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E.S.G and the Quest for Rogueness.

Hello folks,

this blog post was supposed to be about ESG, and would be very much like the Spaceless station one but I found myself not knowing what to write, and found out I had this game alot less planed out than the other!

So instead of that I’ve decided to write about my tought process with ESG and what I wanted for it and what I now think. I’ll be using comparisons with other Roguelikes i’ve played, mostly Binding of Isaac since I’ve played that one the most.

Turning a Schmup into a RL

At the beginning of ESG’s development I had the idea of making it a roguelike, with randomness and endless replayability and fun hours and everything was going dandy, I released a demo, got feedback from it which I’m very proud of, updated it got even better feedback and then left it to rot because I wanted to use Unity.

As time went on I started seeing the truth and the truth was E.S.G won’t be a fun full game, it would be a fun schmup yes, but a fun roguelike no. But i didn’t want to give up on it and how simple and fun it was even at such a bare state so I spent a metric shite ton of time thinking about it and what made a RL a RL and how fun I tought it would be.

So I narrowed down the features a RL has that makes it fit into the genre:

  • Unpredictability
  • Randomness
  • Strategy
  • Player centered progression

All of the RLs I played and truly enjoyed had these in some way or the other, unpredictability and randomness made each run unique and exciting with stuff being possible to happen that didn’t in the last run and the player can’t just know what’s gonna happen at all times. Strategy made the player get down and dirty with the game and what it was offering, made them make choices about items, where to go, when to go and rewarded the knowledge you had from previous attempts, and the Player centered progression gave satisfaction and made things even more different and fun because the player had control of the character and that’s important because they are in control of nothing else.

They controlled what item they took, the resources they had, how much the map was explored and how fast they went to the finish, even small things add to the overall experience because the player is building their character and paired with their knowledge can craft their own challenges and little moments in one run.  The game shouldn’t push you out the level after the boss, it shouldn’t enforce on you to take something and it shouldn’t make items be more important than raw skill.

A good example of the last point is BoI, you can go an entire run without picking up one item and still win and beat the finalest of final bosses, it’s hard and nearly impossible but it’s possible: just don’t get hit (there’s a whole character based on that).   your shots never do 0 dmg, and the attacks of the enemies aren’t random in their stats. Playing the game gives all the knowledge you need to know about the enemies and how to dodge them.

E.S.G was very lacking on the strategy and player progression front, I tried to handle strategy with a pickup system where you can choose when to use drops (shoot them and they fall down the screen to you or capture them in their capsules and stack them), making it possible to stack hp drops and dmg increases until the bosses or for when you really needed help in spaaaace.

On the Player progression it failed, it barely did any of the things i mentioned and the ones it did, it didn’t do them very well or not as well as I felt it needed it to.

Items and how the player had no control of their own character

There was no good way of giving items to the player, it’s a very basic gameplay that unless you gimmick it can’t really change and evolve and not get repetitive, dedicated schmups did it right but they weren’t random.

For this reason it was also hard to balance them and give them meaningful effects, stat changes were redundant in most cases leaving only dmg and defense being the only real important ones, speed not that much because the space (spaaaace) where you could maneuver and the space one would realistically be in 90% of the game made changing the speed of the ship a waste of time.

What was left were items that changed how you shot things, I personally never found those kind of items able of filling entire item pools and in a fast paced game like ESG where the player had no time to fiddle with things (in BoI, for example, you can just stop and fire in a direction, you have the excitement of figuring it out without being rushed if you’re not feeling confident, you have empty rooms, you’re never caught by surprise by a change to your character and you always have time to adjust to it whether it is a stat change or a shot change you can see it and feel it before a ghosty bastard tries to murder you).

At this point I just hit a dead end, I was dead on convinced a mashup of those genres could be done and I’d be damned if I didn’t do it whether it would be today or tomorrow. The game that inspired me the most didn’t give me all the answers and eventually i moved on to Spaceless Station  and was happy with that project.

