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 Post subject: Re: Blast Man Blast - Blast Man Associated Discussion
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:24 am 
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Drax's idea with the wall-mounted speaker is probably one of the best ones I've seen yet for a gimmick, that much is for sure. As for a secondary gimmick of sorts, I actually had an idea for an enemy that might make for something interesting and unusual.

This enemy is essentially a flying speaker that faces towards the screen, and its behavior as an enemy similarly reflects that in the sense that it is quite loud. When you get close enough for it to activate, it begins blaring out short-ranged sound waves that drown out any other sounds in the area, said sound waves do not damage you, however their real purpose is to make it more difficult to deal with other sound-based traps or enemies in the stage by drowning out their auditory tells. The sound waves can also slow your shots, meaning they'd work rather well with enemies where timing is key by, well, screwing up the timing. Needless to say these enemies do not take a lot of punishment.

As for another gimmick, I personally kind of like the idea of the sound cannon that Soul mentioned. There could be cannons in the stage that deal a fair amount of damage with sound waves, and the only tell you get for them is a barely noticeable visual cue (like a light flickering or something) and a little beep before they fire. Needless to say these sound cannons would be combined with the flying speakers in a room just before the boss door for a rather tricky segment.

Meanwhile, Blast Man himself still kind of sits there as a lackluster and honestly rather cheap boss (from a Dragon Medal perspective), and of course, being the guy who's probably one of the biggest advocates for dealing with this problem, I do have a few ideas for how to make him work.

1: Make it so that he always attacks at set intervals, like every 3-5 seconds or something along that route, that timing is also when his direction would reset so that he was facing towards you again.
2: *4kids* Eardrum Crusher (No offense corlen)! While this guy becomes a massive pushover without it, with it, he becomes rather bloody unfair (again, from a dragon medal perspective). Of course, while I loathe bosses that cannot be dragon'd, I also do not like pointlessly easy bosses, so I actually developed two attack ideas for the guy to take the place of the Eardrum Crusher.
-The first one involves him jumping up to the middle of the room and firing eight large sound waves outwards, which may or may not bounce (and it might be that only some of them bounce at all), this is to better replace and balance the attack portion of EC, particularly the part that involves him jumping to a specific location to launch this attack.
-The second one involves him slamming his fists together and creating a sound quake which will knock you on your **** if you happen to be grounded. This attack also generates a small, short-ranged sound wave around himself that deals a fair amount of damage. This attack can be stopped by shooting him in time, and is basically EC in spirit.

With those details applied, I personally think that Blast Man can become a tough boss, yet a fair boss, and one that is ultimately doable from a Dragon Medal perspective.

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 Post subject: Re: Blast Man Blast - Blast Man Associated Discussion
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:12 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:11 am
Posts: 4
Hi! I played Blast Man first, and I agree that the stage has flaws.

I know this is kinda necroposting and the game is on hiatus, but I want to make comments anyway.

The main issue with this stage, I think, comes down to simple design flaws. The music is a plodding bore (sorry, but it kinda is! I suggest increasing its length, possibly by looping it once and then adding a little ditty segment with a bit more upbeat bg to it.) and the enemies exacerbate this.

To explain why, let me list off the enemies in this stage.

Speaker Tower: A decent enemy design, which is defeated by standing still and jumping occasionally.
Speaker Boomer: A kind of boring enemy. Stand still, jump, etc.
Sniper Joe: A decent, if somewhat annoying, enemy design, defeated by standing still and jumping occasionally.
Meton: A decent design, defeated by shooting twice and jumping.

Beetle Bomber: An interesting enemy that flies over and forces you to dodge vertically AND then horizontally. works very well with the "emplacement" enemies above.
Shield Attacker XLR: A common and good enemy design! Moves horizontally and in an easy to grasp pattern, only damagable from one side.
Whee: A cool enemy! Notably quite strong, moves fairly quickly. Dodged by jumping, but can bounce back at ya. FALLS WITH GRAVITY.

Now, here's the thing; this stage is BASED around the emplacement enemies up top. While talking about gimmicks is good, I feel it's still possible to make a good level using just these enemies. The current level design is, as I noted, rather plodding. The rooms, especially early ones, tend to consist of a fighting a single emplacement that is essentially just a boring jump shoot jump shoot game.

The most important way to fix this level without changing too much, I think, is to mix your enemies a little. In particular, you know how room 3 has the Beetle Bombers and the Speaker Boomers in conjunction? That, and its reprise directly after that, are probably the most interesting parts of the stage. What you need to do is add more rooms where it's not just time out the sniper joe, but do that WHILE FACING another threat.

Basically, you want to keep things interesting, is what I'm saying. There are also maybe too many breather rooms, and the life in the first room possibly isn't really needed. You might want to make the Speaker Boomers fire a bit more regularly, they're quite slow as it is and even if they're not meant to be a threat most of the time that would help the pace of the stage quite a bit.

