iPad Shmup

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by nicolasbol, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. nicolasbol

    nicolasbol Member

    Nov 27, 2010
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    #1 nicolasbol, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
    Hello all,

    Here is my last game, I crafted the 3D engine with C, passion and bit of assembly in order to have the thing run at 60frames per second.

    It is a shoot' em up, the kind of game that I enjoy the most because they are instantly fun.

    It was challenging to work on Shmup 3D engine because I really wanted to have the thing run at 60fps even on old hardware like iTouch 2nd Generation or new hardware with a lot of fillrate such as iPad. In the end I am pretty proud of the result and I hope some people will enjoy it:


    SHMUP


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Fabien
     
  2. strivemind

    strivemind Well-Known Member

    Looks good like a good shmup, although from the screenshots it could definitely use some polish (menus and buttons for starters).

    I'll try it out and post impressions in a bit.
     
  3. strivemind

    strivemind Well-Known Member

    Game Impressions

    Ok, there is definitely potential here, but it needs some serious work. As is, it feels more like a demo.

    First, the good. Graphics and design of the units and things are excellent. And the game runs very smoothly on my Touch 3G. Good weapon and explosion effects as well.

    Sadly, there are some issues, and a general lack of polish. But if the dev's can fix some of these, then this game has some huge potential.

    • No relative touch controls
    • joystick is floaty, and if your finger leaves the area, your ship zips away at speed
    • menus and buttons are lacking polish
    • obviously trying to imitate Ikaruga with white and black enemies, but no way to switch your ship from white, leaving the black ships very difficult (if not impossible) to destroy. This can result in some cheap deaths, and makes the game feel largely unfinished.
    • no leaderboards or achievements. Doesn't appear to be any scoring method either.
    • awkward 5-finger return to menu
    • no app resume, and no pause (that I've found)
    • ship hitbox isn't clear
     
  4. nicolasbol

    nicolasbol Member

    Nov 27, 2010
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    #4 nicolasbol, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
    Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate you took the time to write all this.

    I am definitely going to keep working on the game (I am finishing the multiplayer over WIFI version this week-end).

    I don't understand this one.

    It is something I detected while playtesting too but I am unsure how to deal with this issue. An other thing that I tried (and addressed the issue mentionned) was to have the finger define a new center for the button when it is pressed so it avoids zip away speed.....but there was an issue if you started pressing too close to the screen, you had to lift the finger and press again. Maybe it would be preferable...I'll wait and see what other players think.

    I did not include a switch and the color blue/red system because this mecanism really belongs to Ikaruga. The black ships are voluntarily invincible, you have to find a way to dodge them...but there is ALWAYS a safe trick ( see the demo in the game).

    About the buttons, it was a difficult choice: In order to run at 60fps I had to save fillrate and avoid using texture too much. I found that using a texture for the button was consuming a fair amount of CPU/GPU resources for no real reason (our fingers are constantly on the buttons). So I decided to use a plain color with a diamond shape.

    The menu are a bit minimalistic, I'll rework them.

    This was also a choice, I find it meaningles to give players achievements and points. This is of course a personal opinion: Usually when I play I cannot care less about those.

    Noted....but I couldn't find an elegant way. I tried to keep as little button as possible.


    Yep, I have to work on this.

    It's pretty much always like this...couldn't find a clever way to show it. But I can tell that it is always to the player's advantage.
     
  5. strivemind

    strivemind Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply. I'm glad you're on top of things, and looking to improve the game.

    By relative touch, I mean like do away with the joystick altogether, and have your ship move relative to the movement of your finger. This is similar to some of the well-known shmups in the app store, like Dodonpachi, Phoenix, Lightning Fighter, Super Laser, etc. Switching to (or making an option for) relative touch would allow you to do away with the joystick square, and add finer control over movement.

    Instead of 5-finger menu, what about 3-finger? Far less awkward.

    If you want to keep the minimal on-screen buttons for performance reasons, that's fine, but you can probably make them more clear without additional textures. For example, something like meter or a number % percentage showing the timer on your multi-shot would look better, and be easier to see the moment it's ready.

