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/agdg/ - Amateur Game Development General

AGDG - The Board
Winner of the 77nd Attention-Hungry Games
/x/ - Paranormal Phenomena and The RCP Authority

April 2019 - 8chan Transparency Report
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Welcome to AGDG, have you ever made a game?
See also: /ideaguy/ | /vm/

File: 7ad15f595cf6ae6⋯.png (41.11 KB, 1024x896, 8:7, titlebig.png)

File: 1b4c651d80f8dac⋯.png (1.3 MB, 1452x818, 726:409, DemoBuild1.png)

File: f59b3fd882f1d19⋯.png (1.58 MB, 1455x817, 1455:817, DemoBuild3.png)

59ac27  No.29843

IMPORTANT LINKS:

>Website(read dev logs and get builds)

https://occultusdev.wordpress.com

>Twitter(alerts on new logs)

https://twitter.com/OccultusDev

I've never made a full thread for my project, so I suppose I will now since the demo day is today and people may come here for information. It'll be another good place to log stuff at too.

Occultus is a 2D action platforming game inspired by several of the great ones from the late 80's and early 90's. The controls are straightforward and the objective is simple: get to the end of the stage and defeat the boss to move on to the next one until you beat the game.

I've tried to design the game with a high-ish level of challenge, but not in a mindless manner. I have attempted to put thought into every enemy placement, how I introduce obstacles and new foes, and to what degree I expect the play to be prepared for what lies ahead. So while some stages are harder (or easier) than others, I do my best to continually provide the most engaging challenge I can, while being fair. After all, the game is ultimately you the player pitting your skills against my design abilities. So expect the game to put up a good fight, don't go in expecting to beat it easily. But maybe you're a lot better than me and you'll find my challenges easy, who knows.

I'll try to keep this thread up to date with stuff I'm working on. I'll also try to visit every now and then to answer any questions if anyone ever has any.

59ac27  No.29853

----------DEMO DAY INFORMATION----------

If you're just arrived here from the demo day thread, below you'll find a link to the build created for this day, as well as an associated survey that you can fill out to help with development.

>LINK TO THE BUILD

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dvMSGGNQKG8RXVR426rJjZZ5-qjLf89N

>LINK TO THE SHORT SURVEY

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScj78rO8CNQ9xnkg3dCl0A-H5rm8vhK3tgwZhKPuwUbL9bJEA/viewform?usp=sf_link

>Tips/Workaround/misc

If you're having framerate issues, try toggling the shader on and off(zero key). I've seen this on some systems and its usually solved right away by this.

To cut down while in the air, just hold down S when you hit attack. You can be holding forward down too if thats more intuitive, as long as S is down when you attack in the air, you'll cut down

If you're having trouble with a section, try to use a different item for that part! Sometimes having the right item will make a segment or boss much easier. Try the available items out!

Thanks for trying my game out and I hope you have a good time with it! If you're having any issues don't hesitate to post here for help, I'll be keeping an eye here.

PS: Do note, this is the THIRD stage in the game. At this point I expect the player to have a handle on the controls, and I've already introduced a few enemy types and obstacles already, so don't give up if you're having a hard time, this is a bit further in the game so I understand if you're struggling.


59ac27  No.29856

One last note that I forgot to mention earlier, about the CRT shader.

It looks like GARBAGE in any resolutions that aren't divisible by 8 (IE not 720p or 1080p etc), and this specific build ONLY supports 16:9 resolutions. So if you are playing on a really low resolution, or one that isn't divisible by 8, the CRT shader will guaranteed look terrible, and I recommend just turning it off (zero key)


59ac27  No.29859

YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.

8ch wouldnt post my webm no matter how hard I tried, so here's an unlisted YouTube mirror. If I get the webm up Ill delete this.

Just a short little clip i threw together to give people an idea.


36ce5f  No.29861

The main two issues I have with your game is 1. the clunkyness of the player and 2. the clunkyness of the enemies.

First, and simpler, is the clunkyness of the enemies.

You need to be more consistent in wind-up animations of enemy movements, as they are currently all over the place. The wind-up of the knight is incredibly long and easy to react to (due to his block), whilst the wind-up of the Taurus is too fast to properly react to. Gargoyles have no wind-up to speak off, they just have a spear leave their body at some point. Wind-ups, even in the NES Castlevania's, exist and are of decent length.

This is especially bad with the boss, the werewolf has three different moves that use the exact same wind-up animation and sound cue, but require different methods of evasion. If you're close to the werewolf and he growls, you must either walk away (slash & jump) or jump (dash) to evade his attack. If you're too close, immediately jumping is the only way to evade the dash, but if it turns out that the wind-up was actually for a jump, then you're guaranteed to get hit. Providing different wind-up animations and sounds will help significantly.

Then there's the clunkyness of the player.

