Jump to content
  • Advertisement

MarkParrish

Member
  • Content Count

    13
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

111 Neutral

About MarkParrish

  • Rank
    Member
  1. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    Real soon ;)
  2. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    We're hoping to make this possible real soon ;)
  3. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    Arena Gods DevLog #2 - The Execution of Execution A hot topic throughout our playtests this summer has been 'execution'. Now In Arena Gods, you can execute a knocked down opponent by standing over them and pressing B before they start getting up. Like all moves in the game, once you start an execution you are committed to it until the animation ends or you're killed or knocked down. On average, attack animations have frame counts in the teens, but execution animations average 40 frames. They're considerably longer. Each weapon has a unique execution animation. Currently, there are 3; unarmed, sword, and spear. With Good Intentions... Here is what I set out to achieve. From the beginning I wanted execute to be its own button and not a contextual action of the attack button. I wanted to avoid scenarios where the game performs a different action from what the player intended. X is attack, Y is pick up/throw, and A is dodge so I used B for execute. I wanted executions to be extravagant kills like in Hotline Miami which is why we made them long in comparison to the attack animations. I also wanted to implement some kind of feature in the future where you could earn 'glory' by performing spectacular feats, but had to risk exposing yourself while performing them. Glory would persist across rounds and could be spent to trigger things like having a weapon thrown into the arena or loosing tigers. It was also important to me for each weapon to have a unique execution animation for visual variety. Friction Things don't always turn out the way you want them to... Just about everyone complains that using a separate button for execute is unintuitive. While they all grasp it after a couple of matches, it is still an unpleasant stain on the game's input accessibility. Being a 4-player game, what often happens now when a player tries to execute is they get knocked down or killed by another player who zeros in like a vulture. This is beautifully illustrated at 0:16, 0:21, and 0:46 in the video below. Funnily enough, the original victim often gets away. Because of this we've seen our playtesters wise up and reconsider executing at times. Our smarter playtesters will often knock a player down only to retreat if danger appears too close. Arena Gods Pre-Alpha Playtest Highlights #3 [video=youtube;pF2iUCLWycQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL9dKVG9MW3eoulNpvbHSP1NTvl3X72B7Q&t=30&v=pF2iUCLWycQ[/video] Sam owns everybody, but not before Mike makes a spectacular play in The Pit! Because weapon attacks kill and don't knockdown, weapon executions don't happen. I've only ever seen 2. Currently, to perform a weapon execution you have to knock an opponent down by punching or throwing a sword at them and hoping the hilt hits instead of the blade. Then you have to go pick up a weapon really quick and move into position on top of the downed player and press B to execute before that player starts getting up. Truth Sooner or later you gotta face the music. Using the B button for execute is clearly causing more trouble than it's worth. I like that executing has an especially clear risk versus reward dynamic now because of the lengthy animations, but I dislike players complaining about feeling sluggish when they aren't supposed to be. Furthermore, a single stomp taking twice the amount of time of a sword swing doesn't make sense. There also isn't any point holding onto this idea of 'earning glory with spectacular feats' when it hasn't been thought out and I have doubts about whether it can even work. It would also be a mistake to dictate to players that an action is impressive because it has a long and cool animation. That would be completely artificial. Rather, the game should highlight feats as impressive because they truly are difficult to achieve. What's impressive in this legendary clip isn't Chun Li's wonderfully animated ultra, it's Ken's parry which is practically a single frame. Since weapon executions pretty much never happen it's questionable whether they should even exist much less be lengthy and extravagant. Iteration So this is what I'm going to do next. I'm going to deprecate the B button as execute and add execute to the X button as a contextual action. Pressing X will execute when standing over a downed opponent while there are no other opponents standing within range. If a standing opponent is close enough then X will attack instead. I'm going to simplify the animations of all executions and shorten them to be roughly the same length as their corresponding attacks. Hopefully, the risk versus reward dynamic will still remain, but players will no longer feel sluggish. Weapons executions will still remain for variety's sake, but they'll be visually efficient instead of extravagant. I'm looking forward to our next playtest to see what effect these changes will have. I'll be sure to do a follow up post after.
