"Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

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"Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:13 pm

Shantae Ret-2-Go!
Status: Brainstorming/Planning (actual work not yet started???)

"Shantae Ret-2-Go!" is a fan-game project. It is a dancing-game with unique controls.
(So no, it ain't yet another DDR-clone. Playful Wink)

Main idea by "MikeHarvey"
Programming by ".Luke"


More info:
MikeHarvey wrote:
Alright, lets kicks thing off with the first srceen, the Main Menu. To the left are links to other screens: START GAME sends you to the Select Screen, HOW TO PLAY will start the tutorial gameplay, and EXIT ends the game. The Credit Info is on the Screen itself, and to the right is an image of Shantae in a pose, or quite possibly dancing.


Clicking START GAME sends them here. The Select Screen acts as both a level select and an option select. I feel it would be redundant to have a separate option screen. Here you can select the song choice by clicking the two select arrows, change difficulty settings, and switch Random Mode or Spectate Mode ON or OFF. I haven't figured out a good position for putting the RET-2-GO! button (links to Gameplay Screen) or the CONTROL SETTINGS button on the HUB just yet. That's up for discussion.

]
This is what the Gameplay Screen could look like. There are many possibilities. Shantae could be dancing on the left or right side of the screen while the player plays on the opposite side. Or the playing field could be transparent, and Shantae could dance behind it so both elements could share the whole screen. It's up for discussion. Now on to how the gameplay will work.


I know this looks plain and lacks style, but these are how the game components will look for now. The reason is so we can really focus on the gameplay and how it functions. Mistakes are a lot easier to correct this way too. At the top right of the image is how I expect the pieces to work together. Lets look at them individuality. The Dance Floor is the huge grey circle with 5 dots on it at key positions (Center, Left, Right, Up, Down). The spotlight is a transparent white circle with a grey outline that matches the dance floor. This spotlight will have a set movement around the dance floor (moving from one of 5 positions to the next) and must obey the commands of the Step Icons (more on that later). The Dot is what the player controls, and the objective of the whole game is to keep the dot within the spotlight. Depending on how close that dot is to the center of the spotlight when the center of the spotlight reaches the next position, will effect the score, multiplier, and groove meter. The Score Board counts the score, and when a number is met, a rank star from the Rank Bar will go from grey to red. The Multiplier Bonus is located at the top left of the dance floor an shows what the multiplier currently is (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10). This score is multiplied by this number. The Groove Meter is a collective 32 Groove Points. When a groove point is earned by scoring a perfect, a point will go from grey to red. Groove Mode is activated by left clicking the screen and once it is activated the player doubles his multiplier and gains other various functions. Current Step show the player what step is currently being done and how the spotlight is moving. The Step Bar shows the player the next 7 step in the sequence, and the Beat Counter shows how many beats the step will take to preform. Moving on.


Here's the visual on how the steps will look and how long they will take to preform. They are also color coded.


To simply explain the above image. The next step will always start where the previous step ended.


This image explains how the steps controls the games flow. Notice the steps design and how the center of the spotlight moves and the timing involved. This means that the spotlight will always continuously move from one point to the next.

Now let's look at Shantae's Dance Moves. Remember, the dance moves are commanded by the steps, not the movement of the player.







Cute right? Well, just to show you that this game isn't about dancing stick figures, I'll post this picture of how the animation pieces will work together to create a single image.


SIGH... As you can see, not only will it work, but it gives me a quick and easy way to correct the art if I make a mistake. That, and I suck at spelling. How did I misspell "pieces"?


Our probable art-style choice, as of now:


UPDATE: Missing post added.



First off, this is the new icon for Sway. There was 4 types (quarter, half, crescent and full), but it was very confusing and now their is only one type (half).



This is an idea for how the main menu could look. I'm still not sure if Shantae should be dancing or to leave it as a still image. Moving on.



This is how the select screen could look.

The select screen has changed the most. The original idea was to have the options available on this screen, but now that there's a chance we'll be adding more customization options, a shop, and a track editor, I felt that the previous sketch of this page would not get the job done. So here's what's up.

