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Member-Run Project ppower indies

Discussion in 'Other Games' started by ppowersteef, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. ppowersteef

    ppowersteef Paladin

    Hello everyone,

    My name is ppowersteef, and besides drawing, I've also created indie games in the pasttime.
    I've started developing in C# since 2013. And while I staggered to get used to it, it has grown in quite a development.
    My preference is to make short arcade-like games, so the goal will always be reachable. Though it has their ups and downs, I also love to add tons of features. :p

    Currently the collection is just small, as I had underestimated how much time and effort you can be spend on it. But every game I've created (including unreleased) has their story and their learning moments. So please keep these in mind when you want to develop games by yourself.

    I'm distributing my games through Itch.io, a website where you can submit indie games without charge. And able to customise to your likings.
    You can view my Itch.io profile here:
    ppowersteef - itch.io

    Here my collection of Indie Games created:

    Space Siblings v1.0.png
    During March 2016, I've decided to test my programming experience to make a short, but fun game.
    The program is made with XNA Framework (C#) , made in 8 weeks, but it has been recieving updates untill even 2017.
    It's a space shooter with it's concept greatly based on classic top-down shooters:
    Game view.PNG
    The goal of the game is to prevent the alienships getting past you, by shooting them all to their defeat.
    If 10 aliens have passed, or if you've no more functional ship(s) left, the game is over.

    you can play with 1 or 2 ships at once, where you start with 2 characters and their ships:
    LS21.png The LaserShip, with its twin guns which can shoot lasers rapidly.
    SilverStar.png And the SilverStar, with their rockets able to Blast their enemy away.
    The ships have only 3 lives, so make sure you don't get hit.
    There are 3 other ships waiting to be unlocked, they'll be unlocking shortly, depending on how many aliens you've beaten.

    Everytime you reach a certain amount of points. you'll raise a level, which causes the Aliens to spawn faster and new types will appear.

    I found it a fun game to make, and I had a great blast of experience while programming.
    It started as a short game, but now it has grown to a pretty solid Arcade, and I hope you'll enjoy it :happy:
    And without further ado, here's the link to the download page: (Only for Windows)

    [Space Siblings v1.1.1]

    Since I've no installer, the download comes with multiple files, as long as you click on the .exe file, it'll be fine.
    Thanks to @Milt69466 for making the aliensprites and redesigning the player ships.
    Thanks to @Neko-Chan for making the face icons.
    Big thanks to my teacher who allowed me to use his music.
    Thanks for Waterflame for Clutterfunk 2, which I've used as an extra soundtrack.
    The other artwork and characters are made by me.

    And a thanks for testing and giving me feedback/suggestions:

    Hjort Helten, which translates to 'Deer Hero', is my platformer game experiment I’ve worked on during my sparetime.
    Due to my interests in maze platformers/Metroidvania, I would have loved to try making one of them by myself.
    The program is made with GameMaker Studio 2, over the course of 2,5 years.

    Currently it has turned into a short Metroidvania game where you play as Samantha the huntress, who have to search through the forest to save her pet deer.
    As you progress, you'll find items that helps you to open areas in other locations. Untill you'll meet the boss, which will mark the end if defeated.

    It's been a project that had a lot of ups and downs, and it's a clear example why one shouldn't think too big about a game project. As I had to leave out a lot of ideas I wanted to implement to keep the game at a minimalist requirement to make it solid. I think the main Idea have been shrinked down 4 times already since the start.

    So far it's currently in Beta, but it's already playable from start to finish, along with minor additions and effects. And that's where I want to leave it for now.
    Here's the page to Itch.io, where you can download it from there. (So far only tested in Windows)

    Hjort Helten by ppowersteef

    The file comes in a .zip format, once unpacked, the game will open when clicking on the .exe file.
    Thanks to RambunctiousFlan for creating the main theme and
    Dimos Stathoulis for the music themes I could use.

    Thanks to @Dragonith for testing and feedback given during it's early phases.

    Thanks to @MiltVala , @Dragonith , @Aurora3500 , @ajidot and Aavri for the continious support given.