Right now, the player feels like an animated sprite that just drags over the floor. You want the action of a player pressing a button to be immediately reflected, and whilst old Castlevania games did this, you do not. Instead, you made a very clean walking animation. You should adjust the startup of the walking animation to have more punch to it. On the first few frames, the character should already have made his first step. See pretty much every NES-era game for reference. Remember, when a player presses a button, something awesome has got to happen!

Many games allow you to modify the momentum the player has mid-jump. Even if this exists to a minimal extent, simply adding this will make the player feel way more in control. Being able to cancel out a small part of your jump momentum to stop yourself from falling down those chandeliers helps a lot.

Small nitpickings:

>Gargoyles are annoying (and I assume intentionally so), but they are too cheap at the moment. You jump higher than you have vision, so it's very easy to jump into a gargoyle you can't see. The only way to dodge it is to know where and when exactly the fuckers spawn. This is worsened if you are standing at the very top of the room, as you are given even less vision.

>The room where you have to jump over two large chandeliers is fucking retarded, and face-tanking combined with intentionally manipulating gargoyle spawns is the only way I can pull it off consistently. This difficulty is way too synthetic.

>There is a small section you can skip by intentionally jumping into a gargoyle and using the vertical knock-back to get up on a platform.

>Knights, when blocking, do not inflict touch damage. You can literally walk through them and ignore them because of that.

>Bats continue to move vertically when the game is paused.

>Because you can't attack whilst crouching, dodging a Taurus by crouching under his attack makes you vulnerable to bats in one section.

>Projectiles continue to exists after they've been off the screen for a while. This may not seem like a big problem, but if you fall down from the chandeliers, you might suddenly find yourself being attacked by gargoyle spears where previously were none.

>No knockback from getting hit whilst standing. If you don't want player knockbacked of ledges, simply code it so that knockbacks cannot throw players off platforms.

>Iframes from getting hit are on the short side. Extending them a tiny amount would help a lot.

>When walking through the edge of the screen and transitioning to the next one, you should let the player character keep walking. Makes the transition more natural.

>Your font is too blurry (but you already know this)

>The large chandeliers in the chandelier section are just the small ones upscaled, pls provide higher quality, they are ugly.

>The Enter key is good for going through some menu's, but not all of them. Some require space instead. Make keys behave consistently.

>No CRT effect on thanks4play screen

>Allowing players to retry just the boss, even if it's just for the demo, would be nice. Having to redo the chandelier section is too much of a pain that I don't want to bother.

Things I want to see:

>Give players a crouch attack

>Give bosses a health bar of some sort

>Some sort of indicator for check-points


9f73de  No.29866

>>29861

Solid review. I agree especially on the 'lack of control' on the jump, and the gargoyles.

It would be great if you could control how high you jump with the length of your spacebar press (like in most platformers), and as said above having some influence on the momentum to correct your path in the air.

I like the art and shader (as long as the resolution respects it of course).


32afb9  No.29872

>>29859

>>29866

Thanks for the input, apprexciate it.

And thanks for the extra long and detailed post! Some of those things I am aware of and honestly just forgot to fix before packing(ie bats moving during pause, i keep forgetting that happens). As for the player controls, I am on the fence about adding player momentum control. I initially wanted it to be like Castlevania1-3, with a fixed jump arc that you have no control of after leaving the ground, but a lot of people seem to actively dislike this. I may move to a Nina Gaiden/Castlevania 4 style where you can slow down but not necessarily reverse direction.

As for the boss, my intention was to incentivize the player to watch and try to learn his pattern(of which there is one). Some of the other bosses in the game have more obvious tells about which attack they're gonna do, like the headless horseman, so I wanted to try something different for this midgame boss. Maybe the lean animation needs to be a bit longer. For the record, he does speed up by about 20% when under half health and the pattern changes.

As a final point on the chandelier room, well lol I didnt expect the room to harass people as bad as it seems to be at the moment. Theres a "trick" to it that once you solve you can easily do it every time. Essentially you just stand towards the middle of the first one(where it starts to lean down) then after a gargoyle throws his spear(which should miss if you just stay on the chandelier), you just run and jump to the next one(depending on your speed you may need to do a downward cut on a gargoyle as you land though). But several people don't seem to be having fun with this room so perhaps I'll tweak it. Maybe I'll make it so that gargoyles dont spawn so high or something. I want to try to make the player have to think about situations and come up with consistent solutions which exist intentionally and by design, but maybe I'm too obscure about it.

In other words i may have gone too far in a few places. Thanks again guys, your input is invaluable.


36ce5f  No.29876

>>29872

The issue with the chandelier section is a lot of different problems combined.

The vision players have is incredibly little. The game has a lower resolution than the NES, and a single jump covers so much screen space; it's hard to estimate when it's safe.

Secondly, in this section, any sort of failure is punished hard. You not only receive damage on failure, but are also denied any progress (unlike other sections where you can just ram your face through), and often end up falling all the way down, having to redo the same platforming over and over.

