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Carnage ! (updated 24/7)

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Hi ! I've been working on a game for some time now, i just finished converting the code to direct3d, and i got a fully playable demo with 2 levels ready ! its a 2d action packed gun game in the style of geometry wars. This game was inspired by the old smash tv game. I'm looking for feedback on the game play, as well as suggestions about what to do in the next levels. I'm still looking for 1 or more 2D artists to help me with the game ! If your interested, your task would be to create new enemies, backgrounds, bullets, explosions... Contact me by PM, by reply or by e-mail/msn at louislavallee9@hotmail.com for more information CURRENT FEATURES : -Movement and shooting directions are independent -8 Levels, including tips and progress feedback specially designed for each level -3 Unique Guns (Plasma, laser, bazooka) -8 Unique enemies (Turret, Fly, Baby Spider, Triceratops, Eye, Electron, Proton, and Sun) -1 Boss (Mother spider) -3 Different power ups (Heart, Shield, Super Shield) -Replays playing in the back of menu -Ability to save and load replays from your games -Packed with sample replays available in 'Watch Replay' Menu -Support for keyboard, mouse and XBOX 360 Controller -Highly energetic music -Fast paced action packed addictive game play CONTROLS : If you have an XBOX 360 controller plugged in, the game will use it as the default controller. Left joystick controls movement and right joystick controls gun. If you don't have a 360 controller, mouse and keyboard will be the default controls. Use WASD to move and mouse to aim gun. It is also possible to change the control scheme in the Controls menu. REQUIREMENTS : DX9 and .Net Framework 2.0 LINK : Download Total Carnage (updated 20/3) ! ScreenShots Alien Fleshy Robotic Triceratops ! (added 14/2) Incoming Triceratops ! (Added 14/2) Action shot from Classic Carnage ! (updated 17/1) Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Fighting the Giant Spider Boss ! (updated 17/1) Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Atomic Carnage ! (updated 17/1) Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Blood Test ! (added 17/1) Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us I got some questions I'd like your feedback on : -Found it fun ? -How is the difficulty ? Too hard or just right ? -Any cool mechanics ideas to suggest me? Current TODO List : -score system -Add more maps, with different physics systems/enemies/power ups/? Enjoy the game and please leave some feedback ! [Edited by - RamboPowPow on July 24, 2008 6:12:40 PM]

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Great game, here's my review:

-Found it fun ?
Yes, quite addictive, I'd like to see how long I can last. 8/10

-How is the difficulty ?
Classic is just the right difficulty I think, but Atomic is very hard. I can't last more than a minute on Atomic. 6/10

-In game score, special weapons, high scores, replay management(Save/Load), customizable controls, help screen, credits, difficulty levels ?
The only of those things that I think are necessary are the help screen, credits, score and customizable controls. The help screen to help new players who didn't read your post, the credits so that people will know that you made it , otherwise people might try to pass it off as theirs, a score so you can compete with your friends and customizable controls for people who don't like WSAD aiming.

-Mouse support for aiming the gun ?
I believe that shooters should use mouse support, however you have done a great job with the keyboard and I think you should leave it.

-Bigger sized levels ?
Progressable levels where, when you kill enough, a door opens and you go into another room with harder monsters and the room is specialized for the monster type would be a good idea, but apart from that, I don't see a point in bigger levels unless there was a boss.

-Any cool mechanics ideas to suggest me ?
No, sorry.

Overall I enjoyed it and I look forward to the full game. 7.5/10

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thanks for playing and for your feedback !

i might do the progressive levels as you described them. That's actually how my first inspiration, smash tv, worked.

about what to put in menus, I'm thinking about doing as you suggested, except for the help. The only thing the player needs to know is the controls, so he will know the controls from the help screen.

I'm also considering adding an harder difficulty level, because i can beat both levels, and I'd like a challenge that you cant complete, only get farther. Maybe this difficulty level would be unlocked after completing the game. That difficulty would also be a good justification for a score. Right now, i'm thinking of a score that you can't see in game, but announced to you as you complete a level or die. That way, you get the best of both world, a non disruptive feature. Since i will already have a menu to say that your dead/ completed level and got x points, i can add a Save as Menu replay button on that screen, that allows the player to save the replay. I think i won't allow the user to save more then one replay. That removes the need for load functionality.

Also, atomic level should be unlocked, because from you and 2 friends whom i showed it to, it's going to freak anyone who's not totally attuned to the controls and pacing of the game. Sadly though, i have found an exploit to easily beat atomic and will need to find a fix :-( Just for the record, if you made it to the mortal kombat music, you're half way though. Atomic level is a quick gimmick level I've made in one day after being inspired by my electro magnetism class. It only lasts 200 seconds, but you get to kill 10 000 enemies in that time.

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Hello again !

This new version contains :
-Changed the startup replay for a replay of Classic Carnage. This replay finishes the Classic Carnage mode, so if you think it's too hard, or want to see tactics to finish it, you can watch the replay.
-One new boss (Giant Spider)
-One new weapon (Rocket Launcher works vs Giant Spider)
-Credit Menu
-Customizable controls (still no mouse)
-Added a different menu when pressing escape during play (pause menu) so you can now resume your game, customize control, or exit your current game
-2 new Levels :
-Spider Carnage : you vs the Giant Spider (Hard)
-Double Spider Carnage : you vs 2 Giant Spiders (Almost impossible)
-Visual feedback when enemies or hero takes damage (red flashing)
-Tweaked movement so that when hero goes from not moving to moving, his speed will increase gradually, this allows for better precision when trying to dodge tight packs of bullets
-Tweaked Plasma Gun (first gun in classic) by reducing it's damage by half, so that when you get to laser gun, you feel that your really getting a better gun
-Tweaked the "flies" (libellules in french, what are they in english?) by doubling their hp
-Tweaked Classic Carnage so that you get laser gun slightly sooner (about 40 seconds after 2nd song starts, compared to 80 seconds in other version), to compensate for Plasma nerf and flies buff.

I'd appreciate any feedback, even negative. Negative feedback may not be so fun to receive, but it's the best way for me to know what you think has to change, and is important for me. Good feedback is appreciated too :-)

[Edited by - RamboPowPow on January 26, 2008 11:27:37 PM]

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I'm downloading it now, but you might get a little bet response if you upload some screenshots. They don't have to be pretty or anything, just something to show what they're downloading.

I'd check it out, but you've locked the screen resolution to (I assume) 4:3 settings and I can only see a portion of the screen (I'm using widescreen.) So, my feedback would be to add a way for users to select a resolution or detect what type of screen they're using and react accordingly.

More technical related, but I'd recommend switching image file formats to a compressed one (such as png) rather than using bmp files. It'll make your download smaller and the people downloading it happier.

[Edited by - Programmer16 on January 13, 2008 2:46:28 AM]

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What happens when a wide screen is set to 1024x768? do you get a super stretched image? or you get black borders? or as i think you said it cuts the height? does it mean you couldn't see the "Quit Game" menu ?

I'll try and find some place to upload screen shots as that's a good idea.

About the download size, I'll keep it in mind and do it someday.

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-Found it fun ?

Wow. I've never played geometry wars, but from what I've seen, this game is just as fun. I think the speed was just right and the learning curve wasn't too steep. I'm actually going to go back to the game after I write this review. One gameplay mechanic that I might update is the monster attacks. I've seen some games that allow players to be invincible for a short while after getting hit. You could try that or add recoil to the monsters attacks. Overall, it was very enjoyable to play.

-How is the difficulty ? Too hard or just right ?
I cannot comment on the atomic difficulty or the double spider, but the classic difficulty was easy enough to be enjoyable and difficult enough to provide challenge. I might make a few minor tweaks, but don't overdue it. As I mentioned before, the game is fun.

-In game score, special weapons, high scores, replay management(Save/Load), customizable controls, help screen, credits, difficulty levels
I like the aforementioned ideas and in regards to interface, I would add an audio interface as well. For example, when your player is low on health or incurs damage, I suggest that you play a sound effect in order to notify the player of danger. As you mentioned, points would be a valuable addition to the game as long as they are not distracting. And as for a customizable interface, I think it is vital to any program. When eBay modified their interface to allow customization, I was hooked all over again.

-Mouse support for aiming the gun
I think mouse input would be valuable for beginners like me, but the learning curve is not too steep as is.

-Bigger sized levels
I'm a big fan of RPGs, so if you create a story behind the game or an ending, it would be more appealing than it already is. On the other hand, the current size of the levels makes everything easier to absorb and more intense.

-Any cool mechanics ideas to suggest me?
See my response to the first question.

Edit: Found a little bug. If the player lasts for a few minutes in atomic mode, it is possible to defeat all of the enemies, and the player is left in an empty arena.

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Thanks for the comments !

About invincibility on hit :
I've thought about it, but have decided not to implement it because it reduces interactiveness of the most hectic situations. I want to reward the player who can get hit by only one bullet rather than by 5 of them when a lot of bullets are coming his way.

About Recoil :
-The sun already has recoil physics. He's invincible, but you can push him away.
-The turrets and classic eyes are not candidates for recoil (obviously)
-I've tried recoil on flies before, but it just feels awkward, since they die so fast anyways.
-I've tried it on the hero too, and i felt it removed some feeling of control, I found it wasn't fun to get pushed around. That being said, i might add recoil on hero when he gets hit by the spider's neck. That would be cool. And fun.
-I might add recoil to charged enemies in atomic mode, as they already feel very reactive to environment, and i think it would feel good. I'll try it and see how it feels.

That being said though, i need to find a way to make it more obvious that your getting hit. I was thinking about bleeding. You can never go wrong by adding more blood :)

I might also add a sound when your low in hp, but i want to be very careful about not adding too many sounds. i want the player to enjoy the music.

About the atomic mode, I'm currently re balancing in a much more interesting way. There are a couple of issues i don't like with the current version of atomic.
-It only lasts about 3 minutes
-The challenge doesn't scale up
-It's not varied. 1 gun and one type of enemy spawning at a fixed rate.
-There's a cheese. You can beat it simply by staying in the middle and quickly shooting in a circle.

So i've decided to modify it a bit.
-Duration will increase
-Challenge will scale up (spawn speed increases over time)
-Turrets will be added
-Heart power ups added
-Super Shield power up added (like classic shield, but with a wider radius and composed of 15 rather then 5 circles, meaning no bullet or enemy can make it inside the circle)
-Charged enemies that attract and repulse each other will spawn at a slower rate
-Charged enemies minimum and maximum size increased (so that they don't get confused for bullets)
-Charged enemies HP buffed and proportional to their size

I'm currently play testing it, and i like it much more than the old version. It highlights the charged enemies physics more, because when there was so many of them, it was hard to appreciate their behaviors. It also slowed down slower computers (like mine !) when there was too many of them alive at the same time.

The challenge level is also much better now, because it starts easier than old version, but ends much harder.

Oh, and about the little bug, well i didn't implement level ending in any of the modes yet. So if you make it past any other modes, the same thing will happen.

I will post the game again when i have completed the atomic re balancing. If it takes a while, blame it on the damn Double spider ! i can't beat it ! i must beat it !

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Hello !

This new version has a couple of interesting new things :
-Atomic mode rebalanced (like i said in previous post) - much more fun
-New ennemy (baby spider) : the giant spider spawns them
-New Blood generation graphics and system
-New Atomic ennemies graphics
-New enemy bullet graphics
-Use of alpha blend for decaying ennemies/blood
-New sound effect

The highlight in term of fun in this version is the Atomic mode. It is now much more balanced and the difficulty scales up well.

My personal favorite of this version is the Double spider carnage. I am still very far from being able to complete it, but the addition of the baby spiders make the encounter a lot more stressful. It is incredibly hard, but if you try it about 10 times, after getting some mastery of the other modes, this becomes a lot of fun. If anyone manages to beat it, you are my hero.

This is the first time i make art for the game, so I'd like some comment on it. I made the baby spider art, blood art, atomic art (modified from the classic carnage eye) and the new enemy bullet graphics.

What do you think about the new blood system ? too much of it ? Or do you think it adds to the coolness factor ? Want MORE of it ?

I have updated the screen shots from the first post.

***EDIT :
I am currently looking for help with art. I have done some art with in this update but i do not have enough free time to do too much of it. i will be posting in the help wanted forum soon

***EDIT #2 :
Yay ! I've beaten Double Spider !

[Edited by - RamboPowPow on January 26, 2008 11:21:00 PM]

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