Natura (Beta) - Shaedo (45 replies, 4533 views) (2005-Oct-20)
Natura was created as a university group project for a degree in Computer & Videogame Development. The game is a 2D arcadey/pinbally/puzzly type game and was coded 100% in VB6 using DirectX 8.

AIM: The aim of the game is to fill the rage bar(bottom-left of screen) by destroying the spore (fuzzy pink looking things) on the screen before the time runs out. Alternatively, a level can be completed by destroying ALL of th spore on screen, which will reward you with a "perfect" score. Element (powerup) points are available in the form of hoops in each level. By passing through the hoops you will gain a certian element (the powerup effect will run out overtime). Colliding with the spore once you have collected an element will not destroy the spore, but "stain" it in whatever element you currently have active. Spore can be stained by all 3 elements at the same time by hitting them with all 3 elements one after another (be careful though, if you hit a spore with the same element twice you will destroy it). By combining the elements in this way the rage bar will be filled faster than if you were to destroy the spore with no element. Also, when staining spore with an element, an area of effect occurs depending on the speed you are travelling at. Use Pods to manouver around the level faster. Once a level is either won or lost, press the escape key to quit.

When you complete a level, remember the time left and try to beat it. I just had a quick go and completed level 1 with 153 seconds remaining.

Confused yet?

There are bound to be a few things that I have missed out, but playing around a bit should reveal them. If you get really confused, post a comment and I'll try to explain a little better.

SPACEBAR: When inside a pod, hold down to charge and release to shoot. When outside of a pod, a temporary boost to the players speed.

ARROW KEYS: When inside a pod, the arrow keys are used to angle the pod. When outside of a pod, the arrow keys are used to give a small amount of control over the ball.

ESC: quit.

F1: display frame rate.

Anyways here is the fruit of our labour, Have fun!:


Any comments will be greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind that this is only an unfinished beta version and may still contain a few bugs.


p.s. The editor has been included. I will post a brief tutorial in the comments section when I have time.

Back to News

Re: Natura (Beta) -  Shaedo (0 replies) (2005-Oct-21)
To familiarise yourself with the controls, play the tutorial levels for a bit. They have not time limit, so you can spend as long as you like playing them.

A couple of tips:
  • Controlling the ball is far easier when you master the boost (spacebar). Try firing out of a pod and pressing a direction(arrow key) and boost at the same time. Once a boost has been used, it takes 1 second to recharge (indicated by the glow around the ball).
  • The harder you hit the spore, the more damage you will do. If you do not hit the spore hard enough, you will not do any damage at all.

p.s. If you cannot see any particles, it means that you gfx card doesn not support point sprites. Also the game is in no way optimized, so it may play a bit choppy on older hardware.
Re: Natura (Beta) -  Sion (0 replies) (2005-Oct-21)
It looks like a game that you've poured a lot of efford into, but I get a fatal error at startup and can't run it.
The error message isn't very informative, but this is it: "Run-time error '-2005530516 (8876086c)': Automation error". I could be a COM or library dependency/reference problem, but I have msvbvm60.dll in the system directory, and it is registered, so that's not the problem.
When I config the audio device to my primary audio device the game just exits without any error message, and when I config the audio device to my NVIDIA(R) nForce(TM) Audio device I get a black screen, the error message, and the music playing the the background. Image

I hope you know what's causing this problem... Image
Re: Natura (Beta) -  Shaedo (2 replies) (2005-Oct-21)
Hmm, Damn! I'm not sure why you're getting that error. Have you tried playing around with the settings in the config? Like playing in windowed mode for example.

If you could post your system specs, that would be a great help!

Anybody else getting this error, or (god forbid) another?

Re: Natura (Beta) -  Sion (1 reply) (2005-Oct-22)
Trying to run the game in windowed mode didn't help anything.

My specs are:
Windows XP with SP2
2500+ Athlon XP
Radeon 9500 Pro 128 MB
2 x 512 RAM running in dual mode
Re: Natura (Beta) -  Shaedo (0 replies) (2005-Oct-23)
I think I've found the problem. I did a few tests and found that some of the .ini files were becoming corrupt in some way in the .zip, even though it wasn't reporting a problem.

That'll teach me for using best compression I suppose.

Anyways I've uploaded a new version with normal compression that should hopefully fix the error.

Re: Natura (Beta) -  masterbooda (0 replies) (2005-Oct-24)
ALMOST 30 MEGS!!!  Sorry I am poor ole dude with dial up, is there any way you can release a condensed version of this?  I really wish to play it and try it out, I just can't wait 10hrs to
DaBooda I/O
Re: Natura (Beta) -  Shaedo (36 replies) (2005-Oct-25)
OK, here's a stripped-down version with just one level and no sound fx for all you 56kers out there Image. It's just over 6MB (This is as small as I can get it without recompiling the .exe).

Re: Natura (Beta) -  Eric Coleman (1 reply) (2005-Oct-25)
Even though this is only beta, it looks really cool, has great music and sound effects.  Overall, this is a really good game.  Although, I have to admit that it is not as easy as it seems.  I can't seem to win any levels Image Let us know when you decide to publish this!  I love hearing about success stories.

Did you keep a journal during this process? Would you be interested in maybe posting an article here telling others about your experiences working as a team to create this game?  I'd love to hear all about it!
Re: Natura (Beta) -  Shaedo (0 replies) (2005-Oct-30)
Hi Eric, sorry for the late reply. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's tricky to get the hang of controlling the ball, but once you get used to it, it becomes a doddle to move about the levels. The current plan is to release the game with a few more levels and features sometime in the near future, for free.

I'd love to post an article, but I'm very busy at the moment working on two game projects (Natura and another fairly ambitious project). We were'nt really required to keep a journal during development, even though it would have been a very good idea to have. I'll see if I can dig something up that would be of interest and post it.



Copyright © 2002 - 2004 Eric Coleman, Peter Kuchnio , et. al.
There have been 30 visitors within the last 20 minutes
RSS News Feed