Shantae Swing n' Sway

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:58 pm

Well, like I said in the Shantae Ret-2-Go post... I was going to make a new topic since so much has changed. I'm still working on the PDF because I want to make sure that I explain everything as best I can, tho at this rate, I might be better off just posting a link to my Google Doc.

Having said all that... Let's talk about one of the changes. The title is no longer Ret-2-Go. I picked it simply because it was a quote from the rhythm game in Shantae, but now that the mechanics of the game are more fleshed out, calling it Swing n' Sway is just a better fit since that's what the player will be doing in the game. I still wanna put the quote in the game somewhere tho. Maybe as a "Start" button...

I'm almost done writing everything out as best I can. Included is a checklist of things that need to get done for the demo. This should not only make the process faster, but more efficient since we can just focus on one thing bit by bit.

If you have any questions you'd like to ask me right now, feel free to do so.

MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:05 pm

I took the liberty of locking the old topic.
All further discussion will now take place here obviously.

I like the new name tho. Looking forward to see what you came up with. Kitty Face
avatar
Paragon-Yoshi
Retired Staff

Posts : 609
Age : 29
Location : Germany
Join date : 2012-05-23

http://vgjustice.forumieren.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by Nai255 on Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:56 pm

sounds good, as does the new title. best of luck and all my support Smile

_____________________
avatar
Nai255
Contributor
Contributor

  : Tinkerbat Trainee
Posts : 271
Age : 32
Join date : 2012-05-30

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by Axol The Axolotl on Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:59 pm

Like the way the Title sounds.
avatar
Axol The Axolotl
Hailing from Water Town
Hailing from Water Town

  : Skin maker
Posts : 182
Age : 24
Location : Under the docks
Join date : 2013-05-13

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:33 am

Ok, I'm just going to post a link to my Google Doc. You should be able to read my design doc for the game, which also includes a checklist.

I warn you, its a heavy amount of reading and will take you a while to get through it since I made sure to go into as much detail as I'm able.

Please feel free to read it. Be sure to let me know what you think. If you know how to program code for games, then I'll require your help. I estimated that it could take as long as 8 months if we tackle one task a week, but I'm sure multiple tasks could be handle much faster than that by just one programer or even within a group.

Again i tried to make it as easy to understand as possible. If you agree to work on building a demo, then I'll give you the art pieces you need to get started. It's not the final art, since we are just focused on testing out the program.

I really hope a playable demo could get made. Here's the link... CLICK HERE

MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:12 pm

I made some major edits to the game. Dance Icons have been modified into a series of "Dance Bars" and "Sway" no longer makes 2 spotlights. What "Sway" does now is turn the spotlight invisible until the start of the next dance bar.

It's all updated here
Shantae Swing n' Sway Doc

Let me know if you have any questions.

MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:00 am

Looks great so far.
Tho the changes are kinda hard to make out in the document itself.
But nice that you have summarized them here.

Dance-games is pretty much the genre I am least experienced in.
But I'd say it looks nice so far. Kitty Face
avatar
Paragon-Yoshi
Retired Staff

Posts : 609
Age : 29
Location : Germany
Join date : 2012-05-23

http://vgjustice.forumieren.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by .Luke on Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:03 am

The document is nicely formatted Mike, I'm studying it over now. ^^ It seems a lot easier to understand now as well, since before, some of the HUD elements were rather confusing to me.
avatar
.Luke
Retired Staff

  : Site Bird Trainer
Posts : 991
Age : 27
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-05-22

http://shantaefansportal.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by Axol The Axolotl on Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:45 am

Is there going to be a campaign mode?
avatar
Axol The Axolotl
Hailing from Water Town
Hailing from Water Town

  : Skin maker
Posts : 182
Age : 24
Location : Under the docks
Join date : 2013-05-13

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:20 pm

I don't think there will be any extra modes. I was thinking the game should just be basic. I've done away with the extras so that the game could be a quick process to both make and play. Things like extra characters, campaign, multiplayer, and a track editer would eat up a lot a time and energy. I even cut out random mode, where the dance icons (err... bar at this point) would be completely randomized for gameplay. At this point, I'm just focused on getting the main gameplay done.

MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:23 pm

Come to think of it, we might still need to make a track editor just to make the in-game tracks for each song and difficulty. Hmmm...

MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:45 am



What you think of this image? It's a concept of how the gameplay screen could look. I'm more focus on the layout and placement of the Dance Floor, Shantae, and Beat Meter. Is it easily readable?

MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by .Luke on Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:19 am

Elements on the left side would remain invisible until they need to fade into view with status updates, (Donkey Country's entire HUD in a nutshell.) right? The screen would feel very cluttered if all those large sets of numbers were present at all times. Although a floating window, much like what you have for the beat meter on the right side, would be a great way to keep the Highscore tab inside consistently, and match the overall HUD better. Personally, I'd like the floating HUD element approach a lot better that way, since the beat meter seems a bit odd by itself over there.

On another note, I got an idea on how the beat could be timed with the song. Pretty much, you can have two cameras in the room. One focused on the stage and all its elements, and the other is completely off-screen.

So, depending on the song, the game will spawn a pre-arranged set of suggested beat controls off-screen, (Which could be stored in INI files. In much the same way my level editor works, a separate program could be used to create the beat controls that will display during the song.) and this will scroll on for as long as you need it too; in other words, the beats will be treated like spawning terrain objects in a platformer. Now the off-screen camera will perfectly match the dimensions inside of the window where the beat meter is, and that's the point.

This camera will display inside that window, and follow the pre-arranged set of beats spawned inside the room. (The dimensions of the room can be expanded without causing lag; it's really the number of objects active during each step that counts.) Now that the camera is doing its thing, it will fly at whatever speed it needs too, while moving across the suggested beat controls, and its speed will be handled by game logic telling it that the song is speeding up or slowing down.

I'm certain you don't want 100% unique control combinations with each beat step, since that would make the difficulty curve a lot higher for new players with each song, so thinking about how many combinations of input possibilities is important, as it will cut down on the number of sprites being drawn and spawned at the same time. One object will control each step of input, but a predefined list of inputs means fewer sprites on the screen at once. (While Game Maker is very image-driven, the loading times of the stage will be significantly longer because of the linear way I code reading from files, so the fewer images that the game has to be instructed by scripts to read and draw during load time, the better.)

tl;dr, while none of that has anything to do with how the game actually tells if the player performed the requested action, (I think difficulty settings could easily adjust the internal tolerance level for accuracy. Easy would be more forgiving of delays in input, while Hard would require more precision, with shorter time windows for each step.) this is how it would read the data and display it at the same time. We could also chop out the possibility of the load time by "streaming" from the INI file of the predefined move-set for that song, so instead of loading the whole script, it spawns them as the tiles fade above the second camera's viewing distance. This is actually what I had planned to do for my Sonic fan game engine, but level data can't be read in a linear fashion because of the nature of a platformer, unlike music, so it would be much easier to do here.

MikeHarvey wrote:Come to think of it, we might still need to make a track editor just to make the in-game tracks for each song and difficulty. Hmmm...
Extensions like SuperSound allow for increasing a track's speed and volume in a lot of ways. (Although I'm not sure Game Maker Studio would still support DLLs, and it would make the game platform dependent. A more modernized extension might be necessary for this.) A song can be easily sped up to match the beat without post-editing it.

Unless you want the instruments to still sound natural, instead of increasing in pitch slightly? That would require us using a format like XM for the audio, and might also need making the whole OST from scratch, since there aren't any midis of Shantae to scavenge for XM remixing, if the original artists can't provide their source files for the songs.

Although if we need to take that route, we could also create our own sample-based playback from scratch with Game Maker's functions, if XM support is non-existent, and taking time to develop a separate program isn't a problem. We would need a GUI for placing audio samples from the game's working directory onto sixteen fixed channels. (Which you could give a more or less stereo-feel to each note.) The only thing I don't know about that, since everything would be sample based, is whether each channel would need room for multiple note placements in the same spaces within miliseconds, but all other fifteen channels do provide lots of room for sound placement.

If any of that was confusing, I do apologize in advance. Twisted Evil This is simply another route we could take if getting a hold of enough existing OGG remixes to use becomes difficult. It's not as difficult as it might sound in concept, being a severely dumbed-down sample playback method near SNES levels, but it is what I had in mind to develop for my breakdance RPG concept for its music, so if such a program were to prove handy to someone else's project, I'd be happy to get an early start on that program. (Not that I'm terribly confident actual musicians would enjoy using it, however; it's very simplified for rap music, so recreating complex songs from the Shantae series might be difficult. I'm also not sure how many samples would be needed for the game's "sound font" either.)
avatar
.Luke
Retired Staff

  : Site Bird Trainer
Posts : 991
Age : 27
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-05-22

http://shantaefansportal.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:26 am

The screen would feel very cluttered if all those large sets of numbers were present at all times. Although a floating window, much like what you have for the beat meter on the right side, would be a great way to keep the Highscore tab inside consistently, and match the overall HUD better. Personally, I'd like the floating HUD element approach a lot better that way, since the beat meter seems a bit odd by itself over there.