Until…

E.S.G evolved because I played a really cool game

I played Luftrausers, and it is an amazing game that does aerial combat feel so good it’s insane (of course vlambeer did it), and playing that game made me think of ESG again and how i could change it, how I could make it awesome to fight aliens and make it a lot more maneuverable and dynamic, how I can have exploration and things happening in a level you can interact with more.

I’ve been playing with physics in unity and a space game seems perfect for that, I now want to get into ESG again, I want to make it worthy of being played and of the good stuff people said about it.

I want and now i can make it more like a Rogue game, a roguelite. Making that change from a scrolling background to a game where you boost around dog-fighting (in spaaace) and dodging when stuff is coming at you in all directions gives it the feeling I wanted for the game since forever. it makes you feel like an alien killing badass while rewarding the player (you) for the knowledge they have of previous runs and the choices they make on each stage, you can actually control your character and build it up, progress with it and strategy your plays.

In the end…

Because of one little game, Eld’s Shooting Game can become what it set out to be. Never underestimate the effect your game can have on others and how genuinely exciting that effect can be because right now I’m pumped with these new ideas I’m having and the possibility to create them, and that’s the reason I went trough half of the tutorial videos for C# before I jumped to unity and Game Maker. and didn’t write up the ESG post,

Because fuckin’ hell games aren’t made looking at tutorials.

psst

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Posted by on 24 de August de 2015 in Sem categoria

 
Link

Hello folks,

little update tonight to give you the link to the Trello page for Spaceless Station’s development. Where you can keep track if it without the necessity of blog updates (for very small changs not really worthy of a blog post) or having to ask “how’s it going”, not that I don’t apreciate it, I do, it’s just that its easier and simpler this way:

The site <- CLICK THAT

You can still ask me directly if you want to.

And yes I am aware I owe you a post on ESG, But for a good bit of time I had the idea of doing the post at the same time i put it out. Because downloads are fun!

But given that it will prob take a good, good while for that to happen since it’s not on my focus right now. I’ll give you the post I had planned. Tomorrow, or today technically its past midnight.

if i dont forget, or lazy out.

butyoureusedtothatalreadyarentyou =)

Trello

 
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Posted by on 19 de August de 2015 in Sem categoria

 

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Anouncing: Spacless Station

I’m late by a few hours, oops.

This is the one of the 4 games I mentioned earlier that survived and is now in active making:

image

Spacless Station is a Top-Down adventure game where you control a Medical assistance and recovery bot and guide it trough a crashed space station, searching for survivors and evidence of what made the station crash.

Character:

Here is your robot, you’ll guide it trough the game moving with the WASD keys (configurable) and rotate it’s front with your mouse:

image

It is equipped with pockets, an indicator for Health signals, a flashlight and 2 slots where tools are mounted on to help it go trough debries, such as saws, claws, machine guns etc.

It has armor and Hp values that decrease when you take damage and can be replenished with pickups or repairs.

Gameplay:

It’s quite simple, the game is structured by a series of levels where you have to find the way to progress,

Your hp and armor carry over from the last level but the robot is made to sustain damage to a small degree so it comes with the ability to repair itself whit scrap metal it finds, by either defeating enemies or clearing rubble you’ll find bits of scrap metal you can use to repair your armor, doing this will take some time depending on how damaged it is and how much scrap you have, while doing this you can’t move except rotating. Repairing your HP is a more complex task so your robot will be unable to rotate or move while doing it, tools will still be operational and HP can only be repaired if your armor is at 100%.

Also when pressing Shift (configurable) the robot will get a burst of speed in the direction the mouse was pointing the moment the key is pressed, it will be very hard to steer it but rotating will work just as fine.

It can also hack stuff and collect digital info, you’ll enter the station with a map of it but some areas are simply not in the map or hidden from your robotic sight.

Story:

In the future mankind has built a grid of Space Stations and place them all over the Earth’s atmosphere, Things are ok before contact is lost with one of them and it starts descending into the planet, all other space stations report no danger and to them it seems like it is simply landing, but they too have no comms. The space station doesn’t stop and eventually “lands” on an isolated piece of snowy, cold land.

