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Erik Rufelt

[UFEC]The Origin of Aliens

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Erik Rufelt    5901
The Origin of Aliens. Suddenly a rapidly evolving and proliferating alien species came to the solar system, capable of taking on the traits of both life and technology it encounters. Now it's up to you to kill them! =) Unfortunately I didn't quite finish the game, so there's not that much evolution going on (only 5 different enemies), 3 levels, and basically just a prototype. I hope to have time to keep developing it to make a complete game in the future. It's a top-down shooter, where you control a ship that shoots fire, and if you get upgrades also missiles, at different aliens, some which proliferate through division. And level 3 is under water. It's supposed to be played with an XBox control, but it's OK to play with keyboard too, only uses a few keys. UPDATE: I made a version that should run on a bit lower hardware. It seems to have crashed earlier because integrated graphics usually don't support mipmaps for non-powerof2 textures, nor anti-aliasing. I also removed the stencil-shadows as they slowed it down a bit. High-res: TheOriginOfAliens.zip. Tested on Vista 64 GeForce 8800 GT. Low-res: TheOriginOfAliensLow.zip. Tested on Vista 32 Intel GMA X3100 laptop and Win7 64 Intel X4500 desktop. Lags a bit on level 2 and 3. Screens: [Edited by - Erik Rufelt on March 30, 2010 9:15:14 PM]

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fang    157
the screenshots look great!

i installed it on my old laptop but its graphics card wasn't good enough. i'll try it on a better one when i get home today.

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rip-off    10976
My laptop is pretty new and fairly fancy, and under some of the more frantic action the frame rate took a bit of a pounding.

Its a fun game. It has some nice particle effects and the terrain in level two looks nice. I haven't made it to level three yet.

The first two times I played I got no pickups, which made the game considerably more difficult. I wonder how your algorithm is implemented. If it is based on how well the player is doing, do consider that this really disadvantages poor players [grin].

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Erik Rufelt    5901
Quote:
Original post by rip-off
The first two times I played I got no pickups, which made the game considerably more difficult. I wonder how your algorithm is implemented. If it is based on how well the player is doing, do consider that this really disadvantages poor players [grin].


Each 'wave' of enemies has a reward that you get if you kill all of them. So if you kill first few waves completely it gets much easier. Perhaps not the best way.. =) The idea was that it can add some tactics when you have to take out all the enemies in a wave or get nothing for it.

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Black Knight    769
Runs perfectly fine on my machine ati 5850.
As for controls it is really hard to avoid the spagetti firing ships with just left right movement.Maybe free movement with mouse could help with that.
Other than that looks good keep it up.
Oh and there are no sounds right?

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Erik Rufelt    5901
Quote:
Original post by Black Knight
As for controls it is really hard to avoid the spagetti firing ships with just left right movement.Maybe free movement with mouse could help with that.
Other than that looks good keep it up.
Oh and there are no sounds right?


Yeah no sounds :(. As for the controls, did you use the arrows?
Up/Down will move the ship up and down too, and can be combined for diagonal movement. A and D will turn the ship on it's side so you can move faster in that direction if needed. I hope you didn't play with only A and D. =)
It's easier to play with an XBox control which I used during testing, where the trigger buttons on the front lean the ship and the control stick moves it.

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Black Knight    769
Lol yea I only played with A-D.I tried it again now and passed the first map.
On the second map I think I collided with a mountain and died and the game crashed at that point.Details showed this :

Description:
Stopped working

Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: CLR20r3
Problem Signature 01: theoriginofaliens.exe
Problem Signature 02: 1.0.0.0
Problem Signature 03: 4bb2b823
Problem Signature 04: TheOriginOfAliens
Problem Signature 05: 1.0.0.0
Problem Signature 06: 4bb2b823
Problem Signature 07: f
Problem Signature 08: 86
Problem Signature 09: System.NullReferenceException
OS Version: 6.1.7600.2.0.0.256.1
Locale ID: 4105

EDIT: Gave it another try did the same thing and died again but this time it didn't crash so it is not easily reproducible.

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fang    157
It's an addictive game! The graphics of terrains are awesome, and the particle effects look nice.