To the left of the screen are the songs and to the right are all the options. Spectate Mode is gone, in favor of a Playlist. Now tracks could be played back to back in what ever order, difficulty and randomness you want (this also includes custom tracks). The box at the top right of the screen (the one that says Playlist) changes when you click the links in the box under it. The links are Playlist, Character Select, Customize (****!!! I spelled that wrong!?! I was tired...), Shop, Load Custom Track (if available for the selected song) and Controls & Data. The "Play Song(s)" link will take you to the gameplay area and "Dance Track Editor" will take you to the editor screen. But let's take a look at the mini screen changes first.



Here an idea of how the mini screen on the select screen could look.

For Character Select, you can choose which dancer you like to see. We're sticking with just Shantae for now, as I have no clue as to how much time it'll take to complete her, but I do want to make other characters and having the plan to add them in later is key (after the game has been made). BTW, we could always add Pixel Shantae as an instant extra character to go with the games release (just a thought).

Shop is where you spend your hard earned gems for goodies. I think it would be mean to sell the extra characters, but there's lots of custom art pieces that would be fun to make for sell. BTW, you get 1 gem for every 1000 points multiplied by the level of difficulty (1 gem x1/2 in easy, 1 gem x1 in normal, 1 gem x2 in hard, 1 gem x4 in expert) earned during the final score count of a song. You can't earn gems when you play custom dance tracks. In my mind, the average player could earn over 500,000 points easliy so that's why the cost is set so high, but we'll see.

Customize (yes I know... sigh...) is how you select and change the look of your gameplay screen. There are 5 custom options so far: Dance Parlor, Dance Floor, Spotlight, Cursor, and SFX. I'll worry about those art pieces later down the road.

Controls & Data is self explanatory. Moving on.



So here's what I'm thinking for the gameplay area. The dance floor is open and the spotlight is transparent. The rest of the HUB off to the left and right sides of the screen well be part of the stage design itself, as represented by the bright red area (I'm thinking it could be a curtain or an arch or something, it'll be customizable whatever it is). That orange circle at the bottom of the screen is also a customizable object (the dance floor). That image of Shantae is where the selected character will dance, center stage.



This is an idea of how the editor screen could look.

This is a very new concept. The dance editor will allow the player to add there own songs and create custom tracks. The way this game works is that for every beat there is a step that moves the spotlight around. The colorful buttons are a series of steps that can be selected and added to the dance track depending on the previous step used. Every time a step is placed it takes up 1 or 2 beats and each song will have maximum number of beats that can be used (this amount is calculated by the length of the song and BPM). To the side is a circle with a small circle within it, this represents the spotlight's movement on the dance for. The songs information and image can be added in at the bottom of the screen. When the player is done they will simply click "finish track" to finalize the process.

If there is anything I missed, then feel free to add or correct.
Thank you! Smile


Last edited by Paragon-Yoshi on Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by MikeHarvey on Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:51 pm

Real nice! Oh, don't forget about the Shantae Ret-2-Go! design update images I posted on the 2 page of the old topic. It gave a more clear idea of what I was thinking beyond the sketches. And it's also the most recent temp HUD design (I'm gonna have to fix that).

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:42 pm

Your wish is my command. Wink


Hope I got everything now.
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by .Luke on Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:21 am

Hey Paragon, you never told me you were part genie! =P *brickstorm'd* Sorry, my sarcastic sense of humor from the SRB2 boards kicks in sometimes. :# (Not as bas as it used to be though, sarcasm was the only language I spoke to silly n00bs. XD)

Anyway, I'll quote a relevent post from the previous thread. The game's logic is just as important as art, as neither is animate or alive without the other.

I wrote:I think the animations should definitely be first priority, but yes, we should figure out what to do about the HUD, because I can't really write any scripts for it until we know how the information is going to be displayed. (The way I write things is tied to a lot of visual elements.)

Oh, separating her ponytail from the head would probably make sense, so Shantae's hair could flow with the body independant of her facial expressions on the head.

