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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Raider: Abilities Thu 3rd Jun 2010 4:55pm

Category: Raider

I am apparently still working on Raider! Firstly, here's a link to the test version thing, which I've been updating often and will continue to update regularly until I say otherwise: [LINK]

I'm still tweaking basic mechanics and animations to 'perfection' before moving on to things like levels and so on, but included in these basic mechanics should be the various skills that Arkus will acquire throughout the game, which I should decide on first in order to design optional/secret areas of levels properly as I go along instead of just adding them on later.
These skills and abilities will be sort of like the things in 'Metroidvania' or Zelda games; either athletic enhancements to movement (wall jumping, double jump, etc) or tools to navigate the environment or open certain passages ('Hookshot', ghost-destroying blaster, etc).

Originally I was going to have various weapons and armour like in any RPG, or like in Raider Zero, where every sword is just a slightly stronger version than the last, or things like that. However, I may now decide to only have two or three versions of the sword or blaster, each as separate 'tools' with different abilities. Sort of like how in Zelda games, you just have the basic sword, the Master Sword and maybe another more powerful one which is either secret or has some drawbacks... This is because damage output isn't as 'important' as in a game with levels and visual number displays and so on.

Also, there are five zones, so I should make it so that each zone has a special tool or ability that you acquire somewhere in it, like how you get a special tool in Zelda dungeons which is required to beat that dungeon and its boss. However, other abilities or tools would require you to leave the zone and fly around to shops or asteroids or whatever to find it so then you could come back and beat the level that you got stuck at in that zone.

Oh, and I was thinking of making each zone boss either drop a tool or a 'magic spell' which you could use offensively or for puzzles... Basically it'd be sort of like acquiring the boss's attack, as in Megaman.

It's difficult to decide which abilities to have though and which to NOT have. I don't want to have too many, but I do want there to be interesting variety.
Here are some that I've planned, based on comments on the last article and my own preferences. I want to do things that are *easy for me to code* and which could be comfortably controlled; a grappling hook based on mouse control would be a bad choice, for example, because I want the game to be keyboard only AND it would be a pain to code right.

(Oh, and if you press 'F' in the test version thing, you can see what it'd be like to have no acquired abilities; you'd start the game like this...)

1. Sword, and
2. Blaster: If I went with the approach of making the weapons tools in themselves, I could do what Zelda games tend to do and give you no weapons to start with; you have to find them. This doesn't fit too well though with the character; it'd be just ridiculous for Arkus to travel around with no way to defend himself, so I'd either have to have him *lose* his weapons or I could even write a different start to the story, where Arkus is a drifter rather than a combatant, lured into a life he's unprepared for by promises of glory... or something like that. I don't know. It'd make for a good introduction to acquirable skills early in the game, and could make for some early puzzles (distant switches that you need to acquire the blaster to hit, or blocks that only the sword can smash).

3. Jump Boost
I coded jumps to be rather high, which a few people mentioned was TOO high... So what I decided to do is reduce the jump height BUT make it so that that higher jump was an acquired ability. This could be acquired early, again to show how abilities are gradually found.

4. Double Jump
(These aren't necessarily in the order you'd acquire them...)
This one shouldn't really require explanation... right?

5. Wall Cling/Jump

6. Sprint
Yes, this would be an acquired ability. You can run by holding SHIFT in the test version, and you do have to hold shift because this will be an ability in itself rather than just the way in which Arkus generally moves. It'd be a nice and rewarding ability to 'earn', and could make for some easy puzzle ideas, either by having large chasms or doors that shut too fast to walk under them.

7. Shield
This was mentioned by a few people. I could remove ducking (it serves no purpose, as it doesn't decrease your hitbox size at all; though Arkus is taller than a tile, he only counts as one tile high, technically) and instead have the down key used for a shield (the 'sword and shield' type rather than the 'shields at 24%!' type). I could even make a reflective sort of shield later for defeating certain enemies or solving puzzles...
There could be puzzles based around this which include something like a huge laser spanning a corridor that the shield blocks...

8. 'Ghost Buster'
A form of blaster that can harm ghosts. You'd need it to defeat the Wraith, for example, and some other 'ghosts' could serve as obstacles (like... ghostly-looking faces that are one block in size and immobile, which would hurt you if touched).

9. Improved Sword ('Energy Blade' or something?)
The Sword could destroy certain 'cracked blocks' or something, and this improved one could destroy stronger blocks... maybe.

10. Oxygen Tanks
When swimming in water, you'd have a limited oxygen supply. However, you could get an upgrade that doubled your allowed time, and another that removed the oxygen bar entirely.

11. Space Suit
I've mentioned before that some optional levels would take place on asteroids, where you'd be able to find various treasures. These asteroids would count as bonus levels (usually one 'room' each), and might have interesting things like lowered gravity. However, there'd be no atmosphere on them, so Arkus would need this space suit to travel out on them.

12. 'Hookshot'
Some people mentioned a grappling-hook-like thing... and probably had in mind something that you could fire in any direction to cling onto distant obstacles. Unfortunately, I don't want to code such a thing, so something more basic like a hook that just shoots straight forward, attaches to a wall, and drags you to its target, might be more within my interests and abilities. It might be a bit boring though, but I could make rooms where there's a long chasm with a low roof which you can't jump over, so you'd need this?
Maybe it's not worth the effort though?

13. Hover Boots
Or something like them... These would basically allow you to 'glide' (or maybe it should be something other than 'hover boots' if this is the case), slowing your descent and allowing you to reach distant platforms. But is it necessary? HMM...

14. Spell: Electric Orb
This is what the Wraith uses: a ball of electricity that fires forwards and sends shockwaves up the wall it hits. It could be used offensively to defeat enemies only susceptible to lightning, or it could be used for puzzles where, for example, a generator needs powering, or there's a switch up high on a wall or something.

15: Spell: Fireballs
This is what the Fire Guardian (or whatever I called it) uses... sort of. It would shoot eight fireballs, basically in a 'circle' from Arkus' centre point, hitting N, NE, E, SE, etc. They could also melt certain ice blocks?

16. Spell: Icicle Shot
I've yet to design the third boss, but the zone will be an icy one. Perhaps this ability could freeze enemies so that you could stand on them, or put out fires, or something?


I know that I already asked for and received suggestions on the last article, but I sort of am again, this time giving you something to 'work with' to give you an idea of the sort of skills I'll include.
Are there any that I didn't mention that you really think I should include? Or any of those that seem worthless, etc?
85 comments

 

85 Commentson 54 roots

darkvolt`s Avatar
Rating Orb darkvolt 15 United States CholericSanguine 60C 5F
7 years ago | (1)
I found a minor glitch in a way? Not sure- i think ive came across this on raider games before i do not remember but in the last possible area you can go to (forgot the room) when you turn left after getting of the ladder, the screen does not wait for you to center rather your are not in the center in the screen or adjusting, it only changed when i turned right and went back.
Sunflower`s Avatar
Rating Orb β Sunflower 19 Poland PhlegmaticSanguine 73C 22F
7 years ago | (5)
New version? Yay! Alright, not-so-official tester (or rather "testress"?) Sunflower ready to report!

First of all: Draken, these tiles which remain highlighted aren't a bug. I've checked it and I found out that these particular tiles which can be clicked and remain highlighted are an easteregg. Literally! Check this image:
[LINK]
(btw, it wasn't good choice of placing "S", it's almost invisible!)

Alright, now glitches I've noticed:
- double jump - I don't know if it was earlier, but now double jump is possible after wall cling without wall jump (so when you perform wall cling, but don't use given time to perform wall jump and you drop off, you still can use double jump). Oh, and there isn't still free falling double jump and double jump after wall jump, but it's probably because you still haven't worked on it, right? ^^
- climbing ladders and jump: I found out that something is wrong with jumping and ladders. You can jump up the ladder as usual to make climbing faster, right? But there's one little thing: you can't "catch" the ladder when you hold "A". So when "A" is released, climbing ladders works normally, but when it's held, by pressing "up" you don't climb a ladder, but interrupt jump when it's performed (otherwise pressing "up" slows down Arkus' staying animation for a short moment). And I checked, jump isn't interrupted by pressing "up" when Arkus is not by a ladder.
- when you swim between two rooms (swim, not walk, it's only underwater), the oxygen bar changes randomly. And one more thing with swimming: when you use sword, you have not swimming animation, but standing animation (blaster works correctly). Maybe you're aware of both, I inform just in case.
- when you lose your health once, you can't lose more. Probably it's also something you're aware of.
- of course, don't forget about Terrible Tonberry Turquoise-Green Background Line, which now appears at the right edge of the first testing room.

OK, now more seriously about highlighted fields. Actually, it's not an easteregg, I just found a way to reproduce this bug and use it to make this face and text. It's not about several tiles, it's about every of them. Just click on certain tile and don't release mouse button until you leave this tile with cursor. Ta-dah! This tile didn't realise that it shouldn't be highlighted. And you don't have to press them again. Just place there cursor and leave it. Now it's normal again. Isn't it amazing?

I think that program checks if mouse enters or leaves certain tile object zone, but only when mouse button isn't pressed. Simple solution: rewrite the program! Instead of checking mouse state by every tile, make one object which controls this map (unless you've already made something like this) and make it draw highlight square at position X: floor(mouse_x/20)*20 and Y: floor(mouse_y/20)*20. I don't know how it exactly look in Flash, but I think that there are variables checking current mouse position and function returning floor of given value. It seems simpler, better and you can get rid of all those tile objects (if their purpose is only to be highlighted). If you want it to change highlighted tile only when mouse button is not held, place there variables which copy mouse_x and mouse_y unless mouse button is held.
(sorry, I've just had "programmer frenzy mode")

By the way: I wonder how many people believed that it was actually an easteregg. ^^
By the way: I wonder how many people believed at least for a while that it was actually an easteregg. ^^'
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (4)
I've not edited the game over the weekend, which is why I've yet to address things like the green bar thing or the double-jump-after-falling...

I'm aware of the ladder problem, but also haven't fixed that...

I didn't notice the breath bar thing, but currently oxygen isn't monitored, and I suppose I've used the 'breath' variable for the rate at which bubbles are produced, but the GUI (when it's refreshed) interprets that variable as referring to oxygen remaining... Hmm.

Currently there's no code for being hurt (Arkus doesn't flash or anything), so being hurt removes HP and gives you temporary invulnerability, but that invulnerability isn't ever removed.

Those squares on the zone maps aren't a final feature (what purpose would they serve?); they're just there as an aid for me when making the zone maps (which are effectively tile-based). I don't need to worry about fixing them since I'll just be removing them later.
Leaf7634`s Avatar
Rating Orb Leaf7634 14 Australia 34C 14F
7 years ago | (7)
When I first started up the new demo of Raider today, I went into the new area, (of course) saw the enemy-thing, and it felt absolutely awesome when I sprinted across the room, wall-jumped across it's head and hit it with the sword! I can't wait to see more!
Draken`s Avatar
Rating Orb Draken 14 United States PhlegmaticSanguine 62C 6F
7 years ago | (7)
I just noticed a bug. Once you enter the abandoned ship's level map, you can click and drag to leave a space highlighted. I haven't tried removing it or anything though, but it worked on several tiles. Now isn't this sort of a public beta test?
Draken`s Avatar
Rating Orb Draken 14 United States PhlegmaticSanguine 62C 6F
7 years ago | (6)
You can click on the highlighted tiles to turn them back...
Eleanor Rigby`s Avatar
Rating Orb E Eleanor Rigby 15 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 1184C 365F
7 years ago | (3)
No, it's more like an open alpha test, or maybe an open pre-alpha test. The aim of the developer here is not to make sure his level designs are balanced and whatnot, but to test and receive feedback on the basic mechanics of the game. In this stage of testing, the question isn't "Are there bugs?" but rather "How many are there?".
Draken`s Avatar
Rating Orb Draken 14 United States PhlegmaticSanguine 62C 6F
7 years ago | (2)
For all I know you're right, I don't really pay attention, let alone know, the difference between the two.
SunChilde`s Avatar
Rating Orb SunChilde 23 South Africa CholericPhlegmatic 66C 29F
7 years ago | (7)
Hey - two small things to say! I'm sorry if they have been said before.

