Grinder - A post-amiga, silkworm-ish co-op game

UPDATED Download (based on YOUR feedback):
HERE

‘Grinder’ is a placeholder name for a game that I’ve been working on. -One I would like to share…
Its 110% inspired by ‘Silkworm’ for the amiga 500, a co-op sidescrolling war game featuring a jeep and an attack helicopter taking on “all the bad guys” at once.

While its a very simple game, I did go all out on the features, and I think I’ve achieved a fairly rich play experience.

Its all composed of 2d sprites I MOSTLY made myself; (there is an easter-egg from dukenukem)…
Everything has sound, no music.
Sound effects from free tools, and intro sound mixed from the internets public archives.

The visual componants for the menues are the weakest point I think, a low priority item on my list.
That said, they function as expected, and your settings are saved.
Title screen / main menu:

Under settings, you can set the game to any screen size. Its all drawn to a rendertarget that is then scaled to any size you want up to 1920*1080, and adjust for the most common aspect ratios.

I’ll show you a couple of pics of game play, as I explain whats going on…
There are a lot of fun things that are hard for me to capture using only the prt scr key, and I dont want to go on forever, so this is only a slice of the full cake…

Some main features I want to advertise a bit that dont come across on the images, are unit behaviors and combat. Besides ofcoarse the scrolling background and foreground layers… I went out of my way to do death sequences and unique animations for all the enemies. They all have different attributes and can be combined in fun ways. Guns and rockets haves smoke puffs, things explode, mines lift your wheels off the ground, and theres even a camera shake when things heat up.

The jeep has mouse-aim, with a zoomed in scope for aiming. Yes, it really magnifies :slightly_smiling:

Players and enemies collide with the terrain, no matter how complex the shape. So you actually roll across any terrain you bother drawing - a colorcoded collision image, togoether with a hand-drawn color terrain-facade to actually draw.
You can catch air if you try to. Go fast over a hill top, and things look pretty hollywood…
Notice enemies in the background, left of the parachute mines. They can use the foreground as well…

Its not all rolling hills. Heres some temple ruins leading up to the stage boss fight. As you can see by the health indicator at bottom left, I’m not doing too good. Especially with a score of 525… Each respawn costs 1000 points.

All kinds of enemies. Tunneling missile launchers, automated walkers, tri-gun-turrets, suicide choppers, light assult vehicles, minelayers, attack helicopters, and more… Mid-boss and end-boss, And THESE guys:

Theres even reflective water, with splashes, and expanding rings :slightly_smiling:

There is no ammo count, but under your health indicator is your temp. guage. Overheated weapons start a short cooldown. This turned out to be a great mechanic in my oppinion. Some degree of resource management.

Press down to plant the jeep. Here I’ve parked on the roof of a structure, awaiting the next wave…

Or press UP to jump… Tap for shorter jump, hold for longer jump. Theres the mid-boss, appearing in the background, top left corner. I refer to him as the goose. Hes a pretty neat fight once he strikes…

With a jumping jeep, there is no excuse for death by pit-fall.

Here a shot of the Helicopter… While it can ofcoarse move freely up and down, its weapon system is also a different experience; It shoots rockets straight ahead, and cannon rounds down at an angle:

The stage boss is lots of fun, with a few different behaviours, lots of weapons, and personal minions at his disposal.
Beating him, loops the demo… You dont get to see him here…

Whew!.. I’d love to hear some thoughts if any occur, all feed-back welcome.
-If anyone has any issues playing; (frame-rate issues, bugs, crashes, glitches, control problems)
I will respond and try to solve the issue…

One person has reported frame-rate issues. If more people report this, and my proposed solutions in the comments below do not fix them, I will consider releasing a copy with less demanding stuff going on… (The randomized clouds blowing by could be reduced in complexity for example, and some collision detection could be made less sensitive.)

-If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in supplying assets for this free game / teaming up to make something fun, just let me know… graphics, sounds, music… Enemies, effects, upgrades, backgrounds, terrains, whole levels if you want…

UPDATED Download :
HERE

2 Likes

Looked at the pictures, didnt read anything but also didn’t see a download link.

halp I wanna try

I think it looks great from the still shots. I grew up with Silkworm on the Amiga, so I remember it well. If you have some high quality video of it, it would make a good addition to our showcase video for next year.

Amiga & Silkworm ! That’s it ! you catch my full attention (I remember playing this game on Amstrad, then SWIV on Amiga).

First, the very first thing: don’t neglect the menu, this is the first part of your game the player will meet, bad start = bad “first impression” => can throw a potentially good game straight to trash (ex: Mercenary Kings: menu settings you’ve changed are even not active on the menu itself !), also gameplay has to be progressive, if it’s start immediately tough (like old spanish games: Satan, Game Over 1 & 2, or Ghouls and Ghosts, Army Moves, etc) player will probably give up.

The scenery are very nice, but units deserve a little bit more care IMHO, the jeep is more like an armoured vehicle than a jeep.
A demo would be the best way to get feelings and thoughts.

And for inspiration, you may look at UN Squadron, Apocalypse, Jet Strike, and maybe Desert Strike all on Amiga at least. All those game use the same kind of military inspiration.

I hear you.
If you could let me know a few of the places you would expect to find such a download, I’ll go and try to put it there.
Thanks!

Awesome. Can you get into the specifics of video format, editing, sound duratation etc, or I guess maybe link to requirements…?

Thanks, lot of things to look at there!

You are certainly right about the menu system. I guess I wanted to see if there was any intrest before I worried about that stuff… If I ever decide to go further than this one demo level, I’ll definately do it over…

And as for the units, you are right there too… I have been improving my drawing skills for each sprite… Thats how much of a non-artist I am :slightly_smiling:

The jeep -or armored vehicle - is also a testament to my non artistry. I didnt think I could draw a dude operating a machine gun, so I went for armored vehicle w. turret instead.

You are very welcome to recomend an upload site, and I’ll get right on sending out a copy.

a thing you can do if you have some skills in 3D program is using free 3D models, making rendering from left and right, and you’ve got your sprite :slightly_smiling:
(there is great free model on turbosquid for example)

mediafire, 1fichier, uptobox, dropbox, uploaded, …

Thats a cool idea for the pivot guy… Perhaps I COULD find a way to do it so it can aim fluidly at any angle.
While I can use 3d programs, posing a human is still alot harder than posing a tank :slightly_smiling:

I’ll check out your site recomendations and post something.

Theres mega (https://mega.nz/)

Ok folks, here is a link to a .rar download. Unzip, and run Grinder.exe to play… Arrows and mouse for jeep, WASD and space for helo. P is pause, where the exit menu is :slightly_smiling:

UPDATED Download :
HERE

I guess the share site is a little slow. If anyone knows a free option that is definately faster, please let me know, and I’ll switch em up.

I’m having problems with the game. First off, its super laggy. Like 3 frames. Second I can’t open any of the menus. If i single click, nothing happens but if I double click it just crashes.

Contrary to Nullz, I don’t suffer from any kind of lag (Asus ROG G750 T4024JH with i7, Geforce GTX 780M, win 7 64b and 32 GB ram), this may be hardware related I guess (various DX/openGL features supported or something like that), Nullz didn’t give any hint on which hardware was used for the test.

  • Controls of “characters” are tied to their type, not to player (I mean, heli only, I should have arrow key for movements, maybe mouse for fire, no WASD SPACE)
  • Escape key no managed (weird !) it would be good to have a way to quit
  • scope is quite unusual and confusing, a simple cross hair would have been better IMHO
  • also, use of word ‘bail’ is very unusual, quit/exit is a lot more common
  • the most important: WHERE ARE the crazy explosions ???
    a shoot’em-up without that is like a vampire without fengs !
  • (linked to previous point) it’s hard to notice when the jeep “dies” (in the heat of action of course) as sprite is just removed then put back to the left of the screen

some comments:

  • replace the armoured vehicle by a jeep with a (suicidal) guy on a machine gun may be fun (for a few minutes only) but may need a lot of work for a low added value, look at Silkwork/SWIV, those kind of shoot’em up are everything but accurate (UN Squadron planes which can move up and down or even backward :smiley: ), or maybe made like Thanatos (Amstrad) or Walker (Amiga) style
  • jeep jump may be a bit reviewed, adjusted: it doesn’t “feel” nice, hard to explain, you have to compare with similar game, probably on Amiga I guess, or also Metal Slug on Neo Geo.

Except that, it’s a good start with a good potential, this level is a bit short, lack of soldiers on foot to crush (to get a new paint job for free :stuck_out_tongue:), more holes to jump over, especially on water, it may be like Army Moves second part (small “islands” like platform across a water area), good luck.

Wow that sounds absolutely shitty, and I am sorry to hear that… Obviously menu crashes is something I dont encounter at all…

I’m thinking maybe you didnt extract the rar file, which leaves the game unable to work with the save-file…

If you try this, and it still doesnt work, I’ll troubleshoot more.

Thanks for your time!

I’m having guests in a bit, but I’ll give a more in depth response later today.

Real quick mention for now:

press P to pause, this brings up the option to quit…

I didn’t extract the first time but this time I did, same result but now it crashes even if I single click. I’m using a i5 4690k Windows 8.1, 16 gb on board graphics(which are actually pretty decent, it’s no 780 but I’m able to play csgo 70+ fps). I’ll send the file to my friend and see if it works for him.

at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Audio.SoundEffectInstance.set_Volume(Single value)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Audio.SoundEffect.Play(Single volume, Single pitch, Single pan)
at TerrainGame.SoundClass.PlaySound(Int32 soundIndex, Single pitch, Single passed_vol) in C:\Users\Niels\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Projects\TerrainGame\TerrainGame\SoundClass.cs:line 290
at TerrainGame.SoundClass.PLAY_Menu_snap(Single desiredVol) in C:\Users\Niels\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Projects\TerrainGame\TerrainGame\SoundClass.cs:line 136
at TerrainGame.MainMenu.Main_Menu_Input(GraphicsDeviceManager graphics, ContentManager Content, MouseState currentMouse, MouseState pastMouse, KeyboardState currentKey, KeyboardState pastKey) in C:\Users\Niels\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Projects\TerrainGame\TerrainGame\MainMenu.cs:line 583
at TerrainGame.MainMenu.Update(ContentManager Content, GraphicsDeviceManager graphics, MouseState currentMouse, MouseState pastMouse, KeyboardState currentKey, KeyboardState pastKey) in C:\Users\Niels\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Projects\TerrainGame\TerrainGame\MainMenu.cs:line 178
at TerrainGame.Game1.Update(GameTime gameTime) in C:\Users\Niels\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Projects\TerrainGame\TerrainGame\Game1.cs:line 333
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game.DoUpdate(GameTime gameTime)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game.Tick()
at MonoGame.Framework.WinFormsGameWindow.RunLoop()
at MonoGame.Framework.WinFormsGamePlatform.RunLoop()
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game.Run(GameRunBehavior runBehavior)
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game.Run()
at TerrainGame.Program.Main() in C:\Users\Niels\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Projects\TerrainGame\TerrainGame\Program.cs:line 22

So my friend with basically the same exact specs as me tried it, he got atleast 30FPS in the main menu, (however he does have a 7770, and his windows isn’t pirated unlike mine). However he also couldn’t get pass the main screen without crashing.

hi monopalle - tried your game here also and can confirm it does crash whenever I click on the main menu.

Hello again, and to anyone else having scimilar issues:

I have myself just done a clean install of windows, including a fresh upgrade to visualStudio 2015 and mongame 3.5

after this, I get the same problems.

I have solved the first part, so it launches now => old MonoGame reads values from TXT files expecting a COMMA as decimal marker for floats, new MonoGame expects a PERIOD it seems…

The next issue I am just beginning to work on is the sounds themselves. The files LOAD fine, and are given play instructions, but arent audible… I don’t expect this to take long to fix, its a common issue, and I still have the source files if all else fails.

mp3 files are played just fine, so besides lack if SFX, the game loads, and runs, just fine.
-At least I discovered some unused sound files, so the NEXT download will be noticeably smaller. So some good has come from this.

With these issues in mind, I expect to have a fixed upload shortly.

In the mean time, those of you who haven’t upgraded yet may still be able to run the currently linked version, as some here could…

For everyone else I hope to see you here SOON for a fixed download, couple of days MAX, and sorry for the hassle to anyone who got a bad download…! :frowning: