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Starsceptre is live !! my second Codea game

edited June 2017 in General Posts: 318

Hi, so this game has been almost two years in the making. I've been on these boards on and off for help and everyone has been brilliant.

I wanted it share the latest trailer in the rush to finish this game. Hope you like.

The Major



  • Posts: 2,020

    Wow, that is awesome. Love the artwork, the way the ship tilts.

    Is it a bullet-hell mechanic, with bullet grazing and so on?

    Tell us about the controls. Lots of shots of people tapping their iPads, please tell me it also has an auto fire option! It also looks like it has tilt controls? Is there an option for touch controls too?

  • edited March 2017 Posts: 2,020

    Wow, it really has been 2 years already!

    It's interesting how fit and finish always takes waaaaaay longer than getting to the initial proof-of-concept.

    Congratulations for sticking it out.

  • Posts: 112

    Holy crap, that looks AMAZING!

  • JohnJohn Admin Mod
    Posts: 639

    @Majormorgan Well done, amazing job! Love the retro style graphics and music. Let us know when it's available on the AppStore!

  • Posts: 237

    @Majormorgan I am also making a spaceship game right now, and if anyone were to compare mine to yours side to side, they would delete my game. Yours looks freaking amazing, Great Job!

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,434

    @Majormorgan that's the coolest game I've seen made in Codea. I remember your early prototypes — and I used to demo them to people to show off Codea because they were so stunning.

  • Posts: 26

    This is amazing i hope it will come out soon and be a hit!
    And its made in Codea!

  • Posts: 160

    That game is fantastic! :o
    I'm really impressed with the graphics and artwork! This is definitely one of the best games I've seen on Codea! :) I can really understand how that took 2 years! ;)

  • Posts: 1,255

    Beautiful. Fantastic work. Every minute of the time you spent shows in the finished product.

  • Posts: 318

    Thank you all for your kind words and support.

    Some of you have been on this journey with me as I've discovered new ways to code and some of you have created code I could use directly when my tiny mind hasn't been able to comprehend it. It has all been an amazing and long experience. I hope once its out you love it as much as I do. Will keep you all posted. Thanks again!!!!

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,434
  • edited March 2017 Posts: 112

    Congrats MajorMorgan!

  • Posts: 318

    Wow, that is amazing @Simeon - great to see people discuss our game. Thanks!!!!!

  • Posts: 318

    And here's a little something I released today (not the game yet)

  • edited April 2017 Posts: 318
    So I've almost finished coding. Just one more week to go. I wanted to share my press release with you guys and gals to see what you think.
  • Posts: 791

    Nice article but I think the website needs a tweak. Three menu items along the top but not much content in each (and the press release is under "about" rather than say press). A short description of what the game is all about would be good along with a few screen shots.

    Game looks great and looking forward to playing it!

  • Posts: 318
    Totally @West ! Am on it! Thanks mate
  • Posts: 318
    Hey all. So v1.0 of the game is out. To think I thought I only had a week to go to finish it back in April. Too funny...

    You can find it here:
    Starsceptre by Richard Morgan

    I've written a bit more over in the released for Codea main thread. I've had so much help from the forum it's been incredible. Please read that for details.

    I hope you enjoy!
  • Posts: 71
    Have some of my American Currency @Majormorgan! It looks good and plays great!
  • Posts: 318
    Thanks @athros !! How far did you get? Would love to hear what you love and hate in a review maybe? Thanks again!!!
  • Posts: 69
    @Majormorgan May I ask you how you created your assets for the game? Because they look truly amazing!
  • Posts: 318
    Of course @GR00G0 - I create them in Photoshop, I work with a small canvas size 320x480 pixels and have a zoomed in view next to it so I can paint away pixel by pixel
  • Posts: 505
    Very nice looking game and also good press for Codea :)
  • Posts: 791
    Excellent! Very polished-loving the cut scenes. On level 3 boss - tough but just about beaten him. 5 star review left in the store
  • Posts: 17

    Tried to buy it - but unfortunately only available for iOS 10 and above :'( Any reason for that ? iPad 3 still working with most apps, although feeling a bit left behind.

  • Posts: 318

    Hey @timber that was an error on my part and one I'll be fixing with version 1.1 very soon. It will be set to iOS 9.3. Thanks!!!

  • Posts: 318

    Thanks @se24vad !!

    Thanks @West - check out this video clip of the credits that will go into v1.1. Watch until the end:

  • Posts: 791

    Nice :-)

  • Posts: 17

    Hi @Majormorgan, I look forward to v1.1 - thought I was becoming retro for a moment

  • Posts: 791

    Hi @Majormorgan

    Been playing quite a bit of StarSceptre recently. Was stuck on chapter 4 for ages - boss was too hard (for me) to kill using only the restart weapons. What I had to do was quit the game, restart and continue from the start of the chapter. This allowed me to build up the firepower through the level to kill the boss. It would be great if you could factor in a restart level or restart from last checkpoint option for a future update.

    I've also discovered the supercannon Easter egg, but am I right in thinking this is a one off and it starts you at level 1 rather than a permanent application for the session?

    A final niggle is that sometimes I get caught in a constant "tilt" loop with the ship (probably by moving my phone position and it thinks I'm constantly tilting it) - it would be good to have a way of recalibration the normal flat position in game (maybe via the pause menu?)

  • Posts: 318
    Hi @West - that feedback is ace and in fact I've worked on addressing all 3 of those things already. They've been finished for a week now in the new code and just finalising one more thing and it will be ready to send for an update.

    The game now has autofire so you can hold down to shoot. You can still tap faster if you like too.

    So the game now performs a mid-game save so once you kill the mid bosses it saves your progress and weapons etc...

    Also the bosses on all levels have been made slightly easier so you don't have to spend ages trying to kill them. Of course they are still challenging but it's easier now.

    The tilt mechanic has been fixed so that it detects the angle you play at the start of the game and then if you pull back further than that it does the loop the loop once. Only when you tilt away from you and return it past a certain level will it detect you are ready for loop the loop again, that way it stops the forever loopthelooping.

    Plus I've built in cinema mode which enables you to rewatch any unlocked cut scenes that you might have missed or skipped.

    Also the new version has that credits intro which I showed before. Did you spot yourself in them?

    Great feedback - very much appreciated!!!
  • Posts: 318
    What I really need from the forum is any feedback and ratings when v1.1 comes out very soon. V1.1 has the builds listed above. Your ratings and feedback on the App Store mean better visibility. Thanks all!!!!
  • Posts: 318
    Totally @athros ! And they've even said when v1.1 is out with its bug fixes (loop the loop is fixed) autofire, mid level saves, new cut scenes and cinema mode, plus pause button they'll revisit the review!!!! Thanks for the share
  • edited August 2017 Posts: 15

    I don't buy a lot of games, but I purchased your game to show support for your hard work and for Codea development. It's clear you put a lot of time and heart into this game, and it's a fun play that's not too easy or too frustrating. I found that tapping to fire didn't bother me at all (I thought it would after watching your video), and I actually prefer tapping to auto fire. I'm not as happy with the tilt controls. The game requires fairly accurate flying in some sections, and the sensitivity of the tilt controls can result in some extra deaths. The time rewind feature saves that from being too annoying.

    The addition of the pause button was crucial, so I'm happy you addressed that. I know the old arcade machines never had a pause button (ever had to have a friend take over?), but I believe it's an absolute requirement on a phone/tablet.

    The only thing that bothers me (and I'm being picky because of the overall strength of the game design) is that the crystals that fly toward your ship when some enemies are destroyed are the same color as the enemy bullets. While this doesn't affect gameplay much, I found myself trying to dodge crystals I thought were bullets, and thought I was being damaged instead of rewarded. A good basic design principle is to make things you want a different color than things you don't want.

    Congratulations on all your hard work and getting your game finished and out there! It's inspiring to see it can be done!

  • Hey @mindless - thank you so much! Your feedback and support is amazing!

    Yeah I'm hoping the new onscreen joystick control options will open the game up to more players and actually I'm starting to like the control system as much as tilt. I'm testing a beta this week before it goes live.

    Interesting about the crystals, that was a key piece of feedback I thought I had addressed in v1.1 so that the crystals are now yellow and the enemy bullets are blue. Have you updated yet? Latest version is v1.1.5.

    Really cool to get your feedback, would you like to try the beta when it's out ? DM me your email address if you do.

    Thanks again!

  • Here's the latest screen recording of the alternative control system:

  • Posts: 15

    @Majormorgan I'd been stuck on level three, so I hadn't seen any crystals in a while. But just before I read your response, I started the game over again and saw the crystals are now yellow - sorry about that!

    I'm happy to see you're willing to try onscreen controls. The tilt controls are well done in your game, but I'm just not a fan of tilt control in any game I've played. Another option is to just have the ship follow the player's touch left and right. This would only work with auto-fire, though, since the player would have to keep a finger on the screen to move.

