Author Topic: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D  (Read 6116 times)

Offline x4000

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Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« on: November 17, 2015, 09:17:42 AM »
Hey all,

When I say redshirts, I really mean freaking redshirts, too. ;)  So here's the deal right now:

- Carrying this metaphor too far, I'd like to throw you through the airlock into a structurally unsound part of the ship and have you check for leaks and explosives. ;)

- I'm looking for a handful of folks for this who are really into action roguelikes and/or twin stick shooters to come in and help identify both bugs as well as things that don't "feel right."  If you're not already experienced with these genres in some fashion, then the second part of this is something that you can't help with too much I'm afraid.

- Right now this is a private alpha that you'll get a copy of the game for free with.  This is a small group, and I am looking for people who can really dedicate some notable attention to this in the next week.

- After about a week, more or less, we'll move to a public alpha that will be paid.  Anybody can buy the game at a discount and get the current builds as we go, etc.  Things will be much better by then, but it's these first redshirts that are going to particularly help by being first into the breach.  ;D

- PMs are really a pain in the rear for me to try to manage.  Please don't PM me this go round, because it's really slow for me to respond properly.  Please shoot me an email at chrispark7 at gmail dot com if you want to sign up for this.

Thanks!
Chris



Details!

1. We have an incredibly robust engine at this point, but it's growing more and more all the time.  This is the documentation for the XML if you feel like making content or modding, haha: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-1qZwyf-T2Ym0c1LMk5Fk6Y79ztO2YFKWc0-oVe0ENg/edit?usp=sharing

2. We have a relatively small-but-growing amount of content actually implemented, and then a ton more designed.  A few dozen room designs, half a dozen bosses, maybe 20 enemies at most at the moment, a few dozen items (out of the 200ish defined so far), etc.

3. The mechanics for tutorials are in place, but no actual tutorials are there yet.  So you're STRONGLY encouraged to read the keybindings first, or missiles and ammo items on will really throw you for a loop.

4. The interface and hud is presently terribad.  We've been working on getting the flow of that the way we want before actually making it pretty at all... and it shows. ;)

5. The mix of enemies right now is not fully representative of what we want it to be.  Right now there is a bit more emphasis on bullet spam than I want to have in the final versions.  It's not that those enemies need to be changed, but we need more enemies of other sorts to balance them out.

6. Don't get too attached to your save files, because we may wreck those some at the moment.

7. The overall "feel" of the action is something that I'm still tuning.  There are some cool tips from Vlambeer that I've been reading, and I've implemented some but not all of them.  Anyway, overall I think it feels really good, but I am working hard to make sure that it feels GREAT.  There are some areas where it still falls short partly due to me needing more playtime with it and more time to actually implement some things.



Edit to add a response to a great question from below ("what do you want to know from us as redshirts?"):

To some extent it's "whatever you want to tell me, if you feel compelled."  But overall, things that stick out in my mind:

Things I Do Want To Know

1. How does it feel flying around?  Speed with and without afterburner?

2. How does the shot speed and firing rate to you feel in terms of satisfaction?

3. How does it feel to you in terms of how quickly enemies die, how many enemies are in each room, and so on?  Is it an annoyingly slow slog at times, and if so where?  Is it way too easy in a way that could have been fun if there was more health (or whatever) on a given enemy?  If so, what was it?

4. Does it feel like the overall floors themselves are too large or small or just right? (the collection of rooms making up one level of the dungeon -- not the physical object the floor of the room)

5. Any comments about enemies you hate or love, items the same thing, rooms the same thing.

6. Does it feel like you have too much health, or too little?

7. Is your invincibility period after taking a hit something that you feel like is too long or too short?  Maybe this should vary by difficulty to some extent.

