Posted on Leave a comment

[Announcement]: Space Mercs launches in June

Hello Space Giants!

If you’ve been following me on twitter for the past few weeks you know I’m working on a new game for the Store! Today I’m ready to announce details, name, features and a launch period for my latest Linux 1st Initiative-powered Game!

 

As you have already figured out from the image above the game’s name is Space Mercs. It’s a 3D dogfighting game set in space where you play as a new Mercenary recruit for a faction caught in a galactic wide war. Throughout the game’s 30 mission campaign you will dodge, chase, fire, escort and absolutely obliterate enemies ranging from small drones to huge battleships while bound to a single rule: “If it moves, it dies“.

The game features four different game modes, two available from the start and two that can be unlocked by progressing through the story:

Quick Battle: You are given a random ship, a random amount of wingmen, a random objective and must face off a random amount of enemies. It’s literal chaos bound to keep you by the edge of your seat.

Campaign: 30 action-packed missions that can be unlocked and explored via the Bulletin Board. You get one or more targets, an objective, reward and are sent out into space. Completing the objective rewards you with credits which allows you to purchase more ships. Destroying anything else outside of the objective will reward your with Prestige which allows you to upgrade your new ships. The backstory of the game, lore and conversation can be explored via the use of the Command Line Interface in the game. Read emails, access restricted folders and explore your Station’s computer via a bash-like interface.

Duels (1 v 1 / 3 v 3) is a mode unlocked via campaign progression that allows you to gamble some of your heard earned prestige in battle. Win and multiply your Prestige, loose and it’s back to grinding enemies on missions you can defeat.

Survival is your reward for finishing the campaign. Jump between procedurally generated sectors and defeat a ever growing list of enemies and go for the highest score possible.

The game is designed and developed under the Linux 1st philosophy and will release first for Linux in June! In addition to the Command Line Interface, used to navigate your Station’s and Ship’s computer, Linux is consistently the galaxy’s favorite operating system and, as such, easter eggs and throwbacks to our favorite OS are abundant It’s up to your to discover them all!

Bearded Giant patreon subscribers will get access to Beta Builds for the game starting with May 20th in order to ensure the game performs at top standards as I plan to support even the low-end Intel GPUs (albeit with some effects turned off for HD4000 series). When I designed the initial prototype for the game I wanted a space battle with hundreds of ships, all targeting me or ships from my wings! The goal of this game is to make you, the player, feel like a badass pilot when you successfully manage to avoid and fly between enemy projectiles. Your feedback during the Beta period will decide if that is the case.

The screenshot above features the Campaign screen! The 5 slots on the bottom side of the screenshot? Different menus you can access:

  • Market – spend Credits to purchase new ships
  • Hangar – upgrade your ships by spending Prestige points
  • Bulletin Board – advance through the plot by accepting missions from different factions
  • Bar – have a chat and challenge other Mercenaries to duel you in a 1 v 1 or 3 v 3 configuration. Win and get all the glory you need to upgrade your vessel.
  • Survival – Unlocked at the end of the campaign.

On the right side of the screen lies the game’s cli! You can use it to explore the previously mentioned 5 menus in more details. The market might be selling 5 expensive ships but do you know what other pilots think of them? Just cd into it and cat the reviews.txt file to learn about some of the hidden stats (like energy regeneration or maybe hidden scripts to be executed during flight – also via the ship’s command line interface).

I’ll return with a post about the Command Line Interface in a couple of days – a design post. It’s inclusion not only allowed me to spearhead the development of the game and reduce development time significantly but also serves another purpose: to familiarize new Linux users to the terminal. Just don’t expect to be able to write bashscripts for it because that is not happening!

I’m not 100% decided on the price of the game right now. I’d like to say it will be around $10 for the Launch but the price might go up especially if I’ll end up having to port it to Windows! You’ll have to lurk around on our Discord Server to find out more about this before the game goes live.