    The project does look close to done already, but that can still be a far point away. depending on how much effort the small details will be once you count it all up together. And for that reason, I want to leave this project as is, and think about where to go with it next.

    Early details about this project found in my Art Thread.

    I'm welcome for any feedback given. and I hope for more cool stuff in the future.

    (PS: The first 4 pages will be about my first game, "Space Siblings", where this thread was dedicated to untill the end of the 4th page)
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  2. Valkyrie Valhalla

    Valkyrie Valhalla Dungeon Spirit

    Huh, I played it for a couple minutes, and it's actually pretty good, my only little nitpick was the movement, it would be nice if there was a sensitivity setting. ;o

    But otherwise, great job, and I can't wait to see more updates and changes to the game. ^^

    Edit: Man, this gets a little crazy after 1000 points. I really like the option to choose 2 different ships instead of just being limited to one too, that's pretty swell.

    Also the music is really catchy. ;o
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
    ppowersteef likes this.
  3. Chazm

    Chazm Skeletron Prime

    How'd you program the entry gates in? I always seem to have problems with directing the delegation to the correct code.
  4. W1K

    W1K Witch

    Gotta check it out in a sec.

    Also, critiques ye or nah?
    Finding strong points and flaws in a game is a learning experience for every game designer, but I don't know whether it's in your interest to improve upon the design.
  5. ppowersteef

    ppowersteef Paladin

    Thanks for the compliments! ^^

    I'm not really sure what you exactly mean by entry gates, I'm thinking about the button presses, but idk.

    hmm, this is a hard choice,

    But I will allow it, since I'm open to learn more about. :)
  6. Chazm

    Chazm Skeletron Prime

    Entry gates are composed of delegates (safe pointers) in C# which allow for a coded action to go to arbitrary, where they'll be executed. A program cannot operate without them (or did you use something which does them for you?)
  7. ppowersteef

    ppowersteef Paladin

    You mean the randomized spawns, size and speed?
    I did it this way:
    Random rnd = new Random();
    int objectTextureID;
    float[] scale = new float[] {1, 1, 1};
    public Texture2D[] objectTextures;
    float[] timer = new float[] { 0, 0, 0, 0 };[/INDENT]
            Vector2[] spawnpositions = new Vector2[]
                new Vector2(0, -50),
                new Vector2(0, -4),
                new Vector2(0, -30),
                new Vector2(0, -100),
    public void CreateAsteroids(GameTime gameTime, List<BackgroundObject> BackgroundObjects)
                timer[2] += gameTime.ElapsedGameTime.Milliseconds;
                if (timer[2] > rnd.Next(2500, 5000))
                    timer[2] = 0;
                    spawnpositions[2].X = rnd.Next(-50, 500);
                    objectTextureID = rnd.Next(7, 11);
                    scale[1] = rnd.Next(2, 5);
                    spawnpositions[2].Y = -50 * scale[1];
                    BackgroundObject b = new BackgroundObject(objectTextures[objectTextureID], spawnpositions[2], new Vector2(scale[1] / 2, scale[1] / 2), 0.5f / (scale[1] / 2));
    I'm sorry if I didn't understanded you well.
  8. Chazm

    Chazm Skeletron Prime

    I get that; but I'll show you what I mean.

    namespace Akadia.BasicDelegate
      // Declaration
      public delegate void SimpleDelegate();
      class TestDelegate
      public static void MyFunc()
      Console.WriteLine("I was called by delegate ...");
      public static void Main()
      // Instantiation
      SimpleDelegate simpleDelegate = new SimpleDelegate(MyFunc);
      // Invocation
    This is the bit I'm looking for.
  9. ppowersteef

    ppowersteef Paladin

    Other than that it looks like the methods I've used in classes, I don't recognise this.
    Delegates are not known for me, so either I've made no use of those, or XNA framework already did it for me.
  10. Chazm

    Chazm Skeletron Prime

    mfw you made a game like that but can't figure out how to get the Game1.game = new Game1() delegation to work
  11. ppowersteef

    ppowersteef Paladin

    Well, there was this little class that was generated when creating a new project
    using System;
    namespace Space_Siblings
    #if WINDOWS || XBOX
        static class Program
            static void Main(string[] args)
                using (Game1 game = new Game1())
    But yeah, this is standard included when creating a new project, and I didn't bother looking at at again, because I knew it works >.>
  12. W1K

    W1K Witch

    I'll just say it right away, for the small and simple game it is, it does its job well. I didn't start the game expecting much, but it delivered a fairly solid mini-game.

