Swag Em Up - 99 Bottles Of Swag On The Wall ...

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  by Steve_Yorkshire » Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:47 pm
Apparently it's been rather a long time since I posted an up to date development blog of the current state of progress of my new "Swag 'Em Up" style game. So here goes:

Mirrored from my devblog: http://yorkshirerifles.blogspot.co.uk/

Last blog post "Wednesday, 8 July 2015" --- bad indiedev, bad!
Devblog Harder, The Devbloggening

Having been back to sorting things out for Steam and Airship Dragoon (such as Trading Cards) apparently it was February when I last mentioned the concept of my new indie game project "The Swag 'Em Up". Back then I was testing a basic isometric control system which I went on to use in the "7 day Rogue-Like Game Jam" back in March. Since then, we've made a bit of progress, though it might not really look that way as everything is still displayed as a placeholder object. Here come the cubes ...


I created the ability to unlock objects with cash picked up from deceased enemies. These objects then dispense power-ups and swag. Can't have a Swag 'Em-Up without swag! ;)

Having found memories of Ye Olde Arcade game Gradius (also known as Nemesis in the UK back in Ye Olde 1980s) I thought it might be fun to have a Gradius style "Option" which follows the player around, adding additional firepower to all attacks. Like the Gradius Option, these "Followers" link up in a chain, trailing behind the player's movement and inherit the player's rotation to fire in the same direction. A bit of tweaking code meant that the player and Follower would happily not shoot each other.

Of course a Swag 'Em-Up needs swag, so I spent quite a lot of time thinking up 108 unique pick-ups - which is a lot by any stretch of the imagination. These are split into 30 common power-ups, 25 uncommon power-ups, 20 rare power-ups, 25 single use special items and finally 8 upgrades for Followers. Making all of these pick-ups unique took quite a lot mental gymnastics, especially after I had gone through the many of the more obvious ones such as speed-up, health faster, more, health, dodge, shielding, teleport, fire attack,armour piercing, and the normal sort of stuff you see in video games. So here's a quick selection in action:

Magic Bullet - attack ricochets through enemies causing 4 wounds (a free internet for anyone who spots the politcal assassination reference).

Homing Missile - For those times when you want to cast magicMissile ... at the darkness! Here demonstrated by the enemy AI attacking the player.

Laser Beam - ImaCharjinMaLayZor! Big old energy beam which slices through ranks of enemies for damage. I've since dropped the explosive blast from the end and let the beam continue further off screen.

And there's plenty more where they came from ... 104 more including Follower upgrades. Minus the 8 Follower ranks and 25 special use items, the remaining 75 player upgrades divide into 8 attribute power-ups, 9 general bonuses, 30 attack upgrades and 28 defensive power-ups.

For enemies, I'm planning on using an updated version of my "7 Day Rogue-Like" AI code. So the current job is to code up the remainder of power-ups to placeholder art status, and then start testing to find the best way to create the levels as I currently imagine them to be.
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by Caleb » Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:54 pm
Even with the cube stand-in art, the visuals look nice. The amount of thought you've put into the upgrades really shows through. I think my favorite are the little followers though. Are they accomplished using AI players?
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by JeffR » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:57 pm
Looking pretty excellent!

It sounds like you've got the meat of the gameplay in there, with all the powerups and the followers and the like.
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:30 pm
by Steve_Yorkshire » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:17 am
Caleb yes they're a unique class but based on AIplayer, though I ripped out a lot of player stuff that was not needed. They don't move quite as smoothly as I was hoping for but are at least they do work. I had quite a lot of difficulty hunting down some desynching bugs but eventually fixed them.

Been having a little play around with tonemaps/lightmaps and was quite delighted to find that 1) they don't move on animated materials, and 2) settings lights/sun to "representInLightmaps" gave the appearance of emissive but still allowed normal and specular mapping to work.

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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:23 pm
by RichardM » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:08 pm
Looking pretty good! I like the Tonemaps/Lightmaps "study". I've been playing around with some of this too, to find a use for all the extra slots in the material definition.
Anyway, I like to see where this thing goes...
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