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[WIP/Devlog] Spaceship Prototype: An endless (still nameless) shmup

08-16-2015, 02:58 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
[WIP/Devlog] Spaceship Game: An endless (still nameless) shmup

Hey everyone!

My name is Eduardo and I'm an indie developer from Argentina publishing under the name "Regulus Games". Recently I decided to make a series of short games using Haxe, working a few hours every day and trying to write a small blog post showing the progress made. I also wanted to get the game prototype to players ASAP (in order to balance stuff) and go from prototype to final release fast.

The first game I'm working on does not yet have an official name- I've been calling it spaceship for lack of a better name and inspiration (will definitely look for a better name before it goes live- I promise!). It is an endless shoot em up (shmup) where the player tries to reach the end of the wave and later upgrades the ship to keep going.

The game will be available for iOS and Android, as well as an online version. I don't think I'll be adding ads unless I see a location where it absolutely won't bother the user. In any case, any IAP would remove ads as well as giving something to the player.

Since the game will be free, I'm still figuring out what to put into IAPs. So far I've thought about things to help the player advance faster, but I wouldn't want anything to be just premium (even cosmetics).

I'll keep this devlog updated as well as the one on my website.

Features:
  • Endless shmup
  • Plenty of upgrades
  • Procedurally generated levels with varying difficulty settings

The prototype is ready and can be played online here (It is usually updated at the time I post on the blog): http://regulusgames.com/spaceship-prototype/


Thanks for reading, I hope you like it, and please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!! (Love all of them )


-----------------Last Devlog Post----------------------------
Hey everyone, it's been so long since the last update on the spaceship game! Unfortunately, I've been caught up with some work as well as desperately trying to fix a couple of (frequent) crashes happening in mobile. I'll go into details for any other HaxeFlixel user later, but for now, onto the changes.

I've added Tech Packages into the game: These will now be received throughout the different stages and can be unlocked with crystals. Once opened, these will offer high grade upgrades as well as the chance to get more crystals. They are hard to come by, but players should benefit greatly from opening these tech treasures.


Mysterious objects flying in space

Also implemented in this version are the equipment bonuses: those pretty colours the items display are an indication of their rarity. Each of them has one of the following random bonuses depending on it's how hard it is to come by:
- Armor
- Turn speed
- Weapon damage
- Cooldown reduction

So HaxeFlixel... Let this be a warning to all who come after: apparently, you can't initialize Flixel-UI objects (and I assume this applies to all HaxeFlixel objects) in the variable declaration (like you would do in Java). So the following class will work on <strong>Flash</strong> targets, but crash with a false stack trace on neko and mobile devices (when being added to a state):

Code:
...
  var _crashLover = new FlxUISubstate();
...
  override function create() {
    add(_crashLover);
...
Moral of the story, always, ALWAYS, initialize your objects during create().


What treasures does this box hold?

Finally, since the mobile version is up and running, I'm opening subscriptions for mobile beta testers. To get drafted, simply subscribe to this list: http://regulusgames.com/become-a-beta-tester/ You'll get extra chances by following us on Facebook and Twitter!
-----------------------------------------------------------------


---------------------------------------
Saturday 8/15
Yesterday I've been working on some visual tweaks as well as adding new assets. First of all, the ship has been improved for a better aerodynamic profile (tho there is no air in space). Here's a side by side comparisson:


While the boxy look might inspire some confidence on some, I'm confident the new shape will stick with more people. I think it needs a different paint job tho.

Bullets have also been updated to look a bit better, but I think they need to stand out more. I also added ramping difficulty so it gets more challenging as it goes. Here's how it looks like now:


On the side, I've tested the game on a mobile device and it works great. Still need to sort things out like different aspect ratios, but performance wise it's coming great.

So, for Phase 1, these are the things missing:
- Asteroid art
- Enemies art (at least 2 or 3 variants)
- Healthbar
- Sounds
- Music

Hopefully the game will be fully completed in 2-3 weeks, which would be awesome

Last edited by genkido; 10-04-2015 at 09:30 PM. Reason: Added last Devlog post on first post
08-17-2015, 02:55 PM
#2
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
Spaceship Prototype: New Assets

Monday 8/17
----------------------------------
Today (actually yesterday, since I'm writing this the day after) was asset day. I worked on updating the remaining placeholders as well as fixing a couple that could use some work.

First off was adding the new enemies as well as the asteroids: I got around to making 3 kinds of enemy ships that I'll assign to different AIs. This will give more variety to levels. I'm pretty happy with how the asteroid looks and I'll probably be adding a new type of asteroid which would be a broken one so you could go through the empty part.



I also tweaked a couple of existing assets: the ship's color scheme was changed as well as resizing it a bit- bullets are now brighter and the credits image is a bit more rounded. Check them out:



I also made the HP bar into an asset but I still haven't implemented it ingame, so you'll have to check it next time I post an update.

Here's how the game's looking now:


As always, the prototype has been updated if you feel like shooting down some baddies.

I publish games under the name Regulus Games. Check them out here: http://regulusgames.com. Also, read the blog for news on games being developed and follow me on @regulusgames!
If you are just starting in development and have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!!

08-18-2015, 06:10 PM
#3
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
Spaceship Prototype: Upgrades

Tuesday 8/18
--------------------
Today's update is a very short one, as there is not much to show. I've been working on the upgrade interface and its assets.

When a player finishes a level, he can use the credits earned to upgrade his ship and improve several stats. He can opt to equip more weapons at the expense of HP, or go for a nimble ship equipping lateral boosters.

Here's a small preview of the items:


These upgrades will come in different variety and will affect the way the player takes on the levels (that will also offer different variants).

So no work that can be shown on the spaceship prototype- the online version has not been updated today. I think I'll probably won't have anything to update the prototype anytime soon, as this phase will probably break the game as it is.

I'll have more to show tomorrow!

I publish games under the name Regulus Games. Check them out here: http://regulusgames.com. Also, read the blog for news on games being developed and follow me on @regulusgames!
If you are just starting in development and have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!!
08-20-2015, 06:50 AM
#4
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
Spaceship Prototype: Interface

Wednesday 8/19
--------------------
Super short update for the spaceship prototype today: not much to show, been working on the upgrade scene. The layout is looking good and there's just a few assets missing here.

There should also be a couple of pop-ups to prompt the user which weapon he wants to equip and displaying it's stats.

I started making a Flixel-ui layout, but I don't think it works with what I wanted to achieve. Probably it's just that I don't know how to do it. Ended up coding the whole screen. I'm still a bit sceptical it will look good with everything implemented, but I'll see as it develops. For now, what do you think of it?

I publish games under the name Regulus Games. Check them out here: http://regulusgames.com. Also, read the blog for news on games being developed and follow me on @regulusgames!
If you are just starting in development and have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!!
08-20-2015, 06:48 PM
#5
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
Spaceship Prototype: Flixel-UI

Thursday 8/20
----------------------------------
I finally made Flixel-UI do (more or less) what I wanted: Today was a good day. After hours of fighting with the XML and the plethora of config options it has, it's working... sort of. I'm concerned by a few things that aren't working, such as points configuration (super important when it comes to mobile devices with variable screen sizes) and... this:


I'm not sure what's wrong since both buttons' configurations are exactly the same. But there must be something I'm doing wrong (hopefully). I need to fix it, but I also need to keep moving with the game- I still haven't coded the equipment part.

I also need a pretty font: I feel the standard Flixel font is not cutting it. Hopefully it'll be less than a week until the spaceship prototype is feature complete: then I'll have to test it on iOS and Android for release.


Stay tuned!

I publish games under the name Regulus Games. Check them out here: http://regulusgames.com. Also, read the blog for news on games being developed and follow me on @regulusgames!
If you are just starting in development and have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!!
08-21-2015, 07:34 PM
#6
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
Spaceship Prototype: Weapons, missions, everything, nothing

Friday 8/21
----------------------------------
Today there's going to be a super long post, with no screenshots or preview. The reason for this is that while I was working on the Upgrade UI for the Spaceship Prototype, I got carried away with defining the weapons and how they were generated. AAAAAANNDDD... while working on that, I once again got carried away and started defining level types.

So in the end, I did a bit of UI, a bit weapons, and a bit of levels. But I didn't do much of anything and I feel a bit bad about that :P

So, when the player finishes equipping his ship, he then moves on to the level selection: The further the player goes, the harder the missions will get. This goes hand in hand with ship upgrades: How the player equips his ship will affect which missions he decides to take on.

So far, I have come up with the following mission types:

Asteroid Fields
These levels will test the player's endurance, being longer than the others and presenting a high number of asteroids to dodge every time they come. Enemy presence is low however, so players won't have to focus on them as much.

Comet Debris
While Asteroid Fields present an endurance challenge, Comet Debris levels test the players' reflexes, bombarding them with relentless waves of high velocity obstacles. Be sure to have a nimble ship if you expect to survive these levels. Enemy presence should be minimal or non-existent.

