Arcen Games

Games => Starward Rogue => Starward Rogue Alpha Discussion => Topic started by: MaxAstro on December 13, 2015, 04:15:38 AM

Title: First Run Impressions
Post by: MaxAstro on December 13, 2015, 04:15:38 AM
Well, I died fast.  XD

Thoughts, in no particular order:

-The "Medical Emergency" item's description does not fully convey what it does.  This definitely contributed to my rapid death.

-I feel like I got hit for no damage a couple times; is there a grazing system?

-Ship feels very fast compared to the size of the rooms.  This is good for mobility, but makes the game feel claustrophobic.

-Can't figure out how to fire missiles; right click doesn't seem to do anything.

-Your bullets have different patterns depending on how your ship is facing, but you can't turn without moving; this means I have to recalibrate precisely where I need to aim constantly.

-Nice enemy bullet patterns

-Quite a few enemies seem to be harmless from anything resembling range

More to come...
Title: Re: First Run Impressions
Post by: MaxAstro on December 13, 2015, 04:17:01 AM
Run #2 comments: Well, I died faster.  XD

-Ship's hitbox is huge.  Ouch.
Title: Re: First Run Impressions
Post by: MaxAstro on December 13, 2015, 04:36:22 AM
Run #3 comments: Well, I died less fast.  xD

-Aiming the orbital barrage is confusing.  Descriptions sounds like it should target your mouse cursor.  Instead it targets some odd combination of "near the mouse cursor" or "a wall in the direction of the mouse cursor".  Very hard to hit enemies with because you have to aim at them directly instead of near them.

-The black-hole like vortex that sucks you into a door the moment you pass near it is annoying as hell, especially if you are in a narrow hall and just want to fly past the door.  Please consider turning doors into little hallways that have to be intentionally entered, or have doors only work if the player is moving in the direction the door leads.

-I found a powerup that, when activated, froze me in place for a few seconds.  I found another powerup that reduced my shot range and speed.  Both of these had to be intentionally picked up and intentionally activated; I assumed from their description that they would target enemies.  What?  XD

-The boss (battleswarm) was fun, although the bullet patterns were pretty easy and predictable.  Would be a harder boss if it moved.  Why does it look like a space ship if it just sits there?

-For that matter, why am ~I~ a spaceship?  I understand why from a story perspective, but I want the gameplay to sell to me that I am a spaceship.  The offset turrets are a nice touch (if annoying sometimes as I mentioned above).  The concept of "spaceship flying inside a bigger spaceship" is cool, and I feel that more should be done with it.

-This is probably on the to-do list, but a visual representation of your shields would be hugely helpful.  Just a blue circle around the player that disappears when they are down would be a big quality of life improvement.

-Oh yeah, also as I touched on above, it is very hard to tell what your hitbox actually is, which makes dodging harder than it needs to be.
Title: Re: First Run Impressions
Post by: MaxAstro on December 13, 2015, 04:47:49 AM
-Overloading circuit seems to take the same slot as most weapons, which... makes it hard to use.  :)

-Should be an indicator on boss rooms on the map to show where the exit door is.  Saves time searching the room.

-Found a room that required missiles to clear all the enemies; this could be a problem for obvious reasons.

-Seems like when you swap a "drops a turret" type item for a new item, instead of the old item dropping, a turret of the kind the old item creates drops.  Not sure if intentional...
Title: Re: First Run Impressions
Post by: Misery on December 13, 2015, 06:50:17 AM
Ah, good feedback list so far!  Much appreciated, more of that is always useful.

I'll see if I cant give a few responses here...

-Getting hit for no damage:  Are you sure you hadnt already taken damage like, a moment before?  There is a period of brief invincibility after you do get hit.  However, if you hadnt been hit, and then very definitely were struck by something, that might indeed be a bug.

-Room size:  Going to be increasing in a general sense.  Chris has had pretty much the same thoughts, that some of the rooms are a bit too small.  In addition smaller rooms limits what can be done with the bullet patterns, I mean, they can only get so interesting in a 2-block-wide hallway... so expect some changes here.

-Just hit escape and go into the settings to find all of the keybindings and learn to fire your missiles.  I use a controller myself so I have no idea what key it is either, but they keybindings are all in there.

-Some enemies are kinda meant to be rather harmless, yeah.  Right now what you're seeing is basically every enemy in the game appearing at any time.  The weaker ones are the sorts that will be appearing on the first floor or two, which means they need to not be too dangerous at all.  So some of them are basically the Goombas of the game.  They CAN damage you, but.... it's embarrassing if they manage this.  That sort of thing.  I can promise though that there will be enemies that are meant to basically eat your face, and eat your face they shall.  Well, I'm not going to go totally overboard with them, but still, there'll be at least some of the face eating by them.   Of course, the game also has difficulty levels, so later on, you can just pick a higher one and things will get tougher.  Right now only bosses are affected by this, somewhat.

-Ship's hitbox may be made smaller soon.  Undecided yet.

