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Project Pixlar: A game in the making!
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - C3 Museum - Summer 2013 - Project Pixlar: A game in the making!
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Before you ask: no, this is not a Super Mario World hack. I would hope that would be obvious as soon as you watch the video, but I just wanted to clear that up. At the same time, I imagine this should appeal to players of SMW since the genre is similar!

So this has been a project I've been working on for about four months now, though I only started taking it really seriously (working on it 6-7 hours a day) since June. It's an Indie puzzle-platformer with some unique concepts:

-The game relies on "Pixels" - as you can see in the video, there are a variety of colors. Grey ones allow blocks to be placed which build paths and press switches, green ones allow sprouts to grow into vines, red ones start fires, etc.
-The game will also feature "Bitshifting", though this is not seen in the video. At a certain point early in the game, you will be able to "flip" between an 8-bit and a 16-bit version of a level. The 8-bit version will have pixellated graphics and 8-bit music, whereas the 16-bit with have SNES-era graphics with a more modern version of the level music. I will require you to switch between the two frequently in order to solve puzzles.

Here is a sample of my work so far. I've poured about 150 hours into getting the framework, enemies, etc. down, and I'm at the point where levels are moving along at a rather nice pace.


Click here to watch the gameplay video.


You may also be interested in my ongoing soundtrack thread (since 2011), which is what inspired me to start this game in the first place:

Soundtrack thread.



That's what I've got to offer for this C3. I welcome any questions, comments, ideas, concerns, etc. Enjoy!
I knew you were gonna post this ^-^
I love the sountrack of it, and as it looks I will also love the game itself :3
this is great. The only thing I don't like about it is the player - I think he looks a little bit wierd when he moves.

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My YT channel
The idea is certainly coming along here. The idea of "Bitshifting" I find extremely unique! This concept is better then I thought it was and the hours you have put into it seemed to have paid off. Good job!
I didn't think you knew any programming.

Just from watching the video I'm a little lukewarm toward it. It doesn't look particularly interesting or new, but from your post it appears that the video just didn't show it off enough.

You might consider redesigning the menus, they look a bit out of place.

I didn't listen with the sound on, but given the circumstances I'm sure the soundtrack will be great.
Originally posted by HuFlungDu
Just from watching the video I'm a little lukewarm toward it. It doesn't look particularly interesting or new, but from your post it appears that the video just didn't show it off enough.


Unfortunately, that's one of the downsides to showing off preliminary or tech-like stuff this early on. Most of the overly unique and "interesting" stuff isn't quite there just yet.

Originally posted by HuFlungDu
You might consider redesigning the menus, they look a bit out of place.


Oh, no doubt. Both the title screen menus, the pause menu, and the stats screen are all going to get an overhaul in terms of effects, animations, and general layout.

Thanks for the feedback.
Haha, this looks pretty damn cool. The "block placing" gimmick looks like a pretty fun idea that I can see being used in a lot of clever and interesting ways. The graphics look especially nice too, despite being pixellated. I also really love the music for the rainy level; it seems to fit perfectly. (Which song was that in the soundtrack by the way? I don't actually remember hearing it before this video.)From what I can tell the coding seems to be pretty decent as well. There isn't an clipping through objects, which I found pretty impressive since object collision is probably one of the hardest things to do in my experience. Those bridge slopes must have been a nightmare to code, so props for getting those right. The only thing that bugged me while watching this was the "end level" sequence. For some reason it felt a bit cheesy to me, though that's probably due to the music (I assume it's WIP.) The zooming effect was a nice touch though.

Overall, this looks really nice for a first game. I can definitely see a lot of potential in this, and I can't wait to play the final version!
It is very amazing you have coded this all by yourself (from what I gather), and it is very impressive indeed. The gameplay seems pretty cool and the idea is amazing, unfortunately, I find it to be pretty slow paced and the constant grid on some areas can be kind of jarring to those of us with, well, not the best eyesight. Even when I am creating custom GFX with YY-CHR, I do not use the grid simply because of how much it takes of my eyesight.

Fortunately, this is still in beta (early production), so many things are bound to be a major work in progress. Do keep this up, and might you continue to show off this project in another thread on the central?

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Your layout has been removed.
Originally posted by Jimmy52905
(Which song was that in the soundtrack by the way? I don't actually remember hearing it before this video.)


"Load". I had planned on using it later in an ice-based level, but it seemed to fit surprisingly well here so I just left it.

Originally posted by Jimmy52905
Those bridge slopes must have been a nightmare to code, so props for getting those right.


Mostly with the angles. I probably tested that bridge about 50 times and constant shifted tiles up and down to create the perfect set of collisions. Many resulted in the player or enemies getting stuck.

Originally posted by Jimmy52905
The only thing that bugged me while watching this was the "end level" sequence.


This was kind of a last-minute thing for this video. Originally it just faded to the map screen, and I found that a bit on the boring side. Having a silly little jingle and a zoom is at least something for now.

Originally posted by metalgearsolid
I find it to be pretty slow paced


I only noticed this post-production, but the whole video actually appears a little more sluggish than it should. You might notice that the timer doesn't actually increment once every second, but rather every 1.5 or so. I don't exactly know why this happened. In terms of gameplay pace .. well, I can't disagree with you there. I want to start things off kind of slow and then gradually ramp things up as the game progresses.

Originally posted by metalgearhunter
Fortunately, this is still in beta (early production), so many things are bound to be a major work in progress.


Yep. I've already went back to the first level and changed things countless times, so I imagine things will only become more polished as time goes on.

Originally posted by metalgearhunter
might you continue to show off this project in another thread on the central?


I've learned in the past that having a thread for game-based projects isn't always the best idea (personal thing, your mileage may vary). It tends to lead to an obligation to update, making things more forced and more boring over time (e.g. "check out this amazing new blade of grass I drew!"). That being said, no, I probably won't make a separate thread for this. I'll just post videos now and then whenever I do something significant with it.
Originally posted by S.N.N.
Originally posted by metalgearhunter
might you continue to show off this project in another thread on the central?


I've learned in the past that having a thread for game-based projects isn't always the best idea (personal thing, your mileage may vary). It tends to lead to an obligation to update, making things more forced and more boring over time (e.g. "check out this amazing new blade of grass I drew!"). That being said, no, I probably won't make a separate thread for this. I'll just post videos now and then whenever I do something significant with it.


Very true. I find it to be tedious when a thread is posted and then you put in the effort to try updating it whenever you can. Eventually, you feel like you're making it for others rather than yourself and you lose enjoyment in it or in other terms, interest, so I see your point there.

Plus, I never noticed you had a timer, my eyesight's pretty bad. :P

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Your layout has been removed.
Looks like a lot more of the general foundation is in place, which is great because it leaves you more room to flex your creative muscles down the road. The block-placing and world-shifting mechanics sound interesting, and I'm looking forward to how you'll use them in puzzles once players get through all the introductory stuff.

It looks like the blocks you can place are currently one-time-use only, so I'm curious how you're planning to deal with situations where players run out of stock mid-level? Respawn some of them after use, for example?

I like the lo-fi panoramic backgrounds, though the gridding in the sky (the first level) might be a bit much- I'm not sure.

But yeah, that's plenty of progress since the last video! Keep at it :b

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Youtube (Main) | Youtube (Alt) | Bandcamp | DeviantART
Originally posted by AxemJinx
which is great because it leaves you more room to flex your creative muscles down the road.


You have no idea how excited I am to finally start doing that flexing!

Originally posted by AxemJinx
It looks like the blocks you can place are currently one-time-use only, so I'm curious how you're planning to deal with situations where players run out of stock mid-level? Respawn some of them after use, for example?


I'm actually thinking of creating spawners in certain locations, kind of like the egg blocks in Yoshi's Island. In the first level, I don't think it's necessary, but it's actually possible to get stuck at the end of the second level if you use up all of the pixels right now. I'll definitely think of a solution once the levels become more puzzle-oriented.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
I like the lo-fi panoramic backgrounds, though the gridding in the sky (the first level) might be a bit much- I'm not sure.


I'm pretty displeased with that background in general. I personally think the one in the second level turned out much better and more authentic.

Originally posted by AxemJinx
But yeah, that's plenty of progress since the last video! Keep at it :b


Thanks for your continued support!
If this was a SMW hack, I'd tell you both levels are very empty, especially the first one since it has no enemies at all, but since that's not the case, and the players won't be used to the game mechanics, I guess it's alright. Just make sure the later levels will have more action.

That being said, I can see this will be a fun platfomer. I like the pixel placing mechanic, you could use that to make puzzles or hide secrets in the later worlds. I noticed the status bar contains pixels of different colors, so I suppose you have a lot of more things planned for those.

Good luck with this project.
With everything still being subject to change it's hard to tell what I can or cannot comment on, but I'll give it a shot.

First, it's kind of a relief to see you working on something - you know, nice to see you're sticking with the game-making scene, whether it's SMW hacking or something different.

The first three levels make the game look like barely more than your typical jump-'n'-run with a visual gimmick, but I trust the unique concepts you mentioned will become more conspicuous later on. They do sound like interesting ones, so I'm curious what you'll do with them.

The graphical style, overall, looks promising to me. I think what's throwing me off the most is the non-standardised pixel size (compare the player character, the golden pixels and the foreground), but I'm unsure if anything can be done about that without making things look either boring or confusing.
At times I feel foreground elements a tad too bright or saturated compared to the background, but that may very well just be my own taste. (I'm a sucker for pastel tones.)
Final graphical suggestion, which you had probably had in mind yourself: find a sans-serif font for ingame text.

The physics look spot-on to me, and in general, everything has been put together very well. The programming's definitely pretty neat.
I know I've asked this before, but what framework/library/whatever are you using for this? Interesting how it lets you code a boss in 70 lines yet still seems to offer so much programming freedom.

The soundtrack will be an amazing one, no doubt about that, and a mighty professional sounding one too. I'm wondering how well your epic, minor-key composing style will go with carefree, grassy levels like the first one, but I trust the later scenery will adapt to the sound that accompanies it.

Overall, this is a game worth keeping an eye on for sure. Good luck with its development!

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This looks very promising! I'm particularly impressed by the bitshifting feature, even if it's not in the video; I wonder how the transition between 8 bit and 16 bit will sound. Good job on the 4-layered background (also, that level reminds me a bit of Ghosts 'n' Goblins :P).
C3 2016 NEW - C3 2014 - C3 2013

Quest on Full Moon Island 2
Originally posted by aj6666
Just make sure the later levels will have more action.


Definitely.

Originally posted by WhiteYoshiEgg
find a sans-serif font for ingame text.


I had an 8-bit font before, but the 8's looked too much like 0's so I scrapped it. I'm hoping I can eventually find someone willing to whip me up a font - otherwise, I may just attempt it myself.

Originally posted by WhiteYoshiEgg
I know I've asked this before, but what framework/library/whatever are you using for this?


The underlying framework is C# HTML5, and the graphics are rendered using WebGL.

Originally posted by WhiteYoshiEgg
I'm wondering how well your epic, minor-key composing style will go with carefree, grassy levels like the first one, but I trust the later scenery will adapt to the sound that accompanies it.


Haha, yep, I'm still a sucker for the minor key and probably always will be. As such, a lot of my levels are going to be straying from the themes most players are used to and taking on a more "dark" set of scenery. The rest of world 1, for instance, consists of a lava cave, a ghost forest, and a tower level that takes place in outer space.

Originally posted by RednGreen
I wonder how the transition between 8 bit and 16 bit will sound.


Although I don't have the entire shifting gimmick coding yet, I do have the music done for it. Essentially, there are two tracks playing at once (8-bit version and 16-bit version) with one muted and the other at full volume. Once you activate the shift, the volume on the loud one will fade to silence and the volume on the silent one will fade to full volume. The graphical part of it is going to take a bit more work, but it'll likely involve despawning and respawning sections of the level on the fly.
Very interesting. I unfortunately do not really like the gameplay. I mean, the interaction with the blocks is very cool, however, is still necessary to have more interaction, in my opinion. Not bad, but I believe you can improve.
If this was your first game, believe me, that is not bad.

The graphics are very simple, yet very cool. I will not raise a greater critical about it, since in my opinion, graphics are nothing compared to what the game really is.

The music is certainly the high point of his game. All are very well done. It is difficult nowadays to find indie games with a soundtrack so good. Congratulations.

I honestly do not know if you are a games programmer, or do it as a hobby, or if another game has done before, but I know that your game has a future. If you give a little more attention to the gameplay itself, to use their creativity more and maybe add more attractions, such as handling the character for example, you will certainly create an excellent game.

7.1/10 for your work.
PMBRProfilebye
So, I'd been waiting to see how you did! Like I've said before, it's really nice to see someone actually jumping into game creation. I hadn't really thought this sort of project would be heard of without a team of ten or more people prior to you talking about it, and it's inspirational to know you can do all this while still having a busy life in general.

As for the game, yeah, it boasts a ton of potential. People don't seem to be exactly blown away by the gameplay so far, something I didn't think of due to the fact that aesthetics always make up most of the enjoyment I get out of a game. I guess the design isn't exactly godly, but it's decent and that's enough as far as I'm concerned, not to mention we've seen you display some great design/creative skill while still on the SMW hacking scene. The graphics have a neat, characteristic style that people will probably find memorable too, and the music is excellent as always. You also have some smart gimmicks in line that could be really cool if you execute them correctly.

If you play your cards right, this game could be very memorable. Neat stuff, and I'll look forwards to anything else you might want to show us in the future!

By the way, how plot-oriented will this be? Your plots were really good in KT and FD so it would be cool to see some kind of storyline, though it does look a bit tougher somehow through this game.
Originally posted by S.N.N.
The underlying framework is C#, and the graphics are rendered using WebGL.

... Wat? In what environment are those in the same place?
...oh, fuck. I meant HTML5, not C#. Oops.

(actually, the very ancient version of this utilized a C# framework and did not utilize WebGL. I guess my mind was stuck in the past or something.)
Oh, so it's JavaScript? I've been meaning to make an HTML5 game (besides space marine 5, which hardly counts) for quite some time now. That's cool. Does WebGL work a lot better than a canvas? I've used a canvas for a tetris game and a little animation demo I made to learn javascript, but I think it might be pretty limited. Are you using a WebGL library or doing it straight? If a library, which one? Neato.

For a second I thought you were using some terrible amalgamation of HTML5 and silverlight. That would make me sad.
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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - C3 Museum - Summer 2013 - Project Pixlar: A game in the making!

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