GT Machaira

2009, November 25th 5:57 PM

Ironically, the game during the "Art Game" month is probably the ugliest yet. Then again, it's also the least polished and least gamelike. And, yes, I completely ignored the official theme.

Download GT Machaira (zip version).

I'm not providing a screenshot for this, but I am going to describe the purpose of the game and whether I felt it was successful. So yeah I'm basically breaking every convention so far.

My original plan with this was to muck about with sidescroller brawler balance and see if I came up with a game idea. To put it simply: sidescroller brawler balance is very difficult, and I didn't come up with a game idea. I basically just spent four days learning about the genre from a development point of view and discovering a whole ton of stuff that didn't work and mistaken impressions I had.

For example, sidescrollers? Really goddamn fucking fast. In WoW I'm used to cast times in the 1-2 second range, and effects that last multiple seconds. In order to make this thing feel good I was literally balancing single frames, and doing a bad job of that to boot.

So eventually I got it to its current state – which is actually kind of fun – and realized that I simply do not know enough to continue. I need to research. Lots of Super Smash Brothers playing, lots of old brawler playing, that sort of thing. I need to sit down with Super Mario World and really understand its physics. It will be a lot of work, and so I'm providing the game as it stands.

I'd be interested in feedback. I know the art sucks, I know the music and sound are . . . nonexistent. I may write up a bit more in a week or two once I've had time to ponder this a bit. I may also release a 1.1 – there's one or two features I couldn't provide due to some failures in the framework I'm using, but I've got to fix those at some point and might change things once I do. We'll see.

GT means Gameplay Test. It is not meant to be a complete game, or even a particularly cohesive vision – it's me mucking about with stuff and seeing what happens. There may be more GT games.

Next project: GT Machaira OSX. It's time to go crossplatform.

And now, I'm going to go play New Super Mario Bros Wii.

  • Tang

    2009, November 25th 7:20 PM

    A few thoughts:

    Attacking while slowing down to turn performs a long attack in the direction currently facing. That doesn't feel right.

    It is difficult to hit anything with the straight-up attack, and the attack patterns almost guarantee that you have to take a down-hit to be in the situation where you can hit something.

    I found it notable that the AI would sometimes fall back.

  • Zorba

    2009, November 25th 7:42 PM

    Curious. I'm having some trouble duplicating it reliably, but I've definitely had a few cases where back-attack hasn't done the "right thing". I'll have to see what's going on with that.

    In an early version, there was a "back attack" that you could do by hitting back-and-attack simultaneously. In reality, this either meant I had to delay all attacks in order to see if the user was about to hit "back", which felt basically like ass, or it meant that you had to hit "back" before doing the attack which was starting to give me hand cramps from testing.

    In Nanok, one of the problems I ran into was that the enemies would attack too much. You really need for the enemies to back off often to give the player a chance to be awesome. I think, from some more thought, this has to be proportional to how many enemies are nearby – the more enemies there are, the more space they have to give the player – otherwise groups of enemies aren't fun.

    It's always kind of sad when you have to program enemies to be intentionally stupid.

    I'm not sure how to make the up-attack better, aside from giving the enemies a stronger but longer-delay down attack so you can actually respond properly. I'm also a little hesitant to make the enemies overcomplicated, but I suppose this is also why games tend to have many relatively-simple enemies that can be mixed up in interesting ways.

    Things to think about.

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