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A jam entry

Devil EngineView game page »

High density shooting action
Submitted by Sinoc (@Sinoc229) with 2 days, 23 hours before the deadline

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Here's a quick almost-clear. It's fun. Great presentation all around. The stage 2 theme is sick.

Some issues :

  • Life up items spawn inside walls.
  • Weird homing shot behaviour when walls are involved.
  • Wall turret hitboxes/placement that exacerbates the above point (02:25 in the video).
  • Level 2 midboss safe spot.
  • Blue missiles are hard to see.

General thoughts :

  • The lack of aimed bullets encourages a game of find-the-safespot (of which there are plenty, see level 2) rather than shoot-the-enemy.
  • May just be my bad reflexes, but the attacks move too fast, I have a hard time using the shield because of this.
  • The first boss' green projectile wall attack has so much RNG that I never know if it'll be near impossible to dodge or easy.
  • Didn't find much use for the spread shot, while laser and homing have their own niche and fill it well.
  • The bosses are pure memorization, which got really frustrating due to the game's arcade nature. Otherwise they are a highlight, a lot of fun to fight with great, varied movesets. A boss rush/practice mode would solve this issue for me.
Developer

Thanks for playing, you had a great run in the video!

Since the game revolves so much around speed and score I hadn't really put much thought into safe spots since you're doing a disservice to yourself in the long run (you even loose the score bonus if you let a boss sit for too long), but since that seems to be a common strategy so far I'll try to counter that for later levels (level 3's already shaping up for this). The spread's got two main uses, reletively safe and reliable damage from a distance and huge close up damage that even out damages the laser, however that doesn't seem immediately communicated since the ladder is a high level technique. 

A boss rush was planned for the final, with maybe even some extras in there if all goes to plan.

(+1)

Great project as always.
I could definitely see your balance changes to the first stage, allowing it to lean more towards the reactionary and less towards the memorization (though memorization has it's own dedicated fanbase of course).

Powerups seems to suffer from a screen coordinate lock that is completely independent from the actual background. What this leads to is a powerup that spawns in an obtainable position but then ends up in a wall or floor or ceiling because the background has scrolled up or down and the powerup hasn't changed y position to compensate (this was all Stage 1 issues upon entering the ship.)

I enjoyed Stage 2 for the most part and it absolutely gave the impression of a city under siege but a lot of the time the enemy waves felt extremely chaotic (sometimes in a good way, sometimes bad) and it started to lean back into the memorization camp of shmups. This isn't a bad thing though, because stage progression should be harder, but the jump from what you made Stage 1 into with your rebalances going into Stage 2 is almost jarring.

Again, great project and I look forward to seeing where it continues to go!

(+1)

I suck at these types of games, I died constantly and got my first game over pretty quick. The game looks great, the transitions between screens/menus are really flavorful.  Good music and good variation of enemies.

Don't have much negative to say, I just happen to suck at these types of games. The only really notable thing was when I entered a sort of corridor area and I had to avoid collision with the walls. In that area there were a some (at least one, I died at this point)  vertical drops where the enemies were coming from the bottom and scaling it upwards. I died from colliding with an enemy, but with the screen pushing me forward and no ability to shoot up or down this seemed like a pretty dumb way to die. 

Great game, very beautiful style.

I think the tutorial button text is wrong, my bomb seemed to be burst, and speed/dodge were reversed.  Great art, good game, I suck at action so I didn't play much. I felt like the bullets should have been easier to keep track of

(+1)

Pretty good! I'm not a shmuper but I had fun! Arts great to look at, especially level 2. In game sounds are solid, but the music stands out. I'm pretty sure level 1 got easier since the last demo you posted, which is great! The indoor sections and boss gave me some trouble, but I figured it out. I wish the walls didn't kill me. Level 2 kicked my ass though, I straight up have no idea how to deal with that many enemies and bullets, especially if I mess up beforehand and don't level up my gun. I've tried expertly timing bursts, but there are just so many bullets! Maybe I should git gud????

Random nitpicks: 

  • Jump guys should telegraph their jump attack with a squat
  • The hit flash on the turrets shouldn't make all of its sprite white, just the "turret part"
  • Cluster bomb attack is hard to see because it blends in with the background too much
  • Level 2 Boss 1 should have more telegraphs on its attacks, his attack sounds should be louder are more differentiable
(+1)

Pretty much everything is of high quality. My only complaint left is when restarting the game after having a larger resolution set in windowed, you'd have to move the window so it doesn't go off screen (at least on my monitor).

Also I did a recording with my low shooting skills. https://my.mixtape.moe/tyvlbm.webm

Wow update your bios it's still the DD14 version.

Developer

Thanks for the praise! Multiple monitors gets kinda buggy with how the display manager works. It also kinda freaks out if you try and full screen with a non even resolution scale.

I totally forgot about the bios version (especially since you can skip that animation now) so at this point I might just keep it at dd14 honor the first public release.

(+1)

Looks fantastic. Feels good. Just hard enough. One of my favorites this time around.

(+1)

All around a very impressive demo, everything I've seen is finely polished and the game plays very well. 

However I have to admit I do have some trouble noticing where my character is, despite dimming the background and making the bullets pink. I think they would read better if they were the brightest color they are when strobing.

Aside from that, I've found speeding up to be kinda counter intuitive as someone who's only experience with shmups are Touhou and Mushihimesama, you get used to it after a while but I'm still not too hot on that choice.  And there are some enemies which you can't really shoot unless you absolutely master the movement, which kinda feel annoying, but aren't that awful.

Not too much to say about this one, this game is just amazing and is aiming to become one of my favorites spaceship shooters.
My only observations about it are: 

  • Pressing esc to continue feels weird, probably makes sense when using a controller (pause button I assume) but for a keyboard layout I would use Z or X like the rest of the menus do. 
  • Full screen mode (on a 1366x768 screen) isn't pixel perfect, is a shame because the beautiful art gets distorted (specially noticeable on the dithering)
And a small question: Is the main guitar on Stage 1's theme a real guitar or a very good synth/VSTi? Sounds great.
Again, I have no words to say how much I love this game. Great job!
Developer

Thanks for playing, I'm ecstatic you like it so much!

Z used to be the button to continue, but some people cominted they were continuing without even knowing what happened, so I thought it'd make more sense (if a little annoying) to move it to the start button so you atleast have to make conscious thought about it. Full screen will scale to whatever your monitor resolution is, so only even scales of 640x360 (720p,1080p,etc) will escape being all strechy and weird. I'm looking into black bar options to keep it pixel perfect in full screen, but for now stick with windowed.

Also, the guitar is real! It's got a vst amp/pedals and some post processing effects that make it sound sorta synthy.

(+1)

Believe me, this game deserves that and much more. Lots of respect to everyone working on it!
Yeah, I suspected you weren't using Z to continue because of that. Don't worry about it, it was a mostly a personal pet peeve, and I planned to play it with a controller later anyway.
Black bars will be a great addition,  I found myself fighting against those scaling issues for my game too, and in the end solved it by letting the player choose even resolutions and then stretching that with antialiasing for the full screen mode (so on a 768 monitor the game will actually run at 720p, getting a little stretched) of course some minor blur will be involved, but I find it barely noticeable. 
Really nice effect there on the guitar, it totally has some synthy and retro sound that fits perfectly with the game while still sounding like the real thing.

What a great game. I too didn't ever feel the desire to use the speedup button but I can see how a better player would. The difficulty is very nice. Too hard for a shitty schmupper like me to 1cc first or second try.  Very nice, mate.

(+1)

Just finished playing, well, I'm pretty amazed.

My only problem was that on my keyboard Z and X were switched due to the German layout.  And of course crushing my shmup self-confidence, but you earned it.

(Also don't tell the other devs but you earned major bonus props for having a custom executable icon)

(+1)

I loled at 'meme' screenshake strength.

Goddamn, this reminds me of a few years ago when I was outright obsessed with shmups. This game kicks ass, looks and sounds amazing too, honestly would say it's one of the better looking and playing indie shmups I played, and I'm comparing it to stuff like Blue Wish Resurrection and RefleX. The only suggestion I'd have is to have a speed slower than the slowest you have right now, and to have 'speed up' and 'speed down' as two seperate buttons as an option.

(+1)

Was fun! I love this genre. I felt the gradius (one of my favorite titles on nintendo) feeling which was cool

Is changing speed really necessary? Didn't find it useful and would only complicate things.

Homing gun is quite strong compared to rest, although it acts weird at some points

Screen went black after I toggle full screen and press save.

Developer

Glad you liked it!
The speed changing is mostly a preference thing, it's sometimes handy to go fast for some parts of a stage then slow down to dodge intricate attacks.

Homing's a little tricky to balance, right now it's got the lowest DPS but since you don't have to aim that makes it a lot easier to use.

What screen resolution and OS are you using? You might be able to fix that by alt-entering and turing on v-sync before going into full screen.

What screen resolution and OS are you using? You might be able to fix that by alt-entering and turing on v-sync before going into full screen.

1920x1080 and windows 10.

As long as I don't press apply changes, it works fine. the fullscreen is toggled correctly. But pressing apply changes makes it go black. Game still runs (when I press x, it toggles back to windowed mode) changing vsync didn't help and alt enter works same as toggling.

Even first pressing "apply changes" and then toggling fullscreen on makes it black. Whatever apply changes is doing breaks my full screen.

(+1)

Wow, this is pretty polished and i would've thought this is a finished game from everything i've seen.

I'm not good at these kinds of games, so you may disregard my gameplay notes. I thought changing speed would have more impact on the up/down movement, so this function seemed somewhat redundant.

I also realize that 1-hit-death is a conscious choice, but as a shmup non-experienced i've found it a bit too hard (yeah, i should git gud at that bursting thing, i know)

Overall real great experience.

(+1)

Compared to DD14, I got farther in my attempts (up to the miniboss in Level 2 instead of dying to the boss in Level 1.)

A lot of the stuff that felt hard to react to before felt easier to react to. Specifically, the small laser guys in Level 1. I don't know if I got better or if you touched those up, but I enjoyed my session more this time around. I also really appreciated the ship outline and hitbox options. Still love the aesthetic. Love the title itself and the cover art with the ship.

Not spawning power-ups during boss fights seems a little cruel, but if you want to punish those deaths hard that's fair.

Developer

Thanks for playing!
Level 1 got toned down a bit (especially the laser dudes, they were a little too fast last build), but all that practice carrying over also helps.

The first 3 bosses actually do spawn powerups mid boss, but they're kinda hidden as to not encourage farming them. The level 2 bosses do not, at all, however.