Grave Prosperity: Redux

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Post » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:49 am

The points I made are true for myself, but maybe not for everyone else out there. I mean, most gamers don't like to pick up a game and immediately get ninja kicked in the teeth as soon as it starts. As for me, however, I enjoy games like that. The beginning village scene from RE4, pretty much every second of Ninja Gaiden... Those kinds of games really appeal to me as a gamer, and that is the sort of experience I am trying to give with Grave Prosperity. But then of course that is also why I made that combat demonstration video also. At first the game does seem pretty insanely hard! But that video shows the skill that practice can bring. It shows how rewardingly easy and fun to play the game can be if you really learn the system.

On your second point, yes, the previously visited locations will still be open to exploration in the future episodes. In fact, The very minimal parts of the town that Amber got to explore in Part 1 will be greatly expanded upon in Miki's scenario.

Don't sweat the combat though. Practice makes perfect, and I've had a lot of practice since I am the only game tester I've got! The first time I fought the Scavengers after creating them I got my ass kicked numerous times! I was thinking to myself, "What the hell have I created??!!"
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Post » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:15 pm

LDC Studios wrote:The points I made are true for myself, but maybe not for everyone else out there. I mean, most gamers don't like to pick up a game and immediately get ninja kicked in the teeth as soon as it starts. As for me, however, I enjoy games like that. The beginning village scene from RE4, pretty much every second of Ninja Gaiden... Those kinds of games really appeal to me as a gamer, and that is the sort of experience I am trying to give with Grave Prosperity. But then of course that is also why I made that combat demonstration video also. At first the game does seem pretty insanely hard! But that video shows the skill that practice can bring. It shows how rewardingly easy and fun to play the game can be if you really learn the system.

On your second point, yes, the previously visited locations will still be open to exploration in the future episodes. In fact, The very minimal parts of the town that Amber got to explore in Part 1 will be greatly expanded upon in Miki's scenario.

Don't sweat the combat though. Practice makes perfect, and I've had a lot of practice since I am the only game tester I've got! The first time I fought the Scavengers after creating them I got my ass kicked numerous times! I was thinking to myself, "What the hell have I created??!!"



I actually found the beginning village part in RE4 fairly easy, it was the part that introduced Iron Maidens on the island that got me (It's where you jump down into garbage with Ashley and a Regenerator with spikes comes to life). Can't say I've played Ninja Gaiden.

If you've played the first Ys game, it has some fairly BS bosses, and the game itself requires you be a certain level and have specific equipment for each in order to beat them, otherwise they're completely overpowered.

Getting ninja kicked in the teeth does describe my first experiences with the enemies, it's good that you can make the actual player as surprised as the character.

How hard is it making the AI for the enemies? I had to hire a freelancer since I had no idea what I was doing for AI, and my game is 2D. :3

I always seem to forget about the exp system when thinking about enemy HP, no idea why.

Any ETA on part 2's release? Also any idea how many characters are going to be trapped in Prosperity? Let me know if I can audition for any character voices (can do it for free).

Completely off topic for a moment here but I'm wondering, did you see my post in the Works In Progress section with my game and some demos? Would love to hear what you think of it so far.
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Post » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:35 am

I'm not sure what the Ys games are. I would like to check it out though.

The AI was pretty easy for this game. Since the characters move freely on the map instead of just left and right, I put an invisible arrow at the feet of each enemy that is programmed to point at Amber's collision detector at all times, and the enemy will move in whatever direction the arrow is pointed. There is also an invisible attack range box at the feet of each enemy as well, and if Amber's collision box overlaps that box the enemy will attack. And then there's the special attacks that are set to a randomly generated variable. As long as the enemy is not in mid attack animation, or mid damage or death animation, they can use their special attack if the variable warrants it.

I wish I had even a vague idea of when Part 2 will be ready, but I really don't. It is certainly already much more visually appealing than Part 1 was, as lots of work is going into the environment. Miki will be outside in the rain a lot of the time, so I'm getting to play with particle effects a lot more in this episode, and they are looking very impressive without affecting performance. This game will cover Amber, Miki and Gabriel. Gabriel will be more of a side character, but depending on how everything turns out after the entire game is complete, I may release a DLC where you play through Gabriel's story and learn about what he was doing while Amber and Miki were doing their thing.

I haven't seen your post. Send a link and I'll check it out. I'm so busy with the project that I only get online to check on the pages I've posted the game on.
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Post » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:18 am

Here is a gif of the rain system for Part 2. It's too bad the gif file is too small to see the splashes of water bouncing up off from Miki and her environment very well.
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But yeah, things like walking through puddles, running, dodging, will all send water splashing up from under your character. I thought it was a kind of neat extra visual effect to have. Plus it makes the backgrounds seem a bit less static and boring.
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Post » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:46 pm

How big is the collision box for Amber to hit enemies? I seem to remember being able to get into positions where the enemy could hit me but my attacks would always miss.