Third, the trick is not easy to figure out. Even with your directions, I ended up just failing miserably just now, until the gargoyles stopped spawning (because I lost too much health?) after which I finally went and beat the boss. (Which is laughably easy compared to chandeliers. Maybe Dracula should've recruited were-chandeliers instead.)

Lastly, there's no checkpoint after it. You have to redo the chandelier section every time you want to fight the boss.

I think just lowering the spawn rate of gargoyles would help a lot. Right now, it feels like you can't make a single jump without colliding against one. After you kill one, you can't just run and jump, because there's already a next one blocking your path.


59ac27  No.29877

>>29876

Yeah the resolution is something I'm playing with still. Earlier I had it expanded out but I didn't like how small the sprites became. But it might be zoomed in too far now. I'll look into that too, I hadn't been thinking of it anymore.

I do think though that tweaking their spawns will solve a lot of these issues by itself. For example, if they didn't spawn above your camera view. IE right now iirc if you jump up one might spawn higher up and when you land you'll have an unexpected spear coming at you from outside the top of your view. Tweaking their spawn rate down is also probably a good idea. I have some things to work on like playing with jump controls so I'm sure it and many other sections will need to be changed because many of these player-specific changes I'm looking into drastically change the way the game plays.


e94268  No.29913

File: bcf481e0d30528f⋯.png (39 KB, 857x552, 857:552, working in wine.png)

File: 79f796249b785a0⋯.png (37.26 KB, 1920x1080, 16:9, not very prominent.png)

File: 44bc2fa7fa32b5d⋯.png (17.13 KB, 711x392, 711:392, hard to see.png)

File: 5d2f1905d24fb52⋯.png (46.28 KB, 1920x1080, 16:9, halfass example.png)

Reposting this here for visibility.

Aside from the gameplay comments posted above, I noticed that the blue brick foreground tiles didn't stand out enough in certain areas of the game. This is a common issue I find in indie games (and I've been guilty of it too, kek). It needs to contrast with the background enough for the player to know it is solid and safe to walk on. This enemy here is also hard to see at low resolution, but more visible at higher resolution.

The tiles can mostly be solved by highlighting the outer solid sides like in this shitty mockup (but obviously in whichever way you prefer to go with the art style). The enemy probably just needs a slightly lighter palette or some well placed highlights.


59ac27  No.29942

>>29913

Thanks. I'm working on some changes to color choice, esp on that knight enemy. Sometimes things look better on your sprite sheet than in certain parts of a level.

Also, for anyone that comes looking, I'm going dark for a little while here. I wont be posting updates here for a little while. This doesnt mean going on hiatus, the opposite actually. I'm going to be focusing down hard on working on some mechanical elements for the stage 4 boss and on elements of the 5th stage. So if you're wondering where I've gone, Im just focusing. I may post an occasional thing on my site, but not as much as lately. Not until a later date.


fb1d55  No.30653

-------------------------DEMO DAY 2/2/18 POST-------------------------

If you're seeing this post, you've come to right spot for information about the new demo. Here's a quick rundown on some changes and known bugs

Changes

>Larger native res and reduced UI for wider view

>Demo contains 4 stages instead of 1. Many new enemies and new bosses

>New powerup. Feather, found in stage 4. It gives you control over your air momentum and grants you a second midair jump for a short time after use

Known Bugs

>Sometimes, torches won't play their animation. Functionality not impaired

>If you turn the CRT shader on, you may notice some distortions on pixels

>UI Text is illegible in some areas. Most notably, the little stage intro headers. I haven't made a micro font yet.

>During certain circumstances, you might be able to jump higher than normal. Not sure why this happens.

Controls can be found in the readme container with the game. Windows exe only for now.

DOWNLOAD LINK

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qzxUtfZTVci_V6XrPQQzri3-zxvlOhoJ/view?usp=drivesdk


fb1d55  No.30657

>>30653

Just adding on to this. Since I'm a scatterbrained tard, I forgot to include a really basic fix I did a long, long time ago. So to add on to the known bugs list,

>If you pause the game, the Bats will still continue their vertical movement.


0b4620  No.32407

YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.

the dev isn't dead, he keeps working on the game. He recently uploaded this music to his YT. let's hope he comes back to post progress as well


2ce6c8  No.32482

File: ec7f9afeb828925⋯.png (18.91 KB, 1200x620, 60:31, throneAd.png)

FOR ANYONE INTERESTED

I've launched a small Kickstarter campaign to try and get some additional funding to speed up the process of making this game. You can check out the campaign page here, which has loads of new information as well as a new test build you can play.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blackwoodsoftware/occultus

Some of you will be familiar with the stages a little, but many, MANY things are different, from the physics to actually having sound and music etc. So please give it a play and maybe fill out the survey for me, it helps a lot! Also consider sharing it around if you know anyone who might be into this kind of thing, the more the merrier.

>>32407

Yeah, I'm just really bad about updating here. I tend to get wrapped up in minutia and forget to post updates. Trying to get better about that though, the kickstarter will hopefully help get me into gear with these sorts of things.




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