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Slam Mania (accepting beta testers)

05-27-2017, 06:34 AM

Sometimes it's the little things that take the longest to get right.

Recent changes in dev builds include:

- 'tap' while an opponent is in a headlock is no longer mapped to body slam. I'd observed players spamming with taps leading to inadvertent slam attempts - unfortunately if you don't have any stars, the technique fails and you get reversed. All slams are now mapped to swipes, which eliminates this type of frustration.

- the beginnings of a proper HUD, with health bars that show damage absorbed synced with the time of impact.

- visual representation of rage meter, used to give a player (computer or otherwise) that's received a particularly harsh beating a temporary reprieve and chance of comeback

- gameplay inside the ring is now constrained to a single dimension. I was torn on this, and it remains a compile time option. The arcade game that largely has been inspiring this effort used double-dragon mechanic, where you could walk sideways in the z-plane. For iOS, this unnecessarily complicates the gameplay, but also makes it way too hard to corner a human opponent.

- there's no longer any left/right asymmetry with controls; you can use either side of the screen to tap, drag, or swipe, with no need for a 'left handed' or 'right handed' setting; as a bonus, control is now working perfectly with Siri remote in the Apple TV port.

- incorporated a new "How to Play" mode, showing a sample match with visual representation of all the associated gestures as it plays out. Should make it more obvious how to leap of the ropes, get back in the ring (after being tossed out), etc.

Still a lot potentially to do. We're looking into revamping art among other things. If any artist/animator stumbles across this thread, feel free to shoot me a PM with link to your portfolio.

Last edited by Stroffolino; 05-27-2017 at 04:07 PM.
05-27-2017, 11:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 344
I'd love to test this game out, if you are still accepting beta testers. I will PM you my e-mail address.

05-28-2017, 10:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 2
Want to take part in yours game.
06-01-2017, 05:24 PM
An additional bit of core art being prepared - the ubiquitous announcer seen between matches. Some concept art:

On unrelated note, Game Center leaderboards were only added recently, but it's a bit lonely there - only 4 players - all people I know locally have managed to beat the first opponent, Jobber Joe.

He's not that hard... or is he? I would encourage anyone that's kindly agreed to try the beta to please make sure to sign in with Game Center before playing. If the first match is too hard or gameplay is too confusing, please post here or shoot me a PM.

fr0n1k if you're still interested please shoot me a PM with an email address.
06-03-2017, 02:19 PM
Just added a new batch of TA users to testflight - thanks!

Some quick notes:
1. the game doesn't include a proper tutorial yet, but hopefully it's enough to get by
2. "how to play" is currently just a little non-interactive movie showing a sample demo match. It's well worth watching though, as it gives a quick demo of most of the techniques/tactics available. The bottom of the screen shows a representation of the tap/swipe gestures that were used while capturing it.
3. the first character in 'vs' mode will fight back, but he's not very aggressive. For example, if you end up in a headlock, he'll simply hold it for a while, giving you plenty of time to counter (swipe away) and escape.
4. don't bother trying online play yet - it's based on GGPO protocol, but there's a bug in the current beta that I need to work through
06-05-2017, 08:32 PM
Whoot! First draft inclusion of new announcer animations:

Full steam ahead on adding a proper tutorial and tightening up player-vs-player mode...
06-06-2017, 02:50 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,100
I won the title fight at last

Game center:dreadnokv1/ Twitter:@dreadnokv1
Death Road To Canada is a nonstop thrill ride that will crack u up, haven't changed my signature since 2011 but this is worth it http://Death Road to Canada by Rocke...re/us/dfWqdb.i
06-08-2017, 08:45 AM
Originally Posted by dreadnok View Post
I won the title fight at last
Congrats! There will be many more game modes and challenges in the final version.

I've been tweaking the difficulty of the current 6 opponents. AI in fighting games is a unique challenge in that it's generally straightforward to create an unstoppable AI monster with perfect reflexes/defense/timing but much harder to make an AI opponent that feels vaguely like a human, is fun to battle, and still a reasonable challenge.

Currently, there does appear to be a bit of a lurch in difficulty starting with Mad Moose (3rd opponent).

An interesting data point: in development I have a setting where I can make computer-controlled fighters battle each other.
Kid Turbo (5th opponent) usually dominates everyone, even the champ.
06-10-2017, 08:18 AM
I have no clue if anyone is still using iCade, but took a detour yesterday to add support.

My daughter so loved the form factor of the iCade cabinet that she's begun watching her favorite YouTube videos with iPad housed there.
06-16-2017, 08:03 PM
another week, another update

It's critically important in a game like this that it's obvious what's going on, and why. The best way to do this is not with text or icons, but with animations that are intuitively obvious.

Towards this end, as one example I'm taking a friend up on an idea he proposed, to make the "run" and "flung" animations distinct. The functional difference is that if you initiate a run, you remain in full control of the player character - you can switch to a drop kick or running lariat, or even skid to a stop. But if you're flung by the opponent your character will run helplessly in that silly pro-wrestling way until they've bounced off the ropes and return.

So without further adieu, here's the mockup that will be guiding new animations: