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TOPIC: Mushroom Stew (aka ProjectX)
#494
iarwain
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Mushroom Stew (aka ProjectX) 7 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 71
As you might have seen on orx's news page, I've decided to pause all my developments on orx for about a month and spend my free time to work on an entry for the latest TIGSource compo.

The entry's current codename is ProjectX and the corresponding thread is here.

I plan on using this opportunity to relalize a fullscale test of Scroll before publicly releasing it. Today I created the stub for a small sidescroller platformer.

All the assets have to come from the first part of the compo.

In order to release a nice looking and impressive game, I'm currently looking for someone willing to form a partnership with me as a designer.

Of course, if you want to code you're welcome to do so but I currently lack ideas and that's my main worry.

If you know someone who would be interested by such a partnership, please let me know!
 
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Last Edit: 2010/01/11 01:32 By iarwain.
 
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#495
ekerik
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 1
Sounds cool, good luck. It could probably generate more interest in orx aswell.
I'd love to help but I've been busy lately and I'm starting a new job next Monday so I'll probably spend my free time NOT programming .
 
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#496
iarwain
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 71
Thanks!

Good luck with your new job! =)
 
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#505
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 1
I've been playing around with the 0.6 version of ProjectX and it looks really good.
Here's just a little list of what I've discovered and my ideas:
When you have an object selected for placement (ie through mouse up/down) and then press any of the buttons the editor places the object behind that button. I know you can clear the selection first, but it's still a bit annoying.
Not having a player object in a map seems to crash the game.
Having to cycle through all the objects gets quite tedious. Some sort of object browser would be great. But I guess it's not on the priority list for the compo?
Are melee attacks implemented? The dragonprincess characters attacks doesn't seem to have any effect now.

I haven't looked at the source code that much, but it looks pretty straight forward. It seems like Scroll does a lot for you, which is nice. Also, you write very spacious code .
How locked are Scroll into creating side scrollers? Would it be possible to create someting isometric? Like for an rpg or a rts?

Anyway, that's a few thoughts from me. I hope I don't sound too critical .
 
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#506
iarwain
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 71
ekerik wrote:
I've been playing around with the 0.6 version of ProjectX and it looks really good.

Thanks for having taken time to test it, it's really appreciated!

Here's just a little list of what I've discovered and my ideas:
When you have an object selected for placement (ie through mouse up/down) and then press any of the buttons the editor places the object behind that button. I know you can clear the selection first, but it's still a bit annoying.


Definitely, I thought I got rid of this issue but I must have reintroduced it somehow. Will fix it asap!

Not having a player object in a map seems to crash the game.

Erm, probably bad player handling in ProjectX, I'll look into that today!

Having to cycle through all the objects gets quite tedious. Some sort of object browser would be great. But I guess it's not on the priority list for the compo?

Yeah, as cycling is annoying I tend to use a lot of copy/paste in the editor. I'm not sure how to organize the object browser yet, but it's definitely something I'll do later, not for the compo.

Are melee attacks implemented? The dragonprincess characters attacks doesn't seem to have any effect now.

Nah you're right, I didn't finish the Dragon Princess, I need to finish this part. My focus was to have a common interface for PCs and NPCs and I was having more fun playing with the mushrooms. I'll get back to the Dragon Princess when I'm done with all the other core features. For now I'll probably just remove her from the editor set list. I wanted her for coop play, but I don't think I'll have time to do this before the end of the compo.

I haven't looked at the source code that much, but it looks pretty straight forward. It seems like Scroll does a lot for you, which is nice. Also, you write very spacious code .

Ahah, yes, same coding style than with orx, with slightly less permissive test writing convention.

How locked are Scroll into creating side scrollers? Would it be possible to create someting isometric? Like for an rpg or a rts?

Beside the parallax (differential) scrolling option, there's nothing aimed toward side scrollers in Scroll. And this option is actually part of orx, not of Scroll itself.

Scroll's purposes are three-fold:

  • Allowing to edit maps and load them + having the editor embedded in your game, allowing to test the map you're working on on-the-fly;


  • Simplifying object managements: C++ classes are bound at init to config IDs which means you don't need to explicitely create your C++ classes, they'll be created/deleted for you;


  • Using virtuality for the most useful callbacks/events. This way your game will be notified when it starts, stops, map is loaded and your objects will be notified directly when changing animations, when a custom anim event is sent (in ProjectX I use this for shoot & footsteps sync), when colliding, etc...


