Firewall: Your Computer's First Defense - Indie RTS Game

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Bolt, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. Bolt

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Firewall is an RTS that I have been independently developing for the past year and a half. It is almost complete, but is still in the beta testing stages. I am looking for all the feedback and exposure I can get before I get it published, so I thought this would be a good place to show it. You can visit my website here:

    http://www.freewebs.com/boltsoftware

    In the game, you have to keep your memory safe from the viruses spreading on your computer. There are three types of robots: Posters, Hackers, and Wreckers. Posters build posts which capture territory, Hackers destroy the enemies' posts, and Wreckers destroy other robots. There are also drones and bases, which are explained in the manual. In the demo there are 10 robots unlocked, and you can play against up to 3 viruses on many different chipsets. The full version has 21 robots, up to 7 viruses at once, and a 26 mission campaign. I hope to get it published soon...I am in college and flat broke.

    Here are some screenshots of my game:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Download the demo and give me feedback on it if you can. Thanks.
     
    #1 Bolt, Oct 6, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2004
  2. Sunshine

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    This looks pretty cool.
    and not to change the subject ;)

    but the graphics remind me of this cool futuristic tank game that was at the arcades where you controled it with 2 joysticks.

    Does anyone remember that game or it's name? :confused:
     
  3. Chaster

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Uhhh, Battlezone?
     
  4. 3dben

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
  5. unreason

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great graphics. Slightly off topic, but what kind of technique did you use for the "lightning beam" effect? It looks too detailed for a particle system.
     
  6. Bolt

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Beam effects

    Thanks guys.

    Actually, I use a very rudimentary method for creating the beam effects. It is simply two plains that are textured and ghosted and rotated to connect the two points. It looks nice with a decent texture, and does not take much away from the frame rate, like particles would.
     
  7. Larry Hastings

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    0
    I played a bunch, and I'm happy to say that I like it. I have some "constructive criticism" for you, but don't take it too hard--I hope you take it to heart and make the game that much better.
    • The biggest complaint I have is how indirect your control of your units is. I can accept either "you can't tell your wreckers to attack a particular unit", or "wreckers will ignore enemy wreckers pounding on your units and instead attack their inert posters", but not both. Ideally I'd like to be able to tell units specifically what to do--tell posters "build here", tell hackers "hack here", tell wreckers "wreck this unit".
    • I generally am not thrilled with the interface. It seems optimized for building ten identical units in a row, which is something you never do. In the game I just played, I wanted to tell a hacker that was nearly dead to teleport away from danger. I clicked on the hacker, then clicked where I wanted it to go... and wound up building whatever random unit I had selected in the build menu at the time. I'd prefer it if you had to click on the unit to build each time.
    • If, when trying to bring up the unit-specific menu, you hold down the mouse button, instead of simply clicking it, the submenu appears and disappears constantly. I don't know about you, but I'm used to right-click context menus where you have to hold down the button. So it'd be nice if the menu handled that.
    • It'd be nice if there was a stronger visual distinction between posters/hackers/wreckers of the same type. I noticed the shade of gray change, but that's not really enough in the heat of battle.
    • You can't adjust the sound levels, aka "turn off the music so I can listen to my MP3s".
    • Alt-Tab hoses up rendering something fierce.
    So, is there a lot of variation in the full game, or is it more of the same? Are there levels where you jump into an existing conflict, with established "bases" and units?
     
  8. Larry Hastings

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    0
    I played a bunch, and I'm happy to say that I like it. I have some "constructive criticism" for you, but don't take it too hard--I hope you take it to heart and make the game that much better.
    • The biggest complaint I have is how indirect your control of your units is. I can accept either "you can't tell your wreckers to attack a particular unit", or "wreckers will ignore enemy wreckers pounding on your units and instead attack their inert posters", but not both. Ideally I'd like to be able to tell units specifically what to do--tell posters "build here", tell hackers "hack here", tell wreckers "wreck this unit".
    • I generally am not thrilled with the interface. It seems optimized for building ten identical units in a row, which is something you never do. In the game I just played, I wanted to tell a hacker that was nearly dead to teleport away from danger. I clicked on the hacker, then clicked where I wanted it to go... and wound up building whatever random unit I had selected in the build menu at the time. I'd prefer it if you had to click on the unit to build each time.
    • If, when trying to bring up the unit-specific menu, you hold down the mouse button, instead of simply clicking it, the submenu appears and disappears constantly. I don't know about you, but I'm used to right-click context menus where you have to hold down the button. So it'd be nice if the menu handled that.
    • It'd be nice if there was a stronger visual distinction between posters/hackers/wreckers of the same type. I noticed the shade of gray change, but that's not really enough in the heat of battle.
    • You can't adjust the sound levels, aka "turn off the music so I can listen to my MP3s".
    • Alt-Tab hoses up rendering something fierce.
    • If you want to speed up load times, try storing all your assets in compressed archives (ZIP, WAD, etc). I bet someone has a lovely library for that for your Basic, probably for free.
    So, is there a lot of variation in the full game, or is it more of the same? Are there levels where you jump into an existing conflict, with established "bases" and units?
     
