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Old 20 August 2019, 04:54   #1
Shatterhand
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Quasarius Rush - New game for Amiga (I would like Feedback)

So, I was going to wait up until I had some sound effects and at least the 1st level fully working, but it already "leaked" to reddit and my anxiety is getting the better of me So, here it is.

[ Show youtube player ]

I am working on this for the last 20 days, resuming work I had started early this year but had to stop as I had to look for a new place to live, move out, get the new place together, etc.

I want to get the vibe of some of my old favourite 8 bits games.... lots of inspiration from Star Force and Compile games, but with a more complex score system. It's the kind of thing I had never seen on Amiga as far as shoot'em up goes. Well, Hybris do have a little of it on it, but its lacking a more ambitious score system.

I'm thinking about releasing this as a digital download commercial game, probably cheap (No crazy Coco Banana prices, something around 4 or 5 euros for a copy), and if there's interest I could try to make some physical copies, though I have *no* idea of how to do such a thing nowadays.

I am aiming for basic OCS/ECS setup with 1mb, and running at 50fps with no slowdowns (I hope I can achieve it )

This is just half of the first level (not even half actually). I've written a program that makes me position enemies and create waves *very* quickly, so creating the levels is fast, but I need to code enemy logic obviously, among other stuff.

Not every level will be in a moon with purple rivers, I've some kind of storyline for the game and levels on different settings, but nothing has been drawn for them, only general ideas. And of course, being the first level things aren't very hectic or hard, but there are some secrets and scoring tricks not shown on this video, to keep things intersting after you've played the level many times Also missing are the ground targets you can destroy (If your main weapon just like Star Force, there's no "air-to-ground" weapon a la Xevious here)

The thing is, my self-confindence is very low, mainly with the graphical side of things. I have my reasons to do the graphics myself, so that's why I haven't asked for help on that area. Problem is, I know I am no graphic artist, but I am really trying my best to learn how to do it properly,
I'm really trying hard and pushing hard to my best, but I don't know if my best is good enough. I am using lots of references from other games, but never directly ripping stuff and trying to create my own things even if I use other stuff as a reference.

I showed the game to a few friends (That's why I had uploaded videos of the game on Youtube, I never thought other Amiga users would end up seeing it), and everyone said it looks great, but I am kinda sceptical and I think they don't want to hurt my feelings.

So I want to get some feedback. I know the game doesn't look AMAZING, but does it look good enough to be a fun game? Would those graphics make you not want to buy the game? Any tips or ideas to make it look better?

Any other kind of feedback of course is welcome, but I really would like some feedback on the graphics.
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Old 20 August 2019, 07:35   #2
Steril707
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Maximum respect for achieving this in 20 days... wow...

On the graphics side, it's functional at the moment. Which means, no one would complain if you release them in this state.

But I think you will improve a lot if you just keep on reworking stuff when you get better at pixeling.

I mean, this was my initial concept for Inviyya...


And see how it looks now...

That said, i like the backgrounds a lot, but imo you can do much better with the objects themselves..
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Old 20 August 2019, 08:15   #3
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Those colors makes me think at some not legal copies of Vulgus by capcom that leaked around at half eighties that had colors messed up - cannot find a video of that vesion so here is a legit one
[ Show youtube player ]

As usual if you need help with the audio let me know
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Old 20 August 2019, 08:50   #4
Z3k
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I' m in love with the indistructable flipping mirrors squadron!
As an ZX-Spectrum owner i prefer playability over graphics :-) still i like this sort of hidden side-game where everyone could spot wich arcade classics you took reference from.
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Old 20 August 2019, 08:50   #5
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Looking really good - nice to see a vertical shooter for a change. Looking forward to playing this a lot!
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Old 20 August 2019, 09:43   #6
jotd
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indistructable flipping mirrors squadron has been seen in SWIV nice game. Makes me think of Rainbow Bell or Xevious.
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Old 20 August 2019, 11:04   #7
Solo Kazuki
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It's rather Gun-Nac "semi-clone"

[ Show youtube player ]

Or Aleste...
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Old 20 August 2019, 11:18   #8
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This is going to be a tonne of fun good luck with the project man
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Old 20 August 2019, 11:47   #9
Predseda
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Looks funny, I like the layer horizontal movement. In shoot-em ups everything is in weapons and suitable music, so I will keep an eye on evolution of your game. In its currents state I think any commercial distribution plan is premature, though.
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Old 20 August 2019, 12:13   #10
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When you write that your confidence is low but ask for honesty doesn't make the task easy...

As we can clearly see your strong suid is the coding. Scolling is smooth and technical side of the game looks very promising.

The backgrounds are fine. I may not be biggest fun of purple color, but that could be just my problem.

Indistructable flipping mirrors looks cool, but it would be even cooler if you could manage add some anim of reflecting shot after contact...

Rocket and other enemies looks kinda childish due strange selection of colors.

Boss looks like ... well I am not even sure what it is.

The blast would deserve overhaul too.
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Old 20 August 2019, 13:13   #11
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Technically it looks really good. Good pace, smooth, plenty of potential there.

How many colors are you using for the background and sprites? It looks kinda washed out and limited. It's still decent considering you don't have much experience with doing graphics.

Keep it up!
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Old 20 August 2019, 13:29   #12
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I am in awe of what you have achieved in just 20 days (plus whatever was done earlier in the year). Yes, it reminds me of Xevious, and since you mention it Starforce, but so what? I'm not overly fond of Xevious because of the dire sounds but man, Starforce is an incredible game - probably my favourite shooter.

Keep going, you already know that graphics are your weak point, you've said as much but he'll, they're really not bad at all. We've seen far worse from commercial titles back in the day. I won't comment further because others have already been constructive in that area and I agree with most of it (not sure on the purple for example).

Keep pushing, I believe you'll get there. And if you decide to charge, the price point you mention is perfectly fair so don't be afraid of that either.
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Old 20 August 2019, 13:55   #13
Shatterhand
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When you write that your confidence is low but ask for honesty doesn't make the task easy...
Oh, don't worry about it. I can take criticism just fine

Quote:
It's rather Gun-Nac "semi-clone"
It's the background. I looked a lot at Compile games to do it, and I admit some stuff look a lo* like Gun-Nac. I still think I should rework them a little to look a bit less like Gun-Nac, but I obviously took a lot of inspiration from there.

But I did play a shitload of early Compile games during all my life, and it's hard to not be influenced by them.

Quote:
Looks funny, I like the layer horizontal movement. In shoot-em ups everything is in weapons and suitable music, so I will keep an eye on evolution of your game. In its currents state I think any commercial distribution plan is premature, though.
Of course I really want to have some cool music there. But I am thinking about going the Ikaruga (Or even Star Force) way and not have different weapons or power ups for the main player. The idea for this game is to focus the level design around your main weapon, but the game has lots of nice secrets to figure out to achieve maximum score. The horizontal layer movement with the top layer keeping at the same position is basically like Star Force and its spiritual sequel Star Soldier. They do the exact same thing, though the backgroun on those games is a little widers.

Quote:
Maximum respect for achieving this in 20 days... wow...
It wasn't exactly 20 days. I had worked about a couples of weeks at the start of year/end of last year in the scrolling routines and some enemy logic, but I had to stop working on it as I had to move. This is what I had before I stopped working on it back in January:

[ Show youtube player ].

But yeah, I'd say not much more than a month. And of course only at my free time. I had some late nights working at this last week, hehe

Quote:
In its currents state I think any commercial distribution plan is premature, though.
I am not even sure if I'll really release it like that, but of course there's a ton of work to be done.

-

So let me try to summarize what has been said so far

* Main objects don't look good except the flipping mirror which was obviously inspired by Xevious. - They look kinda childish

* Colors aren't good, which may help with the childish look of it.

* Backgrounds aren't bad at this moment.

* Midboss look weird.

* Explosions could look better (I actually am using the same explosion animation from the first Quasarius, and I already wanted to work on it)
-

Just to give some more context. I am using Dual Playfield mode to get more speed, so I don't have to redraw backgrounds, and HW sprites for the main ship, player bullets and collectable shields. (No one complained about them, so I guess they are good enough? I did like the fact I *managed* to draw the ship tilting left and right, something I though I would never be able to get right). My palette for the objects now are 3 shades of gray, 2 shades of yellow and 2 shades of red. I thought yellow and red would be good for explosions and yellow also good for enemy bullets (on the current version made after this video they have a little animation that helps them standing out).

At one point I thought about having one color for the enemy bullets and make everything else with shades of gray. You guys think this could look better? Explosions could work with shades of gray too (I've seen some games doing it like that).

I have a few reasons why I am doing graphics myself.

1 - I had this crazy idea to make an Amiga game 100% made in Brazil. I know it may sound silly, but I thought it would be cool to have an amiga game completely made in my home country. But I am very close to giving up now, to be quite honest.

2 - I had problems in the past working with other people, and this sometimes may lead to harm friendships. I have a 100% completed Amiga sitting on my HD waiting for a friend to finish its graphics for like... 2 years now. (And it's like just 4 animated sprites and a title screen). For a PC game I actually got *paid* to develop (And so people GOT PAID to do the graphics, it was not a hobby project), I had at least 6 different people close to me saying "YEAH, I'LL DO IT!" and then delivering nothing (And I had a friggin deadline there). I ended up looking for someone in a game-development forum... and it's someone I've keeping friends and working together on a few projects after that (He made the graphics for Santa Chaos ).

