Play Matt's First Action Game: Mayhem Matt for Free!

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Mayhem Matt: A platform/SHMUP with destructible terrain!Mayhem Matt: A platform/SHMUP with destructible terrain!Here you go, folks: A Matt Barton original! I'm still considering putting in a few more bells and whistles, but I think it's pretty fun now. Are you good enough to beat level 5 and save the planet? Just don't take too long, or you'll get the ground knocked out under your feet. Enjoy!

Instructions: Run, jump, and shoot! Shoot down the planes before they destroy the earth (literally). Collect power ups for weapon and speed boosts. If you get hit with a bullet or fall to your death, you'll lose a life -- and your collected powerups!

Arrow keys move, space bar shoots.

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mayhem_1.5.zip2.46 MB

Comments

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Pretty good first try, I

Pretty good first try, I liked the mish mash of games... a Littel breakout (but against you) small bit of platformer (jumping), some space invaders.

I gotta say it all combines much better than I would have thought. And something that as you say, is pretty fun, as if I aid the above line (all the combining) I would have said bah.... took me a few tries to get to level 4, havent beat 5.

and the bad. The jumping is a bit "hangy" when the blocks get blown away and there are 3 blocks gone its a bit hard to jump

I think you have some creativity in ya..

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Thanks, Clok. It's definitely

Thanks, Clok. It's definitely a bit rough in places. I wasn't sure how much was really noticeable or just perfectionism, so I put it out there in hopes of getting good feedback like yours.

I'm not quite sure what's making the jumping hangy. It's a bit hard to tell what's actually a coding issue on my end and what just might be limitations to the gamemaker program. I'm suspecting its the former, so I'm going to go back in and try to smooth it out a bit. It would help if you told me exactly what you meant by "hangy," as in - is it a collision detection issue or a button not working as you expected?

I think I'd like to redo the game in higher resolution, too, with a bigger play zone above you (so the aliens don't seem right on top of you). I'd also like to change their paths so that as they're weeded out, they go all the way across the screen rather than stay in their small zones. I'm not quite sure how to do that. Then again, I guess it does add to the challenge. Maybe I just need to add some solid platforms or such so that you can jump across the screen even if all the destructible blocks are gone. Yeah! That sounds like the right approach. Just need to fix the jumping if at all possible.

I could also add some heart power-ups. Oh, and I need to make it so that you and aliens die if you collide with them.

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Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
Cool ideas in the game!

Destructible platforms and Galaxians-style gameplay... I've played a lot of arcade-style games, but I can't think of any games I've ever seen that resemble this. It's such a deceptively simple idea that I'm surprised no one has ever thought of this! The surprising thing is that it does indeed work as a playably fun game.

The core gameplay mechanic is fun, and well worth refining into a great game!

Some ideas:

1) Power-ups. Triple-fire, bombs, etc. The usual shooter power-ups. Perhaps a power-up that replaces destroyed/missing blocks?

2) Different levels with different block arrangements. Maybe even boss battles!

3) Better movement patterns on the enemies. The way they move now, if the blocks under them are destroyed, you can't get under them to shoot at them, because they never move sideways (toward) you enough for you to get a shot at them. In other words, the player is stuck, because he or she can't shoot the enemies, and they can't shoot you. In effect, the game effectively "hangs up" at this point, since the player can't progress.

Of the three points I just listed, #3 is the most critical. If the enemies move back and forth, Space Invaders style, that would solve this problem.

Bottom line, though, the actual play mechanic is definitely fun and I think well worth refining! Don't stop at this point! Keep going on with the development!

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Responses

Thanks, Rob! I knew I could count on you and clock to help me finetune this game.

Rowdy Rob wrote:

Destructible platforms and Galaxians-style gameplay... I've played a lot of arcade-style games, but I can't think of any games I've ever seen that resemble this. It's such a deceptively simple idea that I'm surprised no one has ever thought of this! The surprising thing is that it does indeed work as a playably fun game.

I'm like you--to simple not to have been done before. I don't know any off the top of my head, but I'm sure there have been many similar games. In any case, *I* haven't done it or played it, so that was part of the fun for me!

Quote:

1) Power-ups. Triple-fire, bombs, etc. The usual shooter power-ups. Perhaps a power-up that replaces destroyed/missing blocks?

Hmm...The triple-fire sounds like an interesting thing to implement. I guess I'd just have three shots firing out in a sort of W shape. Might almost make it too easy, but worth trying out. I'm not sure what you mean by "bombs." Some kind of instant destruction for the entire fleet?

I did think about the blocks coming back. I'll save my thoughts for below.

Quote:

2) Different levels with different block arrangements. Maybe even boss battles!

More interesting ideas! I didn't even think about a boss battle. Man, that does sound interesting. I definitely plan to have more levels with different arrangements, and maybe have aliens come in waves rather than just be there all at the beginning. I'm still trying to figure out how to code that.

Quote:

3) Better movement patterns on the enemies. The way they move now, if the blocks under them are destroyed, you can't get under them to shoot at them, because they never move sideways (toward) you enough for you to get a shot at them. In other words, the player is stuck, because he or she can't shoot the enemies, and they can't shoot you. In effect, the game effectively "hangs up" at this point, since the player can't progress.

Of the three points I just listed, #3 is the most critical. If the enemies move back and forth, Space Invaders style, that would solve this problem.

Yes, this is what bothers me the most, too. If you aren't careful, you can end up stuck in the middle with aliens on the right that you can't reach. I put a ladder in the middle thinking that would help, but it wasn't enough.

The big problem is the way that paths work in the game. I don't quite understand it. I think what it does is consider every instance to move as one unit along the path, rather than individually as in Space Invaders. In other words, the group as a whole DOES follow the right path, but as you pick them off, they don't compensate by moving further. There's probably an obvious solution that I'm just not seeing to this problem. Basically what I want is for the major phalanx to move as in Space Invaders, which as you know is a very intoxicating and aesthetically pleasing movement. I'll keep tinkering with it and see what I can do.

However, part of the challenge might be lost if the aliens DID move like that, since you wouldn't necessarily have to worry about running around much. I'm not trying to defend the current design, but I do think it's important that you have to navigate to the enemies rather than have them come to you, since that's where the platforming and destructive terrain come in.

That said, I can't have the game as-is because it can get stuck. Here are my thoughts on possible solutions; let me know what you think.

1. Have some blocks that are indestructible, and arrange the levels so that it's possible to hop from one to the other to get all around the screen even if all the other blocks are gone. This could require precision jumping, but it'd still be possible to win. This is what I'm leaning towards ATM, since it makes sense and is a cinch to implement.

2. Change the alien bullets. I could do this in a number of ways. One idea is to have only certain bullets destroy terrain, bullets that you could catch or collect before they detonate (maybe they could look like small bombs). However, I'd need another kind of bullet that would hurt the player, otherwise it'd be too easy. Of course, I could adjust it so that it'd be impossible (or unlikely) to catch all the bombs, so eventually you would have to make decisions about what you'll let get destroyed.

3. Allow the player to aim somehow. I tried making it so that you aim in the direction you're moving, but that proved untenable. I also thought about having some option where you could stand in place and aim instead of move with the arrow keys, somewhat like the way the rope works in the Turrican series. I also thought about Contra or Robotron-style action, where you can run and such independently. However, I think the straight-up fire is more interesting because the limitation does force you to pay more attention to the location and where it's possible to move.

I also thought I'd provide my wishlist here:

1. Custom sprites and backgrounds. A no-brainer, obviously, but hopefully something that makes more sense in the context. I thought it'd be funny to have the aliens look reminiscent of the originals in Space Invaders, with a few throw-backs thrown in as references to other shmups. Imagine a boss battle with the flagship from GORF.

2. Jet packs. Does more really need to be said? This couple replace or supplement the jumping mechanic, though you'd have to be very careful not to collide with the aliens.

3. Multiplayer. This is high on my list--I think it'd be neat if you could play with a buddy. Apparently it's possible (somehow) to actually do this with an online connection, though I haven't really looked into it.

4. Shields or a healthbar. You lose a life if it runs out of if you fall down, but maybe you could charge up the shields with powerups.

5. A much bigger screen area. I want this in higher resolution, so that you can see a lot of zone above the platforms.

Anyway, that's just some stuff off the top of my head. I am working on a Matt Chat today, but when I get done, I'll start trying out some of these ideas. PLEASE let me know what you think is worth working on or what should be my priorities.

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Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Wow just downloaded it

Now I have to give it a try. I am very curious Matt!

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Thanks, Mark!!! I know you're

Thanks, Mark!!! I know you're a SHMUP pro, so I'd love to hear your opinion on it.

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IG-88
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Joined: 12/17/2006
Just tried your game Matt,

Just tried your game Matt, very cool! Couple ideas I had in addition too those mentioned earlier. Is there any way to make a full screen option? And how about re-mappable controls? At least the fire and jump buttons. I could easily put this in my arcade cab.

I also like the idea of having "special appearances" of old game enemies. The mothership in Gorf would be awesome! Or large transport plane(s) like in 1942 would be cool too. Paying homage to its roots is a must!

When I first fired it up I got the memories of 1942, Miner2049er, Load Runner and Space Invaders all at once!

Cant wait for version 2!!

ps: love the fact that it doesn't install and just runs of the executable. Quick and Clean!

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
hangy, i dont thienk its code

hangy, i dont thienk its code related, its more a player issues really. when you have to jump 2 blocks its a bit hard (but not that bad) my suggestion would be a slightly higher jump, give you a tiny bit extra height for those tough ones. It would make controling hte player a bit easier.. but maybe you intended the jump to be part of the difficulty. its not a big deal, just something I would mention... much better idea from others.

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I think I fixed some of the

I think I fixed some of the ladder issues here, so try out this version to see.

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vectrexmad
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Joined: 06/08/2008
Like it!!!

Hello Matt,

This is a really good effort. You should make it a game app for a mobile phone.
I enjoyed playing this game.
Which development software did you use to make this? What was the language used?
cheers

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