8. Do the shots feel too large to you?  For some enemies or all of them?

9. Things that are confusing enough that you think a tutorial is needed to address them.



Things I Don't Really Care About Right Now

1. Most things related to sound or music, unless something is there and is grating on you.  But the lack of many things in this area is already known. ;)

2. Anything related to the graphics behind the room (the parallax floors), as those are still heavily inwork.

3. Anything related to the interface, unless we're talking about information that is lacking, versus just displayed in a crappy fashion.  If there's something you want to know but you literally can't see it, I want to know.  If it's there but it's ugly or hard to read or too small or in a stupid place, I don't care quite yet -- I know already, most likely. ;)
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 02:03:29 PM by x4000 »
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Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2015, 10:08:44 AM »
I think I will wait after the redshirt phase. I'm not really good at bullet hell games and so I would be only in the way of testing. However I don't have any clue how hard the game will be.

Offline Misery

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2015, 10:18:13 AM »
Wait, what?  This already?  didn't at all realize this was coming just yet.  I'd had this idea it was still a couple weeks away... 


Just to add my thoughts:

I'll definitely emphasize the bit about there being alot of bullet spam at the moment.  Far as I know, it's mostly just my stuff that's roaming around trying to tear your faces off (correct me if I'm wrong, I've been focused on the bosses so I wont have noticed if you stuck more enemies in there), so.... it's gonna seem like alot of shots flying everywhere at the time.  But there'll be more variety once enemies from other people are in here too.  Particularly with the bosses though; right now the bosses in particular are pretty loopy. And these are NOT yet balanced for specific difficulty levels. So sometimes the bosses might seem a little... intense, for where you're seeing them. I'd say "I apologize in advance", but that'd be a big fat lie since I'll probably just laugh instead, so I wont.

Also, enemy stats and such.... not really set (by me, anyway).  Frankly I've been ignoring those.  Bosses in particular, I'll be looking over their health values later (unless you'd rather I not touch that right now, Chris), right now some of them may die too fast, which could alter how difficult or not they may seem.  Their patterns, however, are working as intended and absolutely guaranteed to be dodgeable at all times.  There'll likely be tweaking done to them nonetheless though as time goes on.

That being said, any feedback on particular enemies/bosses is very helpful!

Quite interested to see just what happens here.  I think the game as a whole is off to a pretty great start myself.

Also, Chris, I'm going to try to get a big batch of new enemy ships to you later tonight, so you know.  I'd wanted to do it last night but it's hard to make stuff when you're sleep-deprived (again).  Feh.

I think I will wait after the redshirt phase. I'm not really good at bullet hell games and so I would be only in the way of testing. However I don't have any clue how hard the game will be.
   

I dont think the game, in the end, is meant to be crazy hard.  The "bullet spam" being a little overboard right now is just because it's been mostly my designs that are active (AKA, it's mostly my fault, hah).  As enemies and such are made and added by people that ARENT me, that'll tone down alot. This being an Arcen game, it probably wont take too long for that to start happening since development always moves at warp speed.  That being said, you SERIOUSLY dont have to be super good at this to help even now.  In all honesty, feedback from someone that's very new to that type of thing actually IS really helpful, seriously.

Offline x4000

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2015, 10:34:39 AM »
Wait, what?  This already?  didn't at all realize this was coming just yet.  I'd had this idea it was still a couple weeks away... 

Ah!  Sorry, you must have missed that in my wall-o-text emails I imagine, heh. ;)  I only send like 10 a day to the group...

Just to add my thoughts:

For those not aware, Misery is doing most of the bosses and a whole lot of enemy design in the game (though not remotely all of that part, since his style is a bit harder than we want as a baseline).

Folks will also see Mission around here on the forums, and he's working on weapons/items.  GameMakr24, Zack, is working on levels, and Erik (cupogoodness) is working on a variety of stuff.  Mostly enemy design thus far, although so far it's been on paper enemies that are then turning into mechanics that Keith has been implementing so that we can then actually do the enemy definitions in xml soon.

I'll definitely emphasize the bit about there being alot of bullet spam at the moment.  Far as I know, it's mostly just my stuff that's roaming around trying to tear your faces off (correct me if I'm wrong, I've been focused on the bosses so I wont have noticed if you stuck more enemies in there), so.... it's gonna seem like alot of shots flying everywhere at the time.

