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Feedback request: Super Neko World

Community Forums/Showcase/Feedback request: Super Neko World

Sonic(Posted 2007) [#1]
Super Neko World for OSX / Windows DirectX [UPDATED: alpha v0-21]

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EDIT: Download now contains both Intel Mac + Windows Binaries! Yay! For those Macheads holding out for the new version, please enjoy, and leave your comments...



[v0-21]
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Pre-alpha v0-21 of Super Neko World (Windows + Intel Mac version)

For those of you wondering, this is the new working title for my cutesy platformer. It's exactly the same game, and even this name is temporary... I just thought I'd show you my progress with a new thread.

This version is a lot more rounded, graphically and interface-wise. The hiscores / redefine keys etc are all in there.

Truth is I haven't done any work on it in quite a while, except for the small polish I did today to get it uploaded.

I don't know if it's commercially viable, and there's the technical problems of frame-rate that need addressing before I proceed with it (it's quite GPU hungry and is slow on older machines - I need to implement some kind of delta timing or equivalent).

At the moment I'm working on demos, including my point'n'click engine (with its included scripting language + GUI), Amnesia (thanks for voting the screenie to number 1 - I was very chuffed indeed!) This is with an eye to getting a job in the industry. I'll also be looking at various C engines / options as I need to brush up.

Anyway, enjoy what I've done so far, this download is PC only for the time being. It goes up to the fourth screen of the second world. See if you can make it!



Version History:

[v0-20]
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As you can see the look of the game has changed quite a lot, and there's new main characters and baddies. It's been a lot o' hard work and late nights, but I think it was worth it! Let me know what you think.

It might be a while before the next upload as it's in an 'inbetween stage' right now and I'm going to polish it till it shines before I next put it online...

See you then!

v0-19 [PPC only for now!]
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Pre-alpha v0.19 of Super Super Ice Balls (Mac PPC version)

1 - High Score Table
2 - Redefine Keys
3 - Windowed mode
4 - New Baddie Type
5 - Improved Weapons
6 - Many small bugs removed
7 - Secret Rainbow Bonus Room
8 - Thunder, lightning and rain fx
9 - Level Timer
10 - Other stuff I forgot to mention

[v0-18]
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So the game's been majorly updated, I wasn't sure if I should add a whole new showcase page...

Check out the new powerups available, there's 144 different collectibles now, many of which give you strange and interesting powers... as well as the shiny new two player mode! The game's getting to be quite fun now, and the code's 98 percent complete. There will be a few more tricks and traps to add, as well as different types of baddie.

I plan to implement a level timer that decides whether you achieve the bonus screens as well as the chests that now appear, as opposed to the current way of scoring high combos.

Then there's just lots of content to create, the title screens to iron out, story screens and the publishing to attempt!

Now the keys are different:

Player 1
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Shoot - ','
Jump - '.'
Left - left arrow
Right - right arrow
Up (when flying) - up arrow
Down (when flying) - down arrow

Player 2
--------
Shoot - left control key
Jump - left shift key
Left - 'a'
Right - 'd'
Up (when flying) - 'w'
Down (when flying) - 's'

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Thanks so much for your time.

Pre-alpha v0.18 of Super Super Ice Balls (Intel OSX version)


[v0-14]
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So, before I press on with my development I'd like you all to take a look at the progress of my latest game, 'Super Super Ice Balls' [working title]. It's based on a game I developed on the Amiga in about 93, and is still a work in progress. However, before I polish it up and offer up an alpha version for testing on sites like 'Indiegamer' and 'GameDev', I'd like to see what my good friends, the Blitz community think of it.

Gameplay
======

A combination of Mario Bros and Bubble Bobble, to put it in simple terms.

It's a single-screen platformer where you use your ice gun to freeze the enemies, then jump on their heads.

Jump on multiple heads to get combos - this can sometimes open secret doors to bonus rooms filled with lovely fruit! In this demo it is one player, although it is very much designed as a two player competition to collect the best bonuses.

There is a boss at the end of each world (8 in total). The demo includes one world only.

Controls:

[UP ARROW / Joystick button 1] - Jump
[CTRL / SPACE / Joypad Button 2] - Shoot Ice Ball
[LEFT + RIGHT ARROW / Joypad D-Pad] - Move left / right

Feedback
======

First of all I'd like to know if there's any technical issues. The game runs in 1024x768 at 60Hz. I also haven't tested the joypad input, so if there's a problem let me know!

Second, and more importantly, I'd like to know what you think of the 'feel' of the game, the way the character responds, the difficulty of the levels, are the graphics up to par for an indie title? Could it sell?

Let me know fellow Blitz developers with access to an Intel Mac!


Tachyon(Posted 2007) [#2]
Link broke. [edit] Link fixed.


Sonic(Posted 2007) [#3]
Hey Mr. Tachyon did you check it out yet?

Can't wait to play Eschalon by the way. It's right up my street!


GfK(Posted 2007) [#4]
Looks good. You should keep your graphics consistent, though. For instance, its evident that the bees are just flipped images for left/right, because the highlights are on opposite sides.


Tachyon(Posted 2007) [#5]
Yes, just played it (I had a bad .zip before)

I think it is really smooth. I played an earlier version several months ago and things seem to be evolving nicely!

Suggestions: enable the ESC button as an universal way of backing up out of all screens or exiting, and make the ENTER button the universal way of accepting menu selections. While looking in the options menu I became frustrated trying to back out to the main menu with the ESC key, and I was constantly hitting the ENTER key trying to accept menu choices. I know that seems like a small thing, but an intuitive interface means everything.

I kind of thought the levels got hard very quickly. I am used to 2 or 3 extremely simple levels (to get used to the controls) and then a couple harder levels (to introduce enemies and puzzle mechanics) before really getting into more difficult screens.

Other than that, I think this game looks and plays like it could be a real blockbuster. Fun, bright and engaging graphics and classic Bubble Bobble type gameplay. Certainly one of the more professional-looking Blitz games I've ever seen. Excellent!


Sonic(Posted 2007) [#6]
Thanks Tachyon... Yes that's always a risk when you've played your own game for too long. For me it seems too easy, haha. If I do decide to continue the project, I'll look into the balance of difficulty.

Noted about the GUI, will implement that for sure.

Gfk, I was thinking about download size, but you're probably right about not using flipped sprites.

[edit] Could everyone posting let me know how far they manage to get?


jfk EO-11110(Posted 2007) [#7]
Just watching the screenies - very nice style, could easly be sold (style wise, don't know about other things)


ImaginaryHuman(Posted 2007) [#8]
Any chance of a new PPC or Intel Mac demo?


SpaceAce(Posted 2007) [#9]
Sonic - the other thread has devolved into a useless flame war and I am going to try not to open it again, but I did make a post about your level editor in there, somewhere. Take a look and reply in here, please. If you have any intention of turning the editor into a full-fledged product, I am very interested.

SpaceAce


Sonic(Posted 2007) [#10]
Hi Angel. No problem, I'll upload a new Intel Mac demo soon. My Powerbook's dead, so I'll have to borrow my girlfriend's sometime to do a PPC one.

SpaceAce - obviously it would be a lot of work for me to make my editor into a usable piece of software for anyone but me, haha. I'll definitely consider it, but at this stage I can't promise anything because I have a busy couple of months ahead.


Grisu(Posted 2007) [#11]
- The program "hangs" on start up, showing a black screen. How about showing a loading / title screen there?
- Why can't I use ENTER for selecting a menu item? It's really disturbing.
- The background animation on the main menu is broken for me:
I'm at 1280x1024. The fruits and items disappear too early from the left side of the screen.


SpaceAce(Posted 2007) [#12]
OK, I've been playing again, and, wow, this game is really, really good. A few suggestions:
1) In the early levels, consider having an animated arrow or something hint to the player that he can fall through holes in the floor. "Falling=dead" is so ingrained in the platformer part of my brain that I often find myself stuck for a few seconds before I remember I can safely fall through the floor.
2) When I first collect a prize like a gem or a fruit and that bar pops up at the bottom of the screen, I usually get a significant bit of lag as the bar comes up. Consider some kind of pre-caching for that feature so it isn't doing whatever it does that causes the lag.
3) It is traditional to push up to enter doors, but on your gae I have to push down. You might want to add/change that to allow players to push up to enter doors.
4) There seems to be some sort of delay after a fruit pops out of a defeated baddie before I am allowed to collect the fruit. This is a little annoying as it causes me to sometimes have to chase fruit around.
5) When I tab out and back to a paused game (in Windowed mode, at least), the screen is not being drawn. So, I end up with a window frame showing pieces of my desktop instead.
6) You may have left this out on purpose, but it would be nice to be able to fall down through a platform to the one below it with something like down+jump.

SpaceAce


Sonic(Posted 2007) [#13]
Hi Grisu,
Disturbing eh? Sounds a little strong but point taken and I'll add it in.
I think the fruit on the main menu could be on every res, will tighten that up too.
How was the game for you anyway?

Space, thanks for the props!
1) Good idea, I'll put that in for sure. Was also going to do a tutorial at the start of the game, showing basic moves, how to combo etc...
2) Must have forgotten to pre-draw all the fruit like I did with the rest of the sprites. Will look into it. What's your spec by the way?
3) Hmm, the arrow does point down, but that could be flipped I suppose. I wanted the option for people to configure the up arrow for jump if they like it that way, but I know what you mean about traditional.
4) This is a relic of Bubble Bobble where you did have to chase the fruit and couldn't collect it until it landed. It works well in two player because of the competition element.
5) Should continue the screen refresh I guess when paused.
6) This might make it too easy to get to areas I want a bit more secret if you like - such as the level 'Release The Beasts' where the baddies are in 'cages'.

Thanks again for posting!


Tachyon(Posted 2007) [#14]

[edit] Could everyone posting let me know how far they manage to get?

I can't get past the 4th level. My platformer days are well behind me, and level 4 is just too hard...after loosing 4 lives to the grim reaper I gave up.

Again, I'd like to see more simple levels in the beginning that lets the player get familiar with jumping and shooting, and each simple level safely introduces new play mechanics like the holes in the floor or springy jump pads. Then for old-timers like me, we could have like 10 levels of easy stuff and I'd think I was really good before you start to give levels that are more "puzzle based", with difficult jumps and deadly corners were there is no escape from the Grim Reaper.

Also, when the level is done it'd be cool to get some sort of notification, like in Rainbow Islands (Bubble Bobble 2) the chest falls and prizes fall out everywhere. On that note, we should have another 5 seconds to try and collect any remaining fruit prizes that are laying around before you fade into the next level.

Looking forward to seeing this game progress! :)


ImaginaryHuman(Posted 2007) [#15]
Is the intel mac demo just the super super ice balls demo, and not the one with all the extra polishing that you've done?


SpaceAce(Posted 2007) [#16]
Hi, Sonic,
My machine is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ with two gigs of RAM and a GeForce 7900GS.

As for 3)... Yes, the arrow does point down, but it just looks like it is pointing at the door. Pushing up to enter doors is adventure/platform standard, at least it was in my playing days.

I loved Bubble Bobble, what a great game! I think of Bubble Bobble every time I fire up your game and freeze an enemy. Leave the fruit chasing the way it is if you like it, it just rubbed me the wrong way a little bit so I thought I would mention it.

I'm not sure I understand your point in number four. I'll play some more and see if it becomes clearer.

Edit: Also, having the game start in full-screen mode with default controls every time is starting to drive me a little nuts.

SpaceAce


Raz(Posted 2007) [#17]
Hehe nice one :)

the step up from level difficulty to boss difficulty is immense though, probably a bit too much.


SpaceAce(Posted 2007) [#18]
I have some actual bugs for you, now.

You don't seem to be resetting everything properly when a stage is exited. For instance, I got a stopwatch, which put the "slow" effect on all the creatures, then I QUIT the game and started over. When I did so, all the baddies still had the slow effect on them. I quit again and started another new game, and the baddies still had the slow effect on them.

Another one: I got the wings and died in a weird way (several baddies hit me as I was flying through a hole or something like that) and when I resurrected, I still had the wings and I kept the wings for a long, long time. The wings lasted that entire stage, PLUS I had them when I started the next stage and they stayed with me fo the ENTIRE second stage, despite the fact that I died at least twice. Then, when I finished the second consecutive level where I had wings, they suddenly disappeared.

On one of the early levels (it's the one that looks like it is in a cave, with a big open part in the middle showing a scene of boats and clouds; you start trapped in the bottom left and have to fall through the floor right at the beginning), I dropped through the floor, killed the single bouncing baddie on the top level then went into the main part to start killing stuff. There is a switch in the middle of the floor; I hit that switch while killing a baddie and, for some bizarre reason, two of the brown baddies that look like pieces of bread sort of teleported up to the top level where I couldn't get to them. The switch on at the bottom of the stage had a red arrow pointing to it even though I had already used it. I couldn't get the switch to do anything and I had to wait fro the grim reaper to come kill me so I could start over and fall through the floor to get to the two baddies that had moved up top.

SpaceAce


Grey Alien(Posted 2007) [#19]
Cool, I finally played this, it's improved lots since the early version, but that was good too! I played it with my boys who are 3 and 6 and they liked it too, it was hard to get them to go to bed.

OK, apart from the fact that it's great, nice graphics music, fun to play etc, here are some possible bugs I noted (sorry if they've already been said above):

- I selected joystick as the control method, went into the game and there was no joystick control. Then I exited the game and went back to options and noted that it had reverted to keybaord mode.
- on the title page, the moving fruit disappear when they hit the edge of the screen instead of moving completely off, check your coords.
- in game, the clouls move at floating point coords which is nice but there is a flickering vertical lin on the right hand side of the clouds. this is probably because of one or both of the following: a) You should leave a 1 pixel blank border around all sprites so that the edges are antialiased properly to nothing when drawn at floating point coords. b) you need to "defringe" the sprite to remove the white alpha value from the edge of the sprite. Search the BMax forums for defringe and you'll find an ace exe that sorts out sprites.
- as the clouds move off the left side of the screen there is sometimes a glitch where a column of the cloud several pixels wide is not drawing, it's just blank and you can see the sky instead. Looks weird.
- On the castle of doom level there are windows. The clouds moved behind them except the middle one the clouds moved INSIDE the building but in a square block-like area where the window is. Check your z order there.
- When firing ice at the worm I experienced some dodgy collision detection where I'm sure it should have hit it, I mean I saw the ice on the worm sprite but it wasn't frozen. Also on a couple of jumps on frozen monsters they didn't break when I'm sure they should've...
- Pretty sure after a death where I was holding fire as I let go, the character respawned and fired ice off even though my finger was no longer on the fire key. I could be mistaken on this one...
- the boss was too hard I think. When it starts to fire if you are nowhere near a spring you are stuffed. I lost 3 lives on it and it was game over, didn't feel "good".
- When the boss fired for the final time, I didn't see the laser because I was holding space (my redefined key) to jump and it skipped immediately to game over. Perhaps that's my fault for having space as jump but it was weird I didn't even see my death! Perhaps the death anim should finish before a key can skip to the game over screen?
- One of my boys hit the windows key on level 1 when they were messing around and the reaper was flying around. Then the game made about 10 death noises rapidly and when I alt+tabbed back in it was game over. Seems like the game ran at super speed or something, or if you die on the starting spot does the reaper stay there too and keep killin you? I think it was probably super-speed...

some possible improvements:

- For the final game a tutorial is important like what bonuses to get and how the doors, chest work etc. Plus more basic stuff like how to fire and freeze and jump on baddies to kill them. This can just be a dialog that appears at the start of each level.
- I always a bit confused when the level ends. Is ti when I've killed everything? So if I don't have all the fruit then tough? Other games I've played make you get all the fruit and the kills aren't necessary. Depends on the plot I suppose (e.g. kill all monsters OR collect all fruit) but it feels like you are "punishing" the player as they can't have fun collecting all the fruit once everthing is dead. Perhaps every level needs an exit door?
- One level fades to anotehr, really a "summary" screen would be good with scores adding up etc.
- It would be great if you can pickup fruit that's in mid air not just when it's landed on the ground. Many times I tried that on auto-pilot but it didn't work.
- Both my boys assumed you could go off the side edge of the screen to get to the other side. I mentioned this when I saw the game the last time round.
- Explain different powerups when they are first picked up. How do I know how long they last as I couldn't see a counter - if there was one then it isn't obvious enough.
- Map screen ;-) Save/Load game. Options available in-game.

Sorry for typos, typed at high speed, got to put boys to bed so no editing.

I might be able to find more if I played for longer.

Hope these points help. This game is really good and has nice potential but needs some "pro-polish" to really make it saleable I think.


Grey Alien(Posted 2007) [#20]
couple more things:

- Need mouse on title menu. Also Enter as well as space to select.
- It didn't hold my keyboard reassignment when I went back in.
- Windowed mode is running at a different speed, presume you have no proper timing code.


Sonic(Posted 2007) [#21]
Thanks again for your comments guys. I've uploaded an Intel Mac binary now for anyone holding out for it...

SpaceAce,

- About the fruit collection - when you have two player, it allows for the possibility of the other player stealing your fruit which I think is hilarious, and part of what made BB 2-player so heated!
- Also saving screen settings / controls will be done in the next update.
- Stopwatch reset - oops, a known B-bug! It's on the list.
- About the wings - actually this is not a bug - what happened was you almost definitely collected a 'large' necklace from the chest at the level end - you receive 'large' versions of the powerups when you collect the whole set (in this case both pink and white necklaces) - and they give you the powerup's permanent effect for two stages.
- That stage with the switch is another known b-bug - been meaning to sort it out.

