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  1. Project: Idra

    Hi there, very nice drawings. I like the style (kinda reminds me of my own ^^) The screenshots and the pixel graphics are pretty nice as well. The game mechanics sounds like a one hit death. Or will there be a health bar or something?Catching criminals sounds like a bit of detective work. Are you going to include that or is it more like having the information and go straight to the criminal? Which game engine do you use?
  2. [HELP] explosions in Videos Games

    I created explosions mostly for 2D games, but I might have a few suggestions for you. Use some sort of fire sprites for the actual explosion. Define an area where your fire sprites shall be emitted. When creating the explosion, burst a few particles with the fire sprite inside the area. Depending of the game, the area should be 2D or 3D. Use a mix of smoke particles with fire particles which are pretty much flying straight away from the explosion. Play with the lighting. Explosions are pretty bright, so you could set a light source where the explosion is. Use as much particles as possible (even for the fire). Last but not least: Use references. Check out a few games with great explosions, learn how they are built up, try to copy them. Even try copying more than one explosion. Hope it will help you with your work. Cheers, Lukas
  3. Thank you. You are absolutely right. I did spend a little to few time for this aspect. In my opinion it is very important to think of counter attacks and assume what the opponent is going to do. The "mind game" as you called it. I will definitely spend a "chapter" on it. Actually, I have never seen his work but I will check it out for sure. Maybe I will get ideas from him to implement and to write about. Up to this point, I truly covered only the standard fighting-game mechanics and my thoughts about them. Later, I want to cover more aspects like gameplay, rock-paper-scissors aspect (which is in my opinion some sort of gameplay), and more which comes to my mind. I will try to rework the tone of my piece. In my opinion this thread should help me completing my combat system and help others with theirs. That's why I want to keep it as general as possible. (I hope it works ;))
  4. I thought about creating an article. Before doing so, I wanted to know your opinions and maybe put in a few of your suggestions.
  5. Hi there, it's been a while since my last post. I was creating a bunch of games but there was always something missing. Something which makes the game (maybe unique)... After a few tries I decided to start a side project for a combat system which should be used for fighting games. I did a lot of research and programming to finally get something that makes actually fun to play. Well... it is only a prototype and I do not want to share it (yet). Now I decided to share my ideas of the basics of a combat system for fighting games. Don't get me wrong... This is only my way of doing stuff and I want as many feedback as possible and maybe it will help people with their games. I will provide a few code snippets. It will be some sort of OOP pseudo code and may have typos. Content 1. Introduction 2. Ways of dealing damage 1. Introduction What makes a combat system a combat system? I guess it could be easy to explain. You need ways of dealing damage and ways of avoiding damage. At least you need something for the player to know how to beat the opponent or the game. As i mentioned before, I will focus on fighting games. As it has ever been there is some sort of health and different ways to reduce health. Most of the times you actually have possibilities to avoid getting damage. I will focus on these points later on. 2. Ways of dealing damage How do we deal damage by the way? A common way to do so, is by pressing one or more buttons at one time in order to perform an attack. An attack is an animation with a few phases. In my opinion, an attack consists of at least four phases. 1. Perception 2. Action 3. Sustain 4. Release Here is an example animation I made for showing all phases with four frames: Every one of those has its own reason. One tipp for our designers out there is to have at least one image per phase. Now we should take a closer look at the phases itself. 2.1. Perception The perception phase should include everything to the point, the damage is done. Lets say, it is some sort of preparing the actual attack. Example: Before you would punch something, you would get in position before doing the actual action, right? Important note: the longer the perception phase is, the more time the opponent has to prepare a counter or think about ways to avoid the attack. Like having light and heavy attacks. The heavy attacks mostly have longer perception phases than the light ones. This means, that the damage dealt is likely greater compared to the light attacks. You would like to avoid getting hit by the heavy ones, right? 2.2. Action The action phase is the actual phase where damage is dealt. Depending on the attack type itself the phase will last longer or shorter. Using my previous example, heavy attacks might have a longer action phase than light attacks. In my opinion, the action phase should be as short as possible. One great way to get the most out of the attack animation itself is by using smears. They are often used for showing motion. There's ton of reference material for that. I like using decent smears with a small tip at the starting point and a wide end point (where the damage should be dealt). This depends on the artist and the attack. 