Selbst RPG - modular top down shooter

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Post » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:58 pm

Selbst RPG is a prototype I've been working on lately for fun and now I'm looking for testers and feedback ! I don't know how far I will go with this yet but for once, I feel good with the prototype.

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Presentation :

Selbst RPG is a top down shooter / ARPG where you have to build your weapons with a modular grid system. It has been inspired by modular music softwares I've been using in my musician life.

Special mechanics are easy to explain : in the "engine" grid, you have generators, spawning "energy particles" that will power your "weapon" modules such as : front fire, side fire, bender (allowing you to bend the trajectory of your fire), rocket launcher (rockets can be bend too), shield, mines, teleportation, speed up bonus, health regeneration and so on ... you can build everything you like, like focus on one specific firepower or make something balanced with lots of defense and various weapon. You also have to manage the controls of it with Hotkeys (modules connected to your mouse/keyboard, releasing a signal to trigger the modules that requires it) and "effects" modules such as tank (accumulating energy to release bigger particles), angles, speed up energy particles etc...

So as you play, you build an engine that will allow you to defeat ennemies but also resolve puzzles, you can save your builds to "disks" allowing you to reload any build at any time (because you will need to make special builds for special situations) and you will find new modules as loot on your path.



Dev thoughts:

As today, mechanics are the most advanced thing of the game. As you will notice, graphic design is quite minimalistic (320x200 resolution pixalated squares style is easier to deal with for me 😉 ) , background story is an abstract joke, and I've made efforts with the level design but I still need to work on it to get the prototype I'm thinking about, it still needs "big" situations and extreme cases where you really need to get the maximum of your engine with various ennemies at the same time, and I would also like to get a more extreme feeling with tons of sprites on the screen like in Bangai-o game, for those who know.

But still, the prototype already pretend to offer the player a use of all the available weapons with dedicated situations, with a tutorial and a 4 levels dungeons with a ending boss, offering 20 minutes of gameplay for an experimented player such as me (the developper), so I guess a bit more for a new player ;-)


My personnal questions so far are mostly : will Construct 2 (or should I say : javascript) allow me to make that big "sprite explosion" game ? I already dealt with a lot of performances issues (because I require a rock solid 60fps on an average gamer machine) and I still have plans to improve it. For example I noticed that ennemies pathfinding itself was using 20% CPU, so I know my next move will be to make a mix of custom movement and using pathfinding only when needed (10% of the time tbh). I'm also using a tiny resolution so I don't have to care about sprite animations size. A grid / tilemap system is also helping a lot. Then so far things are not doing bad, maybe I'll be able to do this.

One other question is about the mashup between arpg and shooter. Is it a shooter or something else ? I've been thinking about making it simpler as a shoot'em'up (one path, automatic scrolling and stuff) in order to get more speed and action and less thinking beside the engine building. But I also like a bit of creative freedom so I'm thinking about levels and small challenges.




I need you !

You can try it the actual demo here : http://webmecano.com/c2/SELBSTRPG2/SELBSTOUI/

Every feedback will be greatly appreciated.

- Did you understand well the mechanics with the tutorial ? Is there modules you didn't get to work ?
- Did you beat the game ? Did you find it difficult ?
- Did you feel comfortable with the controls ?
- Did you use a lot of various modules or did you stick to one thing in particular ?
- Did you have performances issues ?
- How about the game pace ? You want more fight and more explosions ? More shaken screen, don't you ?

and any commentary ...

Thanks :mrgreen:


Presentation Video (contains a bit of spoilers so don't watch it too carefully if you're willing to play the demo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk7q8Z5eFok
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Post » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:32 am

sweet idea, but i find the tutorial seldom explanatory, and couldn't link the hotkeys to my weapon :|
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Post » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:53 am

Hey ! Thanks for trying out, sorry you got stuck at the beginning. I'll try to explain here how it works, if I find the right words, I'll use in-game ..

At the very beginning of the tutorial you don't need a hotkey, but it's true you need to aim with right click to get your character to shoot every time a "energy particle" gets in collision with the "front fire" module.
So your first move must be :
- press tab to open the engine
- move the front fire module in a way it can receive green dots particles
- keep right click down on the door until the character shoots and destroys the door

When there's ennemies, you don't need to right click since there's an auto-aim.

Saying this, I'm thinking about activating auto-aim for doors in a future build, it would be easier for you !

(So far, the hotkeys are used to trigger tanks to release the accumulated energy, later in the tutorial)
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Post » Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:17 pm

now that's better! :) in the meanwhile i noticed I can talk to them little square guys. still there's that damn purple zombie that just won't die. Nor the big boss fella. Dont you worry too much tho, i usually sucks at all games.
Now, we need to talk about that speaking robot thing. Is cool and original, but for some reason its pronunciation adapts to the player's (or rather his/hers computes'r, i guess) language, which is both confusing and terribly funny. I have no clue how you did it, but check if you can force it to use the ENG pronunciation!
As I said it's a neat idea. Some people may be confused with the mechanics, but i do believe many others will love them. Apart from music, modular systems are used in fields like programming, visual art, engineering and so. Which is a good market, mind you, all them typical videogame consumers. Shite I sound like one of those pigs again.
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Post » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:04 pm

:D Thanks a lot for this kind feedback. I've tested it with other friends and yes the tutorial isn't enough for these mechanics. I guess you didn't hurt these mobs because they have an armor (top-right screen you see life and armor of the ennemy you're aiming at) and armor means you need to have a greater firepower to hurt them. So you need to combine enough energy (let's say 3 particles together) before shooting (meaning : the 3 particles must merge BEFORE getting to the "front fire" module) and hurt a monster with 20 armor - doing 10 damage (power - armor = damage). Ho my, it sounds complicated when said like that, I really need to improve the tutorial !


For the TTS (Text to Speech) is a feature I always liked as a electronic musician, and was amused to see it was available as a ready-made feature in Construct 2 with the user media plugin, I'm also surprised that people are not using this that much. Check the user media features : https://www.scirra.com/manual/144/user-media
I didn't know the pronunciation was related to your system though - apparently in documentation it's related to the browser so I guess browser language. Didn't see how to force english language yet but I guess with nw.js the english should be set by default (I hope so). (i'm french myself but my system is in english - I believe the TTS sounds also weird in english ).

Also, I agree with your market audit of modular systems ;-) I'm also surprised I don't know more games with such systems (if someone has names, i'm interested ..) I'm basically doing a game idea I have in mind about for many years.
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