arrangements. I wonder if you'll have a similar experience.
  • Oooh, I like how everything explodes...epilepsy-inducing games are always interesting to play :D

    Especially when the purple enemies come...gets REALLY hard...
  • I haven't begin to flesh anything out, but I have though about it. While I was watching that movie again(which is totally underwhelming to what I remember about the game :P) I saw the movements of the enemies were pretty basic and kind of boring.

    Alas, my suicidal spheres are even worse in the current build, but I'll work some more on it tonight and see what I can come up with. I'm not sure yet if I want to create enemies with specific behaviors rather that just generic obstacles. Maybe a combo of both would be good.
  • I remember Raptor quite fondly, so a SCHMUP with upgrades could be something I'd play.

    I tried your prototype. I like your explosion sound :) The pink spheres sometimes appear on the bottom horizontal level and cannot be hit. Also, there are just so many of them that I always die at the point they start appearing.
  • RAPTOR! Between that and One Must Fall 20something, those were, for me, the heydays of awesome epic games. I remember when I got BANANA SHOTS with Raptor. It had the same kind of AWESOMENESS that Diablo had... Hoarding like crazy was FUN.

    There was a Raptor movie?

    The prototype looks cool, I love the voice effects, very cool to the spirit of prototyping :) I need to do that for my prototypes :)
  • Thanks for playing guys :)

    @francoisvn, I'm sorry but the game is quite unbalanced. :) I need to add some weapons that can shoot sideways and stuff. I made it kinda impossible so that you wouldn't see how little scope it has :P

    @Tusim, If there was a movie I would watch it. I was actually referring to the youtube link I posted.
  • Build 2
    I worked some more on the thing. Added new weapons and ammo. If I expand this prototype I will add a secondary gun/ability and even more weapons and guns. The system to add stuff is in place now so it would go relatively fast to add new things.

    I haven't changed the enemies so it's still pretty basic and biased in that way.

    There is also one unlockable! Let's see who get's it first... :)

  • I apologize for still forcing you to download stuff. I haven't figured out the web player yet.
    I'll try and write a guide to doing that this weekend.
  • Whoa! This game is pretty cool :D Are you using particles or scrolling textures for the background?
  • @Stray_Train,

    Thanks man, glad you enjoy it :) It's particles that float about...basically everything is particals :P

    Also thanks for the tutorial about the web player, I'll go check it out and reload this thing :)
  • edited
    Courtesy of @Stray_Train, here is the web build SCHMUP Prototype Please let me know if something isn't working.
  • I got to something like 165 000. The map started moving so fast that death was certain.

    Otherwise the movement feel really imprecise. I generally find this happens when people use Input.GetAxis as opposed to Input.GetKey.

    Also the weapons feel like they fire really slowly. Normally if you move the ships in a shmup you won't notice it having much affect on the bullet speed. But you really feel it here.
  • I agree about the controls. It did feel unfair when I thought I'd dodge something, but the ship continued travelling a bit in a direction I was no longer pressing. Maybe you could turn up the gravity on the input, if you haven't played with those numbers already. :)

    In the semisane platformer thing, I had gravity super high (like, thousands), and ignored the actual axis value, instead checking whether it was positive or negative, and doing my acceleration in code. I was aiming purely for keyboard though (I didn't have an xbox controller at the time) so it made sense for me.

    Look forward to more updates! :)
  • @Karuji & @Elyaradine, Thanks for playing. And thanks for the feedback.
    Karuji said:
    The map started moving so fast that death was certain.
    Yes, this was a cheap way for me to just end the game. I will work on making the enemies more interesting and then maybe do a level structure where you can actually complete stuff. I have no idea how to do that yet :/

    The controls were another quick fix thing I implemented with Input.GetAxis. I did notice that your ship is kind of unresponsive, but I left it like that because I kind of liked it. I'll test it more once the game is a bit more balanced.

    At the moment I feel the scope of this project is more manageable than the Jozi Crime thing, so I really appreciate the feedback. Will keep everyone posted on updates. Hopefully with the next update you will be able to have some more lives :P
  • Sorry about the double post, forgot to ask...@Karuji, can you please elaborate on the weapons thing? Are you saying the rate of fire is a problem, or the actual speed of the projectiles?
  • edited
    Heheh, got halfway to the unlockable. Green rockets help a lot in crowd control against the purple dudes. :)

    I like where this is going, just three quick-quick things immediately:

    (1) Get the game to the "challenging" point just a little faster. The first bit just consists of not-a-problem-at-all shooting of *very* slow white circles and it doesn't really get interesting until the purple dudes show up and the white stuff starts showing up more quickly. Neaaaarly lost my interest the first time. :P

    (2) Will later versions have finite ammo on the missiles? Or maybe a limit of one-missile-on-screen at a time?