1) Least important, you said down could be a shield, but a sword-&-shield one not a phasers are up one. Did you mean that you wanted an activatable shield, not just a secondary health bar, or did you mean a literal metal shield he holds up? Because I don't think this would work very well with theme, so could you not have a pleasant blend of both? A little bubble or wall of blue energy that is kinda shuddery and powerful and thus requires that Arkus is standing on solid ground (AKA not on a ladder or in the air) and staying still. Just a thought.

2) More important in my eyes. After you jump, it doesn't seem to make a difference whether you push in the opposite direction of the jump when you land in terms of distance traveled (there is the obvious animation difference). If anything (though my testing is not exactly precise) it seems that you travel slightly *further* than if you simply release the direction keys. I don't know if this is on purpose, but regardless, it seems somewhat counter intuitive. If Arkus is trying to move left after a right jump (trying to move left as should be indicated by pressing the left key as a player) he should, if anything, shorten his slide distance. That's what happens when I do it in real life at least. I realize this might minimize the quite cool animation you put in for his resisted slide, but then could you not just lengthen the unresisted slide length? It just seems to me to be a bit counterintuitive at this stage.

Thanks for reading if you have! Glad you are working on something that excites you again.

Draken`s Avatar
Rating Orb Draken 14 United States PhlegmaticSanguine 62C 6F
7 years ago | (7)
I think the shield was planned to be like a temporary bubble. Of course, with really powerful (as in boss) enemy attacks, it would probably be breakable. But I'm hoping it's an upgrade, or upgradeable.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (4)
By 'swords and shields' one, I thought I was making it obvious that I meant one that you'd hold up in your hand rather than the 'energy shield' of sci-fi that ships and things tend to have... Arkus had such a hand-held shield in Raider Zero (it looked all transparent and 'sci-fi-ish' rather than some metal knight shield though), which is why I planned to do that, though I've not thought much about it either way.
I could perhaps have the shield be something that requires recharging... I'll be doing away with 'EXP', so the bar at the top used for that could be replaced with shield power, which would gradually increase when the shield is off, and drain when it's on. A bubble around Arkus or something which nullifies damage entirely (or reduces it by a certain amount) would be easier than making animations involving a front-only shield, perhaps... hmm.

I'm really not sure what you're referring to with the second thing, what you could possibly be doing... In the game so far, pressing left adds left momentum and pressing right adds right momentum. Holding right while jumping moves you right, and jumping right but changing direction mid-jump should move you further to the left, but with some resistance... So I'm still not sure what you're explaining...
SunChilde`s Avatar
Rating Orb SunChilde 23 South Africa CholericPhlegmatic 66C 29F
7 years ago | (3)
Yeah, your words on the shield were relatively clear, I just couldn't imagine a straight knights shield in Raider making any sense, the cool transparent style thing makes sense.

As to the jump thing, I don't mean while you jump, but rather, if you have done a long (especially sprinted) jump in one direction, *once you land* pressing in the opposite direction does not appear to change how far you slide. If you hold down shift and push right, after landing from a far left shift jump, you still slide as far as if you let go of shift and right.

