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Author Topic: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback  (Read 6959 times)

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mike_bike_kite

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New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« on: June 28, 2013, 06:00:37 am »
I've just about finished the software for an arcade game I'm writing. I'll be building the cab next.
Any chance of some feedback regards game play etc? anything I might be missing? is it too difficult? etc
It's called Alien Swarm and it requires Java.
There's a high score list that's shared globally so feel free to have a shot!


Cheers

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 06:07:57 am »
I would say lose the DOH sounds

Also, did you happen to use sound effects from EV NOVA? (Escape Velocity)

mike_bike_kite

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 06:17:46 am »
I would say lose the DOH sounds

Also, did you happen to use sound effects from EV NOVA? (Escape Velocity)
Thanks for the feedback, I wasn't expecting a reply for days!

I use the DOH sounds to simply to tell the player that they might of made a mistake while playing ie they've taken too long to clear a screen etc. I know that most games don't tell you when you could have done something better but I thought I'd try a little innovation! I found the sound effects all over the web, mostly from free sound libraries. If anyone's any good at making sound effects and thinks they can make better sounds then I'll happily add them in.

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 07:45:38 am »
I think it's pretty fun, played a few waves.  Didn't download it tho, any chance of making the controls customizable or the MAME standard?  Also, 2p mode/cocktail flipping mode?  I like my shooters oriented vertically also.  Keep after it!

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 08:19:00 am »
I think it's pretty fun, played a few waves.  Didn't download it tho, any chance of making the controls customizable or the MAME standard?  Also, 2p mode/cocktail flipping mode?  I like my shooters oriented vertically also.  Keep after it!
It should work with the mame standard controls  as well ie the control key will fire, cursor for movement, p pauses, any other key does the shields (if you have them). I'm not so sure whether the Nuke button (N) is a mame button but few people manage to get high enough scores to earn the nukes anyway. I hadn't thought about a 2 player mode but if it proves popular then I could add this - I half wondered about having both players on screen at the same time and firing away at the same aliens - not sure how that would work though in real life.

I didn't understand the vertical comment I'm afraid. I'm also not sure whether you could put it in an arcade as it stands - I was planing on making it into an application with no edges to the window and making it enlarge to full screen (still with the low res screen though).

Can I ask what score you got?

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 09:19:22 am »
Wasn't paying attention to score.  Sorry.  I'll play again later and let you know.

Look at Galaga, for example, it's screen is taller than it is wide.  It's vertically oriented.  Yours his wider than it is long, which isn't necessarily bad, just off the standard for old school shooters (that being what you were going for). 

I do turn based two player rather than simulataneous but either could work I suppose. 

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 06:31:04 pm »
I had a game - seems pretty good - had the sound off because the wife is asleep though!

28,000 was my score - level 6.

I'll try it out on my daughter tomorrow!

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2013, 07:55:54 pm »
had a quick go, got 53000 level 7...................I liked the homer simpson doh when I lost my last life.
it was pretty good but maybe a super shot charge by holding down fire button would be cool like in 19xx war against destiny.
and how bout getting power ups for different or more powerfull weapons..................I know these things have been done in other shooters but I think these things are the basis of a good shooter.
just a thought.
im very impressed with what you've done so far, I wouldn't even know where to start
my first build classic style upright cabinet..... MARVELOUS FIGHTER (FINISHED) http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133066.0.html

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 05:18:19 am »
The DOH sound seems to get a vote each way so I guess I'll keep it for now. The problem with many games is that it's difficult to learn how to play them well, you always assume that what you're doing is the best approach. I thought I'd try the DOH (Homer Simpson) sound because it would indicate that you could of done something slightly better. I did experiment with showing messages but it's difficult reading text while trying to fight off the alien hordes! Perhaps I should add an option to turn these particular sounds off? [EDIT] I will add this option.

The weapon system can be powered up by shooting the red motherships and then hitting the "weapon" upgrade option. It starts by just firing more quickly, next time it will cool down more quickly after firing, then faster projectiles, then double strength projectiles which are useful against the green meanies. It takes a bit of practice being able to shoot a red mothership and then carefully select your power up - what usually happens is you're spraying bullets everywhere, hit a red mothership and then accidentally hit the weakest option presented to you or sometimes you hit another red mothership before you even get a chance to pick your power up - obviously doing either of these will earn a DOH sound :) If you ever get to 200K then "super" options appear as power ups.
  • The weapon super option allows the fire button to almost be held down continuously (it will over heat eventually though). This option is a great one to get.
  • The shields super option makes your shields pop up automatically when ever an bullet strikes you. It also allows you to shoot back while your shields are up.
  • The nuke option is simply earns you a nuclear weapon that can be launched to destroy everything on one screen. You can collect up to 3 nukes. They make a great sound as they launch.
53K should just put you on the high score list! I hope you added your name. [EDIT] Actually I don't see any new scores in the hall of fame - did it ask you to input your name? was the method of name input obvious (it uses old school left, right and fire to pick letters)? were you connected to the web at the time? I'm just a bit worried that my high score storage has died.

A vertically orientated  screen might be difficult to add at this stage. I'll have a think about what that would add or subtract from the game play.

2p turn based should be quite straightforward to add. I'd need to add mame controls to decide number of players but that's relatively easy. The only hassle is when you have two strong players then there might be a 10 min wait between turns. I suppose this is true for any game though.

I'm glad everyone enjoys it. I was a little worried that it might be looked down upon as a home made game. I'm planning on putting it into it's own dedicated cabinet next - I just have to find where I placed my saws and drills. I'm not sure how the game would get called from mame but I guess I'll have to do some research on this. It's great getting feedback (and hearing your scores!) as it tells me what I should change.

Mike



« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 06:21:44 am by mike_bike_kite »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 06:18:54 am »
ok cool man, nah didn't add my name cause I didn't think I did very well ;D
ill have another crack at it later
keep up the good work mate  :cheers:
my first build classic style upright cabinet..... MARVELOUS FIGHTER (FINISHED) http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133066.0.html

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2013, 11:37:30 am »
I'd lose the 'Doh' if you want the game to be taken seriously.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2013, 04:35:55 pm »
I'm currently adding:
  • an option to not use the Doh sound
  • a 2 player option (turn based)
  • an option to use Mame control keys only and forcing games to require credits to play
I haven't had any requests for changes to game play so I assume that's OK at the moment. I have noticed that the high scores are showing all the scores for one player while they should only show the top score - I'll change this shortly.  I'd love to see the game on folks cabinets but I'll probably need to store high scores locally as well as chosen options before this becomes a reality. If anyone has further thoughts then I'll obviously consider them.

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2013, 05:11:16 pm »
general comments..  (I've thought about doing similar myself in the past)

IMHO people aren't going to want to use it in a cab unless it acts more like an arcade game

by that, i mean has an attract cycle (demo play, title screen, demo play, title screen etc.) and takes 'coins' (jumping to the title screen when you insert a coin etc.)  Also ideally you'd have some kind of fake 'service mode' where the settings can be changed! (coinage levels, lives, difficulty, attract sound on/off, freeplay on/off as your bare minimum)

if you look at something like Phoenix it gives details of the enemies during the attract loop, this is also kinda important for a classic arcade game, right now you have all the details on a webpage, a cabinet does not have a webbrowser to view that, so you just want a brief line about each enemy and powerup displayed during the attract loop.. maybe different demo screens using the different enemy types with a description at the top, so somebody watching the machine alone could pick it up.

also not convinced that many people will be putting Java on their cabs..

you also need some kind of pre-load system, there is a noticable *pause* the first time it does certain things (eg the first time you move) as if it's loading / initializing something, which is bad.

also, if people are going to run it on cabs it needs to be full-screen, no windows borders etc.

finally, whatever the link file you have is (.jnlp) it doesn't seem to be recognized as a standard file or auto-open on a Windows 7 with Java installed.  I had to look in the file and get the address of the .jar.

all in all I think it's a pretty decent idea if there is a selection of 'free' software out there, perfectly designed for use in cabs because it gives people a better option than shipping them with MAME installed, which we're not too keen on!  Study some actual arcade games, and you'll see why this doesn't really feel like an arcade game, a lot of it is in the overall way it's packaged / presented even if the core mechanics are of an arcade game.




« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 05:27:03 pm by Haze »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2013, 09:12:33 am »
Thanks for your comments:
  • Attract screen : I'll look into this and try something similar. If you don't touch the controls then the game will take you through controls, high scores, hints etc but perhaps this isn't obvious or quick enough.
  • Java : it's a java program so I don't have an option here. Perhaps it could be cross compiled into an exe but I've never tried this.
  • Pre-load : this might depend on the hardware. It should try and pre-load stuff but maybe your hardware is a little older than mine. Is this a common issue?
  • Full screen : it will be full screen with no border though the resolution won't change.
  • JNLP : this is pretty standard for web start programs in java. I guess if it's on a cab then you'd call the jar file anyway.
  • Free software for cabs : I like the idea of people enjoying the game on their own cabs and that's what it was written for. However if the software is being used to help sell cabs then I think it's fair that a small payment is made to cover the time it takes to write this stuff.

Mike

PS did you get anywhere with your game or was it just at the idea stage?

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2013, 10:13:53 am »
Thanks for your comments:
  • Attract screen : I'll look into this and try something similar. If you don't touch the controls then the game will take you through controls, high scores, hints etc but perhaps this isn't obvious or quick enough.
Wasn't obvious no, it felt like I'd just inserted a coin and pressed start without being prompted because it granted me control of the game.  Current behavior is fine if you were running in 'PC mode' but if you wanted an 'Arcade mode' it isn't really arcade behavior.l

Quote
  • Java : it's a java program so I don't have an option here. Perhaps it could be cross compiled into an exe but I've never tried this.
Don't worry too much about my criticism here.  Java is widely used, even things like Minecraft use it, and I consider jDownloader a very useful piece of software.  Reasons I don't like it.
a) It requires a plug-in, b) it is a HUGE source of security issues (especially if you fail to update the plugin) c) the installer / updater attempts to install bad crap on your PC, like the Ask toolbar which is practically a virus it digs so deep into your system, very immoral to include.
Therefore I try to avoid advising people to install it, especially the less computer literate.  The last place I worked moved away from Java altogether because of c)

Quote
  • Pre-load : this might depend on the hardware. It should try and pre-load stuff but maybe your hardware is a little older than mine. Is this a common issue?
Well it's my MAME development box, 3ghz C2D, 16gb RAM, so not exactly cutting edge, but no dinosaur and definitely better than what most people will be running in cabs (see the countless threads about people still trying to run 10 year old versions of MAME!)  Can't say for sure what the problem is, just that it seemed to pause to load (or allocate?) stuff.  This was in both IE10 and Firefox.
Quote
  • Full screen : it will be full screen with no border though the resolution won't change.
That's ok, if you want a retro look then you don't want to go TOO high resolution anyway ;-)
Quote
  • JNLP : this is pretty standard for web start programs in java. I guess if it's on a cab then you'd call the jar file anyway.
Um, ok, I wonder what creates the association then, because I have Java installed and all I got in both FF and IE was 'this link is not associated with any application'
Quote
  • Free software for cabs : I like the idea of people enjoying the game on their own cabs and that's what it was written for. However if the software is being used to help sell cabs then I think it's fair that a small payment is made to cover the time it takes to write this stuff.
Well your licensing model is up to you, you could easily offer them as 'free for personal use'  With different pricing details for commercial use / inclusion with cabinets.  I think the chance of anybody paying a significant sum for something like this is low, but if relative to the cost of the cab it's cheap for the manufacturer to provide a legal game they might consider it.

Just thought I'd leave some feedback anyway, it you want to provide a more authentic arcade experience you should study the actual behavior of a number of arcade games, shouldn't be too hard to create your own little reusable 'Arcade engine / library' to provide those features to any other software you develop.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 10:17:22 am by Haze »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2013, 10:42:09 am »
I'm currently looking at making it more mame cabinet friendly. My aim is to have the game running in a cab after all. I'm looking into your other suggestions.  The only reason why I mentioned a price was that you were sounding like you sold cabinets and wanted a bunch of work doing to help you shift more cabs - I was simply pointing out that perhaps it was a little unfair to profit from someone else s work. I obviously misread your comment :)

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2013, 11:19:18 am »
I'm currently looking at making it more mame cabinet friendly. My aim is to have the game running in a cab after all. I'm looking into your other suggestions.  The only reason why I mentioned a price was that you were sounding like you sold cabinets and wanted a bunch of work doing to help you shift more cabs - I was simply pointing out that perhaps it was a little unfair to profit from someone else s work. I obviously misread your comment :)

No, I do MAME development, nothing to do with the hardware / selling cabinets.

There are people who make and sell cabinets, MAME isn't a legal option for them because we explicitly say NO COMMERCIAL USE (we have our reasons) so alternatives are nice.

The key factor is making a game that can operate as an arcade game, rather than an arcade style game. There aren't many of the former, whereas for the latter there are literally hundreds of flash 'arcade style' games already out there, the market for those is absolutely saturated.  The difference is a real arcade game can stand there 24/7 and draw people in, take their money etc.  It's also important it doesn't crash, or if it does then it reboots properly with no human intervention etc. ;-)

This type of project is actually where I think something like the Raspberry Pi would be *very* interesting too.  While it's a completely pants solution for a MAME box due to the limited power (and I've slammed people several times for suggesting it) it would actually be the *ideal* platform for a bunch of original 'classic style' arcade video games that could operate as arcade games in a cabinet.  Then it would actually become an interesting,cheap and legal option for cab builders.  If this type of thing on a larger scale takes your fancy it is something you might want to consider.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2013, 12:45:48 pm »
77774, flubbed two bonus ships right when I needed them.  The shield bonus is pretty much worthless for me.  I'd rather a single shot protection that I can fire though and just have one rather than three.  Fun. 

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2013, 03:26:28 pm »
77774, flubbed two bonus ships right when I needed them.  The shield bonus is pretty much worthless for me.  I'd rather a single shot protection that I can fire though and just have one rather than three.  Fun.
Management of the bonus ships is key to getting high scores. To be fair though, 80K ain't bad. Later in the game there is the option of super shields that switch on automatically and allow you to fire through. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for playing.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2013, 06:44:50 pm »
Nice little game - the difficulty seems to build fairly evenly keeping it challenging - one suggestion would be to randomize the bonus placement as having the extra life and weapon upgrade always come up in the same location makes it fairly easy to plan the use of the bonuses where having it random would make you plan the shots better instead of just getting to the proper place before taking out the bonus ship with widespread firing (or randomize after a certain level is reached) or perhaps make the bonuses a moving target perhaps another ship type that moves across the screen and then disappears off the other side rather than being static in the same positions. Also agree with the shield being fairly useless since you can not shoot with it active and you do not know exactly how long it lasts making planning your escape difficult (perhaps have the shield take a specific number of hits for you rather than being timed and give only one shield (perhaps have a countdown of the number of remaining hits on the shield and make the shield hit area a bit wider (maybe 150% circumference of the current area) than the gun so it is harder to keep things from hitting it.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 07:05:56 pm by JDFan »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2013, 03:42:11 pm »
I'm glad there seems to be a lot of people starting up home-brew arcade style games. I will fire this up later when I am more awake.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2013, 08:13:32 pm »
I'm glad there seems to be a lot of people starting up home-brew arcade style games.