  9. Bolt

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the feedback

    Thanks, here are some answers, but first I'd like to clarify some control issues you may be having. When I started this, I had never played an RTS before, so I was unaware of the natural control scheme. So the button setup on the mouse may seem very akward. You can switch the buttons around in the options menu.

    Mouse setup 1:
    -Left mouse button: build units, move selected units to new location
    -Right mouse button: click to select units, click and drag to select multiple, click on selected robots for control menu

    Mouse setup 2 (may seem more natural if you are used to Warcraft):
    -Left mouse button: locationclick to select units, click and drag to select multiple, click on selected robots for control menu
    -Right mouse button: build units, move selected units to new

    1-Well, actually, you can directly tell your Wreckers what to do. Once you have them selected, right click (or left click, if setup 2 is activated) on an enemy robot. Your wreckers will ignore other robots and follow your attack orders. Also, if you have your Wreckers guard your other robots, they will be more wary of them being attacked and defend them. To have your Wreckers guard: select them, hold down "F" and right click (or left click, if setup 2) on the robot you want guarded

    2-I haven't updated the interface for a long time...I have recieved a couple other complaints about it, but only after I told people to tell me what they hated about my game. So I guess it does need some work...but fixing bugs comes first

    3-Ah, I understand. Actually, that would be a lot better. Thanks for the suggestion. It will be put in the next update.

    4-Sorry about the horrible unit type distinction. I know that apologizing does not fix the problem, but believe me, it used to be a lot lot worse. People thanked me when I added the different colors on top of the robots. I guess I just play so much that I am used to it...It would take a lot of time for me to come up with a new system, so I am just leaving it, but will come up with a whole new system for the sequel.

    5-Sound control, good point. Will incorporate...

    6-Yeah, the language I am using has a huge problem with that. I have no control over it, so I was considering disabling the system keys so people can't minimize it.

    7-Loading times...another bad thing about my game...I will ask around on the Dark Basic message boards for a solution...

    Well, here is a description of the full version: There are 26 battles, most with something unique. There are timed battles, battles where the viruses allie against you, battles where everyone is the same color, etc...Each battle sets you up against a virus (real names) and the variations refer to what the virus does to your computer in real life.

    When you win battles you get cache that you capture off of the board. You also unlock abilities and robots when you beat battles and arenas. You use this cache to purchase abilities for your robots. The abilities are really cool, there are five of them:
    -Feedback: when your robots take damage the return some damage through the beams or deflect some of shots
    -Clone: when wreckers with this ability destroy somebody there is a chance that the destroyed robot will be resurected in the color of the wrecker.
    -Channel: when wreckers with this ability deal damage, their owner gets points for it
    -Blind: robots with blind will give off pulses that blind nearby wreckers, making them lose track of their targets
    -Freedom: robots with freedom can move freely on enemy territory, or even transport to empty or enemy territory.

    There are 3 levels to each of the abilities.

    You can also purchase drones to put on your robots, which are permanent. The drones and abilities are applied to the robots whenever they are built, but the robots will not cost any more. Computers also use abilities and drones.

    Okay, that is all for now. Anything else?
     
  10. Midnight Synergy

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    0
    Assault?

    Although the graphics look nothing like it. Cool game tho.
     
  11. Larry Hastings

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perhaps you could pop up some text along the bottom of the screen when doing a context-sensitive thing? Like "Hover Wrecker will attack Pepper Hacker", or "Group will build posts here" or "Pepper Wrecker will defend Ring Poster". That'd make it clear that the game knew what I was trying to do, and agreed that by clicking I would accomplish that thing.

    As for Dark Basic not allowing you to handle Alt-Tab, I simply can't believe that's the case. In my C++ game, the notification I get when they've Alt-Tabbed away is D3DERR_DEVICELOST from TestCooperativeLevel(), and I've gotten the device back when I successfully call Reset() on the display device. If you have an object that represents the 3D device, start there and look around. I think the main problem is you don't recreate vertex (and possibly index) data after a reset. This is even true for your loading screen bolt.

    I think it's pretty nutty that you set out to make an RTS game without having ever played one. Nothing wrong with that; certainly that means you're likely to come up with something breaking convention. But, if it were me, I'd be interested in seeing how other smart people had solved the problems of the genre.

    p.s. "the graphics remind me of this game..." "Assault? though the graphics look nothing like it..." Uh, I think you answered your own question there. I suspect the original poster was thinking of CyberSled.
     
  12. Bolt

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer