Flixel Forums

development => games => Topic started by: Titch on Fri, Nov 20, 2009

Title: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Fri, Nov 20, 2009
Gather Up!
A game about materialism

The evil in the land has been defeated. The Infinite Ascension lies before you. All god demands is the memory of your life. That and you climb a massive tower filled with hoards of enemies that drop tons of junk. God is an odd guy like that.

Play the prototype (http://www.niftyhat.com/gather_up/?)
Last update 24th November

Use X to draw guns/shoot. Character automatically climbs up 1-2 block heights and jumps off ledges as you run off them. You can only use weapons when your feet are on the ground. Guns should target the nearest enemy to you. Use Up arrow or tap in the opposite direction to dodge

NEWS

Just got Level Up to gold master stage, so I can pursue this full time now. Full game will be 5-6 months in development, a bit bigger than Level Up but more linear to allow for my crazy feature idea . Features a Hub world, epic long dungeon, five mini 'memory' dungeons/story events. Six weapons. Weapon modification system. More details to come.


COMING NEXT :-
Tutorials Signs - Covering the basics of attacking/dodging.
Improve gun loading - Add animations or HUD to make reloading clearer.
Enhance dodging - Add forward dodging. Refract control code so that it's more readable.
Inventory Handling/Loot Drops.

AFTER THAT:-
Intro Area - Start design for first game area as will be good for testing
First Boss - Sketch out boss code. Ect.
Weapon Switching

FIXES: -
Combat Idle Anim - Doesn't face correctly.
Shooting though walls. Could be tricky, this one.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Fugitive of Physics on Fri, Nov 20, 2009
Interesting...... I don't really have a lot to say until it's more complete.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: fefranca on Sat, Nov 21, 2009
The auto-jumping and climbing is a really nice touch, congrats :)
Other than that, I feel like the character slides a bit too much.
Looking forward to see it finished (it will only take you a couple of hours I'm sure :D)
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: increpare on Sat, Nov 21, 2009
autojumping feature reminds me a lot of Archibald's Adventures ( http://www.indiegames.com/blog/2009/11/weekend_bargains_archibalds_ad.html ), which I just played this afternoon :P

Yeah the animations don't feel very smooth (in their transitions), and the sliding might be a little much, but I generally think the feel is ok.

Will be interesting to see how this develops.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: PlayOrDie on Sun, Nov 22, 2009
This is looking very promising; it's inspiring to see what can be achieved with Flixel in so short a time (considering you have been working on Level Up too).

The graphics are nice and your animations look good. Keep up the good work :)
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Sun, Nov 22, 2009
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly I can get new stuff into the game. A new type of enemy for example takes me less than an hour from conception to having it in game. It's quite pleasing really.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: ChevyRay on Mon, Nov 23, 2009
I got a little ways until:

Code: [Select]
TypeError: Error #1009: Cannot access a property or method of a null object reference.
at com.titch.GatherUp::GathPlayer/update()[C:\Flash Projects\Gather Up\src\com\titch\GatherUp\GathPlayer.as:222]
at com.adamatomic.flixel::FlxLayer/update()[C:\Flash Projects\Gather Up\src\com\adamatomic\flixel\FlxLayer.as:26]
at com.adamatomic.flixel::FlxLayer/update()[C:\Flash Projects\Gather Up\src\com\adamatomic\flixel\FlxLayer.as:26]
at com.adamatomic.flixel::FlxState/update()[C:\Flash Projects\Gather Up\src\com\adamatomic\flixel\FlxState.as:28]
at com.titch.GatherUp::GathGameState/update()[C:\Flash Projects\Gather Up\src\com\titch\GatherUp\GathGameState.as:223]
at com.adamatomic.flixel::FlxGame/onEnterFrame()[C:\Flash Projects\Gather Up\src\com\adamatomic\flixel\FlxGame.as:366]

I was just shooting at one of those blue crawly guys.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Mon, Nov 23, 2009
Thanks Chevy. Addressed that issue. It's related to a target being dropped when target code is being processed.

Updated. Added a bunch of sounds. Made the map prettier. Enemy now do damage to you. You can now back flip dodge by either pressing the opposite direction to the one you are walking in or tapping the up arrow, if you are dodging attacks won't hit you (but you can't shoot.). Worked on the area switching code. The area basically loops eternally now.

Dodging is going to need some work now I've got proof of concept. The character will be able to dodge in 3 ways, towards, away and on the spot (possibly a shield). So I'll be adding the two new dodge 'modes' and adjusting the controls to compensate.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Giant_Gamer on Tue, Nov 24, 2009
Comparing to the prototype of Level up to this, I would say it looks great. I also have a better idea of why this would not be just another area with Level up game-play. (Not that it would be such a bad thing ;) )

I can clearly see the differences in concept from the first project to the second. Just by playing what you have so far.

Not that I presume to tell you what to do, I also will note I have no clue to what you have in mind for this project, it would be nice however to see a few things.
1. Multiple weapons. Such differences in speed, weight and image.
(maybe having your gun out might keep you from jumping as far, or switching weapons night allow you to jump further. Alternatively having a heavy duty weapon give a big kick back that lets you span greater differences, but not in height.)
2. power-ups, like ammo & health packs . (since it looks like "regen" might be out of the picture.)

That's all my thoughts for now.
G_G
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Tue, Nov 24, 2009
Quote
1. Multiple weapons. Such differences in speed, weight and image.
(maybe having your gun out might keep you from jumping as far, or switching weapons night allow you to jump further. Alternatively having a heavy duty weapon give a big kick back that lets you span greater differences, but not in height.)

Good call. This is going to be at the centre of the project.

Most of the 'RPG' side of Gather Up is going to be about the six different weapons you have and making weapon 'mods' from the things you collect from defeated enemies. Each weapon will be very distinctive and a vital part of the game will be customising your weapon selection until it's fits your play 'style'. Weapon modifcations offer benefits with slight drawbacks. For example a laser sight adds accuracy and speeds up aiming, but increases weight, increasing recoil and reload delay slightly.

Ammo is going to be THE important resource. There is no more time limit in Gather Up. It's under consideration because ideas I have about manufacturing your own ammo seem like the might be too micro-manage-y. Strictly limiting it might take the fun out of combat. Using your weapons in smart ways to save ammo is probably going to be a core part of 'winning'.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Rice Bowl on Fri, Nov 27, 2009
I thought the prototype was fairly fun. I'd like to see you implement jumps that require timing, maybe with moving enemies, obstacles, or platorms. I really liked he jump/climb syste; it reminded me of Zelda and I can see a lot of potential for it. The combat was kinda stale, though. All it was was button-mashing and dodging when necessary, so I'd like to see where you go with that.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Fri, Nov 27, 2009
I worked on some stuff today waiting for an email back about the medal problems in Gath.

(http://www.niftyhat.com/gather_up/devlog/screen_a.png) Mockup of the next area I'll be working on.

(http://www.niftyhat.com/gather_up/devlog/new_enemy.gif) New type of enemy for the temple. There are going to be at least 4 enemy types for each area. Bringing the grand total of enemies in Gather Up to 28 + the bosses.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Germille on Sat, Nov 28, 2009
that autojump and autoaim are so sweet that can give me cavities.
i loved level up, and this looks really good too, keep on the good work!
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: darthlupi on Mon, Nov 30, 2009
This is pretty awesome.  The whole time I played it I was thinking that it felt like a platform version of Chrono Trigger.  This is indeed a project I will be following.  Keep rocking it!
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Wed, Dec 2, 2009
(http://www.niftyhat.com/gather_up/devlog/wip_b.png)

Redesigning that area  (the one from the mockup). Should be playable by the weekend. =D
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: harborpirate on Thu, Dec 3, 2009
Interesting game. It feels a little odd that you can jump to dodge but can't jump around manually. Down arrow seems like it would be a more logical control for dodge, at least most of the time. (Even if the character jumps to dodge, I'd rather push down to dodge if I could get an actual jump key). I know down is currently "holster weapon", but I'd rather have a closely related key, like z, or even just have x toggle and use spacebar to fire or something.

Anyway, just food for thought there.

The controls are a bit slidey (as mentioned by another poster), but I think they're tolerable. Tightening them up just a hair probably wouldn't hurt.

I really like the "old school Prince of Persia" feel you have going here, with ledge grabs and the like.

There are some REALLY promising mechanics here, especially dodge, which even though it feels like its wired to the wrong key, works beautifully.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Fugitive of Physics on Thu, Dec 3, 2009
Found a bug.

(http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/5903/gatherupbug.png) (http://img692.imageshack.us/i/gatherupbug.png/) (http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/gatherupbug.png/1/w638.png) (http://g.imageshack.us/img692/gatherupbug.png/1/)

Just take a running jump off that upper ledge to the right. There is no way to escape.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Fri, Dec 4, 2009
Added all the main weapons. Cycle with the C key right now

Re-worked combat controls

Backflip - Tap AWAY from enemy
Roll - Tap TOWARD while holding DOWN
Switch Target - Tap DOWN
Holster Weapon - Hold DOWN

Add splash damage to the relevant guns.

Without the ammo economy, the Assault Rifle and Sniper (with it's silly good aim) are better than everything else. Need to look to that. Weapon Graphics are placeholder right now.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: OnionsXD on Wed, Dec 9, 2009
This is a great game also!

Is this one going to go on Newgrounds also when it is finsihed?
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Jordan on Wed, Dec 9, 2009
A few compliments are deserved. I played Level Up! on Newgrounds, and had neither heard nor cared about Flixel until then; I am now intrigued and somewhat tempted knowing that it was the engine behind that excellent offering. (I'm a fairly dab hand at Javascript and have even written simple games with it, so I think I might enjoy Actionscript programming!)

After the twist ending, I am mostly interested in how Gather Up! will further the plot. I am not sure what I think of the jump mechanic just yet. At the moment I find it somewhat frustrating; one of the strengths of the first game was in how it presented a "sandbox" environment with plenty of freedom and exploration, whereas this game looks much more linear. (It also explains the joke that the cute boy can't jump in the first game, no matter how much he presses [X].) Coupled with the focus on weapons—also absent from Level Up!, it is clear that this will be a very different affair indeed.

Incidentally, I started looking for any information on the development of this game to report the bug that Fugitive of Physics discovered, and so helpfully captured—so you may count that as an additional repro.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Random832 on Fri, Dec 18, 2009
On Linux, I have keyboard issues - it sometimes acts like I momentarily let go of the arrow and pressed it again instead of holding it down (which leads to "stuttery" running and missed jumps.) I have observed this on a few other flash games, and it is much worse in the prototype than it is in the Level Up 100% Complete reward (though it is present in both)

(I also occasionally have unexpected transitions into dash in Level Up, which is probably a symptom of the same kind of issue)

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9.1.5) Gecko/20091109 Ubuntu/9.10 (karmic) Firefox/3.5.5 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729)
Shockwave Flash 10.0 r42
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Pure on Wed, Dec 30, 2009
The slidiness feels really weird. I feel like I'm driving a car on wheels that has to spend a lot of time speeding up and slowing down, instead of a person running around.

I don't like not being able to jump on my own. I can understand not being able to jump in a game as a design decision, or by virture of being a heavy robot or something, but the character can clearly jump. It doesn't seem right to have to back track and trigger the autojump to grab a platform that's only one square above my head when I'm standing next to it. Let me jump straight up and grab ledges, ala Prince of Persia.

The gun system is promising, but a little boring as it is. What about seperate keys to aim and shoot? It's strange to me that I can't tell how accurate I am without shooting at it first.

Smoke trails or tracers would be nice visual disinction between the guns. Aside from the rockets, the guns are rather same-ey.


I'm looking forward to seeing further iterations. Even the prototype is a lot of fun. Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Wed, Dec 30, 2009
The slidiness feels really weird. I feel like I'm driving a car on wheels that has to spend a lot of time speeding up and slowing down, instead of a person running around.

Basically every itteration I do on movement ****s the slidy-ness levels up. So I've given up balancing it on every itteration. You will be able to almost stop on a dime, but accellerating will still take a bit of time (like 1-2 tiles running for top speed).

I don't like not being able to jump on my own. I can understand not being able to jump in a game as a design decision, or by virture of being a heavy robot or something, but the character can clearly jump. It doesn't seem right to have to back track and trigger the autojump to grab a platform that's only one square above my head when I'm standing next to it. Let me jump straight up and grab ledges, ala Prince of Persia.

This definitly, I'm going to add some kind of contextual grab move for platforms that are only 1-2 units out of reach. It's been niggling me for a while, especially because of the number of weirdly shaped bits I have to put into the level to make the level 'work'. The autojump is here to stay though, because I -need- the jump button for shooting and I don't want combat to become a jump evade fest.

The gun system is promising, but a little boring as it is. What about separate keys to aim and shoot? It's strange to me that I can't tell how accurate I am without shooting at it first.

Complex issue.

Item 1: Realism. In reality you wouldn't be able to tell your chances of hitting something until you shot at it. I think possibly the level mechanic in the game is going to play a part in this. So before you shoot you'll have a broader 'guessed' chance of hitting

Item 2: Button count. I don't think games should have more than 6 buttons. If it has more than that then the controls are too complex. There is a Z lock on key, but it should be non-essential unless players want to absolutely maximise their gains. Under the current mapping you can 'tap' to lock on to an enemy as the player won't shoot whilst drawing guns.