Pirate Raids
When travelling the dangerous, vast space, it is not uncommon to come across a pirate raiding party heading to their objective. Here, the player will be faced with hordes of enemies, so be sure to equip good weapons or high armor to take them on. If you manage to go through a pirate raid and make it victorious, you should see your balance greatly favored.

Pirate Controlled Sectors:
Space pirates always honor their most ancient tradition: To claim all for themselves, even if there is nothing to claim. Pirate Controlled Sectors are often of no particular interest, and nothing of interest usually happens. But expect to encounter some hostile patrols in these areas.

Nebulae:
Highly dangerous, nebulae are brimming with electric storms, treating your sensors with an exquisite EM buffet. Expect little to no warning of incoming dangers when navigating these extremely dangerous sectors- and hope your sensors are still operational after leaving them.

So that's it for today. I know I should be focusing on something to show, as well as updating the spaceship prototype, but defining the kind of levels was very much needed. I'm trying to fight the feature creep, but I don't know how long I'll last.

Aww, who am I kidding? I love screenshots (who doesn't?) so I made this:

Higher accuracy? Check. Lower cooldown? Check. Definitely an upgrade.

These screenshot features different levels of the Spread weapon upgrade. Okay, we are doing it again! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, read ye olde weapon profile here: Weapons Hot!)

SPREADER
The Spreader (also known as the Vulcan) is a low cooldown, low accuracy gun. These are constructed with little regards to one's safety (and others), pushing the limits when it comes to heat dispersion and mount stability.

Banned in most armies because of it's tendency to friendly fire, the Spreader is the weapon of choice by madmen and destroyers alike. Enjoy the cacophony of sounds and the pretty lights when firing this piece of equipment. Don't expect to hit your target tho.

I publish games under the name Regulus Games. Check them out here: http://regulusgames.com. Also, read the blog for news on games being developed and follow me on @regulusgames!
If you are just starting in development and have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!!

Last edited by genkido; 08-22-2015 at 07:25 PM. Reason: Fixed date :P
08-22-2015, 07:25 PM
#7
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
Spaceship Prototype: More Interface

Saturday 8/21
----------------------------------

Another day with not much to show. Working on backend functions is tough... you spend a whole day on generation features, programming event handlers and finding out how to improve visuals. Next thing you know, your mom thinks you are a good for nothing and kicks you out...

The Spaceship Prototype- is it correct to still call it like that? I think I'm way past that point... Anyway, the game is coming along nicely. I've finished the Upgrade screen is ready, which means you can now equip and swap items to your heart's content. This means a prototype update is in the works! So very soon you'll be able to try out all the configurations by yourselves!

Obligatory preview gif coming up:

Let's move this around a bit. Full cooldown reduction!

Hope you are having an amazing weekend!

I publish games under the name Regulus Games. Check them out here: http://regulusgames.com. Also, read the blog for news on games being developed and follow me on @regulusgames!
If you are just starting in development and have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!!
08-22-2015, 10:51 PM
#8
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 479
Looking good. If you need beta testers someday I'll be glad to help.
08-23-2015, 06:49 AM
#9
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
Thanks noteatino! The prototype is live online, but I'm hoping to release the full version very soon. Would you rather try it on Android or iOS? (I realise this is the iOS forum, but I have to ask: I have an iPad at home but use my Android in my everyday life ).

Cheers! Hope you are having a great weekend!

I publish games under the name Regulus Games. Check them out here: http://regulusgames.com. Also, read the blog for news on games being developed and follow me on @regulusgames!
If you are just starting in development and have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!!
08-27-2015, 06:48 PM
#10
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 16
Spaceship Prototype: Number Crunching

Thursday 8/27
----------------------------------
Hey everyone! I'm sorry I was away this past couple days- I've been wanting to post for a long time but... life. Anyway, I've been working on balance, trying not to make items OP nor feel underwhelming. There are lots of spreadsheets and boring numbers, so I won't show that.

The Spaceship Prototype has not seen much progress in terms of graphic enhancements, but the items now have real values (and not bogus ones). Hopefully there will be a new playable prototype update before the next week: can't promise much tho, I'm a bit obsessive with all things numbers and formulas.

Here's the same interface pic you saw some time ago but no longer mocked:

Dual weapon has 2 beams... seems correct...

I publish games under the name Regulus Games. Check them out here: http://regulusgames.com. Also, read the blog for news on games being developed and follow me on @regulusgames!
If you are just starting in development and have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!!