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Author Topic: Magikoopa Security Force (Back from the Dead!)  (Read 16698 times)

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Offline Magnemania

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Magikoopa Security Force (Back from the Dead!)
« on: June 07, 2013, 12:45:20 PM »
BUGGLY-WUGGLY-WOO!



WE'RE BACK!

After a three-year hiatus, Magikoopa Security Force has returned!  I've spent the past month-and-a-half working nonstop in secret to completely rehaul the game.

In Magikoopa Security Force, one does not play the hackneyed role of a so-called 'hero' stampeding through the property of others, stealing whatever they don't smash.  Instead, we don the noble robes of a Magikoopa rightfully defending our world from intruders.  Summon Minions to deal with a rising tide of hostile Shy Guys attempting to plunder your resources and weave magical spells to turn the tide of battle.

When working in tandem with your troops, strategy is just as important as action, and your quick-thinking and decision-making determine whether you defend an area with aplomb or barely make it out with a few coins.  18+ unique minions all have special roles to fill, and resources and time must be managed to ensure that your defenses can push back your attackers.

Version 0.8 Download: http://www.mfgg.net/index.php?act=resdb&param=02&c=2&id=29243
(read the readme file for controls.  Magikoopa Security Force is best controlled with the mouse and keyboard, but can also be played with the mouse alone)
(If you've managed to retain an old MSF save file, I am afraid that it is somewhat incompatible with this version.  The game will attempt to convert your save file, but it will result in a broken save.)

This update introduces (most) of World 4, rebalances all the minions, and revamps the spell system.  The full changelog follows here (Warning, it's very big):

(click to show/hide)

But let's get to the theme of this update: the rework for Super Spells!

Spells were a bit awkward in the previous versions of Magikoopa Security Force.  The regular attack could be cast from anywhere, and the player was locked in place while doing it, so casting it constantly was always the best way to go outside of boss battles.  Super Spells cost points to cast, which were almost always better used towards a permanent boost to your army (summoning Minions) rather than a bit of burst damage.  This rework is designed to solve both of these problems:

The standard attack now has a minimum range.  After traveling about a third of the screen in distance, they fizzle out, so one has to get vaguely near Shy Guys in order to land hits on them.  This minimum range does not apply to other spells or summoning Minions, so there's not too much need to worry about those.

Spells now use an FP bar.  The bar only fills up when you aren't performing any magic, so it's best to stay back and let minions do all the work whenever possible.  The FP bar takes about 100 seconds to fill to the maximum of 100 FP, though realistically it's going to take about twice as long, as it is mandatory to take some time summoning Minions and attacking.

Only one Super Spell can be equipped at a time.  The spells in this update (outside of a few secret ones that are obtained by fulfilling special conditions) are:

- Burning Barrage / 33 FP / Shoot a barrage of 10 fireballs with light spread.
- Frosty Flurry / 33 FP / Shoot a barrage of 10 ice shots with high spread.
- Shell Shot / 50 FP / Deploy a sliding Koopa shell.  Provides extra points when hitting enough enemies.
- Wizard Warp / 20 FP / Teleport to a new position and leave behind a temporary mirror image.  The mirror image mimics your regular attacks.
- Power Points / 50 FP / Increase your current point count by 50%.

Outside of Burning Barrage (which is obtained after defeating the new World 1 miniboss), these spells are all purchased in the Army screen for coins using a prototype shop system.  There are also three new optional Minions available through the shop system, and they become available for purchase after major bosses.

Features incoming in the next update:
- A proper shop system.
- New spells to purchase.
- New minions to purchase.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 05:29:36 PM by Magnemania »



Magikoopa Security Force!
  Because it's time to fight for Bowser!

Offline Magnemania

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo Available)
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 09:08:25 PM »
DOUBLE POST MEGA-UPDATE SORTA



Having reclaimed your island for now, our valiant Magikoopa hero takes off in an airship, heading towards Bowser's Castle to request reinforcements.  As it would turn out, the invasion is not confined to Temperate Isle, and even the skies are hostile to you.  Fly Guys now hover above the Shy Guy horde, but the Monty Moles crewing the airship may prove to be more than adequate counters to these helicoptering nuisances.



With even larger airborne armies (which include, bizarrely enough, Shy Guys falling from the sky) en route with the Airship, no choice remains but to land at the nearest available landmass. Welcome to Arid Isle. Boasting a shape that may or may not be a hint to a character on the island, this dry, dry land is quite inhospitable to your current troop lineup. Perhaps you'll find some new Minions in the desert?



