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SCRAPSHIP

A topic by 40wattstudio created Feb 16, 2020 Views: 1,726 Replies: 130
Viewing posts 1 to 97
(1 edit) (+3)


Solo dev. Very first time trying to make a finished game (Key word here is finished!)

I have a week off so I'm going to start simple but consistent. 

I recently read Jason Schreier's "Blood, Sweat and Pixels" and one of its many lessons I learned was this:

Don't waste time making fancy game assets until the very end of game development. You could literally find yourself trashing hours of work because you change ideas halfway through. That's why you see that nice boring blue square in the screenshot. :) The good stuff will come later.

Ultimately this will be a top-down shooter where each level has a different theme or goal.

Some of the features I'm aiming for:

Up / Down / Left / Right movement

Parallax scrolling

Enemies and Objects with random sizes and spawning locations

Counters

A simple storyline to make it a little more interesting than just mashing buttons.


Mystery: What programming language is this being developed in???

Wish me luck and thanks for reading!

(+1)


UPDATE 16 FEB 2020: 

The game now generates a fixed number of objects that appear in random locations. The next major hurdle is going to be the hit detection.

I also played around with the Parallax scrolling. While I got it to work, one issue is that the background covers the other objects that are supposed to be in the foreground. So I got to figure out how to de-conflict the different layers.

Thanks for reading!

(+1)

UPDATE 17 FEB 2020:


Lots of progress today!

Player can collide with objects to collect them. Counter keeps track of quantity.

Objects can also move across the screen instead of just sitting there.

Parallax scrolling works!

Also made a transition to the next level.


I experimented with screen resolutions (default of 1080x1080, 800x600 and 1920x1080). While all of these work, it makes a mess of where objects are placed and the player is a bit slow on 1920x1080. Of course I can change variables to compensate, but I'm thinking it might just be better and simpler to just stick with one screen size. What do you think? 

Thanks for reading!

(+1)


UPDATE 18 FEB 2020:


"Finished" levels 2 and 3. They work, but I'm not sure they are exactly as I want them yet, but both levels do add functionality which will be seen across the game.

Gameplay from Level 1 is what is shown in the video. Everything you see on screen is hard-coded. No game engine used at all.

Stay tuned for more and thanks for reading!

(+2)

I'll have to check out this "blood sweat and pixels" book, sounds like great advice.


It's cool that you update this so regularly, send me a message if you want a playtester or 2nd set of eyes.

Thanks, I'll keep you in mind! I'm probably about a week or two out from having a demo ready.

(+1)

I have a demo out now if you want to try it out. :)

(I didn't see any options to send a direct message so posting this here instead).

(+1)


UPDATE 19 FEB 2020:

The player can shoot now! Even better, the player can shoot a string of 5 lasers. 

One challenge will be figuring out how to get one unique shot with each press of the spacebar. 

Unique shots basically require an array (dimensioned based on presses of the space bar), but of course the catch-22 is that the computer doesn't know how many elements are in the array if the spacebar has never been pressed before (empty array).

I also made sure that .exe and game files could be exported properly for when the game is finally done and ready to be put in a .zip folder.

Thanks for reading!

(+1)


UPDATE 20 FEB 2020:

This morning I set up some "playgrounds" and experimented with different weapon types. Still can't get unique shots with each press of the fire button but I did find a nice workaround that simulates the desired effect.

And then it got more interesting!

I found some code for how to implement scaling and rotation. Ooooooh! The possibilities!

After playing around with those for a while I went back and rigged up the hit detection for my bullets and tested them against waves of fighters.


Thanks for reading; views keep me motivated!

(+2)

keep posting man!


It will defiantly help you finish your first project!

(+1)


UPDATE:   21 FEB 2020


Some fun and ambitious updates! After submitting yesterday's Devlog I realized that the hit detection left a bit to be desired. The spaceships (as seen above) look like inverted T's but are actually just square images with transparency. So if a laser hit any part of the square it registered as a hit, even if the ship's hull is not in that region of the drawing.

To amend this, I turned the fighter objects into two unique rectangles. Now the small cockpit of the fighters can be individually targeted with greater accuracy.

I added another weapon and experimented with getting smoother shot animations. Though I can accomplish this on my computer the real question is how will it look on yours? I imagine a PC at 2GHz might run the game a bit differently than one at 3GHz, etc.

My favorite addition so far are the dynamic fighter animations, as seen above. The fighters actually change their appearance based on how much damage they've sustained! You can see a couple with their cockpits shot up and a few more with some wing damage. 

Those are still placeholder graphics, btw, just slightly better so I could better judge how it would turn out.

Lots of things on my to-do list, but three that are more important:

1) Letting the fighters shoot back

2) Giving the fighters better/random logic

3) Cleaning up my 500+ lines of code so I can follow the program easier!

Thanks for reading and TGIF!

(+1)

UPDATE 22 FEB 2020:


Good news! I was able to successfully merge my two files that had different features. What this means is that a DEMO is now on the horizon! 

Today I worked on the main game loop, ensuring that the game restarts or ends as desired. The last big hurdle for this demo is getting the logic to trigger a certain event. Will probably have that figured out Sunday or Monday.

Thanks for reading!

(1 edit) (+1)


UPDATE 23 FEB 2020:


Demo is now released! 

Only changes are the addition of an instructions screen and changes to the internal logic. Player can also select to restart the game or exit.

It's been a busy week making this during my Staycation! I intend to keep improving it, slowly but surely, posting updates as I go along.

If you give it a spin I'd love to hear what you thought of it!
https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

(+1)

UPDATE 24 FEB 2020:

I'm back to my normal job which means I'll have less time for working on this game . . . but I am determined to keep working on it and get it done.

