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phoboz

Announcing - Hammer of the Gods

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Posted (edited)

Honestly, always wondered why more devs didn't play around with Beats of Rage, especially if they're new to the genre. It can layout many of the key concepts and theories a dev needs to work in this genre. I mean, with Beats of Rage, an engine designed for this very genre, running on the Falcon / ST (and just about everything else), I've wondered why more Atari devs haven't played with it. lol

Edited by Jag64

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A brawler, wow, nice to see some love for one of my favourite genres. And it's medieval-themed too, the art looks great.

 

About the # of enemies, more doesn't necessarily mean better. I think 4-8 should be fine, tbh I'd rather see 4 enemies with good AI than a crowded screen with dummy like ones. Pickable/droppable weapons and some destructible items are also welcome genre staples.

 

I also wouldn't worry too much about combo systems. Most classic brawlers keep it simple and either don't have any at all or they are single-key bound (and there are many great ones which only have 2 keys for jump/attack). The idea is to keep gameplay fun and fluid, without the need for gamepad gymnastics. The complexity comes from maneuvering in 2.5d and different types of enemies and/or weapons.

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2 hours ago, phoboz said:

Yes, Krauser has an idea about a combo system. This genere is new to me as a developer, and the last game like this I played was Golden Axe (I may have tried Legend once?) I guess that a lot has happened to the genere since then? It will take some time before we have a combat system we feel confortable with. What you see now is just a minimal base to build further on...

Beat 'em up is one of my favorite genres and to me, the most important thing is the amount of moves. Which doesn't necessarily mean combos, though, because if you mash the same button to perform them, you may see a lot of different animations but in the end you feel like you're doing the same thing. The best beat 'em ups (Streets of Rage 2, The Ninja Warriors Again, Die Hard Arcade, Double Dragon Advance, etc.) don't feel repetitive because they offer tons of moves, but with very few buttons. Context is important, since the same button can lead to a different result if you're jumping, running, grabbing an opponent, standing over him while he lies on the ground, between two enemies, etc.

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6 hours ago, captainblack said:

Already looking better than Paprium 😁

 

The game looks promising and the art is interesting, but Paprium is still a couple of league above, let's be honest about this ;)

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Saw this on Youtube. Looks good! You guys are really cranking the games out. That's great! My wallets and my checking account cries to me daily!! LOL

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Looks like a good start. Needs plenty of blood to give it that special Jaguar flare.

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18 hours ago, sd32 said:

Looking impressive already. Definitely not looking 16bit!

 

A key for me in this type of game is how many enemies your engine can handle at once… I found most Snes beatemups boring because it could only handle 4 enemies at once… while Streets of Rage series in Sega Genesis could handle around 8 enemies at once making it so much more fun. Same with the best arcade games of this genre

 

Anyways, looking really good. Congrats!

Weird, I thought 4-5 big enemies was the standard, otherwise the screen gets way too cluttered.

8 sounds too many, 16 would be insane. Maybe for small sprites, but not for standard sized sprites.

 

Just watched some videos of KoR, FF2 or SoR2, its mostly between 2 and 5 enemy fighters. 

And 5 already looks crowded.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, phoboz said:

I have tried using 8 enemies and 1 player (e.g. 9 characters in total), that runs fine. However, the enemies does not have much intelligence yet. Theoretically the engine could handle up to 16 characters at once (limited by the number of different palettes the Jaguar can have at the same time), but I guess 16 characters would make the game to crowded to be fun?

 

PS. Final Fight had larger, but fewer characters than Streets of Rage. The SNES really had a hybrid 8-bit CPU, while the Genesis had 16-bit blast processing (e.g. the 68000 like the Jaguar)

Ironically, the closest thing to your game is Knights of the Round for the SNES. Even the attacks look very similar.

 

16 would be very crowded, usually there are 4-5 enemy fighters in a scene. As soon as one gets defeated, a new one jumps in.

 

BTW "Blast processing" was a marketing slogan, and the SNES CPU is not that weak ;-)

 

Edited by agradeneu
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The Knights of the Round comparisons are pretty apt, but this also reminds me of Capcom's The King of Dragons and Taito's Rastan Saga III: Warrior Blade.

 

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On 4/4/2022 at 9:56 PM, sd32 said:

I found most Snes beatemups boring because it could only handle 4 enemies at once… while Streets of Rage series in Sega Genesis could handle around 8 enemies at once making it so much more fun.

I tried to max the engine out, and 10 characters in total is the limit. Not because of the much debated 68000 "blast processing" CPU of the Jaguar, but because of the much praised Object Processor. You see on the first section with 3 parallax layers, small lines start to bleed though at the black borders on the sides of the screen (yes we do want to cover the over-scan area, because there are some nasty things going on there when the screen is scrolling)

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I can't see more than 4-5 even in the big Capcom Arcade games.

 

Why you need 10? From a gameplay perspective, I think good AI and interesting, varied designs and attack patterns are much more important than just the number.

And then the 68K might be the limiting factor, possibly ;-)

 

I like Kings of Dragons for it's RPG elements like Magic, item loot and leveling up.

 

Do you know Vanillewares Dragons Crown?

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37 minutes ago, phoboz said:

I tried to max the engine out, and 10 characters in total is the limit. Not because of the much debated 68000 "blast processing" CPU of the Jaguar, but because of the much praised Object Processor. You see on the first section with 3 parallax layers, small lines start to bleed though at the black borders on the sides of the screen (yes we do want to cover the over-scan area, because there are some nasty things going on there when the screen is scrolling)

Streets of Rage series only goes over 6 enemies on screen in higher dificulties, like the Mania mode. 

 

Around 6 enemies at once plus the 2 playable characters is more than enough 

 

Its good to know the Jaggy can handle so much stuff on screen at once… hey if the Genesis could…

 

Guardian Heroes on the Saturn throws at you around 8 enemies of diferent sizes at you at once often and it’s super fun… it gets so chaotic … that’s my favorite brawler ever

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9 minutes ago, agradeneu said:

I can't see more than 4-5 even in the big Capcom Arcade games.

 

Why you need 10? From a gameplay perspective, I think good AI and interesting, varied designs and attack patterns are much more important than just the number.

And then the 68K might be the limiting factor, possibly ;-)

 

I like Kings of Dragons for it's RPG elements like Magic, item loot and leveling up.

 

Do you know Vanillewares Dragons Crown?

I don't say we really need 10, but we might have some other, non interactive characters on the background (like a blacksmith).

 

The key to optimize AI is to not check  and make decisions every frame. Rather each character has a counter, and when that counter expires things are checked  and decisions are taken. Then these counters are given different start values so they don't expire all at the same time. This way, the only thing needed to be done every frame (for all characters) is just to increase a counter, and check if it has expired.

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2 minutes ago, sd32 said:

Its good to know the Jaggy can handle so much stuff on screen at once… hey if the Genesis could…

It also has to do with the size of the sprites (from the Object Processor's perpective) I am not sure what sprite sizes Streets of Rage had, but the Knight character is a 128x128 sized sprite, and the current enemies are 112x128, or similar.

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6 minutes ago, phoboz said:

It also has to do with the size of the sprites (from the Object Processor's perpective) I am not sure what sprite sizes Streets of Rage had, but the Knight character is a 128x128 sized sprite, and the current enemies are 112x128, or similar.

Yeah, the first Streets of Rage definitely used smaller sprites and was running at 30FPS

 

Streets of Rage 2 and 3 used bigger sprites than the first at 60fps, but I don’t think they could display as many enemies as the first game on Mania dificulty modes

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1 hour ago, phoboz said:

yes we do want to cover the over-scan area, because there are some nasty things going on there when the screen is scrolling

If you're just at the limit where the OP starts running out of bus bandwidth, you can change the values of HDB1/HDB2 to make the borders wider and the visible width smaller (e.g. 320 pixels instead of 352 or so) to get a bit more leeway.

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On 4/4/2022 at 9:51 PM, phoboz said:

We are thinking to have at least 3-4 different selectable character races (e.g. Knight, Archer, Magician, etc). How many of that could play at the same depends on how much we can squeeze into the 2 MB of RAM that the Jaguar has. The number of different enemies at once also affects RAM usage. If we cannot fit more than 2 players at once in normal mode, we may add a mode where 3-4 players could face off against each other (without external enemies), using team tap.

Loving the potential of what your attempting here, game is looking very promising already. 

 

I wish you all the very best with the project. 

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Yes! 

Great to see some work on an under-represented ganre on the Jag! 

 

Looking like a strong start. 👍

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Looks like a great start!  But I hope there will be more to the game than just an ongoing brawl...  maybe some RPG aspect, some puzzles to solve, some treasure to be uncovered?

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Posted (edited)
On 4/4/2022 at 3:29 PM, phoboz said:

Announcing - Hammer of the Gods!

Features:

- Up to 3 layers of high color parallax scrolling backgrounds

- Transparent shadows, lightening effects in CRY color mode

- Large sprites

- Individual palette fades per game character

 

Credits:

Programming: @phoboz

Art, Music & SFX: @Eternal-Krauser

 

You judge yourselves which genere this game belongs to?

 

It’s not about judging. 
 

It’s called a hack ‘n slasher because swords/melee weapons are your main source of attacking. If the game was like Double Dragon (where your fists and feet are your main attacks, and weapons are secondary), it would be called a beat ‘em up. 
 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hack_and_slash

 

Edited by ColecoGamer
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On 4/4/2022 at 4:09 PM, Leonard Smith said:

Gameplay seems reminiscent of both GOLDEN AXE and KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND.

 

Hope they don't forget the part when you're resting by the campfire & the midgets come steal your stuff.

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, ls650 said:

Looks like a great start!  But I hope there will be more to the game than just an ongoing brawl...  maybe some RPG aspect, some puzzles to solve, some treasure to be uncovered?

My original inspiration was actually Moonstone for the Amiga, but the combat system of that game is not for beginners (definitely not a good match for the JagPad)

I am still hoping that we can get some RPG elements into Hammer of the Gods.

Edited by phoboz
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I think it's good to focus on a good battle system and not too stupid AI. Every team has it's limits. At the moment as I see there are 2 people working on this, so we can't expect a game as deep as dragons crown or the later Capcom brawlers. Could be the target but this would take years to make I assume with this small team. Better set goals what can be achieved with the team in a good timeframe and work on it.

As I read your inspiration was moonstone? Which by itself is not a really good brawler/hack and slash from a design and control viewport. Therefore maybe better to insure controls from games like the Capcom cps1 brawler, konami brawlers like tmnt, golden axe or streets of rage.

There are brawler which are way more complex with controls, like battle circuit (which has 4 player and RPG elements and sick combos), alien vs Predator or the ultimate brawler imo "Guardians" which has the best combo engine to date for a arcade brawler.

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