I completely agree with what you said .Luke and made a concept image to see how it looks. Much better I must admit, even if the text is just a basic place holder for the real thing. In fact, this could be put to greater use if there's an option to flip the side the Beat Meter and scoring information is on (for people that would prefer the Beat Meter to be on the left side instead of the right). That should be easy since both windows are the same size.

BONUS: I threw in a rough animatic sketch of one of Shantae's dances. I plan on having a full animation for that.

On another note, I got an idea on how the beat could be timed with the song. Pretty much, you can have two cameras in the room. One focused on the stage and all its elements, and the other is completely off-screen.

So, depending on the song, the game will spawn a pre-arranged set of suggested beat controls off-screen, (Which could be stored in INI files. In much the same way my level editor works, a separate program could be used to create the beat controls that will display during the song.) and this will scroll on for as long as you need it too; in other words, the beats will be treated like spawning terrain objects in a platformer. Now the off-screen camera will perfectly match the dimensions inside of the window where the beat meter is, and that's the point.

This camera will display inside that window, and follow the pre-arranged set of beats spawned inside the room. (The dimensions of the room can be expanded without causing lag; it's really the number of objects active during each step that counts.) Now that the camera is doing its thing, it will fly at whatever speed it needs too, while moving across the suggested beat controls, and its speed will be handled by game logic telling it that the song is speeding up or slowing down.
This is an excellent idea! I can't wait to see this in action. I have all the "Beat" and "Stage" art pieces ready to go if you need them to test this out.


tl;dr, while none of that has anything to do with how the game actually tells if the player performed the requested action, (I think difficulty settings could easily adjust the internal tolerance level for accuracy. Easy would be more forgiving of delays in input, while Hard would require more precision, with shorter time windows for each step.) this is how it would read the data and display it at the same time. We could also chop out the possibility of the load time by "streaming" from the INI file of the predefined move-set for that song, so instead of loading the whole script, it spawns them as the tiles fade above the second camera's viewing distance. This is actually what I had planned to do for my Sonic fan game engine, but level data can't be read in a linear fashion because of the nature of a platformer, unlike music, so it would be much easier to do here.
This sounds like a plan! I would like the gameplay to be as fast and as smooth as possible, so streaming the move-set and the song itself would be for the best. By the way, I'm thinking that the 2 songs in the first demo should be Baal Bhaagna and Burning Town Forever. I'll also try and get the dancing animations done (since I figured out a better method for animating). But like I said in the Document, I'm not sure if HD dance sprites would make it in or not.

And as far as creating a track editor goes, I don't think it'll be as necessary as I once thought. I'm guessing all we'll need is a script that can play the suggested beat controls for each song. If anything is off or odd, it can be corrected in the script, right?

MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by .Luke on Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:43 am

That's a nice sketch. ^^ And I think allowing for all the elements to fit into windows is a neat idea, especially for fast and smooth switching. (Which could be allowed to change on the fly in-game, if it is paused, and the windows will fly across the screen to separate positions; it's fully possible to move Views around in real-time. Imagine a tiny switch graphic for representing the button.) Although it couldn't hurt to make the black background of the score counter slightly transparent, since it would obscure a fair bit of the background scenery. Not everyone's eyes respond to large blocks of solid color the same, but it could be distracting to see all the color in the scenery, then part of it is covered.

I was sure you'd want the game to run and load as quickly as possible, but I put the word streaming in quotation marks for a reason. To my knowledge, the INI script is copied to memory, and kept there until you cancel reading from it. (Imagine how much garbage collection you'd have to do if a script is being read, closed, and reloaded constantly.) So whether someone is playing from their flash drive, SD card, or hard drive, streaming speeds won't be a problem. So for nearly the whole song, the game will hang onto the script without letting it go, until the music stops.

