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Work in Progress / Gravity Force 2 Clone

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Dr Tank
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Posted: 30th Oct 2010 01:08 Edited at: 22nd Apr 2012 01:56

Version 1.7
Alternate Download Link (Sendspace)

==================

Version 1.6
Alternate Download Link (Sendspace)

Version 1.5a
Alternate Download Link (Sendspace)

Version 1.4

[center]Version 1.2a

=======================[ORIGINAL POST]============================


One of my favourite games of all time. It's a bit like worms/scorched tanks (2d destructible bitmap arena), but scrolls vertically, and is in realtime with rotate-and-thrust spaceships.

Here's some info about the original game.

I'm trying my best to keep this reasonably simple and not go too far beyond a straight remake for the first version. The original game is simple but loads of fun!



Here's a video of what I've done so far. Shots and bombs collide with the arena and take chunks out of it.

Next is to get the spaceship to land on the arena, which is quite a tricky and interesting problem.

I plan to add in loads of weapon options. The original game had loads, but I plan to add more, inspired by games like worms, such as the cluster bomb. I also want to balance the weapons a bit more since in the original game, homing weapons were like cheating.

Original was split screen, with some kind of LAN link option that I never tried. I plan to add both split screen and online multiplayer. Original was 1 vs 1 and for v1.0, this will be too.

Here's a demo hosted on Mediafire. **THIS IS ORIGINAL DEMO: FOR NEWEST DEMO SEE TOP OF POST**

Controls:
left/right arrow= turn
control key= thrust
up arrow OR spacekey = fire gun
down arrow = drop bomb
bergice
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Posted: 30th Oct 2010 02:09
I like it, add a thrust effect, and no need to inclue the source code.

51fa1db0ec7c4af52d93a6f5d0e86bc5


Dr Tank
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Posted: 30th Oct 2010 03:31 Edited at: 5th Nov 2010 17:32
Thanks.

I have since added a thrust effect. It's very simple but quite faithful to the original game.

Also have added more weapons, slow motion mode, two players, split screen options and player-shot/bomb collision. Found that can make nice looking levels quickly using "picture tubes" in Paint Shop Pro. Can land now but it can be made better.

Have not updated version posted here yet. New video on Friday.

I figure somebody might find the code useful so I left it in.
Dr Tank
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Posted: 5th Nov 2010 23:24
Here's a new vid showcasing some new weapons: cluster bombs and kinetic energy penetrator missile.

Am pretty close to having a fairly decent split screen game, although there are plenty of improvements that can be made. Have done a pretty cool thing with the split screen. Hope to show you soon.
OldPMan
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Posted: 5th Nov 2010 23:58
I like it.
keep it up.

.....already beside..... for all
Dr Tank
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Posted: 8th Nov 2010 04:07 Edited at: 8th Nov 2010 04:10
Thanks dude. Here's a video of the split screen thing I did. I thought I was being genius. Actually I was being a bit retarded. There's a much easier way to have both players see more of the screen. Answers on a postcard please.
OldPMan
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Posted: 8th Nov 2010 07:36 Edited at: 8th Nov 2010 07:42
cool skull
Need some fun bonuses. maybe moving target. or falling objects, some of which can be destroyed and some can not.
may be some rain which restores the broken part of the picture.
can already play on the network ?

My son cries - Dad I want to shoot. Give me. Well let me please.

.....already beside..... for all
Dr Tank
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Posted: 8th Nov 2010 21:21 Edited at: 13th Jan 2011 19:56
Quote: "cool skull"

I didn't draw it. I'm using free Paint Shop Pro "picture tubes" I found on the internet.

Quote: "Need some fun bonuses. maybe moving target. or falling objects, some of which can be destroyed and some can not.
may be some rain which restores the broken part of the picture."

I do want to add some new stuff to what the original game was. However, that will increase development time. I plan to release a first version and then add more stuff in later. I like the idea of laying rain, snow, sand or whatever. Think that is fairly doable. I should look to how "falling sand games" do stuff. Also I'm thinking about checking out Box2D. Would be sweet if you could detatch parts of the arena. Don't know how hard it would be to combine particle/bitmap and 2d polygon systems together.

Anyway the orignal Gravity Force 2 was a great game without these complications. For v1.0 I want to replicate that with a few extra additions (like cluster bombs, that I already have implemented)

Quote: "can already play on the network ?"

Not yet. There is 2 player split screen, although this needs stuff like menu, game winning screen etc. I have made some online test code that I have tested on our home network (2 computers off the same router). Should work well enough for this.

Here's a pic of 2 player split screen. As I said before I was being a bit dumb! Screen is wide enough for 2.


Quote: "My son cries - Dad I want to shoot. Give me. Well let me please. "

Nice! Tell him to have patience! I hope to get a lot done this week. I'll try to put online in and sort out some kind of menu thing.

My to do list [edited 13 Jan 2011]

For next demo v1.2:
*more levels
*reduce "touchdown" occurance
*make level background textures

After that - high priority:
*ONLINE!
*Improve player-level collision: landing/bouncing off non horizontal surfaces, stop player from sharing space with hard walls.
*key/joypad options
*Gun overheating, or remove from display. Remove fuel too?

Medium priority:
*weapon balancing based on player feedback
*more weapons! e.g. robot sentries
*optimise loading times, level compression
*better menus, including level preview
*triangle/triangle player collision

Low priority/ ideas:
*world options (thrust, drag, gravity etc)
*tile based level loader/editor
*special effects, shaders
*3+ players
*water/air waves
*cannon options / double special weapons mode
*time trial target destruction with leaderboards
*single player / 2 player co-op campaign mode
*player profiles with stats, leaderboards
*online match finder via ftp
TheComet
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Posted: 8th Nov 2010 22:21
This is very cool, keep it up!

TheComet

Dr Tank
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Posted: 9th Nov 2010 01:26 Edited at: 9th Nov 2010 22:03
Thanks dude.

Have put in the indestructible layer. Runs plenty fast, although probably not the most efficient implementation. The mechanics I have are far from perfect, but are basically what was in the original game, and I will leave them for now.

Getting the draw order right was a pain in the bum. Trial and error and educated guessing. Anybody have a link to some clear explanation of how it works?

09/11/10

Players now take ship shaped chunks out of level when they collide. Spent all day fixing a stupid bug with this, but it works now. Is a little slow but fast enough for v1.0. Later I hope to use something like Sven B's image kit to make things faster.

Refueling/rearming launchpads work now.

I plan to make rudimentary menus, make a few good levels and tidy up a few things. Then release 1.0.

After that online mode will be high priority.
thenerd
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Posted: 9th Nov 2010 23:42
Saw this on Youtube... awesome job with that splitscreen!

Dr Tank
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Posted: 10th Nov 2010 23:04 Edited at: 13th Nov 2010 02:56
Thanks dude. I'm quite proud of how the joining split screen works. Was going to bin it and just have left/right split, but got so much positive feedback that I'm leaving it in now as an option, even though it uses only half the screen. Game will have 2 player options: classic (top/bottom split), joining (top/bottom), and left/right split.

Making the control panel was a pain in the bum until I started using sprites. Sprites are pretty cool. Now am finishing up the control panel with split screen options and screen ratio options, so game isn't distorted on 4:3, 16:9 monitors etc.

Update 13/11/10: Screen ratio thing is in now. Assumes square pixels and no override, but OK for now. Control panel fully functional albeit unattractive. Only thing NEED to do for v1.0 now is menus, which is boring.
Dr Tank
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Posted: 11th Dec 2010 03:05
Been working hard on this today. Menu is done, lots of small things sorted out. v1.0 is basically good to go apart from making some levels that don't suck, which is surprisingly tricky.
TheComet
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Posted: 12th Dec 2010 19:46
Oooh, can I help make some levels?

TheComet

Dr Tank
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Posted: 12th Dec 2010 20:07 Edited at: 12th Dec 2010 20:44
That would be awesome! Level system is currently as follows: (EDITED)

Levels have 2 images.Each is 512 pixels wide by 1024 high. Black (R,G,B=0) means empty space.

