Awaken - finaly finished! Ver. 1.0 aviable

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
New dev. diary entry, this time in form of video. If you like what you see please consider supporting this project by liking its facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/AwakenUnderwater

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypt8CjFHbgw

Thanks for your time & support!

Tryzna

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Hello again! Im back to bring you latest news from Awaken developement!;-) I ve got new teaser, this time showcasing Kraken squad members and their abilities and game got facebook page and twitter profile as well. So if you would like to support this project you can follow whitch one you prefer or even both!;-)
No, seriously, if you like the project and would like to give me at least a bit of moral support i would really appreciate following game fb or twitter.

Now to the news themselves, new teaser can be watched at: http://youtu.be/gxaDmNMoAFE
Game facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AwakenUnderwater
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LurkersEye

Thanks for reading & support and see you by next update!

Elder

  • Posts: 8
Looks cool dude keep it up!

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
@Elder: Thanks buddy!

Hello again everyone! After little break im back with another game journal update!

Right now im working on graphics reworks(again)as my ability to combine pixels in to somethink pleasant to my eyes improves every week. Thats great on one side, but on the other one im creating pices whitch do not fit together with old ones visualy.
Thats why i started 3rd graphic overhaul as i found out there are no shortus whitch lead to success, only hard work and endles polishing of this little game as while i dont have any ambitions with it(sure i dream about werid, unprobable scenarios time to time)i still want to make a good game if not better than that. And certainly i do not want to rush anythink just to release a playable demo as doing this mistake once(flash demo)was enought.

All right and what happened during last week? I started tweaking the gameplay to found out how to make game fun to play. After a lot o thinking and lot of mistakes i finaly have "somethink" whitch plays really promising and finaly, this is first version where i think the game plays really well. Still lot of work ahead of me as i had to proceed careful, pay attention to all the details as i found out designing entertaining level in shmup game is not just about placing wawes of enemies at random, expecting the fun ll come out of nowhere(i really tought it ll work somehow like that in the begining of this project). 

While at it, im adding little details, like drones rotating around players ship, reworking all behavior patterns for enemies as i belive every detail counts and while i thought i can live without some features when i was starting with Awaken developement, and belived they are not essential for overall impresion from the game, now i know this is not a way i would like to go.




This is crazy - how far you've come, and what you have managed to achieve as just one man. Keep it up dude! I'm inspired.

Just out of curiosity, what is your day job bro?

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Thanks man!  And more additions ll come in further updates. For example have a look on reworked enemies for first level or background set for second one:-) To answer your question about day job im humble salesman in whisky store, so nothing special 8 hours at work every day for under average wage, and then couple of hours spent on game when i get home.

Tbh, its not that time consuming as i looks. About 2 hours a day in average since late february may seem a lot, but 80% of work are mostly graphics reworks as when you start with anythink you tend to improve fast till kind of average level. Actualy, thats a great thing but in case of game developement its the reason of most work on first project as i have to rework everything when i improve by some ammount to have all pieces fitting together.  But all of that could be skipped if i would have more experience, so hopefuly developing next project ll be much faster.

Again, thanks for noting this project and for nice comment!

EDIT:Oh, and while at it, here is new short unedited gameplay video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6BFkeazr3g




Haha i know exactly what you mean! As I am just starting out, it seems everyday I learn one new thing that makes me want to go back and re-do all of my previous work. We will get there in time man!

I'm curious to how you design and produce your levels. Do you place enemies directly in the scene editor? Or do you spawn them procedurally (ie. semi-random?) Or do you place invisible 'spawners' and have them spawn different types / patterns of enemies at different points? I'm just intrigued as I have been trying to figure out how I would do it, as a kind of mental exercise.

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Morning! Well, lets start with game window dimensions - 640x480. Scene dimensions are 1040x840. Camera is pointing in to the center of the scene so i have nice little playground with stripes of space up/above and to the sides and thats my spawn area.

I tried many ways how to handle spawning and found this method is working best for me and my game.

First time i tried creating a level like a huge rectangle screen and place all enemies in to it and have them comming down below slowly to engage player, triggering their behavioral patterns when they enter screen, and as this was comfortable for me when designing level, it did not worked well for a game in terms of performance as when the level started i ve got about 5 fps and was slowly increasing as you were reducing enemies.

That was not right as and as wise friend of mine advised me to have always 50fps+ and if i dont, then something is wrong with my game.  I had to find another solution to handle enemies.

I created new scene, as i described in the begining and started spawning enemies using "Do after X seconds" blocks and it works really well. It takese some extra time, but extra performance is worth it.

