[PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for testers

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[PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for testers

Postby SriK » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:52 pm

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Hey everyone! My name is Sri Kankanahalli, and I'm currently developing a 2D action platformer called Steel Assault. Its aesthetic is inspired by late NES games like Shatterhand or Batman, and it's focused on close combat with a variety of different weapons. On the hardest difficulty, it's an arcade style game (i.e. the goal is a 1CC) with one life and seamlessly connected levels.

We've just launched campaigns on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight, where you can find a trailer and more info! You can also check out the game's official site at: http://steelassault.com

This site has been a really great resource for me while thinking about and developing Steel Assault so far. I've loved all of the time I've spent here combing through threads like Macaw's giant list of Famicom action games and playing them, or learning about super obscure PC Engine STGs that came out before I was even born, or reading about the culture of the Japanese game industry in the '80s and '90s. This place is awesome!

A lot of you guys have played and cleared way more of these games then I'll ever have the time or even inclination to, so it seems like the people here would make the ideal beta testers for Steel Assault. If you'd be interested in this, feel free to shoot me a PM or post in this thread! I completely understand if you don't have time or don't want to spoil the game for yourself, though. (The game isn't currently in a state where we feel fully comfortable sending it off to others, but it'll be ready for a short demo in 1 or 2 months, and at that point I'll let anyone interested know.)

Any other feedback, criticism, or questions about Steel Assault are also always welcome!




P.S. I also have a quick question relating to a design decision I'm mulling over. How many arcade side-scrollers are there which have short mid-level dialogue without stopping the player dead in his tracks to listen to it like the later Megaman X games or the Igavanias do (or really almost every platformer with mid-level dialogue that I can think of)? So the player can still walk around, keep fighting enemies, etc. while the person is talking on the very top of the screen. I know they must exist, but I'm really drawing a blank here. I can think of Assault Suits Valken (and many of the games inspired by it) and a few other SNES/MD titles, but no arcade games.

The reason is because I had originally planned for the game to be structured like a NES Ninja Gaiden or Vice: Project Doom with discrete levels and cutscene interludes inbetween, before I decided for a completely seamless structure instead. However, I'd still like to have some dialogue and "hi-res" human face portraits within the game (to give it a bit more life), and the best way to do that without breaking the flow of the game seems to be mid-level dialogue (with multiple randomized variants for each "dialogue point" so it doesn't become repetitive). Nothing too long, just simple terse Star Fox-esque stuff along the lines of "the bad guy is doing the thing there, go and stop him" or "WTF why are there giant eels under the National Harbor". I guess one compromise option would be to let the player turn it off in the options menu if they get annoyed by it.
Last edited by SriK on Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for test

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:49 pm

Hi and welcome! I'm really liking the look of the game from the screenshots--I can definitely see the inspiration from Sunsoft's Batman, which has a fantastic visual style (and which triggered many controller-throwing bouts of frustration as a child). I'd love to try and give testing feedback, especially if it'll still take a few months to get things to a beta stage.

The others here are surely more well-versed in arcade action titles that might have the sort of in-game cutscene stylings that you're looking for and can probably offer better suggestions on that issue. I'm trying to remember, however, if there wasn't something like you suggested in Edward Randy--a portrait and simple dialogue (along the lines of "The girl is mine! Ha ha ha!") at the top of the screen during brief lulls in the action. I could be misremembering that, though--it's been a long time since I've played it.

Another example that came to mind was the part in Gunstar Heroes towards the end of the game where it's made to look like the player's battle is being viewed on a large screen by Smash and the other bosses. There's no dialogue here, but I always thought it was a neat little effect in the service of advancing a (admittedly sparse) sort of narrative. I bring up this example just to illustrate that overlays or pop-ups aren't necessarily an annoyance to the player as long as they don't obstruct or detract from the action, and that if they're implemented right you shouldn't have to worry about allowing them to be disabled in settings as it will just be a seamless part of the game's flow. Not sure if that helps at all with your dilemma, though. Best of luck!
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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for test

Postby SriK » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:48 pm

Hey, thanks Greatsaintlouis! I'll send you an alpha once we've gotten to that stage.

I hadn't heard of Edward Randy, but I looked it up and it seems really cool. I have a couple autoscrolling setpieces planned for Steel Assault which I've been thinking about, and now here's an entire platformer made out of just that lol. Definitely something to play and take inspiration from. Though, skipping quickly through a YouTube video, it also seems to remove player control to deliver dialogue.

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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for test

Postby Imhotep » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:03 am

Wolf Fang also has in-game dialogue, as does its sequel Skull Fang (but obviously not a sidescroller).

On console, Hyper Iria and especially Burning Rangers (fantastic game) come to mind, giving you directions in the midst of heat.

I like your idea of seamlessly connecting levels, but more because of the atmosphere (sense of progression in a coherent world) and less because of the pacing. Do you plan to drastically lower the action after the boss and during the messages?

on a side note: Games like Captain Saver / Power Blade 2 are ruined by autoscrolling segments / the numerous elements that prevent the player from advancing at his own speed (falling ceilings, elevator platforms etc.).
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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for test

Postby JoshF » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:28 am

I can think of Assault Suits Valken (and many of the games inspired by it) and a few other SNES/MD titles, but no arcade games.

In Strider Hiryuu, Meiou talks during the lead up to the final boss fight.
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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for test

Postby SuperDeadite » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:00 am

When it comes to seamless action games with dialog scenes, Zenki FX on the PC-FX still is one of the best done imo.
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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for test

Postby Shou » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:03 am

I'm happy to test out the game for you and give my thoughts. I'd back you on Kickstarter if I'd get a physical copy of the game ;)
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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for test

Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:03 am

You guys might want to take this to email. I think I'm going to make the move to the new server soon. Ideally it will "just work" within 48 hours but we all know that's bullshit.
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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for testers

Postby SriK » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:28 pm

Thanks again for all the feedback, guys! Our Kickstarter was a success, and we just got greenlit on Steam (which means we'll be able to sell our game through their store).

Imhotep wrote:on a side note: Games like Captain Saver / Power Blade 2 are ruined by autoscrolling segments / the numerous elements that prevent the player from advancing at his own speed (falling ceilings, elevator platforms etc.).
What's important to me in this genre is that the more practice I get, the more I can speed things up.

Interesting... right now we have 2 autoscrolling segments planned for the game, each being about 3 minutes long. The idea there is that the level design will sync up with the music, creating a music video-like effect as you play through it (where the climaxes of the song correspond to the climaxes of the level).


Also, Greatsaintlouis and Shou, I've sent you PMs with a beta access link. If anyone else is still interested, feel free to let me know!

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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for testers

Postby Gaijin Punch » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:52 pm

Do you think Steel Assault will be easily playable on Mac through an emulator? I rarely boot into windows, but want to show some support. ;)
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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for testers

Postby SriK » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:20 am

We're planning Mac and Linux ports currently; the PC version is the main focus right now, but the main 2D graphics library we're using is cross-platform so it should be easily portable (theoretically). I can't think of any real reason why it shouldn't be playable on an emulator, though. :)

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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for testers

Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:29 am

I'll let someone w/ experience w/ that try it first and I'll follow suit. I'd need to find a controller first. Been a while since I played anything on a computer.
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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for testers

Postby SriK » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:39 am

Wow, it's been a while since this thread. Long story short, we revamped the game since the Kickstarter, and it looks and plays way different now:

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A bit more information about this: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/43 ... ts/1626948

And we just released 6 full minutes of footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1S77gMGzfs

I'd like to ask again if anyone here is interested in playtesting the game. Shou and Greatsaintlouis, I remember some interest from you when the thread was first posted; would you guys still be available?

And of course, any other form of feedback or criticism is welcome as well!

Thanks for your time!
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Re: [PC] Steel Assault — action platformer, looking for testers

Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:07 am

Might want to PM them -- SHou hasn't popped in in a while, but I know he's around in some form. GSL as well. Generally I talk to them elsewhere, so they are indeed alive.

Game looks good! Wish I had a PC... and that controller I talked about. LOL.
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