Item 3: The processor cost of finding the nearest enemy. Every time the game tries to find a new target it has to check all the enemies on the stage and do a distance calculation which is a little expensive. So I don't want to be checking it all the time.

My last attempt to 'fix' this problem was a fairly big disaster. So now I'm just looking at way of migiating it that don't involve 'check for new targets every single frame'

Smoke trails or tracers would be nice visual disinction between the guns. Aside from the rockets, the guns are rather same-ey.

Getting tired of repeating myself. Current gun art is ALL placeholder. It's subject to change. I don't want to spend a bunch of time coding effects for guns that might change in visual style. There will be tracers, smoke, shooting animations, drawing animation and reloading animations. But not untill I've got the acctual final design of the weapons.

The design of the weapons is -really- important because so much of the game revolves around them, in both gameplay and story, so I don't want to rush anything.

Thanks for your feedback =D
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: lithander on Wed, Dec 30, 2009
Item 3: The processor cost of finding the nearest enemy. Every time the game tries to find a new target it has to check all the enemies on the stage and do a distance calculation which is a little expensive. So I don't want to be checking it all the time.

When performance issues start to affect your gameplay decisions it's probably time to optimize:

A fairly generic approach to speed up searches like that is to have objects register themselves in a spatial lookup map. Like dividing your stage in 100x100 clusters of tiles and for every cluster you maintain an array containing all objects in the cluster. Now when you want the nearest object to a position you check the cluster first that's containing this position. On a fail you expand your search to all clusters touching those you searched last.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: TheUltimaton on Sat, Jan 9, 2010
On your prototype of Gather Up! you have one of the big glitches from Level Up!, the game will not play for some people, I don't know if you are going to leave the prototype like that and edit that in the actual game but it may be a problem.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Sat, Jan 9, 2010
On your prototype of Gather Up! you have one of the big glitches from Level Up!, the game will not play for some people, I don't know if you are going to leave the prototype like that and edit that in the actual game but it may be a problem.

That isn't a glitch in MY code. It's a glitch in the code of various Ad Blockers (Privoxy and Kerpasky). I did spend time researching a solution, and failed to find one beyond telling peope to switch their ad blockers off, which is dangerous (for idiots) and self serving for me. Right now what concerns me more about the poor souls unable to play my game is the number of messages I get about it not working.

I did spend some time trying to figure it out, but
a) I'm not smart enough. I'm a designer, not a hotshot coder. If I knew how ad blockers ****ed up my flash I wouldn't be using Flixel to build games with.
b) I'm not about to install psychotic ad blocking software on my computer just to work out what it's problem with my game is when everything else does a fine job of not loading adverts without neuturing the whole god danm application.

Quote from: lithander
When performance issues start to affect your gameplay decisions it's probably time to optimize

I try to consider all the limiting factors about a gameplay decision because it helps keep a game in scope. Probably a few awesome ideas that could have been the next big thing died in premature death because in prototype they ran too slowly (although mostly it's because they wheren't any fun). The belife that you can add something if you optimise enough can lead to weeks of coding limbo down the line where you try and find those optimisation fixes to make everything run smoothly, or have to keep modifying some complex optimisation system you built to 'fit' with the changing shape of the game.

It's not very romantic or fun cutting things you know would improve the game because the cost to benifite ratio is too high for it to be worthwhile, but in my mind thats the nature of the beast. I've got ideas about how to make contiuos targeting cost less. If I have time left closer to my deadline and when I have more thing implimented and know more about the scope of the system I need to add, I might do it. Right now though, I'll take what works, most people don't mind having a targeting button.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Tongs on Sun, Jan 10, 2010
I love where this is going but my one problem with it is ammo. I don't know if you're going to continue with the unlimited ammo thing or not (I doubt it), but if you're not careful, it's going to be like RE in that ammo is more important than life. If you do take away unlimited ammo, which would actually make the game better in my opinion, I think you either need some sort of shop/resting point for the guy to recharge ammo and health or, since he's divine if I remember correctly, why not add a way for him to restore his own stats. Just some thoughts I hope you'll consider.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: TheUltimaton on Sun, Jan 10, 2010
Whilst playing the prototype I encountered two glitches, one where there is unlimited ammo on the assault rifle and you cannot see what the weapon is called, and floating weapons.
 I would show you if I knew how to work the insert picture button, but I dont.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Sun, Jan 10, 2010
Ehn, don't sweat the glitches right now. Once I'm in Beta non game breaking glitches are something I'll worry about.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Shinji117 on Sun, Jun 27, 2010
Anything more on this, or has it halted? I really really liked "Level Up!". In fact it was one of the best games I have played. I hope that "Gather Up!" has not died. I was looking forwards to it, so any further notices or updates? In the demo, I noticed a small problem, but that might just be the fault of my computer or something: if you keep firing after you get to 0 ammo with any weapon, you start getting into negative ammo. I take it that this isn't supposed to happen... but I could easily be wrong.
Sorry to bother you if this has stopped. But seeing as you updated this year, and you seemed to be working on it I retain hope.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Titch on Sun, Jun 27, 2010
Development on this project pretty much ground to a halt for two reasons

