Copper Jacket: Graphics Updated

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Drozerix
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Copper Jacket: Graphics Updated

Post by Drozerix » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:38 pm

The Game
I am currently working on a 1-2 player action game titled “Copper Jacket.” You play as a renegade combat expert who sports a military grade rifle and carries with him a lot of heavy bombs . Your mission is to defeat your former boss, Commander Zaslavsky, who has kidnapped your girlfriend. Zaslavsky has control over a small army and you will have to fight your way through his military force in order to get to him. There are several weapon upgrades that you can get on your journey, such as the flamethrower, rapid fire, shotgun and the bazooka; in addition to this there are health packs that you may find along the way. Use these items to your advantage -- but be warned -- if you take damage from a foe, you will lose your weapon upgrade.

As of now the plan is to develop several more levels, add more bosses and come up with plans for a physical cartridge for release.

I am always looking for feedback, so feel free to leave me a comment or make a play-through video if you are up to the challenge. :D

I post updates on my twitter page, so you can follow me there if you want to see the progress: https://twitter.com/MonsoonStu

...
Controls
A: Place and detonate a bomb
B: Shoot
Demo
CopperJacket.nes
--LATEST DEMO--
(64.02 KiB) Downloaded 319 times
CopperJacketDemo.nes
--OLD DEMO--
(64.02 KiB) Downloaded 246 times
Images
Image

Image

Image

Image
...



-Drozerix
Last edited by Drozerix on Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Memblers
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Re: Copper Jacket

Post by Memblers » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:59 am

It's really cool, I'll have to try this on 2 players. Is the B button used? I find myself wishing I could hold down the B button so you keep shooting in one direction while walking in another. Having to walk towards an enemy to shoot them is kind of a rush, but on the other hand it's kind of annoying. Maybe that would make it too easy though.

I also found it impossible to aim diagonally while standing still. I wonder if it would be possible to apply some hysteresis to the controls without messing things up. The impression I had was that you would need to let go of both directions on the exact same frame, but I'm not sure if that's even allowed because I wasn't able to achieve it.

I keep getting my butt kicked by that wall boss. I would take out one of the guns, but then I couldn't shoot straight up at the other gun without getting hit by its bullets. Maybe next time I'll just try focusing on the door and see if that works. I guess I'm kinda trained by Konami-style bosses where you usually need to destroy everything else before you "attack the core".

For cart release I would suggest taking a look at GTROM because it's the cheapest pre-assembled (currently) at $9.50 each, but there's plenty of other options. But as the supplier of GTROM, I may be biased. :)

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Re: Copper Jacket

Post by Pokun » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:33 am

Although it needs polish it's already a very fun game. Reminds me of Commando, Ikari and even a bit of Metal Gear. I kind of wished there were bombs for the B button. Although for this particular genre it's more common to shoot with the leftmost button and throw grenades with the rightmost one like in Commando, Ikari and even Metal Slug, so it might be an idea to swap the buttons if bombs are added.

Yeah I also would like to be able to stop while facing a diagonal direction. You can do that easily in Commando, and I think this game would benefit from that as well.

The wall turret is hard because the shots are more or less homing in at you. I'm only able to destroy one of them (usually taking damage doing so). My strategy is to destroy one and stand out of range of the other one (it has a limited angle of aim) and destroy the gate. Once the wall is down you can safely shoot the turret from the side by standing inside the gate vault. Figuring out a strategy like this is part of the fun I think.

I came to the main boss but I was unable to defeat him. I stopped playing because my fingers started to hurt. Not sure if it's the game's fault or the controller's (I used a Wii Classic Controller with USB HID adapter). I might try again sometime.

Graphics could need some more polish and possibly enemy AI. Some enemies just goes left and right and shoots at nothing. Other enemies stands still and keeps shooting downwards. On the other hand the difficulty is not that low, and feels about right.
The shotgun seems to be a bit bugged. It allows shooting repeatedly but the old projectiles are "cancelled" and will disappear when you do. I guess it's supposed to have a limited fire rate instead, not allowing to shoot again until the old shot is gone or something.

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Re: Copper Jacket

Post by Drozerix » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:21 am

Memblers wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:59 am
It's really cool, I'll have to try this on 2 players. Is the B button used? I find myself wishing I could hold down the B button so you keep shooting in one direction while walking in another. Having to walk towards an enemy to shoot them is kind of a rush, but on the other hand it's kind of annoying. Maybe that would make it too easy though.

I also found it impossible to aim diagonally while standing still. I wonder if it would be possible to apply some hysteresis to the controls without messing things up. The impression I had was that you would need to let go of both directions on the exact same frame, but I'm not sure if that's even allowed because I wasn't able to achieve it.

I keep getting my butt kicked by that wall boss. I would take out one of the guns, but then I couldn't shoot straight up at the other gun without getting hit by its bullets. Maybe next time I'll just try focusing on the door and see if that works. I guess I'm kinda trained by Konami-style bosses where you usually need to destroy everything else before you "attack the core".

For cart release I would suggest taking a look at GTROM because it's the cheapest pre-assembled (currently) at $9.50 each, but there's plenty of other options. But as the supplier of GTROM, I may be biased. :)
Thank you for the feedback! I did have plans on adding a bomb button -- but wasn't entirely sure if the game would benefit from it. Right now the B button is not used at all. I'm thinking that I might add a 'mine/TNT' feature, just to be a bit more unique. For instance, you would plant the bomb by pressing the bomb button, then another press would fire it off. I think this would be a cool mechanic to use in a boss battle. What do you think?

For standing while shooting diagonally, I wasn't sure what the best approach to this would be. I was thinking about having the player hold the B button to aim but then that takes away from the shooting ability. I like your 'hysteresis' idea though as it makes thing more automatic and thus more fluid -- I will try adding this in. For this, I think that you will still have to move diagonally just a bit to aim diagonally, but here once you release the buttons -- at roughly the same time -- your diagonal position will remain.

There are a few techniques to take down the wall -- but I think adding in the ability to shoot diagonally while standing will make it a bit easier.

Currently I am using CNROM (as you may have noticed lol) but I'll take a look at GTROM.

Thanks again for the tips!

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Re: Copper Jacket

Post by Drozerix » Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:32 am

Pokun wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:33 am
Although it needs polish it's already a very fun game. Reminds me of Commando, Ikari and even a bit of Metal Gear. I kind of wished there were bombs for the B button. Although for this particular genre it's more common to shoot with the leftmost button and throw grenades with the rightmost one like in Commando, Ikari and even Metal Slug, so it might be an idea to swap the buttons if bombs are added.

Yeah I also would like to be able to stop while facing a diagonal direction. You can do that easily in Commando, and I think this game would benefit from that as well.

The wall turret is hard because the shots are more or less homing in at you. I'm only able to destroy one of them (usually taking damage doing so). My strategy is to destroy one and stand out of range of the other one (it has a limited angle of aim) and destroy the gate. Once the wall is down you can safely shoot the turret from the side by standing inside the gate vault. Figuring out a strategy like this is part of the fun I think.

I came to the main boss but I was unable to defeat him. I stopped playing because my fingers started to hurt. Not sure if it's the game's fault or the controller's (I used a Wii Classic Controller with USB HID adapter). I might try again sometime.

Graphics could need some more polish and possibly enemy AI. Some enemies just goes left and right and shoots at nothing. Other enemies stands still and keeps shooting downwards. On the other hand the difficulty is not that low, and feels about right.
The shotgun seems to be a bit bugged. It allows shooting repeatedly but the old projectiles are "cancelled" and will disappear when you do. I guess it's supposed to have a limited fire rate instead, not allowing to shoot again until the old shot is gone or something.
Thanks for the pointers!

Metal Gear is what inspired me to make this game actually, so it is cool to hear you say that.

I'll see what I can do about that diagonal direction shooting. Also, I think that if I add a bomb button it should help make this main boss a bit easier.

As for the graphics, which do you think could use some more attention? The background, the main characters, the enemies or just everything as a whole? Is there a particular scene that you think could be improved?

The AI is supposed to be a bit dumb for this world -- I have plans for some more intelligent enemies later on in the game when things get more challenging.