I stuck in about 9 new enemies yesterday of my own, and there are another handful of mine as well.  Can't recall right off exactly how many.  All the pursuers and jumpscares and local guards are mine at the moment.  Each one of those is a trio of enemies that are variants on one theme with them getting progressively harder.  Right now it doesn't give you any particular one in order yet, though, heh.  We have the tools for all that sort of gating in place in code, but we need some triggers to get set up for all that first.  I have some ideas on that that, but the xml is flexible enough we could actually do it several ways all at once, and I haven't settled on one method or had time yet.

Also, enemy stats and such.... not really set (by me, anyway).  Frankly I've been ignoring those.  Bosses in particular, I'll be looking over their health values later (unless you'd rather I not touch that right now, Chris), right now some of them may die too fast, which could alter how difficult or not they may seem.  Their patterns, however, are working as intended and absolutely guaranteed to be dodgeable at all times.  There'll likely be tweaking done to them nonetheless though as time goes on.

Also, Chris, I'm going to try to get a big batch of new enemy ships to you later tonight, so you know.  I'd wanted to do it last night but it's hard to make stuff when you're sleep-deprived (again).  Feh.

Awesome, thanks!  And no worries.  I plan to try to get at least another 15 enemies in today, myself.  Although I'm really bouncing around on a number of other things right now.

I dont think the game, in the end, is meant to be crazy hard.

DEFINITELY not.  It's meant to have the usual sort of range that people hopefully expect from Arcen titles.  Aka default difficulty is respectable and fun for most people, and maybe a bit of a stretch but not much.  Down to the cheesy easy levels, and up to the my-face-melts-off (aka Misery) difficulty levels.

The "bullet spam" being a little overboard right now is just because it's been mostly my designs that are active (AKA, it's mostly my fault, hah).  As enemies and such are made and added by people that ARENT me, that'll tone down alot. This being an Arcen game, it probably wont take too long for that to start happening since development always moves at warp speed.

Right now the main things that have been slowing that down have been that Erik has been really busy with the marketing stuff for TLF, and then Mission has been completely consumed with items thus far (which is a really important area, so he may be there for a few more weeks -- the item roster is freaking huge, and getting them all feeling completely right and being in the right pools and whatnot is a big deal).  Zack I've been wanting to keep on room design since he's our best at that sort of thing, and the xml can take a while to get into to say the least.

In some respects that actually leaves us slightly short on enemy designers, just in terms of who has availability.  But as Erik's time frees up, he'll have more things.  And it is an area where I hope to focus a lot of my energies.  I'm not really doing much in terms of direct item design, just approving what Mission is putting together for the most part since he's been doing such a great job.  I've been doing some room design as well, but my hope is that I can do progressively less of that as time goes on.  I hope to reach 1000+ rooms at 1.0 without me having to really do more than 100ish of them.  We'll see, but it looks feasible.

That being said, you SERIOUSLY dont have to be super good at this to help even now.  In all honesty, feedback from someone that's very new to that type of thing actually IS really helpful, seriously.

Definitely true.  Although, I think that perhaps later this week would be more helpful on that front.  I'd like to have a day or two to get the tutorials in, and a few more enemies that don't eat your face. ;)  Although one of my enemy trios actually is called the Faceripper, come to that, heh.
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2015, 11:47:57 AM »
as much as id love to help testing I don't think I've ever really played a twin stick shooter in pretty much forever  and I've never come across a rogue like which I really loved not that I dislike them I just haven't come across one which really grabbed me(apart from invisible ink which as far as I'm concerned is part roguelike although I'm sure people will disagree with me there) but if you think id still be useful ill gladly sign on. ps why did I think this was a bullet hell? me and my dam brain farts
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 12:29:40 PM by crazyroosterman »
c.r