2.3. Sustain At first sight, the sustain phase may be irrelevant. It is directly after the attack. My way of showing the sustain phase is by using the same image for the action phase just without any motion going on. The sustain phase should be some sort of a stun time. The images during the sustain phase should show no movement - kind of a rigid state. Why is this phase so important? It adds a nice feel to the attack animation. Additionally, if you want to include combos to your game, this is the phase, where the next attack should be chained. This means, while the character is in this phase of the attack, the player could press another attack button to do the next attack. The next attack will start at the perception phase. 2.4. Release The release phase is the last phase of the attack. This phase is used to reset the animation to the usual stance (like idle stance). 2.5. Dealing damage Dealing damage should be only possible during the action phase. How do we know, if we land a hit? I like using hit-boxes and damage-boxes. 2.5.1. Hit-boxes A hit box is an invisible box the character has. It shows it's vulnerable spot. By saying "Hit-box" we do not mean a box itself. It could be any shape (even multiple boxes together - like head, torso, arms, ...). You should always know the coordinates of your hit-box(es). Here is an example of a hit-box for my character: I am using Game Maker Studio, which is automatically creating a collision box for every sprite. If you change the sprite from Idle to Move, you may have a different hit-box. Depending on how you deal with the collisions, you may want to have a static hit-box. Hit-boxes could look something like this: class HitBox { /* offsetX = the left position of you hit-box relative to the players x coordinate offsetY = the top position of you hit-box relative to the players y coordinate width = the width of the hit-box height = the height of the hit-box */ int offsetX, offsetY, width, height; /* Having the players coordinates is important. You will have to update to player coordinates every frame. */ int playerX, playerY; //initialize the hit-box HitBox(offsetX, offsetY, width, height) { this.offsetX = offsetX; this.offsetY = offsetY; this.width = width; this.height = height; } //Update (will be called every frame) void update(playerX, playerY) { //you can also update the player coordinates by using setter methods this.playerX = playerX; this.playerY = playerY; } //Getter and Setter ... //Helper methods int getLeft() { return playerX + offsetX; } int getRight() { return playerX + offsetX + width; } int getTop() { return playerY + offsetY; } int getBottom() { return playerY + offsetY + height; } } When using multiple hit-boxes it would be a nice idea to have a list (or array) of boxes. Now one great thing to implement is a collision function like this: //check if a point is within the hit-box boolean isColliding(x, y) { return x > getLeft() && x < getRight() && y > getTop() && y < getBottom(); } //check if a box is within the hit-box boolean isColliding(left, right, top, bottom) { return (right > getLeft() || left < getRight()) && (bottom > getTop() || top < getBottom()); } 2.5.2. Damage-boxes Damage-boxes are, like hit-boxes, not necessarily a box. They could be any shape, even a single point. I use damage-boxes to know, where damage is done. Here is an example of a damage-box: The damage box does look exactly like the hit-box. The hit-box differs a bit to the actual damage-box. A damage-box can have absolute x and y coordinates, because there is (most of the times) no need to update the position of the damage-box. If there is a need to update the damage-box, you can do it through the setter methods. class DamageBox { /* x = absolute x coordinate (if you do not want to update the coordinates of the damage-box) y = absolute y coordinate (if you do not want to update the coordinates of the damage-box) width = the width of the damage-box height = the height of the damage-box */ int x, y, width, height; /* The damage the box will do after colliding */ int damage; //initialize the damage-box DamageBox(x, y, width, height, damage) { this.x = x; this.y = y; this.width = width; this.height = height; this.damage = damage; } //Getter and Setter ... //Helper methods int getLeft() { return x; } int getRight() { return x + width; } int getTop() { return y; } int getBottom() { return y + height; } } 2.5.3. Check for collision If damage-boxes and hit-boxes collide, we know, the enemy receives damage. Here is one example of a hit: Now we want to check, if the damage box collides with a hit-box. Within the damage-box we can insert an update() method to check every frame for the collision. void update() { //get all actors you want to damage actors = ...; //use a variable or have a global method (it is up to you, to get the actors) //iterate through all actors foreach(actor in actors) { //lets assume, they only have one hit-box hitBox = actor.getHitBox(); //check for collision if(hitBox.isColliding(getLeft(), getRight(), getTop(), getBottom()) { //do damage to actor -= damage; } } } To get all actors, you could make a variable which holds every actor or you can use a method you can call everywhere which returns all actors. (Depends on how your game is set up and on the engine / language you use). The damage box will be created as soon as the action phase starts. Of course you will have to destroy the damage-box after the action phase, to not endlessly deal damage. 2.6. Impacts Now that we know, when to deal the damage, we should take a few considerations about how to show it. There are a few basic elements for us to use to make the impact feel like an impact. 2.6.1. Shake the screen I guess, I am one of the biggest fans of shaking the screen. Every time there is some sort of impact (jumping, getting hit, missiles hit ground, ...) I use to shake the screen a little bit. In my opinion, this makes a difference to the gameplay. As usual, this may vary depending on the type of attack or even the type of game. 2.6.2. Stop the game This may sound weird, but one great method for impacts is to stop the game for a few frames. The player doesn't actually know it because of the short time, but it makes a difference. Just give it a try. 2.6.3. Stun animation Of course, if we got hit by a fist, we will not stand in our idle state, right? Stun animations are a great way to show the player, that we landed a hit. There is only one problem. Lets say, the player is a small and fast guy. Our enemy is some sort of a big and heavy guy. Will the first punch itch our enemy? I guess not. But maybe the 10th one will. I like to use some damage build up system. It describes, how many damage a character can get before getting stunned. The damage will build up by every time the character will get hit. After time, the built up damage reduces, which means, after a long time without getting hit, the built up shall be 0 again. 2.6.4. Effects Most games use impact animations to show the player, that he actually hit the enemy. This could be blood, sparkles, whatever may look good. Most engines offer particle systems, which makes the implementation very easy. You could use sprites as well. 2.7. Conclusion By using the four phases, you can create animations ideal for a fighting game. You can prepare to avoid getting hit, you do damage, you can chain attacks and you have a smooth transition to the usual stance. Keep in mind, the character can get hit at phases 1, 3 and 4. This may lead to cancel the attack and go into a stun phase (which i will cover later). A simple way to check for damage is by using hit-boxes and damage-boxes. 3. Ways of avoiding damage Now we are able to deal damage. There is still something missing. Something that makes the game more interesting... Somehow we want to avoid taking damage, right? There are endless ways of avoiding damage and I will now cover the most important ones. 3.1. Blocking Blocking is one of the most used ways to avoid damage (at least partially). As the enemy starts to attack (perception phase) we know, which attack he is going to use. Now we should use some sort of block to reduce the damage taken. Blocking depends on the direction the player is looking. Take a look at this example: If the enemy does an attack from the right side, we should not get damage. On the other side, if the enemy hits the character in the back, we should get damage. A simple way to check for damage is by comparing the x coordinates. Now you should think about how long the character is able to block. Should he be able to block infinitely? You can add some sort of block damage build up - amount of damage within a specific time the character can block (like the damage build up). If the damage was to high, the character gets into a stunning phase or something like that. 3.2. Dodging Every Dark Souls player should be familiar with the term dodging. Now what is dodging? Dodging is some sort of mechanism to quickly get away from the current location in order to avoid a collision with the damage box (like rolling, teleportation, ...) Sometimes the character is also invulnerable while dodging. I also prefer making the character shortly invulnerable, especially when creating a 2D game, because of the limited moving directions. 3.3. Shields Shields may be another good way to avoid taking damage. Just to make it clear. I do not mean a physical shield like Link has in the Legend of Zelda (this would be some sort of blocking). I mean some sort of shield you do have in shooters. Some may refill within a specific time, others may not. They could be always there or the player has to press a button to use them. This depends on your preferences. While a shield is active, the character should not get any damage. Keep in mind. You do not want to make the character unbeatable. By using shields which are always active (maybe even with fast regeneration), high maximum damage build up / block damage build up you may end up with an almost invulnerable character. 3.4. Jump / duck These alternatives are - in my opinion - a form of dodging. The difference between dodging and jumping / ducking is, that you do not move your position quickly. In case of ducking, you just set another hit-box (a smaller one of course). While during a jump, you are moving slowly (depends on your game). The biggest difference in my opinion is, jumping or ducking should have no invulnerable frames. I hope you enjoyed reading and maybe it is useful to you. Later on, I want to update the post more and more (maybe with your help). If you have any questions or feedback for me, feel free to answer this topic. Until next time, Lukas
  6. Tales of Vastor

    Hey there! For a while now, I am working on a redesign of my project. I changed the art and a bit of the story. Gameplay mechanics stay the same. Here are a few screenshots:     What do you think?
  7. Tales of Vastor

    Hi!   It was quite a while since my last post. I uploaded my very first demo (just for gameplay impressions) to IndieDB. You can get the file here: The reason I uploaded such an early demo is to get as much feedback as possible in order to improve the gameplay now.   I hope you guys like it and give a lot of feedback.   Cheers!
  8. Tales of Vastor

    Thank you! It's a pretty early gameplay video. I want to add a lot more detail.
  9. Tales of Vastor

    Hey there!   I did a early gameplay video of my game.   Hope you like it!
  10. New to programming!

    I think C is a good start. If your are good in C, then you should try C++. But as long as you learn the basics it doesn't matter with which language you start.
  11. New to programming!

    Hey there!   If you have no idea about programming, then i would recommend drag n drop "programming" for a fast progress. The UDK serves this kind of "programming" I think. Its pretty easy to use but you are limited (kind of). GameMaker: Studio (currently one of my favorites) has also methods to add logic without coding. Any ideas which engine you want to use?   You will soon recognize that you'll need to learn about programming. I started with Java. Then I learned C, furthermore C++ and C#. To start with programming I would recommend to take a look at C to understand the basics. If you know the basics it's pretty easy to get into another programming language or game engine.   Lukas
  12. Tales of Vastor

    Hi there!   If you like the first impressions of "Tales of Vastor", you can now subscribe to my newsletter.   There you can easily enter your mail and choose which type of notifications you want to get (either all or just important ones). This helps you to stay up to date.
  13. Tales of Vastor

    Hi guys!   I added another screenshot:   What do you say? Take a look at my website to view the image in a better resolution.
  14. Tales of Vastor

    Hi there!   I'm working on this game for a few weeks now.   So whats it all about?   The game is a fantasy RPG with a dark setting. It plays on an island called Anndara and is about it's king. King Vastor. He has inhuman strength and is able to grant one wish. But instead of granting wishes, he curses all people (but why?). Cursed people will walk the island forever, which means you cannot die at all. All the people who can't handle the curse anymore are going to become a monster.   So.. you play one of the characters who arrived at the island. And it's your job to get what you desire.   Here are a few screenshots:           You can also check it out here: (contains more images)   Hope you like it and please give feedback.   Yours Lukas!
  15. Making of Pixel Art

    Hi there!   Nice to see that you like my videos.   I've done another "making of" today. So check it out right here: It's an enemy called "The crow".    Hope you guys like it!