FORCE MAJEURE - new shoot'em up
fsDoom

A game (or a demo of a game actually, since it just contains one (very polished though) stage!) made originally for the shmup-dev.com AUTOFIRE 2007 competition.

Check it out! It has marvellous pixel art, wonderful music, and the gameplay isn't so bad either ;)

http://www.daikenkai.com/monokey/

Check the first post. The reason why I'm not have a direct URL to the game is that I will probably upload a small update any time soon.

Feedback please :)

Oh and here're some screens:

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{"name":"2mnod4m.png","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/a\/f\/af2cc3333856f7eab66a0c02053d1fda.png","w":320,"h":240,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/a\/f\/af2cc3333856f7eab66a0c02053d1fda"}2mnod4m.png

Matthew Leverton

Very nice. Now go finish it. 8-)

OICW

I second ML. I especially like the graphics. But what I really hate is that one hit = one death. It's really pain in the butt when you consider that the aircraft is not moving fast enough, so I kept dying all the way.

X-G

Immediate concerns:

  • As mentioned, the ship is too slow. It's especially evident on the boss, where dodging the barrages of bullets sometimes becomes impossible because you simply can't move fast enough.

  • I'd like to know more information about the differences of the two ships on the ship select screen. Some stats would be very helpful.

  • Why is the [X] button disabled?! Misfeature! Fix!

  • Is there some particular reason why there's a separate button for the secondary weapon, as opposed to it just firing when you hold down the normal fire button?

Also, I'd like to know who made the graphics/music.

fsDoom

Use the red plane, and release the fire key, and you notice how you will be fast enough to dodge any bullet you want :)

What do you mean with [x]? The window close-button?

Yeah, the subweapon system, we are not to happy on how it works right now. It will be a total rework for it (and it will work more like a 'bomb') with a meter and stuff ... In the full version.

Who made the graphics and music? Didn't you check the readme file ;) ?

X-G

Quote:

Use the red plane, and release the fire key, and you notice how you will be fast enough to dodge any bullet you want

It would have been nice if that was, you know, actually written somewhere in the game. Yes, in the game. Not the readme file. This is an arcade-style game, so treat it as if people just step up to the cabinet and play.

Quote:

The window close-button?

Yes.

Quote:

Didn't you check the readme file?

I never read readme files! :P I would like to know if these people have individual websites. I'd like to have a look.

fsDoom

You're right. The full version will feature a "how to play" before you actually start, but we were under a tight deadline :) (february 1st 2007) so we really had no time to implement it.

Sites huh, sure:

Surasshu (music): http://www.surasshu-sound.com/
Junkboy (gfx): http://three.fsphost.com/junkboy/

X-G

Fair enough. You've nailed the arcade feeling, by the way, and thanks for the sites.

But fix the close button thing. It's really annoying.

Inphernic

This is made of win and god. Pretty awesome overall. Is it just me or are those Darius vibes coming my way?

fsDoom

X-G: Done :)

Inphernic: Thank you very much :)

Kikaru

Cool! I was wondering when it would be done.

Oh, by the way, thanks for the SFX to whoever I talked to! :)

kazzmir

Nice polished game.

In the keyboard configuration, changing "start" kept changing fire 2.
The music is sort of annoying.
The bomb you can drop is sort of worthless.
I kept dying, can you dodge the bullets? It sort of seemed like I could when I tilted up/down but that didn't work all the time.

I do like how you lose all your powerups when you die but can quickly get them back.

X-G

Is it possible to get some kind of visual indicator as to how big your hitzone is ingame? I kept thinking I was safe but misdodging because it was larger than I thought. Also, does this game give you graze bonuses? (i.e. letting bullets move within the sprite but outside the hit zone)

fsDoom

The keyboard bug is fixed (in 1.3) which will be uploaded later. It's not really that crucial right now since the only time you'll need the start button is to JOIN a game. (dunno if player 1 ever needs it..)

The side-arm system will be completely redone (featuring different levels, and a charging meter) for later versions, since it's now pretty worthless (at least the blue ship's side arm).

The hitbox is... pretty small, but it's different for ships. If you check the monitor while you're changing character you will see an arrow that points to the hitbox, however this didn't turn out as exactly as I wanted it to. But anyway, the hitbox (for bullets, mind you) is located at the COCKPIT (i.e at the forward part of the blue ship, and a bit more backwards on the red one) and is something like 4x3 pixels (maybe a bit too big after all ...). This will also be taken care of in the full version (or another demo version), for example it could be pulsating (is that a word? my english is poor :) ) in some color when you hold FIRE.