What I more or less meant was that the script would be loaded and read, like a punch card music box. The script is sitting there in memory, but the game is slowly going through the instructions as it sifts through them in a linear fashion, instead of locking up the game in a massive Repeat loop on start up (Sometimes spanning hundreds of steps.) for several seconds in an attempt to spawn every object it's instructed to in the script. I'm trying to find a way around this in my Sonic engine by "streaming" in some way, since the game instance appears to hang for nearly five seconds while loading the test stage's data. On slower CPUs, the delay is obviously even longer. But, considering the song is only being played in direction, reading it linearly and executing read commands isn't a problem.

Also, yes, the scripts will be stored externally in the working directory, and could be edited with any text editor. (Notepad++ has syntax highlighting and tabbed editing, so I'd highly recommend using it over Windows own Notepad. It's also portable and doesn't need installing. People use it for writing C++ code, or even simple INI scripts, which we need for the latter in our case.) If something is off, you can change that right away, restart the game, and play test it again to see if that fixed the problem. That's the benefit of external resources, you can change anything non-engine without touching Game Maker half the time.

MikeHarvey wrote:I'll also try and get the dancing animations done (since I figured out a better method for animating). But like I said in the Document, I'm not sure if HD dance sprites would make it in or not.
Ah, you got my curiosity there, if you don't mind me asking what animation system you've come up with? Half of the engine may be written and timed around the animation system, so knowing what's going on there will be key in making sure everything is running like clockwork.

And if Game Maker 8.1 and beyond support APNG like they should, you could use anti-aliasing however you want for your sprites. That might also mean the devs have made some effort to optimize image drawing, so displaying large images wouldn't be as big of a problem for performance. Assuming the game's objects are running as little code during each step as possible, (Since every line of code is running through an interpreter engine, much like Java, GML doesn't have the kind of speed that compiled C++ does.) most of the sprites and assets could be in HD without causing any issues.

The background pieces might still need to be in large tiles, but the sprites alone shouldn't have to be segmented into chunks to prevent the game from crashing. Assuming the game's memory requirements aren't too high for most target machines, you could get away with large, beautiful HD graphic fonts for the score window and other elements as well.
avatar
.Luke
Retired Staff

  : Site Bird Trainer
Posts : 991
Age : 27
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-05-22

http://shantaefansportal.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:13 pm

I'm giving the score window a fancier background, to go along with the fancier text that will be in game. That was just a temp art I reused since it was already made for the beat meter.

As for the animation system... I was thinking of making Shantae dance once per beat depending on the starting position of the spotlight for that Beat Bar (aka the starting position of the first dance bar within the Beat Bar). This also means that there will be 5 types of dances to represent the Up, Down, Left, Right, and Center position on the Dance Floor/stage.

1st Question: What will you need art wise to work with when creating a demo for this game? I'm not sure how long the animations or the rest the other art like text and menu tabs of the songs will take me, but I'm working on it all now. Also, I forgot to mention earlier that I really like the idea of using difficulty settings to adjust accuracy instead of making extra tracks per song.

2nd Question: How soon do you think you could get started on the programing? I'm thinking that maybe I should just focus on the artwork and animations, since programing has been a very confusing process for me. I'm realizing that I'm not cut out for it sadly, and I'd rather let a pro like you handle it.

MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by .Luke on Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:40 pm

Ah, okay. ^^ I imagine some delicate graphics sitting behind the score's text, then.

Oh, I meant more about the animation system's inner workings, but it's good to know there will be five possible dance moves; that would be a smaller workload for the game overall too. I'm more curious whether the sprites will be single vectors, or animated pieces working like a doll. If you planned on taking the former route, we should have more than enough RAM on most machines to play with for it to not be a problem, even if they were HD-sized. (Unless the animations used a relatively high number of frames, which it might need to stay fluid and beautiful at 60FPS.)

I imagine those would be the only animations of Shantae in-game, besides maybe reactionary movements before and after the song? (Imagine Shantae bowing before the crowd to start, or hopping eagerly to start dancing. She could also be ecstatic if she succeeded, or look adorably embarrassed if she screwed up too much for the win.)

Before I sidetrack too much, yeah, I'll answer those questions.