Unfortunately, this island is far more dangerous than your temperate home. Perhaps the most lethal of these dangers would be the Pyro Guy: an incendiary Shy Guy that roasts all that would attack it. The good news? When one of your minions hits it, it dies. The bad news? It's not the only thing that dies in that collision.



As you proceed further into the desert, more of its inhabitants begin to assault your defenses.  Bandits may not appear to be as menacing as the volatile Pyro Guys, but they are just dangerous, if not moreso, to your coin block than any enemy before it.  Bandits have three hitpoints, the most in the game so far, and they move twice as fast upon losing one.  If they make it to your coin block, these greedy little cheats will steal up to three coins if you don't defeat them rapidly!

And in another note entirely, I've decided on a tileset! Instead of a Yoshi's Island tileset, which doesn't have particularly many biomes available and tends not to have that level of surface precision that makes on-the-spot troop deployments reliable, I've gone with DeeY's. So all credit to DrageezeeY for these tile graphics! They're pretty darn spiffy, even when recolored!

NEW MINIONS

Monty Mole: Found crewing the airship you took off of Temperate Isle, these become your first ranged Minion. While they excel at taking out enemies that cannot be attacked by your close-ranged army, they're quite terrible for everything else. Their attack speed is on par with a Goomba, despite being three times the price, and they burrow underground when enemies approach, rendering them useless until the Shy Guys are gone. Still, they're the only ranged units you've got for now, and they're the best Anti-Air you can get for a long while.

Pokey: The first minion acquired in the desert, these living cacti serve almost as direct upgrades to the Goomba. They wander helplessly off cliffs and damage enemies on contact, like the Goomba, but their spikes prevent them from taking stomp damage, and they cannot be destroyed by the simpler offensive enemies, like the Pyro Guy. Their attack is different to that of their melee peers; instead of taking damage and being stunned for a short period of time, they use up segments when attacking enemies. When they have lost all but their head segment, they cease to damage enemies, though the tougher offensive enemies can dispatch the head. After a certain amount of time with less than the maximum segments, they begin to regenerate their segments at a reasonably-fast pace. As a result, a single Pokey can do the job of three Goombas at once, without the risk of being stomped or burned.

Spike:  This minion serves as a less gimmicky alternative to the Monty Mole.  Unlike Monty Moles, Spikes do not hide when enemies get near, simply continuing to attack.  Unfortunately, that does make them quite stompable, and a single Green or Pyro Guy can make short work of this medium-price unit.  Their spiked projectiles are also quite different to the thrown rocks of a Monty Mole, as they do not target enemies; instead, they just roll down the terrain until they hit a wall or an enemy, falling off cliffs at a high speed.  These Spikes are based off of their representation in the New Super Mario Bros. series; hence their projectile's vulnerability to gravity, their refusal to walk around, and their blue hairdo.

Now, time to go 'vacation' for a good one and a half weeks so that the second Isle can lay stagnant for a while.  Whoo!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 08:08:15 AM by Magnemania »

Magikoopa Security Force!
  Because it's time to fight for Bowser!

Offline EvilMariobot

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo Available)
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 07:11:49 PM »
(I've decided not to bother with bios for the minions and Shy Guys anymore.  New minions/enemies will be shown off in their posts.)
Well, you erased the first minions/Shy Guys in this post.

Offline Magnemania

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo Available)
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 08:52:57 PM »
Y'know what happens when you're trapped in the wilderness with only a source of electricity and a laptop to sustain you?

Productivity skyrockets.

And now, minibosses!



Hearing of a fellow Magikoopa in the desert, our protagonist sets off to enlist her aid.  Unfortunately, Kamilda doesn't appreciate intruders.

Kamilda also speaks during the battle.  Now-don't behead me for this-but she currently uses Game Maker's standard message system for her speech.  It's purely a placeholder; I intend to get a proper dialogue system working in the future (the game'll have a story with dialogue, y'see).

And on the topic of unfinished things, spells!  In the future, Kamilda opens up as a shopkeeper, selling you spells for use in battle!  For now, though, she just gives you Burning Barrage upon defeat.  Burning Barrage is a great spell for those situations where a modest pile of enemies slip past your defenses.  It takes a bit more time to cast than a regular spell, but it shoots out a salvo of deadly fireballs!  S-ranking minibosses will always give you a free spell, though, and Kamilda's is Ztar Ztorm, a move that...actually, she uses it in the fight against you.  Go find out what it does for yourself. 