+1!
Completed projects: Pac bartop (Plug & Play), 30th Anniversary Pac cab (MAME), Point Blank (PS1), Centipede (arcade hardware- light restore), VS. Super Mario Bros (arcade hardware- light restore) Tetris Cocktail (SNES), Arcade Classics upright (60-in-1, then MAME), Multi-Raiden (arcade hardware). Pac Man vs.(Gamecube),

Working on: Pinball Re-theme, Homebrew arcade arena shooter

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2013, 10:26:57 am »
Very cool, I’ll try this later. 

I haven’t really looked into it so I don’t know what (if anything) is available out there in terms of newly developed games that are cabinet friendly, but I just love playing arcade-style games with arcade sticks and buttons, so I can never have enough. 

I will say that I agree 100% with Haze’s suggestions about making it “feel” like an old arcade game, especially with the attract mode and “coin up” functionality.  The more seamlessly the game falls in amongst the rest of the games on a MAME cabinet, the better. 

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2013, 12:15:10 pm »
JDFan - an impressive score  :applaud: The difficulty does continue to climb even past that score (and on past a million!). I can't quite picture anyone getting there though.

Le Chuck - I just saw your cabs - I'm totally in awe - especially of the Barrel of Kong.

Haze - I'm looking into altering the game so it will function as pure arcade game.

I'm putting in the changes that you guys have asked for:
  • Mame keys (coin, start game etc) - I have this working in development. You need to press P to pause the game and select mame controls with coins.
  • Shield - I have changed this in development so you can shoot through the shield.
  • Attract screen - I've made some big changes to this so it hopefully better suits an arcade cab. I'll admit I'm finding the music side of things a bit difficult though so if anyone has a better free music loop feel free to get in touch. You can turn off the music via a setting.
I'll release the above tonight. I'll probably wait for some feedback (just to check I haven't introduced any bugs) before adding:
  • Full screen - I'll turn it into a full screen game (same res though) and remove the screen border. This will need user permission to run.
  • Local settings file - so it can remember what all your settings are.
  • Local high scores file - just in case you're shy.
  • 2 player mode
Mike
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 12:25:32 pm by mike_bike_kite »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2013, 12:45:35 pm »
Le Chuck - I just saw your cabs - I'm totally in awe - especially of the Barrel of Kong.

Wrong Arcade Icon, bro.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2013, 02:41:32 pm »
Le Chuck - I just saw your cabs - I'm totally in awe - especially of the Barrel of Kong.

Wrong Arcade Icon, bro.
Normally yes, but in this case not :)


I've released the new version of Alien Swarm. The major parts that have changed are the attract screen. There's intro music (which is why the file size is now 3mb). You can now shoot through the shields and all the mame keys work fine (if you press p (for pause/settings) then change the controls to mame). Enjoy (or not)!

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2013, 02:53:08 pm »
Le Chuck - I just saw your cabs - I'm totally in awe - especially of the Barrel of Kong.

Wrong Arcade Icon, bro.
Normally yes, but in this case not :)


Try again, Mike.

That's Joel's build -- thread here -- started under his old username Griffindodd and finished under his new username Maximus.

Yotsuya wouldn't steer you wrong . . . unless he really wanted to mess with you.   >:D   :lol


Scott
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 02:55:36 pm by PL1 »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2013, 02:59:40 pm »
Thanks, Scott. Mike better want to make good use of that "Doh" sound right about now...
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2013, 03:13:46 pm »
Thanks, Scott. Mike better want to make good use of that "Doh" sound right about now...
Half point, Yotsuya.


Scott

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2013, 03:32:10 pm »
DOH (to keep you happy). I did click LeChuck's sig, where it said all our builds, and that was one that came up. To be fair all the cabs were stunning but I just liked the simplicity and usefulness of that particular cab ... it's a bar table, you can spill your beer on it and you can play Donkey Kong. And talking of playing games, has anyone tried the new version out and would it go in a cab better now? obviously it would need to be full screen and load the mame settings automatically.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2013, 05:33:25 pm »
Mike, its a decent little knock about. What you writing it in ?

I've seen that type before somewhere. You might want to create some .bad files
text files with positions for baddies to move to and from so you get nice varied waves.
I can give you advice on that if you want any. Bit of AI would be cool too :D


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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2013, 06:29:51 pm »
It's written in Java (as mentioned in the initial post).
Did you find the game too easy then? can I ask what sort of score you got?
It's very kind of you to offer advice - what sort of arcade (or PC) games have you written in the past?
Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2013, 06:56:42 pm »
Mike mate, port it to another language. I hate Java. And its format support sucks. Also without it you can have proper menus and options screens.

But its a decent little shooter. The sound is really annoying. Samples are low quality but the gameplay is awesome. The graphics could do with some more frames for the baddie ships. Individual ones. I like how they change colour like bricks in Arkanoid for a few shots before dying.

Also, it would be great to see the actual powerups and maybe show them down the bottom . I like it I really do.

I got to level 9. I didn't lose a life once until then and then I lost them all with those ships with the invisibility cloakes around them.

The baddies movement/lines get better as it goes on. But it still needs looking at cos sometimes a ship sits a third of the way along the screen and about 2/3rds down and just sits there.

The difficulty level needs looking at like I say 1-8 it was getting harder but 9 was madness. Christ knows how John managed level 23?  But then I didn't notice I could auto fire until level 9 either.

Oh and I have just remembered there was another weapon I didn't use that at all.

This is CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM mate I loved it. But I do this for a living so I had to be honest.

Also id do away with any baddie that cant be killed. Hardcore gamers will hate that.

Text adventures (late 80s), Platformers, Quiz Sims (90s), Tech programming (68000), FPS tech. C++ now, before C, I know about 20 languages although not all fluently.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 07:03:36 pm by Chris John Hunter »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2013, 07:51:34 pm »
It's funny how we had a post a short while back stating how smoothly the difficulty of the game progresses :) I think as you gain experience at the game you'll find you'll do that little bit better. The baddies with the shields will simply try to smoother you while the others gang up on you. You can't hurt them while their shields are up. The shields do turn off on a regular basis which allows you to kill them or you can just avoid getting smothered. As the game progresses you'll meet different types of aliens, the behaviour of the aliens also changes as the game goes on and you'll certainly find them more aggressive. Auto fire is vital as are the weapon power ups are vital to stay alive. I have no big issue with adding AI into the mix (I write chess programs as well) but I suspect a players life would be very short if the little sods were intelligent as well as belligerent.

When you manage to get to the super power ups then these are shown at the bottom ie nukes and auto shields etc. The problem with the weapon power ups is that there are so many of them and it's difficult showing that sort of information in a small space. I'm not really sure a normal player has much time to read dials etc. I actually wondered whether anybody ever looked at the time bar and weapon temp gauge in the top right. My guess is they probably don't.

Some people like a particular language and others hate it. It's certainly not a language I program in professionally but it does allow you to produce a wide variety of applications that are accessible from the web as well as installable on folks PC's or cabs. I was really aiming for an original feel arcade game so it doesn't matter too much about menus etc. I actually wanted a moderately low res game to mimic the ones I used to play (when I had the money).

