BEAR CHUCK! [prototype]

edited in Projects
Hi! Welcome to Bear Chuck!!!

Latest build of Bear Chuck! (26 Sep 2013)

Windows single executable:

Gameplay video

Official page

Bear Chuck is mash of concepts that can be best described as Angry Birds meets Super Puzzle Fighter with a good dose of Bomberman thrown in. It's also in super early pre-alpha prototyping, so it'll probably become even more :)

Do you remember those days when you were up into the wee hours, battling tooth and nail with your friend sitting right next to you on mad frantic games like Puyo Puyo? Tetris Attack? Bomberman? Bear Chuck is one of those couch versus games where the stakes are high, the action is fast, and skills make 'em SCREAM - and come back for more! Boom! BOOM! BOOM BOOM BOOM! ARRRRGHGHHH F**K YOUUUUU!!

As I'm mostly focusing on mechanical prototyping for the moment, I've not gone into graphical polish much yet, and as such a few bits are borrowed from elsewhere (Thanks gorgeous Metal Slug explosions!). All observations and feedback welcome!




Brief changelog:

3 October
> Prettier title screen.
> A new controls explanation screen.
> Some title music. No jokes.

1 Octoboer
> Overhauled the gamepad controls - the aim is now no longer absolute according to the position of the analogue stick, but the stick "moves" the aim... That means if you let the stick rest, the arc stops moving, as opposed to being reset to zero.
> Drop block button added - any of the face buttons, or clicking the right stick. For mouse controls it's still right click.
> Removed the power bars for now cos they're not useful right now. Will add them back as I can.
> The number of blocks that fall from above will increase over time, putting pressure on the game to actually end, if both players are damn master bears :P
> Fixed main menu bugs - all the directional controls now work, and the face buttons will get you playing the game (on both controller one and two), and you can click "play!" with the mouse, too.
> Fixed the AI freezing up bug :)

25 Sep
> AI that ACTUALLY BEAT ME. More than once.
> A new menu worthy of the Bear Chuck name.
> Brand spanking new gameplay video starring Bears!
> Will be at rAge expo 2013 from 4 – 6 October!

19 Sep
> Settled on the new name Bear Chuck! Just too adorable :)
> Updated the animation and upgraded the AI a bit more
> Added a few more effects
> The combo system now works! Chains will add exponentially more attacks to the other side – e.g. a match of 4 will be an attack of 2, and match 5 will attack 3. Each chain adds a multiplier to your attack – so at combo 2, the attack will be multiplied by 2. E.g.: First match of 4 creates attack 2. Then another match of 4 is the result of a chain reaction – and that attach will be multiplied by the combo factor of 2 for an attack of 4 (2 x 2).

19 Aug
> You can select from control schemes on main menu (mouse vs controller, controller vs controller, mouse vs AI)
> I included the basic AI to play against!

2 Aug
> A new title & screen...? This brings about a theme discussion. Do you like it?
> There are gems to collect!
> General mouse control improvements
> There's now a chicken as P2. Cos the sky is falling, see?

7 July
> Attack system added!
> Life and getting damage added

5 July
> 2 player added! Must have controller for player 2 due to the analogue requirements of the control scheme - sorry if you don't have an analogue controller!
(A xbox controller (wired!) should work though I haven't tested it yet - my PS3 controller works with MotioninJoy emulator. Make sure you turn the xbox360 controller emulation profile on if using this!)
> You can run with the blocks!
> Title screen with control explanation added
> Haven't added "dropping" blocks without throwing them, leading to a a related bug for P2
> Haven't added life and score yet

Features wishlist:
☑ AI opponent
☐ Better AI opponent
☐ Score system
☑ Combo/chain system
☐ Much improved graphics and theme
☐ Different characters with different abilities
☐ Single player tutorial into levels with…
☐ Boss battles!
☐ General polish!

The question stands... Should I rush a playable of this for rAge just to give myself a deadline and kick my own ass? It's nowhere near completion, like NOWHERE, of course, but... Well, I feel like I need a real deadline to kick my own ass.

Or is it way too soon and I shouldn't kick my own ass like this when I have a day job and probably don't have enough time? XD

O senseis of makegamesSA, please assist XD

Bear Chuck will be at rAge 2013!!! :D


  • Hi Tuism. Really cool idea. And I will imagine that this game will be frustratingly difficult (and addictive) when complete. Controls took a while to get used to. Also, had a bit of an issue to toss blocks out if your character got stuck in a funnel/tunnel. A way around this could be to have blocks bounce a bit more when they hit the sides of other blocks. Think a 2nd player will really help and will most defenitly lead to a couple of laughs (think portal multiplayer). As for your question - I would personally like to see this at rAge but as you said it still needs a lot of features and polish. Maybe get stuck in for next year's. But then again I'm a total noob and not one of the seseis you put the question to in the first place.
  • edited
    Hey! Thanks for trying it out!! :D I know of the issue you raise about getting stuck down a tunnel - at first I tried to fix it by letting upwards movement of the block throw pass through other blocks, so you can always throw blocks out even if you were in a shaft downwards, but quickly I realized that it created more issues than it solved as a weak upwards throw that couldn't get over existing blocks could get the block stuck... Then I gotta solve that... Etc etc.

    In the end I think I will make it so that if you're trying to throw out of a shaft, or even just against a wall, it will give you feedback to let you know that you can't. If you dig yourself too far into the ground you're in trouble anyway...

    As for a bounce against walls, I was thinking about that and might implement it, depending on how it affects the skill and fun of the engagement :)

    The controls are a bit tough to get used to because there wasn't enough visual cues and a learning curve yet, I'll be sure to design that into the final game, eventually :)

    Again, thanks for playing!! :D
  • edited
    *bump* and changed name to Battle Blocks XD

    Have figured out how PS3 controllers work and hopefully I can demo a playable at tomorrow's next week's joburg meet :)
  • Alright, I played this briefly - not for long, mind you, I have to work on my own game :P.

    I really like the genre mash up idea :D. I think it has some potential for fast and intense gameplay.

    Firstly: When you're making an executable make sure you click 'Single Runtime Executable' otherwise you still have to install the game, which is a pain ;(.

    I also think you need to slow down the spawning rate, at least in the beginning. Figuring stuff out was quite confusing with so many blocks raining down - you need to give players time to onboard themselves. Perhaps just slowly decrease the spawning time as you go?

    I really like the idea of throwing block onto other persons side -if you'll allow it in multiplayer. However, I feel you might need to slow the rate of spawning down to accommodate enough time to throw it onto the other side. Then again, after playing it for a while, one might be skilled enough to get away with it.

    I think you need to make flashing arrows that move up and down instead of passive crosses. As you move around you're not really focusing on the crosses - you need something that attracts the Player's attention more :).

    This was just a quick play, so I'm not sure how accurate my comments are. Keep up the work! :D
  • edited
    Awesome input! :D

    I'll fix the single run executable thing as soon as I have stable code XD Didn't know about that at all, thanks!

    Regarding the spawn rate - yeah that's really not refined yet. I've yet to implement the two ways the blocks will fall - naturally over time, and as attacks initiated by the other player clearing blocks. The more you clear, the more you send to the other side. Combos and bigger formations send more to the other side, etc. I'll tweak the timing too. The learning curve definitely needs to be refined.

    Funny thing is I previously had arrows, but felt that crosshairs helped people see them as blocks of that colour, so that people see them as combo chances. But yeah I definitely will animate them more, flashing, or arrows moving up and down - that's important.

    So right now my code is in a mess because I'm trying to get controller controls and 2 players in, so when that gets sorted I'll post up another version.

