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 Post subject: Brigador discussion
PostPosted: October 18th, 2013, 11:03 am 
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Location: Moscow
Courtesy of Gauss' brother, I got access to their tank thing. In return, here's eight minutes of me not knowing what the fuck I'm doing, hammering both LMB and RMB. Plus it gives me an excuse to use FRAPS again. My mech's "build" was a cannon with laser stuck on the first tank platform.



Immediate impressions were something along the lines of:

- Why is my range such ass? Oh wait, that's why. Oh I suppose that's kind of clever, but is it wise to let my mouse scroll farther than the maximum range of my weapon? I dunno.
- Why do some of the tanks turn into 3D clipart shapes after I destroy them but not the puny humans?
- Why can't I drive over the puny humans? Or maybe I did, or maybe I was firing and shooting them at the right time and that's why I thought I could wheel over the gits.
- What is that orange bar above the green and blue? Armor?
- What's with the weird orange ripples? Am I on fire/"poisoned"/venting something?
- I'm assuming the little geometry wars shapes that homed in on me were ammo refills or something?
- I just blew away this part of the large tube, but I still can't drive over it? Oh wait, blow it up some more.
- Bollocks I've ran out of laser power.
- Oh look a larger enemy mech thing.
- Oh, dun dead.

BTW for some reason FRAPS didn't record most of the onscreen "numbers" that would otherwise be visible, such as ammo count.


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 Post subject: Re: matador_test.exe (1)
PostPosted: October 18th, 2013, 2:38 pm 
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dudeglove

thanks for recording, the more I can watch the better I can tailor the data. To respond to your questions/comments in order:

-i'm still experimenting with both player and enemy weapon ranges and accuracies, so these will continue to fluctuate as we try to figure out what the sweet spot is for combat-- should it be more about brawling, or keeping your distance and picking targets off without getting cornered?

-the '3D clipart' is a temp asset in place for vehicle wreckage; these can be used as cover, and when you first destroy a vehicle it drops armor pickups. Puny Hoomans just disappear into bloody dust when you hit them, and as such drop nothing and need no wreckage.

-we're working on you being able to run over hoomans. It'll be implemented in one of the later builds

-Orange is armor (replenished by the blue bits that drop when you destroy enemies); green is health (damage to this cannot be repaired); blue is the energy gauge for the tank's rush ability (press and hold space for ramming damage and a speed boost)

-the "orange ripples" are the burning effect of the flame thrower projectiles. This does damage.

-those are armor drops. Ammo refills come exclusively from the ammo depots, which will be labeled as of the next build.

-I'm currently modifying the rubble so that it's more obvious when it's impassible and when it's cleared.

-moving inside the blue ring around an ammo depot will automatically refill the ammo type it's geared toward.

-you face bigger and tougher enemies as you progress

- :(


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: October 18th, 2013, 5:12 pm 
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I will try for an effortpost later on but I just want to reiterate to you:

The a-grav is hella fun (though the control scheme is not easy to master, to put it lightly)


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: October 18th, 2013, 7:19 pm 
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Joined: November 3rd, 2010, 8:29 pm
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Location: Stockholm
Could the armor pickups and armor gauge on HUD be of the same color? Makes it easier to identify what is what.
The game looks great. Smooth as silk. I love the video. Will try to find the alpha myself later.
This is great work!


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: October 18th, 2013, 8:07 pm 
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@zombie-- the armor pips will get proper sprites soon enough, as well as associated sound cues
@dyzzy-- agrav is going to get even better, as sometime in the next couple of builds we're adding the ability for the agrav to fly over low objects

Also, we're postponing the build post until tomorrow afternoon in order to get in the new destruction sprites. Goodbye yellow cans!

