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Never Rest Studio

A member registered Jun 16, 2017 · View creator page →

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Cheers for the kind words, everyone. Sadly, as I had much anticipated, "real" work has sapped up my time recently and I think I'm very unlikely to get any significant progress in before the deadline. Sorry! I'll be watching out for everyone else's work though - good luck to those still entering! :)

I'm not sure if I'm realistically going to have time to finish an entry, but the early Tomb Raider games were what got me started in game development, so I couldn't resist at least trying to work on something! I haven't really decided what direction I'm going to take this in yet (I'm torn between a 2d sidescroller with pixel art, a minimalist low poly more faithful recreation of the original gameplay, or a first person VR game adhering more to the theme than the gameplay), but here are some early mock ups and animation work that I've done this morning.

I've also made a very brief start on some music:

Fingers crossed I'll have some free time before the jam ends to get something more meaningful together!

Haha, well that isn't meant to happen! I believe I've managed to fix that in the current development build. Until then, try not to hit the poor guy so hard! :P Thanks for reporting it! :)

Thank you! :) I'm glad you think so - I really am just aiming for a more casual and accessible take on the fighting genre, and it sounds like that's what you got from it, which is excellent. Cheers for the kind words.

Thanks! :)

Haha, that's awesome! Really glad you liked it and it's so good to watch someone having fun playing it. The fact you thought the AI might've been a real human player is a good sign too. I do intend to do more with this so hopefully you'll like the direction it continues in. Thanks again!

Thanks for sharing and taking the time to put together a video - really appreciated, and super happy that you like it so far. :) 

Not at all! As you mentioned, things change so quickly, and I'm incredibly happy that you liked the game, even in the earlier state, enough to share it. I only mentioned the changes, partly so you were aware in case you wanted to give it another look, but also to point out that the constructive criticism was very welcome and that I do respond to it and make changes based on it. :)

Thanks so much for taking the time to include this in your video as well as for letting me know about it. I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed it.

The version in your video isn't the latest and there are a bunch of improvements since that build including reworked AI, more responsive controls, persisted win/loss stats, and a bunch of minor big fixes. One thing you highlighted was around wanting scraps to last longer before the opponent was floored and that is now the case. The damage calculations have been changed significantly for balancing (along with the speed of some attacks) and only a sufficiently damaging attack will floor the opponent now.

I'm on a short break from this to catch up on some other things after the crazy push for the game jam but I'll be back to adding more features and content soon!

I don't mind at all - that's really cool! Thank you! :)

Thanks! I am looking to expand on it and add more variety but I also want to make sure it remains easy to get into without having to learn loads of controls and combos - difficult balance! I'll keep giving it some thought and experiment a bit.

Thanks - always really nice to hear someone liked your creation! :)

That particular element was done in a really basic way: When a player takes a hit, a float value is set to 1. This value is then subtracted from the green and blue channels of the material making it fully red and gradually fading back to full colour as the value is reduced each update. I partly did it just for aesthetic reasons but thought it, combined with animation, really helped to make it clear who had just been hit. The other use I have for the same value is that it represents a brief invulnerability period to prevent getting absolutely hammered with no chance to break out.

Thanks again!

Thank you - very much appreciated. :)

Thanks! I'm really glad you like it and the feedback is appreciated.

I did have concerns about exactly that which I tried to address with changes to the speed of the attack/transition and lowered damage of the quicker attacks. I'll have to give it some more thought. The cooldown may be The best option but I wanted to avoid taking away or adding delays to The response to player input.

The kick can be jumped over and the punch can be ducked under (and you can attack from either position) and good timing can get you in between attacks even on the ground, so this may be more of an issue against the current AI as it is OK but not that intelligent about dealing with the player spamming a button yet. If you have a chance to try out local multiplayer, I wonder if you find this problem is reduced?

I hadn't heard of the Universal Fighting Engine before (having initially been utterly flabbergasted by what you'd pulled off in the timeframe) but you've utilised it well, and the end result is very impressive. Sadly, I'm atrocious at it, but I had a lot of fun being taken apart by the AI. The presentation and variety of combat options are excellent.

Haha, I'd completely forgotten about that game - had a lot of fun with it back in the day. Thank you! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. :)

Turn-based boxing was quite a novel way to go and I kinda like the idea. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I quite understood how the logic worked to know when to choose which attack type etc.

Nice choice of background music, a pretty cool touch to have the character selection, and the inclusion of voices definitely adds something. This may be more my problem than the game's but the control set up felt just a tiny bit awkward - I kept missing the block button as it wasn't next to the other keys. Overall, nice work!

