We have released the Demo version out there.
Follow this link.
There is a YouTube challenge if you think you're up for it, described on the download page.
Overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It's challenging, fast but not brutal. The controls are smooth and there's the whole feeling of how the ship is a bit heavy, but still controllable. I'd say it's nicely varied. There's not too many 'popcorn' enemies.
Actually, let me show you how it really looks, there's a play online, but watching is very different from playing:
Anyway, we also have a new team member. He'll make a great addition to our team, so you can expect even shinier backgrounds
More info about the game:
Psichodelya is a relatively small project - a game which would be a fast, old-school style top-down shmup (shoot-em-up) in the likes of Aero Fighters, Giga Wing, Espgaluda, R-Type Delta, Raiden, more recent Jamestown and mostly DoDonPachi.
Controls are very simple - there is fire to shoot, hold fire to activate the laser stream, bomb, and the color switch (more below). Firing the stream also slows the player down (which is customary in games of this sort) so there is a tactical component there. Bombs damage everything on screen and clear all the bullets, but are limited in supply.
The main twist with this shmup is two polarities of the main ship. All bullets in the game have 2 basic colors: red and blue. Each enemy can also be red and blue. Player can switch between two colors (polarities) of the main ship at any time, by switching the color of the shield. Shield can protect from a certain number of bullets of the same color, but getting touched by the opposite color kills the player. Once the polarity is activated, players shots and streaming are in that color. Enemies are also more vulnerable to one color of player's shots - making the player choose his color in consideration to enemies' color and current bullet color density on screen.
At the end of each level there is a huge boss: multiple stages, many attack patterns, requiring quick thinking and good reflexes, but it's also the most rewarding.
The gameplay mechanics are based on three different playable ships, each with different shot types. On the start screen, the player can choose between them based on fire type. Each ship has 5 fire-ing sources, and 3 always point forward. The other 2 are ship-specific:
Ship #1: Has two circling alt fire hovers, that shoot forward, and rotate around the axis of the ship. This gives the player maximum power forward.
Ship #2: Tricky shooter turns its shots to the side you are going to, meaning: if you turn left the fire position on the left turns left with you and allows for some damage to the side, and also some tactical options in avoiding enemy bullet patterns.
Ship #3: Fires simultaneously to both sides - giving maximum flexibility in avoiding enemy bullet patterns.
All ships can in addition, do "streaming". It means as you hold the fire button, the ship starts to fire a huge laser forward, that slows you down a bit, and does more damage.
Shooting vs streaming on one ship:
There is also something known as shot type. Player chooses either one based on preference to firing bullets or stream. One shot type makes the player stronger when firing bullets, while the other makes the streaming stronger.
The game can be enjoyed in both single and multiplayer, which means local coop only. There is support for both Keyboard/Mouse and Gamepads, so two players can play both on one keyboard, on a keyboard and gamepad, or using two gamepads. All controls are completely customizable.
Our take on game profiles is simple: every game should have them. That's why we have the in Psichodelya. It means each player chooses his ship type and preferred shot type on the profile creation screen, and continues to unlock stages from there. If the player desires to change the ship, or to start from the beginning, he creates another profile. There are unlimited profiles per machine. There are separate profiles for single and multiplayer.
Pickups exist in Psichodelya, but are relatively rare. Shields, Bombs, Powerups, Lives can all be picked up, but they are there for help from time to time, rather then liability.
There are also 5 difficulty levels. All difficulties play the same stages in the same way, but the number of shields added on level start is different.
Psichodelya's gameplay is also characterized by extensive usage of bullet patterns. While some other shmups keep the levels a destruction - fest, here every enemy killed is a bit of a challenge. Most big enemies fire specific patterns, and aren't killed just in in a blink. With big enemies, we combine smaller enemies (aka Popcorn) that are also present on each level, combing the dynamics of easily killed popcorn with patterns of challenging enemies. With this, we achieve a unique variation of both dynamism and challenge.
Most of the mentioned patterns have random seeds. That means it incorporates a variation that is different every time, which makes it hard for players to learn the level by heart. The bullets in Psichodelya are not super-fast, but there is always a good amount of them on the screen.
Speaking of randomness, the stages are carefully designed to offer optimal challenge. That being said, there is a secret sauce in the ways and timing enemies appear on screen. Even after two playthroughs of one level, you will be certain that the level is not exactly the same. That is just a bit of variation for good measure. Careful design means we combine parts of stage of high effort with parts of stage with lower effort, culminating with a boss at the end of every level. Some levels incorporate mid-bosses, which are stronger then usual enemies appearing during the level. Each level is just long enough to provide a healthy level of challenge.
And at the topic of length - there are no continues in the game. There is, however, automatic saving of each unlocked level, so players don't have to start from the beginning every time.
Scoring system is really important to us as most advanced players like to compete - beating their own score, or the score of somebody else. Getting high score in Psichodelya is highly dependent on 3 factors: length of time since that enemy appeared, and the current string of enemies of the same color (shown as "chains" in the HUD), and the chosen difficulty level. The game awards quick destructions and tactical thinking. For more details on how scoring works, take a look here.
Achieving the highscore is not all that fun if nobody else can see it. We have implemented online and local leaderboards that are connected with profiles. More details are also on the link above, but in short each profile remembers the highest score for any stage (as noted above, stages are unlocked and can be chosen). It then calculates the maximum score for that profile, and it gets stored locally. These scores are displayed at local leaderboards screen, from where the player can "push" the score online at the cumulative leaderboard. These scores can also be removed at any time, and each game installation is identified with a unique machine ID, so that you know which profiles are yours. We have tested our system with a huge number of profiles. Rankings are visible from both our webpage and the game's global leaderboards screen. With the later, you can filter to show only profiles that came from your machine, showing your spot at a quick glance.
The goal is to create a game which will be really fun to play, challenging, but at the same time in a modern package that is sure to impress with art style. Games like this aren't seen often these days, and this game is aimed to be quick, fun, full-on visual & audio art coupled with great gameplay.
Target platforms are Windows, Mac & Linux.
Any feedback is appreciated.