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WrenchCrowbar

'Neuronica' Space shooter: asking for your feedback.

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Hello everyone,

We are Cavemenstudios and we are in the process of shaping up our first game 'Neuronica'

We made it as a retro shooter and as our first product we would like some peer feedback from everyone.

It can be the music, the sound effect, gameplay, anything you can come up with would be greatly appreciated.

Our website: www.cavemenstudios.com

Direct Download on our site: http://www.cavemenstudios.com/spacegame.php

YouTube Sample: 

 

 

Thank you in advance:-)

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Sounds: These are obvious programmer sounds, and thats fine for placeholders.

The player based sounds makes me want to mute the sound outright, the 'pew pew' if thats going to be playing whilest i'm shooting all the time will get old very very quickly - it needs to be toned down a little or made into a rolling sound with a bit of a lower pitch, and the hit sound could be muted down a fair amount - at the moment it sounds like two metal poles hitting each other which feels out of place. The same sound coming out of the 'capital ship turret' compared to the 'enemy fighter' would also benefit from being mixed up a little, with the turret being more 'deep' to represent a heavier weapon might help mix up your soundscape.

Movement: I think the movement works well for the retro feel, however i do think your angular momentum cancels out a little too much/too quickly. You have the camera hard locked on your player ship, perhaps give a little 'sway' as you change direction allowing the camera to be off centered to the ship to give the impression that your view is 'catching up' to the change in momentum?

Weapon effectiveness and feedback: I'd like to see some feedback to see how damaged something was, for example, in your video you see the player hit a turret about 8-10 times before it simply explodes. You could take the approach to show the player the damage that they're causing by texturing a 'healthy' enemy differently to a 'slightly damaged' or 'critically damaged' one. Likewise you could do this to the player ship as you have your 'health bar' at the bottom of the screen, but all your action in the middle... you force the player to look to the bottom of the screen to understand how much health they have left, where you could update the texture on your player ship to show holes, or other 'battle damage'.

I'd expect the battlecruiser's weapons to be either more damaging, or more plentiful, than the fighter ships. Variance in the weapons by varying the rate of fire, spread, shot damage, etc, will create a more diverse game for you.

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The camera FOV is far too small, forcing the player to fly so close to enemies (in order to see them) that dodging bullets becomes impossible. Enemy fighters are also extremely aggressive, approaching from all directions and at even closer range than the battleship turrets.

Rules of thumb:

  • if the enemy (in this case the battleship) sees and shoots the player, the player should be able to see and shoot the enemy. When in doubt, favor the player (e.g. by letting shots hit offscreen, but not making enemies attack until they are visible)
  • Enforce a minimum travel time between the moment an enemy bullet becomes visible and when it would reach the player ship in case the player doesn't move. Dodging also depends on other factors, but giving the player enough time is a good start.
Edited by LorenzoGatti

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After playing the demo, more problems are apparent.

  • Terribly ugly 3D graphics, with rather high quality models and shaders ruined by basic geometry blunders like oblate planets and parallax effects applied to nebulas. Use orthographic projection.
  • The player ship is extremely slow and clumsy, making dodging even more impossible.
  • There is no indication of where the mission objectives are. Hide and seek is not fun.
  • Enemies stop shooting as soon as they exit the screen and glitch around randomly. Are they deleted and respawned for no good reason?
  • The mission control room has an exquisite background, but it's extremely slow, with black screens between clicking and playing.
Edited by LorenzoGatti

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Hi All,

 

Thank you so much for taking the time and looking at our little game.

I have seen some valuable feedback here! Absolutely happy with this so keep it coming please:-) 

In the meantime we will work on improvements where possible. 

 

Kind regards,

Wrench

(Cavemen Studios)

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Hi, thanks for excellent feedback!

10 hours ago, Stragen said:

Sounds: These are obvious programmer sounds, and thats fine for placeholders.

You got me there 😂

Reworking the sounds, camera which reacts to players' movement direction and damage indicators... definitely going to implement those. Also I agree that adding more variation to parameters like fire rate, movement, etc. won't hurt trying. The functionality is already there, could be that we've been too cautious.

All and all several good points which we haven't even thought about.

Edited by Ridge Batty

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Thanks for the detailed feedback, exactly what we need!

2 hours ago, LorenzoGatti said:
  • Terribly ugly 3D graphics, with rather high quality models and shaders ruined by basic geometry blunders like oblate planets and parallax effects applied to nebulas. Use orthographic projection.
  • The player ship is extremely slow and clumsy, making dodging even more impossible.
  • There is no indication of where the mission objectives are. Hide and seek is not fun.
  • Enemies stop shooting as soon as they exit the screen and glitch around randomly. Are they deleted and respawned for no good reason?
  • The mission control room has an exquisite background, but it's extremely slow, with black screens between clicking and playing.

Some of those issues will be addressed in the next version, for example loading speed (btw UE is terribly slow loading even the very basic levels). Mission target indicator system has already been reworked, but there should be some indicators in version 19. I'm hoping that the issue is not in their apparent size or in worst case a bug related to screen size or settings... 

Enemies have their own Artificial Unintelligence governed by basic set of rules and waypoints. They are not deleted until they get destroyed by the player. So they are not programmed "wrong way" in that respect. But if they appear to work inconsistently... that is another thing and something we definitely take into account.

Edited by Ridge Batty

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Hey WrenchCrowbar.  I had a chance to play your game.  I recorded it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3ndoN6WfC8&feature=youtu.be

Here are my thoughts:

- The concept seems good.  The flying mechanics are good

- I like the space physics.  How the ship keeps its inertia.  That can make for some interesting combat

- I had to restart to figure out the controls

- The game struggled on my laptop

- I don't like how WASD is move and Left Control is shoot.  It would feel better if Right Control was shoot

- I couldn't find the "signal" in mission 2.  I even checked the briefing for clues

- It would be cool if planets and asteroids had gravitational pull.  It would make flying more interesting


It's a great start.  I'm excited to see how this game evolves.

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