MikeHarvey wrote:1st Question: What will you need art wise to work with when creating a demo for this game? I'm not sure how long the animations or the rest the other art like text and menu tabs of the songs will take me, but I'm working on it all now. Also, I forgot to mention earlier that I really like the idea of using difficulty settings to adjust accuracy instead of making extra tracks per song.
The bulk of the game's backend (Reading from INI for beat arrangements, timings, executing them on the screen, etc.) wouldn't need any animations beforehand to start work, but when it comes to information on the screen, I can use sprite rips of Shantae's GBC dancing sprites upscaled to 2x as a reference where your own animations are missing; that way I know if the movement system, animation system, elements of the HUD, and other things under the hood, are all behaving together as one. Your own assets can slowly replace their GBC-ripped counterparts as you make them.

Of course, this stage of the engine would not be shared publicly, since it would be guaranteed to have bugs, and visually painful on the eyes.

MikeHarvey wrote:2nd Question: How soon do you think you could get started on the programing? I'm thinking that maybe I should just focus on the artwork and animations, since programing has been a very confusing process for me. I'm realizing that I'm not cut out for it sadly, and I'd rather let a pro like you handle it.
I'm a bit weighed down with art, much the same as last year, but I may have gotten a better handle of it. I've actually supposed to have been working on a Shantae GBC-like engine in Game Maker for TEG since I finished this sheet of Blaze a while ago, but I haven't been wanting to boot into Windows 7 to use Game Maker lately. I did find a way to skin Win7 without patching the UXtheme.dll, so hopefully Win7's ugliness without Aero (Got tired of constant CPU spikes from it.) won't get in my way pretty soon.

There's also the issue of us using different versions of Game Maker as well. If this doesn't go HD, then the whole thing could be handled on Game Maker 5.3a on my end, and with a little effort, it could be ported over to Game Maker Studio, so you can compile the game for MAC platforms as well. But if anti-aliasing in the APNG format is needed, and we need to take the HD route, I'm still strapped for cash to buy Studio myself, so my ability to collaborate would be a little complicated until I'm working.

Granted, the differences in syntax between modern and classic versions of Game maker are virtually minuscule, but when it comes to sprites and views, the differences are pretty obvious in GML. (For instance, view_left controls the x coordinates of the screen by its left border in Game Maker 5.3a and below, while view_x in later versions does the exact same thing in 6.0 and beyond.)

That shouldn't be a problem porting to Studio for your end, though, because I can tell you exactly what lines to patch so the game engine will boot. The really sticky problem will be how graphic assets are called on the inside. If you want the game to boot in a flash, without the annoying loading screen typical in most Game Maker games, you'll have to call all of the assets externally, including the music and sound effects. When Game Maker only has objects and code to unload into memory, the boot time for the program itself is near-instantaneous. (Much like any game coded in C++.) Assets internally can be fast as well, but since they're encrypted and compressed in the game binary, there's a delay in committing it to memory, so loading assets from outside the binary is considerably faster.

I don't remember the syntax for calling resources being any different between versions of Game Maker, so hopefully that won't be an issue, and you won't have to get your hands dirty. However, I can make sure the dummy resources match the dimensions and center of axis with your own assets. Then you won't have to manually touch that code at all, besides to swap out some GIF extensions for PNG ones.

Although as I've said, you won't have to do much more than patch specific lines of code between source builds I send. But if the process is predictable enough, I can make the changes myself before sending the source file, so you wouldn't have do much besides import it to Game Maker, and test run; this would really only complicate fixing bugs, now that I think about it. Hopefully in the coming months I'll be working, and none of this will have to be considered if we want this done in HD.
avatar
.Luke
Retired Staff

  : Site Bird Trainer
Posts : 991
Age : 27
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-05-22

http://shantaefansportal.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:36 pm

About the animation system... I'm thinking single vector images, not doll style. I didn't concider other animations other than the dances yet, but I'll be sure to try and fit the before and after ones in. Maybe an animation of Shantae in the menu screen sitting and waiting patiently while the song is being selected?

I think with all the work going in this project it might be better to have everything being internal now. I don't really mind loading up everything needed for the gameplay. I think I had confused "loading" for "slowdown". I'm not gonna lie, with all the work going in it, it would be a shame if something happened to the external files, that could effect the in game events.

Also, I've been paying close attention to Flash Flash Revolution lately. They have it setup so that a player could sign in and keep a hold of there records or just play as a guest. They even have a forum. To be honest, I would love it if Shantae Swing n' Sway could be online like FFR is...

Which asks the question...