That’s it for the announcement post. I gotta go write a ton of press releases and get in touch with a couple of Linux gaming people to see if they’ll be interested in a build once it drops. I’m hoping that with this game I can net enough little space-bucks to afford to work on the Bearded Giant Store full time and deliver games for Linux with an ever increasing level of quality!

Thank you Giants!

 

P.s. press coverage of the announcement? Here’s a zip with the game’s logo and screenshots.

Posted on Leave a comment

[Announcement]: Outwarp 50S – your favorite coffee-break shoot ’em up for Linux

Hello Giants! 

Like I mentioned in the previous post, I’m working on a new Game! A devilish hard shoot ’em up that you can play one handed while you sip from your favorite coffee mug! It’s developed using Pint, my work in progress framework, and the core of the game is done! You can shoot, you can dodge, you can change your ship’s height on the map, since we’ve got a small faux-3D feel to the game using 3D perspective projection and all that in less than 50 MB of Drive Space. Check out the screenshot and we’ll get back to the nitty-gritty details after you glance at it!

Outwarp 50S SHMUP

Outwarp 50S

Outwarp Fifty-Es (or Es-Ogh-Es) aims to scratch a few itches:

  1. Gameplay sessions will be short (but not do to the lack of content). You’ll probably die in the first 10-15 seconds during your first playthroughs
  2. It auto-pauses when you switch to another window so hopefully you can sneak in some practice sessions at work
  3. Comes with a low memory footprint! In the current form the game gulps up around 48 MB of ram! It’s going to eat up 96 MB ram at maximum but I’m aiming to get it as low as 32 MB.
    • The idea is you can keep running it in the background and go for another run when you have the chance.
  4. You can collect tokens that are dropped by enemies or destructible environment elements! With them you can
    • Unlock new ships with different weapons, power up’s and special attacks!
    • Unlock new environment segments that can alter your current run
      • Enemy types with new movement patterns
      • Bullet types with various configurations and effects
      • Power-ups and
      • Even more destructible elements
  5. It aims to be the shmup you play while your steam client updates or your favorite online game is queuing you up!

Outwarp 50S’s source code

And let’s not forget my Linux first initiative! The game is developed on Linux and will release first for Linux. If enough interest in it will be gathered I’ll port it to another platform. Or you can port it yourself given that the source code of the game and engine (more on Pint in the next few days) will be available under a MIT license. Like my previous games the only thing that stays proprietary are the graphics because I need to make a living and have to pay to get some art! But you are free to get your own open source art assets into the game and distribute it with those.

What’s left to be done

The core of the game is completed. I need to hire an artist to get some quality pixel art graphics for the game and start working on the audio elements. The game’s content has been established but pacing and feel still needs work. Abilities will be added and removed constantly as I juggle around with the difficulty and feel of the game. Adding new content to the game is easy tho’.

Bullet patterns, enemy paths, enemies, power-up’s and even map segments are defined and controlled via CSV files. Map segments are designed in TileD and exported to Pint in simple Lua scripts. Technically, you can use the CSV files to make your own shmup with your own rules without even touching the source code. I’m aiming for a release sometimes near the end of Q1 (aka March). The game should be done by then but I want some buffer time to make sure all the art will be ready and given that I’m moving into another apartment I want to make sure I won’t backtrack on the launch date.

But fret not, if that happens, you will be updated. I’m planning a weekly development update on this blog with info on how development is going. Due to my privacy policy and commitment to protecting your data I do not have or use a mailing list so you’ll have to follow me up on twitter (or the facebook page) to stay up to date with new blog posts. You can also join our Discord Server for more updates in-between keyboard discussions and Sheo’s mad ramblings. Or go the old school way and refresh the Bearded Giant Game’s front page every day :).

If you’re wondering about the final price of the game, I haven’t decided on one yet. It’s going to be between $3 and $10 depending on how much the assets end up costing me. I’ll come back with more information on price soon enough.

P.s. I’m aiming to fit the game on a 3.5″ floppy disk. If I can get it under 1.44 MB of drive space and have it eat less than 32 MB of ram I’ll have a special surprise for all of you. But I’m keeping it a secret for now!

Thank you Giants!