I just tried to script an action game in CUSTOM based on slices, and I got up to collision detection before I hit a wall.. I have a lot of respect for you peeps.
I like space shooters, but I like dem fancy ones, with the helpers, and multi-directional shooting, and animated backgrounds and huge bosses that fill the screen :p
Actually isn't that hard if you're lazy at programming, just put a huge sprite and designate a weakspot to fire at.
So far I really like the colourful stars in the back, but I think meteoric space rocks aren't quite as round and smooth as that. Also, I believe that space rocks have considerable momentum, and are flying around haphazardly in space. They rarely form orderly lines. Unless it's for the loo, and they really need to slime. maybe.
Quote: DISCLAIMER: I barely played Star Dartle 2000. Not yet methinks. Maybe when it gets a more properly official release?
Here are some ideas about the "goal" of the game:
Is Shiptauir evil (wew, one slip of the tongue away from a bunch of slime)?
Is Shiptaur the ruler of planets, civilisations, or has an evil base, plans, soldiers etc.?
Are there rebels, governements or renegades who are against Shiptaur and want to bring his forces down? Could be some cool characters flying through space. Never know after all :p (it wuz an alien in a biker jacket that helped you. you promised to buy him(it?) a drink of synthchemicocktail. Aaah. How many off-duty pilots
Maybe the game can be focused on rescuing civilians and fellow pilots from the atrocities of space-faring combat?
I like the idea that by shooting a cage or prison, it means that people get to be free (somehow. They'd probably die in space.) and this might make a good focus for the goal of the game. Providing reinforcements to civlisation against the cruel, brutal, tyrannical onslaught of Shiptaur. Something like that?
I imagine that getting the powerups should be the main source of points, and that's what the game should be focused towards. That, or there should be some special target that flies on screen and is elusive, like a meteor, satellite, alien, capsule, drone, or something like that which could feasibly spill goodies. It would be nice to have extra life as a powerup.
It'd be good if you incentivised the player to pick up power ups, for example, offering bonuses for successive pickups, perhaps in a short time span, or possibly get more points for collecting one of each kind of power up. Something like that.
Maybe having some flying meteors to avoid would spice it up too! And if you could destroy them that'd be a nice touch.
4:00 - 4:30 is particularly interesting
Have you folks considered different backdrops for star dartle?
things like planets afar and up close, a fleet of spaceships in the distance or passing through the mids of some kind of mothership would make good level settings. Heck, why not an underwater level? Starfox had it all, and then some.
Why not have some levels flying near the ground, with the possiblity of crashing into it?
And maybe it's quite a lot, but you could have branching paths, secret routes, and some story giving narrative structure to what's going on, even if it is a very simple game.
It takes very little to spruce/spice up the gameplay, even if it just an aesthetic choice, or a few text boxes between waves. Ship pilots chattering nervously about war and politics, reminiscing about their sweethearts, whilst being threatened by Lord Shiptaur or coming up against skilled and 1337 enemy pilots, with possible rivalvry and implications.
I think a good idea might be to have to face off against an anti-Dartle, a fast ship that harries the play as they make their way across the level.
Never forget! A simple recolour, reskin, kerjiggering 1 or 2 stats can be enough to present a totally new and different gameplay element.
Palette swaps are a time honoured tradition, harking back to the days where they were limited about what they could produce and deploy.
Btw the idea of using rocket thrusters to forward faster seems totally erroneous.
Most of the momentum is already travelling forward. going backwards would require much more thrust because you have to cancel your forward momentum.
Flying backwards and forwards would probably exhaust the ships fuel supplies (now there's a thought! maybe in the next incarnation of Star Dartle. Star Dartle 4000? It would be cool if there was a bar that got depleted as you shot, and it would encourage players to be cautious about shooting. How about a shop, or upgrade menu, and stuff like that? Not sure, but I don't think I noticed any graphical changes to the ship when different weapons were picked up. I think it's kinda naff that weapons just turn into points. You should be able to trade them in, salvage them, and store them for an emergency, like an extra life or something.
And why is it that no enemies shoot at you?
Possibly the easiest way to spice up the game is to make it more akin to a bullet hell and throw things at the player, like a randomised barrage.
Actually that's the other thing. How about some randomisation?
Procedural generation can make more content than anyone can do by hand.
I think there are many elements of star dartle suited to more chaotic and hectic battle.
The small ship size allows the player to stay focused on avoiding and dodging.
Lots of empty space can easily be filled with bullets, meteors, lasers, cosmic radiation, psychic slimes or fluffy wamblers. I like parodius :p
Anyways that's just a few ideas. I really like it so far. Keep up the great work!