    Don't worry too much about the hitbox. But if you like, you can always outline it in the tutorial or something.

    And I mentioned leaderboards, mostly because the additional competitive aspect will draw a lot more players, as well as encourage multiple replays, giving your app a longer lifespan.

    I hope that helps, and doesn't sound like I'm being too picky. You'll find that these forums are generally a good place to get feedback. Toss out a few promo codes to people if you need more impressions.
     
  6. syntheticvoid

    syntheticvoid Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2010
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    totally agree with this... it might add to the challenge for some players to use a d-pad for movement of the ship... but for me (and I think most gamers who play shoot-em-up games...) it's just awkward, and pretty much unplayable.

    The graphics are nice, reminds me of Icarus-X... and the framerate (even on my 8gig 2nd Gen) is great, with no lag at all.

    There's a LOT of potential with this game, and it's great to hear that you're going to keep working on it!
     
  7. medianotzu

    medianotzu Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2009
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    + all points made by strivemind. I'm going to keep my eye on this. If it gets better controls and a few of the other features mentioned then I will pick it up.
     
  8. strivemind

    strivemind Well-Known Member

    Game Impressions

    1.1 Update is out
    I have to say, the update is a huge improvement:
    • The game is now quite playable (and even enjoyable) with the touch controls.
    • And the UI looks better too, mostly since the white square joystick is gone.
    • Game Center integration is very welcome.
    • Haven't tried multiplayer yet, but sounds fun.

    Couple of little buggy things here and there though. Like when touching a second finger, to fire your homing lasers, you'll occasionally stop shooting and are required to lift and reset your finger.

    Now that I've gotten a little farther into the game (thanks to the controls) things get hard pretty fast. Not a problem, just a design decision. Will probably require some memorization to prepare for certain challenges
     
  9. syntheticvoid

    syntheticvoid Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2010
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    FREAKING AWESOME!!! After I update and play, I'll be sure and re-write my app store review. =oD
     
  10. syntheticvoid

    syntheticvoid Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2010
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    ha, nevermind... it requires OS 4.1...

    and there's no way in hell I'm updating my OS just to play this...



    please make it compatible with 4.0... actually... why the change?
     
  11. nicolasbol

    nicolasbol Member

    Nov 27, 2010
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    Hey guys,

    I've worked pretty hard to correct the major flows. I am more committed than ever to keep on working on bugs and adding more level/eyes candies for more powerful devices.

    The reason I compiled for 4.1 minimun is because a lot of people wanted to get gamecenter support. I am sorry it prevents you from enjoying the update because I really think the game got better.
     
  12. nicolasbol

    nicolasbol Member

    Nov 27, 2010
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    New version released

    A new version has been posted:

    - Lowered minimum required iOS version to 4.0
    - Added three levels of diffulty: Easy/Normal/Insane.
    - Fixed two bugs allowing to reach very very high scores
     
  13. medianotzu

    medianotzu Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2009
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    Hey, I didn't know there was a lite version! Someone should have posted that in here before!

    Anyway, having tried the lite I've decided to buy the full. Honestly I wasn't expecting much from the screenshots and impressions, but my impressions from the lite version are very positive. The lite version is very short, but I'm happy to pick up the full now that I can see this game really has some great potential. It's always great to see an independent dev working on a genre I love, listening to user feedback and displaying a general passion for their project.

    I have to say I wonder when development started on this game though, when reading the comment in the description about the dev being unable to find a good shoot 'em up for iOS. I think shmups are one genre where we fans are spectacularly spoiled for choice. There are lots of great ones for iOS in my opinion.
     
  14. nicolasbol

    nicolasbol Member

    Nov 27, 2010
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    @medianotzu

    I'm glad you find out about the free version, maybe I should make a post here so people would know.

    Development started in June 2009, I worked hard on the engine and I got something up and running pretty fast: 60fps on a 3G/iTouch 2nd generation (iPhone 2G and iTouch 1st gen are physically limited to 30fps so I removed them from the set of supported devices).