Would it be possible to make this game for the web? Like through HTML5? The best example I can think of a web based rhythm game is FlashFlashRevolution. I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't seen or heard of it.

MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by .Luke on Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:51 pm

I think that's a cute idea, with Shantae waiting for the player to choose the song. And I had no idea know you didn't have other animations planned yet, but given the nature of the game, it shouldn't be more than 8 or 9 animations over all. I also remember the document mentioning her moving about the whole stage too, so would she simply leap to the next spot to dance in, or walk to each one?

Okay, good to know you don't mind the game pre-loading most of the assets. After all the time I've been working with my Sonic engine, none of my external assets were randomly destroyed, since the engine mostly reads the files instead of writes to them. There's honestly a bigger risk of losing everything if the GMK source file gets corrupted, but if you keep backups obsessively, it's nothing to worry about. Still, it's an easily understandable concern, and leaving most of those game resources out in the open probably isn't a good idea anyway; people love to scavenge game content for their own uses, for inappropriate uses or not. While there are tools to open compiled binaries of Game Maker games, or at least older binaries, (I'm not sure if those old tools can read the encryption and compression used in modern versions of Game Maker.) I don't imagine too many people know about them.

This dramatically simplifies how the game handles sprites and resources, compared to external. An arcade game is very simple in nature anyway, so whether it's HD or not, there won't be a vast multitude of resources to load, like with a full single player game. Swing n' Sway would have a noticeable load time, but it wouldn't be weighted down with tons of bloat. I don't imagine it would be a very long time for the game to load on most systems.

I would recommend at least keeping the songs external, since Game Maker make a nasty hiccups when loading up songs for play. (Unless newer versions of Game Maker has the option to pre-load songs?) By having it external, you can manually pre-load the song before you need it to play, preventing the hiccup. And if you have tons of music, like several tracks, the loading time for the game's startup will be a lot longer too if it has to load the entire OST too.

What format do you want the music in, by the way? I typically use OGG because it's a free, open source format with better bass preservation, and can handle higher bit-rates than MP3. (Compare MP3's max 320kb to OGG's 500kb, in my experience.) But if MP3s are all that's available for the songs you want to use, converting them to OGG wouldn't give us the benefits of that come with the format, since they're at the usual 256kb or slightly above. And if there was any transcoding between the two formats, it would water down the quality anyway.

Also, yes, Game Maker Studio does have an HTML5 option for compiling games, if you don't mind the heavy price tag, but not too many tools like Game Maker or Unity have fully mature toolkits for HTML5 yet. From what I'm told, loading times can be a huge pain the neck, for one. Game Maker might be an exceptional case, but I'd ask around the Game Maker Community, (Or search around the forums for related topics.) for a more informed opinion than mine, on how well the HTML5 exporter option handles web content.

Another option would be to setup your own server, if you have a domain, for the downloaded game client to access high score boards and names, but that would probably be a pain and half to create the server's Java script end from scratch alone, then there's figuring out how the game would ping the server and request the appropriate data, as well as sending new data if a score goes above the highest. This is definitely not my area, but it's fully possible.

On the subject of scores, how would the locally kept version of the game save game scores? I'm thinking about researching, and asking around, about using a basic, encrypted binary file in the working directory for storing score numbers and names, since you don't want people opening an INI file to edit the values themselves, especially if unlockables or an online leader board is attached.
avatar
.Luke
Retired Staff

  : Site Bird Trainer
Posts : 991
Age : 27
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-05-22

http://shantaefansportal.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:27 am

Hmmm... I didn't think about how the scores would be kept... I just asumed it would be a save file or in the case of an online game, an account that players would have to sign in for. I'm starting to realize that there's a lot of things that i didn't consider.

On the topic of saving, log-ins, and making this a web game... I've been looking at videos on youtube about making web games with html5, but its WAY over my head. I could talk to a friend of mine thats really good at making websites and knows about web design, domains, and applications. I've been thinking about getting him on board with this project for a while now since he also has a better understanding of music than I do.

One thing that keeps popping in and out of my mind is making this a "Facebook Game App", but I know for sure that WayForward would not only have to back this fan game (which could happen) but I believe they would have to create the Facebook app themselves. Im' not sure what there policy on that is (if there even is a policy for this kind of situation). I guess it wouldn't hurt for me to ask...

2 more things...

