Becky

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Qcode
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Becky

Post by Qcode » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:07 pm

Hey there, Qcode here. This is a copy of a post made by Jorichi (artist and designer for this projet) over on the stabyourself forums. Since he doesn't have an account here I'm going to be copying this over for him. The rest of the post is written from his perspective.

Image
Oh boy, oh boy!
Finally we, Qcode and me, feel comfortable enough to show off our project!
Some of you already knew this was coming as I've dropped a few images or gifs in steam group chat every now and then.
But now we're not going to hold back much with showing off new stuff!

So without any more fuss; We present to you: Becky

Video edited by: Turcu Mihai --- Music: 'After Having Coffee by Dashi on Newgrounds.com
You might have noticed that this is, of course, still an early work in progress. A lot of things are subject to change and there are some minor bugs we are well aware of (like the quads bleed (the red lines) you see here and there).
But fancy flashy stuff aside, what's the plan? Here's everything you need to know:

How it started
Quite a while ago I sprited a girl in a running animation for the fun of it.
I coined her the name Becky and in the back of my mind I imagined a game she would feature in. It's something I usually do when creating a character. I stated, with the character as I posted it, that I would consider making a game with her if anyone would be up for it. I didn't really think anyone would bite. But instead Qcode did. Rather quickly Qcode programmed the basics and I had a few new sprites ready for Becky. We progressed, then things fell quiet for a while and later on we picked it back up... Things went quickly from there. As things started to take shape we both got excited and kept working on it more and more. And here we are now.

General idea
Becky will be a fast paced platformer and eight directional shooter set in a world where using all kinds of machines and mechanics is a must to survive. But not for Becky...
I'm aiming for a fun but challenging game with a story to motivate you to keep digging for answers.
I love a world that you can explore and that rewards you if you do so. So I have a semi-metroidvania world layout in mind. I also have that kind of progression in mind; certain upgrades will enable you to go back and access an area you couldn't before.
Visually I aim the game to be lively and fluid. Full of fun and neat characters and enemies. I'll try my best to nail a style of my own and keep building on that to keep original and unique.


The Story
I'm not going to spoil too much on the story, since it's a good drive to keep playing as well as the fact that there is a lot to change. But here's a very rough version of the beginning of the story:

Becky is studying and practicing to become a mechanic. As she's tinkering on her new creation, a little helpful drone, she's interrupted by her mentor. As a new step in her study she's let in on a major secret that her town holds.
Her mentor takes her down a long and awkward elevator ride. They end up in a narrow but very long, dark hallway.
Giant cogs seem to hold up the ceiling, turning ever so slowly. Her mentor explains that this is the machine that keeps their planet turning; The Orbitary System. It enables night and day on what they call a 'dead planet'.
He brought her with him to check a defect that was reported by the inspector. One day Becky would be doing this job...
He quickly realizes it's not just a defect, it's a sabotage. Right at that moment Becky's drone rings his alarm.
AI controlled drones and machines are attacking the village, everything has been turned to rubble.
Becky contacts her commander, he tells her that she has to get out of the village and try to get to
a safe place, but most importantly try to find out where these machines are controlled or coming from.
Becky decides to listen to her commander, she flees the town but with her mind set more on finding out what these machines are planning.

Who's attacking the village with these machines? Was it the same person who sabotaged the Orbitary System? Becky will, later on in her adventures, come to know things are much more complex than she could imagine.

The Gameplay
Like I stated in the general introduction I'm planning Becky to be a fast paced platformer with eight-directional shooting set in a semi-metroidvania like world. I'm aiming to make many different encounters with enemies and bosses. Every enemy or boss would be a different kind of challenge. Imagine fast enemies that take skill to take down, or a pack type of enemy that works in groups trying to overwhelm you. Or even a big enemy that has the amount of fire power to defend itself from you. The game is not only going to focus on combat, it's very likely that Becky would also feature puzzle and platforming challenges.
Becky will be able to get power-ups. Think of power-ups like new moves, new type of ammunition, new abilities for her drone, etc. We haven't thought this out too much yet as we are focussing on the main aspects right now, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
I love themed levels and I will try to make the different areas in Becky be different from each other as wel as to stick true to the story and the world it is set in. I'm also thinking of making certain tidbits of story something you can only unravel by exploring and doing optional things. Same thing for upgrades that aren't necessary to progress but are nice to have.

Our Approach
This is a hobby project, so we work on it whenever we want to. I rarely have moments of not being motivated, I really enjoy working on this project. But that doesn't mean I can work on it 24/7 unfortunately.
I can't speak for Qcode, but he has his own life to take care of as well.
However, whenever we have something to show off or have made any progression we'll most likely show it here. It's fun to be able to follow the progress of a game in development in my opinion.
I hope the feedback on what we plan and show will be able to keep us on the right track as well as motivate us to do our utter best to make what I have in mind for this project.

Our Goal
Simple; Creating a fun and challenging game!
We simply try to put down what I have in mind to the best of our abilities.

Frequently Asked Questions
I've already had a few people that know about Becky ask me questions, and many of them were the same ones.
So to avoid having to repeat myself I've gathered the most asked ones here. If you have any questions that this topic doesn't answer, feel free to ask me here or on steam.

Q1: Are you planning on putting this on steam?
A: That's basically asking if I would put it up for sale and I can't honestly say that I would at this point. It's a hobby project and I would only put it up on steam if it'd be nearing completion and I think it would be worth paying for. And that's not even talking about how to judge on the pricetag.

Q2: What about crowdfunding?
A: I can't accept that for a hobby project. Plus I'm not comfortable making promisses I might not be able to keep.

Q3: Can I help somehow?
A: Shake your pompoms and cheer for team Qcode & Jorichi.

Q4: Seriously, I want in on this.
A: Well there is one area that we need help with. Sound effects and music. It's not much of a focus for the near future, but it will be of importance later on.
If you're seriously interested in being the 'sound guy' then contact me through a PM here or on steam.
I'd also like if someone would be able to teach me how to make effects sprites look nice and smooth.
So besides this we're in no need of any help, but thanks for asking. We'll let you know when we do though.

Q5: I have a suggestion/idea, do you take them?
A: I already have a lot of ideas written down. But if you have some feel free to post them. Any ideas posted that I end up using will be properly credited ofcourse, no matter how small the suggestion or idea.

Special Thanks To
Qcode for starting this project. This wouldn't have started without you! You're a joy to work with and you're really doing an amazing job!
Maurice and Sašo for their generocity, kindness and inspiration they gave me by inviting me to gamescom three years in a row and for setting up this community.
Various people from the stabyourself steam group chat (you know who you are) for their feedback and motivation.
Wayforward. Wayforward was a major inspiration for most of Becky and they're likely to remain my favorite development team.
Tons of people from Tumblr and DeviantArt They've been a huge motivation for me to keep doing what I love doing and I really hope they'll love this project just as much.
The stabyourself community We've had our moments, but I love all of you. Stay Sexy!

ImageSwiggity Swooty Swing that Booty~!
Well, if I'm not forgetting something then that should be it for now!

Sind
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Re: Becky

Post by Sind » Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:58 am

Movement and animations look pretty smooth. Good job guys ;)

If I were to have any critique, it'd be that the ground looks very repetitive and boring(kinda ruins the immersion)
I suggest checking this tutorial for an nice and interesting fix(requires some work both on the art and the programming side): http://imgur.com/gallery/eOqOZ6d

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Qcode
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Re: Becky

Post by Qcode » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:42 pm

Sind wrote:Movement and animations look pretty smooth. Good job guys ;)
Thanks!
Sind wrote:If I were to have any critique, it'd be that the ground looks very repetitive and boring(kinda ruins the immersion)
I suggest checking this tutorial for an nice and interesting fix(requires some work both on the art and the programming side): http://imgur.com/gallery/eOqOZ6d
Yeah, I had actually noticed that just before I posted the video. Thanks for that link, we were originally going to just create some alternates and vary those in, but these seems like a much better technique. It's not a top priority, but we're definitely going to give that tutorial a try.

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Ensayia
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Re: Becky

Post by Ensayia » Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:47 pm

You didn't happen to reference any of the Shantae games for your animations did you? The idle animation looks very familiar...

The platforming mechanics look solid and the theme/background is visually pleasing. Keep up the good work!

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Qcode
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Re: Becky

Post by Qcode » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:00 pm

Ensayia wrote:You didn't happen to reference any of the Shantae games for your animations did you? The idle animation looks very familiar...
Yeah, Jorichi is a real big fan of WayFoward games. He once said in a post "Most of my inspiration came from WayForward’s Shantae and other cute/similar platforming games of these days"
Ensayia wrote:The platforming mechanics look solid and the theme/background is visually pleasing. Keep up the good work!
Thanks! I've spent a lot of time making sure the platforming felt right, nothing worse than a sloppy control scheme.

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Karai17
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Re: Becky

Post by Karai17 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:27 pm

Not gonna lie, I'm swoonin' for dat booty.

Looking pretty cool. I noticed a lot of vertical lines flashing in the sky. I assume that you're using STI and scaling? :P
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Qcode
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Re: Becky

Post by Qcode » Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:16 pm

Karai17 wrote:I noticed a lot of vertical lines flashing in the sky. I assume that you're using STI and scaling? :P
We're using Tiled, but I wrote my own interpreter for it. We're only using one tile id for deciding where the tiles go and then the quad type is decided in code.
I did just take a look at STI and it looks awesome, but a bit more powerful than this project really needs.
The vertical lines is cause Jorichi surrounds the quads with a border to help me pick them out. Eventually I'll get around to flooring all the draw coordinates and removing those borders, but for now I'm just putting it off :P

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Karai17
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Re: Becky

Post by Karai17 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:42 pm

Are you using sprite batches or draw culling? One of the main setup features STI performs is batching things so it draws really, really fast. You can obviously do that yourself if you aren't already, but reinventing wheels, etc.
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Robin
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Re: Becky

Post by Robin » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:14 pm

Is that music going to be in the game itself? Because it's heavily sampling Star Wars, and this seems to be quite a grey area, legally speaking.
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Qcode
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Re: Becky

Post by Qcode » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:34 pm

Karai17 wrote:Are you using sprite batches or draw culling? One of the main setup features STI performs is batching things so it draws really, really fast. You can obviously do that yourself if you aren't already, but reinventing wheels, etc.
I'm not using sprite batches just yet. I guess I should take another look at STI...
Robin wrote:Is that music going to be in the game itself? Because it's heavily sampling Star Wars, and this seems to be quite a grey area, legally speaking.
Nah, we haven't decided on anything music-wise yet. Jorichi just picked that song randomly, we'll be sure to get royalty-free stuff when we do start finding music.

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