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hexGEAR
16
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Joined: 3rd Nov 2002
Location: Naytonia
Posted: 24th Jun 2016 16:39 Edited at: 26th Aug 2016 20:02
Name: Xen The Alien (XTA)
Genre: Third-Person Action Adventure
Tech: AppGameKit v2.0.18 Tier 1
Progress: 90%
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

XTA DEMO: THE FIERY DESERT OF NAYTONIA

Find the missing part of Xen's ship and contend with the heavy military presence in the area using either a lethal or stealthy approach, the choice is yours!

Download Link (31.1MB)

Extract the "xta-demo.zip" file to any location on your computer and double-click the "XTA Demo.exe" file to launch the game.




CONTROLS

W Move forward
S Move backwards
A Strafe left
D Strafe right
SPACE Jump
LEFT CLICK Fire weapon
RIGHT CLICK Mouse look

F1 enable/disable debug info display
PAUSE ICON pause game/manage inventory
OBJECTIVES ICON display/track stage objectives
SCREENSHOT ICON freeze game/take screenshot


FEEDBACK

Please download and try it out, exhaustively test it, and attempt to break it by doing stuff we probably wouldn't have ever imagined players would do. We would appreciate your feedback on:

Any bugs you may encounter
Your average FPS (use the F1 key to enable debug info display)
Your system specs
Load times (time from launch app to show menu, and time to load the stage)
Your honest brutal opinion on presentation, graphics, gameplay, etc

We would like to see your in-game screenshots if you encounter any cool cinematic situations and we would also greatly appreciate anyone willing to record in-game footage so that we can use for creating trailers and gameplay montages. Thanks!

Twitter @XenTheAlien
Facebook XenTheAlien
YouTube XenTheAlien
Official Website

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the Game
Xen the Alien is an Action-Adventure game that follows the exploits of an Alien scout named Xen desperately trying to find his way back to his home planet Xenin. On his space odyssey Xen will visit many planets, encounter different alien races and uncover a conspiracy set to change the very fabric of space and time forever.

We're adopting an episodic structure for XTA. Each game will represent 1 season with each level representing 1 episode in the Season. Each Season/Game will have roughly 8 to 10 Episodes/Levels and the entire story spans over 5 seasons. The reception of this first Season/Game will pretty much determine whether or not we'll proceed with subsequent Seasons.

XTA Season I Story
Xen is a Scout of the reclusive Xenin race. On a routine reconnaissance mission he encounters a space anomaly which maroons him on an alien World with critical fragments of his ship scattered across the Planet. To further complicate matters, the planet is being overrun by a strange new menace for reasons unknown. The Indigenes beckon Xen to save them but he’s no hero. Xen is left with the dilemma; find the missing parts of his ship and flee the planet or go against his very nature and help liberate the people of this planet from their oppressors. The choice is yours!

Development History
Some of you may recognize the game or at least the name from way back. That's because the original concept was born in 2003 when I planned to enter it into the TGC Alienware Competition (http://forum.thegamecreators.com/thread/19650?page=1) but didn't get it finished in time. The original game was being developed using Dark Basic Classic, then ported to Dark Basic Professional, and then to Dark GDK before being put on life support.

Fast-forward to 2016, I had some free time on my hands and decided to get it finished and published on the App store with the help of AGK. I withheld posting about it on the forums till we made reasonable progress and had something decent to show. We will be releasing a demo in the coming weeks to get community feedback, squash bugs and polish up the game.

Alpha Gameplay Video


Screenshots


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Blendman
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Joined: 17th Feb 2014
Location: Arkeos
Posted: 25th Jun 2016 10:01
Hi

This seems to be a good project, the screenshots looks good .
I like the design of your alien, even if I don't see it really ^^.
I really like your explosion, how have you made that ? It's a particle system + animated image of explosion ?