    Back to building up power so I can get past that level 3 boss...

  • hey @yojimbo2000 - I totally missed replying to your first questions, I'm so sorry.

    The first update got the autofire so every version now has that (and you can toggle it off or on).

    Bullet grazing is a new concept to me, and its something I might bake in in later version. I was always more of a technical shooter SHMUP guy (Gradius, Salamander, R-TYPE, Dragon Spirit) and so bullet hell is something I never played much. In fact sometimes Starsceptre is the opposite with it being bullet heaven ;)

    Yeah over two years now, but to think all those early (and even latter) questions I've asked along the way and you all have been amazing contributing code ideas, explaining things and improving things. Its totally brilliant.

    It's funny the pause feature was one I thought would be a killer to code and it was quite straightforward and fairly quick to do in the end.

    I think the most challenging thing has been around data with saving and reading different states and remembering if the game is a new game or a saved game. So funny to keep track of all the variables.

    The new alternative control system allows you to choose Tilt or On-screen stick and I was quite adverse to adding that at first, but I've managed to do it in a cool way that faithfully plays like tilt but with the stick that a lot of gamers desire.

    I was asked to do follow finger controls but I don't like those. You hide the ship and its counter intuitive. The onscreen joystick version I have gives it a real arcade feel and also is smooth as glass (because its on glass – lol) but works with no horrible fingers missed the hit areas fails.

    Anyway, thank you all for the amazing support and advice.

  • hey @mindless – thanks my friend! Yeah the on screen stick just seems to be so cool now I've got it working right. I'm torn between tilt and stick now, lol.

    Nice ideas there. Touch/follow ship works for other games, and I had considered it, but as this game is about a ship fixed in the middle of the screen it won't work, plus I find that my hands and fingers always cover the action on screen with touch/follow games ;)

    I can't wait for you to try the new version!


  • Hello again, Apple just approved v1.2 of Starsceptre and it now has two types of controls
    • tilt mechanic as before
    • new on-screen joystick that mimics the tilt gameplay beautifully

    • new end of level bonus point scoring system
    • improved Laser and Wave weapons

    All made with Codea!

    Check it out here or update if you have an old version:

  • @Majormorgan Congrats on the update! The onscreen joystick controls feel great, and I really like that you can change controls on the pause screen.

    I did notice one issue: I was using the right joystick option, and after a time rewind, the joystick graphic draws behind the button on the left until the screen is touched. The joystick graphic then jumps into place. This does not affect control or game play, but I thought you might want to know.

  • Simply amazing. Is it a noob question to ask how you're doing collision detection? Are you using the 2D physics shapes, etc?

  • @Majormorgan I love your game! I've been working on the third boss for a bit now but I've just downloaded the latest update and I'm getting a Codea crash inside the game. It happens right after I get the message saying I've beaten the second boss and I tap the third stage. I've attached an image with the error. Thanks for looking into this.

    IMG_3885.PNG 165.6K
  • Hi @Attila717 I've had two other people come forward with the same thing. It looks like I've coded in a new variable that is saved and loaded but totally forgot to save the variable at start up so anyone with a previous save this is causing an issue for.

    The good news is if you start a new game and get past this level it corrects. In the meantime I'm trying to get the update uploaded and try to get a quick fix approved.

    I'm so sorry I've missed this. It's because I had to delete the previous installs on my phone to test the new install and I totally missed seeing this error. Thank you so much ro flagging it.

    If you do manage to start a new game and get back to the same point or the next level even can you let me know if continue then works ok?

    There is an advantage to starting over, you can get an even higher score now with the bonus points system

    Thanks again!
  • Great question @UberGoober - I'm actually using plain of if statements to code hit areas so that the game sees if specific things hit in specific places. I'm sure I'm doing it way too complicated but I found it worked for me!
  • Hey @mindless - great spot my friend. I missed that. I'm gonna get all these bugs sewn up including the one in the 'how to fly' section where the joystick button backer is messed up, plus a couple of other minor things I've found too.

    Thanks for letting me know! Much appreciated!!!
  • Good news, I've been able to recreate both the ship nil error and fix it, plus fix the right side joystick issue. Just have to upload to Apple for approval tonight. My apologies for this, and my heartfelt gratitude for helping identify the issues so I can resolve them!
  • @Majormorgan Nice work! I have a couple of games I've been messing with for a while, and your persistence inspires me to get them done. Thanks!

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