Awaken - finaly finished! Ver. 1.0 aviable

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Hi Bombini!
Unfortunately not at the moment, but i plan to finish first mission rework next weekend, so maybe there ll be version without menus and stuff, just to let players test how the gameplay feels. 

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Hello everyone! I know, i ve been bad for not writing update for more than month now and im sorry about it. However i used that saved time to work even harder on the game and pushed it closer towards the release! Many game elements was reworked and the game has now three (almost) finished levels.



If you are reading my updates regulary then it looks like there was not much done on the game in past month as first two missions were allready done, but as iam not a robot i still need some free time and in this free time(about one hour/day)i started playing SHMUP games and while playing them i realized my game is bit different and unfortunately not as enjoyable gaming experience as well known vertical shooter games.

Thats why i started thinking what can i do about it and was checking game "components" one by one and found out the problem is level design and thats why i delayed as i started reworking all enemy spawning scripts and even most of enemy behaviors. Fortunately, the time spent on this was worth the effort as first two missions are joy to play and i belive they offer well balanced and intense action. Third mission still got its flaws, but i belive i ll fix all the issues till end of this week and start working on fourth and final mission of the game.



What else i added to the game? I changed the Kraken squad mechanic towards something more common(again i felt like reinventing wheel)and you can now fly your submarine in two modes. First mode is solo mode where you can zoom around pretty fast while firing your weapons in normal mode and you are allowed to fire torpedoes with aoe damage effect.
The second mode is squad mode when you have your squad mates flying by your sides proividing additional fire power however slowing down your movement and probhibiting use of torpedoes as well.
I took extra care to balance these two modes and make them as equal as possible however what i can see from play testing is that squad mode is more favorable for casual players or for begginers as it provide extra dps all time, however solo mode is great if you know what you do and torpedo hits in right time can be devastating for incoming enemy waves. Sure you can switch between these two anytime by just pressing the button and memorizing of missions and knowing whats effective and when to switch modes ll be key for scoring the top score.



Unfortunately im not sure about scoring mechanism at all and its pretty sure i ll have to rework it a bit, but im leaving it for next month as i want to build all the missions first and then i can always readjust with ease to fit with new scoring. I want new scoring to be as easy as possible as i realized most of the casual players playing famous shmup games dont even know there is some deep scoring mechanism running in background and its a shame as it can add another layer of fun to the gameplay. Unfortunately most of the shmup games fails to explain how scoring works to the majority of its players and im willing to take this challenge and im currently working on something that ll be clear to everone on first playthrough while providing extra fun while trying to compete for high score.

Much more happened in past month, but as this is allready dreaded wall of text i ll end it right here and save some of the info for next updates as im intorducing monday/tuesday breaks for my self and they provide ideal time window for writing updates and sharing info with you.   

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Ok, above is what i wrote about the game at dev. blog and indieDB.  Now its time to add somethink extra for this place;-)

Another reworked stuff are the bosses. Their previevous versions were kind of OK, but i felt like they deserve extra care to turn them in to enjoyable combat encounter. While working on them i created dozens of more or less complex bullet patterns and finaly learned how to use custom events so now my possibilites when creating bosses are almost limitless as boss/pattern scipts are now well structured, easy to read even week after i created them and easy to modify. 

You can check preview of boss fight at the end of third mission here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7R5KSE3-WE

Game can be now controlled by xbox360 controller and plays great with it. Transition to latest stencyl build took me a whole day as i had to fix a lot of stuff, like reimport my custom font as latest stencyl build does not like .otf. The hardest part i had to fix that made me desperate for  hour or two was fixing my "code" as i had all ingame colisions wrong and my forehead was getting realy sweaty untill i discovered kill last colided actor block whitch solved my problem.

New stencyl ability to play with background layers on the go is great addition whitch opened another dimension of posiblities for me and now finaly all my background layers whitch are scrolling on Y axis as you fly through the level change their perspective on X axis as you move around.  Now i can switch layers or change their properities on the fly as well so i can create a sense of flying somewhere really easy by just covering whole scene by something like curtain(cloud layer right below ship for example)for a while, quickly rearange layers below, let the curtain go and here we are, we are in different looking location.

Sure there were ways how to do this before, but now it can be done with code blocks really easy and i think stencyl team made realy great job with latest updates.

My work schedule now is to finish all four levels till end of the month whitch will leave me a month of time to work on menu interface and to do some testing before release.

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Bombini

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  • Posts: 1271
You can check preview of boss fight at the end of third mission here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7R5KSE3-WE

Wow! That is colorful :)
Keep up the good work!

Small thing: I love the yellow skull thingy in the start screen but it doenst fit 100% to the look of the game (being that pixeled).


Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Thx Bombini! Yes, i have to agree with you and i ll definetly try to redraw the skull, unfortunately my drawing skills are quite limited and im afraid i ll not be able to draw it better.

Anyway, game last mission is almost finished, missing exactly one wave of enemies and bullet patterns for last boss. Looks like i ll start working on menu interface during weekend and start preparing beta.

And while at it i ll add couple of pictures from weekend:






Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
After weekend of hard work the main menu is finaly working as intended. Still needs to put in some additional details like options and quit buttons but i ll leave that for final polishing phase whitch is hopefuly just weeks away from now.  Im glad i managed to squeze everything i wanted in to one screen and dont have maze o sub menus. On the left side of the screen you can pick the mission you want to fly and on the right is ship module selection whitch is the place where you can configure your ship to fit your taste and play style.


