December 02, 2020, 11:48:49 AM

Author Topic: Go Nuts contest entry: Tommy Gunn  (Read 2140 times)

Offline 3DzForMe

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Re: Go Nuts contest entry: Tommy Gunn
« Reply #75 on: October 24, 2020, 07:27:23 AM »
@Xerra, you've outdone yourself, love the graphics and style - very polished work. :D

Online Derron

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Re: Go Nuts contest entry: Tommy Gunn
« Reply #76 on: October 24, 2020, 08:29:48 AM »
Just watched a piece of the gameplay video (did not play the game itself yet): what are these odd "click" sounds during the whole game - is he reloading the weapon every 1-2 seconds? Together with "no background music" and the "ohh/hhmm/huh" sounds on each jump it sounds rather ... not so attracting.
What I mean is: add some ambience music track ... and avoid playing so remarkable sounds in a repetitive way.

Just imagine you have a match 3 game ... and the only effects you have are a remarkable "click" sound on EACH click you make on the tiles. And on each match you make, you add a "explosion sound" ... it would sound not effective, but "annoying".

Maybe others see it different - but I wanted to mention that.


Graphically wise it looks nice (albeit the levels look a bit too ... dunno ... "clean" to me ... they look too polished without "melting" together). Maybe add a little debris here, a bit random decoration there (in the background) - so it just does not look like "background + level tiles". Level tiles should not look like a "new layer", they should look like they come out of the background elements. The first level ("rocks") tries it a bit - but the background looks too much like "tapetery"  (maybe some "holes" or "deep cracks" would help to avoid this "repeating tiles pattern"-look).
The "grass" does not have any shadow and looks "flat" - like a shadeless paint of something. Palm trees throw a shadow - am not sure if the shadow fits to the shadow the "deeper" platforms throw (on which the trees grow ...so they are more near to the background rock and should have a less "offset" shadow as they reach background earlier).
The second one ("jungle") has the issue of very... uhm... big palm trees? I mean - how big is Tommy gunn then?. The "level elements" there look artificial because of it - they fly through the air without being "grounded" somehow -- you might have played with some kind of "bamboo fence" in the background or - some "construction aid" which holds all elements in the air. Assume other games might have some lianes spanning over the screen randomly. Sorry, cannot come up with better ideas now.
The benefit of the current "distinctive" approach is a good visibility of the characters - things look "clear" and you know what is foreground and background.

The other levels ("metro" and "boss") suit more visually.

Main character has some "look around head movement" (video at around 1:40)... the figure runs and jumps rather quick, but the head is moving slowly. I doubt soldiers would move their head so slowly "looking for enemies". Just do this movement on your own - how would you look for enemies in a "cool and experienced soldier way" (not how it is done in reality - but how do "80s action movies" do it - as this suits to your game). Also there is this odd "head position change" between running (face visible) and jumping (head shown from side) - without any "morph" from A to B (maybe there could be some "inbetween frame" be added?).


Maybe the "clean" look is based on the drawing style itself - like a "toon render" without any "grain". So do see my post with some more or less fine grain of salt - and see it as a personal feedback, not a "general advice".


What I _really_ liked was the font choice in title and highscore screen... this "bold" font face cries "army", "soldier", "bullets". Well chosen.
What I _really_ miss is "dirt" ... action is dirty, explosions add debris, throw around stones, dirt, ... so dunno, maybe have some "grain". Less "almost shiny" polished graphics. This is of course not the task of the developer but the gfx artist in your (inofficial?) "team" :)


Remember: do not get me wrong - the entry looks good, to use some "external" graphician pays out for you Xerra... your games become to look less "coder graphics" and more appealing. Each done game will improve your skills - and I am sure there will be a game which makes even me - the nitpicking Derron - only being able to write 5-6 phrases of critics for this game then :)


bye
Ron

Offline Xerra

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Re: Go Nuts contest entry: Tommy Gunn
« Reply #77 on: October 24, 2020, 10:49:34 AM »
Points all taken on board. I'm going to take responsibility for some of the graphics predictability you have mentioned, however. BlinkOk supplied me with some more stuff that I could have put in. I didn't get to  doing it all because I was running out of time, and didn't want push my luck breaking anything by adding anything else so late. As it was I think I was pushing it adding the drone on the 3rd level and, I think, as a result it's a bit too haphazard how it fires as a result. I really regret being forced to remove grenades for the competition version at the last minute just because I'd left it so late.