-Powerups that intentionally screwed you over are "mystery circuits".  Think of them like Isaac's pills, or the potions used in many roguelikes.  Some good, some bad.  What's SUPPOSED to happen is that some of them are supposed to appear with a ? symbol on them and no description, so you dont know what they are till you use them, but that appears to be glitched right now.

-Battleswarm, that boss, not meant to be too tough.   There's a reason he gives you all that time to examine where the purple bolts are about to go, heh. 

-Bosses not moving:  This is because of the nature of the way the game's bullet engine works, plus the nature of my style of pattern design.  Anything that moves in the game is controlled not directly but by pre-determined AIs.  This is fine for normal enemies (mostly) but for bosses, it doesnt really work out.  When the AI is allowed control of a boss's movements, it can place the boss into positions that can create literally undodgeable attacks and such; this is a huge no-no and is to be avoided no matter what.  The sorts of patterns the bosses use take, for the most part, alot of precision and are very carefully setup; they work only if the boss's movement (or lack thereof) is predictable.  My style of design is influenced by games made by Cave also.... and if you've ever seen their games (like Mushihime-sama or Dodonpachi), the bosses in those games also barely ever move.  They might sorta wobble in place a bit or something, but they dont do all that much else. It's actually a very common trait of boss fights in this sort of thing.  Other bosses in the game here should prove to be a bit more interesting though... right now I'd be interested to hear what you think about Mirror or Labyrinth in particular, as the bosses go, once you've fought them. Labyrinth is the most recently added and the first "non-standard" boss (AKA, it's a strange fight), and Mirror recently got changed to remove an exploit and increase the difficulty, and being that this is me doing this, I may have gone a tad overboard with the difficulty of the thing.  I dont think Mirror is active in this state right now in the version you're playing though, pretty sure that bit hasnt arrived for you yet.  Er... I think.  Cant keep up with all these version numbers but I submitted the change recently.  Battleswarm though, and also Crystal Mother, are meant to not be too tough at all.

-Why are you a spaceship?  Well.... ah, just ignore that for now.  There's a thing I could explain here but I dont know if I should or not, so I'm not going to, but there's something being worked on related to this that'll come soon and make some changes to cause things to make more sense.

-Hit F7 to see where your hitbox is exactly..... and the hitbox of absolutely every other conceivable thing.

That's all for now! 
Title: Re: First Run Impressions
Post by: MaxAstro on December 13, 2015, 07:50:28 AM
A debug key that lets me see my hitbox is awesome, but doesn't change the fact that as a "regular player", the discrepancy between the size of my ship graphic (huge!) and my apparent hitbox (medium-ish) makes dodging harder.  Especially since I keep instinctively worrying about my wings getting hit... a more regularly-shaped player graphic would help with this, but also lose some coolness factor, I think.

I haven't seen any of the weird bosses yet, but I also keep dying on the first floor. XD  Mostly 'cause I'm just messing around.  Would be nice to have some bosses that act in different ways than the standard bullet hell game "really complex turret".  :)  Although I do like those bosses.  Could play around with sub-enemies, perhaps?  Or bosses that are less focused on bullet patterns - like a "snake" style boss that leaves a damaging trail as it moves...

I think the instances of getting hit without seeming to take damage were before I realized how shields work.  Again: A graphic representation of a shield around the player would be awesome.  Knowing whether I can afford to be aggressive or not, without having to look away from my ship to check my health bar, would be really nice.

Oh yes: Are there plans for items or upgrades that change the default guns of the ship?  Being able to swap out those "hardpoints" would definitely help with the "I'm a spaceship" factor.
Title: Re: First Run Impressions
Post by: Misery on December 13, 2015, 08:48:39 AM
Hmm, dont count on the "I'm a spaceship" factor always being there, is all I'll say about that.  Though there's likely to always be at least some discrepency between the player's sprite size, and the hitbox size.  Basically every game of this type does this to some degree, to make sure that everything is always viable.  It's just a matter of getting used to it.  Eventually, it stops being something you at all have to think about.

As for the bosses, something like the snake thing you describe just wouldnt work.  For a couple of reasons:  1, it's not possible to get multiple entities to behave in-sync (as in, it wouldnt be possible to create something like a "tail" or whatever for a boss), and 2, the AI doesnt support it.  There is pathfinding, but it's super direct, and would inevitably lead to a situation where you either kill the boss fast enough (as in, your damage output must be above a certain level) or you *will* lose, because it creates an undodgable situation.  Particularly with something like that just being so outside of my design style.  And a non-pathfinding type movement would just get messy and possibly stuck. 

Though, again, I'd be interested to see what you think of Labyrinth once you meet that boss.  THAT one is... different.  You cant just sit there and shoot that one, unless you like being exploded, and it has friends.  It's a somewhat experimental boss, while I see just what happens when players continue to encounter it.

As for items that change the effects of the base weapons, I have no idea.  Not my realm of design, it's one of the others that makes that stuff and the items in general.  Chris could probably answer that one, I'm sure.  It's possibly been mentioned to me before but my memory is absolutely terrible.