Friday, December 4, 2009

New Version Up

Gather Up Prototype 0.6

+ Added dodge roll
+ Re-worked control scheme for combat.
+ Added guns. SMG, Scattergun, Assault Rifle, Sniper and Rocket Launcher.
+ Tweaked the aiming/damage calculation.
+ Added splash damage for all new guns. SMG/Assault have a small chance of splash damage when they miss the intended target. Scattergun hits pretty much everything near the target
+ Altered the reloading code.
+ Added a HUD item for guns.
+ Made turning less 'slidy'
+ Added ledge hanging
+ Fixed an issue where getting hit caused you to leave combat stance.
+ Changed damage colour to white.

Backflip - Tap AWAY from the enemy.
Roll - Tap TOWARD an enemy whilst holding the down key.
Switch Target - Tap DOWN
Exit Combat - Hold DOWN for a short time
Hang - Hold DOWN whilst climbing a ledge.

- The Assault Rifle is overpowered right now, without an ammo economy to limit it's use (it's major drawback is Ammo consumption).
- Sniper is overpowered right now, need to reduce it's base aim and increase the 'aim factor' (increase of accuracy over time stood in the same spot)
- Sniper Rifle and Rocket Launcher need adding.
- Dodge rolls are still kind of a pain.
- Still not enough 'kinds' of dodge.
- Possible rolling outside of combat, I dunno.


  1. I'm going to assume that you post this because you want suggestions. Soo, I have a few thoughts.

    #1 It would be nice to see the bullets. That would make the "splash" and "miss" systems make a lot more sense to the player and would make combat feel more visceral IMO. The bullet animations don't have to have their own physics or real hit detection, (you can keep your own system) but it would be nice to add the animation to them.

    #2 The guns so far sound pretty standard and pretty boring. I would prefer to see more magical themed guns or things that felt a little more thematic in general. There are waay too many incarnations of most of these things and "Sniper Rifle" and it's ilk don't stand out from the crowd.

    #3 Ledge grabbing sounds great, might I suggest having the ability to hold DOWN while near a ledge to have the character crawl down it?

    #4 The backflip in the demo was kinda neat, but I would much prefer if it had a greater distance. That would make platforming with it easier, and would also improve movement in combat if it was at least half the distance of a roll. (Maybe more.)

    #5 An additional type of dodge and/or additional type of platforming could be done with the UP key. If there is a ledge just above the character, holding UP will cause him to jump and grab it. (Going into a one-handed ledge hang stance.) There could also be ladders on the ceilings, random stuff (Maybe a statue mounted in the wall that is a ledge-hang point but does nothing else.) on the ceiling that you can grab but not pull up to a platform, and other similar things. In-combat you could use it to help avoid enemies that crawl along the ground. It would be a more unique dodge if the ledge hang duration was limited during combat (You holding your gun with one hand, so a one-handed hang has a limited duration.) causing you to need to either pull yourself up the rest of the way (ending the combat stance since it takes both hands) or drop back down at least long enough to finish the "landing" animation and then re-jump.

    That would of course be a much more context sensative dodge than the others, which means it still leaves room for a normal TAP UP dodge of some sort if anything good is thought of.

  2. 1# & 2# No Bullet animations yet because the gun sprites are not finalized. Their names are purely to keep the gun 'types' clear to myself and Keith and are selected for their familiarity. The accrual appearance of the guns and the names will certainly end up as something visually more exciting. I don't want to set up effects or muzzle locations that don't match with the final sprites. It's definitely on the cards for the future.

    3# It's not hard to add this, but I'm not seeing a huge use for it right now, asside from buffing out your chance to cancle and get down off a platform that an enemy is patroling. I'll think about it.

    4# I've been thinking this myself, so I think I'll change it and see what happens

    5# Adding animation and code for that would be a pain. It would be cool, but very situational. Right now I'm considering the 'third dodge' to be some kind of short hover in the air move. Like a piton that lets you hang from the ceiling for a bit, or anti-grav boots (also mad complicated) that let you stick to the ceiling.

  3. I don't think I explained #5 very clearly, so let me expound.

    When in platforming mode, hold up while directly below a ledge to jump up and grab it. Limit of 1-2 empty squares between the player and the ledge depending on balance. This adds a major platforming aspect. (Although I could understand if you didn't want to go in that direction.)

    That would go into a ledge hang stance where you could push up to climb up the ledge, down to drop, or back to jump away from the ledge. (Equivalent to if you had climbed the ledge then run off it, or possibly 1 square lower for platforming/balance reasons.)

    I think my original idea of having special points to grab might be a bit ridiculous and overcomplicated. A simple "grappling hook" that fires upwards if there is a ceiling within 5ish squares overhead and pulls you upward 3ish squares (or the height of the ceiling if the ceiling isn't high enough) and then lets you hang there would probably be fine. This is also similar to your "hovering" idea. Some ways to balance the extended duration of this dodge would be to either have a limited duration on it, disallow shooting while hanging there, reduce your accuracy significantly while in use, or some combination. (I think I would go for significantly decreased weapon accuracy and possibly a time limit.)

    Btw, the reason for having the ability to easily go into a ledge hang from standing above a ledge would be to easily drop down from the ledge. Currently it's annoying to try and get down off ledges. Also, if a "jump from ledge hang" function was added and had a slightly lower jump, there could be platforming reasons. Mainly though, I think it helps the immersion of the player. By having smooth contextual controls that respond to any reasonable button output, it really makes it feel less like your controlling the character and more like you ARE the character.

  4. The abilities of the main character seem to be leaning more towards Prince of Persia-type motions with "cinematic" fighting linked to the animations. As opposed to, say, a Mega Man or Metroid type of game, where the combat is about distance and positioning. The main problem with this approach is that to be engaging, the enemies have to behave more like the player and also be anim-heavy. The ones you have in the game now are more like minor obstacles, still playing by the positional "touch-me-and-you're-hurt" rules, and don't feel "lively" compared to what the player is doing.

    If you made the dodge abilities available outside of combat, it would feel pretty natural to start incorporating environmental traps and puzzles that use those abilities.

  5. I'm loving the development so far. The only thing I'd like to ask for at this point is to change the animation for mounting a short (one-tile-higher) ledge. When I personally am running about and have to get somewhere roughly half my height, I can jump up and continue running without breaking my speed much. So perhaps add something in that detects if you're running quickly two tiles ahead, and have the character hop up and tuck his legs so he can continue without breaking.

    I think that would be cool, anyway. Good work!