Also, I'm already building up ideas for the animation system, so I'll dump my thoughts here, because you will need to know how it works too, and it gives everyone the chance to criticize how it's handled.

//The only truly "moving" part will be the hip section, since it's the center of motion on the body. Tieing everything to the torso would be too tedious.

While Shantae's sprites will be stored in the *Working Directory/Resources/Shantae/ folder, her animation script (skn_shantae.cfg) will be in the game's working directory since Game Maker's too dumb to open text files in any folder outside root. It will look something like this on the inside, and be fully modifiable from any text editor of your choosing. (I recommend Notepad++ for it's INI syntax highlighting, and it doesn't require installing.)


Code:

[sprites]
//Directories For Shantae's Sprite Graphics
shantae_l_leg="/Resources/Shantae/L_Leg.gif"
shantae_r_leg="/Resources/Shantae/R_Leg.gif"
shantae_r_arm="/Resources/Shantae/R_arm.gif"
shantae_l_arm="/Resources/Shantae/l_arm.gif"
shantae_torso="/Resources/Shantae/torso.gif"
shantae_head="/Resources/Shantae/head.gif"
shantae_hair="/Resources/Shantae/hair.gif"

[dancer_stats]
dancer_name="Shantae"
dancer_style="Belly Dancing"
dancer_moves=6

These first lines represent to the engine where the character's frames are stored, because keeping something as simple as directories hardcoded is a bad thing if we ever want to change that or support custom dancers. All frames related to a specific limb will be kept in one GIF file each to cut down on the number of files to read in-game (Because reading hundreds of files creates a lot of delays. It can be more instantaneous with fewer files.) and number of writes during the game's installation. Especially great for players unpacking the game onto a thumbdrive or SD card to play on another friend's/relative's PC, increasing the lifespan of their media and creating less clutter/fragmentation on the drive's partition.

There will be more information for dancer_stats, but generally it provides the engine the character's name and dance style in string forms for printing out on-screen in a character select menu. Great for customs and additional characters. Bio's could be written here too.

Now here's where things get tricky.


Code:


//Headers for the dance moves

[dance_anim_1_0]

legs_min=32
legs_max=64
arms_min=32
arms_max=64
torso_min=5
torso_max=10
head_min=2
head_max=5
hair_min=32
hair_max=64
steps_max=84

//Origin or Anchor values for body parts

l_leg_orig_x=96
l_leg_orig_y=156
r_leg_orig_x=96
r_leg_orig_y=156
l_arm_orig_x=156
l_arm_orig_y=32
r_arm_orig_x=156
r_arm_orig_y=32
torso_orig_x=128
torso_orig_y=156
head_orig_x=48
head_orig_y=16
hair_orig_x=8
hair_orig_y=12
hip_x=96
hip_y=128


If that was all Greek to any of you, that was a hypothetical part of the header for her first dance animation; this sequence will have to be repeated for the other five dance moves before we get to the real stuff below! The "min"'s and "max"'s stand for the beginning and ending frames of a specific animation. Although all sprites for each limb would be crammed into their own files, their frames will still be organized in a legible cascading manner.

Notice how there was a zero at the end of dance_anim? That designates the first "tick" or step in the animation. Since everything is going to be timed with the beat of the music, I'm giving the user as much control as possible over how a dance move is executed. You can define what changes or stays the same between steps (or seconds) of an animation! Do you want to change which arm animation is used in the middle of the dance move? You can do that! Do you want the character's hips to sway left and right, or stay stationary? Your wish is granted! Do you want the head to bob? Just modify the head's x/y origins! The possibilities are infinite, and don't require any physics or gravity so long as you take care not to do anything too unrealistic, that much is left up to you, the content creator.

But do we have to be THIS verbose for every freaking second of animation?! We do for the first step because that defines everything, but every step afterwards, of course not! That would be silly and drive the file's size from a humble 28k to 2.3MB or more, eating up tons of RAM too. :O

Here's the trick to doing that, but it's going to be difficult for me to explain. If you want the chosen animations and origins to say the same, and just want her body to move, (Like say she's in the middle of jumping through the air.) don't type in that info for the next step. Remember, the hip's movement controls where the whole body is going.

Code:


[dance_anim_1_1]
hip_x=56
hip_y=48

[dance_anim_1_2]
hip_x=58
hip_y=52


Does it make sense now? The game engine will return the other values you didn't give it as 0, and continue using the information you gave it last time. So everytime you give it new information for a step, that info is updated and reflected in-game! Don't forget, this was just for the first dance move, other moves would be labeled as "[dance_anim_2_0]" or "[dance_anim_6_48]".

Since everything I program is just too dumb to know when to stop, steps_max tells the game engine, "okay, that's all the frames for this animation, time to start from the beginning so I can loop it again!". So in reality, you can have as many or as few frames as you want in an animation before it stops and loops again! I don't provide it animation speed variables since the game engine will handle that.

The best part is you can ignore steps too. So like say there's a huge, empty gap between [dance_anim_2_24] and [dance_anim_2_36], the game engine will return all values as 0 and continue using the last information updates instead. Useful if you want her to stand still for a moment before leaping into the air or something. I may eventually include "tweening" in the engine so the transition between frames is smoother, like animated frames in MD3 models for Quake III, meaning fewer steps you have to compile!



Now how is the engine going to save all this information for later use once the game starts? We could stream it from the file easily without saving tons of variables into memory, but that involves keeping the file open at all times for reading while the game plays, which is bad if we want to include two player modes, since both would need to stream separate external scripts. (Game Maker can only have one text file open at a time in each step.) I could always have them read their own scripts every other step away from each other, but that sacrifices accuracy roughly 50% and would save multiple copies of the same script into RAM every time they're opened/closed for writing. Extremely bad on performance and I/O usage, creating lag and eating up RAM like there's no tomorrow.

So to make that work, I can let the engine read the script and save all values into memory, maybe even in a stack if it would help with memory usage. To make this work I would need to keep even blank values from each dance step too, but I might be able to come up with a less redundant solution in later versions of the engine. In the meantime, that will be the way the engine stores dance step values.

How this all integrates into the game, you say? I haven't thought that far ahead yet! Since Shantae and friends will be dancing non-stop after their initial hand-waves, keeping dances triggered won't be terribly hard; it's switching dance moves that has me boggled right now! XD

Er, well, that's all I got right now; I'll get to putting that into execution later tonight for our animation tester binary. ^_^ I might need to create a graphical UI that we can use to anchor parts onto Shantae's body for each step in the dance, it could be complicated handling all of that in text form! Not impossible, though, since it does give you maximum control, but a UI would be less fuss. =P
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:18 am

Sorry about that. ^^;

Anyway, when do you think will you start with this?
Any estimate?
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by .Luke on Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:06 pm

You got nothing to apologize for Paragon. XD It just a friendly jest, I couldn't help myself. =P

As far as how the engine's going, I'm in the planning stages right now, which means I'm doing a lot of pacing, comtemplating the general architecture of the engine overall. Programming the UI will be easy since Harvey already has that designed, so it's just a matter of bringing that part to life.

As for the main program, that's going to need a little more thought, especially how the animation system gets tied to the BPM. I need to consider how we'll visually peg parts together in our own custom animation application too. My mind's a little scatterbrained thinking about it right now, obviously. #_# I wonder how I'll implement zooming in GM5.3a, because Window's mouse movement is too jittery to do pixel-by-pixel movements precisely every time; I'm disgusted by that fact every time I boot back into Windows over a bloody game that doesn't run in WINE. XD (Linux FTW!)

Oh wait, you wanted a time estimate, silly me. XD How does "I'm thinking about it" suffice as an answer? =P (Seriously, even in Game Maker game engines are like logic puzzles. Screw Rubix cubes, this is where the real **** is!) I have to have some idea of what I'm doing before I code it, otherwise I'm just poking and stabbing at it mindlessly for hours on end.
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by MikeHarvey on Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:28 pm

Ok, I redesigned the dance steps. There are some new steps added so I'll explain how they work and why they where added. Here's how the Dance Steps look now.