Immediatly rescue parties are sent to the crash location to find the station half dug under the ground. Engineers are called and send in a squad of robots meant for the search of survivors and evidence, the structure is too big so each robot will have to cover a large area alone. Your robot is one designed and built apart from the others and with outdated concepts, this one has a under developed AI and is unable to guide itself unlike the others, so it must be manually guided with a remote control by the guy who built it.

You manage to find an entrance trough the garbage disposal door.

Other stuff:

I can’t really go trough the sort of update method i went with ESG since this one has a story and I’d rather release a demo or 2 to get some general feedback and then the full game so the experience is better,

Before you even get the chance of playing this bad boy there’s the list of stuff the game must  have:

  • Self repair and scrap collecting
  • The first level fully built (it has alot of mechanics that go all the way to the end game)
  • All of the controls and player abilites put into the game (speed burst excluded)
  • Sound effects

That’s the stuff i consider the most important for the game. I’m not gonna give you a release date because that would be telling lies.

During the dev period I plan on posting dev vlogs on the channel i set for that, aswell as streaming a bit when spriting or doing some minor code work.

Another thing, this project will take time, a metric poop ton of it, my objective with the above is to just share a bit of the experience with y’all and keep you interested.

The story for Spaceless Station happens on the same universe ESG does and in relatively close proximity of each other on the timeline.

Game made with Unity 5 2D, sprites are 64×64 and made on paint.net (at the time this is being written)  with some help from Supr, sound design still spooks me I’ll have to get into that.  

Made by Rafael “Eldirish” Castro e Silva.

Thanks for reading folks.

 
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Posted by on 15 de July de 2015 in Sem categoria

 

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Update: What’s been happening?

Hi, I told you I would say something today and here it is.

To keep things organised and the posts not too long this update/announcement/reveal thingymajib will be split into 3 posts: the oen you’re currently reading, and 2 others for the games I said I would reveal.

Those games, are *drum roll*.

 Spacless Station and ESG II! Now I’ll give you details on these two in their own posts, and yes I understand ESG is technically not a new game but it kinda is, just keep reading a tad.

Since the last you’ve heard of my stuff was on ESG’s 2nd update, and since then a load of stuff changed, the biggest being the engine. ESG was made with GameMaker: Studio but as time went on I wanted to use a more feature heavy editor, not gamemaker is lacking in features but I knew Unity had more and was more flexible on what it could do, so I installed that and had to learn that, it’s not hard but Gamemaker simplifies alot of stuff that unity doesn’t so it takes soem adjusting, mainly in the coding department which made porting ESg over a bit more complicated since I was trying to apply code logic from GML where it wouldn’t work.

I realised I was better off making a game from scratch in Unity isntead of ports, and from that came 4 ideas that all except one were stoped in development, and the reason that happened was 80% the art part.

One criticism I got was that the art style for ESG was too small and needed more detail, so I started experimenting and 32×32 sprites started feeling too small for my taste, and so I moved on to 64×64, it is perfect for detail but there’s also alot more work involved since, well, there’s more space and so more lines, edges, curves and colour that can go wrong and I’m not an artist, so alot of stuff that is not a straight ass line will have some problems, the detail and colour gradants are nice tough. So I did the surviving game’s art in 64×64 and it looks ok, And I redrew ESG’s ship as a 64×64 sprite and it came out good imo.

Later i discovered you could do 48×48 sprites, but I haven’t really explored those dimensions, it seems to be a nice inbetween tough!  also its a pain to draw sprite sheets in paint.net because theres no snap to grid and u have to get a plugin to get a grid thast not 1×1 pixel

Oh I haven’t even touched the concept of music or sound designing in my games, FL studio is spooky.

In between all that my HDD died, bought a new one, had to recover game stuff from the dead one had to isntall stuff all over again and I discovered some new memes.

But wait there’s more:I changed to tumblr from wordpress because some people had problem with wordpress not translating right and tumblr having more trafic potential; I made a youtube channel for da devlogs and streams area thing now so:

The Devlog youtube channel.

The Twitch

The Steam Group where i cuss at my fanbase (”A censored version of what i would say” – Delval 2k15)

Anyway thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys on the next update in like a month maybe thre- AH JUST KIDING SCRUBS I’LL POST some dedicated posts to those games after this one, not like there are a ton of peeps reading this so no pressure I guess.

 
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Posted by on 15 de July de 2015 in Sem categoria

 

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E.S.G Alpha 2! “They’re stronger”

This patch introduces a proper HUD, collisions and tweaked enemies.

Hello, over this week I’ve made several changes to the game, mostly were simple stat changes for both you and the enemy as well as a HUD for your HP! The sides of the map aren’t the safe place they used to be and the alien swarm isn’t as predictable anymore (random values ftw)!


Alpha 2 Patch Notes:

  • Increased the amount of hits enemies have to take before they die (now 3 instead of 2)
  • Increased enemy shot speed
  • ADDED a little box around your HP as some users found that it blends too much with everything else
  • This HUD style will be adopted for the score as well, in the future
  • Random values now determine when do the enemies spawn (Still affected by wave)
  • Random values now determine when do enemies fire
  • Random values now determine when do the enemies change direction
  • Enemies now collide with the player, both suffer from knock-back
  • FIXED: The player can’t go bellow the room’s height.
  • Updated ReadMe.

Download E.S.G Alpha 2:

  • Version: Alpha 2
  • File size: ~2.6mb
  • Download: Click here, for the download!

For more detailed info on the game and future updates visit the original release post Here!

Thank you for the feedback you’ve given, I look forward to more!

Have fun! in spaaaaaaaace

 
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Posted by on 21 de January de 2015 in Sem categoria

 

E.S.G Alpha 1 Release!

The first game I’ve ever done, and now you get to play it!

E.S.G is a top down shoot-em up where the enemies, levels and power-ups are randomly generated as you play, the game will feature a dynamic scoring system that will scale various effects based on your performance!

Because I want your feedback on the game as well as keep the hype alive, this release features the basic mechanics.

Version Notes:

  • 1 Infinite Level
  • Randomly positioned enemies.
  • 2 kinds of aliens to shoot at!
  • HP and DMG systems
  • A secret power-up (extremely rare).
  • Foundations of the Score System
  • AZERTY and QWERTY keyboard layout support!
  • Basic Wave system

You can expect a patch every week (depends on what content they’ll have) or so, and speaking of patches here is what you can expect from the next one!

Next Patch Plans:

  • SFX
  • More enemy variety each wave
  • Animation improvements
  • Bug fixing
  • Requested features

Yes, you read that right, I’ll take into consideration every thing you can suggest!

Hats? No problem!

Unicorns? No problemo!

Anything is possible with the right imagination!


Let’s talk a bit about the full game tough.

My aim is for it be a quick pick up and play sort of game, it will have a storyline as well as an endless mode (which is what you’re pretty much getting right now). I don’t expect it to be soon that it’ll get it’s full release status, for now I just expect it to bring fun to people and if it will remain free for ever or maybe get a try at Steam greenlight once it’s done is something I haven’t fully decided yet which you, the players, will have a say on.

But what exactly is in store for the player on the full featured release of E.S.G?

Well, since lists are a thing here goes another one:

Full Game Feature Plan:

  • Multiple ships to play as!
  • Unlockable power-ups, ships, levels and weapons!
  • 5+ levels of pure action packed randomly generated alien destroying!
  • Gather score and see the game scale itself to you!
  • Kill something enough and turn it into your new guns!
  • Cool music to go with the deep space carnage!
  • A story that will make you wanna kill aliens!
  • A gameplay that will make you wanna keep killing aliens!
  • Aliens that are really gonna want to kill you!
  • Collect, equip, create and destroy a variety of guns!
  • Start with a simple ship and end with a buff as hell elite alien killer!
  • EXPLOSIONS in spaaaaaaaaace!

So without further reading here is the Download!


Download Info:

  • File Size: 2.6 mb
  • Nº of files: 2 (Installer and ReadMe)
  • Installation: Just open “E.S.G Installer”, game click the buttons and install, to uninstall go to your control panel and do like any other software.

The Download:


100% done by me using Game Maker Studio.

Have fun and post your highscores bellow!

 
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Posted by on 14 de January de 2015 in Sem categoria