Debug Formulation - a swarmy shooty space bug game

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jph_wacheski
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Debug Formulation - a swarmy shooty space bug game

Post by jph_wacheski » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:19 pm

I thought I had posted this awhile back when I had a working demo, however I don't see it. Anyway, check it out here;

http://www.indiedb.com/games/debug-form ... ation-demo

I am testing out Desura for future game distribution as I quite like the setup, still not sure their cut of the sales, but they seem quite reasonable in many regards, so I expect that is too. I see that posting there is followed by many good folks, and one day in, a buddy noticed this sweet coverage, and sent me this link.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/02 ... rmulation/

I have the full version ready and am just awaiting Desura approval for it to go live.
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Kjell
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Post by Kjell » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:17 pm

:)

Very nice game. Not sure if you're open for feedback at this stage still ... but

- A "how to play" sequence ( or section on your website ) would really help. The first couple of times I had no idea how to progress in the game, which was quite frustrating.

- And even once you find out how it works, the first wave still takes quite a bit of time to complete ( especially since your gun doesn't fire so fast yet ). Perhaps the first couple of waves could have less enemies?

- Some of the text is nearly impossible to read on my monitor. In particular the "demo version" / "use headphones" lines on the title screen and controls in the help .. but even the score / wave indicators need more then a quick glance to decipher.

K

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jph_wacheski
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Post by jph_wacheski » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:55 pm

Thanks for the feedback,. appreciated.

I would like to have done an in-game demo thingy, however from past experience those are quite a lot of work to do, and this is just a small/quick game. I could expand the info in the help screen to include a bit more detailed description of the play mechanic, or just a text tag that attaches itself to the first pod, "shoot this", "collect this" may be enough. Anyway I think it is already possible to figure all the mechanic out from trial and error anyway. Just shooting the bugs you will eventually knock a pod back up the screen,. notice your pow meter dropping as pod go off the bottom, etc.

I do agree that the first wave is a tad slow, but it builds up quite quick after that, and it can still be a bit of a challenge, to get past it. It is maddening to lose a ship on that 'slow' level. The bugs can be nasty at times. Also like the jazz masters taught "the space between the notes" is as important,. .

I will have a look at the text and try to make it pop a bit more. I work in a dark room and keep my screen bright, and not everyone does.

Also, I recall you you had posted some method to deal with large scores,. what it the limit of ZGE integers? and do you recall that work-around?? Thanks.
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Kjell
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Post by Kjell » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:20 pm

Hi jph,
jph_wacheski wrote:I recall you you had posted some method to deal with large scores,. what it the limit of ZGE integers? and do you recall that work-around?? Thanks.
Back when i ran into that problem, you could only use floats with the RenderText component. Nowadays you can use integers as well ( using intToStr ) which is a significant step up :) ZGE uses 32-bit signed integers, so the maximum number is 2.147.483.647.

If you want to go beyond that, the easiest solution is to use 2 integers, representing a low and a high part. Let's say the the low part is only supposed to go up to 1.000.000. This means that when the low part for example reaches 1.000.024, you subtract it by 1.000.000 so it becomes 24, while you add 1 to the high number.

Then once you want to render them, you first convert them to strings, make sure the low number has 6 characters ( so it becomes a string of 000024 ) and simply use Text = HighString + LowString.

K

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VilleK
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Post by VilleK » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:52 pm

Yeah, great game. I did not understand the objective at first either, but once I did it became very awarding to play. Perhaps you could do some text annotations to a youtube-video, pausing the gameplay and display hints there. That is easier to create then a in-game tutorial mode.

Congrats to the nice writeup on rockpapershotgun and positive comments too!

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Post by jph_wacheski » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:30 pm

Thanks Kjell, that helps. Ville, you are right, I am just going to add some videos of people playing it to the site and that should make the objectives clear.

So it was a bit of hoop jumping to get it published, but now Debug Formulation is available from Desura; http://www.desura.com/games/debug-formulation

I will report back my experience using that indie game distribution community/service. So far, seem quite reasonable.
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