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 Post subject: Trophy
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:50 pm 
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Since January 2016 while we were wrapping up Owlia, we started a new project called Trophy. We've been pretty heads down on it for a couple of years now, but now we are within sight of the end of the project.

We're planning to KickStart it when we're ready, to fund the physical production.

We'll be updating this post and this thread for discussion about the game, further announcements, and additional media such as videos, a possible demo ROM, and the eventual KickStarter announcement.

Features of the game:

-8 main levels, one final level
-9 full screen scrolling bosses
-horizontally and vertically scrolling levels
-8 hidden upgrade items
-password system
-mega man style soundtrack
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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:13 pm 
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Sounds good.

I remember playing Nomolos and it was a pretty hard game. If you could, please include an easy setting for Trophy. Also I don't mind playing a demo and giving feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:08 am 
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Getting a cool Journey to Silius kind of vibe from this! :)

And if you include an easy setting, please make a hard one, too ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:21 am 
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Can't decide if Mega Man, Shatterhand, or Journey to Silius. Looking forward to it!


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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:32 am 
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The game has 8 hidden upgrade items, some of which will make the game significantly easier if found. That being the case I have no plans of adding any difficulty settings this time around. The game is already a lot easier than Nomolos. Probably too easy right now---I'm currently trying to balance it out a bit more.


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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:43 am 
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@Koitsu

I'm helping to test it and like you said, it is a little bit hard to categorize. Since the game is either scrolling left/right top/down I would be more inclined to say like mega man or power blade maybe? Since I didn't find the hidden weapons yet (and don't want to spoils the details) I'm still not sure how close it is to which style. For now I will categorize as a futuristic platformer.

One thing for sure, the game is a huge improvement over Nemolos regarding game play (easier to control the character) and for the variety of enemy and maps. It's always interesting to see how someone improve from project to project and this is one of those projects ;) Nemolos was it first platformer and now the gameplay is a lot more tight, which I can only say, good work.

As for the music, catchy, sometime mega man style (some fx are very close to it) and like it up to now.

Once I find the secrets I will be more able to categorize it but I will not talk in details, no spoilers :lol: One thing for sure is I really like it, just need to find the time to test it well ^^;;


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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:48 pm 
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koitsu wrote:
Can't decide if Mega Man, Shatterhand, or Journey to Silius. Looking forward to it!

As far as I can see it from the screenshots and from the GIFs at Twitter, the game is "Mega Man" through and through:


A blue robot as a protagonist whose weapon appears on his arm on demand while it's a regular arm in all other situations.

Leg placement like with Mega Man, with one foot pointing in one direction and one pointing into the other direction, even though the character is not seen straight from the front.

Opponents are exclusively robots as well, including robots that look like animals.

Vertical status bar in the top left.

Cutesy graphics.

A forest level where the tree stems consist of slim 16 pixel wide columns while the tree crowns are spread over a huge area, with an artificial-looking ground, like the forest level in "Mega Man 3".

An underwater level, even though there's no real swimming and the protagonist moves basically the same as on land.

And from the fourth screenshot, I assume the levels will be selectable at the start.


Maybe this is a conscious decision, like with "Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon" which was created to be specifically a "Castlevania" game and nothing else, only without the "Castlevania" brand.

But if "Trophy" is not supposed to be a "Mega Man" homage, but simply a general platform shooter in the style of various games, then I'm afraid I must say that this game does not look like a common mix of "Mega Man", "Journey to Silius", "Shatterhand", "Power Blade", "Contra" and all those games.

Instead, unfortunately, it looks like a game inspired by "Mega Man" exclusively.


I'm really sorry to say this since I always had a very friendly relationship with Derek, so I don't want to expose him here. But I don't see a single detail that reminds me, for example, of "Journey to Silius", except for the details that "Journey to Silius" itself took from "Mega Man" (like the vertical status bar in the top left corner).