A bit more explanation on the health bar: it only shows up for boss and miniboss battles.  I felt it would be a bit silly to have a health bar in the regular stages, where enemies 'ought not to be attacking you in the first place.  Bosses always make an effort to target you, though, and the only way to fail a miniboss fight is by health depletion-miniboss battles don't even have a point to defend, only a boss to defeat.  The ranking one gets for defeating a miniboss is determined entirely by one's remaining health at the end of the fight, earning an S-rank for a perfect run.  Additionally, you now have five health pips instead of four.  Gamble Guy's fight is now quite a bit easier in general, as his coin toss is a bit slower, and the extra hit point can help quite a bit.  He's also incapable of getting combos towards the beginning of the fight, too.



SpooOOooOOooky Ghost Guys don't act at all like they do in Yoshi's Island, instead slowly moving through the air while having two health points.



One can actually select/organize minions, now!  This screen can be gotten to by pressing Enter on the World Map, or by clicking the Army tab on the world map, once it shows up.  Left click a button or press its numerical hotkey, then click a minion, and you get that minion on that button!  Easy as 3.141591337!

New way to use your keyboard!  In addition to the mouse, WASD can now move one's Magikoopa.  Quite handy for dodging around attacks, particularly in miniboss fights.  It's still quite possible to do all your actions with the mouse, though.

Other small changes
- It is now necessary to make at least one Goomba to S-rank the first level.
- There are only six slots for minions, now.  There was room for eight in the last demo, despite there only being three minions.
- When starting a level with a new minion, the new minion temporarily joins your army and fills the first empty slot in your button setup.  If all six slots are full, it replaces the sixth.  If you beat the level, the minion stays in the slot it took and becomes available in your army...manager...thingymajiggy.
- Levels have some new tags: Jump, Pipe, Air, and Fire.  Ensure that you bring Minions capable of dealing with the Shy Guys corresponding to those tags!
- Goombas are now slightly less likely to get stomped.
- You can now sidegrade the Piranha Plant.  How?  It's a secret to everybody.

NEW MINIONS

Chain Chomp:  While pricey, this minion can do massive damage to closely-packed enemies.  After a short 'charging' period, he attacks the closest enemy to him and strikes in a line, turning any unfortunate Shy Guy in his path into Chain Chow.  He's immune to fire and jumpers, too.  Unlike most minions, he's placed inside walls and floors, rather than on top of them.

- - -

But for the part you might find the most interest in: it seems to be that a necromancer going by the name of "Ghoul Guy" might be the fellow responsible for the Shy Guy forces in the desert.  It's about time you folks stormed his lair and put an end to his shenanigans, don'tcha think?  I've gotta warn you, though, that undead are pretty tough to kill.  Particularly in the Paper Mario series.  Not sure how that's relevant, but I'm too lazy to backspace that away, so...YOLO, as the kids say.

Incidentally, pressing "D" will automatically D-rank a level from the World Map.  If you want to skip past levels you've already completed, that's your ticket through.  However,

DOWNLOAD WORLD 1-2 DEMO: http://www.mediafire.com/?tnr9ks9xgtx77mk

Magikoopa Security Force!
  Because it's time to fight for Bowser!

Offline AuraLancer

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available)
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2013, 07:29:56 AM »
Hey, this game is starting to get interesting.

Offline Magnemania

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available)
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2013, 06:09:06 PM »
Well, it seems that topics on the Fangame Showcase tend not to get too much traffic, so I've been condensing every two posts on MFGG into one here, and, well...now there's a small post of new content with a slightly-improved new version to download and a MASSIVE list of changes that aren't in said version.  Ho...ho...

So!  Turns out that if one stays inside one's dorm all day in college, one magically loses all willpower to work on anything!  Games and schoolwork both!  It's remarkable!  Turns out that I need to leave my room with my laptop and code in public to get any work done; hence this mild actually pretty sizable burst of activity.



also that's an old screenshot because the color palette for the player is a bit nicer now

NEW MINIONS

Bullet Bill: Rather like Piranha Plants, Bullet Bills are restricted to certain spots on the map; they can only be loaded directly into cannons.  After being loaded into a cannon, they scan for enemies in front of 'em, and launch out to hit all enemies in a line.  Unlike most minions, they're one-use; you pop 'em in a cannon and they pop out later.  However, they are extremely cheap, to the point of the time cost of placing them in the cannons being as expensive as the point cost, and (unlike Piranha Plants) you can load as many Bullet Bills into a single cannon as you wish.  Keep in mind, though: they're not at all economical for a long-term defense, and they'll be perfectly happy to fire off at a single enemy if it remains in their sights for long enough.  They can also be stomped, though this should rarely be an issue.

