TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 17 Apr 2016, 11:07

I'm approaching the v0.6 release for the game, so I thought I'd share a number of screenshots from the update.

Configurable controls:
Image

Challenge missions:
Image

New jumpgate graphics:
Image

A bunch of new fighters:
Image

Mines (easier to see in the current version):
Image

Health bars over fighters, as well as red message boxes for important messages:
Image

You can browse all the screenshots here:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbft ... creenshots
The plan is to get the new version out for the end of April or early May.
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby Imerion » 18 Apr 2016, 12:09

Awesome! That jumpgate look really cool!
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 18 Apr 2016, 22:31

Thanks! The jumpgate screenshot is a bit out of date now, as there's a portal effect that swirls around which looks quite neat :)
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 24 Apr 2016, 11:37

v0.6 of The Pandoran War is now available! This update introduces:

* New Campaign missions
* New fighters: Blizzard, Razor, Shale, SK-31, and SK-34, part of the troublesome Kingdom of Tzac
* Control remapping
* Mines
* New game mode: Challenges
* i18n support
* Start of German translation

Linux and Windows binaries are available for download from the dedicated website:

http://www.battleforthesolarsystem.com/games/pw

The source is also available from GitHub:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbftss

Enjoy!

Steve :)
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby Akien » 24 Apr 2016, 12:27

Hi Steve and congrats on the new release!

I've been following your progress with interest though little time to actually play the game, but today I decided to give it a go. The first impression is very good, I like the fluidity of the movements :)

I'd like to package the game for my Linux distro, Mageia. I'd have to package it within our "nonfree" repo as the NC clause for the assets make them non-libre according to our package guidelines (basically the same guidelines as Fedora's, which are also pretty similar to the Debian Free Software Guidelines). For the end users it should not make much difference though, as by default both the "core" (only libre stuff) and "nonfree" repos are activated by default and thus opt-out.

I just wanted to check with you what would be the best name for the package. Should I go with "tbftss" like the git repo, or do you think that something like "pandoran-war" or similar would be better suited?
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 24 Apr 2016, 12:50

Glad you enjoyed it! :)

I think sticking with "tbftss" would be best for now, just for consistency. But if you feel "pandoran-war" would be better, feel free to call it that. Or maybe "tbftss-pandoran-war", to cover all bases ;)
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby Akien » 24 Apr 2016, 13:25

StephenJSweeney {l Wrote}:I think sticking with "tbftss" would be best for now, just for consistency. But if you feel "pandoran-war" would be better, feel free to call it that. Or maybe "tbftss-pandoran-war", to cover all bases ;)

Yeah I guess I'll stick with "tbftss" for now, as it's also the name of the binary. And shorter is better :D
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 14 May 2016, 13:27

I'm approaching v0.7 now, so I thought I'd post some screenshots of what's new.

* Achievements are available, in the form of trophies (notification, etc., borrowed from PSN..!)

Image

* Trophies earned and those available can be viewed via a menu option (some trophies are hidden)

Image

* Finally, I've created another corvette, in my traditional iffy art style ;)

Image

I'll probably have the binaries and all that up tomorrow evening or so. I think I'm approaching the end of this game now, as some of the missions are starting to become quite samey. I think it's best I wrap things up soon, rather than drag the game out and make people play the same thing over and over. I'll be adding in a number of new challenges before v0.9, as well as finishing off the campaign, and then spend time tweaking things, fixing bugs, and testing the full playthrough. I've no idea right now how long the campaign takes to finish, but as an estimate, I'm thinking around 5 or 6 hours (based on 60 mission, with an average play time of 5 minutes each). Could be longer, depending on how many attempts are needed to complete the mission successfully, though.
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 15 May 2016, 12:13

v0.7 is now available. I've posted binaries to the dedicated website:

http://www.battleforthesolarsystem.com/ ... #downloads

and the master branch of GitHub has been updated:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbftss

Development will probably be all wrapped up in the next 3-4 months, I suspect, as all the major tasks have now been dealt with.
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby Imerion » 15 May 2016, 18:23

Nice, it's looking really polished! Downloading now!
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby Akien » 16 May 2016, 22:39

Awesome, congrats on the new release!

I've imported it in Mageia's repositories: http://svnweb.mageia.org/packages/cauld ... iew=markup
It will be available out of the box for users of Mageia 6 when it's released (within a couple of months).
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 17 May 2016, 10:52

Great work, Akien!

Hey, does that link work, on line #9:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbftss/v%{version}/%{name}-%{version}.tar.gz

It appears to resolve to:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbft ... 0.7.tar.gz

but that results in a 404.

Is it meant to be:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbft ... 0.7.tar.gz

so,

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbftss/archive/%{version}.tar.gz

?
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby Akien » 17 May 2016, 10:57

StephenJSweeney {l Wrote}:Hey, does that link work, on line #9:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbftss/v%{version}/%{name}-%{version}.tar.gz

It appears to resolve to:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbft ... 0.7.tar.gz

but that results in a 404.

Nice catch, the link I used is indeed not working. It should have been:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbftss/archive/v%{version}/%{name}-%{version}.tar.gz

This one would work to get a tarball named "tbftss-0.7.tar.gz", unlike the default https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbftss/archive/v%{version}.tar.gz which would just produce a tarball named "0.7.tar.gz" (GitHub's API fixes the name when downloading manually to $projectname-$tag.tar.gz, but not when resolving with curl or wget.

I had not noticed that the link was wrong since I downloaded the tarball manually this time. For future releases I'll however use the "mgarepo sync -d" tool that downloads the new tarball based on this URL, so thanks for pointing out the mistake :)
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 03 Jun 2016, 09:13

v0.8 of The Pandoran War is now available. This version contains all the campaign missions, and two-thirds of the Challenges. You can grab the downloads here:

http://battleforthesolarsystem.com/games/pw#downloads

The release is also up at GitHub:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbft ... s/tag/v0.8

I'm going to start work on the v0.9 series now, which will involve bug fixes, playing testing, and various other tweaks. The game will probably be all done in the next couple of months! Huzzah! Of course, as we all know v1.0 won't be the end of it, as v1.01, v1.02, etc., will follow, with various bug fixes ;)
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 28 Jun 2016, 08:28

v0.9 of The Pandoran War is now available. This version contains all the campaign missions, all the challenges, and all the trophies. Getting closer to the end now. The v0.9x series will focus on gameplay fixes, bug fixes, and some graphical tweaks (such as redrawing one of the capital ships, and the transport ships). I'll also be playing the game through from start to finish, to make sure everything unlocks and progresses correctly.

Downloads are available from the dedicated website:

http://www.battleforthesolarsystem.com/games/pw/

and the master branch of the GitHub page has been merged:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbftss
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby charlie » 28 Jun 2016, 16:40

Good stuff. Been meaning to try this out but I'm on a semi-permanent sabatical from playing games (productivity related).
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 28 Jun 2016, 22:15

Fair enough. Hopefully I'll have hit v1.0 by the time you're ready to get back into it :)
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 25 Jul 2016, 16:02

I'm currently working my way through the game, playing the campaign and the challenges, and making tweaks here and there.

Releases are happening with each 10% of the game I'm completing (v0.92 = 20%, v0.93 = 30%). Hopefully everything will be mostly working when I hit v1.0 ;)

Releases are here:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbftss/releases
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 13 Aug 2016, 08:45

v1.0 of The Pandoran War is now live! This release contains the full campaign (67 main missions, plus 5 optional missions, plus 8 training missions), all the challenges (93), and the ability to earn all the trophies (44). The game is effectively now finished, barring any unforeseen bugs and whatnot. Any future updates will now focus on ports (such as to OS X), translations (which I imagine will be slow, given the amount of text), and bug fixes. When I played the game through myself, it took around 13 hours to attain a 100% completion rating..!

Downloads for Linux, Windows, and a source tarball can be found here:

http://www.battleforthesolarsystem.com/ ... #downloads

and the GitHub repo is here:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/tbftss

For anyone interested, the 2009 First Edition of THE HONOUR OF THE KNIGHTS (licensed under Creative Commons), can be found here, in ePub, PDF, Mobi, ODT, and HTML formats:

https://github.com/stephenjsweeney/hotk-fe

Enjoy!
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby Imerion » 13 Aug 2016, 11:18

Congrats on your 1.0! :D There really is a lot of content and nice polished gameplay in this game - will certainly play it more thoroughly once I get time.
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 13 Aug 2016, 11:51

Cheers! I certainly had a lot of fun making it :)
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby charlie » 13 Aug 2016, 17:02

Akien {l Wrote}:
StephenJSweeney {l Wrote}:I think sticking with "tbftss" would be best for now, just for consistency. But if you feel "pandoran-war" would be better, feel free to call it that. Or maybe "tbftss-pandoran-war", to cover all bases ;)

Yeah I guess I'll stick with "tbftss" for now, as it's also the name of the binary. And shorter is better :D

Shorter is not better. Clearer is better. It isn't 1982 and we are not limited by much these days.

If I saw 'tbftss' in one of these package browser applications, I'd not even click on it. Also if you play the game, you'll search for 'Pandoran War' and not for some relatively complicated acronym. It's not as if the acronym is a word that can be said, it is just a jumble of constonants.

Plus consistency is overrated. The longer you remain "consistent" then the harder it is to make an inevitable change.

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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 14 Aug 2016, 08:19

I could update the binary to tbftss-pandoran-war, which would probably help packagers?
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby StephenJSweeney » 06 May 2017, 16:35

For anyone interested, I've authored a Making Of ... for The Pandoran War. You can read about it here:

http://www.stephenjsweeney.com/games/pw/makingOf.php

There's a quite a few screenshots, including those of an old HTML5 / JavaScript version that I planned before I switched to the arcade style game that now lives in github.
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Re: TBFTSS - The Pandoran War

Postby c_xong » 10 May 2017, 05:20

Nice game! I was aware of this since first post but it's taken me this long to start playing it now. There's a lot to like here, I'm having fun and plan to finish the game.

There are some design flaws, and I was wondering if you're open to improving them:

The biggest is the missiles; they are 1-hit kill which is very unforgiving. They're also quite rare, so when it happens it feels like a random unfair event. Instead, and for an arcade-style game, it should be more frequent but weaker. The EMP should also recharge quicker. I'm not sure how viable it is to dodge missiles, but that could be a good mechanic too - check out the "Missiles!" game for an example.

The boost is a somewhat related problem; it's very useful but recharges very slowly. Coupled with the EMP/missiles problem, and most tough battles turn out into a grind where you run away and recharge everything before going back in. The game should be at its best when you're in the action, dodging missiles and shots from all directions. To be fair this is a common problem in space shooters, since there are no walls to stop you from running away. But one way to help is to make abilities like the boost available more often. One option is to replace it with an afterburner.
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