Topic: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

http://i.imgur.com/mqLxBA0.png

Hi everyone! Here's the August 30th demo of Vista's Afterlife: The Game, and the first one I'm sharing here. VA: TG is a side-scrolling platform game featuring Windows Vista through her trip through the afterlife. It's based off of my PowerPoint-animated film, Vista's Afterlife. I'd recommend watching it before playing this.

VA: TG is built on the Open Surge engine, version 0.2.0 build 700. This demo includes 3 zones: Heavenly Havoc, Lush Shores, and Midnight City. It's not nearly in a complete state yet, so this is just a taste of what's to come.

This is also my first mod, so there's a couple of issues I've noticed. Hopefully they don't take away from the experience too much.

Links to download the game, some screenshots and the Vista's Afterlife film are below. Feel free to send me feedback on the game. I'd love to have some advice on how to make it better. smile

DOWNLOAD HERE: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s47r8ksq1nc7h … o.zip?dl=0

SCREENSHOTS: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/smk588zvmss2 … BdE8a?dl=0

VA FILM: https://vid.me/eeK8l

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Hey SGWaS,

You've come with a really creative story. I never thought I would see Vista as the hero in a game that is played in the Afterlife tongue I'm nowadays a Linux user, but when I first started using computers, I used Windows a lot. In fact, I started programming using Windows. smile

Regarding the game play: there's not much differentiation in the sprite. When I'm moving, I'm not sure whether I'm spinning, jumping or just moving. So when I touch an enemy, I don't know for sure whether the enemy will kill the hero or the hero will kill the enemy. I'd suggest adding some indication that the player is strong or not strong; perhaps the sprite could get colored?

Also, since it's not complete yet, the level design could get some work. There are parts in Heavenly Havoc (lol about the name lol) that an abyss appears out of nowhere and the player is not prepared to anticipate it. Also, it's aesthetically better if you avoid too thin platforms in my opinion

Is this your first mod? You've learned a lot so far.

Your game even features an instruction manual. Nice add on.

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

oh no... vista no! lol lol lol

is as the exterminator said in his film:  install the vista, baby. big_smile roll
(In Portuguese the joke gets a lot better)

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

MatheusRRR wrote:

is as the exterminator said in his film:  install the vista, baby. big_smile roll
(In Portuguese the joke gets a lot better)

hahahahaha

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Alexandre wrote:

Hey SGWaS,

You've come with a really creative story. I never thought I would see Vista as the hero in a game that is played in the Afterlife tongue I'm nowadays a Linux user, but when I first started using computers, I used Windows a lot. In fact, I started programming using Windows. smile

Regarding the game play: there's not much differentiation in the sprite. When I'm moving, I'm not sure whether I'm spinning, jumping or just moving. So when I touch an enemy, I don't know for sure whether the enemy will kill the hero or the hero will kill the enemy. I'd suggest adding some indication that the player is strong or not strong; perhaps the sprite could get colored?

Also, since it's not complete yet, the level design could get some work. There are parts in Heavenly Havoc (lol about the name lol) that an abyss appears out of nowhere and the player is not prepared to anticipate it. Also, it's aesthetically better if you avoid too thin platforms in my opinion

Is this your first mod? You've learned a lot so far.

Your game even features an instruction manual. Nice add on.

Thanks for the feedback. I did notice that some of the sprites needed some work (especially the Vista sprite...yuck), and some parts of Heavenly Havoc are a bit punishing, mainly the middle section of Act 2. I'll make sure to add some refinements to that and the other stages.

On another note, Lush Shores Act 2 was a 2D version of Emerald Coast I made a while ago for Open Surge. I never expanded on it or added it to anything until now--guess now is a good time to put it to use. smile

As for the instruction manual, it's something seriously lacking in newer games today in my opinion, and I wanted to include something that contains other important information, like gameplay, the hub world and bosses.

Anyways, screenshots of the next zone are coming very shortly. Stay tuned for that, I guess. big_smile

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Here's some screenshots of the next zone: Magma Mines! It's a lava-themed zone, obviously. tongue

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tfsxwg54rwuz … J_41a?dl=0

If you'd like some backstory on this whole Vista's Afterlife thing, well here it is:

I used to be one of those people that hated Vista because everyone else hated it. But one day, I was thinking about upgrading my old Mac from XP to a newer version. I looked on the Internet for things about Vista, and after that I began to see Vista in a much more positive light. "Hey, maybe this is good," I thought. So I installed x86 Vista on the Mac and, while it took a bit to get it going, I eventually grew to like it more than any other OS. I didn't know what I liked about Vista--it just seemed right.