Apart from that, this isn't a very content-heavy update...but the game's been polished up a bit.  There's a proper save system now!  It doesn't use Game Maker's default save system, so saves should be compatible with future versions of the game, and the filesize of these saves is pretty dang tiny-around 200 bytes!

There's also a few sound effect additions and now you can sorta chain spells together now it's kinda hard to explain eh.  There's just a few mild fixes everywhere.  If you've played the previous demo, there's really not much reason to download this one.  The download's in the first post.

- - -

Well, I'm sure that this will confuse all of you folks that read this post in the far future, but we've had an important American holiday last week, a holiday that may, perhaps, be more American than our Independence Day.  It's a time when people come together in droves to partake in the holiday festivities, a time where gluttony is not only accepted, but encouraged!










I speak, of course, of Black Friday.
And in celebration of Black Friday we're having huge, huge deals all day long! We're slashing prices left and right!

Piranha Plants: 100 80 points

Monty Moles:  60 50 points

Pokeys:  80 70 points

Chain-Chomps:  100 70 points

And that's not all, ladies and gentlemen!  Has your Goomba been stomped on by a bouncing masked marauder?  Has a trio of living fireballs lethally set your Piranha Plant on fire?  We now offer a 25% refund on dead minions!  Goombas give you 5 points back!  Koopas give you 10!  Piranha Plants give you a whopping 20!  These deals don't get better!

The train doesn't stop there!  We're slashing BOSS HEALTH, too!  Kamilda has been reduced to 60 hit points (from 80), severely reducing the amount of time she spends in the air (which is generally her hardest phase from what I've gathered) and Ghoul Guy, that frail necromancer, now has only 40 hit points!

We're so crazy about lowering numbers that we're even reducing individual STAGE DIFFICULTY!  Turbulent Travels (the first airship level) now has a much sparser first wave of Fly Guys to get you ready to fight 'em at a more realistic rate.  Spiky Stadium (Now renamed Cactus Canyon in celebration of its new difficulty reduction) now starts you off with more points and doesn't have as many Fly Guys.  And the new partial refunds-on-death system makes Arid Isle a heck of a lot easier!



And after being completely impossible to rank well in for more than half a year, the new Piranha Plant price reduction now makes S-ranking Brutal Bonus Battlefield (formerly Crazy Cliffs) possible!


...There's also a good deal of progress on Submerged Isle, though it isn't quite halfway done yet.

Bullet Bills may have not been completely game-breaking in Airborne Battery, but Bombardment Beach will certainly make you reconsider tossing them!



It also introduces water and Scuba Guys.  Water has no real effect on your minions (though some minions can only be placed in water) but Shy Guys fall more slowly when submerged, resulting in very large jump arcs for Green Guys.  Scuba Guys act like normal Shy Guys on land, but they can swim through the water, allowing them to take separate paths from their ground-bound brethren.  Why does an air tank allow them to swim when all Mario characters can breathe underwater?  Why doesn't it!

While one isn't likely to notice it in this level, the player character also has lower acceleration underwater; once they're moving at full pelt, they move just as fast as they would above water, but it takes a while for them to get to top speed, because...magic.

Another important feature in Bombardment Beach is the introduction of Balloon Guys without any other type of air support; while bringing along a few Monty Moles is always recommended, it's quite possible to hold them off yourself using only your standard attack, allowing you to pool all your resources into ground defenses.

Of course, what is a water world without Cheep-Cheeps?



...They're introduced in a proper underwater level, where they're essentially Goombas with no concept of gravity.  They're also completely unstompable underwater.  In the level shown, though, they have a more important feature in play: if an enemy is sufficiently close to them, but on land above them, they can leap out of the water to hit the enemy, acting as a cheap, centralized source of damage.

Of course, that's not mentioning the other mechanic introduced in that screenshot!  Spear Guys are the second Shy Guy type you encounter in Submerged Isle, and they play an 'annoying' role similar to that of Bandits.  Unlike in Yoshi's Island, where their shield is impervious to all assaults, the Koopa Troop is capable of knocking off the shields with a single hit.  However, they get enraged when their shield is off, jumping up and tossing their spear at the player after a short delay.  It's quite possible for them to stomp a Minion on the way down, but the real threat is the spear: if it hits you, it'll interrupt whatever spell your casting and knock you back a short distance.  They can be dodged by moving or hovering out of their reach, but the spears have pretty good range; the best way to deal with Spear Guys is to defeat them quickly before they get the chance to throw their spears, and Pokeys or spammy minions like Goombas/Koopas are great for the job.

