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Cart [#38028#] | Copy | Code | 2017-03-04 | Link
16

New in beta 3: Distortion screen effect when hit!

Managed to get some extra cart space by converting from 2 spaces to tabs, and then used the new found space for this new useless effect. It looks cool though! (A demo cart for the distortion effect can be found here.)

There is still some things i a unhappy about, such as chains and multi kills not being visually represented, but i will have to carve out a good chunk of fat from the game in order to fit it in. I'll get to that eventually.

Original post


My first ever Pico 8 game.

I've been staring at this thing for so long, that i no longer have any idea whether it's actually any good or not. Regardless, it's done now, so i might as well upload it.

===== Changelog / Previous versions =====

b3 :: 2017-03-04


Added a distortion effect when hit by an enemy
Added distortion effect to gameover screen
Trimmed some chars

Cart [#38028#] | Copy | Code | 2017-03-04 | Link
16

b2 :: 2017-02-24


added chains and multi kills ((10 + chain) * multikill)
green points are now affected by chains (100 + chain * 10)
increased green point suction radius from 32 to 40
updated game over screen to show chains and multi kills
removed fuel meter from UI
removed some unneeded code
fixed the weird ampersand in the logo, and updated label image
made enemies ever so slightly slower
now starts with 3 enemies instead of 2

Cart [#37791#] | Copy | Code | 2017-02-24 | Link
16

b1 :: 2017-02-20


Public release

Cart [#37635#] | Copy | Code | 2017-02-20 | Link
16

a1-a8 :: 2017-02-07


Not available

arcade infinite simple
P#37636 2017-02-20 09:13

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Really fun, especially with a gamepad!

P#37640 2017-02-20 11:19

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Well, worry not mate, this is outstanding work!

I check this BBS a lot and always find all sorts of quality around.... but this....

Hugely impressed with the gameplay which is great fun. I love the feel you have managed to achieve in terms of the fluidity of the controls/player motion/inertia, and also the behavior of the chasing swarm... it is all really quite brilliant!

I'm a novice working on my first game but from my perspective your code seems extremely readable and well structured.

Even the bloody music is polished and the splash screens etc are very nicely done.

And for your first Pico-8 game... blimey... fair play! Heading back in for another run!
Cheers ;)

edit: boosting through the tiniest of gaps, grabbing the score bonus and then spinning to kill a few enemies at once..... :) this is brilliant twitch gaming!

P#37664 2017-02-20 19:37

::

@tepuitrouble thanks :)

@jonasan phew, i was so worried that the run away, turn around, shoot, turn around again and run gameplay would be too counterintuitive. Polishing a turd is one of my nightmares, so while i knew that the game was quite polished, i had no idea if it would actually work on a gameplay level.

P#37672 2017-02-20 21:50

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still playing! :) fairly well addicted.

I genuinely think F&B is an excellent little arcade game, which I can feel myself getting better at all the time.... just as it should be.

Top score now sitting at 2030.... which has taken some practice... I was bloody determined to beat 2000 though! It gets really hectic over about 1500 points.... again, just as it should.

So, my first bit of beta feedback would be score related really, I think there is the potential to offer score incentives for skillful play. I like the idea of encouraging this sort of play, and it might help the early game stay interesting once you have got better at the game, as well as providing alternative ways to compare different runs.

Three possibilities:

1) I have found myself trying to bait the enemies into position so I can kill more than one in one shot. This has been fun and perhaps you could score 10 for the first enemy killed with each shot, 20 for the second, 30 for the third and so on.... 4 at once is the best I think I've managed so far.

2) Another possibility would be to give a chain score bonus to reward accuracy, increasing the score for each enemy killed by 1 for every enemy hit in a row without missing a shot. Once you missed the bonus would reset and you'd be back to 10 per kill and starting a new chain.

3) And I think something similar would also be good for collecting the green score bonus items in succession and not missing one. Perhaps incrementing the value of the pickup by 50 for each successive bonus you get without missing one (resetting to 100 when you miss one).

Perhaps, if you did this then the game over screen could show the max enemies killed in one shot, and the max enemy and bonus chains achieved this run.... and keep track of them as different types of high score. Oh, and thinking about it, I've tried a couple of pacifist runs and quite enjoyed those too, so perhaps the game could recognise if you've not shot at all that run, and then store your score in a separate pacifist high score table?

