The Daily Click ::. Projects ::. Arrow Clash!

Project: Arrow Clash!
Project Started: 11th June, 2010 Last Update: 27th October, 2010
Project Owner: HitmanN Project Members:
Project Type: Traditional Cave Flier (online) Project Progress:

Project Overview  
Preview Previously titled 'Unnamed Cave Flier'

Back in the DOS/Shareware era, cave fliers were a popular genre, at least here in Finland. Since then I haven't seen many new cave fliers. To honor the good ol' genre, this is my contribution.

Basic components of a Cave Flier have usually been
-Ships affected by gravity and damaged by terrain
-Lots of weapons to choose from
-Landing Pads to repair, restock and switch weapons
-Destructible terrain

Destructible terrain has to be excluded for now, since it's not very well supported with scrolling present, but to make up for it, I'm making this my first online multiplayer experiment, then use that experience to 'online-multiplayerize' my other project "Tank Game".

Originally the game was split-screen for two people, since it wasn't meant to be online originally, but with online modes the split screen is not needed, so expect a full screen view instead for the online product.

Oh, and the game's interface and look so far is very much inspired, if not directly copied, from my favorite cave flier of all time, Rocket Chase. It's freeware now, so I can recommend giving it a try if you can run DOS games (like with DOSBox, or on an older machine).

Basic Gun - Always equipped:

Your ship's basic weapon fires tiny medium-speed projectiles. There's plenty of ammo for this weapon when you're fully stocked, and it does decent damage. Due to the projectiles' speed though, it takes a bit of practice to aim the weapon.

Special Weapons (so far):

Double Rocket
Two rockets are fired, highly affected by the ship's movement and direction. Don't try to use it when turning, or you might hit yourself!
Small bombs are launched from the back of the ship. Not very powerful, but can be launched in large quantities. Excellent at slowing down pursuers or dropping down on unsuspecting foes below.
Shoots fast projectiles at rapid pace. Not very powerful, but fairly easy to aim.
Shoots a bunch of small projectiles in a cone-shape formation. A single projectile isn't powerful, but a well-placed shotgun blast can do some serious damage. Watch out for the recoil when you fire!
Dizzy Gas
Deals no damage, but if it hits an opponent, their left and right controls are reversed for four seconds! Mess up your opponent's orientation and then pew-pew them to death with your basic gun.
Launches a projectile that keeps spreading smaller projectiles around it while it's in air. The smaller projectiles equal the damage of the basic gun, so there's potential for a lot of damage when utilized correctly. The main projectiles itself doesn't do much damage.
Anti-gravity Bubble
Hit your opponent with this weapon, and their ship's gravity will be reversed for 15 seconds. See if your opponents are as good with avoiding ceilings as they are with floors.
A spinning green blade is shot forward. The blade passes through everything, and causes plenty of continuous damage to ships. The blade's trajectory is affected by your ship's movement as well, and is thus difficult to utilize at times, but the potential damage is lethal if you can get an opponent to stay in touch with the blade for long.

Special Weapons (usable, but consider them beta):
Psychic Wave
Player's ship releases a short distance wave, which violently pushes other ships within the wave's reach away from the player. Doesn't cause any direct damage, but can be used to push opponents against walls for potentially big collision damage.
Energy Bouncer
A small ball of energy is fired forward, which bounces off walls. The ball doesn't do much damage, but can be fired at a decent rate. The projectiles last for 8 bounces, or when they hit an opponent.
Freezer Crystals
A small, harmless looking particle is fired. Upon reaching a wall or an opponent, the projectile expands into a stack of ice crystals. This weapons can be used to cage enemies or to create obstacles. The ice crystals can be destroyed with some damage, and they also slowly melt away on their own.

Landing Pads:

When you park your ship on a landing pad, you'll get the following benefits:
-You can switch special weapon with your main and secondary fire buttons.
-Your ship's armor/health is slowly restored.
-Your ship's fuel is quickly refilled.
-Your basic gun's ammo is restocked at a decent rate.
-Your special weapon's ammo is restocked slowly.

Remember that when you're landed, your firing buttons are used to switch weapons, so you can't shoot!

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By: HitmanN
On: 22nd Jun 10, 21:24:14
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Before a new level... an update!
Posted 27th Oct 10, by HitmanN 2 Comments
Figured I'd do one more update before starting to work on a new level.

This update puts you in a different game room on the server, so people with older versions will not be able to get there.

The main reason for this is the changes in weapon usage, and some of their statistics. Anyhow, you can download the latest version v0.236 at the usual location:



-Game and Checker app have a new icon.

-Checker application can now be minimized to tray, and there's an option to have balloon notifications for players online. The notifications are set to happen every 2 minutes, if there are players online.

-Checker application now has a button which launches the game itself and closes the Checker app. This way you don't need to find the game executable and manually run it when you want to jump in the game after noticing someone is online.

-Chat messages make a subtle bleep sound.

-Main menu of the game now checks for latest version, and informs you if there's a new one available. You'll still have to manually download it, but hopefully in future I'll include an auto-updater or downloader of some sort.

-NOTE: Both basic gun and special weapon can no longer be fired simultaneously. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that it reduces network traffic and CPU load (less ammo, less to calculate), and it encourages more tactical use the weaponry, rather than just spamming both. ;p

-Weapon buffs:
*Machinegun damage doubled (to compensate for the inability to use the main gun at the same time)
*Shotgun special ammo usage dropped from 10 to 8

-Weapon nerfs:
*Shotgun damage per bullet reduced from 3 to 2
*Psychic Wave special ammo usage upped from 10 to 12

-Colliding with walls right after receiving a hit from Psychic Wave or Shotgun doesn't count as a suicide, but gives the shooter a point. However, this only count for 1.5 second in case of Psychic Wave, and 1 second with Shotgun. Other weapons have similar period as well, but only very momentary. Basically, unless you were hit by a Psychic Wave or Shotgun recently, colliding with wall will likely count as a suicide.
Planning a new level
Posted 24th Oct 10, by HitmanN 3 Comments
Since the current level only seems to suit up to about 4 players before becoming a mess, I'm planning on making a new level. With the new level I'm also thinking about doing a different rules/game mode. Which of these would you be most interested in experiencing:

"Lucky Draw"
The level has no landing pads, and upon spawning each player is given a random special weapon. Killing opponents restores fuel,restocks some ammo for both the basic gun and the special weapon and restores HP a tiny bit, like 20 or so. For the sake of keeping survival possible, basic ammo is also slowly restocked when not firing. Flying at zero fuel and 1HP also won't kill, but otherwise lack of fuel damages HP the same way as normally.

This game mode teaches to play with all possible special weapons, discourages camping (because you'll need to actually kill to keep your fuel and ammo stocked) and generally makes you play more carefully, yet also with certain urgency.

"Team game"
Similar to the original map, but allows teams of up 2vs2 or 3vs3. Spawning points for teams are at opposite ends of the map, and the spawning areas are safe zones where your team's landing pad is also located. Opponents can't enter or fire in the safe zone.

Obviously, the main thing this level offers is team play, instead of the somewhat chaotic Free-For-All original level.

One player is the 'hunted' and others are 'hunters', trying to kill the 'hunted'. Killing other players doesn't earn points. Staying alive as a 'hunted' does. Every 10 seconds or so you stay alive gets you a point. The 'hunter' who lands the killing blow on a 'hunted' player will become 'hunted' themself.

This mode offer both aggressive and defensive gameplay. The map would be rather large, allowing proper chases to happen.

Which of these would you like to see made first? Or do you have ideas of your own? Let me know!
Minor update (v0.235 available)
Posted 24th Oct 10, by HitmanN Post A Comment
Here's another minor update, mostly correcting a few issues related to Freezer Crystals, as well as uncompressed executables, for less firewall alerts.

I'll be in the game every few hours today. Hope to see ya there.

Download v0.235 here:

Changelog for v0.235:

(this version is compatible with v0.234, but for your own safety and gameplay performance, use the latest. ;P)

-Fix: Freezer Crystal stacks are properly damaged by shotgun now. A single blast can easily shatter a crystal stack.