Thanks again for the feedback! :)

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Re: Copper Jacket

Post by Pokun » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:08 am

OK this time I beat the boss! Nice demo! It was much easier by rushing and shooting more (especially when I used rapid fire weapons). The boss was also easier when I knew his simple pattern. I beat it quite easily without dying once.

That's interesting that it was inspired by Metal Gear. Of course it's thematically similar to Metal Gear rather than mechanically. Metal Gear isn't a shooting game after all. Otherwise it's mostly Commando/Ikari. But then again there is a point before the boss where you move to another screen to the left. This feels more Metal Gear than Commando/Ikari.

If you add bombs you might want to add more mechanical enemies. Like in Ikari (and Metal Gear) where grenades are most useful against tanks and such. That could make it harder to rush it. Mines or TNT charges would be an interesting subweapon instead of or in addition to grenades. That would feel even more Metal Gear (or even Bomberman). Either way, bombs should probably be in limited quantity.

I've seen the same diagonal problem in some commercial games. Although mostly in RPGs and such where diagonal movement is possible but not crucial. In a shooting game aiming is crucial though. Reminds me that you can't aim diagonally at all with most weapons in Metal Slug, although it feels like you should be able to.

For graphics it's more of an overall polish. First and foremost the choice of colours (especially the green for grass and the blue for the water) makes it look like the game takes place at night. It works better when it's raining though. Then there are the soldiers with white skin and blue outlines. I know NES makes it hard to having too many colours on metasprites though, especially if you are using lots of sprites. Then there are some blocky BG tiles. Like the water corners, the trees with a black blocky background and the barbed wire also looks on the simple side. Also there are some weird stuff going on at times. Like purple lines lying around at ground, at water edges and the two bars in the HUD (or do they serve a purpose?).

Intentionally dumb AI is totally fine in my book. It can even be satisfying for a new player to be able to outsmart enemies early on.


Oh and BTW I just want to say that the tiring of my fingers is most likely the fault of the Classic Controller. I felt similarly with some games on Nintendo DS. I guess Nintendo's d-pads are stiffer than they used to be, and it works against you in d-pad heavy games like this.

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Re: Copper Jacket

Post by Drozerix » Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:13 pm

Pokun wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:08 am

For graphics it's more of an overall polish. First and foremost the choice of colours (especially the green for grass and the blue for the water) makes it look like the game takes place at night. It works better when it's raining though. Then there are the soldiers with white skin and blue outlines. I know NES makes it hard to having too many colours on metasprites though, especially if you are using lots of sprites. Then there are some blocky BG tiles. Like the water corners, the trees with a black blocky background and the barbed wire also looks on the simple side. Also there are some weird stuff going on at times. Like purple lines lying around at ground, at water edges and the two bars in the HUD (or do they serve a purpose?).
The game does take place in an overcast/dark environment -- but I do agree that these graphics need to be updated nonetheless. I've added a bit more rain to the levels to hammer home the drizzle/rainy theme for this world. I've also updated pretty much all of the background tiles so they don't appear to be too blocky (that said they are still blocky). I'll upload an official updated CopperJacketDemo.nes sometime tomorrow featuring some of the changes that have been suggested to me on this forum.

Here is a sneak-peak of the graphic updates:
Image

Thanks once again for your input!

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Re: Copper Jacket

Post by Pokun » Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:07 am

Wow that's quite an update! Now it started looking professional. :)

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Re: Copper Jacket

Post by pwnskar » Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:49 am

Those updated background tiles look great!

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Re: Copper Jacket

Post by Drozerix » Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:04 pm

Pokun wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:07 am
Wow that's quite an update! Now it started looking professional. :)
pwnskar wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:49 am
Those updated background tiles look great!
Thanks! :)

I've uploaded a new demo -- feel free to try it out.

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Re: Copper Jacket: Graphics Updated

Post by elfor » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:42 am

This looks and plays awesomely, i hope there's a "in space/stars background" jet pack level!!!

Have you considered adding an optional crosshair?
For a better sense of direction even without firing:
crosshair.png
crosshair.png (5.85 KiB) Viewed 8214 times

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Re: Copper Jacket: Graphics Updated

Post by lancuster » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:53 pm

I recommend to the developer to check the bullets behavior in the game while frequently press the shot button and hold this button.
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