    Thanks for the play and the input! :D
  • If you'd like : I have arranged some of the suckers (co-workers) in the office to assist with 2 player testing when you have it figured out. know it can be hard to find a second player sometimes. No rush though. Just letting you know.
  • P.S. New name is much better :)
  • edited
    Pretty big update! Please check out OP, but crux of it here too:

    Latest build of Battle Blocks! (5 July 2013)

    In this build:
    > 2 player added! Must have controller for player 2 due to the analogue requirements of the control scheme - sorry if you don't have an analogue controller!
    (A xbox controller (wired!) should work though I haven't tested it yet - my PS3 controller works with MotioninJoy emulator. Make sure you turn the xbox360 controller emulation profile on if using this!)
    > You can run with the blocks!
    > Title screen with control explanation added
    > Haven't added "dropping" blocks without throwing them, leading to a a related bug for P2
    > Haven't added life and score yet
    > Haven't implemented a bunch of good ideas that @Bensonance and @FanieG have mentioned already.

  • Downloaded it this morning, havent had a chance to play it with another player.
    Seems like a cool concept.

    I think they only thing for me is the fact that you cant really evade the blocks very easily. I can imagine this would get quite frantic with players throwing stuff all thing time. Perhaps there is something like adding a dash to evade at the last second.

    Other than that I like the control scheme quite a bit, it's nice and easy to play. And the gameplay is very responsive :)
  • Hey Dancan!! Thanks for playing! :D It's not easy to find the right configuration to test this, eventually I'll make it a touch game too... Well that was the intention in the first place.

    Once the life and proper attack systems are in place (destroying blocks on your side will send more blocks to the other side), I guess I will be able to figure out more regarding the dodging - and I gotta implement out the pickup/putdown system too, but as it is right now - you can...


    THAT was an emergent moment for me, running with a block on you was something I added cos my girlfriend suggested :) Was awesome :)
  • Ah hah! I was not aware of that. I guess you'd kinda find that out by playing.
    Maybe if you get hit bit holding a block you drop it. Not so much fully protecting yourself. That allows the attacker a chance to quickly throw another one after you've dropped the block :D.

    Very cool idea though, could be fun :)
  • Yeah, the complete game will eventually have a bit of a design around how to teach the players about these nuances :) For now I gotta just work towards it working at all :) Right now it's exploring mechanics then I can work out an AI player 2 to play against...

    There are (will be) two ways to attack the other player - killing your blocks to flood the other player, or just toss everything to the other side (but once the other side stacks too high you won't be able to throw more that way because you do have a max throw height, unless you build a tower to stand on yourself).

    The attack/counter attack mechanic is one of my fav aspects of these kinds of games - so when you get attacked, you get much more "ammo" to counter attack with, and vice versa, and it escalates really quickly :)
  • Seems our controller at work is faulty. Will have to give this a go tonight/tomorrow. Will forward feedback soonest. However, nice one on getting the 2p up and running so quickly
  • Gameplay video?
  • Working on it! Have a few super rough ones... OK I guess I can post them...
  • @Tuism - Does the 2nd player controller have to be a PS3 controller? I have tried now with both a xbox360 controller (wired) and with a Logitech rumblepad (PS3 look-a-like) but no luck with 2nd player awesomeness. Also had an issue with the 1st player controls (not sure if this was in the first build too and i just didn't notice). The mouse pointer would occasionaly move off the game screen and would cause me to click away at the icons on my desktop and making my character unable to drop his block - maybe full screen would fix this. It was no biggy though - just letting you know. Also had an issue where "R" for restart was sometimes unresponsive.