  4. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    Arena Gods DevLog #2 - The Execution of Execution A hot topic throughout our playtests this summer has been 'execution'. Now In Arena Gods, you can execute a knocked down opponent by standing over them and pressing B before they start getting up. Like all moves in the game, once you start an execution you are committed to it until the animation ends or you're killed or knocked down. On average, attack animations have frame counts in the teens, but execution animations average 40 frames. They're considerably longer. Each weapon has a unique execution animation. Currently, there are 3; unarmed, sword, and spear. With Good Intentions... Here is what I set out to achieve. From the beginning I wanted execute to be its own button and not a contextual action of the attack button. I wanted to avoid scenarios where the game performs a different action from what the player intended. X is attack, Y is pick up/throw, and A is dodge so I used B for execute. I wanted executions to be extravagant kills like in Hotline Miami which is why we made them long in comparison to the attack animations. I also wanted to implement some kind of feature in the future where you could earn 'glory' by performing spectacular feats, but had to risk exposing yourself while performing them. Glory would persist across rounds and could be spent to trigger things like having a weapon thrown into the arena or loosing tigers. It was also important to me for each weapon to have a unique execution animation for visual variety. Friction Things don't always turn out the way you want them to... Just about everyone complains that using a separate button for execute is unintuitive. While they all grasp it after a couple of matches, it is still an unpleasant stain on the game's input accessibility. Being a 4-player game, what often happens now when a player tries to execute is they get knocked down or killed by another player who zeros in like a vulture. This is beautifully illustrated at 0:16, 0:21, and 0:46 in the video below. Funnily enough, the original victim often gets away. Because of this we've seen our playtesters wise up and reconsider executing at times. Our smarter playtesters will often knock a player down only to retreat if danger appears too close. Arena Gods Pre-Alpha Playtest Highlights #3 [video=youtube;pF2iUCLWycQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL9dKVG9MW3eoulNpvbHSP1NTvl3X72B7Q&t=30&v=pF2iUCLWycQ[/video] Sam owns everybody, but not before Mike makes a spectacular play in The Pit! Because weapon attacks kill and don't knockdown, weapon executions don't happen. I've only ever seen 2. Currently, to perform a weapon execution you have to knock an opponent down by punching or throwing a sword at them and hoping the hilt hits instead of the blade. Then you have to go pick up a weapon really quick and move into position on top of the downed player and press B to execute before that player starts getting up. Truth Sooner or later you gotta face the music. Using the B button for execute is clearly causing more trouble than it's worth. I like that executing has an especially clear risk versus reward dynamic now because of the lengthy animations, but I dislike players complaining about feeling sluggish when they aren't supposed to be. Furthermore, a single stomp taking twice the amount of time of a sword swing doesn't make sense. There also isn't any point holding onto this idea of 'earning glory with spectacular feats' when it hasn't been thought out and I have doubts about whether it can even work. It would also be a mistake to dictate to players that an action is impressive because it has a long and cool animation. That would be completely artificial. Rather, the game should highlight feats as impressive because they truly are difficult to achieve. What's impressive in this legendary clip isn't Chun Li's wonderfully animated ultra, it's Ken's parry which is practically a single frame. Since weapon executions pretty much never happen it's questionable whether they should even exist much less be lengthy and extravagant. Iteration So this is what I'm going to do next. I'm going to deprecate the B button as execute and add execute to the X button as a contextual action. Pressing X will execute when standing over a downed opponent while there are no other opponents standing within range. If a standing opponent is close enough then X will attack instead. I'm going to simplify the animations of all executions and shorten them to be roughly the same length as their corresponding attacks. Hopefully, the risk versus reward dynamic will still remain, but players will no longer feel sluggish. Weapons executions will still remain for variety's sake, but they'll be visually efficient instead of extravagant. I'm looking forward to our next playtest to see what effect these changes will have. I'll be sure to do a follow up post after.
