G’d Evening Everyone,
I took advantage of the Humble Bundle ClickTeam Fusion deal that Kostromama posted and put together a playable basic framework for a WG / Inflation-Themed side scrolling platform shooter. I’m considering turning this into a full game if you guys think I should (and if I can get some help with ideas on what to do).
The main character is Ellie, a treasure hunter wandering through the depths of an ancient temple in search of yet-undiscovered treasures within. As you might expect the ruins are filled with a myriad of monsters and traps waiting to make her ascent towards fame and fortune a difficult one. Unbeknownst to her however, the creatures residing in the ruins produce a unique venom which causes anyone who comes in contact with it to swell and expand in an extreme way.
Can Ellie recover the hidden treasure and become rich beyond her wildest dreams? Or will she literally end up as the next big thing in archeology?
Themes (for now)
[li]Air Inflation / Lighter than Air[/li][/ul]
I’m still debating on a few different ideas for the game itself. The first idea is to do a platformer with multiple rooms and a few contained puzzles to solve along the way. It’s a bit cliche but if I get some help with the level design I’m sure some of the expansion elements could make it interesting.
The second idea is to make it a race to collect as much treasure as you can and get back to the entrance under a time limit. It would make the gameplay a bit more run and gun but the whole risk-reward balance present a more unique challenge.
So what do you guys think? Should I turn this framework into a full-fledged game, or does it belong in the bin with so many other failed experiments?[/s]
Based on the encouraging feedback so far, this project is moving forwards.
Latest Build - 20170305
Back on track after a disastrous exercise in HUD design. Looks like I’ll be going with a minimalist HUD for the foreseeable future.
Here’s what’s new:
[ul][li]Re-did the sprites for fattened Ellie to make it stand out better from her other states[/li]
[li]New game over sprite for Ellie when she becomes too fat to move[/li]
[li]Changed the game over sprite for Ellie when she is both fattened and bloated[/li]
[li]Small improvements to icons and treasure chests to help them fit in and stand out, respectively[/li]
[li]Hid the bars for weight/gas and added a small indicator for amount of treasure collected[/li][/ul]
At this point I think I’ll be wrapping up the engine work and focus on building out the levels so that it resembles a game. This might take a little while, but I’ll put it up as soon as I have something.
Re-compiled the application with the Compress Executable option set to off, in the hopes that it stops triggering false positives with antivirus software.
Just playing with the game engine a bit based on the latest bits of feedback.
[ul][li]Added variable height jump. Tap the up key for a short hop and hold it down for a higher jump. This should help with some of the tougher jumps involving spikes on the ceiling.[/li]
[li]Holding down left, right, and down at the same time should now force a crouched state.[/li]
[li]Very minor tweak to the Mummy AI so they don’t just wander off immediately after attacking.[/li]
[li]Being over-inflated on a moving platform should no longer cause the platform to bug out during the game over sequence.[/li][/ul]
Bugfixes, bugfixes and more bugfixes today since JoeRandom so diligently worked through all of the nasty bugs that I left in the last build. Here’s the list of things that should be fixed:
[ul][li]Getting stuck between a moving platform and a backdrop item should no longer cause Ellie to pass through the backdrop[/li]
[li]Evened out the width of the detectors so you can’t walk off off of moving platforms and pass through them[/li]
[li]Game over animations should play properly now, though the animations for the various combinations of exceeding capacity via a combination of being fattened and gassed might seem a bit odd[/li]
[li]Being stung while completely inflated should no longer freeze Ellie[/li]
[li]Scorpion should no longer sting Ellie when she is immobile[/li]
[li]Fine detection enabled for Scorpion hitbox. This should prevent the scorpion from performing telekinetic hits from 5 feet away[/li]
[li]Being hit by poison will always trigger invincibility frames, even if Ellie is at full capacity[/li]
[li]Added credit where credit is due. Going to Help > About now includes a small shout out to the form[/li][/ul]
I think I’m going to have to add a separate game over animation for the mixed third stage, but I’m not sure what. Any ideas are appreciated here.
Sometimes you start working on one new feature which leads you to working on another new feature which leads you to recoding some of the core parts of the engine. Go figure. Here’s what’s new this week, in broad strokes:
[ul][li]Reworked the damage system so that weight and gas are now combined, and Ellie has a maximum capacity which she can’t exceed[/li]
[li]Took a stab at a set of sprites to cover the cases that Ellie is both fattened and gassed. Not sure how I like them just yet, may have to redo the weight gain sprites to differentiate them more from the other sprite sets[/li]
[li]Removed the first stage of inflation / weight gain to limit the number of levels. Ellie should be able to take a total of 3 bars of damage without becoming immobile[/li]
[li]Added breakable platforms and hidden underground sections. Head to the right side of the map and fatten Ellie up to her maximum weight to break through the breakable platforms and access the first hidden area.[/li]
[li]Added a new enemy, a scorpion with a venomous stinger. Once stung, Ellie will continuously gain weight until she is at maximum capacity/size. The posion effect currently lasts for a total of 10 seconds.[/li]
[li]Added a few extra food items for the mummy to throw. Each food item travels at a different speed and goes a different distance[/li]
[li]Bug fixes - I’ve tried my best to get the greater majority of the bugs reported so far. I’m sure the more perceptive and helpful members of this forum will find a handful more to squash, which I’ll happily do so as they are discovered[/li][/ul]
I’d like to see what everyone thinks of the new health/damage system as well as the new sprites. If this looks ok I’d like to focus on updating some of the old sprites and prettying up the HUD in preparation to convert the current POC map to an actual game level.
It’s mostly bugfixes this time. Since JoeRandom so diligently went through the (admittedly badly tested build) and found all of the breaking bugs in it for me, I just couldn’t leave things in the state that they were.
[ul][li]Changed the hitboxes for many of the objects to be regular and more consistent. This should fix many of the collision and platform bugs[/li]
[li]Updated the moving platform collision code so they behave more like the ground[/li]
[li]Gave Ellie a short period of invincibility after being hit. Getting her to flash correctly took a surprising bit of work to achieve[/li]
[li]Changed the crouching mechanic so the down overrides all other controls. This means you can turn swivel left and right while crouched and you can choose to drop straight down if you hold down while in the air[/li]
[li]Holding both left and right keys should no longer cause Ellie to walk in place, though it still feels a bit weird.[/li]
[li]Treasure counter resets when you reset the game[/li]
[li]Trying out some spikes on the ceiling to see how that goes[/li][/ul]
The good news is that all of this tinkering gave me an idea for how to do the game objective and level design. I won’t spoil anything yet since that will have to come when the game is a little more complete-looking. In the meantime I’ll work on adding some more enemies and some of the special animations associated with some of their attacks.
Sorry for the lack of updates of late. Way too much time spent re-doing certain background mechanics around enemies and moving platforms.
[ul][li]Fixed a load of bugs related to having multiple enemies on the screen. Mummies will probably behave a bit different from previous builds.[/li]
[li]Added moving platforms, which have loads of known bugs[/li]
[li]Added the first “collectible” item, a treasure chest. Effects and frills to come at a later point[/li][/ul]
There’s a known problem with many of the platforms right now, as JoeRandom pointed out in a recent post. It has to do with the really strange shape of Ellie’s collision box. I’m trying to work out the best way to solve it
[ul][li]Fixed a dumb bug where the 1/2 stage buffer still existed for weight[/li]
[li]Plonked some platforms on the map and adjusted the player collision box to see how it would behave. There isn’t anything up there just yet, just some platforms.[/li]
[li]Figured out how to do the first part of the over-inflated game over animation, so added that in[/li][/ul]
[ul][li]Healing now takes twice as long if Ellie is both fattened and bloated. However, she now loses gas and weight at the same time.[/li]
[li]Took out that little bit of buffer that let you survive a hit if you were 1/2 stage under the limit[/li][/ul]
Quick and dirty bugfix build:
[ul][li]Re-zipped the files so they shouldn’t come up with an invalid archive error any more when you try to extract them[/li]
[li]Removed a phantom state between Ellie’s biggest size and immobility. So Ellie now has less capacity for fat or gas[/li]
[li]Effects of weight and gas have been magnified and starts affecting Ellie at a smaller size[/li]
[li]Mummy now throws cakes more often and has better player detection[/li][/ul]
Thought I’d make good use of the rest of the long weekend and put a new build out there. Here’s what’s new:
[ul][li]Added the first Enemy NPC of the game - A cake-tossing mummy! The mummy will go down after a few bullets and will regenerate after a few seconds of being down.[/li]
[li]Added a game over / immobility mechanic for when Ellie gets too big. Press R to restart if Ellie becomes immobile.[/li]
[li]Added a Pause function - Press [P] to freeze everything in place[/li]
[li]Instructions disappear after 5 seconds so they don’t get in the way[/li][/ul]
The plan is for Ellie to slowly float up in the air and pop like a balloon if she becomes over-filled with gas. I couldn’t get the animation working properly, so that will have to come in a later build.
Next up, I plan to build out more of the level and add another enemy to the mix to develop more of the actual gameplay. This might take a while, any suggestions there would be much appreciated.
Thanks to all of your enthusiastic responses, I’ve decided to move forward and will work on turning this demo into a game. Since today was an quiet day, I’ve incorporated some of the basic gameplay changes from discussion in the thread. The full list includes:
[ul][li]Added an inflation mechanism to complement the weight gain with its own set of sprites. Weight and gas are tracked separately so Ellie can get fatter and more inflated at the same time.[/li]
[li]Changed behavior of spikes. Touching environmental hazards will now cause Ellie to bloat with gas[/li]
[li]Added cake to far corner of level. Coming in contact with food will cause Ellie to fatten[/li]
[li]If Ellie fills with enough gas, she can jump higher. However, she won’t be able to aim or shoot as well when she’s ballooned. Effects become more pronounced as her belly becomes more gassy[/li]
[li]If Ellie becomes too fat, she won’t be able to run or jump. But she will be more stable and will be able to fire her gun more rapidly. Effects become more pronounced as she gets chubbier[/li]
[li]How much each factor affects her depends on how much weight / gas she has in her. The fatter she is, the less the gas will affect her and vice-versa.[/li]
[li]Fixed a bug that caused Ellie to “skip” down inclines instead of walking down them[/li][/ul]
I’m still working out how some of the gameplay would work. The next set of changes will involve either the first enemy NPC or including immobility / bursting effects if you let Ellie get too big.
*Framework / Demo
There isn’t much to it yet. So far you can move Ellie, shoot her gun and interact with an environmental hazard (the grey spikes). The spikes cause her to bloat up a little every time she hits them and she moves slower as she gets bigger. Holding the down key allows her to rest her expanded body and slowly shrink back to normal size.
The plan is that there would be several types of enemies and environmental hazards, each with a different effect on Ellie. Basic damage would cause her to plump up a little and slow her down, where a bigger hit might give her an overstuffed beachball belly which renders her immobile until she can deflate herself.