    You could have 2 seperate modes for the 2 player too. Co-op and VS. In the VS mode you could separate the 2 screens. At the moment 2 blocks on 1 side still cause an explosion if matching with 2 on the other players side. As is the 2 players can either work together or do battle. You could change the winning conditions so that players would have to do one or the other (i.e. work together or bury that bastard in a colored grave :)) Hope that makes sense :)
  • edited
    Hey guys, here's quite a big update! Sorry it took so long!
    Download win single executable:

    > Added life and damage
    > Added attacks (blocks that explode will send blocks over to the other side, the larger the match the more blocks attack the other side.
    > Minor adjustments so that dropping a block too close no longer damages yourself (though within reason - if you're going to throw it on your own head you'll still get hit
    > Here's a gameplay video now that it actually feels like a real game! With music by my awesome girlfriend Jane :)

    @ FanieG Thanks for trying! :D
    a) I'm not entirely sure about the controller to be honest, I haven't tried the 360 controller because I haven't got access to one, so I will do as soon as I can try one out!
    b) The mouse pointer issue is because as you play, the mouse pointer would literally move out of the game screen as you moved and aimed - I can't physically move or limit the pointer... It's irritating but for now I don't know how to fix it... Maybe full screen would indeed fix it. Eventually I'm aiming for a touch screen implementation, so along with a joystick-only implementation it probably won't be an issue.
    c) Not sure why "R" would be unresponsive! Wait, was there "R" for restart in that version already???? I though I hadn't uploaded the latest version? This one should have a working "R"!

    d) Because the play field is essentially kinda shared, they are supposed to match across the middle line. I haven't thought about changing that, i'll see if people become confused!
    e) The co-op idea sounds interesting! I wanted to have a platform game like mode where you fight enemies and boss characters, so a co-op of that actually sounds REALLY epic! :D I'll keep that in mind!!! :D
    f) Right now the vs is working better than ever before cos of the added attack and health aspects - so there's actually a finite game going! :D

    Thanks guys! Please have a play if you can! :D
  • edited
    An update is forthcoming... Been trying different looks and tweaks in mechanics, but then I realised...

    what YOU want the most to be able to playtest... is an AI opponent, right? XD
  • OMG, I had this exact same game idea once. Looks really fun.
  • Yes please!!
  • Gonna work on that this weekend... This will be the first time I do anything like that... I guess that article on state machines will help me...

    Tough cookie!! XD
  • what article on state machines - where???
  • Our search function sucks... TBH I can't find it...
  • That really sucks. I've been googling that all week as i am researching for my own project too. Please let me know if you could locate it :( Would really like to give it a read.
  • I think that may be it... Somehow I got the words "State Machine" stuck in my head for this concept for "Behaviour Trees"... Thanks! :D
  • Thanks for these! This weekend shall be AI bashing!
  • So how's the AI shaping up?
  • Haha... Well it's been a slow process, I now have variables that know what the top block of the landscape are, and can identify pairs of same colours... Now I gotta make my dummy plug (an Evangelion reference) move over there, pick it up and aim at its target... And then it'll be able to dodge explosions. And kick your ass too.

    tldr: Slowly XD

    The next one I have will have a web build. I'm jumping into GMS Master Edition... Was hoping for a sale but looks like it's not coming :P
  • That sound super complicated. I'm working throught a Unity Tutorial at the moment. Currently stuck on hooking up animations, but the next chapter is covering some AI, which also looks complicated. Good luck. Hope to have my ass kicked by your AI soon :)
  • An update! I'm making this update for several reasons:

    1. To show what the latest build looks like
    2. To make an effort at developing not in the dark
    3. To ask you guys for some opinion (in support of above point!)

    So latest build can be found here, OP has also been updated:

    Changes... Not that much, as I've been spending my time trying to figure the AI out and a half-done AI does nothing... (at least mine does)

    1. There were graphical changes as I was messing with the theme, which I quickly dropped because I needed to work the GAME out not its graphics. The background I shamelessly stole from somewhere and will be replaced when I work on theme.
    2. There are now gems to collect! They will eventually charge up a special move that each different character will have in their arsenal. And of course add to score.
    3. You can now add to a cluster with a flying block to the side instead of having to land on top... You'll see if you try, but it's not easy :P

    Then about the theme: I didn't really want to work much on the theme till the mechanics are solid, but while I'm doing other stuff (day job) I'd give it some thinking time, and this (with the help of my girlfriend) seemed really nice:

    THE CHICKEN WAS RIGHT! The sky is falling! Yet the bits that fall from the sky can be "mined" for valuable gems, and so the world gets into a frenzy mining the Skydrops for gems while parts of the world burn with destruction from falling skies.

    (also, I wanted to have a theme ready that's not Battle Blocks for the purposes of entering for AMAZE)

    I'm kinda torn between this and just calling it Battle Blocks, but the Behemoth has a game called Battle Block Theatre so I didn't really wanna have a name collision. It would probably suck for me. Or not?

    Oh then I threw together a quick logo, not refined *at all*. To be honest I've already spent too much time on gfx and hadn't had enough quality time with my AI...

    Guys, so...
    What do you think about the theme?
    Which do you like better?
    Is it crap to have a name almost exactly like another indie (though much bigger of course) game?
    Any other crits? :)

    Thanks all you guys are awesome :)

  • @Tuism - I like the new name, but you can probably drop the Arena bit and just call it Skydrops. Think that fits in better with the theme anyway (there was no mention of an Arena in the explanation above). Think it will be better to change the name, else people might think your game is a ripp off of another game, and it totally isn't. Also, the chick looks AWESOME. I will give this a proper play after work today and give feedback on feel of game.
  • So... The one side is a chick. BUT WHAT IS THE OTHER CHARACTER?

    I've been trying to figure it out for ages now. I feel like you should never tell.
  • @FanieG The reason for Arena is to communicate the versus element of the game, it may or may not have an actual arena in it in the end, but that's a point well made...

    To everyone - does having "Arena" in the tile make you think that there's actually gonna be an Arena in the game? Would it confuse you if you didn't see an Arena?

    The one name I particularly like is just plain and simple Super Skydrops, but that doesn't communicate the combative nature of the game... Though I guess it doesn't need to? Or does it?

    @dislekcia That is *so* interesting that seems to be the thing people pick up on, I never even thought of it! I showed the game video to a little girl (on a family occasion) and she was like "what's thaaat? A brownie? I like brownies". So cute :) Well I haven't decided yet, it was basically a placeholder I didn't want to put too much effort in as I was prototyping. The chick was made when I thought I'd theme it the chick who cried the sky was falling down, but all that's still up in the air (ba-da-chee!) at the moment, hence the current discussion...!
  • edited
    "Skydrops Air-ena"?


    Didn't think so.

    "Skydrops Scrimmage" or "Skydrops Scramble" may work too.

    I like the new design. It sets the tone of the game perfectly! :D
  • edited
    Loving the new look.

    Am I been picky or are the hearts on the left and right differently aligned to the wall they placed over?

    PS. I like the word Arena in the title.
  • Skydrop Scramble.

    @Gazza_N is naming everything I make from now on.
  • @Tuism - a Brownie? I thought of it as a Mr. Potato head type character :)
  • edited
    @Gazza_N Airena lol :) That can be my next game :P

    I like Skydrops Scramble... It just has a bit of a tonguetwister property to it... Hmm... I still like Arena too, though. It's... competitive-y :P

    @FanieG He's not quite sure what he should be! I have a thought to turn him into a bear image, but generally I want to leave that stuff till later... :)

    @tbulford you picked up on my skew screenshot XD It was taken when there's screen shake going on and I never bothered to fix it, so you get a fluffy prize bunny sir! :P

    Still working on the AI... Just wrapping my head around the info this bugger needs even before it starts to move is hurting my head @_@
  • DROPBEARS...!!!

    (Don't worry if you don't get it, it's an Australian joke. About Koalas.)
  • Dude. Dropbears would be an amazing name :)
  • Oddly enough I thought the character was maybe a small bear or bear-cub so it's interesting that you're playing with the idea of making it look more bearlike
  • Was describing the game this morning to Renier. At the moment; how you can win by:
    - throwing a block at an opponent (fun, direct)
    - matching blocks on his side while he's near... but which adds to his score, and gives him gems that he can use to drop more blocks on your side, which really isn't all that much in your favour!
    - matching blocks on your side to get gems to drop blocks onto your opponent, but having to dodge the explosions on your side, which, again, seems like a bit of a double edged sword.