Of course, there's one other Mario enemy that's haunted the oceans of more games than one could count:



BLOOOOOOOOOOPEEEEEEEEER
NEW MINIONS

Cheep-Cheep: Also known as "Cheep Cheeps" or "Those fish things in every Mario game", these aquatic minions serve as the spammable infantry of underwater areas.  They wander back and forth in a manner similar to Goombas, turning around upon hitting a wall or the edge of the screen.  Rather than deploying a mass of them on a single row, it's recommended to scatter them across various heights in large water levels, as Scuba Guys tend to have bizarre swim patterns that involve a lot of diagonal movement.  In amphibious levels, they can also be put near the surface of small pools, where they jump out and hit any unfortunate Shy Guys walking above them.  They aren't quite as spammable in this role, as they're poor judges of when to leap out of the water, frequently missing Shy Guys that move in nonstandard ways.

Blooper:  Whereas Cheep-Cheeps are the logical underwater analogue to Goombas, Bloopers behave a bit like Pokeys.  They fit the standard tower defense trope of "bouncing-shot tower".  They bob up and down in place when undisturbed, but when a Shy Guy walks into their range, they shoot towards it after a short delay.  After hitting their initial target, Bloopers can charge towards up to two more targets, potentially hitting three Shy Guys in one sweep.  Against spread-out Shy Guys, they're not worth the cost, hitting only one at a time.  Furthermore, they cannot bounce to the same Shy Guy they just hit, so they can't kill a three hit-point Shy Guy like a Bandit in one strike; however, they can bounce back to their initial target if they hit a different one on the first bounce.

- - -

So most of these changes should make the game a lot easier (especially post-Gamble Guy), as I was seeing people have a lot of trouble with the desert stages in both personal tests with friends and the NCFC livestream.  I'd like to point out that I have personally S-ranked every stage (I don't consider a stage complete until I've S-ranked it), but I want the game to be playable by everyone without inducing too much frustration.  It's even possible to lose nearly 200 points worth of minions in the first desert level and still succeed! (though you won't get a good rank)  The cheaper Monty Moles and Pokeys should also make those troops a bit more attractive outside of Pyro Guy levels.  Monty Moles share a price and attack rate with Spikes, but Monty Moles can target anywhere on the screen and can target (and prioritize) airborne enemies, whereas Spikes can still operate when enemies are near them and are a bit more reliable than Monty Moles when it comes to hitting their target.  Pokeys do roughly as much damage as 1.5 Koopas, but don't have any negative consequences for being hit from above (and are immune to fire), balancing them for use in pits and places with offensive Shy Guys.

However, you won't be seeing a release with these improvements anytime soon, as I've gotten severe designer's block with this guy:



The plan is for him to fire torpedoes that look and behave like the homing Bullet Bills from Sunshine and to have those torpedoes be altered to home in on HIM after being hit by a minion.  However, I'm really not sure what to do with his exact attack pattern, and I'm wondering if having a single attack would be too jarring compared to the rather complex bosses that precede him.

By the way, I've selected his name very carefully using the same system that the smaller two enemy types he's based on use.  Wanna take a guess?  Bit of a hint for ya: the name contains both a word and a standard English name.

Furthermore, I think I might temporarily stop working on World 3 to work on a bit of an expansion pack in the spirit of the season, but I'm not entirely sure as to whether I'll go through with it.  If I do make it, it won't be incredibly dramatic; I plan to do it in a single week, so it won't introduce any new minions or Shy Guy types, and it won't be compatible with the main game.  Making levels in Magikoopa Security Force is actually quite easy; it's coding the Shy Guys/Minions and balancing the Shy Guys/Minions/spawning schedule that takes up most of the time, alongside (of course) the bosses.

Magikoopa Security Force!
  Because it's time to fight for Bowser!

Offline TailsMK4

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available, Now with Save System!)
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2013, 08:12:15 AM »
With MKF not being playable in some areas on my computer (the Boom Boom battle comes to mind), I was hoping I wouldn't have the same problem with this one. The game worked fine for me until the battle with Kamilda. When she casts that blue spell a second time, the game crashes before the spell is finished. I do not know what the deal is with Windows 8, but it tends to crash when something is constantly repeated in Game Maker games, every game besides a Game Maker game works perfectly for me. It worked fine even when Shy Guys and Bandits kept repeating, but the game crashes when Kamilda casts the blue spell a second time in a row. Maybe have the fire sound play once per spell?

