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Utter Confusion!

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Utter Confusion!

Postby docopoper » 4 years ago

I've been working on this game for almost two years now. :)
It's really fun and you should all play it (and let's play it if you want).

Play it!

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This is the preview version. The full version will be even cooler. :)
Tell me what you think. I definitely trust you guys' opinions.
The first thing I would do with infinite power would be to make myself a cave where I could look at my shadow forever.

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I made a game called Utter Confusion! Play it! :D
It's a lot of fun and has been incredibly popular at every indie game dev party I've brought it to.

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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby pholtos » 4 years ago

I tried it.
To be honest I dunno if I'd try it again for one simple reason, I started to feel ill.
Basically it made me stupid dizzy and the multicolored nature of the game didn't help.

Beyond that the music felt a tad loud.

The controls were fine.
Gameplay was fine.
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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby docopoper » 4 years ago

I've noticed that from showing it off at parties, some people find it insanely fun and get all their friends to play and some people just can't take it.

Also yes, good point. I will add in a volume slider.
The first thing I would do with infinite power would be to make myself a cave where I could look at my shadow forever.

Image <- Go team Yeah Doctor Shemp.!
Image <- That's everyone being nice to me. ^^

I made a game called Utter Confusion! Play it! :D
It's a lot of fun and has been incredibly popular at every indie game dev party I've brought it to.

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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby spitznagl » 4 years ago

I'm not normally a fan of arcade games, but I really like the concept of this one.

Some things I particularly enjoyed:
  1. - It allows for a lot of different play styles despite not having much content variety. At first I would leave the cursor up and use wasd to move around in a normal way. Then when the rotation would become to fast, I would instead stay stationary and focus on aiming at the enemies and then move to a safer location when they got too close. Another fun method I later discovered is to only use up and down sort of like in asteroid. It feels a bit slippery, but I find it easier to predict my movements that way.

    - The art style is pretty nice, especially the ground texture and the dynamic background. The sprites could use some work to match the quality imo. Shaded edges and soft color gradients could make them look much better without having to change their shapes. The enemies' bullets don't stand out enough despite the black outline. It's usually not a problem since you normally move out of the way or shoot at them without even noticing, but maybe you could make the bullets (and maybe also the enemies) black/dark instead?

    - The pitch shift once you only have one hp left. It could be cool to raise the music by one semitone for each hit you take. In case you don't know, the formula to properly offset by X semitones is:

    Code: Select all

    targetFrequency = baseFrequency * ( 2 ^ ( ±semitoneShift / 12 ))
Some variety ideas:
  • - More enemies. Maybe a type that charges at the player in small bursts instead of constantly following them. Another one could be a much slower enemy that would shoot a low range laser for a few seconds (like a flamethrower). I just think that your game would be more fun if had more RNG elements. As it is, the only variations in a run are the speed of the rotation and the music.

    - I did enjoy the unique experience that the incrementing rotation gimmick offered. That said, I couldn't help but think that your engine could also be fun (maybe more? Idrk) with more control. More specifically if instead of the constant rotation, moving the mouse would add momentum to the rotation and you'd have to move in the opposite direction to stabilize. The sensibility of the mouse movement vs the momentum could increase with the session-time and getting hit by an enemy could send you spinning out. The zooming could also be synced with the music. Maybe that could be an alternate game mode?
Hopefully that didn't sound too negative because I really enjoyed playing your game.
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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby docopoper » 4 years ago

spitznagl wrote:Hopefully that didn't sound too negative because I really enjoyed playing your game.
That didn't sound negative at all, it sounded like you liking it and giving constructive criticism. Thank you. :)
spitznagl wrote:
  1. - It allows for a lot of different play styles despite not having much content variety. At first I would leave the cursor up and use wasd to move around in a normal way. Then when the rotation would become to fast, I would instead stay stationary and focus on aiming at the enemies and then move to a safer location when they got too close. Another fun method I later discovered is to only use up and down sort of like in asteroid. It feels a bit slippery, but I find it easier to predict my movements that way.
Thank you, I'm glad that it sounds like you had no trouble figuring out the controls. The controls were one of the hardest parts to make for this game and I had to get a lot of people to test them to get them right. It used to be that WASD always went in the same direction, and while it worked; it was hard to understand the first time you played it. Moving towards the mouse works a lot better.
spitznagl wrote: - The art style is pretty nice, especially the ground texture and the dynamic background. The sprites could use some work to match the quality imo. Shaded edges and soft color gradients could make them look much better without having to change their shapes. The enemies' bullets don't stand out enough despite the black outline. It's usually not a problem since you normally move out of the way or shoot at them without even noticing, but maybe you could make the bullets (and maybe also the enemies) black/dark instead?
My idea in making the sprites as I did was to have flat colours and sharp outlines contrast with the textured background and for the spikiness to make them seem dangerous to the player. (though the sniper enemies have an X instead to keep them visually distinct). Now that you mention it; maybe giving the enemies a black outline would work well. Though I do agree; they could look better. I might redesign them.
spitznagl wrote: The pitch shift once you only have one hp left. It could be cool to raise the music by one semitone for each hit you take. In case you don't know, the formula to properly offset by X semitones is:

Code: Select all

targetFrequency = baseFrequency * ( 2 ^ ( ±semitoneShift / 12 ))
Actually if you make it far enough into the game the pits starts jumping up in steps. It's not done in semitones but I found an amount to jump up that sounds good through trial and error. The game gets really intense feeling when the music speeds up. Maybe I should make it come in earlier (which I already did). Obviously trying to judge the point where the game is getting intense enough to warrant a pitch increase is difficult to intuit as the dev.
spitznagl wrote: - More enemies. Maybe a type that charges at the player in small bursts instead of constantly following them. Another one could be a much slower enemy that would shoot a low range laser for a few seconds (like a flamethrower). I just think that your game would be more fun if had more RNG elements. As it is, the only variations in a run are the speed of the rotation and the music.
This is one of the things I'm going to be working on for the full version. Though those are interesting ideas for enemies. A big thing I have to be careful about in this game though it to make sure the player understands what's happening as much as possible. So I'm hesitant on adding too many enemy types too quickly. I was planning on having challenge modes that you unlock; so I'll probably gradually introduce them there. One idea I had for a challenge is to have loads of tiny but really weak enemies swarm you.
spitznagl wrote: - I did enjoy the unique experience that the incrementing rotation gimmick offered. That said, I couldn't help but think that your engine could also be fun (maybe more? Idrk) with more control. More specifically if instead of the constant rotation, moving the mouse would add momentum to the rotation and you'd have to move in the opposite direction to stabilize. The sensibility of the mouse movement vs the momentum could increase with the session-time and getting hit by an enemy could send you spinning out. Maybe that could be an alternate game mode?
Honestly I'd be very interested to see how that would end up as a game mode. It sounds drastically different from the game as it is now, so I won't be changing the main game to it. But I will definitely have to add it in as one of the challenges.
spitznagl wrote:The zooming could also be synced with the music.
That's something I'd find cool to do, but I have no idea how I'd do it. It also conflicts with the fact that the zooming gets faster as the game progresses... Though I suppose the music does too. Honestly this would be cool if I knew how to do it.
The first thing I would do with infinite power would be to make myself a cave where I could look at my shadow forever.

Image <- Go team Yeah Doctor Shemp.!
Image <- That's everyone being nice to me. ^^

I made a game called Utter Confusion! Play it! :D
It's a lot of fun and has been incredibly popular at every indie game dev party I've brought it to.

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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby Frozelar » 4 years ago

Hey, it's a nifty and unique little game! I kinda wish the player could feel more... in control while playing, but I guess that's not exactly what you were going with considering the nature of the game, haha. But yeah, more variety could take this project a long way! Keep it up!

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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby docopoper » 4 years ago

Frozelar wrote:Hey, it's a nifty and unique little game! I kinda wish the player could feel more... in control while playing, but I guess that's not exactly what you were going with considering the nature of the game, haha. But yeah, more variety could take this project a long way! Keep it up!
Thanks. ^^ When you say more in control, what exactly are you referring to? Does the character feel slippy, is it the fact that you move towards the mouse, or something else? If it's just that the camera is spinning, I can't do much to help you. :P But if it's any of those other things I'd be interested to hear since it's been the most difficult thing to get right with this game.
The first thing I would do with infinite power would be to make myself a cave where I could look at my shadow forever.

Image <- Go team Yeah Doctor Shemp.!
Image <- That's everyone being nice to me. ^^

I made a game called Utter Confusion! Play it! :D
It's a lot of fun and has been incredibly popular at every indie game dev party I've brought it to.

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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby Frozelar » 4 years ago

docopoper wrote:Thanks. ^^ When you say more in control, what exactly are you referring to? Does the character feel slippy, is it the fact that you move towards the mouse, or something else? If it's just that the camera is spinning, I can't do much to help you. :P But if it's any of those other things I'd be interested to hear since it's been the most difficult thing to get right with this game.
I dunno, I guess it's just the way how you move relative to where you're facing and not necessarily relative to the literal direction. So like if I'm facing left, and I press the left arrow, then I move down rather than left, and that just feels really weird to me. But I guess it just takes some getting used to!

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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby docopoper » 4 years ago

Frozelar wrote:I dunno, I guess it's just the way how you move relative to where you're facing and not necessarily relative to the literal direction. So like if I'm facing left, and I press the left arrow, then I move down rather than left, and that just feels really weird to me. But I guess it just takes some getting used to!
Yup, that's just something to get used to.

Interestingly enough making the movement based on the position of the mouse actually solved a huge problem in that people were forgetting they had to aim at the enemies. Making aiming and turning the same action solved this.
The first thing I would do with infinite power would be to make myself a cave where I could look at my shadow forever.

Image <- Go team Yeah Doctor Shemp.!
Image <- That's everyone being nice to me. ^^

I made a game called Utter Confusion! Play it! :D
It's a lot of fun and has been incredibly popular at every indie game dev party I've brought it to.

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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby spitznagl » 4 years ago

docopoper wrote:I was planning on having challenge modes that you unlock
That's great! Online highscore boards never kept me playing any arcade game, but significant unlockables probably would.
docopoper wrote:
spitznagl wrote:The zooming could also be synced with the music.
That's something I'd find cool to do, but I have no idea how I'd do it. It also conflicts with the fact that the zooming gets faster as the game progresses... Though I suppose the music does too. Honestly this would be cool if I knew how to do it.
I don't know what you're programming in, but assuming that you can access the position and the length of the song, here's how you could do it (in theory).

You would first need to count the number of steps (zoom cycles) in each songs. If there is silence at the start or end of a song (because it fades in or out), you would need to make sure that it is a multiple of your stepLength by inserting additional silence if needed.

So a song could be:
  1. fade-in: 1/2bar (4 steps)
    part1: 8bars (64 steps)
    part2: 8bars (64 steps)
    part3: 4bars (32 steps)
    fade-out/outro: 1bar (8 steps)
stepsTotal = 172


songPosition and songLength would need to be in the same unit, possibly in samples or in milliseconds.

Code: Select all

//When you first load the song
stepLength = songLength / stepsTotal;

//Every frames
zoomRatio = sin(((songPosition + someOptionalOffset ) % stepLength / stepLength ) * 180.0 ) * someRatio;
//Zoom with zoomRatio
explanation:
songPosition % stepLength /stepLength gives a result that gradually goes from 0 to 1 and then resets back to 0 at the beginning of the next step (unipolar sawtooth waveform).

The rest transform this value into a unipolar sinewave that gradually goes from 0 to 1 to 0 to 1, etc.

This would be a playback frequency independent solution, i.e.: as you would speedup the song, the zoom cycle would as well automatically.

If you don't have access to the position and length of the song, you could do something similar with the playback frequency and the time, but it could possibly go out of sync.
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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby docopoper » 4 years ago

spitznagl wrote:I don't know what you're programming in
Python. Using Pyglet as an engine.
spitznagl wrote:<explanation>
I like the idea of using the wave you came up with (so long as I interpolate towards it every frame as opposed to just adding it to the zoom since it might be a bit jarring).

So this basically comes down to counting the number of beats in the song. I suppose that would work, though it won't be aware of bridges. To make that work I'd probably have to go with something like mapping the position of each beat. Sounds like it would be something I could ask the music author to do since he'd find that a lot easier.
The first thing I would do with infinite power would be to make myself a cave where I could look at my shadow forever.

Image <- Go team Yeah Doctor Shemp.!
Image <- That's everyone being nice to me. ^^

I made a game called Utter Confusion! Play it! :D
It's a lot of fun and has been incredibly popular at every indie game dev party I've brought it to.

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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby raocow » 4 years ago

man, I tried to make a recording of this game but nothing shows up in the video except for the ships and the bullets somehow?! If I try to record the window and not directly from the game I keep dropping frames and it's kinda 'eh'.

Man, sorry about that.
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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby Picochilla » 4 years ago

raocow wrote:man, I tried to make a recording of this game but nothing shows up in the video except for the ships and the bullets somehow?! If I try to record the window and not directly from the game I keep dropping frames and it's kinda 'eh'.

Man, sorry about that.
Did u tried other Recording software such as FRAPS? Maybe Camtasia can't handle the Graphics...
Just as a suggestion if that would help.
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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby ano0maly » 4 years ago

Try the Monitor Capture (sub-region) using Open Broadcaster Software.
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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby raocow » 4 years ago

eh...

the problem is that there is only one first impression of this game, I don't know if a second go would actually be, like... good.
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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby ano0maly » 4 years ago

I suppose that's a good point. Since it came to this, perhaps you might as well make it post commentary style, to explain what you're seen and stuff.
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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby Picochilla » 4 years ago

ano0maly wrote:I suppose that's a good point. Since it came to this, perhaps you might as well make it post commentary style, to explain what you're seen and stuff.
Gonna admit that. What's saying everytime? The more, the better huh?
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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby docopoper » 4 years ago

Oh wow. You actually tried to record it. :D That's really cool and also a pity that it didn't work. I've had no trouble recording it with OBS set to screen capture. Is that what you were using?

At least since this is only a preview version and the game's not done; you could always play it again when it's done and it should be fairly fresh since I'm planning on adding a lot of new content (it will also be in the distant future, so there's that too).

Having said that; I'd obviously still be very interested to hear what you thought (or even see the broken video).
The first thing I would do with infinite power would be to make myself a cave where I could look at my shadow forever.

Image <- Go team Yeah Doctor Shemp.!
Image <- That's everyone being nice to me. ^^

I made a game called Utter Confusion! Play it! :D
It's a lot of fun and has been incredibly popular at every indie game dev party I've brought it to.

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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby raocow » 4 years ago

I'm sure that's kind of the point of the game, but I don't know how I feel about not really being able to control where I'm going sometimes, haha. otherwise it's a blast and I'm curious what you can do to do 'more' with it.
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Re: Utter Confusion!

Postby docopoper » 4 years ago

Surprisingly the game is very much not about feeling out of control of your movements (as that's seen as the games fault to the player). The game is more about slowly overloading your brain until you make mistakes and die. I've gone to great lengths to make the you feel in control. If that was your reaction; you're just making me want to see the video even more so that I can figure out where you felt out of control.

Also I've actually made a game mode editor for this that lets you change almost every noteworthy variable in the game. So I won't have too hard of a time mixing up the formula. Though I do need to add game modes other than survival.
The first thing I would do with infinite power would be to make myself a cave where I could look at my shadow forever.

Image <- Go team Yeah Doctor Shemp.!
Image <- That's everyone being nice to me. ^^

I made a game called Utter Confusion! Play it! :D
It's a lot of fun and has been incredibly popular at every indie game dev party I've brought it to.


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