I have to admit that my fingers aren't fast, but I did realize the most important strategy after a hour of playing - you have to do everything you can to kill the first horde (the first 6 ships). The bonus you get there is usually a fire level upgrade without which it's almost impossible to completely eliminate any horde after that. Once you get the first bonus, keep up with the hard work and there should be no problem to get to fire level 3 and missile level 2 within stage 1. That's the basis of continuing the game in later stages.

I never made through stage 3. That blue missile-firing ship always managed to take away however many lives I'm left with when I get there. I was so excited when I first saw the beautiful terrains of stage 2 and 3, it's just a shame I don't get to see stage 4 and later...

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fang    157
a few notes:
1. crashed a couple of times, all after I got game over'ed several times. likely to be some problem in the game engine resetting procedure.
2. the idea that the terrain has mountains that can crash your ship is a nice one, but it would be nicer if the mountains can be more easily seen.
3. the low res version plays fluently on my lattop (nVidia Quadro FX 570M), but at the beginning of stage 2 and 3 it lags heavily for ~5 seconds (maybe 10 fps).

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Erik Rufelt    5901
Thanks for the feedback!
I plan to keep working on the game, so hopefully there will be more levels later. It's made with XNA and also runs on XBox and I want to put it on XBox Live if I get it good enough.

The last enemy should be beatable by using A/D together with the arrows to move faster in circles to fool the homing missiles, while letting your own missiles hit the enemy. I first tried with having missiles be able to hit enemy missiles, but it got too easy then as you were almost never hit.

Quote:

1. crashed a couple of times, all after I got game over'ed several times. likely to be some problem in the game engine resetting procedure.
2. the idea that the terrain has mountains that can crash your ship is a nice one, but it would be nicer if the mountains can be more easily seen.
3. the low res version plays fluently on my lattop (nVidia Quadro FX 570M), but at the beginning of stage 2 and 3 it lags heavily for ~5 seconds (maybe 10 fps).

Not good with crashes, definitely need to look into that. I used to get out of memory errors when re-playing without restarting so now I manually release and set resources to null before reloading, perhaps one fails or something..

Do you play without shadows?
The mountains are more easily seen with shadows, but I should also try to draw them nicer with different textures or something. Hard to make terrain look good though. =)

The lag is probably from memory swapping, as it creates a large vertex buffer with everything in the beginning. The whole thing is very prototypish, and for the low-res version I only commented out the shadow drawing code, while still unnecessarily loading vertices for shadow volumes which uses up a lot of memory too.. need to add dynamic options.

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fang    157
I'm not familiar with XNA so I don't know where I can find an error log like the one Black Knight gave above. If you can tell me where to find it I'll locate for you in case it contains some useful info (but looking at Black Knight's log didn't give me any clue ...)

I didn't play the Hi-res one, I went to low-res directly when I saw you played the hi-res on Geforce 8800... but having heard there's shadow in the hi-res version, i'm definitely trying it.

Don't know if you have better solutions to the loading-phase lag problem, but a simple fix would be to throw in a loading page like I did in my entry (blatant boasting :D ). But the ultimate solution would still be optimization of course.

Wish you best luck on making your way into XBox Live!

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Alatar    303
It looks really good and I was so excited to play...then it crashed.

First Windows warned me that it may not have installed properly, but then the game ran and I saw the screen that shows the controls. I pushed enter, and then the game crashed, with a "The Origin of Aliens has stopped working".

Specs:
Windows 7 Home Premium
ATI Radeon HD 4850
9 GB DDR3 RAM
Intel Core i7 920
XNA 3.1 Installed

Did I miss something in the above posts that fixes this crash or says that my computer won't run it?

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Erik Rufelt    5901
Not sure why it would crash there, not really much happens when starting the game, except for loading the enemy positions etc.. as all models are pre-loaded before the menu screen. I looked through the code but didn't see anything that could be the reason, and your computer should definitely run it. It doesn't have any extensive error checking though, so might be some set-up failing. Did you try the low-res version?

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Alatar    303
Quote:
Did you try the low-res version?

Just tried it. No luck. I got the same crash and the same error message as before.

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