  5. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    Arena Gods DevLog #1 - A Prototype Called 'Uproar' Prototype Called 'Uproar', the original prototype was developed in GameMaker: Studio. It was a trial to see how the feel of Hotline Miami's combat adapted to a local multiplayer arena. It didn't turn out to be much fun. I felt the problem was the shooting. While there was no reloading, even the smallest gun could still fire 7 shots before running out. With one hit kills, the result was players strafing around and firing frantically at each other, unleashing waves of bullets. When you did manage to hit someone it wasn't very satisfying. It didn't really convey a sense of achievement, skill, or power. "It's dangerous to go alone! Take this." Rodrigo and I had been working together for half a year. We had both quit our jobs the year before to pursue independence, but after several months and a handful of prototypes our pockets were light and our hands were empty. Morale was pretty low. Playing Uproar made it worse for me. I was unsatisfied and disappointed with it. I wanted to shelve it, but Rodrigo liked it. He got excited at the idea of a local multiplayer game. I think he may have been more in love with the idea than the game, but his excitement got to me. So I decided to give it another shot. The 'Bullseye' Effect (also known as "BOOM! Headshot!") I kept thinking about Quake III Arena. The machine gun was always the least satisfying weapon to use, but the rocket launcher was extremely satisfying, especially when you landed direct hits. I loved intercepting people who strafe-jumped around the giant statues in Q3DM1 with rockets to the face. The combination of reflexes, timing, limited opportunity, and prediction required to pull off such a shot, coupled with the crystal clear feedback of success from your target exploding into a shower of giblets, like some horrific piñata, wasn't just satisfying, it was memorable. Iteration I'm a devout believer in the MDA framework. Every design choice I make is intended to achieve or enhance a feeling. I knew I had to limit the rate at which players could fire bullets, but it had to make good sense. Why does it work this way? Is it exciting? Is it meaningful? TowerFall became a pivotal influence. I admired how:You're limited to 3 arrows, but you can pick up used arrows off the ground.The controls emulate the tension and release of firing an arrow in real life, but still allow you to shoot intuitively as a gamer. On button press, X allows you to aim your arrow and on button release it fires. You can tap X to quick fire or hold X to aim and fire when ready.Arrows have slight homing which allows players to think more rather than struggle with the controls.Archery is cool. It could definitely work, but (A) it probably works better from a side perspective with gravity and (B) TowerFall already did it. I kept thinking about javelins. I've always been a huge fan of gladiators and I've always wanted to make a video game about gladiators. I've even built a couple of prototypes in the past. The dynamic of having to retrieve or acquire a new javelin every time you threw it was exciting. The theme was also very well suited for the excessive blood that I'd hope to have. So I stripped the game of all guns, added the javelin, added the sword, added the ability to catch and deflect projectiles, and added slight projectile homing. Playtest I walked over to Rodrigo's place, we booted up the game, and played. There we were, round after round, gleefully harpooning each other like sadistic idiots. We looked ridiculous, but we were having fun. We wanted to win. We wanted to show off. It was the kind of experience that left you wanting more. But I had to be sure it wasn't just us who felt this way. We held a playtest at my favorite coffee house, invited a bunch of friends, and bought everyone a cup. Most of the playtesters were gamers, but we also got a couple of non-gamers for good measure. In total we had a dozen people play the game. The non-gamers struggled. The game speed was too fast for them. They had to constantly ask about the controls. The gamers, on the other hand, hollered, trash-talked, laughed, and mashed buttons like their lives depended on it. Rematches were demanded and arms were raised. The sword was overpowered, room looping was buggy so sometimes players never came back (my bad), and executing was too fast (it was instantaneous on button press because I never made an animation). I knew. Rodrigo knew. This was it. This game needed to be made and we were going to make it.   The sword was pretty overpowered in the prototype. The ability to catch projectiles has been in from the start.
  6. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    Arena Gods DevLog #1 - A Prototype Called 'Uproar' Prototype Called 'Uproar', the original prototype was developed in GameMaker: Studio. It was a trial to see how the feel of Hotline Miami's combat adapted to a local multiplayer arena. It didn't turn out to be much fun. I felt the problem was the shooting. While there was no reloading, even the smallest gun could still fire 7 shots before running out. With one hit kills, the result was players strafing around and firing frantically at each other, unleashing waves of bullets. When you did manage to hit someone it wasn't very satisfying. It didn't really convey a sense of achievement, skill, or power. "It's dangerous to go alone! Take this." Rodrigo and I had been working together for half a year. We had both quit our jobs the year before to pursue independence, but after several months and a handful of prototypes our pockets were light and our hands were empty. Morale was pretty low. Playing Uproar made it worse for me. I was unsatisfied and disappointed with it. I wanted to shelve it, but Rodrigo liked it. He got excited at the idea of a local multiplayer game. I think he may have been more in love with the idea than the game, but his excitement got to me. So I decided to give it another shot. The 'Bullseye' Effect (also known as "BOOM! Headshot!") I kept thinking about Quake III Arena. The machine gun was always the least satisfying weapon to use, but the rocket launcher was extremely satisfying, especially when you landed direct hits. I loved intercepting people who strafe-jumped around the giant statues in Q3DM1 with rockets to the face. The combination of reflexes, timing, limited opportunity, and prediction required to pull off such a shot, coupled with the crystal clear feedback of success from your target exploding into a shower of giblets, like some horrific piñata, wasn't just satisfying, it was memorable. Iteration I'm a devout believer in the MDA framework. Every design choice I make is intended to achieve or enhance a feeling. I knew I had to limit the rate at which players could fire bullets, but it had to make good sense. Why does it work this way? Is it exciting? Is it meaningful? TowerFall became a pivotal influence. I admired how:You're limited to 3 arrows, but you can pick up used arrows off the ground.The controls emulate the tension and release of firing an arrow in real life, but still allow you to shoot intuitively as a gamer. On button press, X allows you to aim your arrow and on button release it fires. You can tap X to quick fire or hold X to aim and fire when ready.Arrows have slight homing which allows players to think more rather than struggle with the controls.Archery is cool. It could definitely work, but (A) it probably works better from a side perspective with gravity and (B) TowerFall already did it. I kept thinking about javelins. I've always been a huge fan of gladiators and I've always wanted to make a video game about gladiators. I've even built a couple of prototypes in the past. The dynamic of having to retrieve or acquire a new javelin every time you threw it was exciting. The theme was also very well suited for the excessive blood that I'd hope to have. So I stripped the game of all guns, added the javelin, added the sword, added the ability to catch and deflect projectiles, and added slight projectile homing. Playtest I walked over to Rodrigo's place, we booted up the game, and played. There we were, round after round, gleefully harpooning each other like sadistic idiots. We looked ridiculous, but we were having fun. We wanted to win. We wanted to show off. It was the kind of experience that left you wanting more. But I had to be sure it wasn't just us who felt this way. We held a playtest at my favorite coffee house, invited a bunch of friends, and bought everyone a cup. Most of the playtesters were gamers, but we also got a couple of non-gamers for good measure. In total we had a dozen people play the game. The non-gamers struggled. The game speed was too fast for them. They had to constantly ask about the controls. The gamers, on the other hand, hollered, trash-talked, laughed, and mashed buttons like their lives depended on it. Rematches were demanded and arms were raised. The sword was overpowered, room looping was buggy so sometimes players never came back (my bad), and executing was too fast (it was instantaneous on button press because I never made an animation). I knew. Rodrigo knew. This was it. This game needed to be made and we were going to make it.   The sword was pretty overpowered in the prototype. The ability to catch projectiles has been in from the start.
  7. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    Thanks man, we're trying our best!
  8. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    As promised, here is the second playtest highlights video! We were sporting 5 different nationalities on the day of the playtest (expat life in Beijing), but this match is all Brazilian! If you don't speak Portuguese then you're missing out on some hilarious trash talk, but we think you'll get the gist of it. Stay tuned for more!   Arena Gods Pre-Alpha Playtest Highlights #2 - Confronto Brazuca! [media]https:[/media] Supertype's Rodrigo tries to school our Brazilian buddies in Blazing Sun Dunes, but Francesco, Gutcha, and Fernando ain't havin' it! The closest match we've ever had! In order from left to right: Green Gladiator: Fernando Orange Gladiator: Rodrigo Red Gladiator: Gutcha Blue Gladiator: Francesco
  9. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    As promised, here is the second playtest highlights video! We were sporting 5 different nationalities on the day of the playtest (expat life in Beijing), but this match is all Brazilian! If you don't speak Portuguese then you're missing out on some hilarious trash talk, but we think you'll get the gist of it. Stay tuned for more!   Arena Gods Pre-Alpha Playtest Highlights #2 - Confronto Brazuca! [media]https:[/media] Supertype's Rodrigo tries to school our Brazilian buddies in Blazing Sun Dunes, but Francesco, Gutcha, and Fernando ain't havin' it! The closest match we've ever had! In order from left to right: Green Gladiator: Fernando Orange Gladiator: Rodrigo Red Gladiator: Gutcha Blue Gladiator: Francesco
  10. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    We hosted a playtest with a bunch of our friends in Beijing the weekend before last. There was pizza, beer, and healthy trash talk. It was a lot of fun. The plan was to record the complete matches, but unfortunately our recording rig died on us a few too many times The good news is we did manage to extract a lot of great highlights. This teaser video is a mashup of some of the best moments. We'll be posting a new video every 2-3 days so stay tuned!   Arena Gods Pre-Alpha Playtest Highlights #1 [media]https:[/media] A savage match in which our buddies Fernando, Dan, and Mike try to topple Jason as the reigning couch champion in The Pit. In order from left to right: Blue Gladiator: Mike Red Gladiator: Fernando Green Gladiator: Jason Orange Gladiator: Dan
  11. MarkParrish

    Arena Gods - A Vicious Gladiatorial Arena Game

    We hosted a playtest with a bunch of our friends in Beijing the weekend before last. There was pizza, beer, and healthy trash talk. It was a lot of fun. The plan was to record the complete matches, but unfortunately our recording rig died on us a few too many times The good news is we did manage to extract a lot of great highlights. This teaser video is a mashup of some of the best moments. We'll be posting a new video every 2-3 days so stay tuned!   Arena Gods Pre-Alpha Playtest Highlights #1 [media]https:[/media]   A savage match in which our buddies Fernando, Dan, and Mike try to topple Jason as the reigning couch champion in The Pit. In order from left to right: Blue Gladiator: Mike Red Gladiator: Fernando Green Gladiator: Jason Orange Gladiator: Dan
  12. Hey folks! This is our game ARENA GODS!   [media]https:[/media]   It's a vicious local multiplayer gladiatorial arena game where weapons are scarce, anything can be thrown, and one hit kills. Stay tuned for regular updates, videos, and screenshots!   Learn more at http://indiedb.com/games/arenagods. Follow us at https://twitter.com/supertypegames. Stalk us at https://facebook.com/arenagodsgame.     Don't be shy. Questions, comments, and critiques are all welcome. We're super friendly, most of the time ;)
  13. Hey folks! This is our game ARENA GODS! [media]https:[/media] It's a vicious local multiplayer gladiatorial arena game where weapons are scarce, anything can be thrown, and one hit kills. Stay tuned for regular updates, videos, and screenshots! Learn more at http://indiedb.com/games/arenagods. Follow us at https://twitter.com/supertypegames. Stalk us at https://facebook.com/arenagodsgame.     Don't be shy. Questions, comments, and critiques are all welcome. We're super friendly, most of the time ;)
  • 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!