Thanks to everyone so far for viewing and downloading it. I've already heard feedback that the screen size is a bit too big and the second weapon will not fire if you have the Caps-Lock key on (my 7-yr old discovered that one!).

So I've added those two things to my "To Do"s.

The awesome people at the QB64 forums have given awesome pointers on how to fix the firing logic so that I can have one shot fire with each press of the spacebar, just like in a normal top-down shooter. I've been working on that this afternoon. Once I get it to work I'll be able to implement it in the game and add better weapons, which I'm really excited about!

(+1)


UPDATE 25 FEB 2020:


TADA! Thanks to the QBasic gurus at the QB64 forums I was able to figure out how to get multiple unique shots with each press of the fire button! 

This means I'll be able to create better weapons since the player is no longer restricted to firing one shot at a time.

Next step will be to slowly integrate this into my latest build, testing along the way to make sure the hit detection still works. 

I've also been scouting around for music for the game. Audio licenses can definitely get pricey, especially for the better sounding music. 

If you'd like to help with this aspect of the game please see the link below:

https://ko-fi.com/40wattstudio

(+1)




UPDATE 26 FEB 2020:
New firing logic is now integrated into game!
There is hit detection, but it seems just a little bit off, causing the enemy ships to get blown away a bit faster than usual.
Before I get too carried away with enemies and weapons, I need to dedicate some time to cleaning up the code. If it works as planned, I'll have one section of code that just imports the settings for different weapons before running a second section that checks for hit detection against whatever enemies are on screen.
Thanks for reading!
(+1)

Hey man!

Good to see you still at it, actually on a staycation atm as well.


I had a problem with the game window big to tall, i couldn't fit the very bottom of it on my screen even tho i had the top of the window at the very top.


Cool to see your progress tho.

Awesome! Glad you got to check it out! 

The bottom gets cut off because the screen size is 1080 by 1080. In the future I plan to implement different screen resolutions.

Thanks for the feedback and enjoy your staycation!

UPDATE 27 FEB 2020:

Cleaned up the code and fixed an issue where the player shot was originating inside the player ship instead of directly in front of it.

Now I'm working on an issue where the new lasers are looping the damage calculation instead of just running it once.

UPDATE 28 FEB 2020:

Progress! Fixed the "looping damage" issue in the code, so now I'm ready to move forward!

What are some things that you think would work well in a top-down shooter? Or what are some things that you've seen that don't work well?

(+1)

Are you thinking more "bullet hell" or "explore world" type game?

Closer to "bullet hell". That being said, I'm not a huge fan of the top-down shooters where there are so many projectiles on-screen that the player gets lost trying to figure out where they are and what's going on.

There are  plans for levels with no combat, especially towards the beginning of the game.

Good questions and thanks for reading!

UPDATE 29 FEB 2020:

Today's progress: 

Pressing ESC key on any screen exits the game.

Fixed issue where pressing lower-case letter prevented one from changing weapons.

Fixed another issue where the last enemy ship wasn't populating on-screen.

UPDATE 1 MAR 2020:

Fixed an issue where the enemy ships were occasionally spawning off-screen.

One of the things I've learned so far in this gamedev journey: Don't expect major progress on a daily basis (especially if you're just a one-man show that's also working a normal job). Days might pass where the game doesn't really change a whole lot. But the key thing is to just keep grinding away at it and try and make some sort of daily improvement.

At this point I could rush ahead and start coding other things -- more enemy ships, more weapons -- but that doesn't really make sense when there are still other game-breaking issues that need attention.


UPDATE 2 MARCH 2020:


Changed the logic for the enemy fighters so that they stop halfway down the screen. This made it easier for me to code . . .

. . . the enemy shooting back!

Yes! Now random enemy ships actually fire back at you. In the above screenshot the enemy shot is symbolized by the red square (with the slightly rounded edges to make Apple proud).

(+1)

Keep up the good work!

Can the bullets damage your ship yet?


I've started another project of my own on itch!

Would be cool if you could tell me what your thoughts were :)

Yes, ship damage is a feature I plan on adding, as well as different skins to give a more visual representation of how shot up your ship is.

I tried your Roopit n' Boopit demo and can give you more feedback if you email me at 40wattstudio@gmail.com. I really liked what I played so far though!

(+1)

I will definitely do that :)

Cheers hey!  To making games!


UPDATE 3 MAR 2020:


A top-down shooter just isn't much fun without different enemies so that's what I worked on today. Using placeholder graphics I quickly made a different type of enemy ship and tweaked the code so that not only is a random number of enemy ships generated (spawning at random coordinates), but those random ships can potentially be one of two different types: The one-piece pentagonal "cruiser" or the 2-piece fighter.

Also made the enemy shot a little more obvious (red triangle) and used an old .png file I had from previous projects as a more interesting placeholder graphic for the player ship.

There are a few issues I have to work out, but it's good to see this game coming closer to a second demo!

(+1)

Looking forward to the second demo!

UPDATE 4 MAR 2020:

Behind-the-scenes changes today. Organized the code to be more modular. Should be easier now to make  levels by calling only the subroutines that I need.

At this point in the game (ha! no pun intended) I have about 1100 lines of code and lots of variables to track. I tried the "concise code" route and while that made the program slightly smaller, it was causing more issues than it was worth. So now I'm favoring more explicit statements and subs to keep things functional.


UPDATE 5 MAR 2020:


Made some graphics for the player's second weapon. Also made a second weapon for the enemy. The enemy weapons aren't firing as expected but I hope to sort that out shortly.

At this point I'm also starting to consider my options for sfx/music. I got a couple good leads already.

UPDATE 6 MAR 2020:

Let there be sound!

Today I worked on getting the game ready to play audio. For now I have some generic audio but I'm working on getting some of better quality in the near future. You'll be able to hear it in the second demo when that's released.