Not sure what you'll think, and perhaps you've had similar ideas.... but I reckon this kind of scoring model (or something like it of your making!) could add a little more depth to the experience. Obviously, if the scoring was higher the difficulty would have to ramp up a little more slowly, which in turn would lengthen the game experience without diminishing the interest level throughout.

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear what you think, also... what is your high score as the creator?

Thanks for a great game... one of the best on PICO-8 in my opinion!

P#37700 2017-02-22 10:07

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The core gameplay is super fun! I think it'd be neat to have more kinds of powerups. I also like jonasan's chain/combo scoring idea.

P#37734 2017-02-22 23:16

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This game put a smile on my face. Well done! Can't wait to try with a gamepad.

P#37739 2017-02-23 00:55

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@ianh @Jamish glad you like it! :)

@jonasan

>I genuinely think F&B is an excellent little arcade game

:3

1) I see two possible implementations of this. The first is a simple combo multiplier which increase by 1 for every enemy hit, and then takes increasingly shorter time to deplete, although i think this could be too easily confused with chain hits, and isn't really what you proposed. The second is counting how many enemies is hit during the attack state, and multiply that with the enemy points (first hit, chain is 1, points 10, 1x10=10, second hit, 2x10=20, etc.) I like this quite a lot, and it seems easy enough to implement, and i don't think it would require extra UI work.

2) I like this a lot. I have been thinking for a long time how i can deincentivize spamming the fire button, and this might just be it. I think by implementing the multikill system, this should also be fairly easy to do, and would only require a small UI tweak (adding +1, +4, etc to where the point text goes up, if that makes sense.) I especially like the addition instead of multiplication, since i have always felt that other arcade games had too much "score creep."

3) I'm not too sure about this. While i think that green points should give enough points to be sought after, i don't want it to be something that you must always pick up, as it would probably encourage dodging enemies every time a point pops up, effectively halting the gameplay every... 7? seconds. Hmm. Although the value of it would drop the longer you play (if i do the chain thing), making it less desirable. Maybe combining it with the chain would be the answer...

>Perhaps, if you did this then the game over screen could show the max enemies killed in one shot, and the max enemy and bonus chains achieved this run.... and keep track of them as different types of high score.

Man, the ideas you have! Yes, yes, i like this. I'm not too sure about labeling enemies killed, multikills, and chains as a highscore, maybe a statistic instead, but still saving enemies killed, multikills, and chains related to the highest score.
I would probably have to make a highscore/statistics page for all this though.

>Oh, and thinking about it, I've tried a couple of pacifist runs and quite enjoyed those too, so perhaps the game could recognise if you've not shot at all that run, and then store your score in a separate pacifist high score table?

I mean, if i am making a highscore page, this would also have to come with it.
Thinking about it, I would probably also have to add some kind of bonus to the points like you said, even though i just said i was against it...

>if the scoring was higher the difficulty would have to ramp up a little more slowly, which in turn would lengthen the game experience without diminishing the interest level throughout.

I don't think i understand what you mean by this. Why would it need to go more slowly? I'm not opposed to the idea, i just want to understand what you mean.

>what is your high score as the creator?

I am afraid you have me beat. My highscore is 1810.

Some really great ideas. Wish i had thought about some of this myself.
Now i just need to trim some of the fat, so i have room to put this in...

I also have a question for you: How useful do you find the fuel meter (top right)? Do you look at it at all? I've never really liked it. It seems awkwardly placed, and it takes up quite a bit of space, which i could use for all the score ideas.

Oh, by the way, there is some secrets on the splash screen and game over screen. (They aren't really that interesting, so i will give a big hint: Player 2 keys.)

P#37750 2017-02-23 10:45

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So then, glad you like some of those ideas :)

I think the multi-kill and chain ideas would work nicely as we have been discussing, and those implementations you suggest sound like they would be good [the later idea for #1 and number #2].

However, I was thinking about it last night and it struck me that as a possible alternative you could combine ideas 1 and 2 into one more cohesive mechanic.

What about if instead of multiplying the score for multi-kills (e.g. 1st - 10, 2nd - 20, 3rd - 30 etc), you increase the amount the chain bonus is incremented by for multi-kill shots.

So for example, each successive shot that scores a kill gains that +1 to the chain bonus.... but if you pull off more than one kill with one shot then the second enemy killed adds +2 to the chain bonus, the third +3 and so on. The next shot scores a +1 increment as normal for just one kill, or the same improved bonuses for multi-kills..... and as before, the chain bonus resets when you miss.

Hope that makes sense. This way you reward accuracy and not spamming the attack button by implementing the chain bonus, and you add further incentive to bait enemies skillfully for multi-kills in order to jack that bonus up even faster!

This would also mean that later in the game when there are more enemies - and therefore multi-kills are easier to pull off - it will be easier to quickly recover a reasonable chain bonus after an unfortunate missed shot.

What do you reckon?

I think you have a reasonable point on #3... its not ideal that the player feels compelled to get those bonuses at all costs all of the time.

However, i agree with you that a chain bonus mechanic on the green points might be effective for the pacifist runs..... how about a seperate chain bonus on the green points, say 10 (?) per pickup... that only accumulates while you have not fired at all that run and is disabled once you attack for the first time?

This could then operate as a nice system to spice up pacifist runs... and the first time you notice this alternative chain and how it functions it would suggst to the player that there is another way of playing the game that could be fun... i.e. the pacifist approach. This way you dont have to advertise this chain or the idea of playing without firing, and it would almost operate like a hidden second gameplay mode the player can discover.

Not sure about this idea, what do you think?

ok, so let me try and explain what i meant about the difficulty curve... i have to admit that i was under the impression that the number of chasing enemies was increasing as my score increased (felt like that was the case whether i was shooting everyone or playing pacifist for the green points). I figured it was increasing the max enemy count by 1 every 100 points i scored, or something like that :)

Turns out, having tested this properly now, that the number of enemies increases over time - regardless of how you score.

My point was in relation to that perception really, that if you were going to impliment any of these possible ways of scoring more quickly then the number of enemies was going to increase even quicker and reduce the general length of a run (i.e. survivability going down faster!). My idea had been to perhaps increase the threshold to 150 pts scored for MAX_ENEMIES +=1 .... keeping the game length the same or even extending it slightly.

Ofcourse, now i see that the spwan rate is based on the length of time a run continues this has no sense..... hence why you didn't get what i meant! :)

However, i do think that if you do any kind of implementation of the score bonus ideas we have been talking about then the interest level - even in the early game - will increase and the length of the game could easily be increased at least slightly (i.e. the timer system by which the number of enemies increases could be lengthened). But this would need to be tested and tweaked once the scoring was in place.... anyway, sorry for the confusion.

Regarding the fuel meter... i guess it helped to initially teach me that my weapons and boost had a cool down, how long that cool down was and that they both used up the same energy. But to be honest, the way you have done the player character so that when he has no energy to act he is 'greyed out'/darker basically does the same job.... and to be honest, once i'd learnt this i never really looked at the fuel meter again. Pretty sure i would have picked this up with only the player sprite darkening and the way the mechanics worked... and with any kind of extended play i think the cooldown time is something that you learn, it becomes an instinctive rythm! So I reckon you can loose the fuel meter without any issues :)

One more question right now.... during development did you give much thought to any ideas by which the player could gain more health during the game to extend a run? Even asteroids had a extra life system when you broke certain score thresholds and it provided incentive for players to get better and thereby extend their playtime. Did you try anything like this?

P#37763 2017-02-24 04:36

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@jonasan

>So then, glad you like some of those ideas :)

I honestly felt like my game was done before, and the only thing missing was small adjustments and maybe bug fixes, but your ideas compelled me to try and make it just that little bit better. So thank you :)

> ... more than one kill with one shot then the second enemy killed adds +2 to the chain bonus, the third +3 and so on.

I just tried this... the idea sounded better than it felt. It removes the immediate reward for killing 4+ enemies in a single attack, and makes it that much worse when missing a shot, or getting hit (i made it so the chain reset when hit). And i actually found it harder to multi kill later in the game, due to the speed increase (speed increases every time an enemy is spawned, when they get fast, the bounce more, meaning they are more scattered, and harder to group), so the point were my chain was highest was the first minute of game time.
I liked the immediacy of multi kills better with the first proposal, and god, it feels so good getting a chain of 40, and multikilling 4 enemies (formular: (10 + chain) * multikill). So many points!

