[My Indie Game] Block Brawler

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by deceptious, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Fighter/Brawler Genre
    Child Friendly
    2-4 Players (2-8 only in Mega Brawl Mode)

    Made with Unity
    Windows/Mac/Linux
    Gamepad controls

    Made by: Just me...
    Business model (If it were to be green lit): You buy it, you own it. No micro transactions rubbish.

    So yeah, this is something I've been working on and I'm looking to stick it up on GreenLight soon.

    In the mean time early access, but working, versions are available on IndieDB:
    http://www.indiedb.com/games/block-brawler/

    What is it? It's a very simple "fighting" game, think SmashBros but basic...

    You are all cubes, and the idea is to jump around and slam down onto your opponents to squash them. Each time you get squashed you lose health and size, lose too much and you are out.
    But... the smaller you are the faster you move. And certain routes are available only to smaller blocks.

    Went out first and everyone is still playing?
    Well you're a ghost now! You can't come back and win... but perhaps you can get revenge on who knocked you out by blocking their attacks or progress.

    Find yourself in trouble? Use dash for a quick boost away!

    Here's a video of the prototype being played.
    Originally this was developed on PS4 as part of a university project (my concept and ideas, other peoples models and textures).


    Since then I have remade the whole thing on my own for PC/Mac/Linux.
    Here's how it looks now (need to film new gameplay footage).

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    Multiple Levels are now included.

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    Here's a shot of the "Sewers" Map

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    And the "Facility"

    Currently in the available demos there is also a new version of "Hills" from the prototype, and "Pyramid" which can be seen further down.

    Game Modes
    So to expand on the "Squash your foes!" concept outlined above there are a few different modes available.
    All are pretty similar, but here's the run down:

    Normal
    2-4 players
    Free-for-all
    Last player standing wins

    Teams
    2v2... 1v3... 2v1... You don't have to be fair!
    Red vs blue
    Last team standing wins
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    Mega
    2-8 players
    Free-for-all
    Last player standing wins
    Got a lot of controllers and friends over? It might happen...

    Zone Control
    2-4 players
    Hold the zone, first to fill their score bar wins
    Now if you get knocked out you do respawn

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    Choose your skin!
    Pick from 20 different skins in the lobby! (Not available in team mode)

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    GreenLight and going forward
    So yeah... I want to Green Light this on steam.
    But in the mean time I'd love it if people could give the newest IndieDB versions a try!

    Early Access
    Even if i get onto GreenLight the Game is not finished.
    It works sure, but there's more i want to add. More levels, more skins, more modes.
    And I want to make it better, it needs tweaking and touching up, and some of this is what i need the feed back for.

    There's so much trash able to get through GreenLight and on Steam already (Anyone who follows the likes of Jim Sterling knows this) and I don't want to add the the collection of bad games... So ANY feedback is appreciated.

    In-fact, as much as I'd love people to say they like it, I'd much rather know how to make it better! :p

    I know the concept is sound, and that the game is fun from the prototype. But that was made as a team of 7, with other teams to play test as well. This version is just me... without a lot of available testers around me.

    Thanks for checking this thread out, double thanks if you check out the game!


    tl : dr
    I made a game, play it plz?
    In need of feedback and hopefully help through GreenLight.

    -Deceptious
    LeoV, NathanRP, Tahitan and 4 others like this.
  2. This looks really neat that you made it yourself! I will try to try it out!
  3. Seems great! I'll definitely check it out, and follow your progress!
  4. Looks like fun :)

    Some initial feedback:
    • VOLUME CONTROL in options. Personal taste only, I really don't like "chiptune"-style music and would love to turn it down or off. It gets annoying and repetitive fast.
    • On the screen where you can choose your block color/skin, the little "thump" noise that plays as you move the cursor - it plays even if the cursor doesn't move, if you tilt a controller joystick slightly. I suspect you coded this for player input, and would recommend revising that so it only plays a sound when the cursor actually moves. Right now, you can create a continual "thumpthumpthumpthumpthump" just by tilting the control stick the barest amount (and the cursor does not move).
    • Definitely needs an AI / computer-player alternative before you try for Greenlight. There's only so much feedback anyone can provide solo.
    • When a match is done, it should take you back to the "Level Chooser" for that game-type. Quicker for players to pick up a new match. Might also recommend swapping the order of the "Players / Join" menu and Level Chooser. Once you get a party together, it improves the game flow to pick a new level and keep going (look to Smash Bros. games as an example).
      • Current game flow: "Main Menu" -> "Game Mode" -> "Level" -> "Players" // Match ends, return to main menu
      • Recommended: "Main Menu" -> "Game Mode" -> "Players" -> "Level" // Match ends, return to Players.
    • Add a timed option to matches. The way things are now, you could have two players infinitely chasing each other around, unable to kill the other. Or one decides to be a troll and run / evade constantly, and the match would never end.
    • The cooldown on the "slam" is too long. Being stuck to the ground works as a balance mechanic, but consider dropping that freeze to a few frames of animation, rather than a time-out. My brain is telling me it's only a second, maybe two at most, but it's definitely long enough that it takes you out of the action.
    • Ability to cancel a Slam, and/or have it "run out" after a certain downward distance. Right now, once you Slam, that's it, you're locked into rapid downward motion and can drop all the way from the top of a level to the very bottom. Giving players the ability to use it as a form of movement, rather than strictly an attack, would be healthy I think, and improve the dynamics of a match. (People could Slam / Cancel / Walljump back up over their opponent, for instance).
      • In particular, Kirby's Down-B "brick" attack from SSBM/SSBB comes to mind.
    • Too "floaty." I'd suggest upping the speed and gravity a bit. Jump height and the ability to wall-jump is good, but your blocks practically hover and I think as with the "squash" cooldown, it slows down your game too much.
    • Nitpick, several times (particularly on short platforms), I've found myself floating off the side rather than jumping as intended. Which is to say, sliding sideways going for a jump, and the jump doesn't trigger. Not sure how ground detection is being determined, maybe I just suck and need more practice?
    • Silly thing, but consider tweaking the "blocks" to be actual cubes. When the view pans away too far down, it looks like they're elongated rectangles. I don't know why this bothers me and it's an insanely trivial detail, but there you are.
    Think that's about all I've got. Since I have no one to play against (and no CPU to match up with), it's hard to provide more concrete gameplay suggestions. Hopefully you find some of that useful though :) Fun game, overall! Lots of potential.
    607 and ScrObot like this.
  5. This is awesome thanks!

    • Working on the options menu already :) Volume control for both music and sound effects separately
    • Thumping sound I can and will fix easily :)
    • Yeah a timer would be handy... need to look where to fit that in the UI, top-center will probably be fine.
    • Floating off/not jumping at the end of platforms. I've noticed this abit too... need to look into it, thanks for the confirmation.
    • Hmm, having a timer on the Slam Attack does sound like a good idea. You could always chain it to keep the current effect while not being limited to it.
    • The back to menu after game I should really have fixed by now... It's a lazy implementation of just restarting the game... lol

    The tricky things that I'd love to solve but are going to be harder...

    AI - AI is hard to program, competitive AI will be even harder.
    I will have to see if i can get something very basic working for at least simple "sparring" / demo.

    Tilted cam rectangles - This is very weird... they are meant to be cubes... even when they shrink they're meant to shrink in all 3 x/y/z... so I'm left scratching my head... It's looking like it might be a camera issue. Needs investigating :p

    Thanks for the feedback!
    Nitpicking is great.
    I want to get rid of the nits :p
    TsuriNeko and 607 like this.
  6. Nice, Will check it out.
  7. I know AI is tough, but it's also going to be the most necessary - unless you find it easier to add a Steam-based multiplayer/online matchmaking feature (that sounds harder to me, but what do I know). Otherwise, this will only be worth buying / Greenlighting for people who have friends physically nearby, with multiple PC controllers. Sounds to me like a very small pool to draw from.

    Another similar game came to mind last night after I'd made my post. Have you heard of Chaos Faction? Might give you some ideas, although I don't think your cubes will start carrying weapons around with them.
    607 likes this.
  8. I've been looking into the AI idea, sadly it remains a "hope to add" feature.
    Can't even setup a navmesh in the current environments let alone have an AI try and play in it.

    It is meant to be more of a local party game anyway, so I'm okay with a smaller customer base.
    :)
    Especially as this is my first real solo game! And first GreenLight effort too.

    But I have some ideas how to get around this. It's just all of them will be such an effort that I want to look into that after initiating the GreenLight. So, they are goals moving forward rather than features at present.

    Options!
    Music/SFX each have their down levels, and Mute is universal.
    Music/SFX levels are saved, so you don't have to change it every time you open the game anew.
    Mute is not remembered after exiting the program.

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    I might make the -VOLUME text smaller to help differentiate.

    I've also upped the speed/power and gravity
    It does play far better, so good call on that!

    Now though there is the slight issue that it can be too twitchy, so I need to address that before I go to GreeLight

    On that note:
    Pre GreenLight to do list:
    • I need to make my "Trailer Video" - Got the footage, just need to cut it all together
    • Twitchyness - I'll play about with the joystick zones or gradual build up of movement power, whichever feels best
    • Fix some collision boxes - found some places where it was possible to escape the level, easily fixable.
    • Better skin select controls - again... jerky joysticks. Got an idea..
    Post adding to GreenLight:
    • AI
    • More levels perhaps
    • Better cubes/animations - keeping the same mechanics

    I will post again when I have a new demo on IndieDB and again (if its not at the same time) with the GreenLight!
    607 and Kephras like this.
  9. Nice updates!

    Regarding the AI thing, I know it's not gonna be easy. Would networked / steam-integrated multiplayer be any simpler, or is that shooting for the stars? My point about needing someone besides other, local human beings to play against wasn't so much a matter of "limiting your player base" as it is "this will cripple your chances of getting Greenlit." Figure, the percentage of people who like and will vote the game up, how many of those would get limited or no actual use of it because they have no one local to play with / against? I'm not trying to be pessimistic, just realistic - you're looking at a tiny fraction of a playerbase and hoping that will be enough to put your game through, and as much as I like the idea at work here, I don't think it'd be enough.

    As for joystick twitch, if there's a way to configure that in a "controls" option, might want to make that your next priority. People have different sensitivity settings, so what you figure is the "sweet spot" in your tests, might be too sluggish for someone else, or still far too twitchy.

    Looking forward to the next post so I can try it out :) I'd love to see how the physics handle now.
    OrangeDuck607 likes this.
  10. Well its not so much the deadzones/sensitivity of the controller :p It's more the fact that it causes the player to accelerate to full speed too fast.
    So I'm leaning more towards solving the player code and not have to touch the input settings at all!

    Yeah, that is a fair point. I need to look into networked gameplay in Unity.
    I'll probably push ahead with putting it up on GreenLight just to at least get it out there and get more feedback.
    If it gets through, then.. Sweet! If not, the feedback will be invaluable

    Far worse has been green-lit in the past so :p don't know until you try.
    607 and Kephras like this.
  11. I'd spend a bit more time on it still before putting it up there, but it's your call!
    I'll try to make some time to play it tomorrow, and try to give some feedback or reactions too.
    Kephras likes this.
  12. Thanks for the feedback/ideas guys :)
    I know I said i'd put up a new version today, but right this moment I'm still not quite happy with all the elements.

    I'll say again, this would be an Early Access Green Light :p just want to get the ball rolling.
    But you are right, I should make sure that the ball is at least round before i try to roll it...

    • Fixed the jerky controls on both the skin select and the player movement. Top speed is retained, but with a slight acceleration curve so that you can have better control.
    • Jumping off the end of platforms is now more forgiving too.
    • "Holes" in the world collision have been solved :p

    Right now I'm trying to solve some of the movement related to "Dashing", its just not as good as intended/the prototype.

    Normal movement and dashing mechanics have diverged too much in the code... so now they don't want to interact as nicely as they once did.
    Going to take the time now to re-code them together.
    607 likes this.
  13. I'll be honest, I didn't use Dash at all in my testing. I'm not sure what it does. To me, it seems more "intuitive" to have a dodging ability as a quick double-tap in a given direction (left or right). A great many other games do it that way because it feels and plays naturally - I'm not sure tying it to a separate button serves you well where playability is concerned. Something to consider?


    Definitely agree with this. I know feedback is helpful to you, but there's also the matter of putting your best foot forward. I like what I've seen so far, but it certainly doesn't feel ready for Greenlight, and while I don't mean to hold you back at all (it is your game, of course), I strongly believe you should have something in place for single gamers, whether that's networked multi or some kind of AI (no matter how derpy - sometimes bad AI can even be good for a laugh).

    I've lost most of my programming skill, to the point where I can barely remember Hello World, but back when I was seriously considering game design as a career path, I acquired a book about Neural Network / AI Architecture. The basic principle is to build on simple, core behaviors, until the end result is something complex and useful.

    In this case, I think that might look as follows:

    ("Aggressive" behavior)
    1. Movement (L/R) - Bot can track the player left or right
    2. Movement (Up) - If player is above Bot, Bot will use Jump to attempt to reach Player
    3. Movement (Down) - This is where it could get tricky. If Player is below Bot, Bot will seek nearest platform gap to descend.
    4. Attack - If player is within [range] of Bot, Bot will attempt to jump over player (X coords = to player, with a +/- tolerance), and use Slam
    ("Defensive" behavior)
    Mostly the same as above, but requires that bot know its own HP / status. It will then retreat from player, using similar logic as above.

    What I'm saying is, don't look at the whole problem as "I need AI," just try to implement a bot controller that can do simple, basic things, and build up from there. You'll be amazed at how "smart" it gets (and probably laugh a lot during the process when it does ridiculously derpy stuff, too).
    607 likes this.
  14. Hmm, I could probably manage something on that level of intelligence :p

    What your behavior ideas are what I was considering for an AI thread.
    By thread I mean co-routine programming wise :p
    That way I can have it "make decisions" at slower intervals than every frame.

    I can use target distances and ray casting to determine what action the bot wants, and then execute that action every frame until the action changes.

    Navigation will be tricky... I'll take another stab at getting the native nav meshes to work. But failing that I can use more primitive methods to find platforms to jump on one at a time to try and move around.

    Dash - yeah, it's current form has ended up pretty useless so I don't blame you for ignoring it :p

    For now I'll get a new build sorted with better movement + all the other changes I've implemented and then start work on AI for the next IndieDB build. Once that's had some testing I'll think more about GreenLight
    Kephras and 607 like this.
  15. Looks cool! I've been working on my own little indie platformer game. Yours is way nicer but mines at least and effort lol. I'm
    Also using unity, are you using c# or JavaScript for it?
    607 likes this.
  16. Oh. You need a pc or xbox controller to be able to play this? :(
  17. Is this still in progress?
    Hrghorhg and 607 like this.