Base image for the destructible layer (ground that chunks can be taken out of). Another image for the indestructible layer (ground that cannot be damaged), and is rendered over the first (black is transparent). On either layer you can put flat horizontal surfaces decorated as refueling landing pads. I can manually extract variables for use in game for the pad co-ordinates, dimensions.

To quickly make something to test gameplay, you can use MS Paint or whatever with black for empty space, and 2 different colours for destructible and indestructible scenery. This way can simply save for the destructible image, then delete the destructible parts by filling them in black, and save again for the indestructible layer image.

Can go to town and make really nice looking stuff if you feel like it though, although flat colour stuff looks quite nice, and is quickly understandable when playing.

I'll post up a demo ASAP so you can see what I'm talking about.
Dr Tank
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Posted: 13th Dec 2010 03:13 Edited at: 15th Dec 2010 17:45
[http://www.mediafire.com/?ie1um19a65dcreg]Click Here![/href] Alternatively download attachment from this post. Calling this 1.0 and going to post it in Program Announcements. Still a lot I want to do - main job is online.

You can look to "textures/levels" to see the relevant images. Maybe I should put player spawn and launch pad co-ordinates to the levels directory, but not now: need to sleep!

EDIT: new version with debug stuff: if it crashes, please tell me what version of windows you are running, and post the contents of the loading checklist text file generated by the game. Playtesters will be credited. Thanks.

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Nabz_32x
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Posted: 15th Dec 2010 16:52
hmm latest version hangs before getting in game on my pc... The player stats are beeing putted but then a fatal windows exception kicks me out...

Dr Tank
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Posted: 15th Dec 2010 17:08
Thanks for response. I should fix this problem! Another player said the same thing - that the menu was displayed OK, but after pressing "play game", it crashed.

What are your PC specs? Do you have Windows 7?

I shall make a debug version that writes everything it does OK to a file to narrow down which command causes the crash.
Dr Tank
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Posted: 15th Dec 2010 17:42
Please try this and post the contents of the text file "loading_checklist.txt" created when the program is run and you click on "play game".

Hopefully one of the commands used when loading is the culprit. Playtesters will get credited and more importantly, recieve my healtfelt gratitude!

<CLICK ME>

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Dr Tank
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Posted: 17th Dec 2010 00:40 Edited at: 17th Dec 2010 00:40
Dr Tank
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Posted: 18th Dec 2010 02:20 Edited at: 18th Dec 2010 23:40
New demo : v1.1

5 more weapons. 1 new level. Some other improvements.

Probably won't work on Windows 7. Working on that.
Mazz426
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Posted: 18th Dec 2010 21:03
the video looks awsome, very impressive

Dr Tank
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Posted: 20th Dec 2010 04:46 Edited at: 21st Dec 2010 05:46
Thanks dude.

With the kind help of various playtesters, I believe I have a version that should work on computers where it was crashing before. When promted to select a mode, press a number key. I expect mode 1 to crash when level is loaded, and modes 2-5 may work. Failing that try 6-9,0!

Very small changes if you already played v1.1. Another weapon, new explosion images.

< CLICK TO DOWNLOAD v1.1++ >


BTW I feel a bit awkward about having a thread here in "work in progress" and another in "program announcements" too. I began the latter when I released v1.0, and update it when I release subsequent versions, or to reply to posts there. Is this OK?
Dr Tank
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Posted: 23rd Dec 2010 16:43
Big thanks to Swissolo for debug testing. This version should work on all computers:

<CLICK FOR v1.1 WORKING VERSION!>

Next thing to do

Next up, I plan to add support for various level sizes - firstly different level heights, as was in the original GF2.

Also, currently levels are only as wide as half the screen - meaning that 2 players can play side by side and have the same view as a single player would. However, this means that top/bottom split and online players only use half the screen. Also, currently levels feel a little claustrophobic, especially when I make them somewhat symmetric (and therefore fairer- top player usually has an advantage).

I therefore plan to make some or all levels twice as wide as now, which will mean horizontal scrolling in side/side split mode.

Longer term plans

The big thing on my to do list is online! A job for after Xmas.
OldPMan
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Posted: 23rd Dec 2010 22:00
On my computer works fine. Earned from the first run.
For my son difficult, but he asked me to fly while he watches me play.
Excellent.

.....already beside..... for all
Dr Tank
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Posted: 24th Dec 2010 03:17 Edited at: 7th Jan 2011 05:57
Great! I'm glad that you like it. Maybe if I add joypad options it may be easier to control. I could even add a philistine's analog stick mode where you push in the direction you want to go (It worked for Sinistar!)

Bigger levels are in now. Also smooth camera movement from destruction to respawn.

Level transparency is in. Now can add backgrounds. System supports any 3D backgrounds/foregrounds, but all I am using at the moment is flat planes more distant than the standard level plane, for a parallax scrolling effect.

Screen shake added. As simple as pos but quite nice.

Shot-bomb collision is in. Inefficient implementation. Can improve speed by orders of magnitude if needed, but works fast enough as is! Pretty cool because this offers a defense for homing missiles, mines laid on your base etc.

Homing missiles are in. Very simple algorithm, works OK. Perhaps a little too good (like in original game!) , but have toned them down some, and shooting down incoming missiles with gun works well.

Player colour options are in.

Working on online mode. Now using Multisync. Have made test program work with multiplayer over LAN.

Have added some levels from the original game. Water is in.
Dr Tank
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Posted: 8th Jan 2011 02:35


Here's a video showcasing a classic level. Also shows some new features - screen shake, water and background.

Currently sorting out graphics. Getting hella confused about rendering order. Hope to sort that, add a good set of levels and post new demo soon.
Ermes
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Posted: 8th Jan 2011 10:03
this game is REAL fun! there is PC AI?



[img][/img]
Dr Tank
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Posted: 10th Jan 2011 00:26 Edited at: 10th Jan 2011 00:41
Thanks! No AI for the other player. Sorry. That would be a huge job! I have given it some thought and may experiment with it later, but it's way down my list of priorities.

Next I plan to polish a few things, add a set of classic levels, and release a new demo. After I will work on two main sub-projects within GF-X.

1) Online

2) Improved collision mechanics

I would like to add something structured for players to do when there are no humans to play against. I think time trial target destruction with an online scoreboard would be fun and doable. Don't expect it soon though - real life is hella busy at the mo and getting busier. I'm starting a serious full time job and moving to somewhere where I have to wash my own clothes and cook my own food and stuff. Once I'm settled I'll only be able to spare occasional evenings and weekends. This will get done though!
The Slayer
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Posted: 10th Jan 2011 15:17
Looks awesome, Dr.Tank! The collision is really superb! I've played one of the previous versions, and it felt like the playercontrol is a bit too difficult. Well, maybe with a bit more practice, I should be able to master it.
Maybe the newer version is easier. I'll try it out ASAP.
One more thing, the explosions look kinda cartoony. How are you doing the animations? Animated sprites? If you want, I can make some nice looking explosions for you?

Cheers

SLAYER RULES! YEAH, MAN!!
Dr Tank
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Posted: 10th Jan 2011 23:24 Edited at: 10th Jan 2011 23:56
Thanks dude! A lot of people find the controls hard. It does get easier with practice! I have played other games of this type that are totally unplayable because of the way the ship flies. I hope other people don't see this game that way. I think I will add some low gravity, high drag levels with large open spaces for beginners.

It would be awesome if you would make some explosions for this! The effects in Brixoid are really impressive. I am doing the explosions with sprite sheets - images with a grid of images on. Looking inside the Brixoid media folder I see you're using the same kind of system. If you don't mind, I could just pop some of those straight in and see what they look like!

I have been working on explosions recently. They look a little better than they did in the most recent video because I am now using a ghosting shader, rather than alpha on explosions that weren't really designed for it.

Edit: I just tried out "bomb_expl.jpg" from Brixoid and it looks awesome!
The Slayer
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Posted: 11th Jan 2011 00:20
Quote: "It would be awesome if you would make some explosions for this!"

Okay, consider it done! Where should I send them, though?

Quote: "The effects in Brixoid are really impressive."

Thank you!

Quote: "I just tried out "bomb_expl.jpg" from Brixoid and it looks awesome! "

Great! Screenshot??

Cheers

SLAYER RULES! YEAH, MAN!!
Dr Tank
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Posted: 11th Jan 2011 00:38 Edited at: 11th Jan 2011 00:54
Screenys don't do it justice. I'll show you a video in a bit! Tried the "electrical" style explosion - now I want to put an EMP or black hole bomb in the game!

My email is:
The Slayer
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Posted: 12th Jan 2011 20:54
Quote: "I'll show you a video in a bit!"

I'm still waiting.

Quote: "Tried the "electrical" style explosion - now I want to put an EMP or black hole bomb in the game! "

Great, that should be awesome!

Is this the kind of explosions that you want me to do? Kinda electrical? BTW, I'm working on some.

Cheers

SLAYER RULES! YEAH, MAN!!
Dr Tank
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Posted: 13th Jan 2011 06:13
It slipped my mind! Here's a quick and messy vid of one type of explosion ("bomb_expl") in action. Later I'll assign different explosion textures to different weapons.



All the weapons thus far are just regular explosions. You seem to know what you're doing, so perhaps it's best for me to just see what you produce.

I guess for the shrapnel explosions, it might be best to have either short explosions, or sufficiently "clear" explosions that you can still discern the shrapnel to avoid it. For other explosions this isn't an issue. Also, to work well with the circular craters, it's better generally that explosions be fairly round and central, but the explosions from Brixoid are sufficiently so already.

Perhaps it might be cool to try some more cleanly circular stuff, like updated "Scorched Tanks" explosions.

It's hard to know what will be good until I try them out in the game. When I post a new demo and you can check it out, and play around with the media folder. I'll try to add some kind of "scripting" text file so you can play with assigning different texture files to different weapons, but I may not have time to do it soon: I'll be away from here for at least a few weeks, starting this weekend, because I'm starting a new job, and moving house.

In other news, I've got chatting to Richard Franks, who's the guy who made/ is making "Gravity Power 2", another GF2 based game, as well being the guy who wrote the GF2 level editor back in the day! He's kindly provided me with a full set of GF2 level bitmaps, and I should therefore be able to add loads of original levels.
TheComet
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Posted: 13th Jan 2011 12:55
Love the progress you've made, excellent work! With some regret I must admit that the voice in the game just doesn't sound good... It doesn't seem to fit the overall game, and in a way it's annoying A deep, powerful voice would fit the best in my opinion. Maybe if you lowered the pitch and added a slight echo to it, it will sound better?

Apart from that, awesome

TheComet

The Slayer
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Posted: 13th Jan 2011 13:21
Looks mega, Dr.Tank! Especially the explosions!
I'll make a variety of explosions, and then you'll see wich ones go best with the different weapons. For now, you can use my BRIXOID explosions for testing purposes (only), and I'll send you the finished new explosions ASAP.
Might I also suggest that you rotate the sprites of the explosions? This will give a 'randomness' to them. That's how I did it in BRIXOID. Just a suggestion, though.
You could also give them a random scale (to a certain limit)?

Quote: "Maybe if you lowered the pitch and added a slight echo to it"

I agree on lowering the pitch. The echo is not a bad idea, but to avoid 'repeatedness', maybe you should shorten teh echo's feedback and volume. Since there are a lot of 'touchdowns' in a game, you might experience the 'repeatedness' syndrome.
Well, I don't know how else to explain it, but I think you'll understand what I'm trying to say here, right?

Cheers

SLAYER RULES! YEAH, MAN!!
Dr Tank
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Posted: 13th Jan 2011 13:41
Excellent! About "Touchdown" - this is played way too much now, because bomb shockwaves lift players off the pads from any range. I need to decrease shockwave range, make the pads a little "sticky", or set some speed threshold for "touchdown" to get played. Also should stop it playing at player respawn.

The sound is from the original game, but I may try "remastering" it at some point.

Slayer- you have a keen eye! I do plan to give the explosions random rotation, and maybe mirror half of them too. I won't post a demo with the Brixoid explosions. I look forward to seeing the new ones.
Dr Tank
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Posted: 15th Jan 2011 00:15 Edited at: 15th Jan 2011 00:19
Here's a new demo.

<GFX V1.2>

Hope it works! Please post and say whether it does or not! If it turns out not to, please open the readme file debug_on_or_off.txt, change OFF to ON, then run the program until it crashes, and post up the contents of loading_checklist.txt. I will be eternally grateful!

New features since v1.1:

classic levels
wider,taller levels with left/right scrolling for left/right split
water
backgrounds
screen shake
player colours
more weapons, including homing missile

Plenty more stuff planned, but I leave after the weekend and will not be coding recreationally for probably at least a month. If this version crashes there's still time for me to bug fix and repost though. Hope it doesn't come to that!
Dr Tank
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Posted: 30th Jan 2011 03:16
I bought a Windows 7 netbook today. Means I can check for Windows 7 compatibility, as well as test my online code between two computers.

The most recent demo DOES crash on my netbook, but I think that was due to the textures being too big. Here's a new version where none of the textures exceed 2048x2048, that runs fine on both my machines. It also includes two more levels.

<GFX v1.2a>

Otherwise I haven't worked on this since last writing. Have been very busy with new job, moving house etc. Don't expect anything significant here anytime soon, but at some point I'll take a holiday and treat this as my job for a week and should get a lot done then.
enderleit
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Posted: 20th Feb 2011 18:16
This rocks... I used to play Gravity Force on the Amiga... Aaahh... good times...

Ermes
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Quote: "Aaahh... good times..."


good OLD times.....


Ciao facce da sedere!
enderleit
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You calling me old?

Ermes
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Posted: 21st Feb 2011 13:21
no..... the game is old , not you...


Ciao facce da sedere!
Dr Tank
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It's OK- I'm old too!

Quote: "This rocks... I used to play Gravity Force on the Amiga... Aaahh... good times... "


Thanks! Glad to hear from another GF player. Everyone I hear from who remembers GF2 does so fondly. It really was/is an awesome game.

I'm still settling into my new job, and I haven't really touched this since. Don't even have DBP installed at my new place yet! Should get on it and finish this, before all the old Amiga gamers die of old age.
Dr Tank
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Posted: 2nd May 2011 15:40
Bump to say this isn't dead.

Have got a new desktop. Now trying to get DBP for it, then I can finish this. Main things I want to do are online mode and controller support. Plenty of other stuff can come after that.

Have been playing with DGDK, and have some experience of C, C++, Visual Studio from work. Made a thing that calculates the gravity field of a 2D mass distribtion. The idea is that I could have levels in "space", where the gravity field is due to the level. With a little more work should be fast enough for realtime updating - allowing the gravity field to change as you destroy the level. This is a side project and I'm not planning to put it into GFX soon.
Dr Tank
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Location: Southampton, UK
Posted: 29th Aug 2011 21:42
Bump to avoid lock.

Should have new release within a few weeks. Tweaking online/LAN mode for smoothness, which is less trivial than it sounds. Just need another free weekend really.

It might have got done today but then I got called up to go see a film about monkeys! Sorry.

improvements :
more levels
more weapons
improved framerate
replays
LAN mode
kamac
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Posted: 29th Aug 2011 23:30
I like it . I am interested how did you make image's destroyal?
It could be nice to create Worms this method!

www.kamacdev.wordpress.com
Dr Tank
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Posted: 30th Aug 2011 01:11
Thanks.

I use "set camera to image". This way you can treat it as a bitmap (paste stuff to it) and use it as an image, avoiding "get image", which is slow. However you can't "read" from this camera/image.

I have a separate duplicate bitmap that i paste exactly the same images to. This bitmap can be read, meaning i can update the collision data easily.

The images I paste to cut bits out of the terrain are basically black with transparency. The parts of the level that are empty are black, and are not rendered to the screen.

I think i put the code in with one of the early versions.
The Slayer
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Playing: (Hide and) Seek and Destroy on my guitar!
Posted: 9th Sep 2011 16:50
Aaah, glad to see you're still working on this, Dr Tank.
Are you still in need of explosions?

Cheers

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