    (3) With a lot of games like this, I tend to prefer exercising and maintaining rather precise movement. I notice your ship has a slight deceleration drift when you stop moving in any given direction, and I'm wondering if you'd balk at the idea of just having an instant start/stop on it, especially considering how large its hitbox is. (oh snap, like a million posts arrived on this page between seeing and commenting. Whoops. Add my voice to the masses, then. :3 )
  • 1) I had my little 3 year old nephew in mind when doing the first part, so it is a very slow start. Sorry about that. He did enjoy it though. I'll clean up the start of the game along with better enemies.

    2) I did think about limiting the ammo on some of the weapons. At the moment I can just make the game shoot for you because there isn't a reason not to hold the shoot buttons down. May I ask why you asked?

    3) I had it on precision starting and stopping at first, then messed around with the axis things in unity and actually liked the sliding. But that's personal preference. I'll definitely work on the controls for the next iteration.

    Thanks for the feedback @Nandrew. :)

  • Heheh, numbers.

    (1) Cool. Not to say that you should make it ridiculously hard or anything, but at least something along the lines of "if I'm not paying attention, I'll miss the shot" or something. Hmm, dunno. But I imagine moving on from that section to the next step can be done a little faster anyway. Will be interesting to see what happens when you bring more enemy patterns in.

    (2) I asked for precisely the reason you just pointed out. :P There's no point to not holding down the fire buttons right now, it seems. May as well have always-on fire unless you have missile weapons that are a considerably lower rate of fire (or finite ammo, or whatever)

    (3) Neato.
  • Moar!!!

    Another Web Build

    So I added some enemies and change how most of the weapons work. And there are now three levels. Everything is unlockable also. I haven't quite fixed everything mentioned but I think it's a big step forward.

    I would like get your feedback on this :) Is it better than before or worse? There are some things that I feel are still needed, but I would like to get feedback from you fine folks before I mention them. Just to see if I am heading in the right direction.

    If something is not working please let me know. Thanks for taking the time :)
  • @Rigormortis both! Lots of bullets that move very fast. Basis of any shmup.

    With the latest build I feel that it lost some of it's charm. As much as it was random mayhem there was something visceral about blowing up lots of things.

    One thing you will notice with Jamestown is that it has fodder enemies which don't really do much, on the easier difficulties, but are nice and juicy to kill.

    Also with all the enemies having the same particle effect it loses its charm. The spectacle of the particle should roughly correlate to the difficulty of the enemy.
  • @Karuji, I changed the pea shooter's ammo and fire speed and immediately felt the difference. I just like me some slow bullets :P

    I agree with the comment about the particle effects. I am just really bad at visuals still. So I'll have a look at it again and see what I can do to fix it.

    Did you get to the Gauntlet? If you did could you give me your thoughts on it please? It's more random and hectic than the 2 levels where I tried to be fancy with the enemy behaviours.

    Thanks for the feedback :)

  • Forget the art and do more gameplay :P That's what the prototyping manual would say (and I'm failing super hard at doing that, gonna have to stop drawing pixels today. TODAY.) (Gonna go draw bearded King for today :P)
  • Funnily enough, I kinda like using the slow bullet mod. Enjoyed "painting" areas of the screen with bullet fire, even if it isn't necessarily a perfect fit with the SHMUP ideal :)

    I'd say that if you ever wanted to strike out into a unique sort of territory with this prototype, you could redesign your core game ideas to be more oriented around this sort of "area control". Lots of slow-moving bullets, damage "trails", stationary bombs, spatial shields ... complemented by a heavy emphasis on enemies that use beam weapons and bullet avoidance movement patterns. Just a random thought for a general direction the project could take to make it a different kind of game entirely (though not necessarily the direction you may choose to pursue).

    My 2c. :)
  • @Nandrew,

    SHMUP ideal, FPS ideal, RPG ideal...whatever works, goes :P

    I'm not exactly sure what kind of feel I'm going for. It's kind of like a mix between the fast paced Jamestown feel, and the slower more deliberate gameplay of Raptor. I tend to lean to the Raptor side of things because I like the idea of using the ship as well as the level to make the game progress.