    It's generally quite easy to dodge the falling blocks (or, at least, just pick up a block and therefore negate being hit), so it felt as if the best way to play (for me, anyway) was just to throw looooads of blocks at the opponent right after each other and try to knock his block away and following it up with a heart-destroying block.

    So... this isn't necessarily a solution because it seems to change the game considerably into something very different... >_< ...but:

    What if that middle forcefield didn't exist, so you can move to the opponent's side? And you don't win by killing the opponent, but by getting a high score by creating matches? And only one block falls at a time, so you have to fight over what blocks fall, and try to control which side of the screen the matches are happening on? I just think the goal/options are much clearer then.
    Thanked by 1Tuism
  • Cool feedback! (Also very cool feedback from last night too! I've taken them down and been thinking about it)

    Yes, I've felt that the objective of the game has been a bit loose, and after last night I've especially been thinking it needs to be tightened up.

    I'm completely up for a substantial change in the game mechanics - if nothing else, to simplify how people understand the game.
    What if that middle forcefield didn't exist, so you can move to the opponent's side? And you don't win by killing the opponent, but by getting a high score by creating matches? And only one block falls at a time, so you have to fight over what blocks fall, and try to control which side of the screen the matches are happening on? I just think the goal/options are much clearer then.
    That's a direction i'm leaning towards - I definitely want to remove the forcefield and the life thing entirely so you can't win by just beating the other guy senseless with blocks.

    Victory condition option 1: Win by score (by collecting gems) : means that we limit the round time to, say, 60 seconds or so - and whoever collects the most gems during that time wins - which is much clearer. But in this way I might have to introduce the forcefield again, because then it's only about making matches - your side or the other side - and collecting gems. Since you can collect gems on either side, you'll just explode things and collect gems, and the two sides no longer matters.

    Vic condition option 2: Winning by score (by making matches on your side): We still need to limit the round time, and there doesn't have to be a forcefield in the middle.

    A score-based victory condition either needs a time limit or a score goal - both of which I'm not really super keen about because I do want epic games that can go on for a while because the two players are super good and evenly matched (I've played a lot of vs puzzlers, like Puzzle Fighter, Puyo Puyo, Critter Crunch, Money Idol Exchanger, omg so many). Though I also like the casual nature of a time-limited game that you know can be done in 60 seconds - that may be one of the modes of play for the more casual players :)

    Vic condition option 3: Win by overpiling the other player's side of the field - this one I like because it's commonly understood - it still incentivises throwing blocks to the other side, but if that's all you do you'll not make matches and you'll not charge you bar and you'll not get to use your special attack which can swing the game. Plus making matches send attacks to the other side too - so you're killing two birds with one match. Combos will throw more attacks over, which advance your agenda more than just throwing single blocks over.

    Vic condition option 4 (bonus mode!): Win by digging further down This is a new one - I want to add a mode where the two sides are both aiming to dig down further than the other side, where making matches doesn't create attacks, but there are infinite blocks below your current field of play. So the player that is "left behind" loses when the player digs down a whole screen height away from the other player.

    OK that's all for now... OK one last thing :P I'm still stuck for a name, really. When speaking about "Skydrops" it doesn't quite have the punch packed in it... Another batch of names:
    > Blocky Falls (like the little village of Blocky Falls)
    > Bear Blocks (utterly random but sounds cool)
    > Tumble Scramble
    > Block Attack (There's a fan game of Tetris Attack by that name so nevermind)

    To be honest I've not settled (or even thought enough) on the theme of the game yet, so the naming is difficult... But I feel that a consistent name is important for the game, which just makes thinking about it even harder XD

    Thanks all :D
  • edited
    What about 1,2,3 Block Yourself :)
  • Block blocks
    Caber Blocks
    Blocknock "play on words for Bunnock"

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