Actually, the small test I wrote for Scroll is a top down action game, not a side scroller at all. However, for 3D iso, you might want to add a new way of snapping on grid, having an iso grid instead of the standard ortho one. And that's not very hard to do.

Anyway, that's a few thoughts from me. I hope I don't sound too critical .

Not at all! Thanks a lot for this feedback, it's very helpful!

Also I put the 0.7 online containing a title screen (ok I admit I liked playing with it shader but it probably won't stay like this ^^) and music/sound integration (first pass). Any new comments/thoughs are more than welcomed!
 
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Last Edit: 2009/12/28 18:13 By iarwain.
 
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#518
Blarg
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 0
Just tried the 0.7 (link to 0.8 didn't work for some reason...) Awesome so far = D. A bit hard though... as you have to shoot at ennemies while they also shoot at you... Or maybe I missed something. I would have been interrested in helping you with the game desing, but I hadn't dropped on orx-project in a while. And I still need to hang out more on tigSource... I guess that will be my resolution for the new year. Have an awesome one, by the way!
 
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#519
iarwain
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 71
Hey Blarg!

Happy to see you around!

You were a bit too fast for the v0.8, I was packing it, I didn't think someone would have tried to download today it that's why I updated my post on tigsource before uploading. =)

The v0.8 contains the first mini-level.

Also, in the first levels you can only shoot (and you need to learn enemies' patterns) but in the late ones you'll have a special weapon: either the time weapon or the gravity one, depending on the one you chose mid-game. =)

There's still a bit over a week left if you want to help me with ProjectX, I've been post-poning the level design as long as I could as I'm terrified by it! ^^

Thanks again for having tried ProjectX and posted about it here!
 
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#532
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 0
Ok ok, got to test this more in depth now. I have a few suggestions regarding the general design. I know very well that this is W.I.P. and some of these things would most probably have been fixed anyway, I'm just mentionning everything that crosses my mind.

First, I like the idea of mini-levels. I don't think they need to be very complex or large. Right now you can see almost every enemy at once and try to figure out how to proceed to kill them all, which is fine.

However, I think the game has a bit too much of a "static" feel to it. When you hit an enemy, there's no reaction except for the health bar that decreases. This isn't necessarily bad, but here it lead to kills that feel like tedious tasks. The best example is the mushroom enemy that is standing on a 1 tile-wide platform and you have to double-jump then shoot him once, again and again and again.
Another thing I've noticed is that crouching isn't very effective, since enemies shoot at you endlessly when they see you and you don't have time to shoot them without taking damage.

I'd suggest...
- For enemies in this kind of situation where killing them is going to be repetitive, just give them 1 or 2 hp.
- Even better, have ennemies kicked back when they're hit (probably wouldn't be great for all of them of course) and make them explode when they hit the ground after falling from their home platform.
- Exploding enemies should hit other enemies >=D. General friendly fire would be interesting too. I think I've read that you were planning that.
- I think enemies shouldn't see you on both sides. Instead, have them flipping side regularly and/or there should be a delay before the enemy flips to shoot at you when you're behind him.
- Enemies should need to reload after a certain amount of bullets. This was the case in 0.7 but apparently now they all have infinite ammo.
- Speed up crouch/uncrouch
- The explosion when impacting on the ground should happen more easily and actually hit and push ennemies. It could be usable manually by pressing down while landing.
- Generaly speaking, don't be afraid to make the game "too easy" for the player. I personally tend prefer a game when you can go a bit crazy and there isn't just a single, careful way to handle things. If things are dynamic, the fun will come from watching them happen. Besides, you can always implement a score system based on time taken etc.

And that's about it. I hope some of these points helps. More ideas coming when I have them. I think I'll try fooling around with the level editor/ini files later and see what I can cook!
 
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#536
iarwain
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 71
Blarg wrote:
Ok ok, got to test this more in depth now. I have a few suggestions regarding the general design. I know very well that this is W.I.P. and some of these things would most probably have been fixed anyway, I'm just mentionning everything that crosses my mind.

Excellent, thanks for having taken the time to analyze it! =)

First, I like the idea of mini-levels. I don't think they need to be very complex or large. Right now you can see almost every enemy at once and try to figure out how to proceed to kill them all, which is fine.

Good, I came with that as mini-levels are the kind of level design which is the less out of my grasp.

However, I think the game has a bit too much of a "static" feel to it. When you hit an enemy, there's no reaction except for the health bar that decreases. This isn't necessarily bad, but here it lead to kills that feel like tedious tasks. The best example is the mushroom enemy that is standing on a 1 tile-wide platform and you have to double-jump then shoot him once, again and again and again.

I totally agree for the static-ness. Actually, now the non-patrolling NPCs will turn around when hit, but I could also do that for patrolling ones + a pause after reorienting.

As for the guy hiding, he's meant to be taken out with the special weapon. =) That's a guy that won't appear in early levels, only late in the game. The strategy is:
either go on the left platform, activate the time weapon a shoot a lot of bullets, then come close to him so he stands up and all your bullets will hit him. Or with the gravity weapon: use it so as to remove it from its platform. I'll also add death for NPCs falling from too high.

Another thing I've noticed is that crouching isn't very effective, since enemies shoot at you endlessly when they see you and you don't have time to shoot them without taking damage.

You're totally right about this. I was planning on having NPCs think you're dead if you stay down for a second or two.


I'd suggest...
- For enemies in this kind of situation where killing them is going to be repetitive, just give them 1 or 2 hp.


That's a good idea, I'll lower their HP.

- Even better, have ennemies kicked back when they're hit (probably wouldn't be great for all of them of course) and make them explode when they hit the ground after falling from their home platform.

I'll think about the knock back but for the fall, if it's a big enough, it'll damage them.

- Exploding enemies should hit other enemies >=D. General friendly fire would be interesting too. I think I've read that you were planning that.

Hehe, why not. I'm not sure for the friendly fire yet as it might make the level design more tricky and I already suck at it. =)

- I think enemies shouldn't see you on both sides. Instead, have them flipping side regularly and/or there should be a delay before the enemy flips to shoot at you when you're behind him.

I already did something about this. Some NPCs won't look back behind and some will only do it if you're not hidden behind something and within the vision range.

- Enemies should need to reload after a certain amount of bullets. This was the case in 0.7 but apparently now they all have infinite ammo.

I didn't think about the reload. I'll see what I can do in the time I have left. Good idea!

- Speed up crouch/uncrouch

You're totally right, I'll do this right away.

- The explosion when impacting on the ground should happen more easily and actually hit and push ennemies. It could be usable manually by pressing down while landing.

Actually the explosion was only there as there are no dust-like FX in the assets. I'm not sure if I'll keep it or not.

- Generaly speaking, don't be afraid to make the game "too easy" for the player. I personally tend prefer a game when you can go a bit crazy and there isn't just a single, careful way to handle things. If things are dynamic, the fun will come from watching them happen. Besides, you can always implement a score system based on time taken etc.

I totally understand this. I'd like to have the first half very easy and getting more and more difficult for the hardcore players. Not difficult for reflexes but pushing them to think of alternative ways of killing the NPCs, like using the special weapons in a good way.

And that's about it. I hope some of these points helps. More ideas coming when I have them. I think I'll try fooling around with the level editor/ini files later and see what I can cook!

Thanks again for your help! As for the editor, in the current online version there's a bug when loading maps (some objects might not be loaded). I fixed it yesterday but didn't have time to update the online version. I'll do this shortly today.
 
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#537
iarwain
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 71
Ok, the version with the editor fix is online. It replaced the old 0.8 one.

I also did this changes:
- Lowered all NPCs' health
- Crouching is 4X faster
- When patrolling, NPC will reorient when hit. They'll then pause before starting to patrol again or before shooting (shorter pause)
- Some NPCs will think you're dead if you're crouching
- NPCs fire rate has been lowered

Let me know what you think of these changes.
 
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#541
smchronos
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 0
I just tried out this game. I like the simplicity. I would like to note that I couldn't compile it with the 10.4 SDK (not sure if you were intending for it to be available on that platform), but using the 10.5 SDK worked fine.

My main issue was that the "Press F1" wasn't visible on my Macbook's 13.1 inch screen. I had to move it over to my external monitor to be able to determine what I should press.

Overall, I think it's coming along nicely. I'm pretty awful when it comes to these games, so I keep dying when fighting that first red mushroom that shoots rockets (I think those are rockets). The logo screen does lag a bit for me and consume quite a lot of memory, slowing down my other processes; however, after that, my computer has no problem running the game and something else. I am using a Macbook from two years ago (well, almost... I got it two or three months from now, two years ago); so, that might mean the graphics card isn't quite up to par.
 
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#542
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 0
wow, how do i create something like that? I want to make that idea i mentioned earlier first into something like this then into a topdown 2d game then, if this evolves into that point, a 3d version.
 
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#547
iarwain
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 71
smchronos wrote:
I just tried out this game. I like the simplicity. I would like to note that I couldn't compile it with the 10.4 SDK (not sure if you were intending for it to be available on that platform), but using the 10.5 SDK worked fine.

Good to know! Weirdly enough I'm compiling it with the 10.4 SDK here. What error do you get?

My main issue was that the "Press F1" wasn't visible on my Macbook's 13.1 inch screen. I had to move it over to my external monitor to be able to determine what I should press.

I moved it a bit higher, but the screen resolution can be changed in the UserConfig.ini file when 1024x768 isn't a good fit. The sprites will be scaled accordingly and it might not look as nice as with the 1:1 ratio.

Overall, I think it's coming along nicely. I'm pretty awful when it comes to these games, so I keep dying when fighting that first red mushroom that shoots rockets (I think those are rockets). The logo screen does lag a bit for me and consume quite a lot of memory, slowing down my other processes; however, after that, my computer has no problem running the game and something else. I am using a Macbook from two years ago (well, almost... I got it two or three months from now, two years ago); so, that might mean the graphics card isn't quite up to par.

Thanks for trying and for your appreciation!
As for the logo screen, the brute force shadow shader (!) I came with is pretty inefficient. I tried to optimize it today and obtained a something 2-3 time faster code but still not satisfactory enough. As I'm a beginner with shaders, I'll have to get some doc about them in order to come with something better.

You can try the new version from the new archive if you want.
 
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#548
iarwain
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 71
milleja46 wrote:
wow, how do i create something like that? I want to make that idea i mentioned earlier first into something like this then into a topdown 2d game then, if this evolves into that point, a 3d version.

Erm, for 3D you won't be able to do it with orx in its current state, you know?

As for Mushroom Stew/ProjectX, the source code is included inside (along with Scroll, a layer on top of orx for C++ level-oriented games).

There isn't much code in the project and learning from it should be pretty easy.
 
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#550
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 0
I know it isn't in that state(yet!) but i have lots of ideas for my game and i am constantly working on it.
 
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#552
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 0
iarwain wrote:
Ok, the version with the editor fix is online. It replaced the old 0.8 one.

I also did this changes:
- Lowered all NPCs' health
- Crouching is 4X faster
- When patrolling, NPC will reorient when hit. They'll then pause before starting to patrol again or before shooting (shorter pause)
- Some NPCs will think you're dead if you're crouching
- NPCs fire rate has been lowered

Let me know what you think of these changes.


Yup, that's better : ) And I like your new level 2 (the one in the desert). Its simple and it just works well.

As for my idea of knocking back enemies this morning well uh... I don't think it's super relevant anymore. Except for big impacts maybe.

And I see now, the solitary mushroom on the pillar makes much more sense with special weapons.

I have tried to make some maps with scrollEd. I had no trouble figuring out how to proceed with this, thanks to the key bindings in the .ini. My little brother also had fun challenging me to his impossible levels xD (though some were playable and quite fun). A few good ideas came out, like a forest section that would hide enemies inside it (I don't recommend flipped over enemies, though ...). But I was pretty tired today and as such, I didn't made anything very solid. I want to try again later, but I'll also be back to work soon and it should be pretty intense this month and blah blah blah. At any rate, I think you're on a good way with your own levels yet. I think projectX could work well as a short, speed-runable game and for the score you could simply calculate the time taken minus damage taken * some multiplier maybe.

And I have some minor things to report:
- The boss mushroom acts pretty weird. Sometimes I can just stand in his face without him shooting me for a random period of time (often long enough to kill him). And then without warning he shoots me again. If that's supposed to create an effect of suspense, then it works =P

-When bumping in a wall in mid air, you can double-jump forever... I guess the collision is interpreted as if you hit the ground.

-Sometimes, sound effects are played a bit too late. for example, the mushroom makes its dying sound half a second after it's shot to death. I had noticed this when working on dragoncube actually. Just mentionning it while I've got it on my mind.
 
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#553
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 0
Good game, i just think it needs a story and a way to display a ending when you beat all the enemys in the game. And how do you make the maps you made? I wanna try to figure out how to do it for my game but can't find out how to do it with some searching.
 
