Ultra Troopers [uDG 2011]

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Posts: 184
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #16
Presentation-wise, everything seems to be there- the game looks and sounds fine. The gameplay does tend to just fall into a single pattern, though.
Since once you get pinned you are basically dead means that the only really viable strategy is just to spam bullets at a distance and hope that they hit the brownian-motion sort of movement the AIs have, which is pretty tedious gameplay. Different kinds of AI types and movements would help- I assume you were going with a sort of retro thing with the 4-direction-only movement, though being able to move and shoot in 8 directions probably would help the game feel less frustrating as well. Having some sort of timer or encouraging speed in some way might help also discourage conservatively picking enemies off at a distance, as would lowering the attack distance of the player's projectile.
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Posts: 65
Joined: 2008.09
Post: #17
(Oct 9, 2011 09:43 AM)ThemsAllTook Wrote:  Finally got around to playing this. Definitely shows some good potential, but it feels like it needed a bit more time spent on it than the contest deadline allowed. I took down some notes while I was playing. It's a bit haphazard, but maybe you can find some useful feedback in here somewhere:
  • Can't get away from enemies when they're on you; can't do much to shoot them while running (maybe intentional? Have to play carefully so as not to get a whole swarm at a time). Still, being able to take another hit without any time to recover from the previous one means that if a fast-moving enemy gets you up against a wall, your entire health pool can be drained without a single thing you can do about it.
  • Great to see a two-player mode! I'm not sure about the decision to lock the camera onto player 1 and just let player 2 roam around anywhere offscreen, but I suppose it's a reasonable enough way to do it.
  • Multi-player button doesn't appear to do anything other than play a sound?
  • Would like to be able to reconfigure controls (with gamepad support, ideally)
  • Music doesn't loop seamlessly; fades out when looping
  • During death or level transitions, the camera moves to lower left corner of the level for no apparent reason
  • Points flying up to the display at the top is a very nice touch!
  • I'd like to be able to pause (automatically when the app is backgrounded, too) and be able to return to the main menu from the game some way other than dying or quitting
  • I see a health pickup sound in the application bundle and a sprite for it on the game banner, but can't find any in the game?
  • Background pixel art looks nice, but sprites are a bit blurry (GL_LINEAR?)
  • Some screen tearing, needs VBL sync
  • Out of curiosity, any reason enemies move in zigzag patterns when they're chasing you?
  • Hard to see exactly how far shots travel because of particles
  • No way to exit win screen?
  • Window resizing doesn't work, leaves GL view at the same size in the corner
Hey Alex, thank you for the reply.
  • There are several things that I wanted to do with the game and was unable to because of time. The first is enemy AI, I was pretty close to implementing a nice A* pathfinding algorithm, but I had to settle on a "random/hunt within range" type behavior. Ideally for their attacks I would've wanted them based on time intervals rather than just "touched the player" collision. I have the collision event disable the players weapon to ensure that it wouldn't be easy to get out of a situation where the enemy kept striking you. Of course this wasn't intended for non-time based attacks, which is the problem when you get surrounded or cornered.
  • For the two-player mode I wanted to have an indicator of where p2 was (something like a mini map).
  • Multiplayer was never finished although you can see the other troopers in the sprite sheet. (hah, well, just a bunch of palette swaps)
  • I would've loved to had game pad support, but I couldn't figure it out. I'll have to look and see how you did it. Wink
  • The looping was kind've a last minute decision to keep the file size down and stay true to classic game design. I think I fiddled around with it too much and couldn't get the music to loop properly so I faded the tracks out to make transitions smoother. It's something I'll need to fix.
  • The camera moving is a weird glitch, but I think it may be because it's trying to follow the player after the layers' been deallocated from memory (and the player as well)
  • Thanks, I wanted to spice things up a bit. Grin
  • Yea, pausing would be nice. On the todo list.
  • Never got around to implementing items (health, weapons, upgrades) Fail
  • I chose not to keep the sprites aliased because they looked really blocky, more so than the backdrop, because I'm also resizing them.
  • For the screen tearing, I'll look into VBL sync. I'm using cocos2d to do all the rendering, so I wonder if it's something that's been implemented already and I just need to enable it.
  • Enemies move in a zig-zag because of my "hunting" algorithm. Again, I kinda settled on this after having issues implementing A* pathfinding. The only thing I like about it is it makes them more difficult to shoot, and when they hit the player they can move to the side of the player to change the direction they attack from.
  • Particles are a little overdone, I want to tone that down a bit later.
  • Right now, there is no way to exit the win screen. (you've got to turn the console off Rasp) another thing on the todo list.
  • I think I might just take out resizing altogether. I'll have a fullscreen option but that's all I'm planning for that.
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Posts: 65
Joined: 2008.09
Post: #18
(Oct 9, 2011 08:46 PM)phydeaux Wrote:  Presentation-wise, everything seems to be there- the game looks and sounds fine. The gameplay does tend to just fall into a single pattern, though.
Since once you get pinned you are basically dead means that the only really viable strategy is just to spam bullets at a distance and hope that they hit the brownian-motion sort of movement the AIs have, which is pretty tedious gameplay. Different kinds of AI types and movements would help- I assume you were going with a sort of retro thing with the 4-direction-only movement, though being able to move and shoot in 8 directions probably would help the game feel less frustrating as well. Having some sort of timer or encouraging speed in some way might help also discourage conservatively picking enemies off at a distance, as would lowering the attack distance of the player's projectile.

Phydeaux, thanks for the input.
I feel you on a most of which you say. Ideally I would have had variation in enemies, weapons, obstacles, etc. but didn't get around to it. The 4-directional fire was part retro, part last minute design decision. I didn't want the player to be able to pick off enemies that easily. Something I wanted to add was a "strafing" button so the player could fire and move in different directions. I prefer that to the dual joystick (fire/move) combo. Your last point is one I 100% agree with, and I will have to implement a timer of sorts in future revisions.
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Member
Posts: 96
Joined: 2011.07
Post: #19
One thing: don't change the movement. I love the four directional thing.

Also, I didn't have a problem with the zig zag movement of the aliens. I saw them as freaking out-of-control-aliens that will bite your head off in an instant.

Add game pad support.

respect,
pk

iFrog is coming.
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