    As far as game mechanics go, everything is fairly basic. It's the kind of game even the most unexperienced of gamers can take on and understand right away.
    I like how the basic controls are explained straight away as the game starts without restricting player control as this gives new players the chance to test the controls before the spawning even starts and experienced players are given something to keep busy with for the few seconds before the first aliens arrive. Real only issue I had encountered on the matter is a lack of pointing out of the "Bomb" feature, which I found out by myself by accident, I also recall you're never really explained the game's main objective, which is preventing aliens from reaching off-screen rather than surviving as much as possible, which is what people playing blind might mistake it as.
    I'll also give a positive quick mention to the auto-shoot feature, which is very handy in movement heavy games such as this, it's totally fine to give "purists" an extra degree of control over their ship even if unnecessary.

    Gameplay is simple, destroying enemy ships feels satisfying. After a few tries it slowly turns into a game of predicting which enemy ship is better to prioritize on first and how fast you can take the priority down. It's simple but it keeps the player thinking.
    Bombs will essentially work as extra life when properly mastered and as the avid fan of scrolling shooters I am, it's a nice touch that I definitely appreciate as it makes the overall game less punishing but at the same time gives more score hitting tools to the player. This is extremely minor, but I wish there was a short delay between one use of a bomb and the other, as bombs essentially serve as a "panic button", one can easily accidentally tap the space key twice which can potentially cause frustration. That being said it only happened to me once but it's a good thing to keep in mind I suppose.
    Ship controls are... rather weird to say the least. Old-school arcade games were well known for incorporating part of their difficulty in mastering the game's controls, but I'm not sure whether this is the case, whether it's intended or a structural flaw. I usually dislike velocity based movement as it can bring quite a bit of instability to the table, makes it hard to properly align shots or control your ship on long jumps. It also seems trying to change direction mid-movement does not affect your previous movement and you're forced to wait for the ship to stop before being able to control if further, which can eat you away some precious time, but as said, this can be part of the learning curve. What I truly dislike however, is the delay upon giving a movement input, and this might be mostly me being spoiled by games which give you absolute control upon your character, I tend to "slowly tap" in specific directions constantly, even when unnecessary, as it makes me feel I'm in complete control and overall adds to comfort, but this seems to be completely negated by the delay.

    The two ships offer two different play-styles and as far as balance goes, they are not much far on the line. I felt SilverStar to be particularly more adept as score breaking, but LaserShip has an overall higher degree of forgiveness. However I sort of feel this is intentional. Overall it's nice to have the choice for multiple playstyles, as it adds to the game's replay value and I had an equal good time with either ship.
    Back on the topic of SilverStar feeling as a more adept score breaker, I had a much easier time reaching very high scores with it (2600 points) than LaserShip (roughly 2100 score). This is most likely due to how sturdy the green alien ships tend to be for LaserShip, while SilverStar can bring them down in a single hit like any other.

    Graphically speaking, I don't think I have anything to complain about. Simple, fitting and thematic. The UI tells you exactly all you need to know, shooting feels satisfying, killing enemies feels satisfying, pulling off that well timed bomb feels satisfying. It all just works fine.
    Only tip I can possibly give is improve the background's variety, and by that I don't mean "make more asteroids", rather, I've noticed asteroids sprites are not used to their full potential. You can very easily randomly flip an asteroid's sprite on both X and/or Y axis as soon as it spawns, tied with the system randomly resizing asteroids alongside it, it's essentially going to increase the background variety by a fair amount as each asteroid will look much more unique (reducing the chance of two equal looking asteroid spawning next to each others) and I don't believe the sprites were designed in a way to feel out of place in case of a flip. I also sort of feel the asteroid on the background feel a tad bit slow compared to the space particles, but that might just be me.