Well that's absolute made my day! Thanks! :D

Thanks so much - I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

Yes, I absolutely do plan to. I didn't at the start of the jam, particularly with this being my first venture into beat-em-ups, but I've fallen in love with the project a bit along the way.

I intend to always keep this more simple and accessible than hardcore fighting games so that people like me can easily pick them up and have fun. For that reason, I'm not keen to venture into overly complex combos etc. However, I'd still like to include the concept of special moves. My initial thoughts on this would be that they are something that take time/good play to recharge and are easy to activate so that the skill would be in picking the right time to use them.

Additionally,  I'd like to add more arenas and start to include destructible/interactable objects. Partly for extra "color" and partly to provide the additional gameplay challenges of avoiding a trap or luring/pushing your opponent into one.

Another thing I would like to get in would be some simple progression so that in singleplayer there is something more to aim for. Even if it does just end up being moving up through the various belts then it is just some added motivation.

For a bit more variation, another goal I have is to add weapons and/or alternate move sets. I don't want these to add complexity to the controls but they may just help to keep things fresh and could also tie into progression - unlocking new weapons/move sets along the way.

Finally, I've been considering additional game modes. If nothing else, a tutorial level would be good, but I'd like to do some more things like perhaps challenges around destroying targets in the quickest time or event a football mode. I'd need more thought as to the options to pursue but, again, it could just help with variety.

Local multiplayer is my own preference, but online multiplayer could also be a future target... 

Cheers for the feedback! I'm inclined to agree and was considering some changes to how easy it is to knock each other down (currently any head contact is guaranteed to). It's been tricky enough getting the game together in about a week and balancing it is going to take longer than the game jam deadline, but I intend to see it through even if that goes beyond the deadline, so all suggestions are very welcome. Thanks again! :)

I love the effort put into the story and the mechanics and use of the theme are excellent. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the controls felt a little bit off - not quite as tight / responsive perhaps? - but nothing enough to detract significantly. As mentioned by X1r0m, the music was a little repetitive, but that's pretty understandable within a game jam. Overall, a really nice entry. :)

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Thanks for playing and for the feedback! If you do have the time (and motivation) I'd love if you could try the final submission as I did sneak in quite a bit of improvement in the final day. The 2nd level was only added in the final release (selectable directly from the main menu or automatically loaded after completing) the first level. It is definitely brief though, yes. In 4 days solo work I'm afraid I simply didn't have time to add any more within the game jam, though I do intend to add more going forward. The music...I wrote a few pieces within those 4 days and wasn't happy that any of them fit the game. I've since composed this piece which I'm a bit more happy with but I won't be updating the game until the jam is completely finished. I don't know how it works in terms of the submission, but I don't want to inadvertently cheat by making changes after the jam finished but whilst the voting is still active.

(P.S. The keyboard controls are listed on the game's page. Again, I'm afraid I simply ran out of time to create graphics for both keyboard and gamepad inputs.)

Third time's a charm! Not a style I'm overly practiced at so good to know it fits. Thanks for taking the time to listen and I'll take all the luck I can get!

I've had another go at a main theme for the game. I've aimed for a period-drama style with just a touch of unease. I'd love to know what you think! :)

eripmav (main theme)

Thanks very much! It's my first real go at pixel art and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Yep, those 4 days went quick! I spent a few hours writing out a prioritised to-do list and I think that was invaluable to getting the most important parts done in time rather than completely "winging it" or just keeping a track mentally.

Sorry about the controls confusion - if I'd had time I would've got the tutorial messages for keyboard done as well. I'm afraid I suffer from RSI and a gamepad is much more comfortable for me than a keyboard and mouse so that is the control scheme I put initial focus on.

Utterly fiendish (assuming I was completing puzzles in the way you'd intended and wasn't missing easier options) and thoroughly enjoyable. Great work.

Very minor suggestions:

  • Playing with a controller seems to be almost entirely fine, apart from the equivalent of the "E" and "V" keys which would hopefully be a quick win.
  • I was getting some quite bad screen tearing which detracted from an otherwise very attractive game so if a v-sync option could be provided then that would be excellent.

I like it! The gameplay is certainly skill-based enough that I found my score improving with each play as well as developing strategies based on the number of and type of enemies around. The music also adds a lot without being distracting or overpowering.

The only suggestion I would have would be to introduce some kind of "dash" mechanic to allow you to dodge rebounded bullets or large groups of enemies but to balance it by perhaps giving it a recharge time and/or having it "overheat" your weapons for a brief time so if you need to dash then you can evade death but it will stop you from retaliating for a while.  Maybe even a point penalty?

Thanks! I absolutely agree. The stupid thing is that, in recent times at least, I've done so much more composition than game development. I figured it would be the part I'd find easiest and I could just slot it in at the end but inevitably I ran out of time. I actually wrote two pieces for it but ended up deciding that neither quite worked with the game and preferred it without over being paired with some "for the sake of it" music. I'll certainly give it another try though.

I'd echo everything Jonataurus said. Very nice work. Maybe the levels don't build in challenge as much as you were hoping but everything is there and it feels like a "complete" game, not just a jam entry.

Thanks so much - that's absolutely made my day! I fully plan to. I ended up really liking what was supposed to just be a bit of fun for a jam and put some time into making sure it was a good base to build on. Unfortunately, that left less time to build more content within the jam time frame, but it should also make it much easier to extend on going forward.

What? No! I'm awesome at games and it was SO easy... Ok, I died a couple of times. :P

I think it was the fact I so frequently found my shields were depleted because there was no time for a recharge between shots. Yeah, balancing your own game which you've played over and over can be a nightmare, and you're almost certainly not going to please everyone whatever you do.

I guessed that was what was happening and I think it's a good idea. Perhaps the only issue is that it meant that the very first enemy you come across, from my personal experience, was harder to take down than the following 4, which as an introduction / tutorial piece didn't quite feel right. Maybe just that very first enemy could be slowed down to match the speed the following 4 will be firing at initially so that you have 1 easy enemy then 4 easy enemies which gradually become harder as you take them down, to really ease the player into it? It's a very minor gripe though, and quite possibly a personal opinion that isn't shared.

Brilliant stuff. The gameplay was a lot of fun, though oddly much more difficult when there was only one enemy than when there were loads. The inclusion of a more fleshed-out plot with voice acting was a very nice touch.

Thanks, both for the kind words and taking the time to play and comment! Yes, due to time constraints, I didn't get around to creating graphics for keyboard inputs yet. I have listed the keyboard controls on the game's page to hopefully help with any confusion, but I'll certainly be looking to address that in a future version.

Ok, I'm done for now. I may well pick this up again later because I really like how its come together but, for the purposes of the jam, I'm finished. Didn't get through everything I would have liked to but I probably did get through a lot more than I expected for what was approximately 3-4 days work. I've had an absolute blast with this and I think learned some important things about how I work best which should aid me for future projects.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, even if it is short, and congratulations to everyone else who managed to get some really great looking entries together.

I couldn't resist and found some more time today so I have another update.

I have added a main menu with level selection, level flow (so completing level 1 automatically loads level 2), sorted out scene management to handle asynchronously loading levels, added animated light sources, improved performance and visuals by actually carrying out rendering at the correct resolution for the pixel art rather than the native resolution of the monitor, and started work on a second level where water is used in place of the mirror as the reflected world you can jump in and out of.

I hope to flesh out the 2nd level a little more tomorrow, still in time for the end of the jam, but am very happy with the advances made today. It is feeling like a "real" game now.

Well, the time I have for this game jam has more or less drawn to a close. It certainly isn't finished but I'm pretty happy with how this project has turned out, especially considering how quickly it has come together and how out of practice I am, so I could see myself continuing work on this when I get a chance. I've finished the design for the level, added a final layer of polish, a basic set of tutorial messages that appear at appropriate moments, and the ability to "interact" with your victim. Not every feature I'd wanted but a fully playable level none the less.

It's been a lot of fun working on such an interesting theme and keeping up with the excellent progress everyone has been making, so thank you to everyone! :)

Thanks! My current plan is actually along the lines of the player being quite fragile - the AI will be equipped with crucifixes, holy water, stakes, etc. and if you get close to them with them aware of your presence they'll charge at and attack you (one-hit kill), forcing you to rely on stealth. At the very end of the video you can see I dropped down in the reflected world because there was no light on that side, allowing me to get right up to the target before switching back to feed / win the level.

I'm running out of time for this game jam but I've got enough features in place now that I've started constructing a playable level. New features include a cool effect when changing between worlds, sound effects, tweaked controls and collisions, highlighting objects that only exist in one world by rendering them with a special shader in the other world, and a light-based stealth system with lights that can also exist in both worlds or just one.