Rapid Prototying Session 7

The archived Session 7 board includes the announcement and all entries, minus attachments.


With the sixth session ending in a tie, hima and Sar submitted themes to be chosen via forum poll and happened to suggest the same theme.

Start Date : December 8th, 2008
End Date : December 22nd, 2008
Theme : Bullet Grazing

Bullet grazing, scratching, scraping or buzzing happens when bullets come into "close" proximity (an arbitrary term) with your ship, without actually colliding with the hitbox. This session's theme is to provide some type of game effect when grazing bullets.

Games for reference: Psyvariar (and rRootage's Psyvariar mode), Shikigami No Shiro II, Imperishable Night, and some (all?) games in the Raiden series. Ah, almost forgot, check out pieslice's Sylph Wind, Pixel_Outlaw's Gunranger-X as well.


Worstplayer won the session with an unnamed entry where grazing enemy shots charged up an auto-targeting missile barrage.

Buzz Kill

My entry into the session was Buzz Kill, an arena shooter where grazing enemy shots upgraded the player ship's weapon and defense.



Competition Build (2008-12-22)

The game requires the Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package, but is otherwise completely self-contained. Just unpack the archive into a folder of your choice and run BuzzKill.exe.




2008-12-08 8:49 PM

I'm going to try to get something done for this. I've never seen the bullet graze play mechanic in an arena-style shooter, so I'm going to try it that way.

2008-12-21 7:26 PM

OK, I'm slowly making progress. I have the basic graze mechanic charging a gauge that upgrades the player ship when it fills, which is pretty cool on its own. It even creates spark particles from the bullets.

Next up are protective shields and special attacks which drain upgrade levels and... actual gameplay. :D

2008-12-22 5:52 AM

That background really works for me. Great looking and abstract :)

It's the same one I used on Rocket Bomb. If it aint' broke... :D

2008-12-22 8:13 PM

I've got something resembling a game, though the enemy patterns are entirely too similar to pretty much every game I've submitted before. The player ship upgrades nicely even though I never got a point multiplier or special attack working for it. The firepower increase and protective shield work reasonably well on their own.

The main downside right now is the ferocious difficulty level...

2008-12-22 9:18 PM: Release

Unfortunately, the game didn't turn out as cool as the title would suggest. It ended up very similar to my previous entries because I wasn't able to spend as much time on it as it deserved. Still, the graze-to-upgrade mechanic works as advertised and provides a nice change of pace. I've found that the first few upgrades aren't hard to achieve, but holding onto them is trickier than it would seem. The most common enemy in the game is an obnoxious little thing... :D

The controls are the standard WADS to move, mouse to aim, left-button to fire.

As usual, be sure to install the Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package. If the application fails to start, installing this usually fixes it.

Blast away!


2008-12-23 6:16 AM

Wow, this game is great, and difficulty level definitely isn't a downside.

Glad you like it, though I always feel like I've cheated when I recycle previous work...

2008-12-23 10:09 AM

I found it easiest to just go in reverse and blow everything up, rather the going towards the enemies. Still a heck of a lot of fun though. I'm afraid I was too busy getting shot at to notice the bullet grazing effects. I have to play it some more and get good at it to see what's going on.

While it wasn't entirely deliberate, the most common enemy bullets move at the exact same speed as the player ship so you can "draft" them for quite some time. It's a good idea to clear out most of the enemies in the vicinity before doing that.

By the way, destructible enemy projectiles (missiles, fireballs, and mines) cannot be grazed because they use the exact same collision category as enemy units. If the player could graze those projectiles, they could graze enemy units as well. Even if I allowed that, the projectiles hit the player ship's large outer collision shape instead of the tiny box in the middle. I need to separate out that collision category because Firebombers (the spinning yellow and orange enemies) are way too deadly right now--they evade quickly, aim perfectly, shoot rapidly, and hit too easily. They used to inflict three damage points before I cut that to one for Rocket Bomb.

2009-01-01 4:54 PM

This was a lot of fun! I like how grazing is the only way to keep you alive and power up at the same time. It is also hard to graze during the mid game since the enemies are more and more aggressive. I've never seen an arena shmup with grazing mechanic so kudos for that too! It turns out to be challenging yet not impossible but fun game. :) I have nothing to complain XD

Glad you like it. :D

I went with the arena-style shmup because I had never seen the graze mechanic in conjunction with that style. It would have turned out better if I had been able to create custom enemies and spawn patterns, but at least it gave a taste of how such a game would work. I need to revisit this along with my prior entries and give them the attention they need.

2009-01-02 3:34 AM

I enjoyed playing this. It felt smooth to play and scaled up well in intensity which kept me interested. Overall it was very solid.

2009-01-02 8:57 PM

I just wanted to say, I apologize for saying this game doesn't work with gamepad. For some reason I had switched primary and secondary joystick. It works perfectly now. Very good game.

Ah, don't worry about that. While I was a bit baffled for a while, I sort of forgot about it. :D

The sad thing is that the game progression works so well because it's the same game progression I've been using for the better part of a year now. The balance finally came together with Rocket Bomb, so it's hard to get away from it and do something new. Still, I need to put more effort into original content for the next session.

2009-01-03 7:10AM

The buzzing mechanic did work well in an arena shmup for me. The gameplay all in all feels pretty smooth, also the graphics are and effects are pretty nice.

Only thing that felt a little frustrating was the difficulty to recover after a death. As the level was still flooded with all the enemies which killed me before. So with only standard laser I felt it very hard to survive. Maybe it was intended that way, but i just thought that it might be easier to recover when the enemies and items on the level get reseted after a life loss.