UPDATE 7 MAR 2020:

Lots of progress today! The enemy ships now move forward at random speeds, stop at random points and fire at random. Also added player health. In my playthrough's I see lots of little adjustments I need to make but overall it's getting pretty close to how I envisioned it!

UPDATE 8 MAR 2020:

Made some adjustments to the firing patterns and logic. Since enemy projectiles is such an integral part of the game I'll be doing lots of  experimentation and tweaks until I feel I got it right.

Also started work on an Options screen where the player will be able to change screen resolution and volume.

(+1)

UPDATE 9 MAR 2020:


- Got rid of the old title screen and replaced it with a new one.

- Learned how to changed the window name so it doesn't just say "Untitled".

- Added a cheat mode to aid in game testing.

You may have noticed that I haven't given a solid release date yet for the second demo. That's because I'm a bit of a perfectionist and want to make sure the second one is better by leaps and bounds. 

Even if I focus only on the second demo, there's a lot to be done: Shot and movement logic needs tweaking, sounds and graphics need to be implemented, to name a few of the major things.

So the closest thing I have to a release date is this Devlog right here, updated daily.

Thanks for reading!


UPDATE 10 MAR 2020:

It's inevitable that when you're making a game you're going to say, "Wouldn't it be cool if . . . " 

So yesterday I was playing around with background textures and effects. I was able to implement them, but found that it slowed the game down to a point where it's not playable. Hmmm. So now it's a matter of deciding to scrap some of those ideas or see if there's a workaround I can use.

On a more positive note, I was able to spend some time with the sound effects today! It is definitely going to take some tweaking to get them synced up with the appropriate actions but the results will be worthwhile!

UPDATE 11 MAR 2020:

In most top-down shooters I've seen, the enemy doesn't specifically target the player. Instead they just fill the screen with bullets and hope that something works. 

Scrapship is not going to be like that. Enemy ships will only fire on the player when it is practical for them to do so. That was today's progress.

Pattern-based waves is another staple of top-down shooters I've never really understood. Great for memorizing levels for a high score, but not so great if you're going for replay value. So my plans are for Scrapship to have random quantities of fighters, of random types, spawning at random points and moving to random locations. No two playthroughs will be exactly the same.

But what about you? Is there anything you like or dislike about top-down shooters?


UPDATE 12 MAR 2020:

- Scrapship now has 5 sound effects thanks to the talents of mariosello1! You can find him on the Job board here. I was very pleased with the sounds he was able to create!

- Originally the pentagonal "Cruisers" were going to shoot a 3-round burst at the player; doing that caused the game to lag significantly. Instead, I changed the logic so that the Cruisers shoot diagonally at the player. You can't really tell in the screenshot, but the effect looks really nice. (Also makes the level brutally hard!)

(+1)

Looks like everything is coming along nicely for you mate!

Keep it up! :D

UPDATE 13 MAR 2020: 

- What's worse than black ice? Flying around and crashing your spaceship because you flew into some space where an enemy once was! Thankfully I got that nasty bug figured out and the void of space is a little more friendly now. ;)

UPDATE 14 MAR 2020:

The game runs much smoother after taking out the 3-round multishot (see post dated 12 Mar), but there is still a little bit of lag when the screen first starts to fill with enemies. To remedy this, I've started restructuring the code so that things that are more lag-inducing are loaded first. So far the changes seem to be a step in the right direction. The real test will be when I try and implement some of the more dynamic backgrounds I have in mind.

(+1)

Sounds like you know a lot more about coding then I do hahah x

UPDATE 15 MAR 2020:

- Finished 1 animated background

- Fixed bugs where player would crash at 0,0 coordinate and enemy shots would originate from there as well after first cruiser shot down.

- Restructured the main game loop (again) and have it about 90% working. It's a lot of work but the payoff has been that the game doesn't lag anymore and I'm able to implement animated backgrounds which will bring a lot of life to the levels.

- My 7-year old son made a spaceship design using Pyxel Edit so I added that to the game. :)


(+1)

hahah I love the spaceship!  xD

Good to know I'm about as good at pixel art as a 7 yr old!  :P

UPDATE 16 MAR 2020:

- Started work on a New Game + feature. I've always loved games that continued after they ended, a great example being Lunar 2: Eternal  Blue.

- Fixed an issue where player was unable to select options if CAPS LOCK was accidentally left on or pressed during gameplay.

- Fixed an issue with player hit detection.

 

17 MAR 2020:

- Added a way to adjust the sound up and down at the title screen.

- The enemy now shoots even if the player stays idle.

- Some of the enemy ships move around the screen based on the player's position and their current health. If the enemy ship is near full health, they'll aggressively chase the player. If the enemy ship is wounded it will retreat away from the player. This part especially is a work in progress as I experiment with other movement logic to see what works best.

18 MAR 2020:

- The code was getting ridiculously messy and hard to follow, even with comment notes to myself. So once again I restructured the code to make it even more modular and easy to follow. The upsides are that it will be much easier to add in enemies and I won't have to worry about a change in variable x conflicting with a bunch of other factors.

19 MAR 2020:

Some days I feel like I'm not making a whole lot of progress. Then I went back and played the first demo I posted here on Itch. What a difference! It may not look like much when comparing the two screenshots above (first demo on the left, current build on the right), but the current build has far more features that can't be properly communicated in a screenshot (window resizing, sound effects, better AI, planet rotation, etc).

Today I reworked the logic for the enemy fighters. In the demo, they would just fly straight at you and that's it. Now, they constantly adjust their position relative to the player and, if they're still alive upon reaching the bottom of the screen, loop back around for another pass. Once the last few bugs here are worked out I'll be able to start on something else, something I'm eagerly looking forward to. 

(+1)

"Once the last few bugs here are worked out I'll be able to start on something else, something I'm eagerly looking forward to. "

Do you mean a new project?  

Just a different aspect of the current game. Don't worry, I'm not abandoning this one!

20 MAR 2020:

Had to go Starship Troopers on some of the bugs in my game. They were nasty! It's amazing how just a few numbers and variables can totally mess with your head.

For the curious, the bug was that the enemy fighters wouldn't align properly if the player was flush with the right side of the screen. Left side worked just fine, but something about that right side logic was eluding me until literally just a few minutes ago. 

Anyways, glad that's over with. Onwards!

21 MAR 2020:

- Enemy AI improvements. Enemy fighters now move away from the player if the player is firing a weapon.

- Added particle explosion effect when player dies.

- Player spaceship skin changes based on damage sustained.

- Started replacing PRINT statements with real text.

22 MAR 2020:

- Enemy cruisers now actively target the player ship.

- Added more colors to the particle explosion effect.

- Added a  "Press Enter to Start" instruction to the title screen

23 MAR 2020:

A while back I introduced some sound effects into the game. The sound effects are excellent, but the tricky part is getting them to sync up with the action. Currently the sound starts to play again before it finishes playing the first time, resulting in a "overlapping" sound. I made a little bit of progress on this today but there's still some work to be done.

The particle explosion also needs some work. It triggers properly, but the background doesn't display at the same time, resulting in just a black screen with the explosion. Same as above, progress was made, but still some work to do . . .


24 MAR 2020:

Finally got tired of looking at square boxes so I replaced them with some scrap-looking objects.

Today I also did lots of work on the audio. The "overlapping" sound issue is almost nonexistent after adding an extra delay to the code. Next, I added some voice audio which I might use to inform the player what weapon is currently selected and when health is critical.

I also got the background to display properly with the player explosion.  Looks very nice!

(+1)

"Finally got tired of looking at square boxes so I replaced them with some scrap-looking objects."

Lol!  

It is "Scrapship" afterall.

xD

25 MAR 2020:

- Started fixing a bug where the "Cruiser" ships wouldn't target the player if the player flew above them on the Y axis.

- Experimented with fonts. Apparently QB64 is not too fond of fonts because the demo .otf file I loaded really bogged the game down. Checking to see if there is a workaround . . .


26 MAR 2020:

Today I learned how to make a .gif! End of update!

Just kidding! But seriously . . . in addition to that, I also fixed the bug where the Cruiser wouldn't fire if the player was above them. 

All the text in the game now has a custom font instead of the default that is used with Qbasic PRINT statements.

A second demo is very close now. There are a few more features I'd like to add . . . I just need to be careful of being a perfectionist. Like one of my favorite quotes reads: "Perfection is the enemy of done."

27 MAR 2020:

Lol, if the gameplay above looks a bit frantic it's because I'm rushing to save the ship after I had switched windows to press the Record button in GifCam.

Anyways, it shows off the latest two features: Improved Cruiser ship graphics (thanks to @another_blender_user on Instagram) and some fiery explosion effects that I made myself. 

The explosions can use a little more work, but overall I think they turned out quite nice. The blasts appear at random points on the ship so that no two blasts are the same.


UPDATE 28 MAR 2020:


- Reworked the title screen considerably, simplifying the sound settings and added a credits selection. Plus some graphical changes. 

- Reworked some of the projectile graphics for both the player and the enemy.

- New player ship "Blender sprite" added to the game, thanks to @another_blender_user.

Second demo coming soon . . .

(+1)

Nice!  There's a title screen and everything now!

It looks like its all starting to take shape for you mate.  Well done!  :)

Get that 2nd demo out for me!

29 MAR 2020:

- Increased planet resolution and rotation animation

- Added Credits reel

Demo Monday ???

30 MAR 2020:

Second Scrapship demo is out now! https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

I'm really pleased with the progress made as you can see from comparing the two screenshots below.


So what's next for Scrapship?

New ships, new weapons, levels, level transitions and creative ways to make the game look a little less 2D.

I still plan on posting daily updates to this devlog . . . that being said . . . the last 20% of this game will take longer and be more difficult to finish and polish. I've enlisted help for some things such as sound effects and graphics assets, but there's still much to do that creates quite the workload for a solo developer.

Finally, I'm announcing a new approach to how I release demos: A new demo every month until the game is done!

For those those that played the demo, what did you think? Anything you'd like to see or stay the same?

Thanks for reading and thanks for playing!

(+1)

Played through the new demo!

I think I found a bug in the end!

Also I made it lag a fair bit at one point, not sure what i did, but the video shows it for you at least.

I found the machine gun weapon to be way better than the first weapon, was I missing something?

Anyway I hopt the video helps, if you got questions don't be afraid to ask.  :)

Thanks for sharing the Youtube video! 

The lag at the end is intentional to give a more dramatic effect.

The rapid laser fires faster and farther but does less damage. The single laser is slower and has a shorter range, but does more damage. I'll be adding an upgrade system at some point to make all the weapons more powerful. :)

(+1)


31 MAR 2020:

I've noticed that a lot of the better quality top-down shooters have a "banking animation", so I added that to the game. More 3D and less 2D!

More graphical assets, sound effects, fancy fonts, music, voice acting -- there are lots of things that can be added to the game to help bring it to life. I have a few ideas as to which are the most practical and important, but what do you think?

(+2)

I think sound effects, music and graphics are the most important of the ones you listed.  :)

(+1)

1 APR 2020:

- Above you can see an early prototype where the player destroys an enemy ship, comes in contact with the power-up (W for wide shot). The upgraded green laser is wider and does double damage. 

(+1)

2 APR 2020:

- Lots of planet work today! Made the planet smaller for slightly faster load times. Next, I rendered the cloud layer separately from the terrain layer and raised it slightly off the main sphere. What do you think, is it less marble-like now? 

