Gotta respond to this one, too. Spine makes stuff ugly because people have no idea how to make it look good. Who cares if it's industry standard if the 'industry' makes ugly things with it. *sigh*
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As a game player, I think off the shelf physics engines make games feel too samey. Mario and Megaman feel very different because they rolled their own physics. I'm not making a plea to 'learn to code' here, I"m making a plea to not rely so heavily on things that remove the individuality of your game.
I welcome the hate, though.
The first games I made were in QBASIC for MSDOS. I felt super cool making a 40x25 text-based puzzle game. Then I felt like a loser when I jumped on the internet (this was way back in '95) and found a QBASIC site that had all of these killer games in 256 colors with sprites and 3D. It was gutting. I never did learn to do any of that PEEK/POKE assembly-ish stuff. I always felt too dumb to understand it.
So from then on I sorta use 'middle ware', which I guess nowdays is called 'engines' or 'tools' or whatever (stuff like GameMaker and Pico8). My first project in something like that was actually a couple of pinball games made in Visual Pinball, which uses a customized visual basic script to control table elements and track events (like Bumper.Bump() etc.). I still hate most languages since they're text-based. Where's all this processor power going? I keep hoping there's someone who's like me and understands the fundamentals of how programming works but makes it powerful yet simple so game design is less about the technical stuff and more about game logic itself. I was quite impressed with Arcade Game Studio's approach to AI scripting, where it used almost a music-type sequencer, with each row being a 'kind' of event, such as movement, turn on/off flags for collision, etc. and then the topmost row would jump to the different columns on events or set it to only happen for a certain amount of time or event. It was so easy to just try out all kinds of ideas, mixing and matching a fairly robust set of 'baseline rules'.
I went off on a tangent. I'm hoping a dev reads this deep down and one day thinks about the problem of solving problems from different points of view. I've never gotten on with 'coding' proper and find it tedious and boring...it's like being into photography and the only thing anyone else wants to talk about is lenses and FSTOP and such and you're like, 'I'm into framing and subject matter'. It's not as if that other stuff isn't necessary, but in the end, if capture the subject matter properly, that's what actually counts to people you show the photo to, not whether you used a Nikon or Cannon. No one cares.
In the modern day, with so many games coming out on everything that's ever been able to play a game ever, really the most pragmatic way is to make it run on everything possible. It's fairly easy with some engines/systems, while others are difficult. For instance, I think GameMaker spits out for every major platform and modern computer, but if you want true 'runs literally on anything' then making a game for an old console/computer and then binding it to emulators to run on everything is another way to do it. It depends on skill level and effort. Other things mentioned work, but if your game is windows-only, well, only people with windows will play your game. Likewise, if your game is on NES and there's no single-click/normie solution where it can be easily run on their system of choice, unless they're already into emulators or flash carts, they'll pass it up or ignore it, even if it's something they'd maybe be interested in.
I think folks sometimes focus too much on trying to be the loudest person in a sea of social-media type places when you're more likely to get folks looking at your works in a relevant community that's already looking for the kind of game you are making. From there, it's, imo, likely easier to grow an audience more organically.
Just don't rely on social media advertising. It's trash. Word of mouth, blogs, reviews in prominent places work a lot better along with proper tagging in youtube (as someone mentioned YT trailers are good...get a professional or someone competent to edit the trailer...)
Just don't get discouraged. Not every game can be minecraft or mario. There's plenty of room in the world for games that only two people in the world have ever played and if you're making games for yourself, then it won't matter how many people play but how many people of those enjoy it. i.e. Qualitative entertainment rather than quantitative.
Machine: GPDWin2 running win10 and intentionally underclocked to 70%. Crashed after selecting AGAIN after scoring 250,000 or so points on the first game of the session. I.E. crashed while starting 2nd game of session, the exact point was the level monsters manifesting into being.
Sorry there's not more to report, can't replicate it.
I disagree with your assessment. To me, this is an absolutely brilliant build up and advancement of mechanics made popular in 1982 with the mother and poster child of what twin stick shooters should be, Robotron. The influence is absolutely clear here and makes the right decisions every step of the way. To promote no-death long runs to get greater score is just brilliant. It makes every single risk/reward judgement become even more riskier and rewardier! I love it!