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#555
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 0
iarwain wrote:
Good to know! Weirdly enough I'm compiling it with the 10.4 SDK here. What error do you get?
I get a message indicating that "GCC 4.2 is not compatible with the Mac OS X 10.4 SDK (file ProjectX.cpp)." My guess would be that Snow Leopard uses something that is a bit newer than it should be for your project. Since you said that you do not have a machine running Snow Leopard, you probably haven't run into this issue. Like I said before, selecting 10.5 or 10.6 makes it build, even though I do get 482 warnings. :/
 
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#559
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 71
smchronos wrote:
iarwain wrote:
Good to know! Weirdly enough I'm compiling it with the 10.4 SDK here. What error do you get?
I get a message indicating that "GCC 4.2 is not compatible with the Mac OS X 10.4 SDK (file ProjectX.cpp)." My guess would be that Snow Leopard uses something that is a bit newer than it should be for your project. Since you said that you do not have a machine running Snow Leopard, you probably haven't run into this issue. Like I said before, selecting 10.5 or 10.6 makes it build, even though I do get 482 warnings. :/


Wow, 482 warnings?? Damn, I presume I'll have to switch to GCC 4.2 to see what's happening!

So far I have 2 warnings when compiling scroll. They're due to the use of the offsetof macro and I need to look more into it to find a way to remove or silent them.

Can you send me the output with all your warnings so that I can try to clean a bit this mess?

Thanks for testing!
 
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#560
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Re:ProjectX 7 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 71
Blarg wrote:
Yup, that's better : ) And I like your new level 2 (the one in the desert). Its simple and it just works well.

Great, I'll try to come with 2/3 levels a day if I'm able to, and then it'll give me a day to add score + end game display and all the polish in the levels (trees, houses, ...). Will be tight as the deadline is in a week.

As for my idea of knocking back enemies this morning well uh... I don't think it's super relevant anymore. Except for big impacts maybe.

Good idea, if I get enough time I'll try to see what I can do with that.

And I see now, the solitary mushroom on the pillar makes much more sense with special weapons.

I'll try to introduce advanced mushrooms slowly along the levels. I just needed a test level with all the bad guys to see if the code was working. I might not even use this level at all in this state.

I have tried to make some maps with scrollEd. I had no trouble figuring out how to proceed with this, thanks to the key bindings in the .ini. My little brother also had fun challenging me to his impossible levels xD (though some were playable and quite fun). A few good ideas came out, like a forest section that would hide enemies inside it (I don't recommend flipped over enemies, though ...). But I was pretty tired today and as such, I didn't made anything very solid. I want to try again later, but I'll also be back to work soon and it should be pretty intense this month and blah blah blah. At any rate, I think you're on a good way with your own levels yet.

Oh, excellent! I like to see that you could both take on the editor easily. It's far from being perfect but it's useable for basic needs, I think. If you want to send me both your levels and your little brothers one, I'd be more than happy to include them in your names! Even impossible levels can be good for challenges when a player has finished the basic game and wants more.
There are a couple of new NPCs I haven't added to the editor list yest, basically with the use of homing missiles.

I think projectX could work well as a short, speed-runable game and for the score you could simply calculate the time taken minus damage taken * some multiplier maybe.

That's exactly my intent. I'd also like to have a bonus multiplier for people not being hurt at all. I wanted to add an online leaderboard, but I don't think I'll have time before the deadline. Maybe for after. Same for the coop mode. You'll find what I want to add in the TODO.txt. Any idea is welcomed!

And I have some minor things to report:
- The boss mushroom acts pretty weird. Sometimes I can just stand in his face without him shooting me for a random period of time (often long enough to kill him). And then without warning he shoots me again. If that's supposed to create an effect of suspense, then it works =P


Ahah, I must have broken something lately. I wasn't aware of that, I'll look into it.

-When bumping in a wall in mid air, you can double-jump forever... I guess the collision is interpreted as if you hit the ground.

Argl, I'll try to fix that asap. For ground detection, I send 2 vertical raycasts around the feet, it shouldn't have detected vertical walls. I'll see what is going wrong, thanks for the report!

-Sometimes, sound effects are played a bit too late. for example, the mushroom makes its dying sound half a second after it's shot to death. I had noticed this when working on dragoncube actually. Just mentionning it while I've got it on my mind.

Yeah, actually it happens when sounds are not asked to stay in cache as orx needs to reload them from the disk. But here it's not the case, just a bad design: the sound was the one of the icon disappearing not the one of the NPC's death itself. ^^ I need to add a sound on the death/explosion of the NPC. =)

Thanks again for reporting all this, it's very useful and encouraging!
 
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