Good luck to finish that game

It would be great to post a video to see how it is ^^.
AGK2 tier1 - http://www.dracaena-studio.com
hexGEAR
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Location: Naytonia
Posted: 25th Jun 2016 17:30
@Blendman:
Thanks! The explosions are mainly animated images on plains. We'll release videos shortly, as well as an official demo.
hexGEAR
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Location: Naytonia
Posted: 27th Jul 2016 22:04 Edited at: 27th Jul 2016 22:04
Update: Enemy AI
I've been spending most of my time working on the Enemy AI, trying to make the combat fun and engaging as though you're facing another real-life player and not just a bot. Enemies will be assigned different orders like Guard, Patrol and Hunt which will determine their behavior and how they react to you and the environment. I've also implemented a Finite-State machine system for the enemies so they can do stuff like go grab health when their life is low, grab a better weapon if they see one, and investigate things like explosions.

I'll create a video to show it all in action. What software do you guys use/would you guys recommend for capturing gameplay video on Windows 10?

Update: Level Editor
I've also created an easy-to-use Level Editor that we plan to release along with the game to allow players create their own levels and upload to the community website for others to download and play. Here's an example of a quick snow level I created in just a few seconds. The Level Editor will allow you mold the terrain, pick skyboxes, setup weather (rain, snow), position props, items, weapons, vehicles, position enemies and assign orders, and much more.

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Ortu
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Joined: 21st Nov 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posted: 28th Jul 2016 02:34
If your card can do it, Shadowplay is really good: high quality, small .mp4 files, no performance hit.

Fraps gives good quality, but it generally cuts your fps in half and you will need to re-encode into a more compressed format.

I've heard good things about OBS but haven't tried it myself.



A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
Conjured Entertainment
AGK Developer
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Location: Nirvana
Posted: 29th Jul 2016 00:19
Looking very nice.

I like the low poly cartoon style.

The last environment for the snow level seems very appropriate for scenes not heavily populated.

An Arctic theme would be great for a 3D game in AppGameKit, and deserts would work well too.

The grasslands seem to stand out more as being less populated, since we expect those environments to be dense with vegetation.

I haven't been fooling around with 3d much in AppGameKit, but you guys are inspiring me with these showcase threads.

Coding things my way since 1981 -- Currently using AppGameKit V2 Tier 1
Blendman
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Location: Arkeos
Posted: 29th Jul 2016 09:48
I'm interested to see your editor in action .
What do you mean by mold the terrain ? You can sculpt it ?
How do you do in agk to sculpt a mesh ?

TO capture the video( win8), I use camstudio. It's not very good, but it works on my very slow pc .
AGK2 tier1 - http://www.dracaena-studio.com
hexGEAR
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Location: Naytonia
Posted: 29th Jul 2016 19:22
@Ortu:
Thank you for your suggestions. I actually tried OBS but the App takes a huge performance hit while recording. My dev PC isn't so spectacular though.

@Conjured Entertainment:
Thanks, you're right about the bland grassland. The screenshot was from a simple combat test stage. The finished levels will have more assets, e.g. grass, plants, trees like you inferred.

@Blendman:
We're being careful with the design of the Level Editor because we plan for people to use it to design stages on both pc and mobile.
By "mold" I just meant "manipulate" like adjust height, use heightmaps, change tiles, etc.
I'll give camstudio a try, thanks!
Stab in the Dark software
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Playing: Badges, I don't need no stinkin badges
Posted: 29th Jul 2016 19:25
Looking good. Are you using any of the 3d physics?
The coffee is lovely dark and deep,and I have code to write before I sleep.
hexGEAR
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Posted: 29th Jul 2016 20:36
@Stab in the Dark software:
We created our own basic physics system just so that we could have more control. It handles motion of all assets from characters to bullets. Forces are applied to assets to move them, then we factor in air resistance, ground friction, gravity, etc to calculate acceleration, then velocity, which then determines position. It's not as robust as the AppGameKit native system but we could get away with it's simplicity because our game has a cartoon style.
Stab in the Dark software
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Posted: 29th Jul 2016 20:46
Quote: "We created our own basic physics system just so that we could have more control"