So just to be clear, I mean pushing in the opposite direction of a jump once you have hit the floor. This does not seem to affect the time it takes to slow down, which seems counter intuitive.
Sorry if this still doesn't make sense.
Raider Zero fan`s Avatar
Rating Orb Raider Zero fan 15 United States CholericSanguine 498C 371F
7 years ago | (4)
[LINK] . This is more of a "long-term" suggestion, just something to sort of think about for future versions of Raider.
Icy Wynd`s Avatar
Rating Orb Icy Wynd 16 United States SanguinePhlegmatic 21C 21F
7 years ago | (6)
Something that came to mind hearing about spells again: Perhaps killing enemies could give XP which would be converted into skills, and bosses/sub-bosses could drop tech. So Tech, such as lasers and the sword, would have set up buttons, and skills/magic would have combos of these, such as the prementioned "Sword smash" or the "Shield bump." Another magic could be used in place of hover boots, or jet boots, or whatever-you-call em' at this point, and simply be a triple jump that hardly goes up at all, but gives a horizantal boost?
CrimsonWolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb CrimsonWolf 19 2C 0F
7 years ago | (6)
A lot of these upgrades seem kind of "basic". I feel like some of these should be included in A-man's basic moves, like the sprint, shield, and wall jump. Hmm.. I can't really think of anything for "advanced moves" (besides some of the other things you already have there). One interesting idea would be combining different items to make new effects. Like maybe Arkus will learn double jump + blade is a sword slam. Or spring + shield can ram an enemy back (maybe into a pit of spikes or something).

About Arkus losing his abilities: It doesn't gotta happen at the beginning. You can build him up with all these upgrades and abilities and then at a point, he suddenly gets stripped of them. Then make a segment that makes the player go "What the heck, this was so easy before with (insert ability)!"

About the spells: I've recently been playing Symphony of the Night and I'm not sure if you've played it before but what it's got is this spell system that's kinda like street fighter moves. So it's pretty cool if you can pull it off and pretty helpful as well, but not really necessary for completing the game or anything. You said you didn't want an unnecessary pile of abilities stocked up, but I think if some of them were like "icing on a cake", it might end up pretty good too. It lets players vary in their game play. (Lots of work for you though, but kudos if you can do it!)
Rob`s Avatar
Rating Orb Rob 19 United States SanguinePhlegmatic 62C 7F
7 years ago | (7)
Hey, you've got the new tile set up. I like the area so far, and I see you've put in some things for us to kill. Yay! Is this tile set supposed to represent the Hindalarr ship though? I think it looks a little too clean to be a long abandoned ghost ship, IMHO, but if this is what you're planning to use for the third level, the "ice zone", then I can definitely dig it.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (6)
This is just the tileset originally used for the tutorial, which I used here on a whim...
The ice one looks much more, uh, icy... Like this: [LINK]
Rob`s Avatar
Rating Orb Rob 19 United States SanguinePhlegmatic 62C 7F
7 years ago | (5)
Ah, I see. I had never done the tutorials, you see, so the mistake is (hopefully) understandable. The ice looks great though!
Raider Zero fan`s Avatar
Rating Orb Raider Zero fan 15 United States CholericSanguine 498C 371F
7 years ago | (1)
Woah! That's awesome! I didn't realize you had more pics up for Raider! *frantically navigates to screenshots*
Rob`s Avatar
Rating Orb Rob 19 United States SanguinePhlegmatic 62C 7F
7 years ago | (9)
I noticed an interesting bug the other day, but I haven't been able to reproduce it. I had jumped from the left "shore" to the right, but jumped a bit too early and didn't make the other side. I was close though, so I was wall-hanging and pressed "A" to jump up, and it sent me rocketing straight up, so high that the sprite was out of view for nearly a second before coming down. Now my personal theory is that maybe it occurred because I was eligible for two types of jumps at once, onne being a wall jump and the other a jump out of the water's surface. Does that make any sense at all? Like I said, I haven't been able to reproduce it so it's probably not a big enough "bug" for you to bother trying to fix, but it is interesting.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (9)
I also encountered this, just once, and no matter how many times I tried to reproduce it, I couldn't; it must have only occurred when you made contact with an exact pixel and pressed the jump button on an exact frame or something like that.
Either way, I've changed the water jumping so it shouldn't occur anymore... I actually made the change a day or two ago but didn't update yet; I should do that now!
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