Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

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vdwar
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Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by vdwar » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:55 pm

I felt Neon now has enough to show to warrant a post in here. Neon is inspired by Descent, Elite, Quake, and Diablo.

Latest Screenshots (Jan 26th 2013)

Image

Image

Image


Original (Outdated Trailer Video):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JlfYm4SJBM
Things have changed in many ways since this video but it's short and to the point.

First live Twitch.tv stream video: (3hrs of gameplay and testing)
http://www.twitch.tv/paul_intravenous/b/358923480
The first hour of this one introduces the game along with how everything works.

Second live Twitch.tv stream video:
http://www.twitch.tv/paul_intravenous/b/359271513
In the second test we are balance testing the F2 - Fighter and M1 - Missile Fighter.

Steam Greenlight Page
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... 1358885053
This is still serving as the temporary home page for Neon. New announcements and updates go here first.


BTW, I'm Paul. I'm the developer of Neon so if you have any questions, suggestions, or criticism I'll be happy to answer.

If you would like me to post here when I do live streams, let me know.
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by roncli » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:21 pm

Checked out a couple videos, seems interesting. Seems like there's a lot of grinding involved, though.
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by CDN_Merlin » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:02 pm

Will there be better textures? I'm hoping so because trying to see anything so far in those videos is very hard.
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by vdwar » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:10 am

CDN_Merlin wrote:Will there be better textures? I'm hoping so because trying to see anything so far in those videos is very hard.
Neon has an unusual feature that allows the player to swap the colour scheme of the game in realtime and at any time.

I just spent the last couple of days updating the Greenlight page with the very latest screenshots, and I added three of them to this post to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.

You can choose to play the game with a very dark look, almost wireframe, or choose from a selection of other colour schemes. The plan will be to allow the player access to a handful of these at the start of the game with more unlocking as they level up.

Each colour scheme has a different look for the four factions, and each faction has a different look depending on whether they are hostile or friendly with the player. That means that a change in reputation will flip the colours in realtime as you play. In simple terms think friendly = green, hostile = red, but it's more complex than that for many colour schemes. Some might have blue for friendly and purple for hostile.

The original trailer was produced before this colour scheme tech was developed. In the newer playtest streams on Twitch.tv I do flick around these colour schemes, so jump around in those videos to see the different looks. This pic...

Image

...is the very latest colour scheme, not seen in any video. It's deliberately very dark and wireframe in look. Personally, I like it more than any other during play, but the other schemes are there for those with different tastes. Remember, the game is set in cyberspace so the look is not meant to be realistic, but very stylised.

As for it being difficult to see the enemies, that is entirely due to the range of combat. It's very different to Descent in that regard. At max weapon range an enemy can be little more than a few pixels across, hence the need for the targetting HUD in this game or any real life fighter. However, I plan to address that with additional weapons, and gadgets that require the player to get in much closer for higher damage. Imagine a weapon that releases a shockwave that can destroy ships in very close proximity. Additions like that will come to help reward the player for getting much closer to their opponents.

It is due to things like that why we consider the game to still be pre-Alpha rather than at the Beta stage. We are already pretty much bug free and optimised, but a mass of content, playtesting, and fine tuning is still to come.


roncli wrote:Checked out a couple videos, seems interesting. Seems like there's a lot of grinding involved, though.
I know what you mean about the grinding but I see it from another angle.

The goal is to create the best spaceship dogfighting possible. I want to polish the 5-30 second process of - find enemy, attack enemy, kill enemy, loot enemy - to be as fun and varied as possible. In reality, it is that process that is at the core of this or any other shooter game. If it's polished, great fun, and constantly changing and varied, we keep wanting to repeat that process.

Think Halo. That's all Halo is, just repeating that process over and over. All shooters are like that at their core.

So if that core 30 seconds is fun in Neon, the player will want to keep doing it because it's enjoyable. The more they do it, the more cool weapons, upgrades, ships, and gadgets they unlock so that the gameplay is always changing over time.

So I don't see it as grinding. I see it as giving the player a reward for repeating a process that they are enjoying. If the time it takes to unlock new stuff is too slow then that is something we will hopefully find out and tweak in Alpha. Even since those first three twitch video playtests were made this has changed considerably. The uranium drops, ship hull, and weapon drops have all doubled, and the shops have extended inventories to make the process of levelling up faster.

It's all a work in progress but rest assured it's all going to get tweaked to be most fun. There is no advantage for us to make you grind (it's not an mmo), but we don't want upgrades unlocking every five seconds or you will feel no sense of accomplishment getting them.
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by roncli » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:41 pm

The biggest issue I found with the loot pickup is that it took you about 10-20 seconds to clean up the spawn. In Descent, that process can be a second or less. You should spend more time fighting the enemy than picking up the pieces when it's done.

Don't get me wrong, I do like the concept. It has LOADS of potential. :)

Any way to select enemies without pausing the game, especially for an all keyboard player?
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by vdwar » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:15 pm

Don't worry about either of those things roncil:

The game alredy has configurable hotkeys for target nearest, target next, target previous, and clear target. I plan to add a "Target nearest visible" that will only select an enemy that the player has an unobstructed view to while prioritising those infront of the ship.