There are a few neat tricks you can do with the moving enemies: Whees, for example, can fall down from above while you're dealing with another threat. Beetle Bombers are all in all interesting threats and I was sad to only see them in two rooms. There also isn't much that really causes notable damage, especially with all the life hanging around.

Also, most of the threats, even the Shield Attackers, are essentially 'grounded' patternwise. If you want to add a new enemy, a flying one that shoots the rebounding speaker shots would be very interesting, especially if it tried to float after you horizontally at a slow pace.

A room by room thought, done as I play each one. (Note I only have tried Mega Man so far)

Room 1: This room is kinda slow, but that's okay because the background adds a little bit of life and it's an introduction room. It shows you the Speaker Towers, and the Sniper Joes you'll see later. The life, as mentioned earlier, may be a bit unneeded. I'm not the greatest fan of the last bit which consists entirely of Speaker Towers on a flat surface, maybe you should add a ceiling here to at least introduce their rebounds, or remove one of them?
Room 2: Connector room that introduces the Metons. It's okay.
Room 3: An alright room. The combination of Beetles and Speakers works really well, especially the Beetle after the first Speaker. The Beetle at head height after that is also a pretty good trick, but the easy bottom path is a bit of a let down. The Speaker after that isn't much of a threat. For this room, I suggest possibly adding at least a small threat to the bottom path. This is a room that would benefit greatly from increasing the Speaker firing speed. You may also want to add some sort of relative of the Beetle that appears regularly to make things more interesting; dodging a bomb once is alright, dodging a bomb many times is almost hectic!
Room 4: Goodies, as you said. I'm fine with the 1 up here since its placement is a little dificult to catch the first time, and the series does this rather often. Another reason why I think the one in the first room isn't necessary.
Room 5: The trick the Beetle pulls with the Speaker is the most exciting thing in the stage, and dodging the first one makes me happy. This is another part that would be quite terrifying with faster Speakers. Note you can just camp out on the ladder and kill it, though. The one after that isn't quite as much of a threat, but it's ok. Maybe put the Beetle a little farther forward, here?
Room 6: Shield Attacker intros are ok.
Room 7: The fall has never killed me, luckily, and the Meton isn't too hard to get past. EDIT: Just died just now, from the Meton shot. It's a little harder than the rest of the stage at first, bu quickly becomes boring. This room in particular would benefit from seeing some Whees, or some other method of forcing your attention away from just the Towers. It's very dull without something else to dodge. Even Shield Attackers would work here, and be thematically good with their intro one room ago.
Room 8,9: Another shield attacker. Simple drop puzzles. It's ok.
Room 10: This room feels a bit too empty for my liking. My suggestion? Add an enemy that tracks your vertical position somehow, since I think that's what the NES series would have done. You know, one of the ones that lobs a bullet towards your location like it's tossing it on top of you? Like that. Actually, those would fix a lot of the "boring" problems in this stage, look into that. Metons with Shield Attackers are ok but a bit unthreatening.
Room 11: A fun room. Keep it.
Room 12: PLEASE add some minor threat to this room. One of those "Lobber" enemy types on a platform halfway up would make this room quite interesting. Even a sniper joe or some Speaker Boomers on platforms would at least make you keep track of things.
Room 13: This room is okay, but once again a little boring. I like the Sniper Joe thing. Seriously though, a room this late would really benefit from some sort of flying enemy to harass you as you deal with the emplacements. This is the kind of room that would be kinda neat with Tellies or Lobbers, for example.
Room 14: Argh, no man, no... add something threatening to this one! A wall that you have to platform up a few speaker guarded platforms to cross over would be cool here.
Room 15: Pit isn't too much of a threat. Very boring beginning, add some more threats! Only room to use Whees, but it doesn't quite use them very well. Needs more polish, preferably with more enemy interaction.
Room 16: This one actually gets me quite a lot. Good simple room, Metons.
Room 17: Don't just stick the Metons guarding something! Distribute them a little. Maybe add some more platforming over bottomless pits; a large energy isn't worth it anyway.
Room 18: ANOTHER empty room! Add some emplacement on top of more platforming similar to my last thought, or just add a lobber or Meton or ANYTHING!
Room 19: A lame finale, dude! Final rooms tend to be a bit boring, yeah, but at least add some more Beetle Bombers to make the Sniper Joes a bit more difficult to deal with.
Room 20, 21: Blast Man is simple and kinda boring. I like your attack ideas, they make the fight much more interesting. The eight large soundwaves attack would work well with his main attack if you let him use them close to each other in timing and would feel much fairer than his explosion. It'd also be a neat cross over to the speakers in his stage. You could just reuse the sprites, honestly, it'd be thematically nice.

So yeah, that's my thoughts! Sorry if I seemed overly critical, I still like it!

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