Cosmo Bots Beta

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Mike Boeh, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Mike Boeh

    Administrator Original Member

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    Hey Guys,

    This is my first 2D game in many many years. It's based on the concepts of Jezzball and Qix. It uses the same engine as Pocket Tanks, although much enhanced since then by both Mike and myself. It's all software 2D, and the game has no real system requirements except 300 mhz.....

    Download: http://www.retro64.com/cosmobots_beta.exe
    Screen1: http://www.retro64.com/images/cosmo1.jpg
    Screen2: http://www.retro64.com/images/cosmo2.jpg

    Still To Do:
    Fix Bugs
    Fix Bugs
    Change the name of the game (any suggestions)
    Fix Bugs

    Thanks for giving it a try! :)

    -Mike
     
  2. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    > Change the name of the game (any suggestions)

    visittwilightgamesdotcom bots

    - s
     
  3. Jim Buck

    Indie Author

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    I really loved the graphics and music on this game!! They are spot on. I'm not familiar with Jezzball, but I'm very familiar with Qix and similar games (like Aironix which I bought). I am so used to being able to do more than just a straight line "move" in those games that I missed it in this game.
     
  4. Larry Hastings

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    1. Got a crash, which dumped me out to the desktop.
    2. Did you mean "Caterpillar", or was "Catipillar" on purpose?

    The presentation is phenomenal! That's 100% software rendering, huh? Jeepers!
     
  5. patrox

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    Tried it on a 300mhz linux machine, didn't launch :( :)
    </joke>

    really nicely put together, i didn't like the music, it's just a matter of personnal taste though.

    There's no icon in windowed mode.

    pat.
     
    #5 patrox, Oct 31, 2004
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2004
  6. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I agree with Pat on the music. I think it's a weak point in the game.
     
  7. Andy

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    Mike,

    I know your preference to black color but I feel pretty bad without bright colors on current stage (platypus? age? winter?). You know I suppose this one looks closer to the game than to reality. ;-)
    www.wildsnake.com/image/affiliate/CB_mike.jpg

    Graphics is pretty fun and deep. But requires the final fun tauch.
    Just my two cents.

    PS I will play the game later today...
     
  8. tolik

    Original Member

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    Wow, nice *nix! As usual, your skills are perfect ;)

    What I find a bit confusing here - LCD option (I don't have LCD at home, just 19').

    After game over you need to use your keyboard to enter name. This is the only place where you force the player to use it. I think some very casual people will not understand nowadays the meaning of a blinking cursor, so you might think about adding virtual keyboard... Another place is "GAME PAUSED" which requests to touch the keyboard.

    Brilliant interface, everything is BRILLIANT! The last *nix I've played was Bugix: http://zone.msn.com/en/root/deluxe....cade&RefId=&Session=&origin=pcat_mp_lnk&ln=en

    Your fast paced oldskool implementation is superior :)
    Marvelous graphics, music, sounds...

    I've encountered couple of bugs, first of them was on the 2nd (or was it 3rd?) level. I've cut the right part while one of the "line walkers" was there and this area wasn't "cleared"... I had to cut it 2 times and then it suddenly cleared.

    In the 4th level one of the sawblades was stuck in a line till the end of the round. I was cutting and exactly the moment when the split was successfull this blade entered new line and became stuck.

    Also, seems there's no bonus for quota, only for number of moves.

    I find it a bit confusing that I can die touching the iced enemy with a splitter...
    Another very player-friendly option is not to allow the player to use splitter when he's sitting inside the enemy, sometimes you do that accidentaly :(

    I'm on level 25 and my high score is ~22k.

    And don't forget to add ALT-TAB Icon to your game ;)
     
  9. tolik

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    I don't think that techno tracked tunes will be widely accepted. I like oldskool scene, that's why I can't say it's bad...

    On the subject of light colors - check Bugix, it's not always worth it.
    You have style in your game, it's the thing that does matter - consistency: everything fits everything. I can't imagine other music genre that will fit so perfectly fast paced action space themed game :)



    Retro64: and the game name iiiisss..... Space Scissors ;)
     
    #9 tolik, Oct 31, 2004
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2004
  10. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I like techno I just don't love this particular set.
     
  11. simonh

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    I love it. Great presentation and graphics.

    Small bug - on the credits screen, the mouse pointer goes behind the credits text.
     
  12. Mike Boeh

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    Thanks for the comments guys, they really help, I addressed most below. For the most part, you guys are right, and I will change the game accordingly- I am not proud


    This is an implementation of the Jezzball concept, which is a bit different than Qix. The problem I have with doing straight qix is that there really isn't a great way to implement it with the mouse.

    Yikes, a spelling error! There have been a couple of other crash reports, I will kock'em out.

    How about when the right mouse button is used a couple times, auto-picking is totally turned off? I actually tried several different ways of handling the axis picking, and this seemed to be the best/easiest.

    The speed is independent of the refresh rate of course. Difficulty tweaking is something that's tough in every game. I will hand-tweak the levels to ramp it better.

    Would you guys rather just see the smaller side filled in, regardless of how many enemies are on each side?

    Good call, I will do it!

    Another good idea- I will implement more with this!

    Woops, I forgot to take out the hardcoded level cap, Normally, you will only be able to select up to where you have made it. I just hard coded 500 in the slider for testing and forgot to take it out...

    I will take care of that Mr. Pat!

    I will change the wording :) It just centers the output instead of doing true full screen. Scaling can be yucky on lcd screens, which is why I added it.

    Agree, and I will remove any need for keyboard! I hate it when other people are right and it causes more work for me :D

    Thanks, will fix!

    Again I agree and will do something for it.

    Bah, again I agree....

    As for the music, that's the one thing I can't change. But Staffan, the musician reads these forums, so if you have any specific gripes, he will hear them. Personally I like it- but I have it turned up too loud during play. I need to lower it to put it more in the "background".

    Thanks again!
    Mike
     
  13. princec

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    I liked it although the music began to grate on me after 30 seconds. I'm a little worried about the hardcore 1987 metal graphical theme versus the 1997 housewife-plays-jezzball gameplay... a little like the curious dichotomy of Solid Spheres, I didn't understand how it positioned itself in the market from a presentation/gameplay angle. But that's not really relevant.

    Lots of crashes at seemingly random points.

    Charlotte loved it. A good sign. Her favourite game is *still* Solitaire. Go figure.

    Cas :)
     
  14. Hamumu

    Indie Author

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    I don't see any housewife to this game. This is great old-school arcade stuff. Housewives CAN play it, but it's the right game for me, too. And the looks are fabulous. Not every game needs to be full of dancing elves and rainbows. I think these looks will attract sales. Which means you should change them, because I'm not a good judge of that.

    * Powerups need to explained more clearly the first time you get them, like a tutorial thing maybe. Actually, the only one that wasn't obvious was the Sweepers... I still don't know what they do other than make my beam look mightier. I expected to be able to impale enemies with the line because of it, and I was explosively disappointed (not a bad powerup idea though!). Does it make the beam zap wall-crawlers? Maybe I'll play again and check.

    * I don't like the 'too close' rule on powerups. It's limiting. I imagine it's for aesthetic purposes (or to keep them from being too puwerful?), but don't sweat that, people like to see enemies in ice cubes however they got there. Also the text for it is just so... UI. Everything else on the board is a real object in the world, then these little white text shows up. Not that my disbelief was suspended, but if it was, it isn't after seeing that text.

    * I agree about entering your name mousewise. I never paused, but if it requires or requests keyboard input, I'd change that too. It was jarring to suddenly realize I needed the keyboard.

    * the auto directioning worked well for me, but I can definitely understand why making it non-auto is a more functional idea. Maybe an option to turn auto-directing on or off.

    * I didn't notice the music at all really, which maybe is a bad thing, but I have no complaints about it.

    * the level select screen made no sense at all to me. There was the slider, which I figured out, but what were all the circles? And the way it had just a slider and "Click here when done"... needed some real information on it, like even just "Choose a level to start on" or something. [edit: oh, it says that! Well the circles still make no sense to me, and maybe "Click here to begin" or something is better than "when done"]

    This is really a great game, and I just can't figure out how you do it!
     
    #14 Hamumu, Oct 31, 2004
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2004
  15. FlySim

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    Great game - well done.

    Music - yep gets on my nerves - but most game music does...

    Level selector took me a little while to figure out.

    Powers ups - didnt know good from bad or what they did. But I figured out most of them.

    The to close message on the rocket/freeze was kinda annoying, but I can see the game play problem. Why have a rocket if you can just touch them with it. How about if you fire the rocket or freeze to close then you get blown up or frozen?

    -J.R.
     
  16. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I like this idea a lot. Definitely more natural than the too close label.

    - S
     
  17. arcadetown

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    Good stuff. No bugs or problems here.

    The controls seem right. At first I was expecting how Bounce Game works in that if split a line between enemies nothing is filled in but I now get it as you need a way to kill enemies. Think it makes sense.

    Probably agree about the music.

    Perhaps the powerups should be auto picked up. Thought I was getting the powerups as soon as they appeared but later realized only got them when moved cursor over the powerup. Didn't feel natural to move cursor over already filled in areas to get the falling powerup which is why took a while to realise that.

    The graphics are totally fine. A real world look might have been a little better but look at Ricochet for a good selling metallic look game. Love how Ricochet Lost Worlds added real world backdrops to make it not so space based. Our space based Realspace titles although drawing a good solid following were never really that popular. Yup it's not a housewives game and graphics should not reflect them at all. Only real complaint might be the fonts seemed a little old school.

    Maybe also add bonus rounds and add new enemies / obstacles faster?
     
  18. Hamumu

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    Just wanna note the bug about an area not filling in and then being unfillable is on level 34, where there is a diagonal gap. It happens on both sides, seems to be a clear mistake in the algorithm somehow.
     
  19. Mike Boeh

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    Here's the thing on the graphics. It seems like everyone is making casual-style graphics these days, so I wanted something a bit less that way. Since I had an artist (Jim Abraham) capable of many styles, it was up to me to decide the overall look.

    I guess we will see if casual gamers will play it or not, if/when I take it to the portals. Games like Ricochet and Atomaders have done well in the casual markets, and neither has casual graphics at all. My wife doesn't play Best Friends or Platypus, but she does play Cosmo Bots, so I do have some hope.

    But anyway, my own audience is a bit less casual than the audience at Real Arcade, etc- so it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  20. Midnight Synergy

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    Just played it for a while, here are my impressions:

    Look & Style are great! Neat and very clean graphics, great animations of some of the enemies. Its feel really reminds me of the Atari/Amiga era, but mucho updated. Others have mentioned already that the retro/techno feel might not work attract the match-3 crowd, but I think the gameplay is quick and intuitive enough that they'll really get into it once they try it. And as you already mentioned, your audience is a little different anyhow.

    I did get quite a few crashes (Win XP2, 1 Gig, ATI 9200, 512 MB RAM), one during gameplay, all the others in the stage select screen. If I try to select a level over 25 I get a crash each time.

    I don't mind the auto-direction select, to me it would be six of one, half-a-dozen of the other. I didn't figure out what the sweeper bonus did for the longest time (just did right now, haven't had a chance to try it since). I agree that the smaller area should always be filled, regardless of the number of monsters - you need to be in control of your actions.

    I think one thing that would really add to the game is a clearer goal and stage progression. Right now you just play on and on, and while it's great fun, it's not clear what I'm playing toward. I see several planets (?) in your stage select screen - these are I guess the different backgrounds? How about a short intermission after each new planet is reached? Maybe just a small animation of the cosmobot warping to the next planet - then start the next level with the new background and new music. I think it would add the extra motivation of wanting to see the next planet. The flipside is that you would really then need to lock the planets that have not been reached in the stage select screen. Not sure if that works for you. (when I did this for Intensity XS I borrowed a page from "Gyruss" and started each wave with an quick intro "six more attack waves until warp". Some users have told me that they really get sucked in by that little feature - they play, only 1 more wave remaining, ack they die!!! "Damn, I was so close... gotta try again!").

    I know some people prefer to have everything unlocked right from the start. I just know that personally, while frustrating, this type of stage progression really hooks me.

    So overall, looking great! I think the best thing to say about the game is how clean it is - both in its visual style but also in its gameplay. I'm sure it will to quite well! (once those bugs are dealt with)

    Why do you want to change the name? I kinda like Cosmobots.

    Cheers,
    Patrick
     

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