However, when you get to play the game, you will find yourself instinctively using the point and select method due to it's ability to quickly target the exact ship that you want. In the videos I'm constantly using target nearest and reverting to selecting manually because it picks a ship behind me or below me and not the one I want selected.

As for the loot pickups expect an automated tractor beam system very soon. This will be included in all ships by default, and will pull all nearby loot pickups towards the ship. Then there will be Miscellaneous upgrade that boosts this effect. Those will likely unlock once every 10 levels or so (that stuff is always randomised in Neon), each one being more powerful than the last with larger range. But the plan is to have the basic one effective enough for the player to sit in the middle of a group of upgrades and suck them up in a few seconds. The later versions will be poweful enough for the player to collect them just by flying through the space they are in.

I'm hoping to get the time to include this system before alpha starts in about a month.

Please give any other feedback like that. Those two points are aready covered, but the next one you mention I may not have considered.
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by roncli » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:31 pm

Perhaps you can setup keybinds to cycle through enemy targets? I think having to avoid pausing the game to select an enemy would be beneficial.
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by vdwar » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:23 pm

I think you must have missed the part where I said there are already hotkeys for 'target next' and 'target previous'. They serve the purpose of cycling in both directions :)
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by roncli » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:32 am

Aha, you initially said "target nearest visible", but this should work. :)
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by vdwar » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:23 am

Yeah, "Target Nearest Visible" isn't in the game yet. It's a planned addition.

"Target Nearest" is already in the game both as a hotkey and a cockpit button, but it's not effective enough. Sure it targets the nearest enemy perfectly, but that is too often not the enemy you actually want to target. That nearest enemy might be right behind you, or due to Neon's structure he might actually be underneath you in another room.

Hence I want to make a more advanced hotkey that targets the nearest enemy that the player actually has a clear line of sight to, prioritising those enemies also within the cameras field of view. This should ensure that the target is the closest target visible on screen.

The result will be the player will have the option to use both "Target Nearest" and "Target Nearest Visible" to suit the moment.

I think it's those little additions to useability that make the difference between an okay fighting experience and a really fluid, natural and instinctive one.
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by vdwar » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:58 pm

The save system was implemented this week. That was a seriously long winded job with 1000 lines of code, not including the interface for it.

Along with that, the game now has 5 difficulty settings. Recruit, Normal, Hardcore, Elite and Custom. All of them tweak both the AI level that enemies start the game with and a modifier to their damage. Higher difficulty levels reward the player with increased ammounts of loot to compensate the more difficult and probably slower more careful battles. The custom option allows the player to fine tune the difficulty to suit themselves and automatically calculates the correct loot modifier based on the settings they choose.

As for gameplay alterations. Weapon damage has been increased across the board to promote faster more intense fights. This encourages the player to charge enemies and take down their shields before they have a chance to react, and then finish them off in a close quarters dogfight.

The plan is to also implement new weapons and upgrades to reward the player for taking the fight closer to their enemy. New weapons with high dps but short range will be added, along with a shockwave weapon that does massive AOE damage but at a very limited range (think melee damage range almost). These will encourage the player to get in close.

However, enemies in Neon use the exact same arsenal as the player so the player is going to need something to help protect him when he gets in close. This will be covered by the addition of new miscellaneous upgrades such as temporary immunity (hardened shields), cloaking (short term partial invisibility to reduce enemy accuracy), EMP (break missile tracking), and probably numerous other ideas like (feedback on lightning gun damage). If you have any ideas for gadgets please feel free to discuss them.

Oh, I nearly forgot, the tractor beam tech is already in place. Loot is now pulled towards the player automatically in all ships. Currently the player can fly into the middle of a field of loot and it sucks it all up in about 3-7 seconds. That's much better than the previous fly-all-over-the-place method of collecting loot. The plan is to add miscellaneous boosters for this effect that are more powerful as the player levels up.

The start of alpha is only a few weeks away now. Rather than add any more large scale features, the goal is to playtest, tweak, and clean up the existing systems. I have a list a mile long of small tweaks and changes that can be made to improve the whole experience so it makes sense to do those rather than bring in a big new feature that could cause some system wide bugs. Neon is currently super stable and relatively bug free (In a two hour session today the biggest bug I found was that the interface was displaying weapon damage to 5 decimal places instead of 2) so the alpha should be great on that front.
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by roncli » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:03 am

Well count me interested in the alpha. It sounds interesting, will have to see how it plays.
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by vdwar » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:47 am

Neon has improved a great deal since I last posted an update here, most noteably due to an upgrade to Unity Pro rather than Unity Basic. This allowed postprocessing effects like bloom, and the last 4-6 weeks has been primarily spent working on the graphics.

Neon now has new lighting effects, bloom, vignetting, new texture work, new particle effect work, updated UI. Also all the ships have been remodelled to suit the cyberspace theme better.

Image Image Image Image

30+ Other Brand New Images

And here's some video footage. It's a continuous 7 minute dogfight against 30+ ships in total. It will give you a good idea how the combat gameplay is shaping up now.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PHVqsiXUtY << Recommended to watch in 1080p.
The video was captured while compiling clips for a new trailer video that is finished but awaiting music from Python Blue. Hopefully the music will be done in the next couple of days.
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Re: Neon - Descent inspired PC game.

Post by Blindlight » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:57 am

this game just hit steam! go get it now!
https://steamcommunity.com/app/296010
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