Jump to content
  • Advertisement
  • entries
    112
  • comments
    236
  • views
    136703

About this blog

Still making games...

Entries in this blog

 

Upgrade Screens

There are two resources to collect in Graveyard Shift: Zombie souls and experience points. Zombie souls must be collected with soul sucker tiles while experience points are dropped by zombies where they die, ala Geometry Wars.

Zombie souls are the currency used to place tiles and enchant them, while experience points help the player gain experience levels. Every time the player goes up an experience level she gets skill points with which she can upgrade her weapons and tile enchantments. Here's a video of the upgrade screens where the player spends skill points:


Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Grenades

We added grenades to the game. Like in most games, the grenade is a powerful and scarce weapon that should only be used in tight situations, giving the player a brief respite from a nasty situation. The player will never have more than a few grenades at a time and they will be very expensive.

Instead of the right trigger, which is used to fire the other weapons, the player throws a grenade with the left trigger. The grenade is only launched when the player releases the trigger, so that it can be cooked to explode earlier than normal. If the player doesn't release the trigger in time, the grenade explodes in the player's position, dealing him just a slight amount of damage. This way the player can use a grenade to get rid of zombies crowding him.

Visually, grenades were given a red "aura" because otherwise they wouldn't be easily visible at night. Also, I used a nearly untouched stock particle effect from the Mercury Particle Engine for the explosion.

Video here:


Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Sigh...

http://indiegames.com/2012/02/uberzombie_usa_undead_tower_de.html

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Blood pools

In order to maximize the "satisfaction per kill ratio" I added blood pools. The pools are made out of a maximum of 3 blood textures that are placed close to each other, rotated randomly and expanded at different rates, giving the sensation of multiple leaking wounds.

Video here:

[media] [/media]

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

New Zombie Animations

My brother finished the new zombie animations. There are more frames for movement, attacking and dying. Video below:

[media][/media]

Also, merry Christmas everyone!

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Fog, new tile upgrade, new zombie animations

My brother has been working on new zombie sprites to replace the existing animations, which are a bit crude.

There's a new tile upgrade that links zombies, so that when a zombie is hit by a gun all linked zombies are hit with half the damage.

And fog. Lots of fog.

Video here: [media] [/media]

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Ghostbusters!

[size=2]So, I changed the fever ray so that when you play co-op, and you cross the fever rays, you get a single ray dealing 4x the normal damage:

[media] [/media]

[size=2]It was inspired by the end of the first Ghostbusters movie.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Graveyard Shift Update...

Still "working" on Graveyard Shift:

- Corrected a slew of bugs.

- Changed the main font to something more suitable to an action/horror game.

- Fixed a design problem: previously, the only way to win a decent quantity of souls was to lay down a soul sucker tile upgrade. Souls are the currency in this game, so if you didn't lay down the mentioned upgrade before running out of money, you would be stuck with very limited weapons and a very small base. So now, the tile that is already set when you start a game accelerates time during the day and captures nearby zombie souls by night. The player will still need to lay down soul sucker upgrades as her base grows.

- Added delimiters to show the player where the soul capturing limits are (helps to place new soul sucker upgrades).

- Added a new weapon, the Fever Ray (homage FTW). The fever ray will be one of the more powerful weapons, it creates a continuous ray that both damages and pushes
back zombies. With an yet-to-be-introduced upgrade it will hit all zombies in its path.

Here's a new video showing the Fever Ray (in the beginning I place four soul sucker upgrades to increase the soul capture range, it's better to watch in full screen to see all the details):

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Shooting controls...

When deciding the initial 360 gamepad shooting controls for Graveyard Shift I saw two options:

- The Geometry Wars way, where the player only needs to point the right thumbstick and the ship starts shooting immediately. This has the advantage of being intuitive and easy to grasp, and is also ideal in this game because the ship has continuous fire and no need to reload.

- The sort-of-FPS way, where the player points with the right thumbstick but only fires with the right trigger. This has the disadvantage of being harder to learn and forcing the player to reach out to the right thumbstick, but with games where the fire is not continuous and the player has limited ammo, it gives more control over the exact direction and number of fired bullets.

Since the guns in Graveyard Shift need to be reloaded and some have limitted ammo, I went with the latter. Over the past months some people (read: friends and family) who tested the game complained about the shooting controls and so I decided to change them to the Geometry Wars ones, with a nuance: the guns only fire when the player moves the right thumbstick close to the edge. This lets players point more accurately before the gun starts firing and prevents them from shooting unnecessary bullets.

So far it seems to works well, although I need more visual feedback about when the guns are firing and when they need to be reloaded.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Crypt...

To get new weapons and tile upgrades the player will have to enter the cemetery crypts and have a conversation with ghosts. If he chooses the right answers, he gets those items. If he doesn't, the game gets harder on the next round (more zombies spawned, etc.)

This is all experimental and will be cut out if people think it doesn't fit it. Anyway, here's a video:

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

A quick update...

- We started a twitter account, which you can follow here: http://twitter.com/#!/OnceABirdGames

- We didn't place in the top 20 of the DreamBuildPlay contest, which was to be expected since the game was in a very early state.

- We're currently working on the crypts, more on that soon...



Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Interview

I did an interview about Bennu for a site I hadn't heard of before:
http://truepcgaming....ator-interview/

I forgot to ask where they heard of Bennu in the first place. Mmm. EDIT - Turns out the editor read a thread about Bennu on Reddit.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

DreamBuildPlay 2011...

...So, just submitted Graveyard Shift to the 2011 DreamBuildPlay competition. It's amazing how much faster development goes when you have a set goal.

Anyway, here's the video that accompanied the entry:

[media] [/media]

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Graveyard Shift

Like Matt Damon in the Jimmy Kimmel Show, Super Ninja Kung-Fu Puzzle is the project that keeps getting bumped for another. This time for the...





What's it about this time? Graveyard Shift is a thumbstick shooter / tower defense hybrid set in a zombie-infested graveyard. The player builds his base during the day and at night the zombies attack. The game has been in development for some months now.


The player kills the zombies with guns. Instead of towers the player lays down tiles on the ground . Zombies spawn out of the ground but never on a player tile, although they can walk over them.

Tiles cost money, which the player gets by killing zombies and grabbing the coins they drop. Tiles can also be upgraded to benefit the player or affect the zombies. In the video below the player is setting down tiles and upgrading them to slow down the zombies:

[media] [/media]

The game will also feature a co-op mode with up to 4 players. In the video below there are two players, one of which is reading the tombstones:

[media][/media]

Right now we have a basic prototype but there is much to be done: add all tile upgrades and guns, replace some of the art, add sound effects and music, etc.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

So... Here it is!

Bennu for PC is here and it's free!




From the non-existing box blurb:

"Bennu is an innovative physics-based puzzler. The player controls a ball and chain and progresses through the levels by swinging from place to place, all the while destroying the blocks on each level by swinging into them. Bennu features both single and cooperative gameplay.

Bennu placed in the top 20 of the 2008 DreamBuildPlay contest."

[size="3"]Download it at Once A Bird's website.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Try Bennu out...

The first release candidate of Bennu for PC is here. We're not sure it's finished, so if you want to try it out we're thankful for any bug found, suggestions or comments.

[size="7"][color="#FF0000"]Just don't say it's too hard.[/color]


[size="4"]Download link here.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Bennu Revisited...

I just pulled Bennu out of the Xbox Marketplace, the reason being I'm about to release a free version for PC. Even though Bennu is only selling an average of 1 copy per month, it would be harsh having a priced version of Bennu with it being free on the PC.

The PC version will not be a direct port, featuring:
- Improved controls (more accurate pointing, faster rolling).
- Keyboard controls (and mouse on the menus).
- Improved tutorial.
- New and missing levels (the harsher ones of the first world were removed and replaced by easier ones).
- Some minor changes to dialogue.

