GRADIENT RUN - Fast-Paced Shooter/Coin-Op/7-Game Mash-Up

  • NAME: GRADIENT RUN

    GENRE: Shoot-'em-up

    PLAYERS: 1

    PLATFORM: PC, web

    TAG LINE: #GotQuarter

    RELEASE DATE: April 26, 2015 (phase 1), July 31, 2015 (phase 2)

    What if you had to fend off aliens in Pacman's maze while dodging asteroids? The real question is: Got Quarter?

    I'm bringing 6 coin-op games from the Golden Age of arcades (plus one modern console as inspiration) to C2 and a PC near you.

    SUMMARY: Blast through a series of battlefield mazes as an endless gamut of enemies rush at you. Dodge (or destroy) giant asteroids careening all over the maze to slam into you. Your mission is to destroy each enemy base before waves of alien forces overtake you for good. Decimate the opposition - even capture them to use as friendly-fire - with upgradeable weapons! With an original, dynamic soundtrack and 3D-stylized graphics, Gradient Run will be a game you won't want to step away from.

    QUICK LIST of FEATURES

      • Old school Golden Age coin-op gaming meets new-school mash-up frantic action
      • Battle it out against waves of alien forces in Pacman-inspired mazes
      • Upgrade your weapons in three categories: rapid fire, burst, and directional shots
      • Asteroids
      • Capture enemy units and use them against each other as your own wingmen
      • Charge up your shots and destroy large groups of invaders
      • Lots of asteroids
      • Dynamic soundtrack that's never quite the same each time you play
      • Game conditions affect the music
      • 3D pre-rendered graphics
      • HUGE asteroids!

    View full image

    Version 3 of the player's ship

    Gradient Run is as an ambitious entry to the Construct 2 Coin-Op Game Jam (#construct2coinop). Drawing inspiration from seven games (yes, seven...first it was three...then five...now seven). The goal is to survive escalating waves of various 3D pre-rendered (think: Donkey Kong Country Trilogy) enemies in maze-like environments and destroy four crystals in each round. And in each round, the enemies become more numerous, faster, and generally more gregarious (translation: annoying) than before.

    Like any good shoot-'em-up, you'll only start with your little pea-shooter of a weapon and have a few options to upgrade. These include rapid-fire, charge shot, and even some wingmen, and a couple others. Oh, and the asteroids come out to play, too. Yeah, I'm tossing that in there, as well.

    Quicklist of features and the games I'm adapting each one from...

      • ASTEROIDS - Controls and the asteroids floating across the maze.
      • GALAGA - Capture enemy units to use a forced wingmen against the opposition.
      • PACMAN - Level design.
      • XEVIOUS - Borrowing the air-to-surface attack and adapting as a surface-to-air attack against the asteroids beyond the maze walls.
      • R-TYPE - Charged shots to blast away large groups of enemies
      • GRADIUS - Similar to the delayed power-up system of Gradius, players will collect pellets dropped by enemies to build up to the next level of weaponry depending on the colored pellet collected.
      • GEOMETRY WARS - All the fast-paced hyperventilating action!

    The game will feature original music by my talented brother, Ryan Miller, and original 3D art by Emily Eason (herself very talented while also being very new to the world of 3D modeling and, even more so, video game art).

    BELOW in the comments are further updates.

    Welcome to my world, friends. Welcome!

  • UPDATE April 20, 2015

    Work began promptly at 3am when the Game Jam began in my time zone (I'm not messing around! LOL).

    So far I've been able to get the preliminary controls established.

    Moving forward, stopping, rotating the ship, and firing the basic weapons. ...by that time, I was already very tired and crashed. Later (while I was still cutting some Zs), my artist, Emily Eason, began work on the 3D objects for the game. Her initial work is extremely exciting. Below is her first sample of what she sent me.

    Emily blew me away with this first sampling of her work...

    But then she sent me this and I knew things were going to look amazing!

    (As of this update, I'm still at work, so afterwards...) Next I'll be adding in the maze walls prior to Emily getting me the actual assets.

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  • UPDATE FOR April 21, 2015, 5:00 AM

    Several completed tasks today...

      Added several HUD features Added weapon power-up pellets (those red, blue, and green glowing dots) Set parameters for the weapons upgrades Completed upgrades of the main weapon

    Compared to the first images I shared above, what I have below is mostly just placeholders until better images are proved by Emily. Right now I'm focusing on the game features and actions.

    Ironically, the only thing I didn't get added as planned was the maze walls. That's next...but first, some sleep.

  • UPDATE: April 22-23, 2015

    The last two days have been quite productive. I'm rounding out the finishing touches of the gameplay and should have a huge chunk of it finished later today/tonight.

    Completed so far:

      • Enemy behaviors in place: Drones that follow you, wall bouncers, and linear-moving drones that respond to whether the player is turning or not
      • Charge Shot weapon fully functional
      • Enemies suffer damage (up to 25% of max HP) depending on the amount of charge the Charge Shot is at when fired
      • Fully charging the Charge Shot allows it to phase through maze walls without hinderance
      • Added background paralax effects + the occasional shooting star
      • Tweaked controls to avoid keyboard "ghosting" issues
      • (If I didn't mention this in the previous update) the power-up pellets now gravitate toward the ship when within range

    Additionally, my artist, Emily, has been masterfully working on the design for the ship and it's coming out amazingly! I'm very pleased with her work. Here's a comparison of the final stages of her progress:

  • UPDATE: April 23-24, 2015

    What's a chaotic shooter without enemies to shoot at?!

    For the sake of the game jam, enemy desires are somewhat generic and have relatively no animation to them. This is due to the fact that time is not our friend - only seven days of development to work with. But the images my artist, Emily, was able to put together should prove to be interesting to say the least. She did very well to make each one unique, I think.

    The Chaser

    This guy is the most gregaious of them all. He likes to get up close and personal and ram right into the ship. He's actually quite friendly...just dangerously so.

    The Line Driver

    Passivity is the aggressive choice of action here. While moving in straight lines vertically or horizontally, this foe will respond to the ship's rotational movements, making those close calls difficult to navigate.

    The Bouncer

    Don't confuse this guy for a club entry guard. This guy could care less. He's going to bounce around the field and if you crash into him, he won't even notice.

    Crystal

    While not an enemy, you're going to be swamped by lots of them as you try to destroy these crystals. During Blitz Wave runs, you'll have to destroy all four crystals in order to destroy each corresponding base to win the wave. Crystal methodology...don't do drugs, kids.

  • // Resevered for upcoming updates. //

  • This sounds like something you can definitely accomplish on your first time thru, after a few tutorials. Looking forward to hearing about it!

  • CigarOfSinatra - Thanks! I'm very eager to get started.

    After the initial week of the Game Jam, I'll be dedicating another 3 months to development. I aim to really make this a polished game while retaining the feel of a classic coin-op.

  • I've got 2 weeks before the project begins. Man, am I excited!

    If anyone is catching this forum post before April 20, you can still enter the Jam. Go to C2 COIN-OP GAME JAM

  • TEN DAYS TO GO!

  • WORK HAS BEGUN! Updates above.

  • Additional update for April 21-22!

  • Update for April 23-24 now up with an overview of the enemies.

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