    Not sure how much there is to say audio-wise. The sounds fit and definitely add to the random ships shooting satisfaction, the music is catchy and well fitting. Only minor complaint is the player's shooting sound being a tad bit too high for my taste.

    Overall, I enjoyed it and had fun trying to net the best score I could despite the short game and basic contents. If you intend to bring your game designer career further, I can just wish you good luck as you're off with a good start. I'm definitely eager to see more. I'd also like to know whether you intend to bring this project further.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  13. MinieK

    MinieK Golem

    Daaaangit, this is cool.
    ppowersteef likes this.
  14. ppowersteef

    ppowersteef Paladin

    First of all, thanks for the great critique given, now let's see what I can say about:
    Sounds good to hear, maybe I should try to make things more interesting right at the start.
    Well, I did pointed out in the tutorial that you can press space to use a bomb. maybe you may have overseen it.
    The tutorial is also only explained once each startup.
    I found the objective was a bit obvious, at least, that's what I expected. But it's a good thing to think about indeed.

    The bombs was suggested by one of the testers, I'm really glad to hear that it's a good addition to it.
    When I was testing out the bombs, it may indeed need a slight delay indeed.
    mhm, I've gotten feedback earlier about the slippery controls, I'm not even a fan of the current movement myself, but I havn't thought too much about to redesign it, because to my guess it needs some experience. but I can agree, and I should completely rework that one day.
    It was intended that the two ships should behave different so they will help each other. The game was formely designed to have only Multiplayer.
    SilverStar's role was to break through the defences of the green alien ships, while the LaserShip could focus on the Yellow alien ships.
    I also feel that LaserShip is more useful during the first few levels, while on the later levels, it becomes vice versa.
    and if the first levels during singleplayer with SilverStar went well, then it's indeed likely you can get a higher score. even though LaserShip is easier to use.
    I even had to cut the green alienships' health in half during singleplayer, it was quite imbalanced.
    I might do it so that it needs two rockets to defeat the green ships, but I don't know if that'll still balance things well.

    that about the asteroid varity was indeed something I had planned to try soon. and maybe I might tweak some values with it as well.
    Sounds are something I can work on it too. currently everything plays at their base volume. so that indeed needs some tweaking.

    I'm glad you've enjoyed it. and thanks a lot for the great critique given.

    I've indeed some plans for future updates. but at the same time I also have the ideas for a new game.
    Working with new mechanics can really help me out learning things further. :)
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
    darthmorf and W1K like this.
  15. Aurora3500

    Aurora3500 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    This looks very cool. I will be playing this game over the weekend to see how it is. I'm looking forward to playing your game!
    ppowersteef likes this.
  16. FaZe EPIX

    FaZe EPIX Retinazer

    When Is This Being Ported Over To consoles? .-.
  17. ppowersteef

    ppowersteef Paladin


    I think the game's a little too short for that to happen.
  18. FaZe EPIX

    FaZe EPIX Retinazer

    Bcuz Its That Good
    ppowersteef likes this.
  19. W1K

    W1K Witch

    Yeah uh, apparently I'm :red:ed and missed it entirely the first few times I tried running it. I even almost missed it when you told me there actually is a text about it. I guess it's simply because I expected it to pop up after the "Up: Shoot" text rather than on the corner of the screen.
    I suppose that might use some adjusting. Essentially, by centering the tutorial texts on the player character (which is the first thing the player will focus their eyes on) you'll focus the player's attention entirely on that one spot, since the text changes over time they'll ignore every other UI component for the moment to make sure they don't miss any text. In fact, I completely missed the bomb tutorial text multiple times, mainly because I was focusing on the central text.

    Considering you only have one specific axis to play with (the X position) and no collisions otherwise, you have plenty of options.
    You can keep the velocity based movement, ironically that's how even I deal with it in my own projects, granted it's probably the system that allows you for the most options.
    The two main ways of minimizing the issue are increasing friction (so the ship will stop much faster, allowing for smoother transitions between left and right), another very useful feature a lot of games use is increasing the velocity increment if the player is moving the opposite way (so if your velocity currently points right, or essentially X velocity is above 0, trying to move left will reduce the X velocity more than usual). All it takes is simple extra conditions.
    I'm not entirely sure of what's causing the movement delay however as there's no particular reason I could deduce by simply looking at the game.

