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  1. #1

    Default HellCats: Helicopter assault series (TEASER VID UP)

    Greetings all,

    I thought I would share with you my latest project, a helicopter assault series entitled "Hellcats" (working title).

    Hellcats is a top-down heli shooter inspired by gameplay of games like Desert Strike and Choplifter. The series will comprise:

    - a cinematic introduction level, where you are acquainted with your chopper and it's controls and are given the story leading to your mission objectives (debriefing).

    - four or five levels of mission-based combat in a variety of environments (i.e desert, jungle).

    - a scrolling action-packed shooter (aka run the gauntlet)

    - a versus arena for deathmatch or capture the flag

    Here are some teaser screenshots for the upcoming first mission:







    Thanks to those that have helped so far:
    Aya042
    c_mckamey
    Rustbukkit
    Last edited by Thegide; 03-30-2011 at 07:35 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Well it looks like I'll be giving out some hearts soon. Not something That happens a whole lot. I've been waiting for something just like this. The pictures look really great.

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  5. #3
    Nope! It's Chuck Testa Gilgamesh's Avatar
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    Awesome!

    This sounds -- and looks -- like it'll be a lot of fun! I always loved the old helicopter combat games, so I'm really looking forward to this.

    Will there be recorded voice clips for powerups/weapons, events and such? I think that would add a nice touch.
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  7. #4
    LBPCentral Creator Spotlight CrewUniverseUnderConstruction jwwphotos's Avatar
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    Now that looks pretty darn cool.

    Awesome looking work!
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  9. #5

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    Looks cool, the HUD and lighting especially!

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  11. #6
    Patch of Cloth themaxus's Avatar
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    It looks alot like the old PS1 game Soviet Strike. Awesome.
    ; )

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  13. #7
    DNA Reprogrammer Thegide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh View Post
    Awesome!

    This sounds -- and looks -- like it'll be a lot of fun! I always loved the old helicopter combat games, so I'm really looking forward to this.

    Will there be recorded voice clips for powerups/weapons, events and such? I think that would add a nice touch.
    That's a great suggestion Gil. I got to thinking about it this morning, and I might have to go and buy an Eyetoy for this purpose and see about getting some walkie talkies to get the proper vocal effects.

    Right now, I'm still working out the bugs of the combat system and planning the mission objectives over the series, but the next step will probably be to add some sort of mission log to the HUD or via subtitles or something.

    UPDATE:
    Whee, my combat units now have working health systems. Thanks Aya, for your tips on how to circumvent the 3-frame timer problem.

    Unfortunately, looks like I'll have to rearrage the HUD a bit, since the score counter is RIGHT ON TOP OF EVERYTHING
    Last edited by Thegide; 03-21-2011 at 05:49 PM.

  14. #8
    DNA Reprogrammer Thegide's Avatar
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    Hey look at that... I finally found the game I was thinking of when I was first inspired to make this series!

    Enjoy



    And now a little project update...

    Some of the features I've added:
    - a bunch o' weapons.... mine launcher, missiles, homing missiles, machine guns
    - variable damage system with display on units
    - blow up buildings and vehicles. leave nothing standing
    - objective based gameplay, with HUD features to help direct you to your mission objectives
    - checkpoints (respawn)
    - 3-tier AI on combat units

    Gameplay is pretty much taken care of. A few glitches and such to work out, but for the most part everything is working as intended. Quite a bit of UI work remains and a bit on the visuals, but if anyone is interested in beta testing, send me a message - it's playable

    Also, looks like I will be creating a custom score and sound bytes. As usual, I'm working by myself here but if you think you want to contribute, shoot me a message.

    Teaser vid coming soon...!
    Last edited by Thegide; 03-24-2011 at 10:38 PM.

  15. #9
    DNA Reprogrammer Thegide's Avatar
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    The teaser vid is live!



    As you can see, there are still some issues to figure out (such as missiles colliding with other missiles) and some overall difficulty tweaking but it's juuuust about there

    I should have some screenies up in a few days with work in progress pics of the new levels.
    Last edited by Thegide; 03-30-2011 at 07:32 PM.


  16. #10

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    Looking good. I'd suggest making the engine/rotor blade sound modifiable when you tilt the stick(s) as it sounds like a bit of a background drone if you get me.

    It's hard to judge from the video but the helicopter seems to turn a bit stiffly. It seemed like even you had trouble precisely bringing the gatling cannon onto targets without strafing. Other than that it looks ace, a lot like Desert Strike which I used to play on the Amiga many moons ago.

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  18. #11

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    hey gide,
    nice little thread

    Looking at the vid, might I suggest to add in either an explosion on player-shot projectiles on impact,
    or at least emit a small orange light on impact so besides the projectiles dissapearing it looks like an actual impact?

    good work man


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  20. #12
    DNA Reprogrammer Thegide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayneh View Post
    Looking good. I'd suggest making the engine/rotor blade sound modifiable when you tilt the stick(s) as it sounds like a bit of a background drone if you get me.

    It's hard to judge from the video but the helicopter seems to turn a bit stiffly. It seemed like even you had trouble precisely bringing the gatling cannon onto targets without strafing. Other than that it looks ace, a lot like Desert Strike which I used to play on the Amiga many moons ago.
    Right now the rotators have a pretty slow accel/decel to give it a more realistic feel. I opted away from a joystick rotator, but yeah it can be a bit tricky to point those bullets in the right direction without strafing. Is this realistic? It seems so based on my limited experience with heli sims. But is this a good thing? Maybe not... I'll see what my playtesters think. The controls are still subject to some polish if needed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Luos_83 View Post
    hey gide,
    nice little thread

    Looking at the vid, might I suggest to add in either an explosion on player-shot projectiles on impact,
    or at least emit a small orange light on impact so besides the projectiles dissapearing it looks like an actual impact?

    good work man
    Thanks Luos. I'll see what sort of special effects I can add to the bullets on impact. Right now I'm fighting with making the projectiles visible when the level lighting is up in full force, so there are already revamps on the way.

    You should stop by and see my WIP on the jungle levels - I took your tree concept and went overboard. Go ahead, ask me how I like 10,000 decos in a single level

  21. #13
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    Cool work gide!
    Only thing is that you should make a more vibrant background.
    But maybe your jungle level is already like I said

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  23. #14

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    Awesome, I've been waiting for one of these. I even discussed making a game based on desert strike a few months ago on this forum. I figured if no one else did it soon, I'd have to do it myself. I'm glad you're taking it on, it looks great.

    One suggestion - the Strike games centered the camera a little ahead of the helo, making it a little easier to see where you're going and what you're shooting. It also adds to the feel of ' flying.' Perhaps you may consider the same thing.

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  25. #15
    DNA Reprogrammer Thegide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoplyte View Post
    Awesome, I've been waiting for one of these. I even discussed making a game based on desert strike a few months ago on this forum. I figured if no one else did it soon, I'd have to do it myself. I'm glad you're taking it on, it looks great.

    One suggestion - the Strike games centered the camera a little ahead of the helo, making it a little easier to see where you're going and what you're shooting. It also adds to the feel of ' flying.' Perhaps you may consider the same thing.
    Good suggestion. I will consider it. I chose the camera positioning for a few reasons though - the HUD actually follows the heli, but for logical reasons, does not rotate with the heli (this is a rather complicated problem). If the cam were to be fixed ahead of the heli, the cam would move in circles if you simply held down R2 or L2 in a constant turn - but perhaps the turning speed is slow enough for this not to be obnoxious. The other reason is that enemies can approach you from any direction, and a centered cam lets you see incoming attacks from all angles. Of course, you could rationalize that a real pilot has poor visibility from behind....

    Ideally, I would have gone a 3/4 view camera for extra visibility, but with the HUD in place, it's just ugly to try that.

  26. #16
    Reality Escape Artist Dortr's Avatar
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    Wow Gide this does look awesome and I wanna test it!
    I know this is probably too soon to ask but have you thought of co-op support or possibly vs maps?

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  28. #17
    DNA Reprogrammer Thegide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dortr View Post
    Wow Gide this does look awesome and I wanna test it!
    I know this is probably too soon to ask but have you thought of co-op support or possibly vs maps?
    Absolutely. I have a versus arena that I sketched out over a month ago, but the eventual intent is to have some sort of deathmatch or king-of-the-hill or capture the flag gameplay. As for co-op, there's a possibility I might support it in the mission levels, but there are a number of difficulties in implementing this. For one, I'd have to eliminate the HUD, and there would be difficulty balancing to consider.

    The versus level could probably be set to have multiple maps, randomly selected at the level's start. Good idea!

    On a side note, I just started work on the fourth mission level today and the movie intro is looking phenomenal. Things are progressing nicely, and I may have found some help to speed things along.
    Last edited by Thegide; 04-28-2011 at 06:58 PM.

  29. #18
    Dxcam1
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    This will be out once servers are up?

  30. #19
    DNA Reprogrammer Thegide's Avatar
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    Soon, I hope, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I'll will be sure to update this thread as I near completion, so please check back often!

  31. #20
    Dxcam1
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    I wish I could heart you.

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