In the other hand I have stuff people made graphics for me which *I* never finished coding. While I am working at this game, I'm always afraid I'll hit a techincal barrier I won't be able to get over it (Not enough memory, permanent slowdown, Blitz Basic compiler freaking up, I dunno), I'd feel really bad if someone had made graphics for me and I couldn't manage to wrap up this thing. In the other hand, I'd feel really frustrated to keep working on it counting on someone else to deliver graphics and they won't ever appear.

I did thought about asking the guy who made the graphics to Santa Chaos to make graphics for this one (We've worked together in a few projects, and I have complete trust in him), but he's busy with a bigger and more interesting project now, and I'm just happy he's getting good work because he is talented as fuck and deserves it (The whole process of making Santa Chaos lasted just a week, It took me four days to write the code for it, and he draw all the graphics in even less time).

3 - I am really enjoying doing the pixel art. I admit I am not good at it, but I am *so proud* of what I've achieved so far. I've made a few hobby games in the past where I did graphics and most of them look hideous, and I really think this is my best ever work doing pixel graphics so far.

But I also admit I have a very bad eye for it, and this "best work" may also be the my wall and the best I can manage to achieve... I know I can understand and deliver a good gameplay experience, but I really never cared much about graphics in a game and I have a very hard time getting what's right or wrong with them. It's been a few hours I begun asking for feedback outside my personal friends circle and a few people said the colors for the objects aren't good. I believe them yet I CAN'T SEE it and for me it looks just fine.

Though I admit I am very close to give up and just let someone try its hand on doing graphics for this. Being able to focus only in coding and game design would make stuff advance faster to be honest.
-

In a random note, I just found this thread made 16 years ago.

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=9699

And I find incredible to see me 16 years ago saying "I always wanted to learn to code on Amiga. Now I think it's a bit too late ", and then also saying

"Maybe in the future......"

16 years is not too bad for "Maybe in the future".

Last edited by Shatterhand; 20 August 2019 at 14:01.
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Old 20 August 2019, 13:59   #14
Shatterhand
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Starforce is an incredible game - probably my favourite shooter.
I love Starforce. It's funny because for years I had only played the MSX port of it, and that's not very good (Hudson did it much better later with the MSX version of Star Soldier)

At the shmups.com forum we used to hold a year competition with teams competing for hiscore in different games, and one time arcade Starforce was the game.

And I was completely shocked about HOW INCREDIBLY FUN that game is. So I only go to know it properly a few years ago, when the game was already incredibly old. And I got keep coming back to it even after that competition (though I never beat my own score achieved then, hehe )

I've then played the NES version to death too (which unlike the MSX one, is a great port), also played it on a competition, and I have a very respectable hiscore on it

It's hard to not get some Compile influence on my shoot'em ups, but the clear goal here is to meet Starforce kind of fun. I really wanted to do something on Amiga that felt like Starforce, even if add some more modern stuff to it (Like midbosses and more than "Press button very quickly" as a score system )
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Old 20 August 2019, 14:17   #15
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Contrasting light sources i.e. the ground and objects make it look like it's night time, everything flying makes it look like it's day time.
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Old 20 August 2019, 14:18   #16
Solo Kazuki
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Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
But I am very close to giving up now, to be quite honest.
Don't give up! Game looks nice even if it's inspired and resemble Compile games. Moreover it's only less than a month of work and already is done that much.
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Old 20 August 2019, 14:21   #17
Shatterhand
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Don't give up! Game looks nice even if it's inspired and resemble Compile games. Moreover it's only less than a month of work and already is done that much.
Just the graphical side of things

It really hit me that if I let someone else do the graphics, with what I've alread built I could wrap up and finish this game in 3-4 months time. Graphics will take me a long time to do it exactly because I am not good at it.
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Old 20 August 2019, 14:33   #18
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Originally Posted by Shatterhand View Post
It's been a few hours I begun asking for feedback outside my personal friends circle and a few people said the colors for the objects aren't good. I believe them yet I CAN'T SEE it and for me it looks just fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongLifeA1200 View Post
Contrasting light sources i.e. the ground and objects make it look like it's night time, everything flying makes it look like it's day time.
Lighten the palette of the background to not be so dark compared to the foreground or vice versa.
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Old 20 August 2019, 14:49   #19
Shatterhand
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Lighten the palette of the background to not be so dark compared to the foreground or vice versa.
I'll try it out later to see what results I can get. I'll probably ligthen the background, as if I get the foreground darker I'm afraid the game will look like one of those ST ports where the developer didn't bother to fix the palette
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Old 20 August 2019, 15:15   #20
Steril707
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There are some talented gfx guys around here. If you are not really inclined to learn more pixel stuff bevause it' s not that much fun for you, then I'd just ask then.
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