Why free? As mentioned before, sales on the Xbox weren't so good (it sold about 180 copies), but I still feel it was our best game so far. I'm hoping it will get to more people on PC, where gamers are more used to hard-to-master games.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Phat Ninja

So I finished incorporating a new ninja... phat ninja! When playing co-op, one player will play as the previous "thin" ninja and the other as the phat ninja.

">Video here. If you can watch it on full screen to see all the body animations.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Color dispensers!

I've been working on the color dispensers. Like in Bennu, when a ninja touches a color dispenser he changes color and is only able to destroy blocks with the color he has at the moment.

The dispensers were inspired by the cursed seals in Naruto. Each seal is a circle with the kanji of the color it lends the ninja inside (red, green, blue). The seals are composed of particles made with the mask emitter in the Mercury Particle Engine.

When the ninja touches a seal each particle is moved towards the ninja, which gives the impression that the seal is dissolving into the ninja.

">Video here.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Start screen...

I've been very busy with porting SNKPEPP to XNA 4.0. It has shitloads of breaking changes, mostly due to Windows Phone 7. It was algo a good excuse to get rid of my level loading scheme, where I read XML documents "manually", in favor of serialization. The code now looks much better with most classes being rid of repetitive XmlDocument handling code (btw, XmlDocument is not supported in XNA 4.0).

Once I ported SNKPEPP to 4.0 I wanted to test it on the XBox but I soon found out the XNA Game Studio Connect Beta is not available in Portugal. Oh well. :(

Due to this, I'm still not sure I will be able to render blood like I wanted, using particle effects over a persistent render target, because persistent render targets are not fast on the 360.

Yesterday, for a change of pace, I started work on the start screen. In it an unknown character is being chased by one of the protagonist ninja and meets a terrible fate. ">Video here.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Flips...

Proper flips are now implemented! A sensor geometry, with collision response disabled, was added to the ninja body to make sure no objects are in the ninja's trajectory before he does a flip. Without this check, the ninja could do a flip right before hitting a wall, preventing the player from doing a proper jump. ">Video here.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Particle effects, etc.

Over the last week I added a proper grappling hook to the ninja rope and also integrated the Mercury Particle Engine V3.0, which comes with a very nice editor.

The particle effects consist dust clouds that go off whenever the ninja walks or jumps off a wall and friction sparkles when the ninja wall slides.

">Video here.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Now with rope!

Implemented wall sliding and the ninja rope. ">Video here.

Wall sliding was implemented by detecting the angle of the wall to check if it is "vertical enough" for the ninja to slide in and then applying a force to the ninja, in the direction of the wall. Right now it still has some bugs when colliding with the edges where the blocks connect to each other.

The ninja rope uses a fixed linear spring from the Farseer Physics Engine. The ninja is set to a ragdoll state when attached to the rope.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

 

Super Ninja Kung Fu Puzzle - Extra Pow Pow

Avatar Man has sold 38 copies so far, which is the worst of the three games I made.

So, for the next game, I had to choose between two of the projects I interrupted before, One Man Armada and Super Ninja Kung Fu Puzzle - Extra Pow Pow (SNKPEPP). I chose SNKPEPP because it had the cooler name. And the cooler title screen, which will feature an animation from this:


To this:



SNKPEPP is a ragdoll-physics based platformer. Like Bennu, the goal will be to remove all the blocks in a level, but there will also be fights and ninja stuff. Also, like I mentioned before, one of the goals in SNKPEPP was to remove the high entry barrier that Bennu had (because of the hard to master controls).

I had some problems the first time I approached SNKPEPP, because I tried using two ragdolls, one when the ninja was facing right the other when he was facing left. This caused collision problems when I switched between the ragdolls, so now I use a single ragdoll.

">This video shows the running and wall jumping tests and, from time to time, I turned the ninja into a limp ragdoll for fun. :) The ninja is still missing his hands and feet, but all in due time.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!