- Started added some voice overs to signal key events (health low, etc). Audio level can be set independently from sound level as seen in the title screen options above.

A new demo will be out toward the end of the month, but in the meantime the latest demo can be found at the link below . . .

https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

(+1)

3 APR 2020:

- Continued work on the laser powerups. Laser upgrades twice, getting wider and dealing more damage each time.

- Player ship now has mini explosion animations when it gets hit.

(+1)

4 APR 2020:

- Added a new ship today! It flies across the screen and fires a projectile straight down as it passes over the player.

- Slight modification to the weapon power-ups icons and effects.

- Almost forgot, yes, I'm still playing around with different planet effects.

Currently I think the new ship (in black) looks a little bit too big compared to the Cruiser (in blue).

What do you think, does the new ship need to be scaled down a bit? 

(+1)

5 APR 2020:

- Improved the hit detection. Instant death only in very obvious ship collisions. "Grazing" causes minor damage and gives the player a chance to evade.

- Added a pause button. Play resumes after any keypress.

(+1)

6 APR 2020:

- Further hit detection and bomber movement improvements. 

- Several more spaceships are ready to be added to the game. No more pixel graphics! These spaceships are all made in Blender!

While I'm waiting for certain things to get accomplished, I'm basically just making minor improvements. To that end, it would be very helpful if I could get some feedback either here or via Roast My Game. I've already made a couple adjustments based on feedback from my Instagram followers and readers.

Help roast my game: https://roastmygame.com/game/scrapship #gamedev

(+1)

7 APR 2020:

- New fighters! These were created in Blender by @another_blender_user.

- The game now has 3 functional enemy ships (fighter, bomber, cruiser). Just need to refine hitboxes, damage, image size, etc.

- Had more voice-over audio recorded last night.

- Added stats to the end of the game showing how many of each type of ship was shot down.

(+1)

8 APR 2020:

- Added shields to the fighter ships. The shields get smaller as they absorb more hits.

- Cruisers now warp into action!

- Fixed an issue where the player ship wouldn't touch the top of the screen. Also fixed enemy spawn placement issues. Fixed another issue where player ship would explode at the top of the screen.

(+1)

Are you using your own engine, or GameMaker or something? Well done either way!

(+2)

Thanks! This is programmed QB64 which is basically an updated version of Qbasic.

Qbasic is the DOS language yeah?

That's the one!

(+2)

9 APR 2020:

- Added some frames of animation to show that the player's bullets were hitting the shield of the fighters.

- Currently tweaking the explosion effects and implementing some logic so that some shots will be misses.

(+1)

10 APR 2020:

- Power-up update!
In previous versions (including the demo) the player could change the weapon by pressing the "C" button. Now, destroyed enemies drop icons that can change weapons for you!

11 APR 2020:

- New weapon: The Scrapcannon! All the orbital scrap that the player collects ultimately ends up becoming the ammunition for the best weapon in the game. 

(+2)

I survived!! Im still trying to collect all of the scrap though. I found it very fun to play, and prety intuitive overall. Maybe you could make the restart when you loose a little faster? Im very bad at top-down shooter, but I enjoyed  it. Please let me know when the third demo is out!

Awesome, glad you enjoyed it! The slow restart is due to the planet rotation graphics loading in the background. I hope to address that issue in the third demo when it comes out towards the end of this month.

Thanks for the feedback!

(1 edit) (+1)

12 APR 2020:

- Above GIF shows the icon-based weapon-swap mechanic. Seconds are indicated by dots and weapon type is indicated by the large letter. 

After shooting an enemy down, an icon appears. If collected in the first 5 seconds, one switches to the default single laser. If one waits for the R, they then have 3 seconds to switch to the rapid laser. (And if one waits still longer, they have 2 seconds to switch to the Scrapcannon). 

What I like about this design is that it prevents the player from having to press a button to change a weapon and also injects a little bit of strategy -- you can get any weapon you want, as long as you can get to it safely and are willing to wait a few seconds for it.

The icon vanishes forever after the last weapon icon cycles through . . . so you got to get it while it's still active! If you need to change weapons again you'll have to destroy something else to spawn another icon.

- Right now the game has 5 sound effects (created by @mariosello1) and some voice-over audio. I'm currently working on getting some music created for the game.

(+1)

13 APR 2020:

- The rotating planet now moves down and off the screen slowly as the level progresses. As a result, I was able to cut down the game's file size from about 50MB  to 20MB and reduced load times from 10 seconds to 3 seconds.

- Enemies are now gradually introduced. The hard-to-kill Cruisers do not join the fight until all of the fighters or bombers have been shot down.

- Bombers fly horizontally below the Cruisers but above the player's default starting location. Helps prevent getting side-swiped.

- Slightly decreased the default SFX volume.


14 APR 2020:

- Redid the planet terrain texture and brightened the clouds. Terrain and clouds now rotate one degree at a time. I've done lots of little adjustments but I think I finally have the planet looking and behaving the way I'd like. 

15 APR 2020:

- Enemies now show damage based on their current health.

(+1)

The ships are looking good!  :)

(1 edit) (+1)

I love going back to the beginning of this forum and seeing just how far you've come with this project. Suggestion: Make the cloud rotate slightly faster than the terrain, that way it looks like there is a bit of wind...

Thanks! It's definitely been a lot of work.

In the current build the clouds rotate independently in the opposite direction of the terrain. I'll have to check and see what the rotation values are. Thanks for the suggestion!

16 APR 2020:

- Rapid laser and scrap cannon increase firing speed each time they're leveled up.

