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Old 10-05-2013, 08:41 PM
DanielSnd DanielSnd is offline
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Default Heget - Top Down Shooter - Devlog

I hope I'm posting this in the right place =x I'm pretty new here and I wanted to start a devlog to write about the progress of this game I'm making. From searching I see that usually devlogs are posted on this forums, so I hope this is the right place ^^

Me and my girlfriend are both 3D Artists. She specializes in Modeling/Texturing, while I'm more of a Generalist, doing everything from modeling to rigging/animating (Texturing is my weakest skill). Point is, we decided to make a project together, we started learning Unreal Development Kit when we were playing Dungeon Defenders, using their modified version of it to create Mods for that game, that caught my interest and I started learning more, downloading the newest version and started to try and make "my own game".

We've done some more projects, and experimented a bunch with the engine. Since I never had any previous programming knowledge, I feel more at ease with UDK than I would be with Unity, UDK has a lot already built in to it, and I can just extend from other classes to add the functionality I desire, on Unity I would have to either buy a lot of things from the Asset Store or write a lot from scratch...

Well, the point of this topic is, we've started a iOS Project, about 1 and a half week ago. We wanted to make a small and simple Twin Stick Shooter game. Just for the fun of it, and to be able to experiment and try to finish something without spending too much time on it. For that, we decided to try and finish this project in 2 weeks (We pretty much already failed at that deadline, we'll need at least another week, maybe more ><; ). We also want to make the game available for free, without any ads, IAP or anything, we just want to see if we can make a fun game that people will actually play, not being worried about generating any revenue from it is also very freeing and allow us to experiment even more with things we like for the game without being worried about the return.

So, we started brainstorming what would be the setting for this game. We knew we wanted to make a Top-down twin stick shooter, but who would be the character? why is he shooting? who is he shooting at? We had a couple of interesting ideas, but we decided to go with "An alien crashes his ship in a hostile planet and has to gather parts scattered around the planet to fix his ship and get the hell out of there." So we would have a couple of quick levels, 3 parts on each, boss in the end. Probably 5 levels top.

I then modeled an alien that looked more like a frog than an actual alien. So this is our little Froggy/Alien/Thingie, we call him Heget!


That's probably the only model/texture I made so far on this project, since that my girlfriend has been in charge of all the other models and textures, while I was doing all the rigging, animating, level design and programming.

These are our enemies, I know, they're super scary!



Especially this guy, imagine this guy charging at you full speed like that D:




This is how the most recent screenshot I took on the device (iPhone 5) of the game



And this is the most recent video I recorded showing how the game was playing:


Low bandwidth Version | Pop Up


We recently got a programmer offering some help, he offered to code all the enemies for the game, but when he took a look on the big mess that was my code (as I said before, I never really learned how to program properly) he decided to rewrite the whole thing "the right way", so I spent the past few days finishing up the rigs/animations for all the enemies, still waiting for the new code to keep on working on the first level ^^

Oh, We're also planning to have 2 extra modes other than the campaign we originally thought of (The campaign will be a short span of levels with puzzles and pre-planned enemy encounters to reach the ship parts and a boss on the end of all the levels).

One would be a Survival mode, Smaller level (Arena kinda), infinite waves of monsters that keep spawning, see how long you can survive. Highscores.
The other would be a Defense Mode, Smaller Level (Might or might not be the same) with his spaceship in the center. The monsters are more attracted to his spaceship than to Heget, so you must try to keep the monsters away from the spaceship and see how long you can protect it.



One last thing I would like to ask you guys, on this kind of Twin Stick Shooters, do you prefer when the stick readjusts as you press on the screen, or when the sticks are always fixed in the same place? Still not sure what way to go, I think I prefer fixed.

Well, this is it, sorry for the long post, I want to post updates regularly as we make progress, so hopefully the next ones will be shorter ^^ Would love to hear some feedback/suggestions if you have any We're new at this and trying to learn.

Dan.

Last edited by DanielSnd; 10-05-2013 at 08:45 PM..
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2013, 08:59 PM
saansilt saansilt is offline
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VELCOME TO TA!

I like the way this looks. Can iphone 4 run it?
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2013, 11:44 PM
DanielSnd DanielSnd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saansilt View Post
VELCOME TO TA!

I like the way this looks. Can iphone 4 run it?
Thanks! ^^

That is a very good question, As I was developing I've been only testing on my iPhone 5, I haven't done any optimization yet as I'm still building the first level (Haven't merged any of the meshes to reduce draw calls, but we've been building all the assets with that in mind, so lots of the meshes share the same materials ^^ I'll be able to save a lot of draw calls when I start merging everything.)