Grey,

- Joystick... Hmm that's odd. Were you able to use the pad to navigate the menus?
- Fruit disappearing - known B-bug!
- I think this is just an issue with photoshop 7's antialias... Easily fixable with Gimp
- As it stands, the clouds are actually background tiles with a scroll flag. I've decided this system is unnecessarily cumbersome and will simply put them in as sprites when I get round to it.
- This should also fix 'Castle of Doom' issue.
- I wonder if the worm had some other effect on it? Also did you perhaps jump on the heads of a '2-hit' monster like the red 'tofuman' or the purple 'octoman'?
- This is to do with using 'KeyHit' I think, have been having some problems with it.
- The boss could well be too hard. I just got used to it! There's a simple-ish strategy to beat him when you know how... Could just make his running speed slower I reckon.
- a pause before game over would be good, yeah.
- The reaper returns to the centre when you die, but goes for you as soon as you respawn. Dunno how to get round the win key issue though. If I had some kinda delta timing perhaps!

- Tutorial is high on the list
- Yeah you just have to kill everything - should put a 'well done' message on there. This is taken from Bubble Bobble. If you beat it while the timer's still green, you will get a chest (and sometimes a warp door) and this stops the end timer from going down so you can 'clean up' before opening the chest.
- I really like the idea of a summary - max combo, fruit collected etc - hadn't thought about that... Nice one!
- Not sure about this - see response to SpaceAce's comment.
- I'm still on the fence about this... But have decided to follow Bubble Bobble when in doubt (top / bottom only)!
- Another great idea - little RPG style text-box with your 'mentor' explaining would be really nice. Was thinking about having icons along the side of what powers you have equipped that flash when they're about to run out.
- Already started the map screen... Options in game - yeah, why not... Save and load - between each 10-level section I think.

- Mouse on the menu. Yeah.
- Will do it.
- That's the main issue stopping me from working on it now. :-(

Wow that was a lot of typing.


SpaceAce(Posted 2007) [#22]
I wondered if the issue with the wings was intentional. Maybe I did collect a "big" powerup, but it hasn't happened again since.

I'm annoyed that I'm out of levels to play. Ship me a copy of the level editor and I'll start building some for you :)

SpaceAce


Grey Alien(Posted 2007) [#23]
- I don't have a joypad, just a digital joystick (perfect for platformers).
- as well as the anti-alias fix in Gimp try the 1 pixel border around sprites too! Look up defringe too.
- the worm collision. I was standing jumping in the air trying to hit it (it was at a different height from me), and the ice was moving through the worm. Not right through the middle, but at the top or bottom. I notice the ice changes size as it flies, perhaps it doesn't have a very forgiving collision detection area. I got the worm in the end with a hit right to the middle. Perhaps I need to play it more to check (I'll do that with the next version)
- You need some proper timing ASAP. Delta time is easy, you simply record the current time, do all your logic, then drawing (they are separate right?), then check the time again. Say it's moved on 16ms (at 60Hz it will have), then you might call that a delta of 1 (assuming you want 60Hz to be "normal"). If the time has only moved 8ms, that delta is 0.5, or if it's moved on 32ms the delta is 2. Basically Delta = time elapsed/chosen frame length. Get it? Then when you move ALL game objects you say x=x+Speed*delta. naturally x, Speed and Delta must all be floats. Same for any counters you have. My Counter:+1*delta. Be careful to CLAMP delta to say 2 just in case there is a huge delay caused by an external process (or window dragging), you don't want your game going catching up in a giant chunk or things will move through platforms etc. Better still, implement some fixed rate logic then delta can never go above 1. Better still, use my framework and plug your code into it ;-)
- I couldn't see any timer, so that would be useful so woudl "well done". Obviously if you mentioned it in a tutorial things would be clearer.

Basically the game is neat but all these extras are what will make it sellable if that's your aim, if not then don't worry, but they will still make the game better...

As for the fruit thing. What % of your audience will be 2 player? Maybe 5%? Cater for the single players and allow the fruit to be picked up mid air ;-)

Good luck with it.


DrDerekDoctors(Posted 2007) [#24]
The gameplay seems pretty nice to me, a good variation on the old Taito two-hit games of old with nicely varied level design and lots of bonus types (always a plus).

The only problems I have with it are that it feels odd that you don't horizontally wrap the game considering that you do vertically wrap it and that the graphics aren't so much cute as insipid. There are a couple of handling/collision issues as well, but nothing major.

Very much reminds me of Qwak. Oh, and obviously Bubble Bobble/Rainbow Islands/Parasol Stars.