-Fix: When simultaneously landed on a Landing Pad and trapped inside a Crystal Stack, the Landing Pad doesn't work now, and you can use your weapons. Previously players were stuck to being landed and switching weapons, unable to destroy the crystal stack. This should no longer happen, and the solution also makes it possible to use Freezer Crystals to prevent opponents from restocking.

-Tweaks: Reduced the amount of some effects slightly. Such as phaseblade trails, water splashes, missile smoke, etc.

-The application executable for both the game and the checker is now uncompressed. Those of you with stingy firewalls shouldn't anymore get alerts every time you run the game or the checker. (Thanks to SortaCore for the tip)

-The Arrow Clash Game Checker now has a new box that counts the number of other people using the checker application. For now the number doesn't include your own checker. So when the number is more than 0, someone else is also running a checker. You may want to take initiative and join the game, to alert the other people using the checker application.
New version available! Let's play on Sunday!
Posted 23rd Oct 10, by HitmanN 2 Comments
New version can be downloaded here:

Let's play on Sunday!
Like the title says, I request that you try the new version during Sunday, 24th October. If you don't see anyone online, leave the Game Checker Application running on auto-alert. It'll inform you when someone (like me!) is online. I'll visit the server several times during the day, whenever I get a chance.

Hope to finally see more than two people there at the same time. The previous 3 player experiences lacked... polish. xP

(I'll also be around randomly for the next several hours, up to about 4:00am GMT+2)

New in v0.234 (Changelog)

-Players shouldn't be able to fire while exploding anymore.

-A few minor fixes for things that miraculously worked ok despite being essentially wrong. Now they should be completely as intended. Mainly stuff related to communicated data between clients and server.

-New Weapons:
*Psychic Wave. Player's ship releases a short distance wave, which violently pushes other ships within the wave's reach away from the player. Doesn't cause any direct damage, but can be used to push opponents against walls for potentially big collision damage. Limited ammo.
*Energy Bouncer. A small ball of energy is fired forward, which bounces off walls. The ball doesn't do much damage, but can be fired at a decent rate. The projectiles last for 8 bounces, or when they hit an opponent.
*Freezer Crystals. A small, gravity-affected harmless looking particle is fired. Upon reaching an obstacle or an opponent, the projectile expands into a stack of ice crystals. This weapon can be used to cage enemies in the ice or to create obstacles. The ice crystals can be destroyed with some damage, and they also slowly melt away on their own. In a very laggy game, the resulting ice crystal stacks can warp to a different location, depending on what is considered the true point of impact. Also, upon joining a game the new player currently doesn't see any of the crystal stacks created before joining the game.

(consider the new weapons work-in-progress, and please do report any issues you have with them, thank you.)

-Game Checker Application should now work correctly again. It was checking different channel than what the main game used. ^^;

-Some weapon changes also, but I forget what. Sorry. Nothing major.

ALSO NOTE: This version is not compatible with previous ones. The application joins a different game channel than older ones.

First 5-player session experience!

Big thanks to Sumo, Eternal Man, SortaCore and ETHAN for joining the game soon after posting the update. It was most satisfying to experience so many players in my first ever lacewing game. There are still gameplay issues to be solved for sure, and on my end the game seemed to get tad heavy and framerate went down a bit. I should probably use the 'disable water particles' option I created for the game myself.

Anyways, considering the size of the map, five players might be one too many. I should definitely look into additional game rooms or maps. Well, considering the still low number of players, I think an additional map, acting as a separate game room should do the trick for the time being.

As for the new weapons, freezer crystals didn't seem to work 100%. Shotgun didn't seem to damage the crystals as much as they should've, and couple of times people got immobilized between the crystals and landing pads. Psychic wave is hard to use, but nasty if timed just right. Energy Bouncers did what they needed to do, though they're almost more useful as a directly fired projectile.

Anyhow, I've attached a few screenshots of the session. Don't mind my high kill count there. I dueled with Sumo past 10 kills before the others jumped in, after which it was, as SortaCore mentioned, "chaos".

If anyone has any feedback on the update or the game in general, please please do post 'em. It'll give me juice to keep improving the game further.




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