The post in case anyone is curious about why Windows 8 doesn't work well with GM's sound:

http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=561533

EDIT: Since the MKF dev team actually is already aware of the issue, I think the fix may be simpler to do for this game:


http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=595889

(A possible solution to the sound issue)


Basically, any repetition of sounds or even a single sound crashes a Game Maker game on Win 8 that used to work on Win 7 or XP. This apparently is caused by a bug in DirectSound/DirectMusic in Win 8. When people used a different DLL instead of DirectSound, they reported no crashes. The coding seems to be different when using a different DLL, but since this project is small (at least compared to MKF), maybe perhaps it won't be too much trouble to use a different DLL for the game?
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 08:35:30 AM by TailsMK4 »

Offline AuraLancer

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available, Now with Save System!)
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2013, 01:32:10 PM »
That's some great info there, thanks for the links.

Offline TailsMK4

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available, Now with Save System!)
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 10:43:35 PM »
So I decided to give the mini-boss another try, and I managed to get through a battle without crashing. I got hit twice, though, so sadly I didn't S Rank it. Now that I know it's possible to go through the stage (it helps that Kamilda wanted to keep firing shells, instead of trying to spam the blue fireball spell). So I will be able to continue with the game now, but I may as well try to S Rank to get that other spell (had to dodge it, but man that last spell looked useful).

EDIT: S Ranked. Now to see the other spell in action...

EDIT2: I usually press Esc if I need to restart a level, and I noticed that my two spells are gone when I reloaded the file, though fortunately I had placed the Ztar spell into the sixth slot. But, I will need to beat Kamilda again to regain the spells. Just thought I'd mention this glitch.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 11:04:24 PM by TailsMK4 »

Offline Magnemania

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available, Now with Save System!)
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2014, 07:02:53 AM »
Thanks for the discovery, TailsMK4!  I'm now in the process of externalizing all the sounds in the game with FMOD to resolve that issue.  To be honest, the only reason I hadn't done so from the start was pure laziness, but if Windows 8 has an issue with GM's sound, I suppose I've got to fix it.

...And I'm a bit embarrassed about the spells thing.  I had completely forgotten to use a for loop when loading the spells, so it only loads and sets the 50th spell slot (which doesn't even exist, but Game Maker doesn't like to throw errors at you for things like that) rather than the two existing ones..  Whoops.  I would recommend designating a slot for Burning Barrage, though, too; while not necessary, it's extremely handy against certain Shy Guy types/formations, and 4 tends to be the maximum amount of minions one uses in a single level.

Magikoopa Security Force!
  Because it's time to fight for Bowser!

Offline TailsMK4

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available, Now with Save System!)
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2014, 12:22:15 PM »
Yeah, I've been experimenting with minions and such, so I'm understanding more about what minions won't work in some situations. I can usually take out the Shy Guys that set themselves on fire with my spells, but sometimes the wave is too big that they take out my Koopas, and a huge wave of regular Shy Guys come charging in with my minion count down. I'm learning how to better manage costs with minions. So, I think I can say for sure that I probably don't even use more than 3-4 types of minions, cause I usually can find where best to use my default spell on the current wave. So, I'll battle the mini-boss again and set my spells to another slot so I can still use them even when I have to restart.

I do have to say that "Air" needs to be displayed for the levels after Kamilda since I have to deal with the Ghost Guys, and in the cave, I'm also dealing with Fly Guys. The cave level is still stumping me, though I think I almost have it.

EDIT: 100% completed. All S Ranks and Gold Castles. The second boss was very interesting...then that mention about the Undead gave me a hint that made the battle much easier. The level afterwards wasn't too tricky as long as you were able to build up your defenses quickly. Looking forward to the next update, and I may yet have another surprise in store...
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 03:01:58 PM by TailsMK4 »

Offline Magnemania

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available, Now with Save System!)
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 09:09:16 PM »
WARNING: THIS IS POST DOES NOT CONTAIN A RELEASE.  MUCH OF THE CONTENT MENTIONED WITHIN THIS POST IS UNFINISHED, AND A BIT OF IT IS STILL IN THE THEORETICAL PHASE.

I was going to see if I could wait to finish the world before the next update, but I figured that it'd be nice to have a bit of a snapshot into what's going on right now.

- Mystery Bullet Bill miniboss is finished.  His/Her/Its name is Submarine Sam!  Y'know how Kamilda is sorta the reverse of a Flunky Boss?  This fight's the reverse of a Cowardly Boss.