Bombini

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  • Posts: 1271
This looks ver nice!
I love the details like the working crew and the minimal lights.

UI: i dont have the feeling that it is cluttered. Good job.
Where do i see the price of the ships and modules though?

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Thanks for kind comment & im glad you like the menu! Im still planning to add more details like working repair drones,  more ground crew and robots running around and simillar stuff.

Thare are no prices of modules, once you unlock them(had them all unlocked for demonstration purpose on gif above) you can switch between ship modules as you want.  I had a model based around ingame currency, but soon enought i realized i want to encourage players to experiment with ship configurations.


Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Hello everyone! I dont want to just copypaste news from indieDB so if you are interested to read about current situation in more detail you are more than welcome to follow link http://goo.gl/7zmdpc

For those who dont like reading how im struggling with english i have short version and couple of pictures as well. Game is almost finished, its missing mostly simple stuff like quit button, volume controls, fullscreen toggle and simillar more or less important features. The only "big" thing left to do is Onslaught mode. Its kind of random infinite sruvival level where players goal is to survive and score highest possible score.

Right now im taking much needed break till end of the week as im currently exhausted by my job so i can only work on weekends till new year, but im gonna use that time to make final polishing touches and prepare big and fat demo for you and release it, probably 1.1.2015

After demo release im going to spend one month to fix bugs that might appear, fine tune difficulty and finaly do some marketing, make proper game trailer and contact youtubers covering this subgenere.

Hope you are excited this journey is finaly near end and demo will be worth downloading to you;-)

See you then!




Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Yes, im finaly sure it will happen. Everything except onslaught mode and few details is ready for release. By details i mean stuff like "flashing images warning", re check everything again and setup itch page for the game.  If i ll not be hitted by a car or something simmilar happens the game demo ll be aviable next weekend both on itch and indieDB. Beta version whitch ll contain everything the game has to offer except onslaught couple of days latter, probably 1.1.

I ve spent whole weekend by polishing the game, adding dreaded option buttons, creating help screen, pause, players death. Lot of little stuff that had to be done but i ve been always pushing them away until now.

See you by the release!


Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Hello friends! Finaly, after 10 months of hard work i can present you demo of almost finished game  and early access. Its still not completely finished, but demo contains enought content to give you idea what is this game about, how its played and most importantly it should answer the question: "is it fun?"



I must say past 10 months been quite a ride as i have learned a lot, met some interesting people, overcame deep depressions and finaly, finished something. Well, talking about "finished" product is a bit early right now, but im sure i ll be able to implement the last game mode, tweak difficulty and rework options screen no matter what. 

If you are unsure you want to go and download the demo you can watch the new trailer to give you idea here:  http://youtu.be/eeYke7vvl4k

Along with the demo there is beta version aviable as well. If you like the demo you can support the project by purchasing the beta version of the game whitch contains everything except Onslaught game mode and one ship module. To make everything clear, all beta purchasers will receive link for full game when released.

As mentioned earliier, the game is still not finished, but i feel like huge boulder felt off my shoulders and now i can breathe freely again and switch to more "casual" work mode as i have to wait for feedback for couple of days anyway. But still, i would like to thank to everyone who commented here as Awaken never was great looking, original, or anticipated game and every comment made here mattered to me and helped to keep me going.

Thank you everyone!

Demo can be download from indieDB:  http://goo.gl/D8Kw0b
Early access beta & demo can be found at itch.io here : http://tryzna.itch.io/awaken-underwater-odyssey

« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 09:39:02 pm by Tryzna »

Bombini

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  • Posts: 1271
Congratulations!
I will take a look next when i am at a desktop again.
The process of working on a game alone for a long time is a tough one. You should open a nice bottle ;)

Tryzna

  • Posts: 82
Hehe, thanks for advice Bombini, just opened one this morning as compiling times are quite long on my machine;-)



Onslaught mode is finaly finished, options screen added. Now i dedicate week or two to bug hunt and it ll be finaly done;-)

Bombini

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  • Posts: 1271
Best choice when it comes down to breakfast beverages!

Bombini

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  • Posts: 1271
Hey Tryzna!

Some initial feedback (i will play more):
  • The flow of the game is really nice! I am having a blast ;)
  • I really like the artstyle of the enemies and projectiles. I havent seen it before and i like it
  • It feels very nice and its a nice element that i am slower when i am firing
  • Pacing of the enmies feels balanced (see comment below though)
  • I didnt understand how to exchange weapons in the shop though

What i would modify:
  • It takes too long till i have control over my ship when i start a level. I die quite often and i dont want to wait. Give me control as soon as i am out of the mother ship and speed up the process
  • I died 90% of the time because of ships rushing from the back into my ship. It felt unfair because it often happens when the screen was packed with projectiles. Maybe you add an indicator or take some out
  • The red smoke layer in front of my ship could use more transparency. It is very distracting right now
  • It would be even more rewarding if the bigger enemies blink on hit

Keep up the good work!

I am actually glad that you made the "full screen" working very nice!
I am facing difficulties as you see here.
What settings did you use? Any advice?

Cheers!