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I am new here, and this is my first level. I have experimented a lot with the Voxatron editor, peeking into other people's levels for instructions and inspiration (Because there isn't a tutorial video on how to make a monster shoot bullets! :P) and eventually made this!

This is a four-level demo showing off different types of enemies to fight, and I have to warn you that the boss is kind of buggy, I feel this may be fixed in the 3.0 version of Voxatron, but for now that would be the best I could do.

I hope you all like my idea!

EDIT: As a kind person let me know, we shouldn't fill up the BBS with useless WIP levels, so I am just going to edit this thread every time I have an update.

P#7916 2013-11-09 16:36 ( Edited 2014-01-10 16:13)

:: Kling

I think your boss is not supposed to turn, because, when it happens, one of the other enemies fall down from it, maybe you could turn off that option on the monster so it doesn't happen.

also, the is not a video about making shotting monsters but there is a tutorial about it
https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=1448

P#7917 2013-11-09 20:13 ( Edited 2013-11-10 01:13)

I liked this level, please do more stages :) Would be nice if Vox could allow a zero gravity simulation so the debris of the ships would float around in a realistic way.

P#7918 2013-11-10 13:32 ( Edited 2013-11-10 18:33)

I'm thinking about adding more enemies and some cutscenes to the mix, as well as fixing the "Skiff" (That's what I called the boss). Maybe some asteroids, too?

And yes, a zero-gravity simulation would be nice.

P#7919 2013-11-10 22:20 ( Edited 2013-11-11 03:20)

Version 2 is done!

The "Skiff" Is fixed, two cutscenes have been added and two more levels are in! I am still open to suggestions!

P#7922 2013-11-11 15:18 ( Edited 2013-11-11 21:52)
:: Kling

Why did you need to create a new entry only for that? you could have simply replaced the old one, now the old a level on the bbs is only filling space.

P#7923 2013-11-11 16:37 ( Edited 2013-11-11 21:37)

I didn't know I could update it! I told you I was new here.

EDIT: Now that I changed it, it is not showing up! Hang on a moment...

Double edit: Got it fixed. You can play it now!

P#7925 2013-11-11 16:50 ( Edited 2013-11-12 01:59)

Hey cool level, did you know you can tilt the screen Q and E. good work.

P#7929 2013-11-12 01:46 ( Edited 2013-11-13 11:32)

Nice cutscenes! specially before the boss. I think you should add one after the last stage, congratulating the player for saving the Voxiverse :) The second stage could be a little more hard, and in the last one a triple shot power up would be very welcome. But hey! good job! this is my favorite stage on BBS (probably bc I really like shmups) I hope you can keep working on this stage to make it really shine.

Here's my best run:

(not so great bc my acc sucks) If no one can beat it I'll proclaim myself the best Starship Combat player in the world :D

P#7931 2013-11-13 19:06 ( Edited 2013-11-14 00:11)

By second stage, you mean the stage with the two turrets? I might throw in a mini one (Those littler turrets seen on the "minelayers" in the last stage is what I am talking about)

Powerups are a thing, I have managed to put in the "Plasma Cutter" powerup for one of the new stages, and I could put in "Auto-Burst-Fire" for that one too.

I did know about Q and E, though I preferred helping out the player and change the camera view automatically, so you could easily see the cutscenes and enjoy a good view of the battlefield without those annoying keypresses.

Dino, let me tell you that the next boss that is coming up is actually kind of tougher than either the the skiff or minelayers. At the same time, though, it could rack up a heck of a lot of points for you!

With that said, I'm glad you all like it, and v3 is coming soon!

P#7932 2013-11-13 20:28 ( Edited 2013-11-14 01:28)

Oh god I was so close to losing this...

So apparantly, I think Voxatron has some saving issues, as I have made a whole lot of stuff and suddenly the saves get "wiped," as in Usually there is a pixelated mess at the bottom of the picture in the .png files, but apparantly the ones I saved suddenly didn't have a pixelated mess, and Voxatron crashed every time I try to open one of them. Just about all my files did this, and so I was really worried until I found my flash drive had a copy of it, but that one had it's save "wiped" too! I turned the backup into a .png and suddenly, I found my game again, with all my stuff saved in it.

And I was about to start from v2 again! Thank god for backups and flash drives! Zep, if you are reading this, can you look into it? I believe it has something to do with going over 150 KB or something, but I'm not sure. Thanks!

v3 Should be soon, I hope!

P#7933 2013-11-14 11:01 ( Edited 2013-11-14 16:01)
:: zep

Hey
Yikes -- I'm glad the .bak system worked this time.
Could you send me some of the faulty pngs? (hey at lexaloffle dot com)

Nice level, btw. These spaceships are adorable!

Support for zero gravity (i.e. zero friction) is coming in the next update, along with slightly better support for cutscenes.

P#7934 2013-11-14 19:29 ( Edited 2013-11-15 00:29)

I have sent the .pngs! Hope you can fix this!

In the meantime, v3 is out, in a fixed, but somewhat shortened state. I had 2 new levels, but I had to delete one to make room for it. Powerups are now a thing, Stage 2 (Turrets) is a bit harder now, and more cutscenes. Also one more boss.

This concludes this demo, if I have to make another demo, I probably would make a different level for it on the BBS, but for now I will wait for the update :)

Also note: I know the thing is blank, but it works, honest!

P#7936 2013-11-15 07:55 ( Edited 2013-11-15 12:57)
:: zep

ok, great -- thanks. It looks like what happened is the faulty files were saved with 'Save Object' rather than 'Save Level'. It saved the object even though there was nothing selected (hence the lack of pixelated mess data at the bottom), which is a bug. I've also changed the default file naming scheme: objects are saved as "something.vob.png" so that it's much harder to accidentally save over the level itself.

P#7939 2013-11-15 08:34 ( Edited 2013-11-15 13:34)

What is weirder is that I actually saved the LEVEL, not the object! And it was still overwritten like that! How does that even work?

Also:

You can probably beat this if you know a trick or two ;)

P#7940 2013-11-15 08:57 ( Edited 2013-11-15 15:14)
:: zep

You're right -- I just noticed the pngs do have "Voxatron Level" written at the top, which only happens when using "Save Level". Investigating..

P#7942 2013-11-15 15:24 ( Edited 2013-11-15 20:24)

A hack for floating debri could be done if you made debri as harmless monsters spitting sparks/smoke using the emitter ? . I guess its fine how it is. Also could you set the final bosses destroyed particles to disappear so that the turrets dont get stuck too high on the rubble?

P#7944 2013-11-15 22:46 ( Edited 2013-11-16 03:46)

The final boss is a "prop," so that is kinda hard to do. I was thinking that "Turret Ring" would've been an alternative for some time now, I'll try to get a level with the station having the turret rings as the sides instead of the turret holders being "built-in" with the prop. Don't worry, klink, I won't post it as another BBS level.

Your sparks/smoke suggestion gives me an idea, I'm going to try something...

P#7945 2013-11-15 23:42 ( Edited 2013-11-16 04:42)

Great. Now I have actually LOST my level. I found a fix for the turrets (I forgot to set the X and Y locks for the stationary ones!) but now I cannot even save that fix to my level. It was such a small fix that I could even take my level from the BBS, implement it, and THEN save it, but this bug is annoying the heck out of me. My level is now corrupted thanks to this bug and I cannot even find out myself why it is corrupted (I literally went to the bare minimum level design with no cutscenes, and it is still not saving correctly).

My previous backups aren't even saving correctly either, so now I can't even start from a previous save state, much less from scratch! I'm not even sure how I managed to save it in the first place now...

P#7946 2013-11-16 15:00 ( Edited 2013-11-16 20:00)
:: zep

Hey RC

I'm having trouble reproducing this bug. Could you give me a minimal set of steps to reproduce it from the BBS version? Do you mean the following will cause it?

  1. download https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/cposts/0/cpost7938.png
  2. open it and set X and Y lock flags on the turrets
  3. Save Level as some_other_name.png

-> does this give you 'empty' level file similar to the one you showed me?

P#7947 2013-11-17 17:04 ( Edited 2013-11-17 22:09)

I believe just steps 1 and 3 are sufficient, zep. I have ruled out file size and decided one of the objects has something buggy about it, though I cannot find out which one. You don't have to set the locks, It is an existing thing...

In the meantime, I have managed to work hard enough to find a way to defeat the bug: Remove most of the rooms. I managed to create another four-room adventure (1 cutscene, 3 actual levels) showing off more enemies:

I cannot recover the actual demo itself, but I can retrieve all it's enemies and props, and make a different one!

You can open this in the editor (I hope, I'm not sure if Photobucket changes the file type) and see a few more enemies.

I have also worked out a story: You are part of the Alpha Alliance, an elite task force that specializes their crafts on solo missions (Until zep introduces allied monsters :P) and reconnaissance. Recently, many factions have been acting power-hungry, mainly the Epsilon Empire, Gamma Guardians and Sigma Syndicate (I have yet to think of more). The Alpha Alliance was tasked to keep all these forces at bay, preventing a total galactic dictatorship from forming. The opposing factions are doing a good job of fighting eachother, but there are sometimes cases when things are going a little too well for one faction. This is when you come in.

Basically, You are peacekeepers. Other ships are not keeping peace. Destroy the non-peacefuls!

There have been reports of the Epsilon Empire making strategic advancements: Capturing two Gamma Stealth fighters, and Developing Missile Turrets. There have also been reports of mining ships going rogue. You are tasked to handle these three situations on your own. Best of luck!

P#7953 2013-11-18 08:23 ( Edited 2013-11-20 13:29)

I like this idea of various factions fighting each other and the player working for this kind of lawful/judge/mercenary group, but you shouldn't make the plot too complex or serious, keeping it very arcade-like or even silly is enough (imho anyway)

Also, that modifications are very nice, Starship Combat gonna be a fine little game on future versions of Voxatron :)

P#7955 2013-11-20 06:43 ( Edited 2013-11-20 11:43)

Well, It's going to be a big game (I am estimating maybe 350 KB? SHEESH! I think I may need to put this in parts!), but I am keeping it simple. So far it seems pretty simple as of right now, but I might throw in a plot twist or two. Also, I'm working on the Gamma Guardians mod right now, you have seen their "Stealth fighter" in the Epsilon mod, they are basically half-biotic, half-crystalline beings which were born in a nebulae, distinguished by their purple color. Any ideas for them will be welcome!

P#7957 2013-11-20 08:48 ( Edited 2013-11-20 13:48)

Haha. It is really interesting.
I guess after it was dead, and to solve the problem the stain remains.

P#7963 2013-11-30 05:55 ( Edited 2013-11-30 10:55)

It struck again.

My Gamma Guardians mod has new enemies in it and could be considered complete if I stopped there, but I didn't. I tried to add another enemy, and the bug happened again. I have, however, scored a victory and managed to actually save my level the right way, so expect the Gamma Guardian mod soon!

P#7975 2013-12-03 11:58 ( Edited 2013-12-03 16:58)

Something has been detected in the Gamma Quadrant, it seems to be a warship of theirs, poised to attack one of our outposts. Breach their defence escorts and destroy it!

P#7976 2013-12-03 15:56 ( Edited 2013-12-03 20:56)
:: zep

Alright, this bug is fixed now for the next update (0.2.10). The piece of code that compresses the level into the pixelly mess you can see at the bottom of levels was failing for large levels. Bah.

The only work-around for now is just to avoid very large animations. While testing, I could reproduce the bug with 10 80x80x40 animations with 100 frames each (around 250MB of voxels). You can avoid a lot of size by just keeping the animations flat if they don't actually need the extra depth -- 80x80x4 would be fine in that case.

Thanks again for the heroic testing! You really took a hit for future users (; _ ;)

P#7977 2013-12-03 16:21 ( Edited 2013-12-03 21:51)

No problem zep, I am skilled in endurance and diligence, after all.

Anywho, I managed to quickly put together a mod for the Sigma Syndicate, who are a race of shadowfolk from the 5th dimension. Let me warn you, this one will be VERY HARD!

A Sigma Avatar has been detected on the offensive! If allowed to attack either Epsilon or Gamma territories, massive losses will occur and the Sigma Syndicate will gain a massive Territorial Advantage! We cannot allow this, so you are being sent to destroy it!

P#8003 2013-12-05 06:59 ( Edited 2013-12-05 11:59)

Well, seems like you play alot with monster editor. the boss is kind of medium. It has too much health, it's just a pattern and gets annoying. Eye attack is easy to dodge you stay in middle and you are safe. sometimes there's too many ship around, because at the start we can't hit the " ship spawner " because of the arms.

P#8005 2013-12-05 13:27 ( Edited 2013-12-05 18:27)

I agree, Death Panther needs a bit more work. He is supposed to be one of those "Super Hard" Bosses with many tricks up his disconnected sleeves and super annoying to kill. But to be honest, some things are still broken about him. He is an actual boss, not like the skiff or that "Anomaly" from the Gamma Guardian mod (Purple face level, last room), those are kinda Minibosses that will be revisited later in the full game. I originally intended for Death Panther's hands to thrust towards the player (Like trying to smash the player ship), but it seems like forced movement is not supported in the monster editor, so I had to settle for "Horizontally moving arms that only shoot at you." Most bosses are only patterns, anyway, you just have to find the "sweet spot"

P#8006 2013-12-05 18:48 ( Edited 2013-12-05 23:48)

Oh man death panther was fun!

P#8007 2013-12-05 19:04 ( Edited 2013-12-06 00:04)

RandomCommander, did you get past the large animation issue? I've played your levels and they seem to have very nice and detailed animations so I assumed you found a nice work around for crashing!!

I'm asking since I'm having a crash issue as well with one of my animations :/

P#8018 2013-12-08 21:39 ( Edited 2013-12-09 02:39)

As zep said, the only workaround so far is to cut short on the large animations. Also, make the borders fit the animation, for example, if you have a animation that is 5x8x10, and your borders are 5x10x12, you should change the borders to 5x8x10.

I accidentally had most of my cutscene animations larger than they should, way larger, and when i trimmed the size, everything was able to be saved.

P#8019 2013-12-09 06:45 ( Edited 2013-12-09 11:45)

Does anyone have any ideas for the future of Starship Combat? I'm going to work on it more once 0.2.10 comes out due to it being a big game project (too big to save properly right now, not taking any chances :P).

I'm looking for any type of suggestion, story-wise, graphics or gameplay (preferably what you want to see for this game when 0.2.10 comes out), etc...

P#8183 2014-01-10 08:33 ( Edited 2014-01-10 13:33)

Well...

More enemys.
longer story.
better environment ( stars you know what I mean )
better graphics.

That would make a great game !

P#8194 2014-01-10 10:05 ( Edited 2014-01-10 15:05)
:: Kling

the character could be a bounty hunter or a helpful savior looking for someone long lost in space, some context in general would be nice.
as for enviroments you could add the insides of a star base as a map or a distant planet to enhance the enviroment.
the graphics are fine for me, please keep it going.

P#8195 2014-01-10 11:13 ( Edited 2014-01-10 16:13)

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