Stuff Under the Header


The Pew Pew Segment Needs Love

Edit: The dropbox link has a version with a slight variance on a mechanic in the game that I'm going to be monitoring for a few days, which I'll then note. The change should help the flow of the levels various LPers are on that I'm watching. Secret tests!!

Most of you that come here seem to have beaten the game or have come close, so I'd like to hear your voice on this topic if you feel you have something to add to this. The segment I've been thinking a lot about lately is the shooter bit very late in the game. If you don't want spoilers on this segment, do not read on as this entry will have various specifics about it. (Though I'll leave out plot related things involving it.)

These are all proposed changes and I'd like to see what you, the players, think of some of these. Feel free to throw in suggestions as well.

-Focus Speed-
-I've heard many voices (not just from you Brian) on the focus speed being abysmally slow. I'm in agreement and think it could use between 0.5 - 1 pixel more speed per frame.
So this makes more sense, the normal speed of the ship is 6, while the focus speed is 2.
I'm thinking either 2.5 or 3 is a better speed for focus mode.

This needs work for sure. Something that has always bothered me that I didn't ever address during development was mitigating the issue of getting hit while trying to gain new weapons, which a lot of times ended up in the player losing the weapon right after getting it. I'm thinking of having the player invulnerable the moment an enemy is latched by the sucking. (Trying to be as spoiler free as possible for potential accidental grazing eyes here.) And once an enemy is suckessfully sucked in, give the player somewhere between 15-30 frames of invulnerability. (0.5 - 1 second)
This may sound like it could be abused, but lets be real, that would be pretty hard to pull off properly. If someone was able to suck an enemy around the field and use the periodic i-frames to avoid bullets, well... I want to see that.
If this change is made, it'll be noted in the tutorial fields. (Which Robin hilariously passed over and questioned what the sucking did. Though in his defense, he figured it all out without the tutorials. So really, I'm both making fun of you, Robin, and giving you a compliment.)

This part would take the most work, but I've thought about making a huge change to this. Essentially you'd always have access to the standard gun and it would be a neutral third slot. Getting hit would no longer revert the current weapon back to the standard shot, so you'd always be able to store 2 sub-weapons along with the standard one. (Thinking about even having them carry over through game-over and subsequent plays, maaaybe.)
When starting out, all 3 slots would be the standard gun, and if you eat an enemy with Jerry or Claire selected, it overrides their slot. Eating an enemy in neutral mode would either heal a bit of HP or give a longer invulnerability time. (I haven't decided on this if I were to make this change.)
If this goes through, weapons would probably be slightly rebalanced. The standard gun would get a very slight nerf. Some of the other weapons would get a bit more oomph to them as most of them are pretty situational.
Another idea is to keep the 2 slots the way they are, but the player does not lose the weapon when getting hit and can instead voluntarily revert back to the standard gun on that slot any time.

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section. I don't think this section of the game sucks. (Well, it kind of does actually.) Though it definitely could use a bit of love. The first two things should definitely happen.


LostSoldier20 said...

Honestly, this section was my least favorite in the game. I mean, I'm not a huge shmup fan, and didn't care for the DT1 or 2 sections, so I figured it was me just being a baby. But seeing these changes written out, they sound like they would vastly improve the experience of this bit. A lot of the issues I had were movement and suck based.

As for the third change, I'd need to play the section again. The issue of DPS was never much of a thing for me, except for the final boss, and losing your powers makes sense since you did in the source games. If anything, the homing shot nails were kinda trash if I remember right.

Herbethe said...

Remember Kirby Super Star? You only lose the ability if you take too much damage , you could put it in this section.

Unknown said...

Remake it all and make it a vertical shmup with bombs and no health <3

Jokes aside, I agree that the mechanics need a rework. Herbethe's suggestion is actually good I think, but I'd still add a tiny bit of invincibility while sucking and just after.

NegativeZeroZ said...

The focus speed needs to be half the normal speed. Anything else feels foreign.

I don't think sucking necessarily needs iframes; I like the risk involved in going after the weapons. But the weapons need to be worth the risk, and they aren't. Half of them are useless and the half that are useful aren't strong enough. Maybe you can meet halfway and give iframes during the suck delay, so that there's risk involved in going after a weapon, but once you get it you have a better chance of keeping it long enough to make a difference. It should be within the player's ability to spot an opening, but escaping can be difficult, so rewarding the player's success with iframes can help mitigate that.

What I would probably do about weapons is have Jerry use the old mechanic of losing the new shot type after getting hit, but his version of the weapon is stronger than Claire, who can keep her weapon indefinitely. I feel that the bosses have a bit too much health for what they have to offer, so having a slightly stronger weapon (but you still have to be good to keep it) can help there. And yes, if you had a weapon when you hit a checkpoint, you should still have it when you die and respawn, and those enemies that spawn during bosses just to give you weapons should just flock off, they do nothing but get in the way.

Finally, there's something about the controls. Back when I was using my old controller and Joy2Key, I'd map rotated controls to the d-pad so I could turn my monitor and play the section vertically. You can't do that with the gamepad turned on in DT3, because movement hogs both the left stick and the d-pad. Please let me pick one; my controller has a swap button for a reason. I like how the left stick is tuned when the gamepad is turned on, and turning the ingame support off and using Joy2Key ruins it, so that's not a solution for me.

Alice also recently commented on one of my videos saying that mapping Chao to the right stick looks super useful for dark sections, and I have to say, it is. It's the one thing I have Joy2Key doing in the background while I play. If Game Maker has a way of letting you move ingame cursor objects without taking over the end user's actual mouse (because I know you hate that and would never consider it,) that would be a useful addition. /rant

Kamil said...

My issues:

1. During sucking we can't move. Why? That's annoying. It could be hard for Kirby alone to suck enemy and move but here is a different story. We have 2 characters. So while Jerry is sucking Claire could pilot the machine. Also why I need to suck boss parts from the super close instead of some distance like normally? This is very dangerous.

2. The biggest issue - red weak state is barely visible. Many times it's hard to verify if enemy is weakened enough or not. It maybe wierd idea but maybe putting red aura (looking like red bubble shield) around enemies would be better solution.

3. Sticky bomb is super weak! Not only it has slowest fire rate but also I need to wait 3 or more seconds for explosion. During this time enemy can vanish from the screen. And one bomb still can't destroy the weakest enemy. So I wanted to ask you to increase damage power to 60 instead 35 and shorter time of explosion. Very please.

Ilvocare said...

Can't really talk on this, because I'm not there yet. Interesting stuff I'm seeing here, though. Just came by to offer a couple of questions.

Red lines/outlines normally means undashable, right? In the context of this game? So why aren't the Seeker bots in the Weapon Factory outlined in red if they can't be dashed through? Alternatively, apparently I fought the fight against Hexor in the vault differently? Most people I've talked to about regarding it seemed to assume the lasers were undashable, yet I distinctly remember me dashing through them during the fight and ESPECIALLY in the first survival phase. They might need a color adjustment so people in the future don't get the wrong idea, maybe... unless that's already been addressed and I haven't checked back on it.

Unknown said...

Well, as soon as I finish the previous two gamesand make it to the ship part in dt3 I'll give you some feedback I guess.

Not everyone's finished the game just yet :)

PS holy crap you were a jerk sometimes. Not really expecting you to let up on difficulty, but chaining air dashes off enemies that track you...

ano0maly said...

I'm not sure how a third neutral slot would work. When you switch characters, your defenses for that character would apply. So would neutral just not have defense boosts that only one character has equipped?

I've long been in favor of a way to drop your weapon at will in case you wanted to use the standard shot, using either ability swap or the unused action button. And if the rules change so that you don't lose your power (at least from a single hit), then adding the i-frame might not be necessary, although having it during the delay might be good.

ZephyrBurst said...

Thanks for the suggestions you guys. I believe I've got some changes that'll make it better from all this.

My vertical shooters are massive bullet storms, Robin. :3

jaxter0987 said...

NZZ's suggestion of about diversifying Claire and Jerry even further has my support. It even kind of fits the character's personality. Claire's always been the more calculated and more calm one in dangerous situations so making their gameplay in this section reflect that feels great.

That said, this would be a pretty hefty change that would require balancing so I don't know how feasible it is to finish this before raocow gets there, assuming that's what you're aiming for.

Jaimers said...

Yeah Claire and Jerry doing a pew pew section together kinda made me think there was going to be a main shot and support shot kind of construct, since Claire is very good at these and Jerry is very bad at these. Kinda like the main shot and gunner support in Progear I guess.

I'd suggest taking a look at G-Darius since it has a similar "enemy capture" system. In that game you absolutely have to capture the enemies since your main shot is incredibly weak. You also have to figure out which enemy is the best to capture for which situation (It also takes quite a few hits before you actually lose the captured enemy).

I think the system in DT3 falls kinda flat because none of the other weapons really have a purpose or are utilized much at all. You can easily beat the whole section with just the starting pea-shooter, which will end up happening anyway since you lose any shot in one hit.

In G-Darius, if you no longer wanted a captured shot, you could self-destruct the enemy sort of like a bomb. Maybe that's an idea for DT3. For the double weapon slots I do think it would be neat if these two complemented each other in some way. Like maybe Claire would be the main shot and Jerry would be the subweapon like the missiles in Raiden.

I do think the section as a whole requires a lot of improvement. Your own shots being underwhelming and the enemies having way too much health was brought up. The movement speed was brought up. The patterns are also a bit uninspired and could be better designed. Like the first boss has a cool concept but it just ends up as a horrendously boring boss that's a chore to fight. The third pattern of the final boss is also way harder than the others for some reason and is a bit unbalanced I feel.

Lastly I'm pretty disappointed that there isn't a prize or at least an achievement for 1cc'ing the pew pew section. :(