Nobody else has commented on the invincible grey motherships. I thought it added a slightly different dimension to the game, a bit like having different pieces on a chess board. They certainly could be killable but then they wouldn't be that much different to the large green motherships which would make the grey ones a bit pointless. Perhaps you should give the game a few more tries and then, if you still feel the same, I'll think about making the grey mothers a little more vulnerable.

I'm glad you enjoyed it though.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2013, 08:08:50 pm »
All ARTISTIC or CREATIVE endevours are the same Mike, its all opinions. Some right some wrong.

I just judge the difficulty from getting to level 9 with no problems at all then getting battered almost instantly.

Chess games? Now that is cool. I love Chess. And Scrabble.


I offer advice for constructive criticism, if this was a real world situation. If you sat opposite me or rather a publisher and it was my game id take on board what someone with experience would say.

When a game is developed by a team it gets tested to f**k you give out cards and feedback comes back you don't like sometimes its crap but sometimes its right.

Im not saying im right, but I am right. But hey its not a commercial release so the same rules don't apply
 :cheers:

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2013, 08:20:31 pm »
Sod it. I just made a bunch of comments went to post and I was logged out!

What I would say is, if it were in another language there would be no confirm security Java screen to interupt play. You have the GAMEPLAY SPOT ON it has that oldschool arcade feel. And its addictive and lots of fun.

I would actually make them occasionally killable so that pro gamers get that extra satisfaction knowing they can do it and others cant. I remember Jak and Daxter and the satisfaction I got with 105%(101?) complete.


I remember playing Bubble Bobble I got almost to the end and I found out I had to play 2player to win. So couldn't complete it.

Make it full screen and controllable by Joystick and Buttons.

I've hated Java since the 90s. Its nothing new. Them glowing green screens brought on my migranes.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2013, 08:33:30 pm »
DOH (to keep you happy). I did click LeChuck's sig, where it said all our builds, and that was one that came up. To be fair all the cabs were stunning but I just liked the simplicity and usefulness of that particular cab ... it's a bar table, you can spill your beer on it and you can play Donkey Kong. And talking of playing games, has anyone tried the new version out and would it go in a cab better now? obviously it would need to be full screen and load the mame settings automatically.

Yeah, it's confusing.  Arcade Icons is a consortium of builders.  We play in the same sandbox for certain benefits.  Joel did Kong.  I'm mostly wrapped up in R2Emu right now, which is also barrel shaped so I'll call it partial credit.   ;)  For my builds visit the Compendium. 

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2013, 11:34:23 pm »
Christ knows how John managed level 23?

Actually it was lvl 25  in that game but have practiced a few more times and improved a bit at dodging (still haven't been able to use the shields properly though now that they can be shot through I quess I'll have to download the new version !: ( Not sure what level was in the pic below as it moved to the enter initails screen while I was pasting the below into PS but it was a bit higher than the earlier pic)



JDFan - an impressive score  :applaud: The difficulty does continue to climb even past that score (and on past a million!). I can't quite picture anyone getting there though.
I think it might be possible after some practice but it does get pretty intense approaching the half way mark !
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 11:45:24 pm by JDFan »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2013, 05:47:37 am »
Christ knows how John managed level 23?

Actually it was lvl 25  in that game but have practiced a few more times and improved a bit at dodging (still haven't been able to use the shields properly though now that they can be shot through I quess I'll have to download the new version !: ( Not sure what level was in the pic below as it moved to the enter initails screen while I was pasting the below into PS but it was a bit higher than the earlier pic)


Blimey! Well it was a sterling effort from you in any case. I only got to level 9 but my nuke didn't work? Kept wacking N but nothing.


Quote
Yeah, it's confusing.  Arcade Icons is a consortium of builders.  We play in the same sandbox for certain benefits.  Joel did Kong.  I'm mostly wrapped up in R2Emu right now, which is also barrel shaped so I'll call it partial credit.   ;)  For my builds visit the Compendium. 
Ah! I was thinking this on Facebook the other day. I was looking at Barrel of Kong and said hang on that's LeChuck's coat of arms arcade

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2013, 05:51:52 am »
JDFan - an impressive score   The difficulty does continue to climb even past that score (and on past a million!). I can't quite picture anyone getting there though.

I prefer games I can complete to ones where its a high score challenge but then once again its opinions. Has anyone ever beat Space Invaders does anyone know if its possible? I got pretty far in Pheonix the other day.

My QUOTE doesn't work again?

Its a good game. I only ever seen room for improvement but that's just how my mind works.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 05:53:58 am by Chris John Hunter »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2013, 07:19:34 am »
This is my chess game John, it's called Fun Chess - I'd be definitely interested in your feedback but perhaps a detailed criticism should go by PM so as not to distract this thread. I think it plays moderately well considering the whole things home grown but then perhaps I'm biased. You can change the skill level up or down as well as the general appearance of the game.

Java : the program is written in Java so you'll just have to lump it I'm afraid. If you're pulling it off the web each time then it give a confirm dialogue. If it's installed locally and you click the jar file then it won't. Life is too short to rewrite the whole thing in C++ and I'm not sure what benefits it would provide. Who after all really cares whether PacMan is written in machine code, C, Java or whether it's just running through an emulator? as long as the interface is identical. It doesn't matter much to me what language I program in - I'm a database designer by profession but this type of thing is much more fun.

Alien Swarm should work with joy sticks and buttons - you just need to set the controls to "Mame+coins" - press P to pause and bring up the setting screen.

The Nuke button only works if you have nukes to fire. You have the option of getting a nuke when you get a "super power up" every 200K. I like to watch and listen to them fire but I don't think they're a brilliant weapon. They do at least kill the grey mothers though!

If you feel strongly that the grey mothers should be killable then I'll add this - but I'll make them very hard to kill - a sort of compromise.

JDFan : you seem to be out on your own at the moment with the game! Hopefully some of the other arcade game experts will start climbing the high score table soon. I'll make the end of game stats display for a little longer so people can see how they've done.



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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2013, 10:06:53 am »

I prefer games I can complete to ones where its a high score challenge but then once again its opinions. Has anyone ever beat Space Invaders does anyone know if its possible? I got pretty far in Pheonix the other day.

They each have their own advantages - esp for an arcade game since you hate to have the game quit just after pumping another quarter (do Arcades still charge only a quarter  :dunno )  in just to see some end game credits - IIRC invaders like many other games of the era just loops the score back to 0 ( I know missile command did that as it was one I was pretty much able to play endlessly on a single quarter - once you hit 800,000 it went into the developers testing and gave you enough cities to last quite awhile since the dev thought it was a high enough score that no one would get there)

I've only had a Nuke twice and have to say they aren't really that useable (unless you know of a wave that you hate and want it over) There is a fairly long wait from the time you press N to the time it goes off so you can't use it as an emergency blast but it is nice to get a rest for a few extra seconds at that point.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2013, 10:40:27 am »
I was about to give you another tip but after seeing your score I think I'll keep quiet (my personal best is 1.3m but I can see that falling the way things are going). Every 100k I tend to throw in a completely different combination of aliens - you might get 8 of the shield ships, a couple of greys and a single alien to try and shoot. If anyone has an interesting suggestion for a particular combination then I'll put that in as one of the possible screens. The screen has to be both different and difficult but obviously not impossible.

PS it makes me smile that you can get further than anyone else but yet can't seem to type your name in correctly at the end :)

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2013, 11:47:04 am »
PS it makes me smile that you can get further than anyone else but yet can't seem to type your name in correctly at the end :)

LOL -- yeah I kind of messed that one up - though might just have to start using a different number at the end to take down the whole high score screen since it only allows 1 entry per set of initials :laugh2: (J\k)

Must say I like the shields a bit better in the new version but still haven't gotten used to using them yet (always think there might be enough room to squeeze through the 2 projectiles rather than waste a shield but there usually isn't. (and it usually happens just as a bonus ship appears on screen and then flies off due to the collision wasting 2 lifes instead of just the one  :dunno )

One suggestion on the MAME controls you might want to add in a setup screen as many arcades use gamepad encoders rather than keyboard so need an option to choose a joystick button press rather than keyboard stroke and for those that use something other than MAME defaults. ( Can work around it by using something like Joy2Stick but would be better to have a way to set the button press to each system - ie. a setup screen that can be configured by pressing the keystroke and saves to a config file on the local machine like MAME uses or similar perhaps. ) 

EDIT :

OK got the initials correct this time and got the screenshot of the stat screen as well (score would have been better if not for all those errant shots at the satellites, 54K in fines adds up ! :laugh2: ) - Not sure about the new shields ( I like the ability to shoot through them at the beginning and the timing seems about the right length but at higher scores when you get the auto shields they do make things much less challenging with the 3 and the number of bonus ships you get - might want to only give one or perhaps two shields instead of 3 at that point as to get that far in the game you already have to be fairly decent at dodging and it takes awhile to get hit 3 times so you pretty much have the shields to protect you most of the time and never really lose a life if you keep replenishing the shields with the bonus ships.


« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 05:55:08 pm by JDFan »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2013, 06:44:32 am »
New version is now out there of Alien Swarm. Enjoy :)

Changes include:
  • The attract screen has been altered to always show moving items.
  • Aliens tend to enter the arena faster now but then slow down. This results in less waiting and a slightly higher pulse rate.
  • For some bizarre reasons the aliens stopped flying in from a distance when a planet was on screen - this has now been fixed.
  • The weapon power up is now indicated by the colour of your gun turret in the lives left area.
  • New special screens have been added. These appear every 100k but they add a bit of a change to the normal game play. There are now screens where you need to kill just the shield ships etc. A task message is given to you so you know what to do.
  • You can kill the greys motherships now but it's hard and probably not worth it but you earn 10k for doing so.
  • If you have managed to get automatic shields then you'll now only get one extra shield, rather than 3, each time you hit the shields power up.
  • There's a slightly changed pause screen and better laid out options. The pause screen shows the version of the game you'rre playing and it should indicate v94.
  • 2 player mode is now fully functional but it's difficult for me to test as one person
Mike

PS It's odd that I've had no comments about the little things in the game. The fact the alien eyes always watch you or how moons sometimes circle planets or stars twinkle or how there's even real constellations in amongst the stars.

PS2 I'll alter the high score list so you only have your best score showing.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2013, 06:55:52 am »
one thing that annoys me is with the controls.

if you hold RIGHT, then press LEFT at the same time, you'll move left.. that makes enough sense.. but if you then release LEFT (while still holding RIGHT) you don't start moving RIGHT again, you sit there stuck until you release the RIGHT key and press it again

likewise the same situation reversed.

I think your input logic needs to be a bit more intelligent about such situations, obviously if you're playing on a stick / pad it won't happen, but on a keyboard you notice it a lot.

Ideally it should be like this:
if you're holding RIGHT and press LEFT at the same time, you will start moving LEFT, but if you release the LEFT key and are still holding RIGHT you should start moving RIGHT again
and if you're holding LEFT and press RIGHT at the same time, you will start moving RIGHT, but if you release RIGHT while still hodling LEFT you'll start moving LEFT again

try it, you'll see what I mean instantly, right now if feels like the ship gets stuck, you have to release and re-press the direction key.

obviously controls are critical to something like this.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #46 on: July 05, 2013, 07:56:16 am »
tried it - see what you mean - fixed it & released again

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #47 on: July 05, 2013, 01:19:33 pm »
tried it - see what you mean - fixed it & released again

yeah controls a lot better on a keyboard now.

still needs some work to really feel like an arcade game / operate as an arcade game, but the little improvements have helped so far.

if you want me to pluck some more examples of how it could operate more like an arcade game then let me know, obviously MAME is full of perfect examples of such ;-)

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2013, 02:44:35 pm »
Always interested :)

I think I have the game play roughly about right but it would be good to get the MAME side of things as authentic as possible.

I obviously have to allow for people who are just running the program via their keyboard - at the moment I guess that's what everyone is doing.

I'm looking into running full screen, no borders and perhaps work with local files (for settings and high scores).

I also appear to need a new name for the game as "Alien Swarm" is taken.

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2013, 06:54:20 pm »
PS It's odd that I've had no comments about the little things in the game. The fact the alien eyes always watch you or how moons sometimes circle planets or stars twinkle or how there's even real constellations in amongst the stars.

Actually I hadn't even noticed the aliens in the ships  :laugh2: Playing in a window on a 1920x1080 display it is small enough that you don't really see them in there - Changed to an 800x600 desktop resolution instead  and you can see them much better ! For the backgrounds it might be a good thing that no one has mentioned them as that means they fit in well with the feel of the game  :applaud:

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #50 on: July 12, 2013, 04:07:46 pm »
I've just released a new version of the game Alien Swarm.
Most of the requests that people have made have been done including trying to make it appear closer to an actual arcade game from that era.
I do need to change the name of the game to something that hasn't been used ... if anyone has any ideas I'd appreciate it.

Mike

EDIT : are people's cabs connected to the web or are they all stand alone?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 04:17:03 pm by mike_bike_kite »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #51 on: July 12, 2013, 05:34:29 pm »
Generally I believe they are stand alone -- though many do have means of connecting to the net for maintenance and updating but even those are normally left disconnected from the web unless doing something that requires it.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #52 on: July 15, 2013, 03:52:32 pm »
The program can now be run in full screen mode and placed in a MAME cabinet. You need to grab the zip file and point to one of the bat files that's appropriate to your set up. It's pretty easy to do : just unzip the file and either double click a bat file or call it from MAME. Feedback as always is welcome.

Mike

PS I'd love to see a picture of it running in a cab.
PS2 You'll need to check back here to see if I make changes (I still have a number of things to add but it should work fine in a cabinet now.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #53 on: July 15, 2013, 05:16:44 pm »
Fullscreen not working here -- It just goes to a black screen with the game running in the background (can hear the sounds etc) - then once I hit ESC button it goes back to the desktop. Tried setting desktop for several resolutions (1920x1080, 1366x768,1280x800,1280x768, and 800x600) and they all go to black screen -- Using an ATI 5770 on AMD x4 CPU with Catalyst version 13.2 on an ACER G235H monitor using DVI-D connection.

Tried both full screen bat files included in zip as well as the windowed bat file - only windowed launches game other 2 go to blackscreen  -- Launching in windows command prompt using "start AlienSwarm.jar FULLSCREEN 2>tmp.log" opens a window with game.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 05:19:27 pm by JDFan »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #54 on: July 15, 2013, 07:22:16 pm »
It tries to set the monitor to 640 x 480 while it runs the program. Some monitors are fine with that while others seem to have issues. For the computers in my place it works for most of them (it even plays fine on my netbook) but it has problems with the large (wide) monitor I develop on and I actually get the same results as you on that particular one. I'll try to see if I can fix it but I might have to get some help on that. Hopefully it works for some anyway. Thanks for trying, I'll look into sorting that. Does anyone have a cab they can try it on?