The rain looks really good from what I can see, those little white dots on the .gif are the splashes right?
Also take care when uses the particles, fairly use the flame breath on part 1's end boss used particle effect which caused major lag.

Here's my game, apparently people don't give tons of views and praise unless you have mad art skills and your game looks finished even though it's in pre-alpha.
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Post » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:24 pm

She has a pretty good sized box, but I made it purposely so that the enemies have slightly better reach than amber so that you could not just spam attacks and keep the monsters at a distance that would not allow them to attack. This way Amber is always within attack range and the player is forced to use strategy opposed to just button mash.

Yup, the little white dots are the splashes. I kept them at only 2 pixels big so that I could use a lot of them. Same with the rain, the drops are a single line that is only a pixel wide. The fire from Part 1 was a pretty large sized graphic, so I think that really helped cause the lag. It was a break in the action though, so I don't mind it too much. With the rain being so small I haven't had any issues with performance so far.

That's right, I remember seeing your game before. I was always terrible at the Metroid games, as they were the classic Nintendo fair of fake walls and impossible to figure out without a walkthrough or 100's of hours kinds of stages. It definitely has the look and feel of the Metroid games though. I might put in small tutorials for the doors that need to be shot with rockets to open. Even though it may seem obvious to someone who has played the old Metroids in the past (As there is a rocket pickup and a door and nothing else to really do but use the new item on the door), today's gamers will probably not be so quick to pick up on that cue. It does go against the spirit of classic Metroid, but it could serve the game well for modern gamers.

On the note of it not getting much love because of its art style, I don't believe people really care much about that at all. I've seen tons of games here, on Steam, and pretty much everywhere else on the net that look and play like they were ripped right out of the 1980's, and people dig them WAY more than even my game, with its solid controls, full CG cutscenes, an ACTUAL story, professional voice actresses and advanced 2.5D graphic style. What I'm saying is I think if you market your game right, people will be all over it. There is still a HUGE fanbase for the old-school Metroid. You just may not be reaching them.
People don't want overly complicated, or "too difficult." They want simple and fun. That's it. The vast majority of gamers today are lazy impatient kids who do not want to take the time to read or figure things out for themselves. They want to be spoon-fed a linear experience that has as few roadblocks or deaths to impede their progress as possible, and tons of checkpoints. "True gamers" still exist, but they are hard to find even in the Indie Market. You'll find more hipsters in this market, who like to claim they know true gaming. Until they rage-quit and prove themselves wrong.
Stick it out. It can be slightly infuriating at times, but the only one who can stop you from making something great is yourself. That's the true beauty of the Indie Market.
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Post » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:05 am

LDC Studios wrote:1.She has a pretty good sized box, but I made it purposely so that the enemies have slightly better reach than amber so that you could not just spam attacks and keep the monsters at a distance that would not allow them to attack. This way Amber is always within attack range and the player is forced to use strategy opposed to just button mash.

2.Yup, the little white dots are the splashes. I kept them at only 2 pixels big so that I could use a lot of them. Same with the rain, the drops are a single line that is only a pixel wide. The fire from Part 1 was a pretty large sized graphic, so I think that really helped cause the lag. It was a break in the action though, so I don't mind it too much. With the rain being so small I haven't had any issues with performance so far.

3.That's right, I remember seeing your game before. I was always terrible at the Metroid games, as they were the classic Nintendo fair of fake walls and impossible to figure out without a walkthrough or 100's of hours kinds of stages. It definitely has the look and feel of the Metroid games though. I might put in small tutorials for the doors that need to be shot with rockets to open. Even though it may seem obvious to someone who has played the old Metroids in the past (As there is a rocket pickup and a door and nothing else to really do but use the new item on the door), today's gamers will probably not be so quick to pick up on that cue. It does go against the spirit of classic Metroid, but it could serve the game well for modern gamers.

4.On the note of it not getting much love because of its art style, I don't believe people really care much about that at all. I've seen tons of games here, on Steam, and pretty much everywhere else on the net that look and play like they were ripped right out of the 1980's, and people dig them WAY more than even my game, with its solid controls, full CG cutscenes, an ACTUAL story, professional voice actresses and advanced 2.5D graphic style. What I'm saying is I think if you market your game right, people will be all over it. There is still a HUGE fanbase for the old-school Metroid. You just may not be reaching them.

5.People don't want overly complicated, or "too difficult." They want simple and fun. That's it. The vast majority of gamers today are lazy impatient kids who do not want to take the time to read or figure things out for themselves. They want to be spoon-fed a linear experience that has as few roadblocks or deaths to impede their progress as possible, and tons of checkpoints. "True gamers" still exist, but they are hard to find even in the Indie Market. You'll find more hipsters in this market, who like to claim they know true gaming. Until they rage-quit and prove themselves wrong.
Stick it out. It can be slightly infuriating at times, but the only one who can stop you from making something great is yourself. That's the true beauty of the Indie Market.



1. My problem wasn't with the length reach, it was actually with how wide it was because it happens that I'm staring at the ghouls close enough to kiss them but I'm not landing hits because I'm not aligned properly.


2. I don't mind the lag while the dragon is breathing the flames, it's that there's still lag left over from when he stops and it lasts enough for his next attack. That by itself wouldn't be a problem but it seems at least when I was playing that if there was that lag left over and I was attacking, my attacks would be slower than usual, not by much but enough to miss out on 1-2 attacks before the dragon retracts and starts swinging for another attack.


3.+5. That's where you and me stand together in arms, I'm not one for dumbing down difficulty either. I want to see those nooblets cry!
Besides if I did that, beautiful gems like this would never happen. (Also hope you're not counting me in with the spoon-feeders :P )


4. I think it's actually more to do with the genre more so than anything else, people see horror games and tend to avoid them. And with good reason, rarely ever that even one of them is good. Dead Space was all jump-scares and turned into an third-person shooter in the third instalment. Amnesia culled a lot of features in the second game that worked really well in the first game (You no longer die, instead are sent to the starting area. No sanity, so you're free to stare at the monsters all you like; eliminating the 'fear what you can't see' factor.")

As for the Old-School Metroid fanbase, that's most Super Metroid, Zero Mission and maybe Fusion. For Super Metroid it's speed-running and custom mods, the other two it's only speed-running. The Prime game's don't get as much love, 2 is all but forgotten and 1 is, despite what I've heard, in fact harder than Zero Mission (Kraid surprised the hell out of me, non-stop attacking, huge damage and lava pits on both sides to fall into.)

Anyway, it's probably due to the stigma horror games carry with them.
Resident Evil turned action in the 4th sequel, now that it's co-op it's practically dead and buried.
I haven't heard of Alone in the Dark in years, I vaguely remember the last game which was on PS3 possibly being really bad.
Already mentioned Dead Space and Amnesia.
Penumbra is finished with 3 games.
Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason is impossible to find, and buggy (but very good).
Etc. etc.

Back to the start of 4.
I think the art actually is a major factor, especially since that's the first thing people, it's the easiest to showcase, it's the only thing they see in screenshots as well. It's easier to make a game seem finished and polished with artwork than by asking people to play a demo to look and get a feel for the mechanics. Not to mention it looks worse on video, you can't exactly showcase using place-holders.







Anyway, you ever think of kickstarter? You have a lot of selling points, and the fact that you've already finished part 1 means that you're even more likely to get funded successfully. I actually thought about it myself, but will look into it more once my game is more complete.


Btw,
I've seen tons of games here, on Steam, and pretty much everywhere else on the net that look and play like they were ripped right out of the 1980's, and people dig them WAY more than even my game, with its solid controls, full CG cutscenes, an ACTUAL story, professional voice actresses and advanced 2.5D graphic style.


If you apply that logic practically, then a lot of games with pixel art would just disappear.
It's more to do with genre, Metroidvania games tend to have a much, much, much better track record than horror games.
Even if you take games out of the equation, horror itself is a very stereotypical and generic genre with nearly all plots, twists and even lines exhaust. Not to mention that normally all the characters have to make incredibly stupid decisions and actions for the story to even start. I remember one film "The Mangler (1995)", where the only reason a steam press, which was evil and possessed by demons, even killed anyone was because the characters literally climbed into it. That's not evil, that stupidity and a normal steam press.



Anyway, I hope it doesn't sound like I'm destroying the horror genre, my point was that it's just filled with stigma, cliche and stereotypes. If you manage to avoid them, or even use them correctly, you can make something really great. RE4 was incredibly camp, yet incredibly wonderful. Personally I have a lot of faith in Grave Prosperity and hope it does well.



Just an happier end note, about the voice acting, if you end up needing more voices I could do it for free, always wanted to voice act in a game :D :geek:
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Post » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:24 pm

1. Yeah, gotta get right there in line with the monsters. There is a little offset, but not too terribly much for it to not make sense.

2. That's crazy about the lag. I don't have a super computer by any means, (In fact it's quite dated- 2010) but the minor lag I do get from the fire only lasts while the fire is present. I've been noticing different behaviors on different computers too though. Very strange..

3. Wellp... That link just says all that needs to be said. Thank God I was born before the 90's set in..

4. I guess I am too laid back to really see quality by genre. To me genre steriotypes are a lot like racial steriotypes. Sure they were put in place for a reason, but you can't just go through life judging all books by their covers. We're in the year 2015, and dismissing a people or genre because they resemble something negative from long ago is just a foolish way of living. That's how people miss out on some of the best things in life.
Personally I loved the Dead Space games and all the Resident Evils. Maybe it's because I approached them as a game, and not as a "horror" game. I step into those worlds with one expectation- to have fun. With people placing labels on everything these days and getting all butt hurt when something isn't tailored to their exact specifications, the world has become a jaded and very self centered place. I liked the jump scares of DS and RE and I liked the action packed shootouts as well. They are games. I come, I see, I conquer, I have fun. That's it.
My game is no different. It's going to have plenty of dark and disturbing themes in it, some jumpscares here and there, and some all out balls to the walls action as well. I didn't grow up in Burger King like many of these over privileged, self serving kids do today. My parents' motto for me wasn't "Have it your way." It was more like, "Accept what your given and be grateful you got it. And if you don't like it, make it yourself."

5. Oh yeah, horror has been used up to the eyeballs with SO many different stories. You have to think, people have been telling ghost stories forever. Horror is probably the oldest genre, right alongside romance. Fear and love are right there with the most basic and first discovered Human emotions. It's what we've built our entire world around. But luckily, through context, the same story can be told millions of different ways. Every genre does this. People just like to give horror the finger more because they've been desensitized to it, and they believe it is now flawed. The reality is that horror has not changed, we have as a people.

6. That was my whole point about the games looking like they came right out of the 80's and still getting more love than a sharp, pre-rendered game. Yours fits in perfectly right there with the flavor of the month. It has that retro look and feel, and people are gonna love that.
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Post » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:40 am

1. Dunno, to be honest I thought it was a bug because it looked like I was hitting the enemy but the hits just weren't landing.

2. My laptop's from 2011, Intel i7 2630QM and a 1GB HD6570M graphics card on a 1600x900 monitor with 8GB ram.
Compare it to yours how you will, I'm just saying the lag seems to lingers on the player attacks only for some reason.

3. I was developed in 96, but my life is so firmly rooted in games that I'm practically half man, half console/PC.

4. I personally try not to judge by genre, but by content, so I do look at the plot and trailer of stuff before I decide if I'm going to watch/play it or not. Be it 2015 or 5102, people are going to be judging a lot of things by appearance, as evolved as we might like to thing we're still fairly primitive. I also loved all the RE games (3 was so bs, NEMESIS is too OP.), never really got into the DS games because it was way too unfun and uninteresting to me. It was basically "Look! Explosions! Jumpscares! Corpses! Not really! Shiney! Spaaaaceeeee!" for me.
RE6 I liked a lot, except for one of the campaigns final boss's that turned into a zombie T-rex, that was just stupid, unoriginal and un-RE.

They are games. Veni, vidi, vici, adeptus sum. That's it.

I'm like that as well, but I strongly dislike stupid design decisions or events which contradict themselves story wise (Looking at you Metroid Other M, you unholy abomination, I played you and found a ton of faults! What kind of Metroid game designs its map around preventing speedrunning, more than half the game is designed to prevent speedboosting and shinesparking, wtf?).

I just want the games I play to make sense, besides being fun and functional.

As for childhood stories, I basically grew up being driven around in the beat seat of a car. My first and only computer is the one I'm currently using, which I got for my birthday like 4 years ago.

5. Yup, it's not the story, it's all about the delivery. It's not just context either, you can have different viewpoints. Imagine the bible as an underdog novel about Lucifer being the victim of bullying by God, that could totally work and it's still be the same story. :P

6. Apples and bananas, I know they're both games but it's unfair to compare 2D with 3D games that are both wildly different genres and play styles from each other.
As for my game, I'm actually doing the series as if they were console generations, this first one is 8-bit (NES), next one is 16-bit (SNES/GBA), then 32-bit (DS/DS Lite?) I guess and then full HD artwork. After that I can always remake the old ones in HD artwork or move on to a new series. Btw if you get interested at any point in wanting to do a Metroidvania, I could do with some help making enemy AI. :3
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Post » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:04 pm

Here is an in-game screenshot from Grave Prosperity: Redux- Part 2! This is showing the new rain effects used as you play through Miki's (Amber sister) part of the story. Rain will splash up off from backgrounds and Miki herself as she explores the streets of Prosperity. As you can see in the image, firearms will finally be introduced in Part 2 as well.
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