KREEP, quantum testing.

Hi!

A small update now, but planning to do a big one by the end of the week. This is just a warm-up for the new player character graphics ;).

As I have mentioned last time, we made a test play with my friends, but hastily I implemented teleporting before it :).
Quantum gates in action:
GIF from KREEP, the teleporter in action.
The teleporters come in multiple colors, to be able to identify their connection. They can not be destroyed as common props, since that could “jeopardize” some level design possibilities, and sadly I decided to not include spawn/teleport-kill (lazy me), so no Quake-like rampage, sry. This was “left out” indeed for the sake of simplicity. For the same reasons KREEP will not use the teleporters (what a mess that would be :S), and if a connected gate is occupied the teleportation won’t happen:
GIF from KREEP, occupied teleporter.
This feature looked really cool, while I was making and testing it, but it somewhat contributed to the “much less fun test session, than the last one” :(. Due to these features added lately (destructible props, doors, teleporters) the maps became a bit noisy and chaotic. Some players always lost the track of their characters when they used it regardless of the color-coding. I think this could be helped out with some audio-visuals, maybe some particles or something similar around the used gates, and some louder, more memorable sound (can’t help it, this comes to my mind: Doom, what a cool sound and effect 😀 ).

The other problem which made play-time less enjoyable was the KREEP progression. I amplified it’s power a little just before testing, because my main intention is to limit a match time as much as possible to around one or maximum two minutes. This backfired a bit :D. We were tore to shreds in half a minute every time, and literally could not stop it. Since than, I’ve implemented a configuration system, to fine control it’s spawn time speed-up/down over time. With the new curve it is much much better, but still needs a little work. The base configuration can be overridden on a per-level basis, so if it does not work out for smaller levels I’ll be able to band-aid it.

That’s it for now. Next time I’ll present the new player graphics and will talk about the future plans with the game.

KREEP, passing 40%.

Hi everyone!

A bigger update this time. I’ve been working like a maniac this week, so a lot of progress ;). Based on my task tracking, KREEP is close to passing the “half-finished” barrier…

First and foremost, I’ve implemented breakable props and added graphics for them. From now on the tile map is multi-layered, props reside on a different layer on top of the “base” tile map, but they still collide with the entities of the world. The KREEP and lasers break the props, swapping their graphic and disabling their collision.

GIF from KREEP, breaking props.    GIF from KREEP, passing broken props.

The other bigger task completed is doors. Doors will also influence game-play and map design just as much as props, since they are indestructible, but can be passed/opened any time by the players and the KREEP.

GIF from KREEP, door opened by a player.    GIF from KREEP, door shot by a player.

The same way as the last two weeks, been working a little on tiles too. Here is a new experimental map featuring some new tiles. Warning totally WIP!

KREEP prototype screenshot #3

The final feature set is starting to take shape, so next week may be more about implementing missing entities and rules, than about new content, but I will try to take nice GIFs and screenshots too and I’ll make sure to write down my findings about a recent private test session with my friends.

KREEP tiles, update.

Hi again!

A little update about the progress on KREEP:

Since the major programming tasks got out of the way in the first phase of development, last week were and the upcoming weeks will be about content. I’ve been mostly working on tile assets. I’ve settled on the main graphical style a while ago, so been mostly cranking out individual tile assets, color palettes, and some tile animations. Progress was kind-of steady, slowly advancing towards a final core tile set and an overall map look and feel.

The direction and what am I trying to achieve:

I’m shooting for a retro pixel art feel, but to further define this, I’m trying to make it look like a “turn based blocky/grid-based roguelike”. I know the game is a real time sci-fi action shooter :D, but since the map and movement is discrete (you can only move a full tile, like in Pac-Man or in many roguelikes), I wanted to achieve a look which suggests this to the player and the whole grid is easy to read while playing. Hence when creating a tile I simply start from the same base (a 3 colored “panel” with a one-pixel wide dark border and even darker four corners) and with tiny modification and by searching for a good 3 or 4 color palette, I push pixels until I find it pleasant looking :).

A sneek-peek:
KREEP work in progress tiles and colors showcase.
If I find some colors fitting a tile well, I copy all the good-looking existing tiles and apply the colors to them. This could somewhat be achieved with color tinting when rendering the sprites, but I think that route does not allow good enough control over the final look!
The player colors are done with tinting on the last screenshots and I’m totally not satisfied with the results, so that is going change sooner or later too!

Also started working on some tile animations to juice up the look of the levels. I’ve put some moving stuff near each other for a GIF, enjoy:
KREEP first batch of animated tiles.
By the end of next I week, I will have a close to finished tile set for most of the levels (maybe some extras will still be missing but not much). I will try to put together some sample levels more representative of the final map designs.

KREEP, first post.

Hi there!

This is my first time writing a devlog, so go easy on me :). I hope to write interesting posts about my current project and would also love the get feedback as I go along developing it! Feel free to speak your mind about the game or about the logs, especially if I’m doing something terribly wrong…

Now onto my current project:

KREEP is a two-dimensional top-down couch co-op (or hot-seat) multiplayer action game. Similar lately popular ones, that I should mention, are TowerFall and Samurai Gunn, but it is actually more akin to older games in design and mechanics. The most influential games putting their stamps on it were Battle City and Dyna Blaster.

Mechanics & design:

The core mechanic and main story element (or simply the antagonist) is the “KREEP”, a tirelessly ever growing alien life-form which actually “consumes” the free walk-able tiles on the maps while playing a deathmatch. The main goal of each player is of course to frag the others and get the most points, but the KREEP twists the gameplay, as it is an artificial time limit and it transforms the play area while playing a match.

Project status & plans:

Development started around two months ago. First I started with completing a fully functional prototype which included all the main mechanics to be able to play a test match with my friends and verify whether the core experience is fun before going into full-blown production. This prototype was ready after a month and based on the initial tests, I can say, that the game is a lot of a fun to play together. Some rough edges have to be addressed, but I decided to carry out this design, finalize it in the upcoming weeks and start making a complete experience out of it.

Currently I’m producing the assets (mostly tiles, sprites and maps) for the game and still experimenting with some design ideas, new rules and new gameplay elements, but the core design is starting take its final form.

I’m planning to complete the game by the end of September, but I’m pretty sure a public beta version will be completed before the end of summer. Until than, I’ll do my best to post and update at least once a week (or more often if something fancy is completed ;)) about the status of the development and to share some screenshots and gifs.

Features & Highlights:

  • Platform: Windows PC
  • Top-down action, deathmatch against or with an ever growing alien life-form 😉
  • Local multiplayer, up to 4 players
  • AI controller for single player matches
  • A dozen of arenas and multiple player skins
  • Game rule mutators to keep the game fresh and hilarious
  • Release date: ~autumn 2015

KREEP prototype screenshot #1

KREEP prototype screenshot #2

Bear in mind, that many graphical elements are still place-holders or open art assets. These shots do not accurately represent the final look of the game!