And here is the complete list of Dance Steps. There are 84 different icons total. I know it seems overwhelming at first, but it's still quite simple.



The first set is green. They represent posing and moving center stage. The first green icon is "Center Step". When on the sides of the dance floor, the center step moves the spotlight to the center. The remaining 4 are "Pose", and are used when you want to stay in the same position.

The next set is yellow. They represent linear movement or simply "Step" and "Slide". The first 4 icons are "Step", and they can only be used when your current position is the center. These steps will send you to any of the 4 side positions in 1 beat. The last 2 are "Slide" and these will send you from one side position, through the center, to the opposite side position in 1 beat.

Next set is dark yellow and all these dance steps are new. Basically, these new steps are slower versions of the "Step" and was added to give more options from the center position. The "Slow Step" move you from the center any side in 2 beats.

Next set is orange. These steps are all about quickly moving back and forth. The first 4 are new steps, once again, to give more options from the center. The "Quick Step" moves you from the center, to any side, and then back to the center in 1 beat. The last 2 are "Quick Slide" and they move you from any side, through the center, to the opposite side, back through the center, back to the starting side.

Next set is red. The red set (as well as the blue set) are swings, but red represents moving counter clockwise around the dance floor ("Red Swing"). Swings also have different lengths (quarter in 1 beat, half in 2 beats, crescent in 3 beats, full in 4 beats). One last thing to note about the red set is that there's also light red and dark red. Light and dark represent fast and slow respectively. Only half and full swings can be used for light (half in 1 beat, full in 2 beats), but all lengths can be used for dark (quarter in 2 beats, half in 4 beats, crescent in 6 beats, full in 8 beats).

Next set is blue. Same as red, but blue represents moving clockwise around the dance floor ("Blue Swing").

Last set is violet. Violet represents "Sway". The sway step is the most unique because it creates 2 spotlights and each one is moving in opposite directions around the dance floor, only to meet again in 2 positions. "Sway" is basically a "Light Red Full Swing" and a "Light Blue Full Swing" happening at the same time. Half way through "Sway" the spotlights meet at the opposite side of the starting point, and once "Sway" ends, the 2 spotlights meet again and become 1 spotlight. Aslo, because there's 2 spotlights, points are doubled when those spotlights meet.

That takes care of the dance steps, but one more thing I'd like to talk about are the levels of difficulty. Part of the reason way these steps are simple/complex is because I want the players to play at whatever level they want. So, I'm gonna mention what I think would be the best color set of steps to use per difficulty. This would also include Random Mode.

Easy - Green, Yellow, Red, Blue
Normal - Green, Yellow, Orange, Red, Blue, Violet
Hard - Green, Yellow, Dark Yellow, Orange, Red, Dark Red, Blue, Dark Blue, Violet
Expert - Green, Yellow, Dark Yellow, Orange, Light Red, Red, Dark Red, Light Blue, Blue, Dark Blue, Violet

That's another graphic update out the way. Next I'll work on the HUD and guidelines for Shantae's dance animations. Let me know what you think.
Oh almost forgot... Have we decided how many music tracks would get put into this game yet?

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:01 pm

Personally, I kind of liked the earlier designs better.
Since they have shown what you are supposed to do.
Here you only see a bunch of lines, circles and stuff.
Which might confuse the player at first.

So personally, for convenience's sake, I'd go the extra mile and create icons that also show what you are supposed to do.
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by MikeHarvey on Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:59 pm

Paragon-Yoshi wrote:Personally, I kind of liked the earlier designs better.
Since they have shown what you are supposed to do.
Here you only see a bunch of lines, circles and stuff.
Which might confuse the player at first.

So personally, for convenience's sake, I'd go the extra mile and create icons that also show what you are supposed to do.

I did originally have arrow points at the ends to show which direction you should go, but it really clashed with the design of the Icon itself. I could try and use a different shape to show the end point, but I was also thinking that it may end up being redundant to to show the ends if the player knows the starting position and what the colors mean. I do agree about using an end point for the sake of convenience tho. I'll figure something out.

