RWBY – Grimm Eclipse

RWheaderBY: Grimm Eclipse is a fan-turned-official project that exudes the passion that was poured into it by the developers.

RWBY started as a proof-of-concept trailer animated by Monty Oum, released in 2012 on the Rooster Teeth YouTube channel. The first season of the series was released in 2013 with 16 episodes, averaging at 5-10 minutes each. During 2014, a fan-game was developed by one person and released in April for free. In less than 24 hours, the developer was approached and hired by Rooster Teeth to make Grimm Eclipse into a full and official product. Halfway through last year the first build of Grimm Eclipse was released to Steam as an Early Access build.

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Screencap from the original fan-game.

Grimm Eclipse keeps the aesthetic style of the show, both in visuals and sound. The cel-shaded graphics and brilliant lighting make for an amazing-looking game when on the highest graphics. The character models are also faithful to the animated series, and each one is voiced by their original voice actor from the show making maxresdefaultfor an immersive experience.

The music and sound-design are, for the most part, ripped straight from the show. This isn’t a bad thing due to the soundtrack from the show being really engaging and well-composed, but it could’ve done with an original soundtrack.

The main purpose of the game is to make you feel like you’re in the middle of an episode of the show. And it does do this, to a degree. The hack-n-slash combat and sound-design are almost indistinguishable from the show in a lot of places, but it doesn’t manage to replicate the badass, higss_b422a423147d13a598eaf853000d000094310f43-600x338h-adrenaline fights that are featured in the show. The closest the game came to these high-octane, one-on-one fights is with the final boss fight, which starts off nicely, but it quickly wears thin, especially in single-player where you’re constantly jumping around for minutes waiting for a chance to hit it a single time, and then the process repeats four of five times. Other than that one fight, all you do is just tear apart dozens of enemies at a time. I will admit, it’s a great feeling to tear through dozens of enemies at once, and it’s made even better with the right music. But it can wear thin after a while.

Another problem is that the difficulty is severely unbalanced in later levels of the single player campaign, being almost unfair in places, and just frustrating all around. Multiplayer is fun, but unless you have a decent computer, a small party, and the graphics down all the way it will lag to absolute Hell. This is because the game changes the amount of enemies depending on the number of players and difficulty setting.

In the first playthrough or two with each character, the combat is fun and fast-paced, but it doesn’t take too long before you realise just how limited the move pools are and just how little combos you can pull off. And it doesn’t help that the characters don’t feel nearly different enough to warrant playing as each character multiple times. Essentially, once you’ve played as one, you’ve played as them all.

The story is ve418340_screenshots_20160708072543_1ry bland and unoriginal. This is a massive let-down since a major draw of the show is how it takes concepts that seem bland or overdone and turns them and fleshes them out, not opting for the easy and familiar route. For the show, they use clichés to quickly introduce an idea and later flesh it out. For the game, they didn’t do this. I know it’s too much to expect a full and completely original story that takes place between the second and third season of the show since it  is more or less an indie venture, lacking both the time and budget that all major RPGs have, but I do feel that they could’ve done something a bit more with it than they did.

My high expectations of what Grimm Eclipse could have been has definitely made me harsher in my judgement, since it does do what a game is made to do. Grimm Eclipse is a good piece of entertainment that passes the time when you’re a bored. I’m just disappointed that it isn’t anything more than that. It’s a decent enough companion piece for fans of the show, but it’s not the kind of game that will bring in or convince a different audience that isn’t already hooked.

by Joshua Oldham

Ninja Storm (Shinobi Arashi)

Ever wanted to curve a shuriken with epic music? Well, now you can!

In Shinobi Arashi (Ninja Storm) you, the ninja, need to get from one end of the map to the other by going from room to room and killing everything that gets in your way with your pmainmenuhysics defying shuriken. You have to get through hordes of other ninja and even samurai. Do you have what it takes to retake Himeji Castle from the invaders?

The controls are the usual WASD for the movement and Space Bar for the jumping.

The music came from Adrien von Ziegler on YouTube under his licence which gives students entirely free use of all his compositions.

All in game sprites (outside of particular backgrounds) were made by Michael and Joshua.

 

WHAT WERE OUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES?:

JOSHUA: Graphics, mainly. Not only getting sprites, but animating them, too. Obviously, we don’t have any animated sprites outside of the shuriken, and that’s for good reason. And the splash screen… Ugh, the splash screen…

MICHAEL: definitely getting the firing mechanics working, not only with the player but with the enemies too!! a lot of bugs and problems showed up, although one of them we ended up keeping as it worked well (strangely), it was tough to configure.

DYLAN: Mechanics mostly, getting things to work in conjunction with each other. My main challenge was creating a cohesive and linear path for the player to follow that wasn’t hard to navigate through using the controls available.

gameplay

HOW DID WE OVERCOME THEM?:
JOSHUA: We didn’t solve the animation.

MICHAEL: After long periods of trial and error and bug testing. Eventually the mechanics started working on par to what we wanted, so we kept it there, and didn’t fiddle with anymore.

DYLAN: Readjustment of the 10th degree, really, tweaking massive amounts and changing entire map parts
WHAT DID WE LEARN THROUGH THIS PROJECT?:

JOSHUA: I actually learnt a bit of coding and brining a game together. Also learned how to make a splash screen, and that making an actual game would be an absolute Hell.

MICHAEL: I learnt how tough it is to achieve even a slightly small game, and how teamwork is necessary to completing a project with limited time, I also learnt different mechanics of Game Maker that I didn’t originally know, and am able to use them in the future!!

DYLAN: How many parts and hours go into even a small game, and what each of thoserope-ladder-thingy parts do with each other.

 

WHAT ARE WE MOST PROUD OF?:

JOSHUA: Outside of the fact we actually have a working game; I guess the way the team worked together. In terms of the actual game, probably the shuriken bug. DEFY PHYSICS!

MICHAEL: I’m proud of the fact we have a working game (as what Josh said), I’m also proud of the length of it, for such a small period of time, we were able to get a decent sized game that worked well, I’m also proud of my mechanics that I worked on!!

DYLAN: The entire damn game, I love it, its so much fun to play, I got to test and find bugs, and influence what went on in development next to a degree.

Download Ninja Storm here: ninja-storm

Download the Ninja Storm source code: https://www.mediafire.com/?n7oag46bznerd9p

Team: Michael; Dylan; Joshua

 

Tower Defence (Without the “Defence”)

CaptureThis was made for the “Game Design Challenge” thing initially, though I didn’t add all the things I needed to (Specifically the object card), but whatever.

Originally, I was going to make it so you could place towers which were limited by a point system, and a high-score table. But I hit unforeseen lacks of knowledge in coding, so I couldn’t actually finish the code for either. All that’s left in the game is the ability to shoot things, that’s it.

Instructions are the first thing you see in the game.

Download: Tower Defence

By Josh