Falconet - Demo Now Available!
We've been working on a new game called Falconet. It's a 16-bit Sega Genesis / Mega Drive style twin-stick-shooter.
Access the alpha build demo here:
New teaser trailer!
I'll post some development updates in this discussion, but you can also join us on Discord: https://discord.gg/tVm5T9Yrhw
Thanked by 2konman DavidNight
Based on some initial feedback we received, we decided to create a video that shares our goal and vision for Falconet.
We hope it will help you see the potential that Falconet has.
I watched a bit of the playthrough last night and it looks like it has potential.
I think one of the main problems is that at the moment the game doesn't actually need you to switch guns - and it seems like that is the main focus of your game. I would rather focus on adding senarios to make the player want/have to change guns.
A good small game that I think does this is Tormentor x Punisher https://youtube.com/watch?v=hRAtQWqwV48. They only have 2 standard guns: a normal gun that has range and then a shotgun that also acts as a reload. They also have a variety of enemies/bosses that make the games progression interesting even though it's one room with 2 guns.
Focusing on a small area or single screen allows you to maybe get the enemies, pacing, guns and feedback feeling good. I think you have a lot of content already but I think maybe the content can be scoped down to focus on the core of the game.
I think a lot of folks here would be questioning what your goals with the game are -- not in terms of game design (your video only covers that), but in terms of what you're hoping to get out of the game's development. The way you talk about the game makes it sound as if you're aiming for a commercial release? (in which case I think you'd be fighting a very uphill battle)
I'd suggest not putting all of your effort into your (first?) game, and rather making lots of smaller games (like ~1-2 weeks of dev each) to put on itch. Then, after you've made many games like that, you can have a look at your page views, downloads and comments (and whether players are paying you even when it's a pay-what-you-want model!) to inform you of whether putting all of the effort into a commercial release is smart.
If you're doing this as a hobby and are free from the burden of commercial aspirations, then of course do whatever you enjoy! :D
This first image shows how it is currently without shadows. We tried shadow techniques used in the 16-bit era, including mesh, circular and shaped shadows. These particular entities are flying, so their shadows will be more detached. The Falconet and other enemies closer to ground will have only a single pixel worth of shadow.
We think the mesh is okay, but not great, circular looks bad, and the shaped is the best. What do you guys think?
I think it's okay to consider using transparency for shadows. Also shadows should be consistent across the game - so you have shadows on your background buildings, it makes no sense if look shaded while the rest looks dithered or solid black.
It also would make no sense if you shoot at planes with VERY different shadows to yourself - that would imply that they're on a different vertical plane from you but somehow shooting at them directly still makes contact.
Thanks for the feedback. We will be making changes to the lighting and shadows. But we can't use transparency for shadows because there has never been a Sega Genesis/MegaDrive game that had true transparency unless it's baked into the background tiles themselves. Elevation inconsistency is also normal in a 2D shooter of that time period, but we will be making an effort to imply that the player's ship can change angle of attack to be effective against flying ships.
So that's what I would say about this transparency story - I don't think anyone would really care enough to really *hate* having transparency in an old school retro game. If you can make it work stylistically within the strict limits - well great. But right now you have a mix of two different shadows in the visuals (shaded shadows with buildings vs dithered shadows in units) and that looks weird and does not make it better.
This is just one matter out of many, and I think you need to consider things more than "it must be because it was".