About controls (mouse, keyboard, joystick, and touch controls)... I know I wanted to focus on just the one control scheme for the first demo, but I can't help but wonder how keyboard, joystick, and touch controls would function in this game. I guess talking about it now would be better than later.

Finally, what do you think of this rough animation? I know the upper body doesn't move much, but I'm going the tackle that head on in the final version. It would be much easier for me that way because most of the upper body movement (like hair, arm, breast, etc...) would simply bop up and down or side 2 side. This is my first complex animation (aka something more than just a shape tween or text tween).


MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:24 am

Interesting talk between you two.
Entertaining to read all this. Kitty Face


Awesome animation, Mike.
Be sure to hone those skills.
I can clearly see you as an animator. Extra Smile
avatar
Paragon-Yoshi
Retired Staff

Posts : 609
Age : 29
Location : Germany
Join date : 2012-05-23

http://vgjustice.forumieren.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by MikeHarvey on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:45 am

Thanks! I got a long way to go before I can really call myself an animator, but I'm making progress. I'll work on the final version this week.

MikeHarvey
Contributor
Contributor

  : Can tell East from West!
Posts : 62
Age : 30
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-07-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by .Luke on Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:10 pm

MikeHarvey wrote:
I'm kinda tempted to showcase that on the Fans Portal's blog, because that is so full of squees. Like, more cute than I was expecting from seeing this in animation. The charms of this art style really comes out when it's in motion.

MikeHarvey wrote:2 more things...

About controls (mouse, keyboard, joystick, and touch controls)... I know I wanted to focus on just the one control scheme for the first demo, but I can't help but wonder how keyboard, joystick, and touch controls would function in this game. I guess talking about it now would be better than later.

Finally, what do you think of this rough animation? I know the upper body doesn't move much, but I'm going the tackle that head on in the final version. It would be much easier for me that way because most of the upper body movement (like hair, arm, breast, etc...) would simply bop up and down or side 2 side. This is my first complex animation (aka something more than just a shape tween or text tween).
Yeah, tackling portions of the animation one limb at a time is one way to do it. ^^ That's kinda how I handle my own animations too.

As for controls, perfecting keyboard controls initially for testing would be best, because the mouse might be less predictable to implement, but those controls will come in line right after making sure we can debug and test the game properly with keyboard keys. Touch devices, on the other hand, I don't have a tablet yet, so my experience with them is close to nothing for the moment, although it should act as a general pointing device by finger use, (It's a different story with the pen.) so having usable mouse controls will be a desirable side-benefit for tablets and touch screens.

MikeHarvey wrote:One thing that keeps popping in and out of my mind is making this a "Facebook Game App", but I know for sure that WayForward would not only have to back this fan game (which could happen) but I believe they would have to create the Facebook app themselves. Im' not sure what there policy on that is (if there even is a policy for this kind of situation). I guess it wouldn't hurt for me to ask...
While Facebook would be easier than hosting your own domain, and updating server-side code on occasion, I cringe at the thought of it being posted on there. WayForward certainly isn't a major publisher, but the barriers of getting a game pitch through the door may not be legally possible for the average fan. Here's an email that was sent to Andrew75, when he offered up his recreation of Sonic Xtreme to SEGA. (Sounds foolhardy from the get-go, but his proposal made some shred of sense in context, or at least the proposal itself did. He was playing with fire on Retro to suggest Kickstart funding it, obviously.)

SEGA wrote:
Jeff, May 30 11:09 (PDT):
Hello,

We appreciate the creativity and effort of all our fans, but unfortunately we cannot directly accept unsolicited proposals for games or other products from the general public. We hope this doesn't discourage you from pursuing your goals as an artist or designer.
However, if WayForward is more open than SEGA is, I'm sure the Game Maker version would serve as a nice, playable prototype for the pitch, since, knowing their technology standards, they'll want something more under the hood than what we can accomplish in Game Maker, especially if it wound up becoming a standalone digital release online, not just as a mere HTML5 game that takes a headdesk's worth of time to download and run. They'll likely reinvent the wheel with the same assets and then some, I'd think.

