Author Topic: New Impressions: Version 2.04  (Read 2619 times)

Offline MaxAstro

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New Impressions: Version 2.04
« on: December 18, 2015, 02:32:44 AM »
Lots of huge, huge improvements this version.  My hitbox is clear, my firing lines are clear, whether or not I have shields is clear.  Loving the change to a mech instead of a ship, A+.  Lots of steps forward.

And then we have the steps back.  :/

Putting energy weapons and missiles on the same key and having to switch between them is a huge annoyance.  It basically means I never use missiles; I don't have time to hit a button to switch, fire the missile, and hit a button to switch back in the middle of a fight.  Big loss of combat versatility.

Also, there is currently no indication at all whether I have missiles or my energy weapon selected.  I have to just mentally keep track, or guess and hope I don't waste a missile.

Other thoughts:

-The Incinerator is ~really~ powerful.  Easy to hit with, amazing damage, recharges quickly.  Not seeing many drawbacks.

-Your main gun feels like a pea shooter at times...  Here's hoping that in the vein of Binding of Isaac powerups that keep your main weapon competitive will be a thing, otherwise fights boil down to waiting for your energy weapon to recharge... also means that you need an energy weapon that's useful enough to make up for the weak main gun, instead of a support weapon.  The Incinerator is.  The Spike Launcher... not so much.

-Are Chargers one of those "only supposed to be late game but showing up early now" things?  'Cause man, they are insanely hard.  Their attack range is comparable to yours, and many rooms don't have room to play keepaway anyway; these things seem to throw strategy out the window and come down to "kill them faster than you die".

Offline MaxAstro

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2015, 02:36:25 AM »
Just had my second run on the new version nearly instantly ended by two Chargers in a row.  Really feels like there is no counter to them.

Offline MaxAstro

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2015, 02:43:53 AM »
Okay... I think... I'm gonna stop playing until the next version comes out.  And hopefully Chargers will be a bit more under control...  I've now had four runs in a row ended on the first floor by Chargers...  >.<

Offline Misery

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 08:22:27 AM »
Chargers are appearing in the wrong sorts of rooms, actually.  They're not designed for open areas, but instead for complicated, maze-like rooms, and larger ones in general.  If they just come at you in an open area, there's not a whole lot you can do. In a more complicated area, there's plenty you can do.

Many enemies actually have similar issues even if it's not super obvious.  The problem is there's not enough categories of enemies for things to fit into and for the spawner to use.  This is something I've discussed with Chris and he's said that just adding more categories would be easy enough. 

However, these things are NOT meant to be easy foes.  Some enemies are going to be genuinely very difficult.  This particular enemy is designed to provide challenge via testing your reaction speed, and you're meant to use afterburners (or whatever it's called now) to keep ahead of them while firing at them.

That being said, I have already slowed the things down a bit for the next update.  Along with fixing a few other issues with different enemies.

There's also the issue though that some rooms have enemy placements in general that are NOT where they should be; as in, jumpscare enemies being too close to doors (causing them to activate instantly).  Or in a few specific instances enemies that are pretty much like 3 blocks away from a door you entered.  This too will be addressed later, but it's not something I can fix myself.

This is likely to happen every now and then though.  When it comes to shmups or similar things, I'm used to games that have a seriously absurd level of difficulty; this game at it's hardest so far is easy for me and this is likely to be the case even on high difficulties.  As such I've a difficult time correctly judging just how tough something is until it's had enough time being tested by everyone else.

I probably will also gate the Chargers by floor number though, as now that I think about it that's probably a good idea.

For now though, many energy weapons or a simple barrage of missiles typically fries the things very quickly.  They're too dumb to get out of the way.

Hm, come to think of it I may have also set their activation range too high as well.  I'll check that.

As for the other things:

Energy weapons, yes, their balance is all over the place.  Plenty of them wreck things too fast.  That is to be addressed, but not by me.

The lengths of fights, this depends on what you're fighting.  Right now, enemy HP is relatively appropriate based on their threat level.  Boss HP being where it is is *entirely* intended.  The nature of their patterns means that they need time to generate threat, and they also need to contain the player within them long enough to be able to do potential damage.  Patterns like these dont work at all when they're not allowed to fire long enough.  Basically every single boss would become pretty darn easy without these things.

There are actually very few games of this type that DONT do this.  Even Binding of Isaac, many bosses have very high HP levels.  The only reason why fights sometimes become short in that game is because of the potential for Isaac to become EXTREMELY overpowered due to the nature of synergies in that game.  When a more normal run happens, bosses can take a long time to go down.  The only exception I can think of in this genre is Nuclear Throne, where most bosses just dont have much HP at all.  This also applies even to the basic shmup genre, traditional or bullet-hell.  The length of fights in those is very close to what it is in this and bosses tend to not only have high HP, but multiple forms as well.

I havent seen any issues with it myself in this game.  I usually forget the energy weapons are there and tend to just strike with the main gun, and it really doesnt take long to defeat most things.  But you have to keep up a constant rate of fire actually hitting them. 
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 08:30:40 AM by Misery »

Offline MaxAstro

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2015, 03:23:52 AM »
Oh, no problems with boss hp, that feels like it's in a solid place.  And yes, bosses should be bullet sponges.

I think mostly it's just Chargers again - they have obnoxious amounts of hp on top of everything else they do.  I like difficulty, but when I feel like there is no strategy I can effectively employ (such as a charger in a small room) it gets frustrating.  I think another thing that might help with Chargers would be limiting the speed at which they can rotate their firing pattern; that way a skilled player could circle around them inside their range and take them out.  Currently, the empty space in their firing pattern makes it look like you can do that, but you can't possibly circle them fast enough to make it work.  If that's intentional, then you should add some bullets to fill the whitespace to make it clear this is not an enemy you can close with.

Offline Misery

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2015, 09:08:11 AM »
Oh, no problems with boss hp, that feels like it's in a solid place.  And yes, bosses should be bullet sponges.

I think mostly it's just Chargers again - they have obnoxious amounts of hp on top of everything else they do.  I like difficulty, but when I feel like there is no strategy I can effectively employ (such as a charger in a small room) it gets frustrating.  I think another thing that might help with Chargers would be limiting the speed at which they can rotate their firing pattern; that way a skilled player could circle around them inside their range and take them out.  Currently, the empty space in their firing pattern makes it look like you can do that, but you can't possibly circle them fast enough to make it work.  If that's intentional, then you should add some bullets to fill the whitespace to make it clear this is not an enemy you can close with.

Hm, yeah, with the game engine the way it is I cant do that for the Chargers, so instead I think I'll take your idea of filling in the empty space.  It may as well just put out a full aura of pain rather than lines, really...

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 01:45:58 PM »
Hm, yeah, with the game engine the way it is I cant do that for the Chargers
I'm not sure it will do what you're thinking, but if you give it time_to_visually_rotate_180_degrees="2" that should add a noticeable delay between a change in where it "wants" to shoot and the rotation of the firing pattern.
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Offline MaxAstro

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2015, 07:02:24 AM »
If that is possible, then I think it's a better solution that going full aura of pain - I think enemies that have multiple methods of taking them out requiring varying degrees of skill are a good idea.

Offline Misery

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2015, 07:48:43 AM »
If that is possible, then I think it's a better solution that going full aura of pain - I think enemies that have multiple methods of taking them out requiring varying degrees of skill are a good idea.

Yes, I may try it, though I can forsee a few other problems with it.   Not to mention that the Charger simply isnt designed for that.  The idea is to force the player to not so much use dodging skills, but instead to accurately navigate the structure of the room involved as they try to keep ahead of the Charger while attacking it.  There's already tons of foes that can be dealt with in a variety of ways. 

The real problem to me is that the thing is spawning in LOTS of rooms it's not designed for (AKA, open spaces).   

But that can be dealt with later; right now I have other priorities (final bosses, need to do those before I do anything else right now).

Offline MaxAstro

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2015, 01:44:10 AM »
It's range might also be higher than it needs to be; at least on my monitor, it's range takes up over 50% of my screen, and I feel like my range is only slightly larger.  Could just be that my monitor's fairly old, though.

Offline Misery

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2015, 06:55:42 AM »
It's range might also be higher than it needs to be; at least on my monitor, it's range takes up over 50% of my screen, and I feel like my range is only slightly larger.  Could just be that my monitor's fairly old, though.

Wait, what?  It shouldnt have such monstrous range to cover so much of the screen.  Are you zoomed in or something? 

Offline MaxAstro

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2015, 05:17:53 AM »
To clarify, I mean that the diameter of its attack covers half my screen, not the radius.

But it still feels large enough that I have to keep it at the edge of the screen to safely stay away from it, and that makes aiming at it hard.

Or maybe I am zoomed in?  Let me see if I can get a screenshot next time I see one...

Offline ptarth

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2016, 03:46:05 PM »
I was curious, so I loaded up the Charger.
1. Misery, you named it wrong, Death Starfish of Doom, I think, is more appropriate.
1a. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH is also appropriate.
2. I think the range is a bit much.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline Misery

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2016, 04:42:11 PM »
I was curious, so I loaded up the Charger.
1. Misery, you named it wrong, Death Starfish of Doom, I think, is more appropriate.
1a. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH is also appropriate.
2. I think the range is a bit much.

Heh, I got a laugh out of this one.

Makes me think of Risk of Rain, where instead of maxing out at like, "very hard" or something the game's rising difficulty meter maxes out at "HAHAHAHA", which is so fitting....  and then you're on fire and covered in bees.  Literally.

I'm beginning to get the impression though that the Charger is being a tad difficult.  I have reduced it's HP actually, I had it up a bit high.  Knock it down with bullets before it gets you!

One thing that's kinda amusing is that at some point a "Deadly Pursuer" enemy category was made, and it's literally the only thing in it.

Offline zharmad

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Re: New Impressions: Version 2.04
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2016, 09:43:56 PM »
Well, I do have a couple of ideas for that deadly pursuers category, but they will have to wait until after release.