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Vacant Kingdom - A Bullet Hell Action-RPG

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:28 pm
by shru
Hiya gamers and gamettes!

For the past ~1.5 years I've been working hard on Vacant Kingdom, and I'm finally ready to release the first chapter of it, which I'm calling "Prologue For A Vacant Kingdom". If you frequent the Discord, there's a good chance you've seen this already, but I figured I'd post it in the forums for a bit more permanence.

Vacant Kingdom is a fusion of Japanese-arcade-shooter-inspired bullet hell and action RPG. You explore a top-down action-adventure overworld, solve puzzles, and fight bosses in twin-stick shooter combat. The world itself has a lonely atmosphere but the dialogue really emphasizes humour -- maybe an odd combintation, but I think it works.



Gamer Features:
  • Challenging bullet hell gameplay in a unique action-RPG framework.
  • Three levels of difficulty to suit beginners and veterans alike.
  • Explore a haunted resort and uncover its secrets.
  • Meet a cast of quirky characters.
  • 2-3 hours of gameplay.
  • Created all by one person.
You can play it right now for free on Steam or even on itch.io!

Thanks for checking it out, and have fun!

Re: Vacant Kingdom - A Bullet Hell Action-RPG

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:26 pm
by CrimsonGuy
This is pretty cool and FREE, wonder why it didn't get more visibility here, good work.

Re: Vacant Kingdom - A Bullet Hell Action-RPG

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 6:53 pm
by yintercept
Not a lot of people regularly active here CrimsonGuy. Couple hundred lurkers, and a dozen odd posters.

We're a quiet bunch. This is the first time I've been on in months.

Everyones busy coding.

This is cool though. Art style isn't my cup of tea but the exploration looks super fun.

How many people worked on it?

Re: Vacant Kingdom - A Bullet Hell Action-RPG

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 2:23 pm
by shru
Thanks, you two!

It's just me who worked on it. The engine, art, story, and audio. Some aspects were definitely pretty far out of my comfort zone; like basically all of the music theory I know I learned last December when I sat down and wrote all of the music for the game over the course of a couple weeks.

Re: Vacant Kingdom - A Bullet Hell Action-RPG

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 10:55 pm
by yintercept
Shru I'd be scared to invest *weeks* in music *theory*. Ended up going with old public domain music for mine.

I still don't know how so many devs find the time to essentially create *all* their assets from scratch.

If I did that I'd still be at square one.

It's cool that you did though, the experience always transfers over to the next thing you work on.

What was the music work like?

Re: Vacant Kingdom - A Bullet Hell Action-RPG

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:21 pm
by Jaston
Your game is really well polished. Its also so smooth. How did you avoid stuttering in love with so msny bullets on the screen?

I like the mix of rpg and bullet hell as well. The intro can be a few too many questions when the game calibrates for you. I got the urge to think please no more questions let me play already :P. Maybe it csn be more simplified?

Re: Vacant Kingdom - A Bullet Hell Action-RPG

Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:38 pm
by shru
yintercept wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:55 pm
Shru I'd be scared to invest *weeks* in music *theory*. Ended up going with old public domain music for mine.

I still don't know how so many devs find the time to essentially create *all* their assets from scratch.

What was the music work like?
Well, I've put a lot of other aspects of my life on hold so that I can fully devote my time to developing this game, so I have more time to work on this than most people who are balancing a job and life would have. But regardless, music is very crucial to the atmosphere of a game, so I think if my situation was different, I would find other things to cut instead of deciding to not do the music myself.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "what was the music work like?". I have a weird circumstance where I'm proficient with a DAW (Renoise), but I don't find it's interface easy to write melodies or chords with. So my workflow is this: Write melody and chords in Reaper, which has a pianoroll -> export to MIDI -> import into Renoise and finish production. Does that answer your question?

Jaston wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:21 pm
Your game is really well polished. Its also so smooth. How did you avoid stuttering in love with so msny bullets on the screen?

I like the mix of rpg and bullet hell as well. The intro can be a few too many questions when the game calibrates for you. I got the urge to think please no more questions let me play already :P. Maybe it csn be more simplified?
Thank you! I use my own fork of bump which has been optimized to create less garbage, which helped performance quite a bit. Besides that, one thing that gave me a dramatic performance increase was not actually inserting bullets into the bump world, and just checking their collision with world:project() instead. One last thing I did was write a tweening library which is specifically optimized for the case where you want to use a static tween on hundreds or thousands of objects. hump.timer was considerably slower than this, and was a performance bottleneck before, especially when chaining tweens.

The intro is supposed to be weird and a bit annoying. It's intended to throw the player off somewhat.


PS: I have this topic on "subscribed" now, which is something I thought was already true... I should notice replies immediately now.