Just curious, what do you think the native AppGameKit physics is lacking to give you more control?
What would it need for you to want to use it?
The coffee is lovely dark and deep,and I have code to write before I sleep.
hexGEAR
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Location: Naytonia
Posted: 29th Jul 2016 21:11
@Stab in the Dark software:
I didn't mean to imply that the native AppGameKit physics is lacking in any way, on the contrary I believe it's very robust. We just prefer the freedom to be able to tweak physics variables to get the desired effect rather than making function calls, or adjust the simplicity/complexity of physics functions based on performance requirements. It also has to do with code aesthetics.
hexGEAR
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Posted: 30th Jul 2016 19:48 Edited at: 30th Jul 2016 19:50
Update: Enemy Pathfinding
I'm trying to wrap up the Enemy AI so I can break out the polish and fine-tune the user-experience. I can't remember the official name of this simple grid-based pathfinding technique, maybe someone can help me out with that. It's definitely not A*, or maybe a variation. Here's how I approached it:



1.) You identify free grids (green) and occupied grids (red). Occupied grids are grids occupied with assets like houses or illegal terrain like cliffs as shown in the pic.
2.) You identify your start grid and your destination grid (must be free) and work backwards from destination to start.
3.) You assign a value of 0 to the destination grid, then a value of 1 to all adjacent grids that aren't occupied and push them into an array to be checked later.
4.) You then check all adjacent grids to the grids in the check array, assigning to them a value of 2, etc.
5.) You keep going till you've exhausted all grids (no path found) or you encounter the start grid (path found).
6.) From the start grid you follow the path of grids with a value -1 of the current grid till you arrive at the grid with value 0 (destination grid).
7.) This will give you the shortest possible path between the start and destination grids (blue grids in the pic).

The technique has some constraints and there's still room for optimization but it works pretty well. In-game pathfinding operations are handled concurrently so the player doesn't experience any lag even while enemies are plotting complicated paths. When the enemies need to go somewhere (e.g. pick up an asset, call for help, etc), they make a pathfinding request and carry on doing whatever it was they were doing. When the request is ready and successful they enter a finite-state that guides them through the path. To make their behavior more realistic, should they encounter you while in this finite-state they'll still follow the path but face you and fire at you at the same time.

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hexGEAR
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Posted: 7th Aug 2016 13:39 Edited at: 7th Aug 2016 13:45
Update: Alpha Gameplay Video
I recorded a short video showing the menu layout and more importantly the combat system. I tried using CamStudio but it wouldn't record audio no matter what I did so I finally went with OBS, and after much tweaking managed to get it recording smoothly but at a much lower resolution. Please note that this represents a work in progress and doesn't represent the finished game in any way. The final stages would be a lot more populated, these stages are solely for the purpose of testing. Thanks for watching, and please let me know what you think.

Ortu
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Posted: 7th Aug 2016 17:44
Nice man, looks smooth and solid


A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
Cliff Mellangard 3DEGS
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Location: Sweden
Posted: 8th Aug 2016 09:39
Looks pretty neat
Android 2.3 , ZTE Skate , 480x800 , 800 mhz , Samsung Galaxy Y , 240x320 , 832 mhz , Sony ericson arc 480x854 , 1 ghz
Android 4.0 , Dmtech 3g 9738B , 1024x768 , 9.7 inches , 1.2 ghz
OceanJeff40
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Location: Ocean Shores, WA
Posted: 9th Aug 2016 01:37
Very inspiring video, looks like you're ready to release a demo already.

Keep up the good work (i'm sure it's hard work too...!)

Regards,

Jeff
Hi
hexGEAR
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Location: Naytonia
Posted: 9th Aug 2016 11:17
@Ortu, @Cliff Mellangard 3DEGS:
Thanks guys, appreciate it!

@OceanJeff40:
Thanks! Yeah, about 7 months of hard work! We'll be releasing a demo shortly, we're just tying up loose ends. We'll use feedback from the Demo to put the final polish on the game, design the story mode stages and then it's time to publish.
hexGEAR
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Location: Naytonia
Posted: 25th Aug 2016 19:51 Edited at: 25th Aug 2016 19:51
Update: XTA Beta Test/Demo
Hello guys, I'm going to be uploading the official Windows demo in a couple of hours. Just giving you guys a heads up. The demo takes place in the Naytonian Desert; just one of the many locations that will feature in the full game. I would really appreciate it if you guys try it out, exhaustively test it, and attempt to break it by doing stuff we probably wouldn't have ever imagined players would do. The goal is to find bugs, sample performance on as many machines as possible and get your feedback on load times, presentation, graphics, gameplay, etc.