Ok, I'm gonna go drink a bunch because it's my birthday. Catch you guys tomorrow with the new post.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: October 20th, 2013, 6:37 am 
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Location: Zagreb
-Double machineguns FTW
-The mech movement controls are very well done and it's good that you can't sidestep
-Sidestepping is basically replaced by walking up and down and shooting at the sides
-I kept bumping into edges of stuff but that's probably just me navigating terribly. Though it does feel dumb when I walk into that almost demolished rubble and get stuck as it can't be destroyed from that distance but I have to walk backwards and then attack it
-Everything looks great, I love how you can see where everybody is facing based on their headlights
-The grav should go faster
-The tiny humans actually pose a threat since they're not on your priority list when bigger stuff is around
-Walking animations of the mech look like stopmotion, which ain't bad
-What good is crouching?
-Stomping is very slow and kinda pointless
-Good alternative to stomping: be equipped with small flamethrowers which shoot out in a small space around you. Have them on cooldown, etc.
-Probably can't remember most shit I was thinking about when playing

There is music because I was listening to it while playing and fraps just picks it up. Though something strange happens and the volume is lowered each time the guns are fired.



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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: October 20th, 2013, 2:16 pm 
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wake's probably out so I can answer at least one of those questions.

As far as basic balancing concepts, the mech trades out some accuracy for mobility and reach (tallest = best range)--the crouch is for hiding behind objects (though not sure how much stealth-ish stuff is going to be a part of the game) but, once the weapons are better tuned, it will allow mech players to temporarily trade off their mobility/range for much better accuracy.

Stomp probably needs more work, though I think in the Mtest3 build it's pretty fun, since it's much more powerful.

Glad you like the movement, it's probably what we've spent the most time tuning on the player vehicles, and once we have those archetypal three dead to rights we're going to start rolling out fun variations. Top of my list is a Dominion Tank Police/Metal Slug type chibi tank.

Oh, and soon I will try and get the light mech into the game, as an enemy. We'll see if it's workable as a player vehicle, too, and I feel fairly confident it might be.

Image

thanks for playing everyone! please keep the impressions, comments, suggestions coming. we're counting on you guys to help hone this into a really tight game.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2013, 6:20 am 
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A few scattered thoughts:
- The laser doesn't feel right in the way it fires and the damage it inflicts
- The machine gun is awesome
- The cannon feels like it should do a bit more damage but maybe with a longer cooldown, I think a direct hit from the cannon should be enough to destroy any light vehicle
- The flamethrower is good
- The vehicles handle well, although it's kinda fiddly in the anti-grav that aiming also determines your orientation, maybe add an ability to free look without changing the orientation
- The tank feels too light for the amount of damage it can soak up
- The levels feel a bit directionless and empty, I found myself just aimlessly driving around waiting for enemies to appear, maybe add some strategic depth: fortified locations, high ground, a clear progression from low security areas to higher security areas, objectives etc.
- Also, a lot of the enemies felt a bit too easy, could do with a bit of a damage boost
- Couldn't really tell much difference in the weapon being in the Primary or Alternate weapon slot
- Perhaps the flamethrower flames could persist for a few more seconds, let the player use the flamethrower as an area saturation weapon

Anyway, it's looking good. It's great to finally have a chance at playing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2013, 6:34 pm 
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EXPLOSIONS!
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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: October 28th, 2013, 3:28 am 
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re: mtest 4


I like this build, but I am still not yet satisfied with the difficulty ramp-up.

Player may have noticed that now patrolling, unalerted NPCs move slower than normal, which is cool, but right now it's a weird thing where the early strength levels seem to have not a whole lot going on, and then the difficulty finally ramps up near strength level 3/4/5. That needs to change. I think the earlier strengths need to be able to soundly defeat an inexperienced player, 3 for the cunning, 4/5 for the experienced and dedicated. Of course, we don't have the weapons, enemy faction set-up, and most of all maps to make that a proper reality, but that's where I think it needs to go from here.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: October 31st, 2013, 10:58 pm 
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Didn't know there was a build here until Ninjas told me to play it...

