ionAXXIA - classic top down design-your-own-ship space shooter. [Steam, Android, XBox, Win 10]

Discussion in 'Console Gaming' started by Shifty Geezer, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    lol all you need is a quirky smart text based dialogue system and story and you are set!
     
  2. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    I do have a story in mind for a potential Star Control 2 type adventure, but it's a later add if it ever happens.
     
  3. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Controller support and cloud saves added. You can now play the game in Steam, swap to Android, and back again. New trailer:



    Nearly got XBox One/UWP ready. Just have to solve text inputting.
    Any feedback greatly appreciated!

    ...

    Edit: Here's a summary of the current state after three years' work.
    Google Play
    Steam

    Classic top-down space-combat has you putting skills and wits to the test against a huge variety of enemies, as you use thrusters, lasers, mines, plasma charges, gravity wells, exploding rocks, planetary gravity, teleportation, shields, flamers, and much, much more to beat the enemy. Design your own vessels from millions of combinations, balancing cost and performance. Choose from five different control schemes to enjoy console-like action on touch screens. Plus cloud syncing allows you to continue your game across PC, console, and mobile devices.

    Key features
    • Top-down space shooter, the kinda that aren't much made any more. Google Play doesn't even have a tag option for 'Space'.
    • Physics based gameplay with gravity, repulsion, drift. Extends to shots, so a gravity well can warp enemy shots from hitting you, for example.
    • Design your own ships. Loads of potential components to be made. Balance firepower, manoeuvrability, and cost.
    • Galactic overview for choosing levels. Challenge to balance risk versus reward.
    • Optional strategic mode based on original Star Control mode. Expand across the stars building a force capable of taking down the aliens. Simply choose whether to play a star as an action game or a strategy game.
    • Deep storyline with 90s style cinematic intro (okay, maybe not quite ;))
    • Cross platform saves
    • Multiple control options including customisable controller mappings
    • Very adjustable difficulty. The starting difficulty is one on one. It's pretty easy for me, but I don't know about new users. By difficulty 3 out of 8, it's quite challenging. 8/8 is incredibly hard, and on top of that, you can add more than one ship. Crazy people could go 3 against 1 in super hard difficulty
     
    #143 Shifty Geezer, Mar 1, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
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  4. goonergaz

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    This isn’t on iPhone is it?
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Not yet but it will be. When I started it three years ago, Apple didn't have a decent Beta testing option, only allowing finished apps and limited closed betas. They've since introduced Test Flight which allows a degree of Early Access but I haven't looked into it properly, just finding it in passing. I also think they've changed the minimum OS spec so I don't have a suitable device yet.

    Roll out plan is XBox UWP, spruce the game up (moving it from Creator's Club to ID@Xbox), then see about iOS. And if it makes any money, possibly a Switch port; it's supposed to be very accessible and a Indie haven.
     
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  6. goonergaz

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    Ah ok, but on Xbox soon...good luck, I enjoyed the play I had back in the early days.
     
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  7. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    It's sooooo much better now! ;)

    It's amazing how much little balance changes things. I had a system for grading the ships as easier on lower difficulty levels, but with only 10 different enemies at present, I kept encountering the same few, and the one ship (inertialess laser) could easily take them all out (on easy mode for test purposes). I changed that for the latest release, realising I can just select from all the ships because difficulty is handled other ways now. Suddenly in great rock/paper/scissors fashion, that one ship was no longer dominating encounters, and when one of the ships it's really bad against appears, you have to change tactics such as trying to lure the enemy into collisions with exploding rocks.

    Then I upped the health of the little fighter drones that can be spawned and tweaked their AI a bit and they're now more a problem to deal with than ignore. Encounters are now so much more challenging in a good way. But it shows how just throwing a theoretical paper design through the motions to a final product doesn't work. There's a real art to making a fun game. I'm quite eager to design loads of different ships and components as that'll make the battles all the more interesting.

    It's also worth noting that all my theories of development were complete fail. :lol: The organic design process pulls you this way and that. All time forecasts are meaningless. Going cross-platform from a design not created from the off as cross-platform generates loads of issues too like how do you handle text entry on every platform after using Android built-in keyboard without thinking about it. I can see now why ports take as long as they do. Mega Kudos to Unity though, in its current state it's not too hard to get things set up and then swapping platforms is very easy. Just make sure you dev for Standalone PC first as build times are the quickest. Then Android for touch screen support building APKs, not Android Bundles which take forever. XBox and iOS builds are snorefests so you want to be as bug-free as possible before working on those.
     
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  8. goonergaz

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    Sounds awesome, can’t wait!
     
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  9. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    I have ionAXXIA working on XBox One. Very cool! But annoyingly, releasing to the store requires a working PC build and that's bugged. I guess it shows how abstraction still isn't perfect by any stretch; I honestly thought anything UWP that runs on XB1 would run on Windows 10 the same way.
     
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  10. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    That's really weird indeed. Do you able to report it to MS?
     
  11. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Not really. Have to work through Unity. Looks like it's an issue with the full-screen intro video. It's a matter of building an empty test app and chasing possible causes, while asking on the Unity forums how one goes about debugging UWP apps. ;)
     
  12. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    Congrats!

    Your engine is unity?
     
  13. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Yup.
     
  14. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    How did you find the overall experience? With porting etc?
     
  15. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Mixed. A reliance on assets leave you vulnerable for when they aren't updated or are abandoned. The build process has become really bloated now. Gigabyte temp files that aren't removed. Android builds taking 10 minutes where they used to take 2. I've experience going back seven years where I used a UI asset called NGUI which is very powerful but a bit odd to use, and then you face choices like whether to stick with that devil you know or try swapping to the updates Unity stuff, seeing as it's always updating.

    The tools are so-so integrated. Build and run to UWP fails for some error, and you don't have real support, only the forums, but at least Unity Tech provide someone offering support. But some bits are plain buggy. I was asked to provide a bug report for the XBox One keyboard issue and it kept crashing on upload at 50%. Things like that are very frustrating time killers, where progress gets stone-walled just trying to get the rudiments of build and debug working. Today I mostly wasted trying to create a test scene to track down my UWP problem. ionAXXIA is built on 2019.2 and I don't want to try 2019.3 yet as sometimes when you upgrade a project, stuff breaks, so you stick with what works. But trying to downgrade a test project from 2019.3 to 2019.2 just crashed Unity, and I couldn't create a new 2019.2 project, with Unity defaulting to the latest installed, 2019.3. There's a good amount of wrestling with tools and libs rather than creating working code and solving game problems.

    The latest Unity's are much better integrated with the tools though. All the Android stuff is downloaded and linked without having to follow a shopping-list of instructions. Swapping between platforms is pretty seamless. Press a button and bang (a slow, 2-5 minute bang), you can now build and run on Android; bang, now build and run on Xbox. The accuracy between editor and devices is also very good, allowing previews in all the different aspects. UI was created at 4:3 for iPad and then spaced out to fill wider aspects.

    Looking forwards, there's a fair few unknowns. For networking, do you use the old lib you know, or try the new Unity stuff? For rendering, do you try the new LWRP or stick with the standard renderer? The R&D on solutions itself is quite costly.

    But of course, if you are aiming for a multiplat release that's not constrained by engine to certain platforms, Unity is vast and capable and these issues we battle with are part and parcel of game development. The systems are soooo complex that it's always going to have struggles no matter what choices you make.
     
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  16. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Learning process. ;) I think I've identified the problem. You have to build as Master rather than Release. The 'black screen' wasn't a bug with my video (which wasn't playing as the already watched flag was set on a previous run) as I misinterpreted, but just 50 seconds of building and running and general deploying Stuff.

    Of course, this is the sort of thing easily avoided by a good walkthrough. Not to mention changing the name of the 'Release' build to something other than Release which ordinarily means "ready for release". ;)
     
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  17. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Submitted to Windows Store. Approval process can take a few days (though should be a few hours), and appearance on the store 24 hours from then. Shame it's not as quick as I imagined, but ionAXXIA on XBox should a reality in a few days (or weeks if its fails certification!).
     
    #157 Shifty Geezer, Mar 17, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
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  18. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Out now on XBox.

    :mrgreen:

    I searched for 'ionAXXIA' in the "free games" option on the home page. I don't know how one goes about finding games, especially UWP ones, on XBox. :oops:
     
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  19. goonergaz

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    Nice one, will check it out tonight/over weekend
     
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  20. AzBat

    AzBat Agent of the Bat
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    Congrats!

    The search box should find it easily, but if you go into the Store, then Browse Games then select Creator's Collection. New Games should be sorted first. I would suspect it's there. I will get it tonight after work.

    Tommy McClain
     
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