    Makes sense, it wuold've been a valid approach if you had the feature of being able to switch between ships at any moment. Like, shooting rockets when you need to, shooting lasers when you need to get rid of multiple spreaden weaker ships.
    Still, using that sort of system kind of takes away from the uniqueness of the ship.
    Either way, I'm not sure how to properly balance it out myself as that's usually something I try to figure out by sheer trial and erroring. That being said, I think needing two rockets can bring a bit more balance considering SilverStar shoots pretty fast to begin with.

    No problem. Always glad to share experiences with game designing.

    Good to hear you have some plans. If you're eager to learn, trying out new engines is definitely a way to go, each engine is a whole new experience and does nothing but refine your craft. Just don't be me and don't make 3 thousand game engines and never end up using them for anything concrete, but I'm sure you know better.

    Also, don't take my advices or opinions as finite. Game designing is no exact science, it's a branch of entertainment and people have different tastes as per any other branch of entertainment. Don't be afraid of trying something unique if you feel it's going to work.
    ppowersteef likes this.
  20. Kazzymodus

    Kazzymodus Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Although you stated this project was mainly a test of programming experience, I'll critique it from a game design standpoint, because I think it both deserves it and because when judged as one, I think it can hold its own pretty well.

    So as far as vertical scrollers go, this one is quite enjoyable. I like the different ships, the different enemies (especially the ones that shoot at you) and the huge amount of enemies that show up at a certain point. Generally, I think you did a good job, although I have a few things you could improve on.

    First of all, the player has no progression: they starts with a set amount of lives that can't be replenished (personally I feel three green lives is a little on the low side) and a set attack speed and damage that can't be increased, or in other words, the player doesn't get stronger. I know power-ups are a cliché, but they do work wonders in games like this, because they give the player more control over their surroundings. You could also reward the player as they progresses through the game, such as giving him a blue life every time they gains a level, or giving them a score multiplier.

    I think the difficulty ramp up is well paced: I last about two minutes per game, which I think is a good duration for a game like this. The enemy increase doesn't feel too sudden and the green and red enemies appear at appropriate times. All in all, good job.

    As for movement, I don't much like the 'sliding' effect when you let go of the arrow keys, I feel it takes some control away from here. A simple move-on-key-down, stop-moving-on-key-up would work fine here, I think.

    I really like the small particles on the foreground, they really help give the impression of speed to your game. The background parallax feels a bit cluttery, however, and some of the sprites (planets, for instance) look blurry (which could be filtering, but I assume it's the sprites themselves). You might want to reduce the amount of background objects a bit. Apart from that, you could try and speed up the parallax as the game gets on, which gives the player the impression he's going faster (even though he isn't).

    Balancing wise, Silvyne is clearly the superior choice, the damage of her rockets (which can one shot everything up to the red dudes, haven't survived long enough to find out if there are any more) doesn't outweigh the attack speed reduction. As an iteration, I suggest you up the attack speed of the Trex rather dramatically, which I think will both balance the ships better as well as give the use of Trex's ship more satisfaction to the player. I could be completely wrong, but hey, that's what iterations are for.

    User feedback wise, I think there should be a little indication (a small sound would do) when a ship passes the player and they lose one of the blue lives, because it gives them a better idea of how much they still have left without having to look at the life bar itself. Something similar could enhance the level gaining experience, which currently is almost unnoticeable.

    A minor bug I found is that the horizontal limits are not symmetrical: the player can touch the left border of the screen, but not the right one. Nothing game breaking, just my neurosis acting up.

    This might feel like a lot of criticism, but these are actually just quite small details. All things considered, I think this is a solid arcade game, if perhaps a bit generic. Spice it up with some uniqueness, make it your own, and I think you have a nice little web game on your hands.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
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