The entire point of risk reward is a split second decision on 'is it worth it' and encouraging the player to take risks for huge reward forces the player to do things they otherwise wouldn't do.
One of the biggest problems with twin stick shooters is 'circle strafe boredom' becomes there's nothing to break the circle strafe. This is done through 'rescue/bonus' items strewn and wandering through the hoards of enemies.
I beg you to reconsider what this mechanic brings and absolutely makes the rescue/bonus mechanic that had not been improved on since 1982 actually IMPROVED. I'm ALWAYS looking to make that Friends number bigger because my points get bigger! And I've died trying to make it bigger even in situations where I thought, 'yeah, i can do this' and NOPE...couldn't. And that feeling of anguish and seeing all the points dry up....man...it makes me take even MORE risks to build it back up!
I LOVE this aspect and I don't agree it should be changed. Whether it was accidental genius or calculated genius, I don't care, I love it, and I vote that it does not change. It's brilliant and does all the right things to make the game harder, without forcing one's hand. This game is FAR easier than Robotron in general if you're just looking at 'staying alive', but this mechanic balances PERFECTLY for score chasing, you make the game harder yourself. And you pay for your mistakes in judgement.
Twin stick shooters aren't about circle strafing. They're about having the fire power to deal with impossible situations and having a reason to put yourself in an impossible situation. Geometry Wars is a circle strafe bore. Satyrn is a damn fine game that breaks the circle strafe intelligently and finally takes the mechanics that nearly everyone who's played it finds Robotron the perfect sweaty palms game and FINALLY pushes it forward.
Props to maybell, I have suggestions for minor changes here and there, but your risk/reward system is definitely not one of them. Keep pressing forward. In my humble opinion, folks that find it too hard have played too much Geometry Wars or Binding of Isaac. They're fine games, but they're they're own thing. I see all you did here and even though it's an iteration on a great game, it's a GOOD iteration and moves in the right direction!
At the end of it all, my one suggestion is top 10 scores. Single high score is no good for this kind of game. Top 10 at least, if not 10 top of the day and top 20 of all time. But I'm fine with everything as it is right now, no changes necessary, I love everything about this. Smash TV failed to improve, and it had Jarvis on the team. Same with Total Carnage...you did it absolutely perfectly, imo. In my opinion, this is proper Robotron II.
Consider yourself a hero, maybell. A winner is YOU.
Interesting concept. I wonder if the narrative would be more impactful if the some levels were handmade and slowly became more derranged and unwinnable...just making them larger didn't make an impact on me since the first level was already unwinnable.
I think another fun tangent idea would be a game where dying is the goal, i.e. to win, you must actually lose.
I hope the tools will be enjoyable. I don't know why most fantasy console developers miss this aspect, but never having to leave the environment is one of the main draws of Pico8 and similar tools, not poking and peeking and doing obscure things that end up just being in-jokes to other programmers. Programming is a craft, yes, but game design is hindered when barriers like archaic programming is put in the way.
Just my thoughts, but I'm still looking forward to this.
Game Maker 1 compiles fine to it, is your project convertible to GM1? I have it and could try to export it. I don't know the differences between the two versions, specifically or if there's differences in project formats. It would probably not allow the raster effect, though. Maybe it would, I'm not sure. I have GM1, but honestly have never really spent any time in it! :3
They all show up identically in terms of what is shown. You can see the raster effect in modes 1 and 2 also. The screen has garbage in the top left, black for most of it, and blinks dark red. In the bottom right, a separate rectangle is 'offset' blinking the rest of the red/black flickering, faster than the rest of the screen.
I tried to access the other modes by hitting the correct keycombination blindly to get to mode 3, but as I said, the graphics don't change, it just renders the same weirdness. The music and controls are full speed with no lag.
The Fuji is running win7 with 1GB RAM. It has rudementary support for OpenGL 2.0 and I believe it's running DX10 or 11.
I hope this helps. I'm not especially worried or sad if you decide to not support this configuration, I know it's old and archaic and was, even in it's time, a bizarre system.
I like this game, and super appreciate that it's compiled for 32 bit, but is there a way to get it to software render the 'non filter' mode? It simply throws garbage on my screen when I try it on a paulsbo system. Tested on Fujitsu u820. Runs fine on Thinkpad W520 though.