- art and colors are great
- need health bars etc. above my character as well as on HUD, right now I just play by ignoring my health because driving in the right direction is more important to me
- to me, a game like this is all about vehicle feel, and it's confusing why you're not really working on making moving around feel good and putting in a bunch of tread decals / trails / screen shake / dust particles / sounds / etc.... like to me personally, that's not "polish" at the end, that vehicle feel is so necessary and primal that it should be prototyped really early...
- if you know Rich Edwards, he did this approach with CarTank and I think it really paid off, maybe ask to play a build for ideas
- I would just have the game randomize a loadout and let me play immediately... or, at least, that's what Vlambeer does, though I know you don't like how they do things? but they pretty much own the indie action roguelike genre as far as I think
- another vlambeer / cactus tip: double the quantity of bullets, halve the damage values, same balance but much better reactiveness and punchiness
- bigger bullets
- need more interesting weapons, machine guns get kinda boring... hate to bring up vlambeer again, but luftrausers / nuclear throne / super crate box has great weapon design
- I would just standardize a zoom level and optimize your art / level design / sight radius balancing for that? especially if you want to go multiplayer with this, someday?


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: November 1st, 2013, 5:09 pm 
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Thank you Mr. Yang for taking a go at it, doubly so for taking notes. Don't feel too bad about not being passed a link, I've been trying to keep a lot of people whose feedback I'd want to hear for later builds, so we get a fresh impression from them of a later version.


It's very funny how much on the same page for design notes we are right now.
Not only did I buy Nuclear Throne, and watch the Vlambeer talk where they give the half damage/double speed advice, but I followed it to the referenced Cactus talk, where he doesn't actually seem to say that but imply it? Still seems like something worth trying. I'm afraid upping the frequency of thing certainly makes for a more frenetic game, but that might be against the grain of what we're trying for here. I mean, certainly making things "juicier" and better sense of player affordance, more satisfying gun feedback etc is always worthwhile, but simply making the game spammier is I think something we're concerned about.

I think the player vehicle movement speeds could be more dialed in for responsiveness, but they're never going to be immediate and inertia-less like Nuclear Throne or most games treat them. We want to sell the weight of these things, and make the game more about the particular sorts of movement patterns dictated by the limitations of each vehicle. Also, and this is critical, I don't think any of us wanted to make a shmup. Nuclear Throne definitely has a big strain of that in its DNA, hence the player-sized bullets for everything. Now that's all well and good to say up front, but what to replace it with? That remains to be seen.

As far as CarTank, it's an interesting example to bring up, I've also played the Eurogamer build, and solicited notes from Rich. Where we were making sure each vehicle really seemed solid (maybe to the point of stolid?), selling the enormous bulk of these machines, CarTank appropriately centers on a toy looking main vehicle and plays exactly like it ought. Though it was funny how uncomfortable playing with a screen-space driving model was when I'd become accustomed to vehicle-relative...which, for the record, will also be an option in our game, and one that players can try if they'd prefer that method by enabling game_absolutemovement 1 in the console.

All that said I know we got a long way to go. I can say we'd rather not make a game like Nuclear Throne, but I'd rather it be like Nuclear Throne (fun) if we can't suss out the sort of gameplay concept we've been shooting for.



Also, we finally got test gibs in and boy howdy does that make a difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: November 1st, 2013, 7:37 pm 
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I kind of dislike how the walker mech kind of glides to a halt. The speedy floaty gunship thingy does the same thing, and I kind of wish the mech would come to a halt quicker. Like with actual weight and unf just stamp the ground and stop, instead of dialing down fps on the animation playback and decelerating.

Debris of tanks that I've killed with high-power weapons need to continue travelling in the shot direction *small random numbers, to show off exactly how powerful my autocannon is. BOOM and things go flying.

I shouldn't be able to stomp down walls that are higher than me. But I guess you already know that.

Will there be fog of war? I kind of wish there was.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: November 4th, 2013, 1:33 am 
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Thanks you too, seriously. I don't think I was quite clear enough on that, these kinds of feedbacks are lifeblood. I do try and observe the Sabbath (sidenote: while it is in my case I don't really see the Sabbath as a strictly religious concept; as most people consider the code of hammurabi fairly 'duh', taking one day out of seven to stop wrecking your shit also seems pretty natural as these things go) but I couldn't help but tweak a couple of the variables relating to Yang and ZO's comments (vehicle movement predominantly) and I think you're right. I guess there's a lingering strain of Mechwarrior in the blood that wants to make everything ponderous and infinitely heavy seeming, but that is ultimately at odds with tiny little mechs and tanks and so on on a big screen. I am still wary of spammy/high frequency combat (IMO latter day COD is is an example of this, whereas Doom has such a perfect meter/rhythm, discounting key hunts with all the monsters dead), but there's not reason not to tune these archetypal classes to be sharper.

Also, Mr. Yang, rereading your post--why do you say it was clear I didn't care for Vlambeer's design? Where had I expressed that? Or did you simply intuit it deep inside the heart of the designer "lo, there is a disdain here for his fellow indie"


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: November 7th, 2013, 12:50 am 
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I can't see doubling the fire rate and halving the damage making the game "spammy", unless you equate responsiveness with spam. I wouldn't do that with single shot weapons like the cannon, but for the machinegun or flamethrower it makes perfect sense. You could introduce a spin-up delay if you want to make it less twitchy. This would also make the BIG GUNS feel much weightier by contrast.

The main problem I have playing this so far is knowing which way I'm facing. There's a lot to keep track of on screen, and I have to look really closely to be able to tell which way my mech is walking. Even knowing how it actually works, I keep defaulting to pressing keys screen-relative rather than character-relative.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: November 7th, 2013, 1:47 pm 
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so Jack and I have been discussing balancing of the game quite a bit, as well as trying to figure out how to solve what are clearly issues with readability / gameplay. At first first I was fairly adamant about keeping the movement and turn speeds at a much lower level, but overwhelmingly the feedback has been asking for more maneuverable player vehicles. So, in the next build coming (sorry we missed posting last week's build update-- everything's gotten sort of tangled together and it was easier to just defer posting a build) you'll see marked increase among playable units. Additionally, to help ground the agravs we're adding downward facing lights (currently we only have them on a few units though); testing this myself I can already tell it makes a big difference. The trouble with very high rate of fire weapons however is that since everything is a real projectile and not hitscan, there's a bigger hit to performance at really high firing speeds. Additionally, when the rate of fire exceeds the game's FPS then the effective firing rate actually goes down. I don't want to penalize people with slower running computers. But I am definitely experimenting with rates of fire, weapon lethality &etc.

@outlander -- a spinup MG is a good idea, once we have a more solid sense of the core balancing I'll be adding new weapons, and that's a good candidate, provided we can get it in without fuss. Also, to help with the mech leg facing we're putting lights mounted to the leg chassis, so that you'll have a more obvious indication of your orientation. Not sure if that'll make it in time for the next build tho.

@zombieonion -- the reason the mech felt like it was walking on ice was so that you could baseball slide with the crouch. But as this also makes the look animation look much worse, we're solving the issue by having 2 separate 'friction' settings for the mech, one when it's walking and one when it's crouched, and as such we'll be able to tighten up the handling on the mech much more while still having that cool slide.

Also I want to thank you all again for the feedback-- having you guys as a reliable core testbed makes a huge difference, as you're both representative of the gaming base we want to cater to, and also far more articulate than the average bear. The shit you guys say goes a long way.

Custer out :custer:


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: November 11th, 2013, 3:55 am 
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ok so after a fruitful session with Ninjas and a few other guys (lookin at you dudeglove & skoosc) I've set up a twitch tv account and will be livestreaming development on the game on a semi-regular basis. I have it set up so that when I start streaming it'll automatically post it on twitter, and if you have your own twitch account then you can follow the page and you'll just get a notification whenever I start streaming. It's really cool to have you guys around while I'm actually working, and it allows me to explain some things as a go, do some tweaks on the fly based on people's suggestions.

