Updated to VERSION 1.1
Version 1.0 was too easy. Maybe this is too hard? Or maybe I'm just not good enough.
Tweaked difficulty, star colours, and faster wave transitions.
We lived in peace for thousands of years, until they came.
Aggressive beyond reason and sporting a dubious dress sense, they attacked in droves; we pushed them back, but they kept coming. Eventually they were down to their last ship.
Still it comes at us, attempting to exterminate us for unknown reasons. Seemingly unable to take a hint.
You are that ship. Leave your morals at the door and destroy those poor aliens for no logical reason.
Controls .. usual sort of thing, you'll figure it out
I finally grabbed pico-8 a few weeks ago, just before I went on holiday, so jammed away at this in the evenings. Would have been finished quicker but I just kept iterating over it until I was happy.
I am finally free now and can get back to my larger project ..
No doubt this has bugs - there's about 20 waves, at which point it loops back to wave 1. Balancing may be a little off and it could do with fleshing out a bit more, but as a summer project it'll do :)
BTW: the cartridge should support 60fps and it's much nicer to play like this, so recommend playing it direct rather than via HTML
NB. The code is .. well, it is what it is :) I just kept piling stuff in there and it could be extensively improved and cleaned up (for example there are three different functions that create smokey stuff). So take it with a pinch of salt. There's a bit of slow down on some of the busy levels which could probably be optimised by making sure not to create more blobby things over a certain threshold, but it always seems to remain playable.
Well done, nice shoot'em up! The screenshake and the sound effects are nicely done.
I was able to go to level 18 before blowing up. One minor nitpick, the white stars in the background are a bit disturbing, I wasn't immediately clear if it was an enemy bullet or not.
Thanks @briac. It started out being much to hard so I tweaked a few things and I think it's a bit easy now .. ho hum. Might have another go at it and throw in another 20 waves or so.
The white stars - yes, agreed with that - the fast ones are a bit off-putting; maybe dimming them would help a bit (or just eliminating the fast ones).
Instantly added this to my faves! All the little animation flourishes really give it a fun feel, and exploding the baddies feels solid & satisfying. Could be a little more difficult, but then again sometimes I like a game where I just feel more competent than I really am :)
Nice work here! It is in fact a little to easy, once I got hang of it. The most complicated levels are the latter ones. Those yellow dudes sometimes make a combined attack that is really hard to dodge.
I think the reliable amount of shield power-ups helps a lot to get through the game. Maybe replacing some of them with bombs would make the game a little harder (also I loved bombing things up).
Explosions are satisfying, as it is smoke, game speed and enemies formations. Your game have it all! nice summer work (I hate you:).
Those animations really give the game a nice feel. Between the speed of the ship and all of the smokey stuff everything feels bouncy and responsive, and it's a lot of fun to look at and play!
I think the shield powerups and the extra lives come up too often though. I was basically stuck in a loop with 4 or 5 lives so I had to actually try to end the game, haha. More waves consisting of stronger enemies, or less shield powerups would go a long way towards making it feel perfectly balanced!
This is looking great!!
Very fun and juicy!
I agree about the white stars, I keep thinking they're bullets. Change the colour or get rid of them
Also sometimes I'm not sure if things are bullets or powerups. Might need to make the visual language more clear.
Fun game, enjoyed the few waves I played.
There is only one aspect that currently feels a bit off - the readability of the playfield. The white stars in the background really feel like foreground objects, so the instinct tends to be to dodge them. The power-ups also feel like something dangerous on first glance, and the sheer number of background stars makes it a bit hard to see the important stuff.
If possible, you could try making the foreground/background distinction clearer, and try making it easier to tell things that are dangerous apart from those that aren't. The powerups for example have a smoky trail, which makes the intuition in your head say "missile!" and you have to consciously fight that first impression.
I think the thing with the difficulty is having the ability to shoot oncoming missiles. So long as you're always firing, it's hard to actually get hit. Granted, you might play with the visibility of enemy missiles to make them easier to see, too.
As mentioned in the blurb at the top, I've updated the cartridge to 1.1 which will hopefully be a bit more challenging.
The main difference is subtle - changed to only hand out new lives every 30,000 points rather than 10,000. Also some bad (good?) guys need more hits to zap them.
Made a few other tweaks as suggested by people - namely star colour is a bit dimmer in non-warp mode, and the warp transition is much faster to try and maintain the pace.
I can't make it past wave 10 now, so maybe I just suck ...
Absolutely fantastic game! It's true it's a bit too much on the easy side, but I like easy games, especially when they're as satisfying, I feel like a good player. I stopped playing at level 103 with 5 lives and +354000 score on my 1st play. But it was absolutely fun to play, and, well, I went up to the 103rd level because I just couldn't stop. It's very well crafted, with lot of details. I love the inter-waves calming down moments with the spaceship speeding, stars blurring. The sounds are great. The gfx are the most effective. This game makes me dream of having an arcade cabinet like the Picade. In fact it made me discover the favorite button below!
Some thoughts anyway:
- Sometimes a sound fx keeps loop playing. It unstucks when there's a lot of action and, I guess, sounds stacks up to the point of unclogging the stuck channel.
- The 2 colors stars, with differents speeds, are nice, but it's true the white are too much up front and get mixed up for projectiles. Replacing white with the light blue or bluish grey should do just fine.
- I think the gameplay in itself is perfect. To make the game a little more difficult, first I'd just raise the points needed for extra lifes (looks like you got one every 25000 points) and bombs. Maybe that's enough?
- Only once, at a moment there was a huge yellow disc attacking me, among other ennemies (well, I know I'm the bad guy), like a mini-boss, that needed a lot of shoots to disappear. Did I dream??
Anyway, the prettiest and catchiest game I saw this far, and there are a bunch of great ones. Pico-8 is quite a sexy little beast. I bought it 3 days ago, and I'm in love. The non pico-8 games I played that were as much satisfying, are those of Puppygames (Ultratron and Titan Attacks! especially).
So, shortly said: terrific job!
Yep, that's a lot harder. Too hard for me, in fact. I think going from 10,000 to 30,000 points for getting a new life is too much. Why not offering 3 levels of difficulty with easy, normal and hard giving a new life respectively every 10,000, 20,000 and 30,000 points?
Really great, and I loved the amount of polish that when into the UI and transitions.
My only complaint is that I never quite sure what elements were power-ups and which were bombs. But I could probably figure it out if I spent a bit more time playing.
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