Probably a bit more time having a bit of thought before I jumped into the game might have also been very useful. I didn't have BlinkOk's assistance for the first couple of weeks and was going for a completely different look altogether. I even had some free assets I was going to use that would have meant the levels being completely different in look and style. Most of you will also probably remember the title screen stuff I'd done with the big animated figure shooting and walking. Also the different high score screen I'd almost finished. I scrapped all that because it didn't suit the new direction and his artwork was just soo much better. He also had some great ideas which I couldn't say no to - like the graphic style for the tube station level. That came about from just showing me a background image he'd done and saying I could always do something like that if I had the time. That's became the run/gun third level because I couldn't not do it. Wish I hadn't forgotten to put in the platform signs though :)

As it was the first time I'd approached a platform game, and wanting to take that a bit further, I had some stuff that would hold me back for days rather than hours trying to get right. I love the competitions for the push it gives me to complete something but, like everyone else, I hate axing ideas I have at the end. I always have to be merciless because the one time I just didn't want to compromise was the time I couldn't get the game I was working on finished in anywhere even close to the deadline and had to stand down.

The explosion effect on the title screen was put in at the last minute just because I wanted to use it somewhere. That was meant to be part of the game from grenade impacts and I would have had debris from impacts as a natural progression from that, which probably would have given it a more rough look that you describe.

BlinkOk drew a rejigged version of the main player with lighting and all the animation effects that the original had just for firing so I didn't have to faff about with the separate gun flame effect coming out of the barrel but I forgot to get that all changed as I'd done the player stuff so early on.

Some examples of bits I could have used but didn't get to - like enemies climbing ladders and collapsing platforms - are shown below.

As for the sound, again, my issue. I literally helped a guy out in the gamemnaker studio coding forums as he was new to the whole thing and he was so grateful that he offered to do some sound work for me if I ever needed it. I don't turn down offers of assistance if I can help it but it was quite late in the development process so he couldn't get a lot of it done. Stuff like the teleport and body impact sounds is him but I used some generic stuff I have for pickups, firing and jumping so possibly some bad choices there. Also, I specifically had written a new sound playback function to handle all the background stuff for me such as not playing if it's switched off, looping or not and, most importantly, should it clone the sound if the same effect was already playing. For come reason I'd called the function each time without cloning, which wasn't my plan. This meant that effects like teleports, some of the impact sounds, bullets firing etc were all only activating some of the time when the action was taken. Possibly some of the sounds could be more irritating as a result when I bug fix that, which is why I've not done it yet, as I think some changes may be needed. Other people didn't like the jump sound either :)

So, I don't think I did too bad with the game at all, but, as always, I think I could have done a bit better. Like I said previously, I'm considering going back to do an improved version after competition is over. I don't consider the time we have to make these games too short, by any means. I just think I'm not managing my time well enough to really create that one game that even I'll be impressed enough to say "Fuck. I wrote that!!"

Give it a play anyway, Derron. See what you think then as well. It'll be much better than watching me play through it, and probably take the same amount of time.

Online Derron

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Re: Go Nuts contest entry: Tommy Gunn
« Reply #78 on: October 24, 2020, 11:46:28 AM »
As said - do not get me wrong when I mention stuff in detail - I do it if I think people could do better (aka "trust in them"). I hope you make a "deluxe" version with ambient music, debis, some particles ... this "gore death effect" for the units ... if you already have this, add eg a helmet particle, or some shoes (not bones ... this would make it more gory than needed). When collecting the "friendly units" not just make them "invisible" ... have a little effect when collecting (sfx + animated fade/scale out ... or a fast fading out puffy cloud ... ).

Each thing you do should have a visual "effect". Your enemies transform into meatballs,  your bullets fly through the air, ... So collecting stuff could come with a little effect too.
Increasing score numbers could be done in a "raising/climbing number" way instead of just showing the current score, ... all these little things will add up to a more polished appearance.

Eg a "climbing score": imagine the hero can start a chain reaction of kills (grenadier killed - activated grenade is "particle effect" thrown to somewhere where it explodes ... killing another one ...). Seeing how the score climbs and climbs looks way way cooler than just increasing from A to B in one step).


Units could alarm others when they see you standing next to a corpse (they then know that they might not be strong enough to "kill you on their own").
Tommy Gunn could gain some "80s hero"-one-liners ("gunn'a get ya", "here comes Tommy boyyyy", "Bullets for free, come and get some!", "gnarghhh", "Come out to play!" ...).

I have some more ideas but yeah - you surely have some too.


bye
Ron

 

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