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hexGEAR
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Posted: 26th Aug 2016 20:00
Update: XTA Demo

Hello guys, we just uploaded a Demo of XTA. You can find more details and a download link in the original post. Please download and try it out, exhaustively test it, and attempt to break it by doing stuff we probably wouldn't have ever imagined players would do. We would appreciate your feedback on:

Any bugs you may encounter
Your average FPS (use the F1 key to enable debug info display)
Your system specs
Load times (time from launch app to show menu, and time to load the stage)
Your honest brutal opinion on presentation, graphics, gameplay, etc

We would like to see your in-game screenshots if you encounter any cool cinematic situations and we would also greatly appreciate anyone willing to record in-game footage so that we can use for creating trailers and gameplay montages. Thanks, and we hope you enjoy playing it!
hexGEAR
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Location: Naytonia
Posted: 31st Aug 2016 20:12 Edited at: 31st Aug 2016 20:18
Update: XTA Demo on Google Play Store

Hello guys, we just published the Xen the Alien Demo on the Google Play Store. If you've got an Android device and a moment to spare then we'd appreciate it if you download it, play it and let us know what you think. Cheers!

Google Play Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hexgear.xta_demo.apk&hl=en

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Blendman
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2016 07:40
HI

Great work !

I have tried the demo :
for me, even I'm a gamer, it's a very difficult to shoot an enemy. Perhap's you could add 1 or 2 map for the beginner, to learn how to use the gun, move, jump, and so. (I have tried the PC version demo, not the android version ).
I like the camera movements with the mouse, but I think the shoot system is to hard. The ennemies are shooting me very easily (even if I'm far), but not me).
The difficulty should be gradual (very easy at start, and more difficult after each stage)
I hope this can help .

My PC :
Processor AMD E1-1200 à 1,4 GHz
4 Go Ram
CG AMD Radeon HD 7300
Windows 8

FPS : 30

Time :
- load the menu : 15 seconds
- load the stage : 5 to 10 seconds

AGK2 tier1 - http://www.dracaena-studio.com
hexGEAR
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2016 10:01
@Blendman:
Really appreciate you taking the time out to download and play our game, thank you!

Quote: "it's a very difficult to shoot an enemy. Perhap's you could add 1 or 2 map for the beginner, to learn how to use the gun, move, jump, and so."

You're absolutely right, we plan to have a tutorial stage at the start of the full release so you can learn the basics. We only wanted to release 1 level in the Demo and thought it best to release a level where you can actually experience some combat.

Quote: "I like the camera movements with the mouse, but I think the shoot system is to hard. The ennemies are shooting me very easily (even if I'm far), but not me)."

Noted, the demo is actually locked on easy mode but we'll try and make it even easier to start with. In the full release you can also enable the assisted-aiming feature in the options to make aiming easier. We enabled assisted-aiming in the Android Demo because aiming on a mobile device can be tricky!

Quote: "The difficulty should be gradual (very easy at start, and more difficult after each stage)"

We'll tweak the difficulty a bit. That's why releasing a Demo for us was important, easy and difficult are subjective terms so if a lot of people find our "easy" a bit hard then we need to make our "easy" even more easy!

Thanks for all your great advice and suggestions, they'll definitely go into the game!
hexGEAR
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Posted: 3rd Sep 2016 22:43
Xen vs Saucer

In this video Xen takes on a Hayden Soldier piloting a Flying Saucer. Flying saucers are equipped with a chargeable plasma cannon and can launch seeker missiles that track their targets till they collide and detonate. They also have the height advantage. As Xen you'll also be able to pilot these Saucers and even hijack them from enemies.

hexGEAR
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Posted: 12th Sep 2016 22:27 Edited at: 12th Sep 2016 22:28
Update: Frozen Mountain Level Design

We're back to work designing the levels that will make up the story mode of the game. This level in particular is set in the Frozen Mountains of Naytonia. It's the second stage of the game, will feature some of the easier enemies, basic weapon types (like the pistol and chargeable pistol), and you'll also get to use the rocket pack!

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