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Mushroom Men = more and more intriguing

JulioConQueso

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Dec 14, 2007
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The sound guys are geniuses, and the audio in the game will involve visual manifestations in tune with the rhythm. A lot of work went into making sure the audio changes depending on what the player does.

I am the combat programmer who was recently put in charge of the combat design. Mushroom Men is still going to have strong platforming and exploration elements, but naturally, I'm very excited about the shape of the combat design in the game.

Providing good feedback mechanisms for attack reactions as well as tangible connections between cause and effect on AI actions is core to the design of the AI's interaction with the combat system.

In addition to the macro design aspect of supplying orthogonal combat tools, there are also going to be a lot of subtle micro-design nuances to Mushroom Men's combat system:

This is an excellent old article on attack cancel mechanics:
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/ne...php?story=17243

A “Partial Cancel” allows an animation to be canceled at specific windows during the animation. The two most common conditions for a “Partial Cancel” are Pre-hit frame (the animation can be canceled any time before the first frame of the hit) and post-hit frame (the animation can be canceled any time after the last frame of the hit).

A “Complete Cancel” allows an animation to be canceled at any time during the animation. I'm generalizing, and there are special nuances that exist in certain games, but for the most part, these conditions are used 99 percent of the time.

The "Buffer" method stores and executes the user’s command when the cancel window is valid. The "Buffer" method, in a well-designed game, can be canceled itself with other commands before the cancel window is valid, to ensure the highest quality of responsiveness.

The "Instant" method accepts and executes the user’s command on the frame of input when the cancel window is valid. The "Instant" method allows the player to delay the timing, which adds to the overall responsiveness of the game.​

Mushroom Men uses partial attack-cancels with the buffered method for blocks and instant method for rolls. I also made it so that you can cancel any injury animation into roll... similar to the way that Soul Calibur allows you to land on your feet after being knocked down in certain ways.

A lot of work went into the timing aspects of the animations as mapped to user input. If you attack during an attack animation before the next combo is possible, it will buffer that input and remember that you intended to chain the attack, if you delay your attack input until after the previous attack is over, then you have a window upon which your attack input results in instant transition to the next attack animation. This ability to delay attack chains allows you to control the rhythm of the combo however you please.

The core value of the combat system is to avoid making players feel like they are fighting the controller. I believe that sometimes, it is okay to give up damage-per-second consistency and fairness in a single player game if that means empowering the player to feel fast and flexible in a game that fully supports combat intentions. After all is said and done, Mushroom Men is in no way intended to be a hardcore fighting game... it simply incorporates some elements of fighting games in order lend freedom to the player in plausible situations.
 

RJT

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Sep 18, 2007
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It seems a lot of effort is being put into this game. Good luck guys!
 

Fantastical

Death Prophet
May 3, 2008
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It's nice to see some effort being put into some 3rd party Wii games. It sounds really cool. This, The Conduit, and De Blob seem like the honest efforts of 3rd party developers.
 

ampere

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Mar 30, 2007
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Hatchman said:
For sure, and Les Claypol is a genius
This post made me check the article. I love Les Claypool. And this game actually looks pretty awesome as well. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on it.

Joseph Merrick said:
That... wow. I really want this game now.
And wtf Gamecock is the company making it? :lol What kind of name is that haha.
 
Apr 19, 2005
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ciaossu said:
That... wow. I really want this game now.
And wtf Gamecock is the company making it? :lol What kind of name is that haha.
Nah, gamecock is just a publisher. It's made by Red Fly.
 

ampere

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Mar 30, 2007
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JulioConQueso said:
Thanks, Joseph. It's amazing how many people think publishers make games... They don't. They pay other people (like Red Fly) to make games.
My bad man, but what a ridiculous name for a publisher. Red Fly is a cool name :)
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
May 4, 2007
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i shall remain cautiously optimistic about this one ; )

will it get e3 showing?
 

JulioConQueso

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Dec 14, 2007
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The M.O.B said:
This looks very nice, keep up the work.

It definitely intrigues me. Though the combat is sorta iffy, glad you got that covered though.
Yeah, I can't say that I was very impressed with the combat we had before, but I feel a lot better about the aspects of combat that we haven't shown the public, yet.

We'll do what we can in the time we have left. There are a lot of combat ideas that we had to put aside in order to ship the game on time.
 

RumblingRosco

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Oct 23, 2007
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JulioConQueso said:
We'll do what we can in the time we have left. There are a lot of combat ideas that we had to put aside in order to ship the game on time.

Understandable, but always disappointing to hear something like this. Regardless, I'm optimistic for this and hoping it pulls through as a fun game with strong enough sales to encourage further games in the MM universe.
 

beef3483

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Aug 18, 2006
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JulioConQueso said:
Yes. But this is before the combat was revamped by my strike team... so hold your opinions on combat until the showing after E3.

So, out of curiosity, how much does combat make use of motion controls and IR? I'm very intrigued by your game.
 

Wallach

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Jun 26, 2008
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JulioConQueso said:
Yeah, I can't say that I was very impressed with the combat we had before, but I feel a lot better about the aspects of combat that we haven't shown the public, yet.

We'll do what we can in the time we have left. There are a lot of combat ideas that we had to put aside in order to ship the game on time.

Glad to hear how much effort is being put into this title. The Wii needs more developers like you guys.

Things are pretty slow right now, so if you have any LC questions before submission draws near feel free to PM me. Sometimes it can be hard to get a prompt response from NoA/NCL.
 

M74

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Aug 19, 2006
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JulioConQueso said:
We'll do what we can in the time we have left. There are a lot of combat ideas that we had to put aside in order to ship the game on time.
That's upsetting to hear.
 

JulioConQueso

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Dec 14, 2007
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beef3483 said:
So, out of curiosity, how much does combat make use of motion controls and IR? I'm very intrigued by your game.
Not sure how much I am allowed to say, since marketing might want dibs on certain game features... so I try to keep the description of game features at a meta-level, as opposed to specifics. On that note, I can tell you that the combat does make use of both, IR and motion controls.
 

JulioConQueso

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Dec 14, 2007
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Wallach said:
Glad to hear how much effort is being put into this title. The Wii needs more developers like you guys.

Things are pretty slow right now, so if you have any LC questions before submission draws near feel free to PM me. Sometimes it can be hard to get a prompt response from NoA/NCL.
Thanks :) I think we're doing fine on the LotCheck stuff. There is a separate team going over the requirements with a fine toothed comb.
 

Wallach

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Jun 26, 2008
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JulioConQueso said:
Thanks :) I think we're doing fine on the LotCheck stuff. There is a separate team going over the requirements with a fine toothed comb.

No worries. I just know that sometimes Nintendo's PG documentation can be... interesting to try and interpret. ;)

How close are you guys to the crunch? I am not up to speed on this project's progress.
 

JulioConQueso

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Dec 14, 2007
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Wallach said:
No worries. I just know that sometimes Nintendo's PG documentation can be... interesting to try and interpret. ;)

How close are you guys to the crunch? I am not up to speed on this project's progress.
We are crunching now. Most of it is voluntary, as we try not to kill our employees until after the project is done... upon which we will harvest their organs and sell them on the black market. Other than that, there is no sense in making people crunch unless there is a tangible goal to meet. I'll only speak for myself: I'm basically putting in at least 12 hours a day on this... voluntarily... because my real name is tied to this product, and I don't want to be a part of something that will make me lose sleep at night. I used to review games for a small website (Hi Darkness)... I remember how harsh we used to be, and I wouldn't want that level of vitriol turned on our development team.
 

beef3483

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Aug 18, 2006
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JulioConQueso said:
Not sure how much I am allowed to say, since marketing might want dibs on certain game features... so I try to keep the description of game features at a meta-level, as opposed to specifics. On that note, I can tell you that the combat does make use of both, IR and motion controls.

Cool. I greatly appreciate the input. Your game is on my radar in a big way.
 

Shadowlink

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Mar 1, 2007
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Looks Pretty Awesome, We need 3rd Parties like you guys for the wii because you guys try to make great wii games :D not like some 3rd Parties I know. Will this game have an awesome OST?
 

Wallach

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Jun 26, 2008
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JulioConQueso said:
We are crunching now. Most of it is voluntary, as we try not to kill our employees until after the project is done... upon which we will harvest their organs and sell them on the black market. Other than that, there is no sense in making people crunch unless there is a tangible goal to meet. I'll only speak for myself: I'm basically putting in at least 12 hours a day on this... voluntarily... because my real name is tied to this product, and I don't want to be a part of something that will make me lose sleep at night. I used to review games for a small website (Hi Darkness)... I remember how harsh we used to be, and I wouldn't want that level of vitriol turned on our development team.

Good to hear. Well, the offer stands should you run into something as you near submission.

Good luck!
 

Linkhero1

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Sep 2, 2006
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I thought it was going to look like the previous trailers but I was impressed to see how much work was put into this game. I'm going to buy it to support them.
 
Apr 1, 2006
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JulioConQueso said:
Yeah, I can't say that I was very impressed with the combat we had before, but I feel a lot better about the aspects of combat that we haven't shown the public, yet.

We'll do what we can in the time we have left. There are a lot of combat ideas that we had to put aside in order to ship the game on time.
so are you guys going to be realizing a lot during e3? or will it be behind closed doors kinda stuff.
 

JulioConQueso

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Shadowlink123 said:
Looks Pretty Awesome, We need 3rd Parties like you guys for the wii because you guys try to make great wii games :D not like some 3rd Parties I know. Will this game have an awesome OST?
The audio guys call themselves Gl33k (formerly known as Okratron5000), and they are some of the most gifted sound folks I know. Outside of work, they often compete in musical competitions just for fun. We've pretty much given them full control over the audio, working closely with them whenever they wanted code support for certain game-specific interactions with audio.