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #55 on: July 16, 2013, 12:17:40 am »
Ahh OK figured it might be something like that -- my Acer monitor only seems to list 800x600 as the lowest supported resolution - Haven't tested it on my bartop which has a 15" monitor since I don't have joy2key installed on it yet either and am using a gamepad encoder rather than keyboard so the buttons use joystick button presses rather than keyboard keys. If I get a chance over the next few days I'll see about installing Joy2Key to swap the joystick button presses to keyboard codes and give it a test on the bartop for you.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2013, 05:50:59 am »
Worked out what the problem was and I've now fixed it. You only need to download the zip file if you want to run the program in full screen mode.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #57 on: July 16, 2013, 11:25:32 am »
Worked out what the problem was and I've now fixed it. You only need to download the zip file if you want to run the program in full screen mode.

Tested and at first it was not working getting error stating "'java' is not recognized as an internal or external command,operable program or batch file."

To fix just had to copy the java application from sysWOW64 folder (using win7 64 bit) into the unzipped Swarm folder - so you may want to let others know to do this or include the java.exe file along with the zip since it is only 171 KB -- or alternatively the files could be placed into the sysWOW64 folder (but that tends to clutter up that folder) -- or I quess the bat file could be changed to look for the java program in the correct location (but that might mean different bat files for different versions of windows  :dunno 

That said -- It is working fine now after making that change. 

Looks quite different in full screen 1920x1080 than in the small 640x480 window on the same -- can see much more of the details in the models\backgrounds etc.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #58 on: July 25, 2013, 02:10:44 pm »
HAd a bit of time so printed out some new artwork for my bartop and applied to see how it would look and figured I'd post a couple images for you :




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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #59 on: July 25, 2013, 02:59:31 pm »
You just made my day :)

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #60 on: July 25, 2013, 04:39:30 pm »
You just made my day :)

Glad you like it -- Been meaning to get it printed for awhile ( I made the bartop 16 inches wide for my 15 inch LCD display (9" x 12") making the artwork easy to swap out since it is covered by 1\2 inch acrylic I got free from the local ice rink that they were discarding after a panel or 2 got broken during a hockey game)  so finally made the trip to Office Depot yesterday. The prints are 2- 11x17 inch prints on a heavy stock photo paper that they print cheaply ( $1.85 per print so less than $4 total ) If you'd like a copy of the artwork files, let me know and I'll upload the PSD and jpg or png version (PSD will have the layers used for the various elements in case you want to make changes - ie. I changed the controller list to match the bartop buttons used rather than the keyboard.)


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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #61 on: July 25, 2013, 05:14:10 pm »
I'd love to have the images. I'm going to be building a dedicated bartop for the game soon though I haven't quite settled on the design as yet. The CP will have just 5 buttons on mine as I wanted a dedicated cab. Your images would be perfect for the build though! Would they work with a marquee light behind them? I'll also make the files available on my site if you don't mind just in case anyone else wants to have a go.

I will be including the java.exe in my next release. The new release will also have a few changes. A friendly chap is working on some proper music for the attract screen for me but I'm unsure when this will be ready. There will be various options when running the game so people can have local high scores etc etc.

I wasn't kidding when I said it made my day.

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2013, 05:30:54 pm »
How about Swarm Buster, has a very old school ring to it. ;)

Also I am wondering which link is the latest build, I'll give it a go on my cab.

Jason
Multi-Cade x2 (full size and bar top) / 3 screen Virtual Pin

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #63 on: July 25, 2013, 05:41:21 pm »
Yeah mine has several buttons you wouldn't need (it was built for playing Robotron and Smash TV which use 2 joysticks one for movement and 1 for firing direction and has the 6 buttons for fighting games.) as it is used as either a single player game or 2 player alternating turns. DO you have Photoshop or a program that reads PSD files ? (if not I can change the text on the marquee for you and send a copy with the proper labels for the machine you are building)

As I mentioned the files are currently sized for the bartop I build that is 16 inches wide ( with some extra printed area around so it can be trimmed to fit but should be fairly easy to resize if needed.) IF you need some help getting it to size after you have your plans let me know and I'll see about making some to size if needed. Will send you a PM with the download link for the files ( they are a bit too big for upload here since they are 11x17 inch at 300DPI for printing)

While making adjustments if it is possible to add support for using a gamepad or joystick adapter (or possibly a configuration menu that supports them that allows setting up button presses to match the end system) It might make it easier to configure ( I'm using a Zero Delay encoder that is seen by windows as a 12 button joystick which is a bit harder to configure as it currently is ( have to use a third party program that changes the button presses to keystrokes in the background and then configure the proper keystrokes to button presses) - So it works as is but could be made easier to setup if it supported joystick\gamepads.

Anyway - will send the files in a few and feel free to reuse anyway you'd like - esp. seeing that they are mostly just taken from your games screenshots to begin with other than the marquee background which is a recolor of the Robotron marquee art I had for the bartop with colors sampled from the screenshots to match up with the marquee (posting them on the site is fine by me) -  If you need any adjustments made to the files let me know and I'll see what I can do.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 05:43:42 pm by JDFan »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #64 on: July 26, 2013, 11:30:02 am »
I've put the latest version of the program on my site. It now doesn't need Java to run if you download the zip. So you need to:
  • down load the zip
  • extract it
  • double click PcFullScreen.bat if you want to run the program on your PC
  • double click MameWithCoins.bat program if your cab simulates coins
  • double click MameNoCoins.bat if you don't have coins on your cab
  • play!

There are various options to change the way the program behaves ie LOCAL will make it store high scores locally rather than on the web. NODOH stops it from making those Homer Simpson "Doh" sounds when you make a boob etc etc.

I'll look into the gamepad issue but it's difficult for me at the moment as I don't have a gamepad!

I use paint.dot net for images and I believe it will cope fine with the PSD files. My bartop will be the same size as yours so the existing files should be OK.

Swarm Buster is quite a good name! The latest program is always on my site.

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #65 on: July 26, 2013, 12:06:45 pm »
Will redownload and give it some testing - don't worry about the gamepad stuff as there are programs out there like JoyToKey that can be used to get the end result and most people probably use the keyboard encoders for builds anyway, so the number of people that would need it is fairly low. ( though for a dedicated unit for this game the $10 price point for the zero delay encoder with it's 16 inputs vs. the $40 +\- price for the keyboard encoder with twice as many inputs that you don't really need makes them a useable option)

If you find you need some adjustments made to the art files or if paint.net has problems with the PSD and you need some other format that Photoshop can save as, just send me a PM with details on what you need changed and I'll see about making them for you.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #66 on: September 20, 2013, 04:00:49 am »
I've uploaded a new version of the game. I've corrected a few niggles, introduced more boss levels (these appear every 100K) and generally smoothed out any rough edges. Just download the zip file, extract and then click the "PcFullScreen.bat" to play the program in full screen mode. You still need to have java to run it but I'm working on trying to produce a windows executable and I also want to include some better music. I'm also looking at trying to release the program on Steam but that's a whole new world for me.

Enjoy.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #67 on: December 05, 2013, 08:35:45 am »
Hi!
I wanted to know of any progress! Get it running as a windows .exe?