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:22 pm

That's good to know.
But I think you were already spot-on with the arrows.

So if you could go into the that direction again, I don't think there can be done anything wrong.
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by MikeHarvey on Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:03 pm

What do you think about using circles? And which example do you like best?

Example 1 - Circle end point


Example 2 - Outline with Black Circle end point


I personally like the ones used in example 2. What do you think?

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:14 am

Yes, that should work as well.

And example 2 looks better. Wink
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by MikeHarvey on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:26 pm

Cool. I'll add the circles to the dance steps and post them when they're done.

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by MikeHarvey on Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:25 am

Ok. The new look for all the steps are done. It was a lot of work and I had to create 25 new icons, but it was well worth it. There's now 109 icons to use.



Also, I changed the names of some of the dance steps to better fit the animation that will be in the game. Here's the list:

Center pose - became - Idle
Short Step - became - Step
Step - became - Slide
Slow Step - became - Stomp
Quick Step - became - Quick Slides

Sorry if that's hard to understand at the moment, but trust me, changing the names now with cause us less problems later.

Also, I started a template to show how the Gameplay Screen could look. It's very basic and subject to change.



Let me know what you think?
One last question for .Luke. What art pieces would you need to create the most basic version of this game's gameplay screen? I'm really curious to see how this game would look in action.

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Nai255 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:57 am

Lookin' good so far, it's nice that you're considering the feedback of others.
Needless to say, I think this is gonna be well worth the wait. Keep up the good work Smile

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by MikeHarvey on Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:26 pm

Nai255 wrote:Lookin' good so far, it's nice that you're considering the feedback of others.
Needless to say, I think this is gonna be well worth the wait. Keep up the good work Smile

Thanks. I try to include feedback and ideas from the fan base when I'm able. Glad I did it too, because there's some cool stuff I didn't think about. Also, I'm not much of a programmer and I can't do audio at all, so having the help is a must.

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by MikeHarvey on Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:22 pm

OK, this is a basic look at the art pieces for the gameplay screen. I'm gonna go into more detail, however, I'm sure I mentioned all this before. All well... consider this a recap.



This is how the dance floor will look. It's takes up most of the screen, and it's at the fore front. Shantae will be dancing behind this object, which is why it looks so plain and open. It has a diameter of 800 px.



This object here is the Spotlight and it has a diameter of 200 px. It moves from one position to the next within the dance floor. The center of the spotlight meets with the little grey dots on the Dance Floor on the beat, so when the spotlight is in a position other than the center, part of it will go beyond the dance floor. This will make it easier to land perfects on the sides, but decreases the amount of spotlight space, which also makes it easier to go outside the spotlight and get a miss Twisted Evil . Plus, it's a 50% transparent object, so you can still see Shantae dancing, part of her within the spotlight will just appear brighter.



I made this image to give you an idea of the score placement on the spotlight. The red circle in the center is the live area for a perfect score (100 pts). It has a diameter of 25 px, which is quite small. The next red circle is the live area for great scores (75 pts) and its diameter is 75 px. Next red circle is for ok scores (50 pts) and its diameter is 150 px. The remaining space is for bad scores (25 pts) and it shares the same diameter size of the spotlight. Going outside of the spotlight inbetween beats will cause you to miss the next beat. However, if the current dance step moves the spotlight over any position inbetween the beat (half beat or quarter beat... called a free beat in the game), and you quickly move back into the spotlight before it reaches that position, then you can recover from your miss before hitting the position on beat. Also worth noting that you can save your multiplier bonus this way too.



This is the cursor the player will control during gameplay. The whole point of the game is to keep this dot as close to the center of the spotlight as possible. It has a diameter of 15 px so it's small (about the size of the mouse cursor), but thankfully it's bright. I don't want it's small size to lead to issues where the player can't easily see it.



This image here is the dance bar. The dance icons fit within the open squares. It's 100 px wide and about 900 px tall (not 100% sure about how tall it is tho) The dance icons are 50 px by 50 px, so they will fit perfectly in those sqaures. Also, the dance bar is to the left of the dance floor for player 1 and to the right for player 2, even tho they show the same dance icons.



This image here is (from top to bottom) the score bar, rank stars, multiplier bonus, and groove meter. The score bar shows the score the player currently has. When score reaches a specific percentage of the goal number, the rank stars will appear. There's 6 ranks, 1 star (15% of goal), 2 stars (30% of goal), 3 stars (45% of goal), 4 stars (60% of goal), 5 stars (75% of goal), and gold stars (90% of goal). The goal number varies with each song and difficulty, so we cant figure out the goal number until more information on how many points can be earned per song and difficulty, but I'm thinking it'll be 75% of the maximum score possible for that song and difficulty (including free beat scores Exclamation ). Also, there's no ranking on random mode.

The multiplier bonus is shown where the large oval is. There are 8 multipliers (x1, x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x8, and x10). Normally, when you get a Beat Streak of 8 beats in a row with ok scores or higher, you'll increase you multiplier (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 respectively). But if you activate Groove Mode, then your multiplier is doubled (2, 4, 6, 8, 10 respectively). Also worth noting that in Groove Mode, getting a bad or miss won't reset your multiplier, but will still reset the Beat Streak. For example, if you currently have a x8 multiplier bonus (which is at least a 24 beat streak while in groove mode), but get a bad or miss while still in groove mode, then your beat streak will go down to 0, but you'll still have x8 until groove mode ends, or if you get your beat streak up to 32 while it's still active, which will make it increase to x10. Staying in Groove Mode is the key to getting the highest score possible.

With all that talk about Groove Mode, I better say something about the Groove Meter. The Groove Meter can hold up to 32 groove points (that red bar in the image above) and once filled it will automaticly activate, but as long as you have 1 groove point, you can manually activate groove mode. The only way to earn a groove point is to get a perfect score on beat while not in groove mode. Once activated, you'll lose your collective groove points based on the score you earned on beat. Getting a miss on beat will cost you 4 groove points, bad will cost you 3, ok will cost you 2, great will cost you 1, and you don't lose points if you get a perfect. This means that if you continue to get perfects, you can make groove mode last longer (or the whole song if you get perfects the whole time Extra Smile ). Groove Mode ends when you no longer have any groove points in the groove meter.

One more thing I'll go over are the Beat terms. Here goes...

A beat streak is basically a combo of ok, great or perfect scores earned on the beat. This means that scores on free beats don't effect your Beat Streak, for better or worse (they are free after all). Getting a bad or miss on beat will reset the beat streak and also the multiplier (unless you're in groove mode).

A Free Beat happens when the spotlight passes over any position on it's way to it's final position. It allows half or quarter beats to still award you points that can add to your score, but doesn't count toward or against the Beat Streak, Groove Meter, or Groove Mode. This commonly happens during Quick Step, Quick Slide, Sways, and Fast Swings.

And lastly a NEW Beat Exclamation , Skip Beat. I didn't think about this beforehand, but when the player does a Stomp or a Slow Swing, then they will miss out on a beat because it takes twice as long to move around. So to make up for it, during a Stomp or Slow Swing, properties of what would have happened on that beat is doubled, for better of worse! For example, points are doubled so 100 pts would be 200 pts, the beat count is doubled so it would add 2 beats to the Beat Streak, if you get a perfect when not in groove mode then you'll earn 2 groove points, if you are in grove mode then a miss means -8 groove points, bad means -6 groove points, ok means -4 groove points, and great means -2 groove points. Think of Skip Beat as double or nothing, because once you move outside the spotlight, it's a miss, with no way to recover from it because there are no free beats within a skip beat. Wouldn't it be mean to put slower dance steps right after the faster ones Twisted Evil !!!

