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Metroid-inspired project progress - Journey Galactia

  • Hey guys - I had some great feedback on this project, and while I haven't posted on it in some time, it's definitely not been idle this past month and a half. I did decide to start a new thread though... because the old one got buried pretty far down. I hope that's ok.

    You can view some of the older updates, along with some older playable builds, here:

    Some notable news for those of you interested in this project:

    1. Notable UI changes to level selection and status screen

    2. Added a weapon acquiring system (notable, flame thrower)

    3. Implemented a supplemental procedural level generation system with an automapping feature

    4. Added several new enemy types (notably in the screen caps below, a hive-type enemy

    5. Various graphic and gameplay improvements and additions

    Title screen and level select screen, with ranking

    Simple weapon acquiring, including flame thrower

    Tileset, hive, and swarm enemy type test

    Random level generation, including enemies and objective collectibles and automapping

    Playable build coming soon. Thanks guys in advance for any and all feedback.

  • This is pretty awesome, mudmask! Looks like you've been busy.

    The new flame thrower looks great, and the procedural levels sound like a pretty cool addition.

    Can't wait to see more!

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  • ryanrybot thanks man! one feature I wish I could've nailed a bit easier was the color change effect... unfortunately, that's just not something that's readily available on all platforms. eventually I'm going to need some graphic design help too..

  • Nice job mudmask! A lot of work went into this and it shows. I played through a bit of the 12-15 build today and just had some feedback on the controls. Having duck be a toggle is a little strange. I just want to stand up after I release the button. I'm guessing it's a toggle because you press down again to get into a crawling state to place bombs. It feels overly complicated. The bomb placement could just be a different button.

    I also agree with ryanrybot - the jumps are way too fast and hard to control. It's tough to line up a shot trying to jump and shoot an enemy.

    Lastly, gamepad support!

  • UberLou - thanks man. that's a lot of good feedback, and I will take it to heart. I'm definitely open to suggestions for a different crawling mechanic.

  • What about getting rid of the stationary crawl state altogether?

    Duck=down

    Crawl=down+forward

    Bomb=c

  • Looks sweet man

  • megatronx - thanks man!

  • Looks very promising! :O

  • This is looking better and better. Wondering how you're going to put together "level selection" and "metroid-like". From a design perspective, can you tell us more about that choice?

  • trisbee - thank you!

    alvarop - hey man, thanks for ongoing feedback. That's a good question - I guess some of the 'inspired' aspects of the project relate to exploration, discovery, problem solving, and some of the mission-type aspects of the later games (fusion, other M even). I have a simple upgrade system in place too, with some back-tracking elements planned.

    ryanrybot also suggested this...

    "Sequence breaking could be cool, in the way of secret passages and such. In Super Metroid most sequence breaking has to do with abusing your abilities, but since most of them are absent in your game so far, a less linear approach to level design might work equally as well."

    So I've also started putting short cuts and different discovery things into a few levels.

    BUT is it a Metroid-Vania? The engine I think could be adapted to that - it's a really robust engine so far, and I'm planning on making a few more 80's era classic inspired games using it (but I gotta stick to one thing... right?). I would say that since there's a back tracking element, exploration, inaccessible areas - in that sense, there's a large element of that. But because it's actually comprised of multiple smaller worlds to explore, as opposed to one larger, open world, and you more or less are going in order, I guess in that sense it's not really. I guess, if you played Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia on the DS, that's sort of how that game worked too.

    When you boil down a Metroid game though, sure - the areas are interconnected, but they're still kind of separated too you know? But I guess the main difference would be how you go about accessing those areas - and the key is exploration and problem solving.

    The main idea that I had going into this that I was trying to tackle was the how to reconcile a Metroid type game with a Casual gaming model. I also have to consider, though, how much do I want to cater to that market if I eventually want this to be a profitable project? I want the challenge to be there for sure, but I know that gamers born outside of the 8-16 bit era are used to games being a little easier.

    Anyways. That was a big answer! Sorry man! I guess that question just inspired me. Definitely let me know if you need clarification or if you have any other questions. And thanks again for your interest man. It's super encouraging.

  • Also... what do you guys think of that name? "Journey Galactia" ? Going to purchase a domain, but I just want to be sure it doesn't sound lame...

  • It sounds good. But it also has a kitschy-value to it too, à la David Lynch's Dune (the whole game makes me think of that). It's not a bad thing though, but that's the feeling it gives me. If that was intended, then great. If not, maybe it's not the right name for it.

    Just my opinion, though.

  • In terms of level selection, and the non-linear approach to the genre, have you thought about letting the player complete the levels out of order and perhaps having certain shortcuts for earlier levels be accessible with items from later levels?

    Say, there is an objective on level 3. You could take the normal route to reach it, but there is also a shortcut that can be opened with a powerup aquired on level 5.

    One downfall of this would be if you ran into the shortcut before obtaining the item needed, you might get frustrated that you can't progress, assuming that it was the intended path. So you would have to make the normal path "super" obvious.

    As you can tell, I haven't really thought this through and I'm kinda just brainstorming out loud.

  • ryanrybot That sounds very interesting, in regards to frustration. Unless the game telegraphs that getting to another place requires a power; maybe by unlocking another power early in the first level to give the player a clue that you can get new abilities as you play through the game. Or even visual clues etc.. - then it shouldn't be too much trouble I don't think.

    This approach give the player incentive to play through every level at least twice but not in the same way, smart.

    *takes note*

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