Firstly I have a full time job working as a games designer for a flash games development company, which leaves me feeling not very inspired to go home and code some more.

Secondly the whole thing has been going down a bit of a blind ally for the past 2 weeks of development. Gameplay isn't really fun and it's not really going to do justice as a sequel to Level Up without me scrapping a lot of stuff and re-writing it.

Not dead for good, but on the back burner for a while. I do want to get another game out before the end of this year though.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: daftmorgan on Wed, Jul 21, 2010
i really did like level up and dont think so far this game lives up to it but the game itself is very good ,will the level up concept still be there


oh and can you put in a manual jump?



(if you continue work on it)
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: kraddark on Fri, Nov 26, 2010
Dont fret!! Your loyal fans eagerly await your next creation!! So take your time and make sure its a good one! :D
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Kazaaar on Mon, Dec 6, 2010
You're running out of time, friend.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Kyrant on Fri, Dec 23, 2011
                It's been like, a year since the last reply to this, and nobody might see this but I gotta say it.
About 2 years ago, I played Level Up! and absolutely loved it. At the end I was thinking, there's gotta be a sequel!, and I looked around the web for it, to no avail. I gave up.
          Then, yesterday, I found it again and played through it one more time. In the description, there was a link to a blog, the third one made by Titch. There was talk of Gather Up, but the blog abruptly stopped about a year ago...
          I went over here the next day, and found this post.I played the prototype (it's a prototype, so I didn't judge) and read through the comments. There, about a year ago, Titch announced that he had a full time job as a game designer, and  was discouraged with really finishing Gather Up.
         Titch said he "only put it on the back burner" but, after a year, he probably scrapped it. Some people are hatin' on him, but it just goes to show how much they loved Level Up, and how exited they were for a sequel. I'm glad Titch got the job that he wanted, good for him, and he probably couldn't fit in enough time to make a whole game. But maybe he stopped because he just didn't feel like it, not because of time concerns...
         It's almost Christmas, and I'm asking Titch to give a present to all his fans: finish Gather Up! I don't care if it's crap, get it done! I'll be okay with a late Christmas gift.
              Peace out.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Umz on Thu, Dec 29, 2011
Game is epic, so much potential.. Post the code for it? Maybe someone else will finish it off?
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: Seth Sorrows on Fri, Jan 4, 2013
Development on this project pretty much ground to a halt for two reasons

Firstly I have a full time job working as a games designer for a flash games development company, which leaves me feeling not very inspired to go home and code some more.

Secondly the whole thing has been going down a bit of a blind ally for the past 2 weeks of development. Gameplay isn't really fun and it's not really going to do justice as a sequel to Level Up without me scrapping a lot of stuff and re-writing it.

Not dead for good, but on the back burner for a while. I do want to get another game out before the end of this year though.
Hello Titch and other people viewing this forum. I seriously doubt that this game will be made. Right now it is post-apocalypse. 2013. That is over NINE THOUSAND! two years from when the creator last posted. If he says there would be a hiatus and it has been two years... he lied. The game is dead. It didn't survive the apocalypse. Everyone say goodbye to Gather Up... the child of the famous Level Up! will be missed... Anyways... I bet this will be the last post on the forum unless someone else posts for the sake of proving me wrong. Last thing I'm gonna say is... goodbye Titch. Thanks for getting everyone's hopes up for nothing.  :'(
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: soviet.berkut on Sun, May 5, 2013
Maybe it's too late but let's forget about ruined Gather Up! and make another one sequel called Level Up 2! which will tell about a continuation of initial story.I doubt about someone reads this or it will be a good idea, but I hope that the excellent sequel of epic win game Level Up! will be published.
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: videogameguy54 on Wed, Aug 14, 2013
It's been three years, so... any news? Maybe we could start a Kickstarter. (If you couldn't tell, I really want this game)
Title: Re: Gather Up [Prototype]
Post by: ashaw596 on Mon, Feb 3, 2014
Yeah! I'd support a kickstarter! lets go!!!