Unfortunately, this was around the time that Microsoft was going to discontinue Vista. To pay respect, I made a little minute-and-a-half long animation with Vista going into heaven. It was somewhat of a hit on YouTube, which had single-handedly propelled my channel from 30 to 500 subscribers in about a month, spawned three other parts (2, 2.25 and 3), a game (this one), and even a follow-up called "7's Afterlife", which I plan to get working on once this is out of the way.

That's pretty much the whole history. I know, a person that loves Vista--such a crazy story! lol

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

hey, that's pretty fun. smile

Have you considered using other bricksets as well?

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Yeah, the stages after Magma Mines use different bricksets.

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

The next build is out! It contains several fixes to the level designs of previous stages (i.e. the bottomless pits in HH Act 2), plus the Magma Mines zone and some other, mostly finished zones that need refinements before being the final version. You can find those in "QUESTS > In-progress levels".

Here's a list of zones included and if they are complete or not:

Heavenly Havoc (3 Acts) - Complete
Lush Shores (2 Acts, Boss act) - Complete, may be refined later on
Midnight City (2 Acts, Boss act) - Complete
Magma Mines/Flooded Mines (2 Acts, Boss act/1 Act) - Complete
Techno Traverse (2 Acts, Boss act) - Complete, may be refined later on
ME's Warehouse (2 Acts with mini-bosses, Boss act) - Mostly complete, needs refinements at this point
Final Fright (2 Acts with mini-bosses, including final boss) - Mostly complete, still needs work on bosses, level design, etc.

Not much changes have been made graphically, except for the diverse use of bricksets in the in-progress zones, and the characters' sprites having a red hue in Final Fright, because you know, hell and all. tongue

The instruction manual has also been removed temporarily, since that still needs updating to include info on the later zones.

DOWNLOAD: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tvzvd76t6ilee … d.zip?dl=0

Last edited by SGWaS (2017-09-07 02:46:36)

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

hey, cool. I see that you are using different bricksets now. Keep it up!

Try to polish your level design more if you can.

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

I haven't been on here in a while, so here's what's going on:

The good: The game is very close to final release. I need to make a few adjustments to the level design, and maybe add an intro cutscene, then it's done.

Also, I'm planning to make a sequel to VA: TG, since I feel that I could do a lot better with the engine provided. Plus, there were a few more level themes I wanted to implement; snow, carnival, and water (I know there's Flooded Mines, but I mean a full zone that's not nearly as hard as that).

The bad: The hard drive containing the current development version is not reachable right now, so there will be a small delay lasting at least a few days. I haven't backed the dev version up on a cloud service or another hard drive, so I'm out of luck until I get it back.

My plan was to get it out by the end of September, but it looks like I'll need a bit more time.

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

No problem. Keep it up!

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Hi,

I have a question related to textout. From now on, I'll just put my questions related to this project here without making multiple threads. smile

Is there a way to make the text appear on the front layer (over everything)? When I use groups of bricks in a level, then add scrolling text, the text gets obscured by the group of bricks.

Thanks!

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

The set_zindex command may be of use.
http://opensnc.sourceforge.net/wiki/ind … set_zindex

Hope this helps,

-- svgmovement

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Here's the front cover of the final game:

https://i.imgur.com/U69YFKg.png

I've also completed the intro sequence, and am currently working on a series of cutscenes showing Vista's descent into the underworld and ME capturing her. I'll put up another build when it's finished.

Finally, thanks svgmovement for the tip; exactly what I needed! big_smile

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Some more things I forgot to mention:

Lush Shores Act 2 has been replaced completely. The original version was too long in contrast with the other acts, and some sections are a bit too difficult for a first-time player. It was also WAY too generous with rings.

The instruction manual will be replaced with the Creator's Guide, a complete guide for the game in case players get stuck (which will happen). It also will include basic information about the player's moveset.