Anyway, check it out if you please: http://www.twitch.tv/stellarjockeys/


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: December 16th, 2013, 3:30 am 
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Just played build 9, a few thoughts:
- The flamethrower firing more is good, but there were some circumstances when I'd fire it and it wouldn't give any indication of anything being hit
- Played with mortar and kept finding myself running low on ammo, also found it hitting obstacles instead of firing over them which I what I thought a mortar might do
- Kept losing sense of my orientation when playing the mech, especially when being hit with flames. Maybe that's just me being n00b?


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: December 16th, 2013, 11:51 am 
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thanks for playing! keep in mind a few things on the new build:

now, weapons are very different designs that are slot-dependent. which is to say, if you have a machine gun as a main or a machine gun as an aux, they will behave very differently. in the block of green text to the right in vehicle selection you can see what slots a given vehicle has before you choose it.

the flamethrower currently uses one of the explosions as a temporary sprite, hence the blinding effect.

once i get to re-rendering the tag positional data on the older designs, everything will have a light on the legs/wheels/etc and a light on the upper, so you can more easily tell facing.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: December 16th, 2013, 4:30 pm 
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yeah sorry I should be more descriptive when I post new builds. Skoosc the reason why with the flamer it disappears sometimes without indicating impact is because the projectile is actually terminating mid-flight. Unlike all the other classes flamethrowers have a projectile lifetime duration set to for them, so that if you fire esp. the main mount flame thrower at full extension the flames will burn themselves out before reaching the ground, like a real flamethrower. Again this is an issue of temp visuals failing to communicate various aspects of what they're displaying.

Also, notice we now have new health bars that are proportional to the amount of health a unit has, and which only display when a target is being hit. All player units now also have a 'shield overcharge' -- what this means is that you can now pick up armor past the standard threshold, but this extra shielding will deplete over time down to your max level. Hopefully in the coming builds I'll be able to play with these thresholds to create much more distinct vehicle variations.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: December 19th, 2013, 3:39 am 
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Have you guys given any more thought to a soundtrack 'theme'?

I still think Black Metal is the way to go. I'm sure Outlander agrees!


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: December 19th, 2013, 6:09 am 
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Black metal is for screeching queers, thrash is the way to go.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: January 8th, 2014, 7:19 am 
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New build playthrough video, complete with unedited swearing and humming edition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLWb9lGVGHA

Things I didn't mention:

I am very bad at driving.
Also very bad at aiming.
I tend to drive up to enemies and shoot them at point blank range.
And I don't keep an eye on my ammo.
Also I can't commentate for shit.

As for the new way of balancing things I'm liking it. Seems as though a direct hit to the side or rear of an enemy with the cannon is almost always a 1 hit kill, I tried to ambush enemies where I could and I think that that plays better than just getting into prolonged heated gun fights. Also liking that damage is something to be more weary of.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: January 8th, 2014, 1:20 pm 
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this is great skoosc-- also, yes that current mockup of the railgun is stolen wholesale from Tiberian Sun.

We're going to be adding more feedback as we go along-- sounds for when the player takes shield and armor hits, and visual / audio strobes on the ammo depots to show that you're reloading. Stuff like that.

Also, I should clarify on the special abilities and super-guns. The supers (railgun, heavy mortar), can be reloaded at the laser and artillery stations respectively, you just have a very small magazine. And the defensive ability, bound to the middle mouse, is unlimited use. It just has a 15 second cooldown is all.


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 Post subject: Re: Matador discussion
PostPosted: January 8th, 2014, 11:58 pm 
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i'm a big fan of this revision because it puts the stakes and sweaty palms back into the game. no easy kills scored from frontal hits, the whole game is about flanking and movement. wouldn't have been possible pre-defensive abilities build. but now that we've got it, i think we've got a pretty good base for further development. get pumped! if i actually get these new tiles output we'll have a whole lot more maps soon enough.


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