- Windows 8 is apparently allergic to Game Maker sounds, so I've externalized all the sounds.  FMOD plays 'em now.  It should fix the problem.  As another result, there might be separate sound and music volume sliders in an options menu in the future, and anyone can skin the sounds, should they want to.  Not entirely sure if anyone wants to.  Never seen someone skin sounds before.  But it's possible!   You can make your character quote Macho Man Randy Savage every time you cast a spell, with the right wav files.  Again, not sure if anyone wants to skin sound effects.

- Save files now store coins.  Still can't spend 'em, though.

- The Overworld theme is now a remix.  There is also a Ghost theme that plays in levels where Ghost Guys are especially dominant; however, not all levels that contain Ghost Guys will play the theme.

- The boss fight in World 2 has been changed up a bit; the boss's minions move at half speed, but only grant you 1 point when defeated.  It changes the tone of the boss fight, but it doesn't really change the difficulty all that much.  The undead are still undead.

- Airships now bob up and down in a behavior similar to Super Mario Bros. 3; it shouldn't be dramatic enough to interfere with aiming/placing minions, though.  The pipes on airships are now capable of supporting Piranha Plants.

But uh...I think this picture might be interesting.  (By the way, anyone know a good free image host?  Apparently imageshack is rethinking their policy of being free, and this image got compressed rather terribly)



So there's a few things to notice in this rather blurry image.  First of all, there's a timer now; it tracks how much time remains in the level until the last Shy Guy is spawned.  I was considering making some sort of FINAL WAVE deal in the manner of Plants vs. Zombies, but due to the continuous nature of the waves, I'd have to manually place a marker in each level to determine the final wave, whereas finding the spawn time of the final Shy Guy can be done automatically.

There's also a large fireball on the top-left.  That sorta corresponds with the next thing.

A big part of Magikoopa Security Force's theme is the idea that one's setting up a Mario level by plopping enemies down in a strategic fashion.  The problem is, the most effective placement for minions doesn't reflect Mario level design in the slightest.  Each level has one or two minions that truly excel at stopping the Shy Guy horde dead in its tracks, so the player needs to find those minions and spam them to get an S-rank.  That's how World 1 and World 2 were designed.

As I'm making these World 3 levels, I'm trying to mess around with different combinations of unit types.  I'm placing Pokeys in the pits, Koopas on the rises in the back, Cheep-Cheeps in whatever row of the water has the most Scuba Guys, Monty Moles right under the ? block.  It's rather fun.  It adds a lot of replayability.

Then I had a friend test the levels for me and they beat almost all of them effortlessly by spamming Cheep-Cheeps.

Here's the thing: Cheep-Cheeps are not all that powerful.  They've got the attack power of a Goomba, can swim, and are unlikely to be stomped.  That's pretty much their whole shtick.  However, simply by being slightly better than any other minion available to you, they made every level they could be used in far, far easier.  The whole affair really irritated me and I've ended up bringing about a massive gameplay change that I've been fearing since the very day I started building the first test level.

There are now individual unit caps.

Specifically, you can only have 5 of each unit on the field at one time.  In the picture, Koopa Troopas and Monty Moles are already maxed out; if I want to spend my remaining points, I'll have to make a Piranha Plant or summon some Goombas.

I didn't really want to do this.  I've always considered the gimmick of forcing the player to avoid specialization to be a failure on the designer's part to balance the game.  But I've come to realize that there's a lot of benefits to having unit caps:

1.  Individual minions are now more important, making strategy a far more important element of the game.

2.  Paradoxically, minions are also far more expendable: losing a minion does not permanently affect your final army composition.

3.  Goombas are far more usable, since they can be placed in dangerous situations that one wouldn't want a more valuable minion to be in.

4.  Minions with similar niches can be used in the same level.  Without a unit cap, Goombas or Koopas are always directly superior to each other; in some levels, Goombas dominate, and in others, Koopas are best.  Spikes and Monty Moles are in a similar situation.  Now they can both be used to create an optimal defense.

5.  World 1 is far more interesting, as the optimal placements for Goombas and Koopas are completely different and one has a reason to use both.  Using Piranha Plants in less-than-optimal positions is also possible, as the points have nowhere else to go.  World 2, on the other hand, shouldn't be all too different; rather than loosely limiting one's ability to spam Pokeys/Monty Moles/Chain Chomps by making them rather expensive, they're all cheaper and have the hard limit of the population cap; you might have to put a few Goombas/Koopas/Piranha Plants in the line of fire, though.

