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Plethora is an old-school, brutal, side-scrolling shooter.  It has an innovative control system, 13 weapons, achievements to unlock, numerous stages and huge bosses!  It even has a bit of a story - yes, I know you aren't supposed to do that in a shmup!  Don't worry, the story doesn't get in the way of blasting everything to bits, just ties everything together and adds a bit of intrigue.  I have designed a new "Mastery" system so you won't have to repeat stages that you've played to death - unless you want to - but you will have to earn your way through :)

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Plethora 2012 Disclosure Demo 1.00

Plethora 2012 Disclosure Demo 1.00

Aug 20, 2012 Demo 1 comment

First public demo of Plethora 2012 Disclosure. This demo features 4 levels from the early part of the game. Please let me know what you think of it! I...

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 13)
Zer0]{elvin Creator
Zer0]{elvin Oct 18 2012, 12:56pm says:

Had a report of crashing on Win 7/64 Pro. Anybody else had the game crash?

+1 vote   reply to comment
Zer0]{elvin Creator
Zer0]{elvin Oct 24 2012, 5:58pm replied:

Turns out this issue happens if the zip file is not fully extracted. Be sure and extract all files before running the executable. It should work fine then :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
DonGiovanni
DonGiovanni Sep 12 2012, 3:35pm says:

To help get a bit more exposure and hopefully receive even more feedback, you should submit your game to the indie game stand bundle site: Indiegamestand.com

The idea behind the site was conceived by the staff at indie game magazine. I'd recommend that you try to get your game submitted. The site is brand new but already has an introductory game being offered for free and games will be rotated over a period of time. Over 50 well known indie developers have already signed up. Every 4 days a new game will be up for say using the "Pay What You Want" model. That way people can buy the game for as low as one dollar. It may not sound like much, but it's the perfect way to get your game out there and to receive much needed exposure.

Give it a shot.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Zer0]{elvin Creator
Zer0]{elvin Sep 19 2012, 6:47pm replied:

Cool! Thanks for the info :)
I just signed up on the site, they are giving away free copies of Chester right now. I'll check it out! :D

+1 vote   reply to comment
DonGiovanni
DonGiovanni Sep 8 2012, 1:01pm says:

Alright, I just finished playing the demo. I should mention that I do have a lot of experience with Shmups so I'll try to be as constructive as possible.

The game isn't bad but it is lacking in a few areas.

The "How To Play" in the manual does a good enough job of explaining the controls in a simple enough manner, but I just found that between moving, shooting, and aiming, it didn't take very long for this control scheme to become uncomfortable.

I understanding the desire to make a unique control scheme in order to make your game original, but I found that because of the freeform flying (no pathways and the necessity to move horizontally and vertically), just wasn't as comfortable while using the mouse to aim the secondary weapon. I think this is remedied in other shmups by making the secondary weapon fire in the opposite direction that your ship is moving. The problem with that would be that the secondary weapon isn't very strong.

Speaking of weapons, I wasn't able to find any new weapons. The only way I even got to try a new weapon (just a more rapid fire version of the original primary weapon) was by playing the later levels that are made available in the demo. Considering the amount of pick-ups that are released by the enemy, I was surprised that I didn't get any power-ups even after 5 minutes of straight play without dying. Perhaps I missed something, but it just felt too long before noticing any significant upgrades, especially for the amount of work you need to do chasing around orbs after killing every enemy. It may not be necessary to grab every single orb, but I try to go for a high score, and the act of trying to do everything just didn't feel as intuitive as it possibly could feel.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Zer0]{elvin Creator
Zer0]{elvin Sep 8 2012, 7:09pm replied:

Thanks so much for playing it and for all the great feedback! I really appreciate it!

Yes, the secondary fire is the one thing that makes the game different from other shmups I have played. If I'm understanding you correctly, you are saying because of the lack of having to move much in the early stages the secondary fire aiming isn't very comfortable. And it feels underpowered. It has basically the same strength as the main weapon in the early stages, and doesn't really come into its own until later in the game. I need to find a way to communicate that better.

The weapons are unlocked one at a time by technology upgrades from the Pleaideans. So when you are playing a later level you are getting the weapons you will have at that point in the game. In the early going, primary and secondary weapons are similar. Later in the game you have very different secondary weapons - giant balls of plasma, waves of energy, homing missiles, and lightning. They are all way cooler than the ones in the demo, heheh I haven't figured out how to show all the cool stuff upfront without just unlocking the later game stages. There is a steep change in difficulty, players would most likely be overwhelmed. The current build has the powerups all moving back and to the left, so there's less chasing...

+1 vote   reply to comment
DonGiovanni
DonGiovanni Sep 8 2012, 1:06pm replied:

The enemies felt a little repetitive in their approach. Because there aren't any real patterns to follow or memorize, the first few levels in particular, felt like a repetitive practice in simply holding down the fire buttons and simply dodging the slow enemies. It felt like all of the strategy was left to my skill in aiming the secondary weapon, which again became uncomfortable after playing for about 15 minutes straight. Because of the lack of enemy "patterns" I didn't feel that the enemies moved around very much. They seemed to slow down and speed up on the horizontal plane, but there wasn't very much movement on the vertical plane. The bosses are pretty good though. In fact I think they're my favorite aspect of the game, I just wish it didn't take so long to reach them. The basic enemies did seem to attack horizontally for the most part though, even though there were a few enemies that seemed to attack diagonally. I think it might be a little more exciting to have more enemies stop and fire in a radial pattern once in a while being swarmed by some of the more simple enemies.

Based on the way that you've designed the game I think it would help if there was a progress bar so players could see exactly how far they are in the level and so that they have an idea of just how far the boss is. This would encourage players to change up their strategies as well, knowing that the boss is near and that they'll have to play more carefully.

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Zer0]{elvin Creator
Zer0]{elvin Sep 8 2012, 7:12pm replied:

The first two levels are pretty much a shooting gallery. The enemies here don't pose much threat and are easy to kill. You are right they don't move vertically very much. I should probably move one in that does. Basically, level 1 I just want you to figure out the controls and how to play, how to aim at enemies with the alt fire. Maybe some of the enemies should fire?

The progress bar is a good idea. I hadn't thought of that. It does kind of make you wonder how much further you have to go...

+1 vote   reply to comment
DonGiovanni
DonGiovanni Sep 8 2012, 1:08pm replied:

I really enjoyed the boss battles, and I could see how a "Boss Rush" mode might be a lot of fun if it became an unlockable mode within the game. Achievements are also a fun addition. Obviously, all shmups should have a high score table, it would be nice to compare scores online with people around the world as well. The problem I had with the scoring was that I didn't completely understand how to best earn points. For the most part you want to shoot everything possible in a shmup, but there are so many orbs to pick up after destroying an enemy, and I didn't know what each colored orb represented in points. I know the red ones allow you to take more damage, but the green ones seemed to only give me 10 points, and I didn't notice how many points the yellow orbs gave. When you finish a level I noticed that the progress report shows the percentage of enemies you destroyed and your total score, but I didn't notice if the amount of collected orbs had an affect on your score, or whether you gained any bonuses from the amount you collected. Perhaps I just missed that info, but hopefully it does contribute to a bonus score in some way, otherwise collecting all of the orbs is more like a tedious chore and mostly unnecessary since the points they give are rather low.

If the game controls were made a little more comfortable, and if there was some sort of gamepad support I could dive into the game for an even longer period of time. It would be nice to see some additional obstacles and graphics in the background and foreground. A few more variations in enemies, and even some a few enemies with patterns would help change up the gameplay a bit. Again, it's not a bad game, but it doesn't feel entirely balanced yet. Based on what I played it felt a bit more like an Alpha or Beta release. You've got something here, but it does need a little more work.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Zer0]{elvin Creator
Zer0]{elvin Sep 8 2012, 7:26pm replied:

Glad you liked the bosses! Boss rush could be fun to add :) I couldn't figure out how to do the online scoring thing. Not sure where my hosting would be, would have to be changed if I switched hosts?

I didn't put instructions in the game about the powerups. I was curious to see if people would figure them out or not. I'm definitely re-doing the graphics on them. Green is Points, Red Shield, Orange Speedup.
I hadn't decided how many points to give to the green ones so they are still all set to 10. I was thinking of making them maybe half or 1/3 of the points for the enemy killed? The mastery system relies on scoring or percentage, so you can master a level on points. So I was thinking points powerups would put you over the edge. Everything else in the game is way more points now, so that definitely need fixed.

Changing the controls to gamepad really makes it a different game. Later on, it's pretty much impossible to survive without aiming at the enemies. It's definitely a PC game, and the advantage of those is the mouse. So maybe it's just a bad idea for a game?

It's early beta, for sure. I really wanted to get something out and hopefully get some feedback on it. You are the forth person to play it and get back to me :/
There are around 35 enemies in the full game. They do have lots of different patterns, but if people don't see that in the part of the game from the demo... Maybe I need to throw some of those later enemies in earlier on?

+1 vote   reply to comment
DonGiovanni
DonGiovanni Sep 8 2012, 1:09pm replied:

My opinions shouldn't ultimately have an affect on the way you want the game to turn out or be designed, but hopefully others will contribute more comments so that there can be some sort of comparison in gameplay sessions, and so that you get more feedback regarding the game.

In the meantime, keep up the good work and don't quit working on it, even if you do need to make a few changes. Keep your original vision regarding the game, but try tweaking, balancing, and playing around with the mechanics. Most importantly, make sure that the game you've developed is a game that you yourself would enjoy, and don't be discouraged by what anyone else says.

I wish you all the best.

Cheers.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Zer0]{elvin Creator
Zer0]{elvin Sep 8 2012, 7:31pm replied:

Again, thanks a lot for playing it! Your comments are very helpful. It's always very enlightening to see what others think of your work, and things you don't notice yourself :) I noticed you didn't say much about the graphics. It was turned down for publishing on Desura because of the graphics. I know the backgrounds need redone, and the powerups, and a thing or two here and there. I think the sprites look fine for a retro styled game though.

Anyway, thanks a lot for playing! :)

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Plethora 2012 Disclosure
Platform
Windows
Developer & Publisher
Retrolutionary
Engine
Custom Built
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Official Page
Retrolutionary.com
Release Date
Released Oct 15, 2012
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