Also the hitbox for colliding with other aircrafts/tanks/powerups/etc is a lot bigger.

There's no bullet-scratching/teching/other word in this game, but you DO get a bonus for "dissolving" fresh bullets shot by enemies. (all bullets shot by an enemy that've lived for less than 75 frames). Read more on the scoring information in the readme file.

Kikaru: It was me :). n/p. Glad that they could be of any use.

Kazzmr:
oh.. and music being annoying?? Come on! It's freaking great :). But if you don't like it, simply turn it off in the settings menu. By the way, love your avatar :)

Paul whoknows

At first I thought you were using ripped sprites from Metal Slug, then I look at your game more closely and I realize you were using original art pixel, WOW!, truly amazing art work!, we don't see original pixel art like this every day.
The music is also good specially the file ss9999, really amazing!
It would be nice if you add a cpu usage option, is summer here and my P4 is reaching 73C when playing your game!
Looks like you are using 320x240 in 640x480 screen mode, are you using some stretch bliting function? I bet this game would look great with 2xsay.
BTW I still remember your great Bollen game!

fsDoom

Thanks :)

Yeah it's 640x480 with stretchblt ...
How do I implement 2xsai ?

Also I have no idea on how to do a CPU usage setting! Got any reading material on the matter :) ?

X-G

Don't! Or if you do, please make it optional and not the default. It's so horribly ugly.

fsDoom

X-G: Hehe.. no worries. I like many settings ;)

Matthew Leverton
fsDoom

Thank you!

Onewing

Ah, my tongue...dang it, look what you did to my tongue. You have wetted it with this awesome goodness! Extremely polished, a must play. And yes, thank you for supporting game pad controls, thank you.

Now, you'll just have to keep an eye on that file size...

fsDoom

Hehe no problem :). I personally can not play a shoot'em up with the keyboard so gamepad support is a must in my games ... Thank you for your kind words :).

Kikaru

Awesome! I finally beat the demo. My only complaint is that there are a few too many shots on the screen at a time occasionally. Very professional! :)

Paul whoknows
Quote:

Hehe.. no worries. I like many settings ;)

Well then, what about a super eagle filter, scanlines , bicubic interpolation and so on.

Quote:

Also I have no idea on how to do a CPU usage setting! Got any reading material on the matter :) ?

Use the search engine in these forums, you will find more information that what is generally needed.

Quote:

Don't! Or if you do, please make it optional and not the default. It's so horribly ugly.

It doesn't look as nice as a bicubic interpolation but it doesn't look so bad either, and it is easy to implement(Bob already did all the work).

fsDoom

Omfg! It was REALLY fast to implement.. and dropped from 50% CPU USAGE (100% i guess, but I'm having 2 CPUs) to ~6% ... That's nice :)

Thank's a lot for pointing this out ...

OICW

You mean "resting" or that 2xSaI? I hope the file is updated now - downloading it again...

fsDoom

About the resting-part ... and no, not updated yet. I have a bunch of small stuff to fix before we'll release an .3 version.

OICW

Um, well ok. At last I was able to beat that game, though the boss was really hard. I still must say that it's a bit frustrating to die after one hit (that's why Tubular Worlds were so hard), but after recognizing that the hitbox is small I learned to strafe a bit more.

And gee it's cool, I mean all those elements you implemented seem to bring fresh water upon arcade shooters. You need to strafe not only shoot and act as a printer. Really great. Still I'm dying too often :'(

Oh by the way, you made me remeber Jets n Guns ;)

fsDoom

Yeeaeah Jets'n'Guns is great :). Haven't played it for a long time though ... I heard something about a GOLD-version a while ago at a shmup forum though ...

X-G

I like the visual style in this more than Jets n Guns.

OICW

Well me too, but playing Jets n Guns was also fun. Can't wait for the full version.

LennyLen

Very nice, but way too hard for me.

X-G

So anyway, what's everyone's highscore? Mine's 184,275 at the moment. :(

OICW

Ouch, how did you do that? ???

LennyLen

Um, mine was about 12,000.

kazzmir
Quote:

oh.. and music being annoying?? Come on! It's freaking great :). But if you don't like it, simply turn it off in the settings menu.

The music wasn't bad, it just seemed to repeat itself to much. Like it only had 2 patterns in it or something. Did you write it yourself? Maybe you can find some neat stuff on modarchive.

X-G

Oh, shut up, the music was wicked awesome. And original.

As for my score, it was simple: I tried not to die so much. The longer you stay alive, the higher your score multiplier.

OICW

But to die and still have some credits is shameful (to paraphrase 23's sig ;) ), because you'll lose the score you've accumulated.

fsDoom

Here's my personal highscore ... A guy at a pixel-forum have beaten it by a few points though ...

http://www.daikenkai.com/fsfreak/forcemajeure_hiscore_2.png

X-G

By the way, is it just me, or does Choke suck? It's just too slow and there aren't really any compensating factors, are there?

fsDoom

She's a bit too slow at the moment, however she does quite a lot more damage at shot level 4. However both ships have been speeded up in the .3-version ... which will be uploaded any day now.

X-G

Hey, any chance of analog stick support? My gamepad is a Dualshock, and I use the analog stick for control... I like it better than the D-pad. But FM treats it like a D-pad (and no surprise), and I was just wondering if that was possible?

Richard Phipps

Style remind me of UN Squadron meets Metal Slug from the screenshots. :)

The analog stick support is certainly possible in Allegro, if fsDoom has time to add it.

OICW

I found possible bug. When I die and am questioned about continuing and hit esc, the game crashes.

fsDoom

I suppose I could add it ... but I'm not sure that I want to. The game should not be made easier* for some people just cause they happen to have an analogue stick at home. I'll post it on our development forum and ask the other guys and see how they see this matter. Thanks for the idea though.

  • and by easier I mean .. hmm no easier is a bad word, but it will make the controlling of the ship totally different. It will not be the same "game experience".

LennyLen
Quote:

I found possible bug. When I die and am questioned about continuing and hit esc, the game crashes.

I can't replicate this error.

Meh. It looks like my 12,080 score was a fluke. I'm back to about 4,000 again.

OICW

I have something around 40k.

fsDoom

OICW: I've managed to recreate it, and fix it. It was very obvious once I was able to see the code :)

Thanks a lot! I think 0.3 demo is closer than we think.

Kikaru

35325 using Choke. The damage factor is a big plus, actually.
The game is very nice, I just wish you could choose which stick to use for movement. ;)

fsDoom

what do you mean by "which stick" ?

Kikaru

like which analog stick/d-pad to use. :)

fsDoom

ooh.. yeah that could be something.. I have a dualshock II adapter myself.. I could play around a bit with it.

Kikaru

It shouldn't be too much different from the joystick button config you already have. :)

Funny, I am listening to some music from Loveless right now. :D

Albin Engström

i love shmups... "skit bra" :)

Jonatan Hedborg

Särskrivningspolisen säger; "skitbra" :P

Anyway; kickass game! A tad on the difficult side :D The few times i get to the boss, i die there.

Kikaru

Collect as many gun powerups as possible, shoot out the lower turret first. :)

GullRaDriel

Remind me Metal Slug ;-p

X-G

When the top two turrets are the only ones left, just hover at the left side of the screen level with them and keep firing. Don't move. Their shots will miss. :P

Albin Engström

played it some more and here's a few things a like and dislike: all shots have the same color :(. the projectiles are big :(. i don't know the critical point on my ship :(. the game is hard :). the projectiles move around very much(changing their course) making it hard to predict their movements :( sometimes :). the shots sometimes dissapears (while some fired by the same enemy don't) :(. feeling :).
overall :). i guess this is the kind of game that you need to play for a while so you know where all the enemies will turn up, because when you do: :).
hope to play the full version soon!.

BTW, i've added an attachment with a picture of my highscore.......... - -

GullRaDriel

You are kind of a comic, Albin ;D But you are also as hard as rock in your comments :-X

Kikaru

For the critical point on your ship: There's a freakin' arrow pointing to it on the character select!

X-G

But it indicates nothing about the size or orientation of it. It sure isn't one pixel.

Albin Engström

Kikaru: OOPS... my bad..

Well, i said those things to point out what i think is good and not, and i expect people to do the same when i place my game in the depot :). It's important right?, when you make your own game it's to be expected that you also play it alot and therefor negates alot of things because you're so familiar with it. am i wrong?.

My comments may have been hard but that does not change the fact that the game is great :). sorry if i have made someone sad......

Oh, and one more thing: I can't sign the highscore.. because i always use my initials when there's a 3character signingsystemstuff and there A P E... ><.. not that that is a bad thing.. it's just a coincidence :P

Kikaru

I use simple 3-letter words, like yes, yay, no!, bob, joe, yo!, mo!, ect. :)

OICW

I just used 2 letters.

Dustin Dettmer

Played it, liked it.

Ya.

kentl

I got 23985 using Hellbaty. Great game!

fsDoom

Thanks for the great response Albin (btw my name is Albin too ... now THAT's a coincidence)

"i don't know the critical point on my ship"

This has been taken care of in v1.3 demo (which will be out soon), your hitbox (exact hitbox) is displayed when you join a game and there's a large arrow that points on it and the text "WEAK POINT" flashes for a few seconds.

"the shots sometimes dissapears (while some fired by the same enemy don't) "

This is fully explained in the readme-file, and will also be explained in the "how to play"-tutorial which will be available in the full game.

Thanks again :)

Oh.. and I think you cheated on your highscore.

Albin Engström

glad you liked my comments :). so here's some more stuff i thought about when i played: the smoke that comes from the missiles gets in the way of sight, i don't know if this is a good or a bad thing, they create a cool atmosphere, i like it, but at the same time i don't :P. One thing that makes me really sad very often are the helicopters.. those bastards can shoot a lot of projectiles! and they are the main reason to my deaths.. i love hard games but those helicopters makes me mad...
Will there be a difficulty switch in comming versions?

And it's not cheating, it's art :).
there's no better name than "Albin", and girls find it cute too +.

X-G

Bump! I can't wait, I want a new demo already. ;_;

Kikaru

Me too! Give us more! We must be fed...
O O
(W)

X-G

Whoops, can't have this falling off the Recent Threads page. Come ooon! Demo!

Kauhiz

My hi score's 34 045. One issue that I find a bit annoying, is the sound effect for Choke's fully upgraded cannon. It's too beefy! Could you tone it down a bit, so I could still hear the awesome music while kicking ass :).

X-G

That reminds me. There is one thing that annoys me about the scoring system: THe fact that you lose all multipliers upon dying. This means that in order to get a high score, you need to never die. Ever. Not-dying becomes the main point of the game rather than trying to hit as much stuff as possible. I find myself being forced to reset the game (which has significant overhead) over and over again because I die once and lose my only chance to get a high score. Whether this is intended or not I don't know; what I do know is that I'm not enjoying it.

Kikaru

Hmmm... I see what you are saying about that, but I die so much normally I just need to reduce the rate. Why not just lose a fraction of your multipliers, like half?

Onewing

Or it takes more than one hit to die. I personally prefer this, because now you give weapons a damage factor, so later levels can have heavier weapons, expanding the possibilities/difficulties.

Albin Engström

actually, that's one of the things i like :). death should come with punishment!, not: "buho, i feel so sorry for you that instead of actually losing something you'll get something called "invulnerability""... and it should be all of the medals, not half of em.. at least that's what i think.. i guess this part will be hard to satisfy people on.. and it would seem rather stupid to add an option in the options menu > "get better highscore = on"... the highscore should not be so easily beaten :).

X-G

That's not the point. The point is the punishment is too severe, and too swingy. Your chance to get a highscore literally depends on playing a perfect game. There's no sliding scale from "bad score, decent score, good score, better score, high score"; it's either "bad score, high score" with no in-betweens, because dying even once ruins forever your chances of scoring high as you lose both multipliers and valuable potential points.

Albin Engström

i realize that i fell off the point somewhat yes... but i still think you get a decent highscore anyway.. i mean, have anyone got more than two full medals? i think it works pretty good. but i guess it would give a more linear score without removing all the medals upon death.. but that's just not fun - -.

fsDoom

i DO agree that you may be a little too punished for dying.. however most newer shoot'em ups work this way. However I'll have this little discussion in mind when we (monokey) are discussing the final touches of the 1.3 demo (which will then sort of reflect how the full game will be like..)

Thank you so much for all your input!

Ultio

Very well done, I like it a lot. Most of the stuff I want to say will just be reiterations of what others have said, since I'm so late to notice this post. I will, however, say that getting used to the speed is a bit hard. It seems like it's just a slight bit too slow (even when you let go of the attack button). I believe this is something players can get used to as they play the game more and more.

The difficulty level is up there, but I think this is a good thing. It's fun to try and master your skills at a game and get better each time you play. That said, I think because of the way the animations work for the ship, it's slightly difficult to learn what you're doing wrong when you die. What I mean to say is, in a nutshell, it's hard to tell where the bitbox is at all times (especially when the ship is tilting -- does it move?) I think that either one of two things needs to be done to make this easier to understand: either modify the sprites so that it's more obvious than it is now where the hitbox is, and generally how big it is; or possibly make it more obvious where it is when the player is hit. As it stands now, when I die it's hard to tell exactly which bullet it was that hit the ship, therefore making it hard to learn from my mistakes.

Overall, it's pretty awesome. I like the idea of the scoring bit, which is really cool. I think there should be some way to regain your multiplier after dying, or at least some kind of a limited "oh crap" button you can press if you know you're going to die. Additionally, you might make it so that instead of instantly dying, getting hit by a few bullets will drain the multiplier a slight bit (2-5%?), thus giving you a second chance to retain most of your multiplier. I think this kind of style could potentially work, seeing as how it's rare that only a single bullet hits you when you die (you're usually in a barrage of a whole slew of bullets).

Albin Engström

I long for the next demo... btw, will there be a replay feature in the full version?

Matt Weir

I love this game! I've played the demo so much now! Personally I think the one hit you die is good, punishment for slipping up. It took a bit of practise to not end up cornering myself in a barrage of bullets (especially from those helicopters!) but I think the differculty is pretty good. A nice challenge. Keep up the good work!!

fsDoom

Ultio: Thank you! And you're right! Most of the stuff you're concerned about are fixed in the 1.3 demo (which WILL be released very soon... I promise :)). (marked out hitbox in the beginning of the stage, slightly faster ships, etc.)

Albin: Yes absolutely. Didn't have time to implement it in the first demo though :/.
I cannot promise if it'll be in 1.3 but it will definately be in the full game.

Onewing
Quote:

which WILL be released very soon... I promise

Whatever you do, don't rush it. I'm curious to see how this game works when you add more levels. Right now it's cool with this one level, but I'm having a hard time imagining what the second level could look like.

fsDoom

No that's why it'll take some time, cause we don't wanna rush it .. the very first demo was rushed (cause of the compo deadline) and the 0.2 demo was just a few fixes here and there ... demo 3 will somewhat feature everything (except for the levels) that the full game will. That is, the full game will play just as the third demo.

Albin Engström

fsDoom: "Yes absolutely" Woho! can't wait :).

fsDoom

The .mbmp format also was sort of a quick hack ... I've enhanced it further now by implementing RLE-encoding and different palettes ... The old tank boss spritesheet takes up 1252kb with the old mbmp-format .. with the new one it only takes up ~388kb .. :)

X-G

Considered compressing it further? zlib is very easy to use and would probably knock off even more bytes; probably more than RLE encoding.

fsDoom

Got any reading material on the subject?

X-G

http://www.zlib.net/manual.html

Check the section on "utility functions", right at the top.

fsDoom

Thanks a bunch :)
I will take a look right now ...

Johan Peitz

There's also an allegro wrapper for it on the allegro wiki which I managed to get running really easy. I'm afraid I don't have any idea of the adress to it though. ???

X-G

Well, it really doesn't have to be any more complicated than...

1void gzputshort(gzFile fp, unsigned short s) {
2 gzputc(fp, s & 0xff);
3 gzputc(fp, (s >> 8) & 0xff);
4}
5 
6void writeBitmap(BITMAP *bmp, gzFile fp) {
7 // Write width and height
8 gzputshort(fp, bmp->w);
9 gzputshort(fp, bmp->h);
10
11 // Dump pixel data
12 for (int y = 0; y < bmp->h; ++y) {
13 for (int x = 0; x < bmp->w; ++x) {
14 int p = getpixel(bmp, x, y);
15 gzputc(fp, getr(p));
16 gzputc(fp, getg(p));
17 gzputc(fp, getb(p));
18 }
19 }
20}

... and analogous for loading. The little utility I made for it reduces a 320x240 bitmap from 220 kilobytes down to 3 with zlib.

Thomas Fjellstrom
fsDoom

Wow! Thank you so much! I'll try to see what I can come up with from this :)

23yrold3yrold

Very cool; at first the slowness was really annoying, but then I saw in the thread that you had to release the fire button. Not really conventional, but I got used to it. Interesting gameplay mechanic. Awfully difficult level with enemies that take many shots to die and who litter the screen with bullets; I hope this isn't a Level 1. :)

I'd play more with it after figuring out how ship speed worked, but the game randomly crashes my system; I only got the the final boss a couple of times. :( Poo.

Albin Engström

I think you could post some clues on why it's crashing, because if you don't.. i'll have to wait even more for the next demo - -. isn't that right fsDoom? :'(

23yrold3yrold

It's a random effect, what do you want me to say? :)

fsDoom

Does it crash just randomly in-game ?
Does the LOG file have anything to say about it?

I haven't heard of any other with this particular problem :/

"Not really conventional" ? Most all new arcade shooters work this way :). So I'd say it's pretty conventional. However we HAVE raised the ship's speed a bit for the new version.

Thanks for trying it :)

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