Offline x4000

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2015, 12:05:26 PM »
No worries!  The idea is that it isn't bullet hell, but still.
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2015, 12:27:07 PM »
No worries!  The idea is that it isn't bullet hell, but still.
wait why did I think this was a bullet hell when nobody ever said it was? I think I must be going mad but regardless what I said still stands I'm realy not sure weather to sign up or not though I'm very undecided there.
c.r

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2015, 12:35:52 PM »
No worries!  The idea is that it isn't bullet hell, but still.
wait why did I think this was a bullet hell when nobody ever said it was? I think I must be going mad but regardless what I said still stands I'm realy not sure weather to sign up or not though I'm very undecided there.
Because Misery is working with them  :P

Offline Misery

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2015, 12:40:50 PM »
That could potentially be the reason, yes.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2015, 12:44:35 PM »
Do you have already any ideas what the next wave will cost?

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2015, 01:04:04 PM »
Okay. Great. Just when I need time, things come up and my agenda get crunched.

Me joining the redshirts?
Two thing against:
- I'm currently lacking time to do everything I need to do.
- I'm not a bullet hell lover (but I'm not a bullet hell hater neither!).

So many things for:
- I love roguelikes.
- I love Arcen's games.
- So I'm 100% sure I'll love Arcen's Roguelike.
- I'm pitiless to people/things I love (because I want the best out of them).
- I played old and new roguelikes (from Nethack to Isaac).
- Being a wanabe game designer, I'm "design-aware" and I'll do my best to have a general feeling of the game.
- On the redshirt survivability chart, I'm DwarfFortress-level.

Conclusion:
Screw my agenda! I'm in!!!


Quote from: Chris
help identify both bugs as well as things that don't "feel right."
Question:
What do you expect from your redshirts, Chris? "Bugs and feeling"? If everything is wacky, we won't be able to report everything, from enemies' inconsistent design to UI roughness. You listed everything that is currently unfinished, but I would have appreciated one more list of things you want our thoughts on. Or things you know will evolve and are needless to comment. I was a bit overwhelmed by SBR's redshirt wave: there were so many other testers that already talked about everything. I would really appreciate some guidance on what to comment. If possible. Because maybe it's not and that's why we're call redshirts, and it's fine to me too.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 01:11:22 PM by Pumpkin »
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2015, 01:41:22 PM »
Hey Chris, would LOVE to help with this one but it's getting close to my crunch time so I'll have to sit out until the public beta. Best of luck!

Offline Misery

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2015, 01:41:52 PM »
Okay. Great. Just when I need time, things come up and my agenda get crunched.

Me joining the redshirts?
Two thing against:
- I'm currently lacking time to do everything I need to do.
- I'm not a bullet hell lover (but I'm not a bullet hell hater neither!).

So many things for:
- I love roguelikes.
- I love Arcen's games.
- So I'm 100% sure I'll love Arcen's Roguelike.
- I'm pitiless to people/things I love (because I want the best out of them).
- I played old and new roguelikes (from Nethack to Isaac).
- Being a wanabe game designer, I'm "design-aware" and I'll do my best to have a general feeling of the game.
- On the redshirt survivability chart, I'm DwarfFortress-level.

Conclusion:
Screw my agenda! I'm in!!!


Quote from: Chris
help identify both bugs as well as things that don't "feel right."
Question:
What do you expect from your redshirts, Chris? "Bugs and feeling"? If everything is wacky, we won't be able to report everything, from enemies' inconsistent design to UI roughness. You listed everything that is currently unfinished, but I would have appreciated one more list of things you want our thoughts on. Or things you know will evolve and are needless to comment. I was a bit overwhelmed by SBR's redshirt wave: there were so many other testers that already talked about everything. I would really appreciate some guidance on what to comment. If possible. Because maybe it's not and that's why we're call redshirts, and it's fine to me too.