I tried some randomization and spawners but realized they dont work as carefuly designed level by hand ll alway play better and if you want players to compete for high scores you cant have ammount how much score they ll be able to gain randomized by computer.
And even more important thing why randomization is bad bad in shmup game like this is that experienced players of this genere want to learn the level, know all the bullet patterns and all the enemy waves and then they are able to make perfect runs to dominate high score table. And you dont want to take all of this off them.

To sum above up, randomized enemy spawning does not work in most cases as it takes away most important aspect of the game(competing in score table)becouse suddenly not the best player ll have the best score, but the luckiest one. However i can imagine it could work in kind of "infinity mode" and simillar additions to the main gameplay.

Well, if you wanted to go back to the old way of designing the level by hand, there is a way you could do it easily. It could be a good way to prototype levels maybe, or a way to smash out levels quickly if you wanted to add level packs etc.

If you make the scene a big rectangle like before, you can lay out 'Regions' (they come in different shapes, but you'll just need rectangles again probably). Then you can reference these regions from within behaviours, eg. If 'player' enters 'Region 1' spawn 'enemy' at x: y: etc. etc. So you would essentially have the whole level overlaid with these different regions which act as 'triggers' for different events to occur.

Also, a way around that fps drop that you mentioned before would be to use spawners - I think you misunderstand slightly what I meant when I said that before. They dont have to spawn randomly, for example. Lets say instead of placing one of your enemy 'squid' characters directly on the game map, you would simply have a dummy actor (no graphic, no physics etc.) with a behaviour in it that says 'create actor type (variable) at x and y of (self) then kill (self).'. You can then lay a bunch of these down wherever you want enemies to spawn, at a far far cheaper CPU cost than placing the actual actors themselves there. You see what I mean?

I'm totally stoked to play the actual game when it's ready dude! And it's inspiring for me to see someone else who is learning along the way and doing everything themselves.

Here's the regions tutorial if you are interested:

http://www.stencyl.com/help/view/regions/

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Hey! Thanks for suggestion, regions could be used, however for my purpose it looks more complicated than current way im spawning the enemies with just a little benefit.

It seems to me its just a matter of everyones taste and there are more possibilities how to handle this.
The main advantage of using creating actors after certain ammount of time since creation of scene for me is ability to easy sync the wawe of enemies with music as for each music track i have a diagram when drums kicks in, when chorus begin, when some sample starts to play and that combined with ability to control everything acurate based on time suits me best for now.

Well hopefuly gameplay ll not dissapoint, but current version plays really great and that combined with enhanced graphics im putting in should create at least good game. Lot of ideas and improvements ll be implemented over this weekend and while my vacation begins by end of next week and i plan to spend it working on the game then the release of test version should be close.

Again thanks for your interest!

And for everyone else, the game just been featured briefly in indie game magazine at: http://indiegamemag.com/screenshot-weekly-laser-loving-underwater-artists/

Awesome man looking forward to it! And that syncing to the music idea should be really cool  8)

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Long time with no update! Time to fix it, however it ll keep it very brief as i dont even have time to write updates as work on Awaken is getting more and more intense as im preparing public alpha version where i want to gather initial feedback.

What was done on the game in past few weeks?:
- 1st level and all of its elements done
- Main menu, mission select screen and all of its neceseary elements for testing purposes done
- lot of difficulty balancing and tweaking
- solved ogg sound issues(at least i hope they are solved)
- all projectiles now creates bubbling bullet trail to add at least a bit of underwater atmosphere(still a lot to be done on creating underwater feel)
- managed to make quit game button work!;-)
-reworked scoring system and added bullet grazing
-experimented a bit with bullet time but found it disturbing

Still needs to be done before alpha release:
- disable ESC key to dont switch game from fullscreen mode to windowed(anyone got idea?)
- figure out why multimedia keys(volume up/down) on certain keyboards make the game freeze(again, anyone got idea?)
- make the gameplay even more enjoyable experience as its ok now, but i want it to be super exciting!:-)

Want to see some of the mentioned elements of game in motion? Theres nothing easier than checking latest coub videos at:

Bullet trails(turn HD on): http://coub.com/view/2o8p4
Menus: http://coub.com/view/2nufs

Oh, and if you are interested in getting frequent updates whats going on in my head and its related to Awaken, then dont forget to follow me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/LurkersLair

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Awaken just started campaign on Epocu, if you like the game and would like to support me, please consider following the link to: http://epocu.com/campaigns/awaken-underwater-odyssey/
It ll cost you just few clicks and ll help my project a lot.

Thanks for your support & interest!

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Hello everyone,

As i promised my self i ll take a break on sundays, heres just a quick update in form of  new dev progress video aviable on youtbue : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e0T6DL2D_k

If interested in more in depth breakdown of latest additions you can check latest news on indieDB: http://www.indiedb.com/games/awakenunderwater-odyssey/news/underwater-odyssey-big-milestone-reached

Thanks for your interest and have a grat weekend!