    The idea I have in my mind atm is probably a power fantasy type thing were you keep flying previous missions to get more money to upgrade your ships. What I was thinking of was something along the lines of having a certain amount of cash stashes in each level and once you have collected one you cant collect it again. But the more money, the better your weapons and ship get, that way you can easily farm lower levels to do better in higher levels.....basically.

    How do you guys feel about that?

    Also, has anyone gotten to the gauntlet? I am thinking about implementing 2 player gauntlet mode just for fun :)
  • I would say there are big cash prizes per level, but also continual stream of lesser cash prizes - the big cash prizes are one-shot per level, but you can run them again for the smaller ones.

    And throw in random cash prizes for bosses, that'll make you run 'em like Diablo :P

    I like Raptor. If I had to describe it now it'd be Diablo shooter, I guess :)
  • Hehe, that's actually a good idea. About the bosses. Makes it so you can rerun your favourite boss. :)

    And yes, it is actually quite a fitting description to call it Diablo Shooter....there are just less demons :P The one thing I did miss in raptor though was the ability to upgrade/change the ship itself. I want to put that in too.
  • edited
    Have another update! (edit: Not sure if it is just my internet, but it takes a while to load 5.5MB download)

    So in this update I was specifically trying to test the feeling of progression. I'm afraid there is not much new to see in the way of weapons and ammo. It will also save your data when you quit so you can come back later with the same stuff you already unlocked(Thanks @ProjectX for teaching me about playerPrefs :D)

    So if you do feel in the mood to test it and give some feedback, please try to focus on how the progression(or lack thereof) feels, that way I can understand how it feels to other people. I didn't have time to put in level progression, too much code hacking going on :/

    I have however given you 5, yes count'em 5! hit points. And also 5 shield points which recharge over time(slower while you're firing). The special weapon actually uses your shield as a resource to fire, so be careful with it.

    There is still a lot that needs doing in terms of player feedback. At the moment it's hard to tell whether you were hit in the shields or the hit points. And even though the enemy ships take damage when you hit them, other than them exploding there is no way to tell that you actually do do damage to them.

    I was wondering whether there could be something to this project. Do any of you think that it could be a decent project to complete if I add some interesting enemies/guns/ammo/levels and apply a lot of polish and balance? Basically I want to know if it is worth it in investing a lot more time into this. It's probably not the best question to ask, but answer it anyway :P

    Enjoy! :)

  • Hehehe Diablo Shooter :)

    So gave it a play, and here are some comments:

    - The weapon loadout screen is confusing... It took me a while to figure out that you have to buy the guns at the top and the ammo at the bottom... And that there are two types of guns for which you have to buy ammo. I would rather have 4 indicators that cycled left and right - gun, gun ammo, launcher, launcher ammo. It also makes comparing things difficult, putting two classes of stuff in one selection.

    - Suggest putting the controls available to be seen at the loadout screen cos I forgot and had to restart the game to see 'em.

    - on to the action part! There are no collection aspects to the game? When I saw the red "+" dudes I immediately went to collect them.... And got hit, lol.

    - So many enemies from the side and seemingly no way of dealing with them? Find myself at the mercy of minefields too often, too.

    - Movements could be a liiiittle too fast, twitchy, especially for minefields mentioned above

    - What is the reason for having to hold down space and control? That when you shoot missles you're recharging shields slower? Could you make it auto-fire? (primary gun at least) (one button toggle) or just one button fire? Cos holding down two keys is cramping my style (and my keyboard, space+down+left is impossible).

    I like the idea, and I think it could be polished enough to be fun - raptor was fun, so I think some things to think about are... collecting stuff while flying (all you're doing is dodging, having pull and push would be interesting), bigger weapons (just larger than life - more impressive looking, lingers longer on the screen, bigger pixels, whatever. Not necessarily needing the baddest-ass particle engine or the best artist, just... more stuff), and a reason beyond "get as far as you can before dying" :) Boss fights!

    Keep it up you're making cool stuff :)
  • @Tuism,

    thanks for giving it a play. So...point by point :P

    - I know :( I'm so bad at layout design...I figured that it might be confusing but got too lazy to fix it properly

    - Cool, I'll do something like an escape menu where you can check and hopefully change controls.

    - Didn't have time to put them in, planning on it though. Just thought about the basic stuff like extra money and maybe a shield recharge. I didn't think about plusses being positive and that someone might want to collect them :P

    - I'll have to think about that. I think I am content with just dodging them because I am making the game. But I can see that it doesn't really make sense. The problem is that I made the stuff random, so there is no effective way to control the difficulty, you have to be a bit lucky. :/

    - Hmmmm, easy to make it a bit slower but the idea is actually(at some point) to have different types of ships with different speeds and health and stuff like that.