6. Piranha Plants now max out as soon as all pipes are filled (they still max out at 5 if there are more than 5 pipes, though that could change).  No more accidental having-a-piranha-plant-selected-and-not-being-able-to-place-it!

7.  The levels are going to be balanced towards having the caps, which means that one can afford to lose minions to Green/Pyro Guys and still survive the final waves.  Similarly, doing really well on the beginning waves won't make the end a snoozefest.

8.  There'll be a lot more room for creativity after one gets their sixth minion, since using all six slots is appropriate.

9.  A new use for coins will exist in purchasing higher unit caps.  For an exorbitant cost, one will be able to buy extensions to the global minion cap from the shop, once it's implemented.  To give an example of how it would work: for ~1000 coins, one could extend the cap to 6 minions of each type.  After buying that, one can spend ~2000 coins to extend the cap to 7 minions.  The price would keep increasing until the maximum possible cap of 10 minions of each type.  10 was actually my original planned cap, but it had very little effect on spamming outside of the final minute of the stage.

10.  Points are no longer quite as precious.  It's quite possible to max out every usable minion type you have, so you can afford to 'waste' points on temporary benefits like spells and self-destructive minions.

And on the topic of spells...

When I had originally envisioned Magikoopa Security Force, there were eight slots for minions/spells.  Ideally, one would carry 4 minions and 4 spells.  As the game progressed, I came to realize that it'd be better to focus almost entirely on the minions, delegating the Magikoopa to a support role.  By the time I had actually added spells, I came to realize that there as little reason to have more than one at a time; when you were in trouble, you use a spell.  Nothing especially complicated.  So only one slot tended to be used for spells, if the player even used spells at all.

To free up that slot, I've added a special new spell slot that holds a single spell.  Spells will behave almost exactly as they do in the current release; it's just that one can only have one at a time and that they won't take up a minion slot.  A spell can be cast by holding Shift and Right-Clicking.  If someone would like to suggest an alternative way to cast spells, feel free to.

- - -

This'll probably be the last wave of major gameplay changes for this update.  I'm going to focus now on completing World 3 and getting a release out.  Hopefully, this release will add some more spells to help test this system, too.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 09:16:07 PM by Magnemania »

Magikoopa Security Force!
  Because it's time to fight for Bowser!

Offline AuraLancer

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available, Now with Save System!)
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2014, 09:34:29 PM »
I'm looking forward to it. I usually don't care for tower defense games but this one has changed my mind.

Offline Magnemania

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available, Now with Save System!)
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2014, 08:28:08 PM »
This'll probably be the last wave of major gameplay changes for this update.  I'm going to focus now on completing World 3 and getting a release out.

OH MAGNEMANIA YOU SILLY JOKER


I've been tossing around the idea of an endless mode for a while now, and with the timer/reworked spells/unit caps added in, it seemed to be appropriate to bring it to fruition.  Each Isle will have one Survival level that contains all the enemies specific to that Isle, and there might be more mixed Survival levels in the future.

Getting far in these levels is a great way to rack up coins, and you'll need 'em, 'cause spells are gonna be expensive.  I'm talkin' potentially thousands of coins.  Thankfully, the save system in the new version will save your coins.  Existing save files will still work, they'll just start at 0 coins.  Speakin' of spells, there are two new spells to be added to this update; the two of Kamilda's spells that you've already seen.  Freezing Flurry is rather similar to Burning Barrage, but the ice shots have more spread and are capable of damaging Pyro Guys, and the cooldown (ohoho) is slightly shorter.  Shell Shot fires a shell at the enemy Shy Guys, giving bonus points for every additional Shy Guy hit.

It would also turn out that Super Princess Peach's art style is far closer to Yoshi's Island's than SMB3's is, so the sprites for Pokeys and Spikes now come from Super Princess Peach.  Spikes are also more likely to get stomped and can't damage ground enemies with their spiked ball prior to it being thrown (not necessarily due to the sprite change, but due to balance issues).  Pokeys are unchanged.

As of this post, I'm only three levels, two minions, and one boss away from World 3 being done.  Can't believe that the last real content update was back in July.  Tentative release date: Ides of March.

Magikoopa Security Force!
  Because it's time to fight for Bowser!

Offline EvilMariobot

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Re: Magikoopa Security Force (Demo 2 Available, Now with Save System!)
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2014, 05:22:27 PM »
Well, That certainly gets crazy the further in you go.

 

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