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Work in Progress / [DBP][APPUP][AGK Prototype] Radar Invaders

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Hodgey
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Posted: 28th May 2011 14:39 Edited at: 12th Jun 2011 14:41
Hi everyone, this is my latest project which I hope to submit to the Appup store and with a bit more luck, re-create using AGK.

NEW GAME NAME - Radar Invaders
Due to other games out there using the name "Space Evaders" I have decided to rename my game "Radar Invaders".

Radar Invaders
Radar Invaders is an arcade style game which is based on the classic space invaders game but with an exciting twist. In this game, the aliens have cloaking devices on board and can not be seen with the naked eye. Luckily for you, your ship has a radar which will show you the location of each advancing enemy but only for a brief moment. Your mission - to defend Earth against these aliens. How long will you last?

Objective
The game is still in the early stages of development but there is a playable demo. The objective of the game is simple, to survive as long as you can and get the highest highscore.

Controls
Z - shoot (Tip - hold it down)
arrowkeys to move (can only move left and right)
P - pause

As the game is still in the early stages of development, right now I'm mostly interested on your opinions/suggestions for the gameplay. Do you like the movement of the ship? Do the aliens come down too fast? Any opinions/suggestions/constructive critism is welcome

Special thanks
David Gervais for his amazing explosions
The members of the Appup Developer Group for their support
Baxslash for his review
The Slayer for his amazing space background

UPDATE!!!
Added:
- Score - now based off how visible the alien is when shot (255 points for a completely invisible alien and 1 point for a completely visible alien.)
- Highscores list
-Aliens move faster as gameplay progresses
-Game over when more than 5 aliens have passed
-Screen title fixed, thanks Link102
-Aliens' speed increases twice as fast a before to keep the game exciting.
-Fixed low frame rate in the main menu. (Fixed for low spec computers aswell)
-Controls are now under the "INSTRUCTIONS" option
-Added explosions
-Enhanced graphics of aliens slightly
-Added pause in gameplay
-New space background
-Larger screen resolution, now 800x600
-Fixed bug when game over and user didn't achieve a highscore
-Radar Invaders now supports switching to other programs and back
-New alien detection system - now uses mathematics instead of the collision commands for more accurate results when the sonar lights up the aliens.
-Now fullscreen so those with netbooks won't have to worry about maximizing the window.


Screen shots
Gameplay:


Menu:


A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein

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Link102
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Posted: 28th May 2011 16:16
Allow me to nag about the window title (and I'm very sorry for this);
Space sonar won't work since sound does not travel on the vacuum of space.

Thank you.

(radar works however )

Hodgey
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Posted: 29th May 2011 04:49
Quote: "Allow me to nag about the window title (and I'm very sorry for this);
Space sonar won't work since sound does not travel on the vacuum of space."

Haha, thanks for the scientific info . Space sonar is the project name because I couldn't think of anything else at the time, and I wasn't really worried about the technicalities either.

I just updated the project so this is now fixed.

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
charger bandit
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Posted: 29th May 2011 18:59
The game is well made but this game would need some cooler graphics


Hodgey
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Posted: 30th May 2011 00:39
Thanks for the reply C.B. I thought my graphics were alright but I guess I'm used to a low standard of graphics then. I'll see if I can improve them but I'm no David Gervais

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
baxslash
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Posted: 31st May 2011 15:07
I wouldn't worry too much about the graphics at this stage. Personally I would work on the game with a view to maybe editing the graphics later.

Gameplay is far more important at this stage and if you are struggling with graphics someone might well offer to help if you put a request out there

The hardest thing (far as I'm concerned anyway) is getting to the stage where you have a fully working and efficient game engine.

Keep up the good work and check out the newsletter tomorrow, there should be something in there you'll like!

Hodgey
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Posted: 1st Jun 2011 00:21
Quote: "Keep up the good work and check out the newsletter tomorrow, there should be something in there you'll like! "

Thanks Baxslash, can't wait to see the newsletter .

I have designed the game with respect to sprites so any changes shouldn't give me a lot of trouble. So I'll work on the game engine for now and towards the end I'll touch up the sprites.

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
DVader
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Posted: 2nd Jun 2011 14:17
13 FPS on the menu, that seems very slow really. text commands in Db can be very slow, I would change your options and main title to sprites. I'm not sure if that is all that is slowing it down though..
Still get 60 on the main game.

http://s6.bitefight.org/c.php?uid=103081
Hodgey
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Posted: 2nd Jun 2011 14:28
Thanks DVader, yeah I was suspecting DBPro's text commands and I am considering chaning the options and title to sprites, probably the best way to go. Atleast the gameplay has kept its high frame rate thoughout the updates .

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
The Slayer
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Posted: 4th Jun 2011 22:56
Hey Hodgey, I just tested your Invaders clone for AppUp.
It's a good start to begin with. The appearing/dissappearing of the invaders is a nice feature.
It could use some nice explosion FX, cuz its not always clear if the invaders you shoot are actually hit or not.
The main menu only ran at 26-27 FPS on my desktop PC, so that's really not much. Have you tried using Cloggy's D3D plugin?
There's lots more that can be added to the game, like powerups, music, sounds, difficulty levels, etc...
I got 78337 points the first time I tried, so I dont know if that's much or not?
Also, while talking about the highscores, I noticed two things you might look into. Firstly, you create teh highscores file after the game runs for the first time, right? Well, you should keep in mind that in order to pass validation on AppUp, uninstallation of your game requires that ALL files that where in the .msi package are deleted, but since the highscores file isn't in your games folder PRIOR to installation, you'll get an error while they validate your game.
Secondly, I managed to alter teh highscores after it was created. If you consider online scores aswell, you'd better have some kind of protection on your highscore file.
One more thing, are you going to leave the window size to 640x480?
Ow, and if you want, I can make a space background for you?

Cheers

RULES, MAN! YEAH, SLAYER!!
Hodgey
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Posted: 5th Jun 2011 00:47
Latest Update summary!!!
- Added explosions
- Enhanced graphics of aliens (slightly)
- Truly fixed low frame rate issues in the menu
- Added pause when playing the game (Press [P])
- Controls are now under the instructions option instead of being printed on the screen during gameplay.

@ The Slayer
Quote: "It could use some nice explosion FX, cuz its not always clear if the invaders you shoot are actually hit or not.
The main menu only ran at 26-27 FPS on my desktop PC, so that's really not much. Have you tried using Cloggy's D3D plugin? "

All fixed I was sitting on this update for a day while confirming the name change, sorry for the delay.

Quote: "There's lots more that can be added to the game, like powerups, music, sounds, difficulty levels, etc..."

I plan on adding a lot more but unfortunately I only get 1 day a week to work on this so development is kind of slow.

Quote: "I got 78337 points the first time I tried, so I dont know if that's much or not? "

That's not too bad, with the latest version I got 139239, so there's a small challenge for you when you feel like taking a coffee break

Quote: "Also, while talking about the highscores, I noticed two things you might look into. Firstly, you create teh highscores file after the game runs for the first time, right? Well, you should keep in mind that in order to pass validation on AppUp, uninstallation of your game requires that ALL files that where in the .msi package are deleted, but since the highscores file isn't in your games folder PRIOR to installation, you'll get an error while they validate your game. "

Wow, thanks for the tip. So I need a pre-made highscores list, I will work on this aswell as encryption.

Quote: "One more thing, are you going to leave the window size to 640x480?
Ow, and if you want, I can make a space background for you?"

Haha, the reason my game resolution is 640x480 is because it's the size of David Gervais's space image size. As I mentioned before, I'm not the best at creating graphics and his image was all I had to work with

A space background would be great!!! If it's not too much trouble, could the resolution be 800x600 and have a planet taking up the bottom half of the image?

Thanks for your offers, tips and info The Slayer

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
The Slayer
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Posted: 5th Jun 2011 01:46
Quote: "A space background would be great!!! If it's not too much trouble, could the resolution be 800x600 and have a planet taking up the bottom half of the image?"

Sure! I'll even make a few of them if necessary. Heheheh.

Cheers

RULES, MAN! YEAH, SLAYER!!
Hodgey
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Posted: 5th Jun 2011 02:07
Quote: "Sure! I'll even make a few of them if necessary. Heheheh."

Thanks The Slayer but I only need one. By the way, do you use photoshop to create your artwork?

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
The Slayer
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Posted: 5th Jun 2011 03:41
Quote: "By the way, do you use photoshop to create your artwork?"

I use Photopaint Pro, Gimp and Paint.Net for most of my artwork, and a couple of 3D modelling apps too.
Why?

Cheers

RULES, MAN! YEAH, SLAYER!!
Hodgey
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Posted: 5th Jun 2011 05:14 Edited at: 5th Jun 2011 05:16
Quote: "I use Photopaint Pro, Gimp and Paint.Net for most of my artwork, and a couple of 3D modelling apps too.
Why?"

I'd like to learn how to create decent graphics and I am curious as to which programs people use. I know that the quality of graphics is mostly based upon the user's skill so I guess I'll have to spend a bit of time taking tutorials and experimenting with different paint programs. One day I would like to create graphics like yourself and other people have shown in the abstract desktop background thread.

Oh yeah, got a new score for you to beat, 149342. Good luck

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
The Slayer
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Posted: 5th Jun 2011 13:14 Edited at: 5th Jun 2011 13:17
Hey Hodgey, here's the spacial background I promised you. Hope you'll like it. If you need more, just ask.



About the decent graphics and different draw programs, there's lots of good ones (free or non free) to try out, including lots of tutorials to follow and enhance your skills. Imagination is also important and experiment a lot.
Sometimes I think of something, and then I try to replicate that in my graphics program(s).

Quote: "Oh yeah, got a new score for you to beat, 149342. Good luck"

Wow, great score, dude! I'll try to beat that.

Cheers

RULES, MAN! YEAH, SLAYER!!

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Hodgey
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Posted: 5th Jun 2011 14:40 Edited at: 5th Jun 2011 14:43
Wow! my jaw actually dropped when I saw that!!! It's amazing, and has been added to the game. Thanks a million The Slayer, I owe you one. You will be given credit of course.

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
The Slayer
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Posted: 5th Jun 2011 16:51
Quote: "Wow! my jaw actually dropped when I saw that!!! It's amazing, and has been added to the game. Thanks a million The Slayer, I owe you one. You will be given credit of course."

Thanks! Glad you like it.

Also, you'll be pleased to hear that the main menu now runs at 60 FPS too.
And the addition of the explosions improves it much more.

So, is the goal of the game to prevent that six aliens break through? Or, will you be adding other gamemodes?

RULES, MAN! YEAH, SLAYER!!
Hodgey
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Posted: 5th Jun 2011 23:17 Edited at: 5th Jun 2011 23:21
Good to hear the game is working as it should.

The current goal is to stop 6 aliens from breaking through and I hope to be adding stronger aliens as well as power ups such mines, homing missile, full radar (every alien is visible for a set duration of time), a freeze or time slow and a screen wipe (a wave of .... something that kills every alien on the screen).

I am thinking of adding another game mode though, something along the lines of a 60 second madness type thing, where the player plays for only 60 seconds but the aliens come a lot faster and power ups will appear more often. Game over only when 60 seconds is up, doesn't matter how many aliens get past. But like the other mode, main aim is to get the highest score.

I just realized that the name in the game window still says space evaders, I'm going to have to fix that.

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
baxslash
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Posted: 6th Jun 2011 14:31 Edited at: 6th Jun 2011 14:32
Just a suggestion Hodgey but you could make some images yourself using my skybox maker "EnviroSCOPE". In space mode you can create star clusters / nebulae / planets and add your own images applied to planes then just take a screenshot.

You can download it here: EnviroSCOPE



Hodgey
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Posted: 6th Jun 2011 14:58
Quote: "Valued Member"

That's an understatement, that's an awesome program Baxslash, I'll definetly have a shot a making my own backgrounds.

UPDATE!!!
Radar Invaders will recover from having lost focus which allows you to switch from R.I to other programs and your game will have been preserved.

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
baxslash
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Posted: 6th Jun 2011 15:07
Quote: "that's an awesome program Baxslash, I'll definetly have a shot a making my own backgrounds."

Great! Glad to help.

Quote: "Radar Invaders will recover from having lost focus which allows you to switch from R.I to other programs and your game will have been preserved."

I saw your other thread regarding this. I still haven't gotten around to sorting this out for my finished AppUp game "Backlash" but you have inspired me to have another go! It only runs fullscreen exclusive at a good framerate so it's a requirement on AppUp to re-load media. Well done!

Hodgey
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Posted: 6th Jun 2011 23:44
Quote: "I saw your other thread regarding this. "

Yeah, I think I posted that out of frustration because I solved the problem 3 hours later.

Quote: "I still haven't gotten around to sorting this out for my finished AppUp game "Backlash" but you have inspired me to have another go!"

I'm sure you will get it done in no time

Quote: "It only runs fullscreen exclusive at a good framerate so it's a requirement on AppUp to re-load media. Well done!"

I thought I heard somewhere that Appup required this for validation. Appup validation seems strict but I guess it's a good thing.