I can pretty much guarantee that with the combination of Claypool's stuff and Gl33k, the game's audio vibe will be unique. You've already heard Gl33k's work on the recent "Birth of a Hero" trailer:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/36078.html
That whistle tune is their work.
 

JulioConQueso

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Dec 14, 2007
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Testicular Sound Express said:
so are you guys going to be realizing a lot during e3? or will it be behind closed doors kinda stuff.
I have no idea how E3 works, anymore. I haven't gone to an E3 since the Dreamcast golden age in 2001. So... I have no idea if it will be a closed door thing or not.
 

Shadowlink

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JulioConQueso said:
The audio guys call themselves Gl33k (formerly known as Okratron5000), and they are some of the most gifted sound folks I know. Outside of work, they often compete in musical competitions just for fun. We've pretty much given them full control over the audio, working closely with them whenever they wanted code support for certain game-specific interactions with audio.

I can pretty much guarantee that with the combination of Claypool's stuff and Gl33k, the game's audio vibe will be unique. You've already heard Gl33k's work on the recent "Birth of a Hero" trailer:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/36078.html
That whistle tune is their work.
Yea that sounds pretty cool, I can't wait to hear more about this game, How long have you guys been working on Mushroom Men.
 

bdouble

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Sep 5, 2007
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yeah from the latest trailer you can tell the game is coming along nicely. Digging the music and art style int his game.
 
Sep 13, 2007
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I've actually enjoyed watching this game develop. I remember the first trailer being all concept art and skeptically thinking it would probably end up either vaporware or shovelware. Thankfully every time a new snippet is shown I can see tangible progress. The environments are looking sharp and the art direction looks solid and cohesive.

I'm still on the fence about combat (I'll take you at face value when you say it's improving) and the framerate looks iffy in the vids, but assuming everything comes together by release I'll probably be picking this one up. Considering the progress I've seen so far I'm cautiously optimistic. As other people have already pointed out, it's nice to see a team actually putting some effort into a Wii exclusive.
 

JulioConQueso

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Dec 14, 2007
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Fross said:
game looks awesome. I'm also looking forward to their Wii Ghostbuster game.
I hope you like the shape of the Proton beam ;)
It was a fun collection of mathematically connected splines with control points that shift to random offsets. The original idea was to make it look like the movies, but the movie beams actually look like they were done by 2D artists who were in a hurry.

The folks on the Ghostbusters Wii side of the studio work as hard as we do, if not more so.
 

JulioConQueso

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GrotesqueBeauty said:
I've actually enjoyed watching this game develop. I remember the first trailer being all concept art and skeptically thinking it would probably end up either vaporware or shovelware. Thankfully every time a new snippet is shown I can see tangible progress. The environments are looking sharp and the art direction looks solid and cohesive.

I'm still on the fence about combat (I'll take you at face value when you say it's improving) and the framerate looks iffy in the vids, but assuming everything comes together by release I'll probably be picking this one up. Considering the progress I've seen so far I'm cautiously optimistic. As other people have already pointed out, it's nice to see a team actually putting some effort into a Wii exclusive.

Yeah, I'm not sure why Gamecock was marketing our game so early, but I figure they know what they're doing. It's definitely good to hold on to that caution. I'm basically obligated to tow the company line. If I thought the game was gonna suck, I would simply stay off the NeoGAF forums.

My original gaming pedigree is in fighting games and beat 'em ups from Street Fighter to Soul Calibur to Punisher to Ninja Gaiden, so I pretty much hate combat in most platformers. I get that player movement is the emphasis in platforming games, but I believe that it is possible to have interesting player movement and combat in the same game. Frankly, our combat was flat out boring at the time those Mushroom Men trailers were assembled. I really hate games where all you do is walk up to things and apply repetitive attack input until the enemy dies and then lather, rinse, repeat. Sure, we have the ability to block and do evasive rolls along with four different weapon categories, but that only takes you so far. Pretty particles and animations are not enough to cover up a boring combat system.

So yeah, we are really going to mix up combat so that you are not killing things the same way all the time.
 

JulioConQueso

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Dec 14, 2007
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Shadowlink123 said:
Cool, One More question, what inspired you guys to create a unique game like this?
The idea was there before I was hired. I asked that same question to the owners of the company (Dan Borth, Kris Taylor, and Frank Teran - who is actually an alien who decided to take a human name) ... and as far as I could tell, they just thought it was a cool idea, and so the team just ran with it. "The boss thought it was cool... whaddayagonnadoo?"
 

Shadowlink

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JulioConQueso said:
The idea was there before I was hired. I asked that same question to the owners of the company (Dan Borth, Kris Taylor, and Frank Teran - who is actually an alien who decided to take a human name) ... and as far as I could tell, they just thought it was a cool idea, and so the team just ran with it. The boss thought it was cool... whaddayagonnadoo?
Thanks for answering my question, you guys have my support :D, also by looking at your avatar, you must be happy that Chrono Trigger DS got announced :D