    - At this point there is no real reason. I'm still struggling with this. I need to find some reason to actively NOT fire your weapon...but haven't been able to yet. I though the shield would at least give you some incentive to do so.

    THERE IS SO A BOSS FIGHT AT THE END!!! :D But it might be a bit difficult to get there. I actually want the game to be difficult. I don't want it to be power fantasy where at the end you have all the weapons and just pown everything. I know atm I'm only making it frustrating instead of challenging so I'll have to work on it
  • The superweapon would be a good way to fill the niche of sideways attack. The forward beam is nice and all, but it's not staggeringly more effective than regular fire and locking you into one position for the duration is bloody dangerous. :P Let it fire some badass stuff to the left/right, that would make it more uniquely useful.


    So yeah, there's a lotta stuff to comment on, but I'll focus on the specific questions you're asking.

    "Progression" is something I have difficulty wrapping my head around right now. Your weapons actually seem to be striving for balance, which is good in one respect ... but if you want players to grind cash for new equipment, I would suggest making whatever you're going for strictly *better* than your starting option rather than a simple alternative.

    If you definitely want to keep the weapons balanced, I would like to see them being locked behind skill gates instead of cash gates -- like your older system. Things that would be better to pay for using gradual money acquirement:

    - Extra charges of shield / life. Start players on one each, offer an extra charge for a certain $ amount that scales up. It's quick, it's obviously an improvement and players will appreciate the option. Better still, giving players a lower starting amount on their resources will make individual game sessions quicker and punchier -- it will be far more difficult for them to survive for long with a single shield, and after they've bought those upgrades they'll be able to play for longer and actually *feel* themselves progressing in that way (right now I get to roughly the same place regardless of my weapon loadout, it doesn't feel like "progress" as much)

    - Charges of your special weapon. Instead of making it drain your shields, attach a modest cost to buying every charge, and make sure players can't carry too many charges into combat (5 max, though you could ALSO introduce an upgrade path that increases max charges, etc etc)

    - Overall damage output / firing rate / etc. You can make your weapons focus a little more on fire patterns and speed and let these stats handle most of the rest (though obviously still allowing for some weapon / ammo configs to pack more / less individual punch as balancing dictates)

    If you don't want players to suffer the "power fantasy" problem, I assume you'll have more levels ready to challenge them once they've proven themselves adept enough at clearing earlier ones.

    As for whether you should continue developing this one? That would all depend. I think this is definitely a good time to ask the question and I hope that anyone giving you feedback affords it some serious thought, cos this is always a critical juncture.

    So. Out of the projects you've presented on MGSA so far, this one is showing the most promise. But I think a better question would be whether or not continuing your work on this would delay involvement with another, potentially better idea that you may already have brewing in your skull.

    Right now, the prototype is still missing a certain je ne sais quoi -- this being after a few revisions. You could spend more time on it and make the proposed changes for fun (and yep, I'm sure you could think of more intriguing enemy patterns / bullet types to put in, I've already said time and again that I really like the slow-fire stuff and exploding waste canisters), but I personally stop myself on a project if I find myself saying to people "it will be interesting once I've done X".

    If you're not sure, though, how about waiting for the November competition (I believe there's one coming up in the next few days?) and seeing if *that* grabs you in any way?

    If so, I'd suggest giving that a go and seeing what comes out.

    If not, continue with this and I'll give you any feedback you need. I reckon the game could be worthwhile, but it may be more valuable to consider a new prototype that has the ability to hit harder right away.
  • @Nandrew, awesome feedback! Thanks for the effort. :)

    I agree with everything your saying. There is not realy much more I can say. Except maybe that the project is pulling in several directions because of time constraints. Most of the systems (like upgrades being strictly better) should have been in the build but the weekend just wasn't long enough :P

    I'll have to think about what I would want out of the project because if I do decide to invest more time in it the next few weeks would be spend on cleaning up the hacked code I've done so far. I think that, for the moment at least, I'll put it on hold and try another prototype. Or just build a Lunar Lander Clone for some practice...

    Thanks again for the feedback.

    PS. Did you get to the boss? I fear that it might be too hard to reach him :/
  • Unfortunately I could not make it after several attempts, sorries :P
  • edited
    There is a boss honest :P (apparently very easy to kill though :/)

Sign In or Register to comment.