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
Hodgey
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Posted: 12th Jun 2011 14:47
UPDATE
Only a small update this week but here are the new features
- New alien detection system: the system which detected when the aliens hit the radar and light up is now based on mathematics and collision command free. This allows for more accurate detection.
- Now fullscreen: those with netbooks don't have to worry about the maximizing the screen or moving it so part of the window doesn't appear behind the task bar.

And a thank you to the moderator who took the initiative to update the name of the thread, much appreciated

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
BatVink
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Posted: 14th Jun 2011 01:02 Edited at: 14th Jun 2011 01:03
I downloaded and tried this out, it's looking good.

I have dual monitors and it wouldn't run unless I disabled the secondary monitor. However, it might be my setup, I've had this problem with other DBP games, I suggest you get someone else with dual monitors to check it too.

In my opinion, It would be nice if the aliens became visible as they were hit and destroyed.

I can't comment on performance as I'm on my quad-core i5 desktop - not really your target audience!

I found it quite addictive which is good for a casual AppUp game.

Quote: "And a thank you to the moderator who took the initiative to update the name of the thread, much appreciated"

I did it about a week ago, wondered if you'd notice!

Hodgey
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Posted: 14th Jun 2011 06:11
Quote: "I have dual monitors and it wouldn't run unless I disabled the secondary monitor."

Dual monitors never crossed my mind (I haven't seen anyone use them for about 2 years). I'm not sure how to get around this. I'll read through DBPro's commands and IanMs commands to see what I can come up with. This is something I'd like to fix for future reference but isn't a major concern as the target audience use netbooks.

Quote: "In my opinion, It would be nice if the aliens became visible as they were hit and destroyed."

So kind of like the alien ship stays smoking for a few seconds before fading away? Currently, as an alien gets hit, its position is immediately reset and an explosion plays at its x and y coordinates at the time of being shot.

Quote: "I found it quite addictive which is good for a casual AppUp game."

Thank you, I plan on adding a lot more which will hopefully increase the levels of addictiveness

Quote: "I did it about a week ago, wondered if you'd notice!"

I've had a very busy past couple of weeks and that's not about to stop until November. Looking back now I do remember reading it as "Radar Invaders" but it just didn't click in my head that the name had been changed. I noticed when I did a google search of "Radar Invaders" and my thread came up as the first link (didn't happen before when it was called Space Evaders).

Anyway thank you for testing and your input Batvink, greatly appreciated

A clever person solves a problem, a wise person avoids it - Albert Einstein
BatVink
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Posted: 14th Jun 2011 12:31
Quote: "I'm not sure how to get around this. I'll read through DBPro's commands and IanMs commands to see what I can come up with"


I don't think that you can do anything in DBP, it should just work. It could just be me, but if it happens to others then there may be a wider issue in DBP.

Hodgey
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Posted: 14th Jun 2011 14:08
Hmmm... Do you know if the issue is caused by a DBPro program being in fullscreen/full desktop mode? Do windowed DBPro programs generally run fine on a dual monitor setup?

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baxslash
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Posted: 14th Jun 2011 14:30
I can run a DBP game on my dual monitor. The second one just goes black...

Hodgey
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Posted: 7th Jul 2011 15:20
Hey guys, for those who are interested I'm still working on this but the next step is a lengthy one. The current step I'm working on is implementing an item which will randomly make available a weapon/utility. The current list of weapons/utilities I have is this:
-mines
-2x shooting speed
-3x shooting speed
-full radar (allows all enemies to be constantly visible for a short period of time)
-rocket

Do you guys have any other ideas/suggestions for items?

@ Batvink and Baxslash
Maybe different monitors act differently when set up for dual? Could it also be different OSs or gpu's? I'd like to know because the user shouldn't have to compromise their setup in order for a piece of sofware to run. Anyway, I'll do some digging, there is probably a .dll out there that will check for multiple monitors and allow me to adjust the program to work.

baxslash
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Posted: 8th Jul 2011 14:42
I'm running Vista 32Bit and my dual screen setup is pretty standard. I'm just extending my desktop to the second monitor, not running multiple desktops or anything fancy...

BatVink
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Posted: 9th Jul 2011 02:01 Edited at: 9th Jul 2011 02:02
I'm dual monitor currently with one running on Geforce 8600 and the other on Intel HD, although I've tried with both on Intel and both on Geforce. And I just had a damn good game of Unreal Tournament with no issues at all.

Hodgey
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Posted: 9th Jul 2011 02:42 Edited at: 9th Jul 2011 02:49
I did a little bit of searching around MSDN and found this:
Multiple Display Monitors .

So I'll look through the functions to see if I can find a solution to the dual monitor dilema.

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