EDIT: I have yet another question about the engine; I'm quite concerned about the difficulty players will have when going through the later levels, so is there a way I could edit the Game Over scene to link to a continue screen which would take the player to the act that they were in? And if so, how would I make such screen? (I'm guessing that it's just writing out "Continue?" with textout_centre, then using on_button_pressed to take the player to the act.)

Last edited by SGWaS (2017-10-07 04:10:54)

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I know that not all of you are in Canada, but it is Thanksgiving Day today in the Great White North for me.

Anyways, the next build of VA: TG is out! It had taken a bit to come out because of me being busy and lots of improvements made since the last build, but it's finally here!

This is the first of what I call "complete" builds of the game, which means it's the first build to give you an idea of what the final build will be like. It has brand-new cutscenes, an intro and ending sequence, many subtle improvements to level design, graphics, and more.

DOWNLOAD LINK: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ui813ionuccqe … d.zip?dl=0

Let me know what you think. Thanks!

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Hey SGWaS, good work. cool

This game can get fun, but it has to improve in terms of level design.

The opening scene repeated (character hits the spikes and dies). Next time it played, it finished properly. Remember that the framerate may vary a bit, so keep in mind that those spikes may harm the scene.

Suggestions

I'm still playing, and I explored a few different levels. Here are my suggestions:

1) Please consider using different bricksets throughout the game. Really. It's super important and gives a whole different look & feel to the game. The current Sunshine brickset is repeated everywhere. For example, in Magma Mines, it doesn't make much sense to have grass - in my opinion. Consider creating a different brickset, or at the very least, change the colors and the texture of the current brickset according to the context of the level.

2) Consider improving the level design. For example, I can see you put more effort in Lush Shores 1 than in some other levels (in terms of design).

3) There's a part in Flooded Mines that spikes appear out of nowhere. Consider giving the player a hint of where they are going to appear. In Techno Traverse, consider giving the player hints of where the platforms are. It gets too hard when there is an abyss in front of you (sometimes there is a moving platform, sometimes there is not).

4) I prefer having the user manual as pdf rather than rtf, but that's up to you (I use linux smile)

5) I see that you're experimenting with bosses and other very interesting things with scripting. Congratulations! wink

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Thanks. Glad to know you're still playing. big_smile

I will keep these suggestions in mind. I did notice the spike glitch in the opening scene sometimes, but didn't think it was a huge deal for this build. As for the suggestions:

1) I will try to do this, but it might mean re-constructing the levels if I were to make totally new bricksets.

Color-swapping would be something I could definitely improve, come to think of it. Maybe give Magma Mines' brickset a slight orange hue and the Hub World a red hue, like what I did with Vista's Hell sprites.

There is a reason for repeated use of the same brickset. Back when I originally made these levels, I didn't know anything about bricksets, so when I was editing the levels, almost all of them had the same brickset. Techno Traverse originally had ME's Warehouse's brickset because of this.

2) Yeah, the level design quality dips in the later half. For me, it starts in Magma Mines Act 2 with the stupid invincibility frames gimmick. Blame 11 year-old me for thinking that up. I'll have to replace that with lava that periodically comes down.

Then it starts to get bad in Techno Traverse with the invincibility spike thing. It's probably better to give the player the invincibility before going on the zipline, forcing the player to lose all of the collected RAM sticks. I should also fill the bottomless pit near the end with spikes in case the spikes glich out and send the player into the pit. Act 2 is hard, but at least it's true difficulty. I should also give a hint where the secret spring is at the end of the level.

Some parts of ME's Warehouse should definitely be refined; most of all, the bumper section in Act 1. Not the one where you only bounce up once, but the one where you bounce up 5 TIMES. Definitely needs to be shortened. Also, every mini-boss in the zone can be skipped very easily. I should make separate objects for each mini-boss that locks the camera so the player has to fight it in order to proceed.

As for Final Fright, I should make a text cutscene or put a "!" in the level implying that 1.0 chases you down in Act 1. Act 2 could also use this.

All of this is caused by amateur programmers who are testing their game, get really good at it, then decide to make it harder. This is why many 8-bit games (mostly NES) were so hard--programmers and game designers were getting used to making games by the 16-bit generation (Genesis and Super Nintendo), and these "Nintendo Hard" games are almost completely gone nowadays--unless the designers are intentionally making the game Nintendo Hard to begin with.

On the topic of 8-bit consoles, I heard that Sega still officially licenses and sells Master System units in Brazil. That's pretty cool, seeing that I'm a big Sega fan. cool

Anyways, back to the game.

3) This adds to the difficulty. The player can memorize the locations of the spikes in the beginning of Act 3, then know where they are to avoid them in Flooded Mines. I do agree that there should be some visual hints to where they could be though.

And yes, TT Act 1 needs that as well.

4) I was actually thinking about putting it in PDF format, but I'll wait until it's finished to put it in that format.

5) Thanks big_smile

EDIT: I was also thinking of adding the motivational speech in the good ending of Earthworm Jim: Special Edition to the ending of this game. It would be pretty satisfying and funny:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k4vl6dr6NA

Last edited by SGWaS (2017-10-16 20:07:55)

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Update time!

It's almost Halloween, and in time for it, I made a new build showing off the new improvements I made to the zones. Needless to say, they're big.

First, I've taken into account the complaints and constructive criticism made by Alexandre 2 weeks ago, and have given select levels more pathways and secrets. The biggest change in terms of level design is Heavenly Havoc Act 1; there is now a path below and above the normal one. Other improvements include making things easier to see at times (TT Act 1), reworking crappy gimmicks (also TT Act 1, making it so you don't have to lose rings when entering the last section), fixing more loops, and adding hint objects to give the player advice when needed.

Second, the aesthetics. Midnight City has been completely reworked into an industrial zone at dusk with nature fighting for prominence. The first act is blue, quiet and groovy, and the 2nd act is bustling with exciting music and brighter colours. Credit to Skylights for making some of the sprites used in this zone.

Some of the other zones have been given new coats of paint as well, like Heavenly Havoc (grey), Magma Mines (orange, red), the Hub World (red) and the intro sequence (orange to match the background).

Third, a totally new act has been added to Techno Traverse as a continuation of the boss act. You must escape from the arena and make your way up to RT's retreat, with lava chasing you all the while. I added this to make the TT boss more interesting, and keep the "tradition" of the hard part of RT's bosses not being the fight itself, but what comes afterwards (though the real boss could be harder if your don't jump in right away).

Here's some screenshots of the new Midnight City that are also included in the game's files:

Act 1
https://i.imgur.com/1Dlxi7o.png

https://i.imgur.com/X6G1NGh.png

https://i.imgur.com/aHvjAeF.png

Act 2
https://i.imgur.com/OJwLlFn.png

https://i.imgur.com/10DW1QQ.png

https://i.imgur.com/cyBhAVa.png

https://i.imgur.com/LF5Eruw.png

https://i.imgur.com/6oz1Vo8.png

https://i.imgur.com/N41rHKo.png

Act 3
https://i.imgur.com/z7NT7mZ.png

https://i.imgur.com/PdzLB38.png

Feel free to tell me what you think!

DOWNLOAD HALLOWEEN BUILD: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tu54mh118y99n … d.zip?dl=0

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Hey SGWaS, nice work! I see that you changed the colors of the bricks. Even though the bricks still look a bit simple, the screens have improved a thousandfold! smile Now the levels have a totally different look, and they look like a bit cyberpunk. In terms of aesthetics, I feel that it is much more acceptable now.

If you would take the aethetic part a bit further, try eliminating the repetition of the bricks. Include new textures. This shouldn't be too hard, since you now have different bricksets for different levels.

Anyway, I'll play the demo as soon as I can! cool

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Thanks! Another detail I forgot to add was that the Quests menu now contains quests for each zone for testing purposes. Also, LSZ & MMZ have been given additional graphical enhancements. For example, in Lush Shores, the sky is darker and redder during the boss fight; and in Magma Mines, the background and brickset gets redder and darker with each passing act.

Also in Act 2 of MM, the always-flowing lava that can only be passed through by hurting yourself has, as promised, been replaced by periodically flowing lava. I've also added the fire shield in the stages to allow the player to pass through lava and find hidden secrets.

In Techno Traverse, the spike-hopping gimmick has been refined, more so in how you enter the section. You're given a hint telling you about spike-hopping, then given the invincibility before entering so players can keep their built-up RAM sticks. The bottomless pit has been replaced with a bed of spikes, as this mechanic is a bit haphazard and caused cheap deaths in previous builds. hmm

And in ME's Warehouse and Final Fright, hints are given around the level as to teach the player to use level-specific gimmicks and mechanics, like MW's bumper trick and character switching in Final Fright. This hint system makes the Creator's Guide seem redundant in a way, so I might get rid of that (it's not in this build). smile

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Hey SGWaS, I played the Halloween build. Some thoughts:

  • If I may, I'd suggest you use groups of bricks to ease level design.

  • That underground scene animation is crazy scary, dude.

  • That flying piranha eats all my charater's Memory. That is dangerous, because Vista may end up with Alzheimer's.

  • Lush shores is pretty cool cool I have already told that, haven't I?

  • Some levels are really difficult, like ME's Warehouse.

  • I can see you put more effort in some levels than in others. Midnight City and Lush Shores, for example, are both well designed and more polished compared to others with bricks floating around. Try improving all. You can totally do it smile

  • There is a part in Magma Mines that the lava started to go up. I couldn't climb the platforms, wouldn't jump high enough (and found no spring lol). I could get through that part later through pure luck roll

  • I totally love that Sonic Xtreme sound you used in Techno Traverse. Act 1 needs better level design. Act 2 is just crazy hard roll

  • I played a level called Fresh Firth Act 2 and liked it very much. The brickset is decent and it plays well. Nice gameplay. This is your best level so far, in my opinion. smile

    Compared to other levels, how was your experience building Fresh Firth?

Keep up the good work! cool

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

Hey,

Sorry for the late reply. I haven't checked in a while, since I wasn't getting a response in weeks. That's alright, though. Good to know you're still playing!

Anyways, here's a lightning round of responses to your thoughts:

  • I do use groups in quite a few levels, but thanks for the tip anyways. smile

  • The one with Vista entering Hell? Yes, it is. It was an attempt at recreating the scene in the VA movie where Vista meets ME (again, go watch it if you have the time. It'll provide same good backstory for this game).

    Also, I think this isn't in the Halloween Build (haven't played it in a while), but ME's Warehouse Act 2 is going to receive a new track -- "Metallic Mashup", a mashup of the various versions of the Metallic Madness theme from Sonic CD -- Past, Bad Future, Present, and Act 2 from Sonic Mania. It's up on my channel if you want to take a listen: https://vid.me/UT6Mf

  • Haha. Yeah, there's way too much of those. Normally, when one is placed, it would gradually eat away at your memory, but with many, it just drops instantly. hmm

  • Thanks. cool

  • Yes, the game gets pretty hard. Not Nintendo Hard, but still pretty tough. On the topic of ME's Warehouse, I've made a couple changes to make the level seem less repetitive, like making the bumper section shorter with springs. The boss is very hard as well, but landing in a ball on the left side of the arena will let you get 10 hits on him before touching the ground.

  • Yes, some levels still need more polish. I'll work on that.

  • This part just requires practice and platforming skills. Spin dashing across the top platforms also helps, and grabbing the fire shield at the top near the beginning will help a bit too.

  • I also made some fixes here, like adding hints telling you about the spike part in Act 1, and giving you the invincibility before entering the spike place so you don't have to lose all your memory at the end of the stage. Still, it does need some extra routes and such. Act 2 could use that as well.

  • Ah yes, Fresh Firth...first of all, this level won't be in the final game. I planned for it to be in a sequel or another project. Act 2 is in some water palace, whilst Act 1 (not made yet) would take place outside in an Aquatic Ruin-style area. But yeah, this was just an extra for players snooping in the level select. It won't be part of the final game--maybe an extra or sneak peek of a future project, but nothing more than that as of now.

    Since you asked about my experience building it, I basically built upon the existing super-short Grassland level found in the default Open Surge. I gave it the Hydrocity Act 1 background and began work on my first pseudo land-water stage. I'd say it went pretty well, don't you? big_smile

-SGWaS

Re: Vista's Afterlife: The Game

I never thought that I would see the operating system as a character in the game. So, I used Windows Vista only 1 day, when my SSD was destroyed and I needed an computer urgent.
I like this hell-themes, but I think that you should indicated exit from levels, as this:
https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/4609/159624077.2/0_19943d_21fb8d94_M.png

So, I founded some problems:
1. There are magenta pixels on some textures. Are you using Photoshop and place translucent objects on a pink background?
2. You should checking springs, because the height of the jump is not enough to reach the block in two places.
3. As Alexandre said, there's not much differentiation in the sprite.