    The really hard part was production, hiring artists, coping with people giving up or disappearing from the project with no further emails :/ !

    I ended up producing most of the assets, negociating the music license with Future Crew, drawing icon, drawing all menus etc....

    Producing a game was a big great and even though it is not a AAA title I am pretty proud of what I have managed to produce ;) !

    I'll keep on improving the game, adding options now, if I sell enough I will hire a 3D artist to generate more levels.
     
  15. 99c_gamer

    99c_gamer Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2009
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    seems like a nice little gem. Can't believe I missed this!
     
  16. medianotzu

    medianotzu Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2009
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    I've played a few times now, and the framerate is really excellent, and the models and backgrounds are pretty good. The controls are great and I think the look and feel of the game is quite well done. However, I can't figure out how to return to a game from pausing (with the five finger touch), is this a bug or am I missing something? Speaking of the five finger touch, it's awkward--how about pausing with a two finger touch? Also it seems like a pretty brutally difficult game with all those indestructable enemies. I wish I could start on any level (haven't even beaten the 2nd one yet) from the beginning, just to at least get a little further instead of having to replay from the first level every time.
     
  17. syntheticvoid

    syntheticvoid Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2010
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    2 finger touch = some sort of missiles? - but a quick double tap or even 3 finger touch would be nice... it is VERY awkward placing 5 fingers to pause...


    I also would like to know what's up with the black enemies? (not a racial thing at all, hope no one takes it that way...) =o/

    I know if you hit them enough times they're destroyed, but really... when they come flying at you in patterns (Act I for example...) is the goal to weave through them, or strategically focus on certain enemies? I ALWAYS loose a couple lives in Act I because of this... and I have also not gotten past Act II... on Easy...

    It's frustrating because I just hit 6,000,000 playing Phoenix... but it's nice having a VERY hard shoot-em-up to REALLY test skill...

    Thank you again for making playable on devices with OS 4.0! And it's SO freakin great hearing you're going to stick with this project! I'm really excited about the future of this game!


    Oh yeah... forgot to mention, I will be changing my appstore review later on today... as well as try and get my friends to buy it... though I don't have many... even less who have iPods... and then even less that have upgraded past OS3.2... =o/

    I hope this game gets popular, but not too popular... I like having games that not EVERYBODY has... Bombardier's Guild is a pretty good example of that... until they made it free through openfeint's GOTD (at the time it was one of the only games I had that hadn't been made free after I had bought it) ...bastards. =oP

    hehe...

    BEST OF LUCK WITH THIS PROJECT!!!!
     
  18. Moonjump

    Moonjump Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2010
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    You can weak link the Game Center support so that it is ignored by iOS 3 devices, allowing the game to run on them.
     
  19. RCranium666

    RCranium666 Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2010
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    I still can't install on my iPad.
     
  20. nicolasbol

    nicolasbol Member

    Nov 27, 2010
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    @RCranium666 This is annoying, I have tested this on my iPad and every iPad I found around me and never had an issue: What is the error message ?

    @medianotzu

    There is no pause/resume functionality for now, I will add it in the next release (around late january).

    Five finger is because I don't want anyone to return to main menu by accident. Because it is awkward, it is hard to perform. That is a disputable choice I agree. double tap is used for special attack and I've seen a lot of people play with two fingers to increase maneuverability.

    Starting from any level priory reached will be part of next release, along with level replays.

    @Moonjump I've tried to weak link but the game exploded on my face during linking. I will have to try harder...any reference material to setup weak linking in Xcode ?

    @syntheticvoid

    The black enemies are meant to be invincible, you have to understand the pattern and find the weakness in it so you can pass. You can see the Act1 tricks is you go in Others>Demo, it is a recorded multiplayer session of me and my brother and we pass all black enemy waves without losing a single life.

    @all Thank you so much for your feedback, it helps me make the game better and it is all I want to produce: A game that people enjoy.
     

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