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Thread: [ALPHA] Christmas Cannon

  1. #1
    Trainee coder Viza's Avatar
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    [ALPHA] Christmas Cannon

    Hey Guys,

    My current project has pretty much reached the Alpha stage of testing and I couldn’t think of a better place to get some early feedback than here.



    The game, Christmas Cannon (working title), is a skill based cannon-shooting Christmas game. The objective is to successfully complete levels by hitting the target board at the end of levels. Sound too easy? Well, to make things interesting there will be obstacles in your way. They’ll prove an obtrusion to your shots, but sometimes that can aid a miraculous shot to your advantage.

    Aim with the mouse, and click to fire the cannon when the ‘power-meter’ has filled to the desired level.

    So I’m seeking any kind of advice at all. Seriously, comment on anything you like, I’m even open to suggestions for the game name! The only thing to keep in mind is that all graphics shown in this version are purely placeholder art. I’m hoping to find an artist to supply the graphical talent I so badly lack (paid job, of course ), but until then you’ll either have to wear some kind of protective eye-wear or just squint a lot.

    What are you waiting for? Start playin!

    Viza.
    Last edited by Viza; 03-16-2008 at 05:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member hatu's Avatar
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    That power indicator is way too fast and kind of weird how it snaps back to 0 so fast. The zoom effect is neat

  3. #3
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    - IŽd implement a skip button because honestly after the 2nd or 3rd it was kind of annoying sometimes that the camera moved so "slow". For the first shots I think its ok but not if you need alot of attempts. I could imagine something like if you click on the screen while it tweens back it instantly stops at the right focus point - and not shoot right away again.
    - Wich brings me to another point: perhaps some "ready" sign like when you can shoot again.
    - more particle effects and smoke trails- it feels like a baby toy right now- it needs more power. Perhaps some screen shaking (slightly) to imply the effect of a powerfull cannon.

  4. #4
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    Two things. The score text should not be selectable. The camera needs to do a better job of following the bullet.
    .

  5. #5
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    like a build your own penguin toss?
    definitely faster camera
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    Seems promising. I imagine you'll have levels with increasingly complicated obstacles?

    Some thoughts:

    It's too easy to just fire over the obstacles.

    Hitting close to the center of the target, or hitting the bullseye, should be worth more points.

    I like launch/artillery games that offer control after the launch. Booster rockets or something.

    It'd be fun to design and share levels. (Maybe that's the same thing BlinkOk said. In which case, I agree.) I can imagine some really complex courses, especially with booster rockets.

    How big can the levels be? With a level editor and big levels, this could be a Blueprint-like game as well as a launch game. (i.e., here's a maze - place obstacles to complete the path.)

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    You definitely need to add a skip event on any animation that lasts longer than 2 seconds, especially the scrolls.

    The hitting effect are really cool, but I would move the target much farther away it was too close to really get to play with all the items.

    Really good progress for an alpha.

  8. #8
    Trainee coder Viza's Avatar
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    Ok, here we go:

    @Hatu:Thanks. Yeah, I plan on adding difficulty options (easy, medium, hard) each with varying powerbar speeds. The current one is probably what you'd expect in the hard category.

    @Renderhjs:Great idea! I was also getting sickk of the waiting period in between firing, but I figured that was just because I had played it so much for testing. Last night I was trying to implement a skip function as you suggested, and after too much fiddling then what it was worth it didn't even look 'right' (skipping straight from zoomed in, to zoomed out (and vice versa) made it confusing as to what happened). I think I'll increase the general camera zooming speed, but also on mouseclick when zooming in or out the camera speed will increase x2.

    Thanks for the sign suggestion. I'm going to throw in text to indicate when a player can fire ("ready) or skip zooming ("click mouse to skip zoom"), etc.

    The screen shake is a fantastic idea! I can't belive I hadn't considered that. I'll see if I can get it into the game with the skip zoom by tonight.

    @swak: Yah, the camera uses some spring math and fro some reason it's having trouble with low speeds. I'm pretty sure I know exactly what's happening, and it's already on my to-do list.

    Oh, and the scoring isn't complete yet, that "+500 text is just there because I'm too lazy to get rid of it.

    @BlinkOK: Care to explain by what you mean by faster camera? The scrolling speed, or the zooming? I'm assuming you mean the zooming in and out is too slow, and that will be addressed soon.
    @Taels: Thanks very much.

    I find firing over objects hard, as getting the speed right is a b*tch - if it get's too abusive than I might add a 'storm cloud' object which zaps arrows on contact. These are just prototype levels. The actual levels will be properly planned and contain a mix of obstacles on later levels (and yup, they'll increase in difficulty).

    Scoring will be based on accuracy (so more points will be rewarded for hitting the bulls eye).

    "I like launch/artillery games that offer control after the launch. Booster rockets or something."
    I was heavily considering this (a system similiar to Burnout's 'after crash' explosion thingie), but I opted to not having it because I figured it would just complicate things or even make it too easy.

    The user level editor is definately something I think could really benefit the game. Again, I was considering this but the effort to make one along with a nice user friendly interface seems like too much work for the first version. If the game does well, I'm 100% sure it will be added to a sequal.

    "here's a maze - place obstacles to complete the path."
    That's a very good suggestion. I had never thought of that; unfortunately though it strays away from the story of the game, and the obstacles are there more for hinderence than assitance. Thanks though.