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #68 on: December 07, 2013, 03:35:46 pm »
I wanted to know of any progress! Get it running as a windows .exe?
Many thanks for asking. I have been working on it a bit though I haven't released the code as yet - probably about a week away - I'll post when it's ready to try. The work has been mostly around little things like better explosions, ensuring the high scores appear, explaining what the different colours mean in the high scores, dropping the wandering aliens down from passing ships, more interesting boss levels every 100K. This last point is a bit awkward as obviously not many players can get this far (yet) but I wanted to keep things interesting for those that can. Other changes have revolved around a smoother feeling game. I'm currently a bit stuck on turning the java program into an exe but I'm trying out launch4j and have my fingers crossed. The moment I can release an exe then I'm sure more people will be able to play it in their cabs. I do think it's a fun game and possibly a little bit addictive.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #69 on: December 07, 2013, 04:19:07 pm »
Absolutey. I was thinking of making a custom gamelist full of home-brew games, and then having my cabinet load up one at random when I start it. I am working on one two of my own and I know Well Fed is about ready to start on his...

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #70 on: December 07, 2013, 05:09:26 pm »
Absolutey. I was thinking of making a custom gamelist full of home-brew games, and then having my cabinet load up one at random when I start it. I am working on one two of my own and I know Well Fed is about ready to start on his...

Yes! Soon!  :cheers:
Completed projects: Pac bartop (Plug & Play), 30th Anniversary Pac cab (MAME), Point Blank (PS1), Centipede (arcade hardware- light restore), VS. Super Mario Bros (arcade hardware- light restore) Tetris Cocktail (SNES), Arcade Classics upright (60-in-1, then MAME), Multi-Raiden (arcade hardware). Pac Man vs.(Gamecube),

Working on: Pinball Re-theme, Homebrew arcade arena shooter

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #71 on: December 07, 2013, 05:41:44 pm »
WFG, I dunno if I mentioned this before, but... http://unity3d.com/#2d

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #72 on: December 09, 2013, 10:32:26 pm »
WFG, I dunno if I mentioned this before, but... http://unity3d.com/#2d

Thanks, yeah, Unity is just becoming better and better. I think I am going to stick with GameMaker for the time being, until I ask it to do something that it can't do. Problem is, I am not asking much currently.  :afro:
Completed projects: Pac bartop (Plug & Play), 30th Anniversary Pac cab (MAME), Point Blank (PS1), Centipede (arcade hardware- light restore), VS. Super Mario Bros (arcade hardware- light restore) Tetris Cocktail (SNES), Arcade Classics upright (60-in-1, then MAME), Multi-Raiden (arcade hardware). Pac Man vs.(Gamecube),

Working on: Pinball Re-theme, Homebrew arcade arena shooter

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #73 on: February 21, 2014, 05:17:51 am »
The game is now ready as an exe!!!!!
The game has also been improved in just about every conceivable way so it's worth installing the new version.
You can install it on a windows PC using the installer or you can just go to it's web page.
If you're installing it on your cab then press "P" when the game starts and change the input controls to MAME, free play to simulated coins and the high scores to local (unless your cab is on the web).
Thanks for being so patient.

All comments welcome.

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #74 on: February 21, 2014, 08:30:11 am »
Awesome, will download and try it out!

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #75 on: February 21, 2014, 09:02:12 pm »
Downloaded the new version and played a few games. Like the changes you have made - Haven't had time to really play test in full yet but thought I'd post a couple of things I've noticed so far :

1. Using a 1920x1080 widescreen the full screen stretches the game field out a bit - might be better to add in a bezel (either black bars or actual bezel art and keep the 4:3 aspect ratio for wide screen displays if possible (it plays good still but looks different than on a 4:3 monitor and switching back and forth gets confusing as the ships are wider so dodging changes a bit.) I was using windowed mode before to keep it the same on my desktop as the bartop. (Again this is minor as most people will use one or the other and not be switching between the 2 so would get used to it)

2. Had problems getting it running on my bartop at first - It didn't want to run full screen and was in a window at the top left of the screen. ( Finally figured out the problem was the old Graphics driver for the radeon Xpress 200 MOBO graphics chip - was able to track down a newer version on AMD's site and once I installed them it started working fine full screen (and the update also fixed my Fix it Felix Jr. game also - was a slide show prior to the update but now playable though still a bit slow ) -- So for anyone having problems with it not running properly in full screen try updating your GPU drivers !

3. If you have time perhaps add in support for gamepads ( the bartop uses a zd encoder so is seen as a gamepad) - I currently have it setup and working using Joy2key to make the gamepad inputs read as keys so this is just more for convenience than actual necessity but if you find some spare time  :laugh2:

Will test some more this weekend.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #76 on: January 05, 2015, 03:14:50 pm »
I've written a new "old style" alien shoot them up. Actually this is my new and improved version of the game. There's a global high score table for people that are quite good at these sort of things. It's written in Java so you'll need Java on your PC or cab. The controls can be switched between keyboard or Mame (press P for pause and options). There are also various difficulty levels to progress through with trophies awarded. Tell me what you think (I honestly don't mind criticism as long as it's mildly constructive).

Alien Swarm

                         

Hope you enjoy it.

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #77 on: January 05, 2015, 03:39:52 pm »
Didn't we already have this?  I think I played it and even did fairly well - what's changed? 

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #78 on: January 05, 2015, 03:51:58 pm »
I tried to find the old thread and failed so just started a new one. Sorry.

What's new?
  • Boss levels every 100K
  • Introduction of levels. You start on campaign (similar to the old game). Progress through hard (for those that like to shoot more than think) and finally end up in boss mode (where you just play each of the boss levels in turn). Trophies are awarded at the end of each level.
  • 200 High scores are kept for each level
  • New types of alien - whizzers that are chase you everywhere till you shoot them and changlings that change shade all the time until hit and then they explode to become a whole bunch of new aliens
  • Exploding bullets on harder levels
  • Civilian rockets to avoid
  • Game play
  • Ground effects from crashes etc
  • New lives/shields/nukes slide into place
  • Aliens walk across the landscape
  • Better attract mode with facility to move left and right through info screens
  • Loads more (I'll try and add things as I remember them)
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 04:13:43 pm by mike_bike_kite »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #79 on: January 05, 2015, 04:16:17 pm »
I tried to find the old thread and failed so just started a new one. Sorry.

What's new?
  • Boss levels every 100K
  • Introduction of levels. You start on campaign (similar to the old game). Progress through hard (for those that like to shoot more than think) and finally end up in boss mode (where you just play each of the boss levels in turn). Trophies are awarded at the end of each level.
  • 200 High scores are kept for each level
  • New types of aliens
  • Game play
  • Ground effects from crashes etc
  • New lives/shields/nukes slide into place
  • Aliens walk across the landscape
  • Loads more ...

No worries, just making sure it was the same thing.  Here's your old thread for those who want to check out the original traffic: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,133134.msg1370183.html#msg1370183

Can I fire through my shields yet?  That part of the game really frustrated me (not that it is bad, I just wanted to play it a different way). 

I'll make sure and get it downloaded again and this time remember to give some feedback.  I flaked after your last update.

FYI to others, this game is a fun homebrew, give it a whirl. 
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 04:18:07 pm by Le Chuck »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #80 on: January 05, 2015, 04:22:08 pm »
Yep,  you can now fire through your shields ;)

I've only just released the new version so there might be teething troubles but hopefully not.

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #81 on: January 05, 2015, 04:47:46 pm »
Topics merged.   :applaud:

D
Stop by my Youtube channel and leave a comment:

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #82 on: January 05, 2015, 07:23:56 pm »
Thanks. It will be nice to hear what people think of the new version. I'm guessing that the high score facility is crapping out as I haven't seen anything show up.  :dunno

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #83 on: January 05, 2015, 10:26:33 pm »
Sound works, display doesn't.  I get a blank black screen.  W764.

