CYCLOSA - platform shooter/adventure

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From the Asset Store
An interesting platform adventure game. If you are looking for a very easy template to create your own Super mario.
  • Hey guys

    I've started a project that I've wanted to do for a long time. Basically it's a new take on Turrican on the Amiga (at least the way I remember it), mixed with more varied adventure and exploration. The thing for me is pacing and getting the right balance of gunplay and exploration. Most of the story is told through the environment but the pure story beats will be spread out over the game an push the action forward.


    You play Kit, who crash lands on an planet overrun by a robot army. Your battle suit and your gun are intact but underpowered, and you have to collect key components of your destroyed spaceship (spread out over the land) to regain power and make it out of there.

    My thoughts so far:

    • Second-to-second running and gunning should be tight, lots of focus on feedback, movement, and finding the right difficulty sweet-spot.
    • Make it kick-ass in a low-fi kind of way. No over-rendering of the visuals - if the right feeling is there then it's done.
    • Target resolution is 320x200. Use a 16 color palette for each area. Limitation is key here as a challenge, just to see how far I can push it.

    Some stuff>

    Title screen (because yeah why not)

    Player char. This will change as I go and refine game play. Right now I'm using a 16x32 sprite set up for crouch and 8direction firing (the gun is a separate object rotating at the shoulder). Having a lot of trouble to get basic movement to feel right as I was using the Jump-through plugin on my tiles. I think I'll end up dropping that and go for a less "jumpy" style of play. If the crouch/run/climb stuff doesn't feel right I might do a more super-mario style control and then I'd have to revise these decisions..

    quick mockup/concept of an environment. I like how it's set up for parallax fx but it feels a bit dull when its so gray. I'll have to tweak it, more popping colors and more interesting shapes. Some environments should be very post apocalyptic but with signs of robot invasion (alien tech etc). I'm also thinking about adding an alien flora/fauna that's connected with the invading robot aliens.. We'll see.

    Thanks for looking guys, any thoughts on this so far?


  • I like it. Looking forward to gameplay videos or demos

  • Love the style

  • Loved turrican so really looking forward to how this turns out

    Love the graphics style

  • Looks great so far. Following.

  • Did you play with the opacity in the last image ( background buildings ), Or you import it like this.

  • Thanks for the encouragement guys.

    Did you play with the opacity in the last image ( background buildings ), Or you import it like this.

    The quick test I did was just to take this PSD and convert each layer into a indexed palette image with alpha for the see-through parts. So no real effect on opacity. Then I assembled in construct on different layers with different parallax values. It kind of works as far as the effect i was going for but not for other things. I made each parallax layer extend beyond the screen borders (and make them tileable along the x-axis) so that the scene can be extended.

    I'll show some more images when I've made more progress

    Right now I'm working on run loop for the player character. Might be wasting a lot of time here as I don't know what the speed will end up being for the best game play. Should probably just be using still frames for different poses and placeholder movement to illustrate locomotion, but I need the pixel animation practice!

    Any good tutorials on making good action pixel animations?

  • The background looked awesome.

    I'm also working with the character movement right now, Learning spriter software and it's very sad that there no easy way to make this.

  • The background looked awesome.

    I'm also working with the character movement right now, Learning spriter software and it's very sad that there no easy way to make this.

    Thanks! What's your impression of working with Spriter so far? How easy is it to integrate into a Construct project?

    btw what do you guys use for capturing video from your games? I tried CamStudio but all I get is 12-15 fps (variable, so that really sucks) on my underpowered laptop. I installed FRAPS but I can't get it to start recording.?

  • Spriter is amazing tool, But hard for me to learn.

    I have Camtasia and it works great.

  • Awesome atmosphere on that background. Will look lovely no doubt with parallax.

    Spriter is very nice, but it's a bit fiddly if you haven't spent a lot of time in it (like me). The character in my Slappy Burd game was done using Spriter, and was really the main reason I did that game.. to get into Spriter. I don't know about using the Spriter plugin as I haven't checked that out yet since exporting the frames was easier for me - one step at a time ;p

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  • Time for an update on this thread! Since last time I've done a bunch of stuff on the art side (tho I won't show too much right now), and I've been working out some of the complexities of a platform game. My findings so far: it's a massive pain in the ass to get good movement and handle animation states.

    I've only done top-down stuff in construct before - you can check out this little thing I posted the other day: Great learning experience and I hope to bring a lot of that back into this project.

    So what's new..


    I made a runcycle and crouch animation of Kit. Now her little legs flail about looking stupid and funny in the wrong kind of way. Then I tried to get some structure into the various states she can be in animation-wise, which is not trivial for a semi-realistic game it turns out. It will take a lot of iteration both on the art and on the logic side since this is pretty much the whole essence of the game.

    I tweaked the physical properties of the character (which is a 16x32 pixel box) so jump heights and shit like that are approaching what Turrican did back in the day. This game will show WAY more of the level in a single screen tho, and the character is relatively small, so there's no point in mimicing that too closely. Cyclosa is more about anticipation and tactics than being surprised and bumrushed by a bunch of robots with no fair warning.

    There's a little enemy dude in there that fires lasers, stuff like that will be all over the maps and they'll have different purposes and mechanics (scouts you need to drop before they call the reinforcements, mounted turrets, worker droids building large metal structures etc). Platforms are cover and you have to use the terrain to your advantage (hence the much larger view of the level).

    Boxes might have physics, but that could also create so much headache it won't be worth it (getting stuck in dynamic terrian really sucks and its not the kind of tradeoff I'm willing to make). Shit will explode though and with the magic of Box2D the effect of debris crashing around, bouncing realistically on all the different surfaces I think the core experience is there anyway. Plus there will be a bunch of destructible terrain to add to that effect.

    Oh yeah there's like a snowstorm on the right edge of the screen, in the end it will be rain and in a low-res game like this I can afford to do collision detection and spawn bounce/rainsplatter effects, as well as streams and sewer pipes with water coming out of them. Lots of to-the-point effects to bring life to the world.


    Some random pixel art, trying out some ideas. The HUD will be big like that with lots of juicy graphics. The gun will change as you progress and upgrade it, and in the end it probably won't even fit the window down there because of all the steroids its on.

    I did some tests with having a text print out as part of the HUD but it might be too intrusive as the action is fairly high paced. Some quieter exploration areas could benefit from a stronger narrative element, like when you're exploring old collapsed subway systems, finding traces of what happened to the people who used to live down there, but that can be integrated either directly into the environment (think graffiti, posters, a barricade that's been cut through by plasma with human remains scattered around).

    Next up is locking down jump height. I have the variable jump hight in there so you have control over how high you want to go. Still on the fence about the jump-through behavior since it's so easy to have your character fall off the screen if you're not careful (in combination with dynamic objects you can't control all possible outcomes of a jump through level editing.)

    Also ladders. I've been playing Shovel Knight and they're doing a lot of things right with the controls without being overly complex about it. Play it now if you haven't, it's kick ass and a testament to the inherent fun factor of platforming as a genre.

    A0Nasser - cool thanks for the input. I might have a look at spriter at some point, I've been thinking of adding some bigger things in there..

    procrastinator - cheers man! yeah the integration into construct is really key there I guess, if you're looking to do bigger and more complex characters with a lot of IK and many moving parts. Giant mechs/robots? Would be cool to fight them stomping around, getting blown up and raining down chunks of metal all over the place

  • Yeah huge mechs would be cool! That little gif looks nice! Shame you didn't show more of the parallax though ;p

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