Not sure how much creative control you'd have at that point, though; there's no telling what will happen when you send it to them, or someone inside WayForward more approachable than the company email.
avatar
.Luke
Retired Staff

  : Site Bird Trainer
Posts : 991
Age : 27
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-05-22

http://shantaefansportal.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by EdwardFalcon on Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:12 pm

This song needs to be added to the set list XD

avatar
EdwardFalcon
Scuttle Town Regular
Scuttle Town Regular

  : User
Posts : 24
Location : Sunland
Join date : 2013-09-06

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by .Luke on Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:56 am

Is that a Michael Jackson song? Twisted Evil 

Anyway, that song might be playing too slow for the project, however. Harvey's mostly looking out for the faster songs that maintain an average of 120BPM, if I recall correctly.

Also, I've recently been playing tons around with strings, and I realized that I won't need an INI file for storing rhythm combos. This means your entire game project can be stored internally, with nothing that can be tweaked from the outside. We can store all of the characters in a string, (Imagine a human readable '^<A>vB>^', converted into real values that the computer can read, like so : '13542631'.) and read them by increments of one character at a time. So on the controls side of things, we can record what moves the player is performing, and if its converted real value matches the required command, (Also a number stored in a real value.) it triggers a successful combo.

Here's an example of what I've got right now, fiddled with to represent how this can also be applied to dance transformations in a normal Shantae platformer, and this code works.

Code:

//Dance Bar
if Player.dance=1 {draw_sprite(spr_dance,dance_timer,view_left[0]+74,view_top[0]+128)
dance_timer+=0.042 if dance_timer>3 {dance_timer=0; combo_allow=0; Player.dance_move=0;}

//If we are dancing, record the dance moves being used.
if dance_timer>1 and combo_allow=0 {

switch (Player.animation) {
case 19: {dance_position=0;  combo_allow+=1; dance_move=' '; dance_combo=' '; break;}
case 20: {dance_position+=1; combo_allow+=1; dance_move='1'; dance_combo=string_insert(dance_move,dance_combo,dance_position); break;}  //Dance Move Up
case 21: {dance_position+=1; combo_allow+=1; dance_move='2'; dance_combo=string_insert(dance_move,dance_combo,dance_position); break;}  //Dance Move Left
case 22: {dance_position+=1; combo_allow+=1; dance_move='3'; dance_combo=string_insert(dance_move,dance_combo,dance_position); break;}  //Dance Move Down
case 23: {dance_position+=1; combo_allow+=1; dance_move='4'; dance_combo=string_insert(dance_move,dance_combo,dance_position); break;}  //Dance Move Right
case 24: {dance_position+=1; combo_allow+=1; dance_move='5'; dance_combo=string_insert(dance_move,dance_combo,dance_position); break;}  //Dance Move A
case 25: {dance_position+=1; combo_allow+=1; dance_move='6'; dance_combo=string_insert(dance_move,dance_combo,dance_position); break;}} //Dance Move B

}//End of Dance Animations Check

//If we have played the right arrangement of moves, activate their assigned skins.
dance_skin=real(dance_combo)
switch(dance_skin) {
case 34: {Player.dance_transform=1 Player.dance=0 scr_dance_flush(); break;} //Monkey Form Transformation
case 32: {Player.dance_transform=2 Player.dance=0 scr_dance_flush(); break;} //Elephant Form Transformation
case 35: {Player.dance_transform=3 Player.dance=0 scr_dance_flush(); break;} //Spider Form Transformation
case 36: {Player.dance_transform=4 Player.dance=0 scr_dance_flush(); break;} //Harpy Form Transformation
}//End of Skin Activation Check

}//End of Dance Check
Notice that it's clearing the dance_combo string with an empty one, and restarts the reading position for character insertion, when Shantae is idle. However, if Shantae triggers a dance move during the window of opportunity that you're allowed to start a dance move, (i.e, the highlighted star on the HUD.) this check is not started yet, allowing Shantae to type in more numbers into the string with each dance move.

Then, outside of that code bracket, it's also checking with another switch statement to see if Shantae has the right characters typed into the string. (Which is all typed in numbers, and converted back into a real, readable value for the case statements.) If she has, the Player object is told which transformation it should be given with a real value, stops its dance check variable, and starts a script that effectively resets all of the dance variables in this code snippet, causing it to stop until Select is pressed again.

Once I'm done with a points commission, and another small project, I can't wait to fully throw myself at the engine for this game.
avatar
.Luke
Retired Staff

  : Site Bird Trainer
Posts : 991
Age : 27
Location : United States
Join date : 2012-05-22

http://shantaefansportal.tumblr.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Shantae Swing n' Sway

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum