A Quiver of Crows - "lovely" shmup

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A Quiver of Crows - "lovely" shmup

Postby MsTei » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:16 pm

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Hi everyone,

Please check out our game, A Quiver of Crows - a twin-stick shooter set in a grim world cursed by demons and ghouls.
I am one of the developers and the composer. My team and I have worked on this game for 7 months now.

Announcement Trailer


Features
  • 360-degree twin-stick chaos!
  • Local / couch co-op so you don't have to go it alone
  • Upgradable weapons, bombs, and shields
  • Unique environments and physics not common in shmups
  • Play using controller or keyboard & mouse
  • In development for PC, Mac, & Linux

Screenshots
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We have been Greenlit, thank you!

About us
We are a small team of three, and this is our third game. We started with mobile games, but it's getting harder and harder to get noticed.
This is our first game for the PC.

Thank you for your time!

Website http://www.AQuiverOfCrows.com
Twitter @AQuiverOfCrows
Facebook /AQuiverOfCrows
Last edited by MsTei on Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Quiver of Crows - "lovely" shmup

Postby monoRAIL » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:59 pm

Very nice art style. It's great to see a dual-stick shmup that isn't about space-ships or in the style of Geometry Wars.

Are you making this with Unity3D?

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Re: A Quiver of Crows - "lovely" shmup

Postby MsTei » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:04 am

monoRAIL - thank you!

We are actually using Cocos2d-x (C++) framework. It's free, requires a bit of set up, but with a push of a button, you can port pretty easily to Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, etc. It does not come with an editor, so we are using RUBE as a level editor. RUBE also helps give physical properties to objects (i.e. the spinning windmills will knock you back if you run into them).

And the funny thing is, we started off by thinking "let's make a shmup that's not about space-ships" and after we went down the road of using a crow, we realized a space-ship would have been easier for twin-stick shooters:

1. Spaceships can use turrets, so the spaceship doesn't have to flip/turn, only the turret will point in different direction. The crow's face has to face where it is shooting, so the whole body needs to turn.
2. We had to programmatically flip the bird when it turns and passes the y-axis, or else the bird would be upside down
3. The bird's bounding box kept changing with each wing flap, so we had to assign the collidable box to the body and have bullets ignore the wings.

Take the problems with the bird and multiply it across all the enemies, and we created extra work for ourselves. =D

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Re: A Quiver of Crows - "lovely" shmup

Postby MsTei » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:33 pm

We also have a Gamasutra article that goes into some detail about all the tools we use.

So, Cocos2d-x as the framework
RUBE as the level editor
Spine for the animations (it's glorious! helped save our artist's sanity and harddrive space).
Etc, :D

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Re: A Quiver of Crows - "lovely" shmup

Postby monoRAIL » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:38 am

The Gamasutra article is very useful - particularly for new developers wondering what tools are good. I've posted an article on the shmup-dev news page, best of luck with your Steam Greenlight! http://www.shmup-dev.com/?p=195

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Re: A Quiver of Crows - "lovely" shmup

Postby MsTei » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:48 pm

Ah, thank you so much monoRAIL!!

A Quiver of Crows has been Greenlit! Thank you, to everyone who voted for us and supported us in any way. We are so humbled and extremely grateful!

We'll be working on releasing a beta in a couple of months.
*dances a jig*

Edit: Oh, and of course if any of you have questions about the Greenlight process, feel free to ping me!

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Re: A Quiver of Crows - "lovely" shmup

Postby MsTei » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:06 am

Long time no update! That's because we're working hard to finish the game.

Here are some screenshot updates:

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Vignette! This is what the screen looks like when you die...
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Skelecrane Boss's Physics
With bounding boxes enabled to help debug the physics.
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Music - By yours truly!

To All My Lost Ones


You Must Persevere! (same music from the trailer)


Here's a Dev Video Update #1 where we talk about the new stuff we've implemented.
There are more dev updates, but let's not be overwhelming, shall we?


If you like what you see, please wishlist us on our Steam Page!

Until next time!
~Alice @busyrobot

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Re: A Quiver of Crows - "lovely" shmup

Postby monoRAIL » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:57 am

The music's lovely. Really nice compositions.

With regard to the boss' collision bounds on the heads - surely it wouldn't be too expensive to draw a closer collision mesh around the skull? You really don't want bullets colliding with the air in front of the boss.

Lastly, while the artwork in general is really nice, there's one aspect that feels a little awkward, which is rotating sprites. When the crow aims upward it seems like you've rotated the entire sprite 90 degrees, so that it's now flapping left-to-right. I realize it would be a huge amount of animation work, but it would look much better if the birds wings kept flapping vertically, and only the body rotated to aim where the player wants to shoot. I also feel like your flip solution for when the boss turns around is too simple. Again, when aiming down it would be nicer if only its heads turned and the body kept flapping correctly, and when it actually needs to turn around it should have a real turn animation.

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Re: A Quiver of Crows - "lovely" shmup

Postby MsTei » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:59 am

monoRAIL wrote:The music's lovely. Really nice compositions.


Yaaay! Thank you very much! :D

About the collision with the boss's heads, yes, that's true - we need to revisit and tweak the boss more. The AI also needs more work.

You are also right about the awkward/rotating sprites. When we embarked on the project, we thought to ourselves "why are shmups usually spaceships and robots?" Well, in the first week we found out immediately why - rigid bodies turning/spinning don't look as odd as animals doing so. Unfortunately, we're running out of time, hoping to release the game Spring 2016.

Here are some more updates:

Dev Video Update #2


More Music - Heartless March


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Keyboard controls are in. Just left-click once to auto shoot, left-click again to turn it off.

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