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Thread: Arkagis Revolution - mode 7 like shooter

  1. #76
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert nihilblack's Avatar
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    I second that.

  2. #77
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    So um, I was adding a cheat to trim a bit of the sides of the HUD to show a wider viewport (and expose the sprites as they clip at the sides)… and turns out the viewport was miscalibrated and it was showing more sprites than it should have all along.



    It's a bit glitchy but I guess it stays as the default now.

  3. #78
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Stifu's Avatar
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    A wider viewport is definitely welcome and will improve gameplay. When you say it's a bit glitchy, you're refering to the slight flickering happening on the sides?
    Last edited by Stifu; 08-10-2019 at 04:34 PM.

  4. #79
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Yeah, a few sprites get clipped a bit too early. I guess it's not so much that I miscalibrated it but rather that I overestimated how bad the effects would be (although it does stick out for the larger sprites). Eh, whatever, it was a getting bit too claustrophobic for my tastes.

    For context, this is how far it renders under the HUD (pun intended):


  5. #80
    Hero of Algol
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    Played it to the end today on real hardware (JP Mega Drive 1 VA5, stock clock, JP Sega 6B controller; SCART-to-component on a Sony KV-29FS140).

    Here are my thoughts:
    • I like the presentation: font, menus, intro, voiced dialogues, etc.
    • The sound balance is off: music is way too loud; projectiles sound effect should be louder and less "tiny" sounding.
    • Boss theme is very annoying: the lead guitar is repeated way too often while the bass/drums part is too short. I think it needs to be revamped.
    • Second level music is better IMO.
    • Bosses patterns get old fast, I don't like turning around that much all the time. Needs more variation.
    • Levels are too short and linear.


    Bugs:
    • During the first boss fight it's possible to stuck the ship in a corner, have the boss all over you and still destroy him.
    • When entering rooms with several enemies or when there's too much stuff going on the screen, sometime the ship sprite will flash as a completely white square and then flash back to normal.


    Suggestions:
    • Exploding the barrels should have some purpose. Maybe a random weapon variation hidden in one of them here and there would help. Something like that.
    • As I said before, non-"rotate all the time" based boss fights would be nice.
    • It could be cool to have some voice samples for the items/power-ups you get.
    • I'd like to see my ship wear some damage as my energy is not full. No need to be animated but something to show the damage taken.
    • Double tap to a given direction could be added as an evasion move. This way you wouldn't be limited to similar fixed speeds to balance out the fights.
    • I don't know what's planned for the full version but a 2-slot inventory for the weapon could add some variation/depth to the gameplay. Even if I get to access many different weapons across the levels, I'd have to choose only two to carry with me and I could switch between them during a boss fight, which also opens possibilities for new boss patterns which would be easier to take of with one weapon or another.
    • Add C and Z as rotation button options. ASCII 6-button pads back in the days also had the shoulder buttons and I happen to have those.
    • Levels should be longer and have a bit more complexity: more enemies, not so linear path. Even if you reuse enemies' graphics you could add variation by have different patterns and/or projectiles and/or speed across the enemy waves.
      You could also use more exploration.
    Last edited by Barone; 08-10-2019 at 09:01 PM.

  6. #81
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    There are a handful of levels that are less linear but if I added them to the trial version you'd be all whining about them being too open ended instead since you'd be still getting the hang of navigating the simpler maps yet. The full version has you go through a couple of proper (non-tutorial) maps before throwing you into, um, certain open ended map with very large "rooms" and branches.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    When entering rooms with several enemies or when there's too much stuff going on the screen, sometime the ship sprite will flash as a completely white square and then flash back to normal.
    Just checked and the code that was supposed to prevent it turned out to be written backwards so it doesn't prevent shit (and makes PCM quality worse), FML.
    Last edited by Sik; 08-10-2019 at 09:54 PM.

  7. #82
    Hero of Algol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    There are a handful of levels that are less linear but if I added them to the trial version you'd be all whining about them being too open ended instead since you'd be still getting the hang of navigating the simpler maps yet. The full version has you go through a couple of proper (non-tutorial) maps before throwing you into, um, certain open ended map with very large "rooms" and branches.
    OK, thanks for the info.

    After playing it again I found the homing shot which was nice and then I realized you have a 3-slot weapon system in place. Cool.
    However, when I went to the boss fight I lost my power-ups.

    I also noticed that enemies can shoot through gates while I can't. That's not fair.

    Tried the simple HUD version, really liked it, especially when playing with no lights on.

  8. #83
    Zebbe's Avatar
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    Finally got the chance to play this. Here are my thoughts (sorry, I didn't read through this thread, so some stuff is probably already addressed):

    +
    *Really fun to play!
    *Controls are excellent, feel natural and smooth. Great use of the 6-button controller.
    *UI looks great, feels immersive and easy to understand.
    *Voice samples are really cool and sound great. Having a plot with script adds a lot to the experience.
    *The tutorial is great.
    *The bosses getting harder as you damage them is a cool design!

    -
    *Second level and boss was easier than the first. Maybe it was because I got better at the game, though.
    *Not a big fan of the music, it could be more varied and the electric guitar sound a bit softer and less metallic. I do like the arpeggios in the end screen though.

    Some suggestions:
    *If there is any room left for more tiles, I'd suggest putting some "landmark" art tiles which shows your progression and makes the areas different from one another. With few tiles, the level continuously looks the same so if you lose track of where you came from, you might find it hard to know where to go. Maybe the map can update areas you have been at with having them in a different colour.
    *If you are at full health, it should be impossible to pick up the heart.
    *It would be nice to see how many levels there are of the different weapons and which one you are at.
    *The right side of the UI can sacrifice a bit of the energy bar to put a mini-map there... if that's possible at all.

    Great job! Looking forward to play more levels later!
    New user who wants access to the forum? PM Melf!

  9. #84
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One retronostalgia's Avatar
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    I was having tons of trouble configuring my joypad for 6 buttons in Retroarch but after ragequitting a couple of times I finally got things sorted out and was able to play through the demo. My feedback:

    1. The controls are *tight* and the game is a ton of fun to play. This is probably the most difficult part of making a game (since so many games don't have it) and you've nailed it.

    2. The difficulty level felt just right.

    3. The tutorial level is an excellent idea since the controls are trickier than most Genesis games.

    4. The voice samples are really well done.

    5. I'm glad to hear that you'll be able to increase the width of the viewport since getting "surprise" bullets from out of nowhere was a recurring issue.

    6. Since the player is always facing the top of the screen but the player's arrow on the map is not, I sometimes got confused about how to read the map.

    7. The two times when the protagonist says "shit" seemed really out-of-place with the rest of the game's tone, and trying too hard to be edgy.

    8. I noticed that a lot of objects in the game are circular, which probably cuts down on CPU cycles needed since they don't actually need to be rotated. However, the large boulders in the purple (2nd?) stage also don't rotate, which breaks the otherwise seamless presentation.

    9. I agree with others that the music really needs some work!

    Finally, there's one thing I'm curious about... as I recall you said the game runs at 60 fps... if you were to drop that to 30, would it enable widening the viewport even more? Or is something else like sprite limits the limiting factor?

    Thanks Sik! This is really impressive and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

    P.S. I second all of Zebbe's comments as well.

  10. #85
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One retronostalgia's Avatar
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    I'd like to add that I was really impressed by how the difficulty for the first boss increases as it gets damaged. At the start of the fight its patterns are very predictable and I thought it was going to be a boring fight... then as it gets damaged its patterns get less and less predictable. It's not uncommon for bosses to get harder as they get damaged, but what I thought was cool is that with this boss it really seems natural, as if the damage has affected its ability to control its own movement. In most other cases, the difficulty increase as damage increases doesn't seem logically tied to anything.

  11. #86
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Uploaded a trial version update:
    https://www.arkagis.com/

    Changelog:

    • Improvements
      • Viewport is a bit wider.
      • You can remap all A, B, C, X, Y, Z buttons as you wish.
      • You can press A+B+C in the automap to reset.
      • Your ship smokes when it takes too much damage.
    • Balance
      • Added heart to the first boss room to make it easier.
      • You can't pick up weapons you already have.
      • You can't pick up hearts when your energy is full.
    • Bugfixes
      • Fixed glitching graphics on some consoles.
      • Fixed enemy bullets going through doors.
      • Enemies don't stick to doors anymore.

    No promises on the last point :​P

  12. #87
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One retronostalgia's Avatar
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    OK, just finished playing through the new release (Version YX.) Feedback:

    * I measured the viewport as being roughly 10% wider, which really makes a difference. Glad you were able to make that enhancement with no penalties.

    * After the training stage is finished, the game dumps you into stage 1 with no notification that you're now in stage 1 and the real game has begun. It might be helpful to have a "STAGE 1" graphic either before a level starts, or as an overlay at the start of each level, to reduce confusion.

    * I found a good strat for the spider boss: (1) skirt the edge of the arena until you get the homing shot. (2) keep skirting the edge of the arena while continuously firing the homing shot. While I only saw the boss at the end when his shots finally started catching up, I was able to whittle away around 80% of his health before having to face him.

    * i still agree with my other previous feedback.

    Thanks again for sharing this with everyone! I've really enjoyed playing it... it's very unique, but the controls are so tight and responsive that it doesn't just feel like a tech demo.

    --------------------
    (Also, one super dumb question: does the game run in H32 or H40 mode? And I'm curious about exactly how many pixels in width the old and new revisions' playfields are.)

  13. #88
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    The game always ran at 320×224 exclusively. Especially important when playing since it affects the available sprite bandwidth.

    The viewport thing was literally just trimming off a chunk of the HUD. I was expecting it to expose lots of clipping errors (as it was supposed to clip sprites at the old boundaries) but instead it turned out to not be too bad so huuuh it stuck. And the joke cheat that it was supposed to be got replaced with something else :​v (not available in the trial version tho, sorry).

    And yeah, the viewport is exactly 10% wider (160px vs 176px, a 16px increase).

  14. #89
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One retronostalgia's Avatar
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    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Sik again."

    Very cool. My understanding is that there isn't much benefit to H32 mode since it drops the max sprite count along with the resolution... I'm guessing that for such a rotation-focused game the non-square pixel aspect ratio of H32 would cause headaches as well.

    (offtopic) But maybe H32 made more sense when porting 256px wide games from the arcade or other systems? I wonder how many SNES/Genesis cross-platform titles used H32 mode on the Genesis just to get a common resolution.

  15. #90
    Hero of Algol
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    H32 mode also makes sense to save VRAM.

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