    @moony4money: Yep, I;ll keep those suggestions in mind, thanks.

    I thought there wasn't really much to show to be honest in this version. A lot of the features are missing, and there's still a fair bit of work to do. I thought I'd post it up anyway because some time ago the peeps here were complaining that this place has become less dev friendly and that no-one shares ideas anymore, so I figured by atleast sharing what I've been up to that others might also share their WIP work (?). Also, the feedback so far hass been fantastic, and I'm getting plenty of help to make it better before things are 'set in stone'.

    Thanks again guys! Anymore feedback si always welcome.

    Viza.

  9. #9
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    Care to explain by what you mean by faster camera?
    zooming dude.
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    It doesn't even need to zoom - you could have a split screen with a close up of the target. No game should be laborious.

    Hell yeah - spelt "laborious" right first time!!!

  11. #11
    Trainee coder Viza's Avatar
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    Game Update!

    Sorry guys.. I realise it's been a long, long time since I first started this thread, but I've had very little time lately to work on this and have only just now reached another stage to show.

    So, Here v.67

    Additions include levels, proper scoring (sort of), and hopefully I've amended all of those issues you guys disliked before (zooming speed, screen shake etc.)

    Once again, comment on absolutely anything. name suggestions, level ideas, new objects, ANYTHING! Keep in mind however the game only has placeholder art, and soon I'll begin the process of finding a good designer to help out.

    Cheers,
    Viza.

  12. #12
    Pumpkin Carving 2008 ImprisonedPride's Avatar
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    Heh... all these alphas and tests, I'm getting really ******* good at this game, buddy.

    Only thing I noticed wrong was that the snow was not always coming from the "top" of the play field. If it zooms out to far (like in level.... 5 where it's a REALLY long shot [got 200 points on my first arrow ]) the snow appears to be coming down from 1/2 way in the sky.
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  13. #13
    Trainee coder Viza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImprisonedPride
    Heh... all these alphas and tests, I'm getting really ******* good at this game, buddy.
    HAHA! That's okay. It just means that when the games finished you'll be able to pwn the high score table thanks to all of this practise.

    As for the snow only falling from a small portion of the screen: I plan on either making the snow fall from a much greater height (so extending that current mc), or filling the higher areas of the screen with clouds. The reason why the current snow fall animation is as it currently is, is just for illustrative purposes (so people understand that when the proper gfx have been prepared there will be some form of snow-fall in the bg).

    Also, something else that's worth mentioning is that in the complete version the scoring will be slightly different: When you hit the middle circle of the target (the 'bulls-eye'), you'll be rewarded extra points. Btw IP, 200 points is the absolute maximum you could get atm! It means you hit the dead center; a pixel perfect shot!

    Thanks for the feedback once again IP.

    Viza.

  14. #14
    juggernart me2222's Avatar
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    Hey Viza.

    One thing from me:
    I'd like to see you put you a "better" implementation of the angle and power setting!

    I am thinking about either
    Goal in One like, where the player clicks and drags away from the ball to set the angle and to set the power (the farther away from the center of the ball, the more power)
    or
    Bloons like, where the player clicks and holds to show an arrow that extends and decreases to set the power and angle.

    cheers
    juggernart.com

  15. #15
    Elvis...who tha f**k is Elvis? phreax's Avatar
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    Hey Viza, I didn't read through the whole thread, so sorry if this has already been mentioned. You don't have to shoot through the hoops in order to score. You probably need to make checkpoints at all the flags!?
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  16. #16
    Trainee coder Viza's Avatar
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    Phreax: No worries, I don't expect you to read through the whole thing. Just getting some feedback puts a smile on my face.

    Good suggestion. I've thought of something similiar to encourage 'daring' shots (reward bonus points for cool stuff like shooting through fire hoops), but we'll see what happens when the final levels are complete - I might need to force players to not shoot over the courses, but I'm hoping some clever level design will be enough.

    Mr. Juggernart: Thanks for the feedback!

    I think you're right in that the shooting mechanics should be changed. I want this to be as 'noob' friendly as possible, and I suspect that the current 'power-bar' isn't very easy to understand.

    Believe it or not, but that's the first time I've ever played Bloons! I've been curious about what all of the fuss was about, and I honestly don't see why it's so good. I do like the way they've implemented their firing system though, and the game was pretty fun until I felt it was getting repetitive.

    I'll make sure to change the way the player sets their angle and power to something much nicer.

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    Viza.

  17. #17
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    "... is a skill based cannon-shooting Christmas game."

    I just love the idea of a website with this as a dedicated genre. Naturally, it must also have a skill-less cannon-shooting Christmas games section.

  18. #18
    Trainee coder Viza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WesIsGood
    "... is a skill based cannon-shooting Christmas game."

    I just love the idea of a website with this as a dedicated genre. Naturally, it must also have a skill-less cannon-shooting Christmas games section.
    HAHA! I agree, I can't understand why portals haven't made such a categorie yet.

    ... When I start distributing the game I'll think of snappier descriptive text.

    Viza.

  19. #19
    Script kiddie VENGEANCE MX's Avatar
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    The particle effect when the projectile lands is pretty weird, plus the spring-loaded camera creates the illusion of a weird projectile path (it sometimes looks like it stops in midair and drops where it is). Maybe try an easing-based camera instead?

    The power bar is really odd. I suggest investigating other power bars to find out what you're doing wrong.
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