I guess that's all I have to say for now, so I'll figure out what to do for the dance animations. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Axol The Axolotl on Tue May 21, 2013 12:40 am

Really like how the progress is going, Keep it up.
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Axol The Axolotl on Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:29 am

Think you can add this song?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Q1ozCzLse40
Can be a hidden track.
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by MikeHarvey on Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:31 am

Hey guys, I haven't been on this site for a while, but I was extremely busy. I decided to work on Ret-2-Go on my own. I'm sorry if this news is upsetting, but I learned a lot while I was away, and I would really like to put what I learned to the test.

I'm very sorry to those that wanted to work on the game, but I just have to take this opportunity to work on it and streamline the process. Having said that, I'm extremely grateful for all your help. Without your input on the game's mechanics, it would still be a mess. Not to mention all the creative ideas that would only add to the experience.

For that, you will all be given credit in the game's credits once it's done. Also, once the game has a playable build, you'll be the first to know.

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by .Luke on Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:05 pm

It's okay, Mike. I've actually been meaning to ask what direction this was going in since you bought a MAC, so none of that dirt old Game Maker stuff is going to be relevent to you either way. =P Is this going to be made in Multimedia Fusion 2?

I'd say it's more or less my fault for not getting back to you; I had a hard time studying your documents and parts of the concept were just plain going over my head. I should have asked or studied it more, since I kept myself way too preoccupied with art at the time to read it properly. Not that you could have taken this direction anyway, with your main PC running OS X now, and me being too broke to buy Game Maker 8.1 yet, but I feel bad for not at least prototyping what you had while ideas were being bounced around, it could have helped a little more.
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by MikeHarvey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:34 am

It's cool Luke. I also can't run Multimedia Fusion 2 on Mac (which is weird since they both export to iOS), but I was going to use Bootcamp to run Windows on my Mac and get Game Maker Studio. I'm starting with the free edition to make sure the program is something I could use and then upgrading it to whatever I need later. Game Maker Studio has HTML 5 export, so it would be perfect for developing a web game. It would cost me $200, but I plan on making more games in the future, so its not a loss.

The reason I'm working on my own is because I now have a team of local developers to work with (friends that are back from college) and communication is much easier with them than with anyone online. Combined with the fact that I now have the powerful hardware and resources to make this game, it would just be an easier process for me to do it locally now.

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Nai255 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:02 am

Good to hear from ya again. I figured you were still keeping busy with other things such as artwork and stuff, though I didn't know you were into programming as well. Ya certainly are a Duke of all trades Wink 

Thanks for keeping us posted, and best of luck in the meantime

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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by .Luke on Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:23 pm

That makes perfect sense, Mike. ^^ It is much easier to work on projects locally with friends, especially in the same room together. And having all the hardware you need to do it makes things even better.

You can't run MMF2 on MAC? O: That's pretty odd. I guess that explains the hoops the Freedom Planet devs are jumping through to get Freedom Planet running on OS X; wouldn't be surprised if the final version of the game needs to wrapped into a WINE package like the current demo is.

Game Maker 8.1 does have a native MAC port, I do believe, (Not sure if the Steam version is. I'd check YoYo Games' website.) it's part of the reason YoYoGames ported Game Maker to C++ from Delphi, so the program wouldn't be tied to one OS. So unless the exporters are cheaper through Steam, or somehow only work on Windows, you shouldn't have run Boot Camp for one program.

On a MAC, you'd probably miss out on some great dll extensions exclusive to Windows, but I'm sure Game Maker's new extension feature shouldn't be platform specific, so hopefully you'll have more options than what it provides built-in.

GM 8.1 also uses the APNG format for animations, (I think they've been doing that as of version 8.0's beta.) so you should have an easier time producing HD assets for the game too, with no anti-aliasing to clean up or GIF palettes to juggle.

Regardless of which route you take with Game Maker, I wish you luck in producing games with it. ^^ And if you get stuck on anything in GML, I wouldn't mind giving advice on functions and what limitations you might have to deal with. The community should be pretty active too, and provide you with tons of resources you wouldn't otherwise have on your own.
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

Post by Axol The Axolotl on Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:23 pm

That's a lot of techno-babble.
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Re: "Shantae Ret-2-Go!" (Fan-Game Project!)

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