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sh3-rg

WIP: bexagon

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A game started quite a while ago (there were some unlisted videos posted to twitter you might have seen). Idea came from seeing a Super Hexagon Game & Watch demake.

 

It should be the first release from bello games: graphics powered by GGN, programmed by me (yeah, that's the wrong way around, we know) and tasty music by Broke For Free. Progress was fast early on, but after that stuff got in the way and when I tried to pick it up again some months later it just wasn't happening.

 

This past week I've dug out my Jaguar and got reacquainted with rb+ and the game, spent quite some time figuring out how to make my skunkboard work with windows 10, spent quite a bit more doing stuff in-game I thought would take mere minutes, but that crap's resulted in something that's much nicer to work with and way more flexible. It feels decent to play now and should be more fun and simpler to work on from this point.

 

Here's a dodgy 30fps mangled phone video of the current build (can't find my elgato, oh well). This is the hardest difficulty, but that ramps up as you play. Level data is only test stuff so far. There's a few ideas for where to take it, but nothing much fixed just yet. There will be scoring based on how long you survive and hopefully that can be balanced that all three difficulties can be recorded together. Disting of the web position and its scale will trigger as you progress, might think up some other annoying things to add in to put the player off.

 

https://youtu.be/pf-EMJTc_HE

 

I'll probably be posting some updates to twitter, but this thread is here to motivate me and hopefully somewhere to post some binaries at some point.

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Never got to play this the first time round. Looking forward to seeing this and your other stuff in the near future.

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Lookin good!

 

For extra annoying things as it gets harder, how about stuff in the background? Scrolling wiggly lines? If it's not too CPU tastic, other bexagons which have different lines moving in them, try and catch the players eye away from the main one.

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Lookin good!

 

For extra annoying things as it gets harder, how about stuff in the background? Scrolling wiggly lines? If it's not too CPU tastic, other bexagons which have different lines moving in them, try and catch the players eye away from the main one.

While the green at the top suggests there's a ton of overhead there yet, I've had some dupe objects on screen, flipped and over the big scaled one. I think it stresses things a little as the music can get a bit bent out of shape (as it can on the menu when the three RMW hexagons overlap each other and the logos), then again those are 8-bit objects all set to blue, I'll swap those out for some 1-plane thingies.

 

There's an interesting artifact with scaled objects, they get a little corrupt right around the same place the game waits for vsync.

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I really need to spend some time applying TLC to my SE. Have a few back of fag packet ideas noted down to improve performance of it. Maybe I should get those done before improving the mod player of it.

 

If you stick simple RGB stuff behind the bexagon does that go OK? IIRC RMW can be quick back and forthy on the bus, and OP is king of the bus so everything else has to queue whilst it finishes with the whiteboard.

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Bello! Some update info and also some things I'm jotting down to remind myself what I need to do next time.

 

New things:

  • General fixes
  • Intro sequence
  • Scoring, based on difficulty (easy=slow points gathering, hard=whycantiholdallthesepoints.jpg)
  • Nice scaling-down of web on death (justified centrally)

 

Found my Elgato so I'll see if I can make a proper video this time.

 

Things yet to go in:

  • In-game scaling and web position disting based on level data triggers (code for this already in, so fairly trivial).
  • Some form of progression notification... not entirely sure what this should be, but a way of letting the player know they reached a milestone throughout the level data and something similar to notify whole level data wrapped (with accompanying difficulty increase).
  • Final level data. There's some fun sections in the test level data, but it's not at all organised into any sort of difficulty progression, rather stuff that helped in testing.
  • Have the web appear on screen in an interesting way maybe, rather than just being there. *asciishrug*

 

Things to consider:

It's possible to have the level data trigger a decrease in difficulty as well as an increase (i.e. the introduction of new stuff coming at you is slowed and/or the rate it comes at you is slowed)... so it's maybe worth exploring having some horribly tough sections but dialing down the difficulty accordingly. Rather than just 2 or 3 at most objects on their way down to you in the centre, there could be plenty more and it'd be more a matter of playing tactically, maybe even adding in dead ends. Or maybe that's best left for a tactics/strategy game mode or maybe it'll be rubbish and therefore get binned.

 

 

Boooh!

Edited by sh3-rg
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If your music is suitable I guess you could gradually ramp up the tempo as difficulty increases?

 

Perhaps colour transitions of the background to indicate changes? Could maybe go to "hotter" colours for difficulty increase, that very gradually fade back to norm as the player plays at that difficulty level, so the next increase is noticeable (and you don't run out of colours :D)

an audible "Beww" when the transition happens? ;)

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2 player split screen mode would be epic ;) ... or 4 player teamtap :-o

Just get 4 jaguars and do this:

 

connect.4.monitors.stacked.gif

 

Job done!

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If your music is suitable I guess you could gradually ramp up the tempo as difficulty increases?

 

Perhaps colour transitions of the background to indicate changes? Could maybe go to "hotter" colours for difficulty increase, that very gradually fade back to norm as the player plays at that difficulty level, so the next increase is noticeable (and you don't run out of colours :D)

 

an audible "Beww" when the transition happens? ;)

 

I think it'll have to be a background colour thing or some gfx in the corners. Have to be careful with use of colour though as it's easy to interfere with the moving stuff and make it hard to see.

 

 

2 player split screen mode would be epic ;) ... or 4 player teamtap :-o

 

At first it seemed impossible as there's limitations to what can be done given how the game works, but a few moments more thought and it would be doable with a little extra asset work and some time.

 

But the trouble is, there's hardly ever 4 people around a Jaguar at any one time willing to sit and play a game together... it'd be making it just for the sake of it, for maybe the possibility that a few people could be bothered playing it once or twice a year at a Jaguar fan meeting or something.

 

I will consider a 2-player version though, it's possibly worth the extra effort.

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Very nice!

 

One word of advice: check how your game looks on different displays, with different video connections types. Low contrast ratios can look great in an emulator or RGB monitor, but also make your graphics illegible on a low-end TV set with a composite (or even worse, RF) video cable.

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Yeah, the colours on the title screen look fine on my TV, but in the video it's hard to tell them apart and the youtube reencoding seems to have had fun mangling them weirdly. Definitely on the list. And yep, I need to get some feedback on what people can see on various screens, I have mine set up to show a massive load of overscan inside a full bordered window, just to make sure I'm not missing weird stuff off the edges... but this saw some people unable to see the full score panel in micro fly when I put a demo of that out, oops!

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Free time this past week has been spent concentrating on this one more than the others. As it moved beyond working concept we got to add in visual and functional improvements to make the game feel better to play and look nicer. GGN and his geometry-creation tools employed to boost the hexagon real estate and also double the frames of rotation allowing for better variance in rotation speed in both directions while looking far less pixelated, there's now a 1:1 ratio for hexagon rotation with degrees of turn.

 

It was always a longer term plan to have a go at locking the sync of game elements to the audio. The main difficulty here is that, despite the excellent compression ratio and lovely rich and deep bassy audio provided by the zerosquare sample player's u-law replay, the replay rate gets affected with quite some variance depending on the load heaped on the Jaguar's quirky system setup. For instance, if a large object is scaled to varying degrees, the load on the system will incur an according pitch shift in the audio. It's barely detectable in the moment, but soon adds up over time to the point where hard syncing to clock cycle counts becomes impossible without a consistent load. So the decision was made to lock that as much as possible (at a point where the Jaguar's object processor is on the edge of shitting the bed completely of course!), pre-pitch-shifting the audio to suit (>3% shift), and locking things there. So that means no active scaling during the game... which was a bit of a downer at first, but soon wasn't missed when other stuff was worked in to compensate for the lack of that. So as it is now, some actual real level design and sync-locking is almost even fun, certainly not the frustrating experience it was back when the project was a few weeks old. Feels more like fiddling around with my loldemo CWACOM than making a game.

 

Hopefully a new video incoming over the weekend if things go to plan, and a little pre-release release at some point (it's already zipped up and ready to drop but we need an excuse to do so, like a party or to promote the release of the final game or something - it should offer a nice, friendly reality check to those who throw around the term "mini game" without having the first clue about what actually constitutes such a nonsense concept. hehe, we're so xunty!).

 

Oh, and then there's an Atari Falcon version in the very early stages... check yourself, Jaguar, that thing could be beastmode vs this game.

 

/blog

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Here's an exclusive preview of the Falcon version so far:

 

post-10979-0-28371200-1521315099.png

Edited by ggn
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Jeez I'm sorry I don't have a fancy IDE up and running for a project that's only a few hours old :P

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Jeez I'm sorry I don't have a fancy IDE up and running for a project that's only a few hours old :P

 

It actually looks a bit too feature packed for your usual Linux system. I mean it told you something was wrong, for starters.

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Not quite where we wanted to be after the weekend, but plenty of level design and syncing done and a couple of new fx. The Falcon version progresses, too, along with its dev environment. Here's the infoz, vidya below an oh, BTW, I'm getting pretty effing good at this game by now, check out the skills!

 

This version contains a more final game. It has proper level data up to a few minutes in and hard locked to audio cues (manually, therefore hours upon hours of testing required). The fx are piled in quick to demonstrate and won't necessarily appear in-game so early.There's more planned to mix things up a bit gameplay-wise and also another small effect not shown here that will be used between stages (no levels as such as it's an endless runner, but there will be clear stages/phases).
New in this version is multiple speeds for forwards and reverse: 1, 2 & 3 times. Also new is a more high res hexagon game web with scaled copies behind to create a bit of depth and a couple of huge (~100,000 pixels) 4-bit crymasks, 2 of which can be seen in the video creating the green glow between web copies, the other 2 unused here. It's going to get a bit trippier, as the player gets further and the fx pile on, we'll be glitching things out with some object property abuse, anything to make it more difficult :) Oh, we haven't even begun to mess with the data copy rate and new data introduction rates, with fine grain control over those, we can slow things down and speed them the eff up at will...

 

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