It's either something original (like the general graphics style of the protagonist) or something taken from "Mega Man" (jumping cat = Sumatran from MM5), but never anything inspired by a game besides "Mega Man" games.

(The similarities go right down to the way the stun behavior is implemented: Stun and mercy invincibility flickering happen immediately at the same time. Instead of the more common way that most other games do, where the flickering only starts after the stun animation was done.)


So, if this is not supposed to be a "Mega Man" homage, you should maybe redesign the graphics, so that the game gets a totally different atmosphere.


P.S.: An unrelated hint: Use vertical mirroring. There's really no reason to use horizontal mirroring here.
Or, even better: Since there's only one type of scrolling at any given time, the mirroring should be set depending on the situation. (Which of course means that the level layout has to be aligned to a full screen before the scrolling change takes place.)
But even if a change was not possible, vertical mirroring would still be the better choice.

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Trailer: https://youtu.be/IYXpP59qSxA
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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:13 pm 
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DRW wrote:
koitsu wrote:
Can't decide if Mega Man, Shatterhand, or Journey to Silius. Looking forward to it!

As far as I can see it from the screenshots and from the GIFs at Twitter, the game is "Mega Man" through and through:


A blue robot as a protagonist whose weapon appears on his arm on demand while it's a regular arm in all other situations.

Leg placement like with Mega Man, with one foot pointing in one direction and one pointing into the other direction, even though the character is not seen straight from the front.

Opponents are exclusively robots as well, including robots that look like animals.

Vertical status bar in the top left.

Cutesy graphics.

A forest level where the tree stems consist of slim 16 pixel wide columns while the tree crowns are spread over a huge area, with an artificial-looking ground, like the forest level in "Mega Man 3".

An underwater level, even though there's no real swimming and the protagonist moves basically the same as on land.

And from the fourth screenshot, I assume the levels will be selectable at the start.


Maybe this is a conscious decision, like with "Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon" which was created to be specifically a "Castlevania" game and nothing else, only without the "Castlevania" brand.

But if "Trophy" is not supposed to be a "Mega Man" homage, but simply a general platform shooter in the style of various games, then I'm afraid I must say that this game does not look like a common mix of "Mega Man", "Journey to Silius", "Shatterhand", "Power Blade", "Contra" and all those games.

Instead, unfortunately, it looks like a game inspired by "Mega Man" exclusively.


I'm really sorry to say this since I always had a very friendly relationship with Derek, so I don't want to expose him here. But I don't see a single detail that reminds me, for example, of "Journey to Silius", except for the details that "Journey to Silius" itself took from "Mega Man" (like the vertical status bar in the top left corner).

It's either something original (like the general graphics style of the protagonist) or something taken from "Mega Man" (jumping cat = Sumatran from MM5), but never anything inspired by a game besides "Mega Man" games.

(The similarities go right down to the way the stun behavior is implemented: Stun and mercy invincibility flickering happen immediately at the same time. Instead of the more common way that most other games do, where the flickering only starts after the stun animation was done.)


So, if this is not supposed to be a "Mega Man" homage, you should maybe redesign the graphics, so that the game gets a totally different atmosphere.


My 100% goal is to make the game as much like a Mega Man game as I can possibly muster, only I'm aiming for somewhat simpler gameplay so that I can actually finish the project in the constrained manner in which I must work, balanced with the rest of life. You should see my office: my entire video game collection is a shrine to my childhood. Piled at the very top of this shrine are dozens of mega man games/figures and at the very top, the box of Mega Man 5, which is the main inspiration for this game.

Quote:
P.S.: An unrelated hint: Use vertical mirroring. There's really no reason to use horizontal mirroring here.
Or, even better: Since there's only one type of scrolling at any given time, the mirroring should be set depending on the situation. (Which of course means that the level layout has to be aligned to a full screen before the scrolling change takes place.)
But even if a change was not possible, vertical mirroring would still be the better choice.