Right now the FPS on the iPhone 5 is around 58~ fps, constantly, and I thought everything was pretty fine.

I got my old iPhone 4 and deployed to it to test... And it's pretty damn bad D: the fps is around 10~15 most of the time, getting to 20~ when I stop in a place without moving or shooting.

That doesn't mean that it will stay like that, I still have A LOT of optimization to do, but I can't do that right now before finishing off the level =x I believe once I'm done it'll bring the FPS up and be playable on iPhone 4, I'll start to always test on my old iPhone to make sure of that ^^ thanks for bringing that up.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:01 AM
undeadcow undeadcow is offline
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Wow... where can I download this? I like the absurd frog/bug theme and am a sucker for dual stick shooters. Don't make it free.

What does the title, Heget, mean? It doesn't seem very catchy.
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2013, 11:26 AM
DanielSnd DanielSnd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undeadcow View Post
Wow... where can I download this? I like the absurd frog/bug theme and am a sucker for dual stick shooters. Don't make it free.

What does the title, Heget, mean? It doesn't seem very catchy.
Hopefully you'll be able to download this from the app store before October ends ^^ but as it's my first game there might be unforeseen complications, so no idea XD

What is wrong with free? D: I saw on the comments on Touch Arcade on some articles people saying "Please don't be free" but I don't really understand why... Is it about ads/In-app-purchases and other stuff like that? If it is, mine won't have any of those, it'll be free as in really free, no revenue whatsoever.

Since I'm not working alone on this anymore, I really can't get any revenue from it, it would over complicate things with taxes/money division/contracts and such.

Why is free such a bad thing? D: I thought it would be a good thing

Heget is one of the names for the Frog Goddess from Egyptian mythology. And it sounds a little bit like Ribbit, that's the sound that the frog makes... so we figured would be a nice name given the looks of our main character ^^ There are also not many results for it on google, and no other app store apps or games with that name, so would be easy to find.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heqet

Also, since you like twin stick shooters:

Do you prefer when the stick readjusts as you press on the screen, or when the sticks are always fixed in the same place?
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2013, 11:40 AM
_Max_ _Max_ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSnd View Post

Love funny character, when will it release?
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  #7  
Old 10-06-2013, 01:43 PM
AnarKitty AnarKitty is offline
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Love the way the game is looking so far, and can't wait to play it, hopefully soon. As for the free thing: yes, people here auto-associate "free" with free to play, consumable IAP and the like, rather than getting the full game in a single purchase.

Obviously free for the full game would be lovely, though it would be great if you add a "Support the Dev" IAP so those who'd like to help you out can. We like nice things for free as much as anyone else, but we're strong believers here in supporting a dev's hard work and art, especially indie devs.
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2013, 05:01 PM
DanielSnd DanielSnd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Max_ View Post
Love funny character, when will it release?
Hopefully before the end of this month =x but not sure, it's our first game and we're not used to the store's approval process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnarKitty View Post
Love the way the game is looking so far, and can't wait to play it, hopefully soon. As for the free thing: yes, people here auto-associate "free" with free to play, consumable IAP and the like, rather than getting the full game in a single purchase.

Obviously free for the full game would be lovely, though it would be great if you add a "Support the Dev" IAP so those who'd like to help you out can. We like nice things for free as much as anyone else, but we're strong believers here in supporting a dev's hard work and art, especially indie devs.
I see xD that makes sense, I also hate that kind of gimmick. If I were still programming the game I might have added a Support the Dev kind of thing, but as I now have another programmer with me I really need to stay true to the no-revenue idea. If people like it, they can just support us by telling us they liked it/maybe telling more people about it ^^ Hopefully if this one goes well and people like it, on our next project we'll sort out the tax stuff and put the next project for sale

Meanwhile, I started tinkering around with the visuals, someone suggested I tried unlit shaders to see if it would help with the FPS and how it would look. Since we're using all hand painted textures the results actually pleased me more than the lit materials D:

TOP: BEFORE
BOTTOM: AFTER




FPS Also got much better on iPhone 4, going up to 20~23. Still got a lot of optimization I can't do yet because the level isn't finished. Hopefully by the end of the optimization process I'll get the FPS over 30~ ^^

Some more screenshots from the level with the unlit textures:



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  #9  
Old 10-15-2013, 08:12 PM
DanielSnd DanielSnd is offline
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It's been a while... xD But here I am again.

Had some trouble with the project, now I'm back to programming it alone.


Youtube link | Pop Up


Got all the enemies working as I wanted, now doing the levels :3

Clearly my idea of finishing it in 2 weeks failed terribly. Current plan is finishing it before the end of the month. Next monday it'll be 1 month since I started development on this.
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