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Swag Em Up

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:44 pm
by Steve_Yorkshire
New project: Swag 'Em Up.

I had been umming and ahhing about what to do as my next project. I had toyed with the idea of another strategy game, albiet less niche hardcore and more casual, but fancied putting my skills to the test elsewhere with something a bit more fast and furious with an infinitely shorter development period. Hence the Swag 'Em Up was born.

Boxxy placeholder with ribbon trails

Swag 'Em Up as a gameplay genre revolves around rushing about, blasting enemies, and unlocking items and collecting powerups and upgrades which form the swag question. Rogue-like or possibly rogue-lite seems a good basis for this as randomizing items, placement and enemies should lead to varied challenges and unique replayability with new unlockables being available dependant on how previous play-throughs went.

Initially I'd toyed with the idea of a top down view but immediately found it rather boring visually, so I switched to a rather high isometric view of around 70 degrees. This showed off models better and gave more depth to the scene. Here's a quick visual explanation of the differences.

After deciding on my camera system I created a screen relative movement system. When input says up and right, the player's avatar moves up and right relative to the camera/screen. This works especially well with gamepad controllers which can increment the rotation of the control stick.

I coded a new cooldown system for weapons and sprinting So that abilities take a few seconds to recharge. My thoughts for player abilities were thus, light attack with no cooldown, heavy attack, evade (in this case sprint) and special object use. I created a few new systems to allow for permanent upgrades as well as temporary time based ones and a whole experience gain and leveling system which adds health and regen bonuses. Originally I had considered a cash system alongside score and XP to buy unlockable items but instead have opted for trading experience for them. This method involves the player deciding whether they'd like to spend their hard earned experience on powerups or let it accumulate for leveling, which grants upgrades of it's own.

And here's a little demonstration of what I've got after a month of coding featuring our very own cube placeholders. Camera relative control system, light attack, heavy attack, evade, cooldowns, experience gathering and leveling.

Now it turns out that there is a minor issue with the control system - it's bloody difficult to shoot at anything accurately. This is not really helped by being a placeholder cube with no obvious centre of facing. I might add some sort of laser aiming object to help alleviate this, or I might split movement and direction into two seperate states, like in a twin-stick shooter.

In the meantime, there it is, the start of my new project: "Action Rpg Mecha Musume Catgirl Rogue-like Swag 'Em Up".

Re: Swag Em Up

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:29 pm
by andi_s
Looks cool Steve! Did you do the camera relative movement in script or c++?

Re: Swag Em Up

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:18 pm
by Steve_Yorkshire
User avatar

Everything is C++. I had a bit of trouble with some of the maths, so used a bit of code about movement direction from the 3D Action Adventure Kit which I licensed some time ago. There is a an old resource for doing relative movement in Torquescript which I had used before but it doesn't "reset" well when using a gamepad and the direction goes a bit off, hence wanting a code solution.

Re: Swag Em Up

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:09 pm
by buckmaster
Looking great. Love those ribbons ;). I used to get a ton of fun out of some of those abstract endless shmups, so I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with it :D.

Re: Swag Em Up

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:09 pm
by andi_s
I also used the torquescript resource, but also found it does not work very well for my purposes. Did you use only the movement code from the 3DAAK or also the camera system? Why did you not just use complete 3DAAK codebase?

Re: Swag Em Up

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:47 pm
by Steve_Yorkshire
@ andi_s
I only used some of the 3DAAK code because my brain started melting with the 3D vector maths ... it's been a couple of years since I had to use any! ;)
I got most of the system working easily enough myself but I wanted to make fast progress and not bang my head against a wall for a day or two whilst relearning it all so swiped a relevant block of code to speed things up.

There was no point adding a ton of code that wasn't relevant to my concept (all that wall climbing is cool but not needed here). I'm thinking I might add ArcaneFX zodiacs but I do not need the spell system or other fancy effects, so I'll only use code required.

I prefer to start with a standard code-base, add what I need and strip out what I don't.

The camera is custom, actually just a simple stock T3D orbitObject without any input from the player.

Re: Swag Em Up

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:47 pm
by Steve_Yorkshire

Teleport Ability testing. Created a SpecIal Evade Ability in datablock. I am planning on having multiple choice tooling up systems or characters (if I ever find time to model them). So when evade button is pressed (and there's enough energy available) the speed boost, teleport, or other way of getting out of trouble triggers. Currently it all works nicely deciding between the two available abilities of sprint or teleport without them interfering with each other.