One thing that I'll directly ask for now, from testers, since you just reminded me of it:  I'd like to know just how difficult, exactly, the bosses are for you at this point.   Though note, again, they're NOT calibrated for different difficulty levels.  Eventually the intention is that as the difficulty level goes lower, the boss's pattern slows down, thins out, and becomes a little less complex (which will actually take the form of entirely seperate patterns, but they wont LOOK seperate, if that makes sense).  A very common theme in shmup-related anything.  But to do this properly, I need a general idea of how hard everyone is finding these to be at their current level.  Which, right now, can be referred to as "whatever the heck I felt like making them do at the time", though I've kept the murder level fairly low so far here.... trying not to go overboard.  Yet.

To some degree, that feedback is useful for normal enemies too; one thing I think we're all trying to avoid is having, you know, the "Damn Stupid Flying Medusa Head" type of enemy appear at all in the game.  The sort of enemy that doesnt really add CHALLENGE, but instead just adds ANNOYING.  TVTropes, I believe, refers to this enemy type simply as the "Goddamn Bats".  Those familiar with older games probably know why they came up with that name.   But yeah, nobody wants to see that sort of thing in here, so if something seems off, or is at all producing undodgable situations, please do point that out too. 

Offline nas1m

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2015, 01:47:14 PM »
Not really that much into both genres, so I will pass for this week as you requested and get the paid alpha next week ;)...

EDIT
if you feel like making content or modding, haha: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-1qZwyf-T2Ym0c1LMk5Fk6Y79ztO2YFKWc0-oVe0ENg/edit?usp=sharing
Holy Moly!
You guys really are nuts :).
Looking forward to digging into this at some time.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 01:49:35 PM by nas1m »
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Offline x4000

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Re: Starward Rogue Redshirts Wanted -- Today!! :D
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2015, 02:02:18 PM »
Do you have already any ideas what the next wave will cost?

My thoughts are that we'll run this at a 33% discount off the full $15 price tag of 1.0, so $10 during the alpha.  This game is being developed fast, but this is a BIG game.  If we don't have people getting 400 hours out of this I'm going to eat my hat or something else inedible. ;)

Quote from: Chris
help identify both bugs as well as things that don't "feel right."
Question:
What do you expect from your redshirts, Chris? "Bugs and feeling"? If everything is wacky, we won't be able to report everything, from enemies' inconsistent design to UI roughness. You listed everything that is currently unfinished, but I would have appreciated one more list of things you want our thoughts on. Or things you know will evolve and are needless to comment. I was a bit overwhelmed by SBR's redshirt wave: there were so many other testers that already talked about everything. I would really appreciate some guidance on what to comment. If possible. Because maybe it's not and that's why we're call redshirts, and it's fine to me too.

To some extent it's "whatever you want to tell me, if you feel compelled."  But overall, things that stick out in my mind:



Things I Do Want To Know

1. How does it feel flying around?  Speed with and without afterburner?

2. How does the shot speed and firing rate to you feel in terms of satisfaction?

3. How does it feel to you in terms of how quickly enemies die, how many enemies are in each room, and so on?  Is it an annoyingly slow slog at times, and if so where?  Is it way too easy in a way that could have been fun if there was more health (or whatever) on a given enemy?  If so, what was it?

4. Does it feel like the overall floors themselves are too large or small or just right? (the collection of rooms making up one level of the dungeon -- not the physical object the floor of the room)

5. Any comments about enemies you hate or love, items the same thing, rooms the same thing.

6. Does it feel like you have too much health, or too little?

7. Is your invincibility period after taking a hit something that you feel like is too long or too short?  Maybe this should vary by difficulty to some extent.

8. Do the shots feel too large to you?  For some enemies or all of them?

9. Things that are confusing enough that you think a tutorial is needed to address them.



Things I Don't Really Care About Right Now

1. Most things related to sound or music, unless something is there and is grating on you.  But the lack of many things in this area is already known. ;)

2. Anything related to the graphics behind the room (the parallax floors), as those are still heavily inwork.

3. Anything related to the interface, unless we're talking about information that is lacking, versus just displayed in a crappy fashion.  If there's something you want to know but you literally can't see it, I want to know.  If it's there but it's ugly or hard to read or too small or in a stupid place, I don't care quite yet -- I know already, most likely. ;)
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