Ironically, the game started out vertical mirroring. I decided I wanted attribute glitches like Mega Man 5 had, both due to nostalgia for the glitches, and so that I could have bosses that descend from above the top of the screen. I spent 3 months rewriting the engine just so I could use horizontal mirroring.


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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:43 pm 
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Then I won't comment anymore on the style since it came from the horse's mouth: it's a mega man inspired game! :lol:

Still, even though simplified, I enjoy the game play. Very nice game based on the constraints it was made. I will let people form their opinion once they have a chance to play it.

Now back to finding bugs by dying, jumping everywhere and trying to make it do things it was not supposed to ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:43 am 
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Digged up the video from Twitter, and yeah - this is definitely 100% Mega Man. The screenshot absolutely gave me Natsume style Shatterhand or Powerblade vibes too, but the enemy design is absolutely Mega Man.

And that's great. The Mega Man games are some of the best games on the NES, and everyone making a game like this should take inspiration from them. It only makes me more excited for the game to be honest.

GradualGames wrote:
The game has 8 hidden upgrade items, some of which will make the game significantly easier if found. That being the case I have no plans of adding any difficulty settings this time around. The game is already a lot easier than Nomolos. Probably too easy right now---I'm currently trying to balance it out a bit more.


See, that's the kind of difficulty balancing that's great to have. If you give the player an incentive to forego those upgrades and go for a "clean" clear of the game, that's a good way to make people "decide their own difficulty".
See for example what Curse of the Moon does with the companions you can find. Each of them makes the game significantly easier, but you have the option of even killing them (to acquire another skill, but less leeway on failure since you don't get the added healthbar), or ignoring them altogether (to go completely solo without upgrades for the full "challenge").

I'm really looking forward to seeing more of this.


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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:46 am 
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GradualGames wrote:
My 100% goal is to make the game as much like a Mega Man game as I can possibly muster

If this is your goal, right down to visual glitches, then eveything is of course absolutely fine.

I just wanted to make sure that you didn't include the similarities subconsciously and by accident.
(Because I remember from an old mail where you first told me about this game that you were hoping people will not see it as too much of a knock off of "Mega Man", that's why I pointed this out.)

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Trailer: https://youtu.be/IYXpP59qSxA
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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:22 am 
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sumez wrote:
example what Curse of the Moon does with the companions you can find. Each of them makes the game significantly easier, but you have the option of even killing them (to acquire another skill, but less leeway on failure since you don't get the added healthbar), or ignoring them altogether (to go completely solo without upgrades for the full "challenge").


For me, curse of the moon got significantly better when it was just the main character on my second playthrough. It turned the game from being very much a rock-paper-scissor puzzle thing where you could pull out the proper character for each situation and walk right through (more or less), to a game which actually focused on the platforming challenge. I guess this is kind of true in its main source of inspiration - there are a handful of opportunities to cheese your way through, especially in regards to bosses, but this was increased by several magnitudes in CotM if you opt to partner up with the other characters. Given that killing them is something i had to read about online to figure out you could even do (compare this to CV3:s clear choice), it felt a little weird... well enough about CotM. It's just an example of how upgrades can shift the whole object of the game by several degrees, if not just tilting the balance.

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 Post subject: Re: Trophy
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:36 am 
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Exactly. The pure solo mode of the game is absolutely the most fun, but also the most challenging (game is never super hard though). It turns a Castlevania homage into almost Ninja Gaiden.

What I'm talking about is not killing the companions, but actually just walking away from them - did you try doing that? Without the skills you get from killing them, fighting enemies requires much more precision, and on top of them you won't be able to pick up any upgrade powerups throughout the game (the ones that extends your HP or subweapon ammo, or increase defense or attack power).
Instead of simply removing those upgrades, they organically prevent your access to them. It's really quite ingenious!

This design also encourages multiple playthroughs not through rewarding the player, but by making them actively interested in trying them out. The game is short enough that replaying it never feels like a big ordeal, and having played all the stages with the characters unlocked, you'll have the necessary experience to play better on a solo run.


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