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #84 on: January 05, 2015, 11:02:50 pm »
Sound works, display doesn't.  I get a blank black screen.  W764.

Same here -- was able to get display running the bat file but it's not correct - here's a zip of a quick mp4 of the game play recorded with Camtasia (on the system it is actually a few colors not B&W as shown in the recording and is full screen not windowed (guess camtasia recorded without the after effects and scaling  :dunno)

Here's a screenshot of what it looks like taken with my cheap camera also

Note : older version still works correctly. -- I take that back - seems original version that was an .exe file is working - update (older version - now will not launch - error file says  "Error: Registry key 'Software\JavaSoft\JavaRuntime Environment\'CurrentVersion' has value '1.8',but '1.7' is required." Then Java Virtual Machine Launcher Error says could not find java.dll - then Error: Could not Find Java SE Runtime Environment. - Then closes !

So seems it is looking for Java release 7 and refuses to run under release 8 instead.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 12:03:16 am by JDFan »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #85 on: January 06, 2015, 09:09:29 pm »
OK did a bit of testing and was able to get it working correctly instead of getting the black screen or corrupted color palette  :applaud: - Seems Java and many older games have a problem with the color palette for 256 color - to get it working I just switched my monitor to Windows Basic Mode (which turns off aero and corrects the conflict) - To do this right click on desktop and choose personalize - From the box that comes up under Basic and High Contrast themes find Windows 7 Basic - Double left click on it and it will switch your OS to the windows basic theme shutting off aero and it's effect which seem to be the conflict. After doing this run the alienswarm.jar file and it loads the game.

When finished - change your theme back.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 09:12:48 pm by JDFan »

Le Chuck

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #86 on: January 06, 2015, 09:33:36 pm »
OK did a bit of testing and was able to get it working correctly instead of getting the black screen or corrupted color palette  :applaud: - Seems Java and many older games have a problem with the color palette for 256 color - to get it working I just switched my monitor to Windows Basic Mode (which turns off aero and corrects the conflict) - To do this right click on desktop and choose personalize - From the box that comes up under Basic and High Contrast themes find Windows 7 Basic - Double left click on it and it will switch your OS to the windows basic theme shutting off aero and it's effect which seem to be the conflict. After doing this run the alienswarm.jar file and it loads the game.

When finished - change your theme back.

JD's fix worked for me as well.  Disabled Aero and back in action.  Well done JD!

I would like to see the .exe version again and perhaps a config menu where you can set the controls (I may have missed it but it would be nice to be able to make this arcade cabinet friendly - ie map joystick or keyboard inputs to every control including game exit, menu, etc).

I am dog tired tonight but ran up a few levels and got a score of 68000ish.  I'd like the player vehicle to be a bit smaller, I find myself playing it like a cave game expecting some shots to not wipe me out because they aren't hitting the center of the vehicle and then blammo, I'm all over the map in pieces.  Also, the green alien invaders are a nice touch, took me a minute to figure out why my score was going down from time to time. 

JDFan

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #87 on: January 06, 2015, 09:43:14 pm »
Glad to hear it worked for you also (read a few posts on the net that discussed corruption when using the 256 color palette and some discussed turning of explorer.exe (which I didn't want to do as it also shuts down the desktop and taskbar etc. making it hard to reenable ) then found one that mentioned Aero - so tried switching to a theme with it disabled and it worked !

Ran a couple games and managed a bit over 100K and then messed up and lost all 3 bonus ships - Those new bullets that split into 3 are interesting (my last ship got nailed when one split and I was too close to avoid them  :hissy: )

I agree with Le Chuck that having a method to select the buttons for things would be nice !

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #88 on: January 06, 2015, 11:37:40 pm »
For others using Win 7 if you are having the blackscreen/color distortion problem mentioned above - I made a quick batch file to automate the theme change using a program called ThemeSwitcher (Download LINK - http://winaero.com/comment.php?comment.news.209 )

Here is the batch file I'm using : (Just type out in notepad and save as ASwarm.bat and place in the downloaded folder with the game and the winaero Download in the same folder - then create a shortcut to launch ASwarm.bat)

Code: [Select]
themeswitcher.exe basic
java -jar "AlienSwarm.jar"
themeswitcher.exe Landscapes
exit;

What it does when running the .bat file it uses themeswitcher.exe to change windows to the Basic Theme - launches the game - and when the game is closed again uses ThemeSwitcher to change the them again ( will need to change the name of the theme to whatever theme you are using - I'm using Landscapes currently !! )

Figured I'd post this in case anyone else is interested in automating the theme change rather than using the right click - personalize method  :cheers:

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #89 on: February 01, 2015, 07:18:00 am »
Added new version of the game:
  • I have fixed the high score bug that stops new high scores being added  ::)
  • It has tries to emphasise that there are multiple levels with trophies.
  • Few nicer graphics (those round things and the time and weapon heat bars).
  • Various other parts
It's worth downloading the new version.
I'll be looking at releasing as an exe next.

Mike

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #90 on: February 12, 2015, 10:11:28 am »
When you manage to get to the super power ups then these are shown at the bottom ie nukes  and auto shields etc. The problem with the weapon power ups is that there are so many of them and it's difficult showing transfer that sort of information in a small space. I'm not really sure a normal player has much time to read dials etc. I actually wondered whether anybody ever looked at the time bar and weapon temp gauge in the top right. My guess is they probably don't.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 08:44:28 am by andrewsgxs »

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Re: New (old style) arcade game - looking for feedback
« Reply #91 on: May 14, 2015, 08:10:12 am »
Sorry for the incredibly late reply but I was hoping to release an update to the game at the same time.

Weapon power ups: each weapon power up just gives you a bit more ooomph when fighting back. I guess it doesn't really matter what the weapon power up actually is but they go from normal - fast firing (but overheating quickly) - fast firing (& better cooling) - faster projectiles - anti mothership. If you do very well and get to 200K then even better options appear above - you get nukes, super cooling for your weapon and shields that will turn on automatically if you're hit. Managing your power ups (ie getting the right power ups) is vital in the game.

At the top there's also the info showing when a mothership is coming or if a little green alien is about to be dropped to the ground or if the grey motherships will stay on screen after you kill everything else. I find this info vital as I like to plan how I'm going to destroy the wave - firing wildly gets you so far but I find a little planing helps if you want to get a decent high score.

The time bar is useful as you get a fine if you don't clear the current wave in time. You also get a bonus if you clear them before a certain time (shown on the time bar). There's also a heartbeat sound to tell you when you're running low on time. Do you need the time bar? probably not but it looks pretty.

The weapon heat bar shows you when you need to stop firing and cool down - it's obviously bad to get stuck in a fire fight with the little green guys if you weapon is already overheating. The turret on your ship starts to glow red when the weapon overheats so you can use that as an indication if you wish. Do you need the weapon heat bar? probably not but I find it useful.

Do players need any of this info? No. Does it benefit them? a little. Does it look interesting on screen? I think so and the main aim of any arcade game is to look as attractive as possible to entice the player to play. As players get good at the game then the info becomes more important. At the end of the day, it's  a bit like the rev counter in a car - I never look at it but I'd feel something was missing if it wasn't there :)

I have released a totally new version of the game just now. I'll try and remember what all the changes are and list them down. Thanks for playing and all feedback is welcome.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 08:12:34 am by mike_bike_kite »