- I've been using Pyxel Edit, Paint and HeliosPaint at various times for certain graphics. Though some of these programs are pretty good, my artistic ability is lacking, even if I'm trying to make something as "simple" as a pixelated explosion. So now I'm using BlastFX for my explosions and already I can see improvements in appearance.

17 APR 2020:

- Most top-down shooters rely on patterned waves of enemies so I'm experimenting with giving a little bit of AI to the enemy ships. I'd like for them to react based on factors like how much damage they or another ship has sustained or what the player is doing. So far it's going okay, but I have lots of little bugs I have to work out.

18 APR 2020:

- The enemy AI is a little bit closer to how I'd like it and I have a better idea of what changes still need to be made. The bomber definitely needs some work. I'm thinking about having it come in from the top of the screen instead of the side.

- The explosions I made with BlastFX were too large (60x60 pixels or larger) so I reduced their size by half and adjusted their placement on the enemy ships.

- Mini-milestone: First demo had 45 views and 15  downloads. Second demo has 57 views and 17 downloads. Not as much as I'd like, but it's still progress. As the demos get better in quality I expect the counts will increase even more.

Speaking of which, if you're reading this devlog and thinking to yourself, "He should really do X or Y" feel free to comment on any features you'd like to see in the game or things that need changing. I've already implemented a few changes recommended from other players (screen adjustments, pause button, increased difficulty, etc).

19 APR 2020:

- Bomber now comes in at an angle from the upper-right corner of the screen and fires a larger pulsing projectile straight down at the player.

- Made some changes to the Title screen but not sure if I'm going to keep them or not. 

- Updated the player ship sprite  by using the Blender Cycles image instead of Eevee. Has a little more definition to it now.

20 APR 2020:

- Bomber shots now home in on the player -- thankfully they only stay active for a limited amount of time. 

- Further adjustments to the title screen.

- Fixed a bug where the player was crashing against the top of the screen.

New demo out 27 April !


21 APR 2020:

- Added a really cool "drop" animation when the game first starts!

- Updated the bomber graphics so they're actually banking to the right now instead of just leveled off. Also changed the skin color.

- Added a new game mechanic last night: Enemy ships will rush towards unclaimed power-up icons. If they get to them before the player does, all of the ships of the same type get increased firepower!

(+1)

Lovin' the drop at the start!

Also, having enemies steal your power ups is classic!  xD

22 APR 2020:

- Scrapped the idea of enemy ships stealing power-up icons. Enemy ships snag the power-ups too quickly meaning the player would rarely get to use different weapons. Instead, enemy ships will get upgraded based on other conditions.

If there's one thing I've learned in this gamedev journey, it's that there are no perfect plans on paper. You could spend a week drafting up "the way it's going to be" and then three weeks into development you realize that some of those ideas you had for your game need to be scrapped. Maybe they increase loading times too much, maybe they're too hard to code, or maybe feedback from testers is making you rethink things. 

- Simplified some of the game logic. Previously I had it where both the enemy and player ships could have missed shots. Though it adds some "realism" to the game, I think it's more likely to be frustrating. For the player, any shots that graze an enemy will deal normal damage and any shots that hit the central "hitbox" will deal extra damage.

- Adjusted the layers of the enemy ships. Larger cruisers will always be in the background, medium-sized ships will be in the middle-ground and even smaller ships will be in the foreground. This ensures that no ships can hide behind another.

23 APR 2020:

- Adjusted all the damage that is given and received. The player can take a couple of hits before dying which is important because YOLO! I don't really want to call this game a "roguelike top-down shooter" but you will only have one life.  So don't get sloppy Space Cadet!

- Fixed some of the cruiser graphics.

- Currently working on the explosion animations.

Maybe you should have just one enemy that can steal powerups, and they are appear rarely and dont attack, more like a thief.

24 APR 2020:

- Increased the number of enemies for the demo. Also made power-up drops more random. Some last minute bug fixes. 

Although I say that the new demo will be out 27 April the actual release date will be around 7-8pm EST (Eastern Standard Time) this Sunday.


25 APR 2020:

- Above you can see a comparison of the second demo title screen (Left) and the upcoming third demo title screen (Right). Which one do you prefer?

- Made some gameplay videos and gifs in preparation for the third demo release. See you tomorrow!

(+1)

I prefer the left, because the words are cluttered with scrap in the other image

I have to agree, it does look more cluttered that way. Thanks for the input!

(+1)

The left menu looks cleaner and easier to read, but the right one could fuse real nice with the drop animation (wich turned out REALLY cool). You press play, the menu UI goes away, the ship drops and the game starts. It could be a really cool looking transition! Maybe you could make a "options" menu to put the sound configurations and the credits so the main menu looks cleaner. I'm really looking forward for the third demo tomorrow!

Totally agree, I've been leaning towards an Options (or Settings) menu to condense the amount of text. As you'll see in the 3rd demo (out now, if you haven't seen it already), it does the transition you describe. Great feedback, thanks!

26 APR 2020:

The third monthly demo is out NOW for followers and those that are reading this Devlog!

https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

(+1)

I just played it and it was great! I liked the transition between the main menu and the level a lot. The game restarts much faster, so i could do five or six rounds in minutes helping to mantain the pace. And you have fricking voice actors now? I loved it, it contributes to the atmosphere a lot! I also liked the bigger ships that appear as if they were jumping out of hyperspace!!

At first I missed the rapid fire gun, but as soon as I got my first power-up everything was forgoten and forgiven. The only issue I had was with the screen size. Im playing on a laptop and every time I open the game I have to readjust the window so I can see everything. 

I could collect all of the scrap! Maybe you could add some extra congratulation if you manage to do it so it feels extra rewarding. Just like the "that was some great piloting" you have when you survive, but more! Also, is the final ship supposed to render on top of my ship?

Keep it up man, I liked it a lot and its impressive the ammount of things you managed to improve since the last demo!

Excellent, glad you liked it! The game restarts faster because it's loading fewer graphics in the background (the previous demo loaded a lot of images that didn't even get used or were partly off-screen. It's a good tip if you're looking to reduce load times even in your own game).

I'll make sure to keep the voice-acting in and add more to it!

The power-ups are dropped by enemy ships randomly and then the player has 5 seconds to upgrade the single laser, 3 to upgrade to rapid laser and 2 to get the scrap cannon. If you wait past that the power-up is gone forever. I mention this because this is one of the key things I'd like to know if it's a good idea or not. Trying to avoid having the player press a button to change weapons and I think this adds a little bit of strategy to the game (you can get better weapons if you're willing to wait and if you can get to them in time).

The player ship should be above the final ship, so I'll fix that for the next demo.

Thanks so much for the feedback!

27 APR 2020:

- I call the day after a demo release "Marketing Monday" because that's pretty much all I do: Upload to Youtube, update my website, make sure my game has a presence on Itch.io (of course), but also IndieDB, Gamejolt and Roast My Game. So far feedback has been positive and the numbers are an improvement over previous demos!

- Even with all that going on, I still found some time to tackle the game itself. Today's focus was on . . . code restructuring. I'm close to 4000 lines of code and it's getting messy, so before I add any more features I'm going to condense sections that are unnecessarily redundant.

- My plan for this next month (always subject to change) is to focus on AI/logic, better bullet patterns and the addition of 2 new ships -- the Battleship and the Carrier.

https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

28 APR 2020:

- As you've probably noticed in the demo, the enemy ships only shoot individual shots, which doesn't make for very challenging gameplay. To remedy this, I've been working on how to use arrays to shoot multiple shots. Not a very exciting update, but one that will pay off if I can get it figured out.

https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo


29 APR 2020:

- Spent most of the day wrestling with arrays. Thankfully I got some decent results that I can play around with. Above was one of the more promising ones. I like how the lasers shoot faster and cover a larger area. 

I'm still not sure how they make the crazy bullet patterns you see in more hardcore shooter games (like Touhou), but I hope to figure it out shortly. A Touhou-style bullet-hell game is not what I'm going for, but some of the shot patterns and concepts are still good to keep in mind, especially for boss fights.

30 APR 2020:

- Made some progress with the "waves of enemies" system. But unlike most top-down shooters, the waves will be conditionally triggered, so one playthrough might be very different from another depending on what you do (or don't do).

- Also made some adjustments to the "spread laser" that was previewed in the last post. The new one has a more even pattern.

- I'm aiming for a release date of around 29 May for the next demo. That should give me enough time to at least get a "Lite" version of the Arcade Mode working.

(+1)

Its was a good idea to make an even pattern for the spread, much of the subconscious appeal to games like these are the pretty patterns the bullets make!

1 MAY 2020:

Is it me or are the weeks just zooming by? Seems like Friday is coming around faster and faster.

- Continued adjusting and experimenting with the "waves of enemies" system.

2 MAY 2020:

- Experimenting with setting the rapid laser as the default weapon. The single laser is slow, but much more powerful -- and looks better when fully upgraded. Only problem is that for some reason the rapid laser isn't wanting to work properly so I'm busy troubleshooting that.

- The download count for Scrapship seems to have plateaued. It's interesting to think about what could be the causes:

1) Am I posting certain content (demos, Devlog tab updates) on days where Itch doesn't have a lot of traffic? 

2) Are people just not interested in top-down shooters? (Realistically speaking, it is a very over-saturated genre).

3) Are my thumbnails and summary descriptions not "eye-catching" enough? 


Anybody else have interest in their game level out? What did you do to re-engage your audience? 

3 MAY 2020: 

- Rapid laser (as the default weapon) is now working properly!

(+1)

I think this was a really smart choice, one I upgraded my single laser I had really no incentive to change to the rapid laser. I'm very sorry for not responding earlier, it's been a rough couple of weeks. About the upgrading system (that you have to wait in order to have better upgrades) I think it does give you some strategic depth, but I didn't understand it until you explained it to me. Once I understood it, it was super fun to try them all. Maybe there is a way to make the icons more understandable? Maybe its just me tho.

Excellent feedback! Ironically I'm in the middle of making more design decisions regarding the weapons and how that all works. Feel free to email me at 40wattstudio@gmail.com if you'd rather contact me that way. How's your game going along? 

(+1)

Im glad I can be of some help. My game is coming along, maybe slower than I wanted to, but its gaining traction again. I just uploaded to the devlog. I added you to my mail contacts, mine is sepi.gamedev@gmail.com

4 MAY 2020:

- I signed up for my first Game Jam today! It's the Finish It Jam and I'll be using this time to get the "arcade mode" of Scrapship finished. The jam doesn't start for another 4 days and ends on 24 May. So basically the monthly demo of Scrapship will be released a week earlier than anticipated.

https://itch.io/jam/finish-it-jam

- Spent more time condensing the code. At one point I was at 3600 lines and now I've shrunken it down to just under 3000. Also fixed a few other minor bugs.

- Final version of Scrapship will have a soundtrack! I've enlisted the help of Tyson Cazier to create 5 tracks for the game. I just received the first 2 today And. They. Sound. Awesome!

https://www.tysoncaziermusic.com/video-game-music/

- The vast majority of my focus this month and during the game jam is going to be mostly stuff that won't translate well into screenshots and gifs or are things I'd rather leave as a surprise. So for that reason I'm deciding to refrain from my daily Scrapship updates and resume them on 24 May when the Game Jam is over.

But don't worry! I'll still be around on Itch and I'm still working on my game daily!

In the meantime, if you haven't given the third demo of Scrapship a spin, you can do so here:

https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

Thanks to everyone following this devlog and I'll see you all around 24 May with an update and a new demo!

22 MAY 2020:

Back as promised!!!

Just a quick announcement that the Finish It Game Jam ends 11pm this Saturday, so the latest demo of Scrapship should be available around that time!

Download link should be the same as usual (below), but if not, I'll post an updated link.

https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

In other news, I just received the last 2 tracks of the soundtrack today. They won't feature in the next demo, but they will in the final version.

Some things you can look forward to in the newest Scrapship demo:

- Approximately 3x more gameplay

- A Boss Fight against the Battleship!

- A  New Power-up System . . . if you don't claim them, the enemy will!

- Detailed Weapon Stats and Info on the Pause screen

Looking forward to sharing it with you!

23 MAY 2020:

Tada! Just submitted the 4th monthly demo to the Finish It Game Jam here on Itch.io.

https://itch.io/jam/finish-it-jam

I got a lot of my "wish-list" features added to the game. This is definitely one of the more "experimental" demos of Scrapship. There may be bugs. In particular I am curious to hear feedback on what you think about the new icon system. If you recall in the last demo, the icons had "timers" on them and after a set number of seconds, would change to a different weapon/powerup. In the current demo, I've scrapped that and gone with powerups that stay on screen until the player takes them . . . or the enemy does.

The latest demo can be played here:

https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

If you liked it, please feel free to drop a comment on the game page :)

27 MAY 2020:



It took a long time, but I finally found a good Youtube tutorial (by DevilFX Lasse F) for making a model of the Earth in Blender using the  free hi-res NASA textures. As a result, I was able to render out 40 frames of animation and put it in the game in place of the pixelated planet I was using earlier.
So what do you think?

In other news, Scrapship Demo 4 tied for a fitting 4th in the Finish It Game Jam. Although there were about 22 participants there were only 4 other entries, so participation in the Jam was rather low. Still, I got a lot of good feedback which will go towards making the next demo even better!

And what about the next demo?
Not sure if I can entirely pull it off, but the next demo should see the game pretty close to done in terms of the "Arcade Mode".
"Story Mode" which will only be for the paid version will take considerably longer to finish, but aiming to have that done by the end of the year.

As far as these devlogs go, sometimes several days pass without any major updates. So for that reason I'm going to experiment with weekly devlog updates, every Wednesday. I'm hoping a whole week should give me enough time to have something interesting to report, maybe even a screenshot or gif.

For those that have already tried out the 4th demo, Thanks! and for those that would like to try it out please click the link below:
https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

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3 JUN 2020:

Above is the new titlescreen for Scrapship! No more placeholder graphics for the title!

I finally learned how to install fonts and then used HeliosPaint to make the letters. There is still some tweaking I can do (thinking about moving the menu item stack up a bit), but overall I think it's a much-needed improvement.

A quick word about the planet background: It's definitely very good-looking, the only potential problem I see is that any future planets I make won't be as detailed because NASA only has hi-res textures for planets in our solar system. So if I want to make a hi-res alien planet background it might have to be a lower resolution, meaning that the textures won't be consistent.

I also figured out a way to make the health appear near the player. Not sure if I'm going to keep this feature, but it does make it easier to keep tabs on how close you are to getting blown up. Below is a pic of what that looks like:


Finally, I improved the weapon upgrade path for the player ship. It's more linear, but solves the issues I've been having with the 3 weapons not being diverse enough.

As you can see, some upgrades now let the player fire a "main shot" (center) in addition to 2 smaller side shots. Instead of separate icons for boosts to Damage, Speed and Width, I just lumped them all into a single Weapon upgrade. There are no longer icons for changing weapons.

That's all for this update. Thanks for reading and for those that have tried the demos, thanks for playing! Haven't played it yet? No worries! Just click the link below:

https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

See you next week!

(+1)

"I also figured out a way to make the health appear near the player. Not sure if I'm going to keep this feature, but it does make it easier to keep tabs on how close you are to getting blown up."

How about a system where the health appears next to you for few seconds after taking damage, then fades away.

This way the player has an easier time knowing when they getting close to death, but you also don't have the numbers awkwardly following the player at all times.

Haha! Great minds think alike! This is actually what I was wanting to do all along!

But!

In order to do that, I'd have to figure out how to properly adjust alpha values to make the health transparent and fade away. 

I've also been thinking about getting rid of a numerical-based health counter and implementing a color-coded one: Green means you're healthy, yellow is beat up, red is close to death. This color will appear on a circle or square on the player ship, which will also happen to be the primary player hitbox. 

17 JUNE 2020:

Supposedly the "average" lifespan of a laptop is about 3 years and I unfortunately got to experience that firsthand when my Windows laptop died while on a business trip. RIP Asus gaming laptop!

Thank God I was wise enough to back up all of my important files about a week or two prior, so this should have minimal impact on the development of Scrapship.

In the meantime, I still have a Mac Mini 2018 -- but it doesn't have the development tools I use.  So while I wait for my new ***desktop*** to arrive in about a month I've been honing my Blender skills and other things pertaining to game development.

So have no fear fellow gamedevs and players, Scrapship is still in production, it's just temporarily delayed. 

Meanwhile, feel free to check out my Instagram (@40wattstudio) to see what other projects I'm working on.


29 JUNE 2020:

Scrapship Demo 4 is now available for Mac!

https://40wattstudio.itch.io/scrapship-demo

It took a while, but I finally figured out how to get QB64 to display properly in OS X.

Yes . . . yes, there probably are not that many Mac gamers out there . . . but who knows! I'm just glad I know how to publish it for two different platforms now!

Woot!

In other news . . . my new Desktop is still in "Confirmed" status so it's just a matter of waiting for it to ship . . . hopefully by the middle of next month . . .