>separate chain bonus on the green points, say 10 (?) per pickup [on pacifist runs?]

I'm still playing with the idea of a pacifist run, and how to do it. I would need to make some adjustments behind the scenes for it to work, and since i don't have much space left (15318/15360 compressed bytes currently!), i think this will have to be sidelined for now. But yes, something like that would make the most sense, and i can reuse some of the UI.

>... and the first time you notice this alternative chain ...

But would you? The first enemies spawn instantly, while the first point spawn after 8 seconds. You would have killed at least a couple of enemies before the point spawned. If i ever do a pacifist run, i think i will have to redo my main menu (this also makes it easier to do a score- and how to screen).

>Turns out, having tested this properly now, that the number of enemies increases over time - regardless of how you score.

Yes, they spawn every 10 second ;)

>... interest level - even in the early game - will increase and the length of the game could easily be increased at least slightly ...

Agreed. It also got harder to do multi kills, so i had to tweak some numbers. The early game was also too slow, so it now spawn 3 enemies at the start. This should make the difficulty curve a little flatter.

>Regarding the fuel meter ...

Sorry, already scrapped it. The UI proved to be too cluttered with the score, chain, and fuel, so it had to go :P

>... ideas by which the player could gain more health ...

I have actually thought about combo points and bonus lives quite a lot during development, but i couldn't really agree on something i liked, and i wasn't sure how i would even implement something like chains, so i never fleshed my ideas out, fully. And at some point, i just decided on a "minimum viable product", which is now the beta 1. But since you have mentioned it, i have been thinking about how to do the bonus lives. Should it spawn as an item? (increases code by a lot, and also makes you compelled to run after it, losing out on points and maybe even get damaged on your way.) Should it just increase the health pool by 1 after X amount of points? Maybe timed? I will have to play with this idea some more before i commit on something.

Beta 2 should be done soonish, maybe sometime today.

P#37770 2017-02-24 06:48

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I honestly felt like my game was done before, and the only thing missing was small adjustments and maybe bug fixes, but your ideas compelled me to try and make it just that little bit better. So thank you :)

Excellent !!

I agree with your points above, and I'm really pleased you have decided to push the development that little bit further.

Looking forward to playing the next release and seeing how your new score mechanics feel! ;)

P#37773 2017-02-24 08:30

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@jonasan

There i did it. Barely just made it by today (in my time zone), but i did it.

P#37792 2017-02-24 18:06

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Very nicely done Xderial!

I think that this game is now absolutely brilliant!

The changes you have made in this version are really good and have put the finishing touches to this already excellent game.

I love the way they chain and multi-kill scores have turned out... the intensity and concentration involved to pull off a high scoring run is now a truly absorbing and hugely enjoyable experience.

Chains and baiting for multi-kills are now very much the main focus when I play, and the green points have become much less of a target and something I will quickly grab if the opportunity is there. The slightly increased attract radius on those feels really good, very nice mate.

3 enemies from the beginning also works better and I have been enjoying going for that perfect one shot multi-kill of those first three to start a good run!

The feeling when you are mid-run, have a massive chain going, and are still taking the extra risks to try and get the huge scores for multi-kills just feels so damn good! Constantly pushing the risk reward barrier to push your high score even higher!

Speaking of which, my best run so far on the new version....

;)

Thanks so much for this great game and all the hard work that has gone into it!

P#37816 2017-02-25 13:31

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@jonasan

I'm glad you are enjoying it, and damn, you just keep beating my high scores! My best is 5973.

By the way, with a chain of 72, greens award 820 points equaling a multi kill of 4; so they are very much still valuable.

P#37827 2017-02-25 18:28

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blimey, hadn't spotted that you'd linked greens into the chain system as well, sweet ;)

P#37828 2017-02-25 18:48

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Yes! Finally beat your high score, @jonasan. I can now reclaim my honor.

(that image turned out way too small...)

P#40470 2017-05-11 16:34

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