Author Topic: 東方宝天京 ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth. (STG ver)  (Read 3005 times)

Naudiz

  • The Somnambulist
  • The watchdog who never stops watching.
東方宝天京 ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth. (STG ver)
« on: October 31, 2019, 08:29:07 AM »
Hello maidens, or whatever y'all call yourselves on here. Happy Halloween.
This is Naudiz of DOGSDAY, and you guys are in for a treat. No tricks here, I swear!

Without further ado, I proudly present...
[attachimg=1 align=center]
東方宝天京 ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth. (STG ver)

This is Touhou Houtenkyou (Eastern Treasure Heaven Capital) ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth... the game!
This is the real deal, alright. Check out the PV here.
Chances are that you know Treasure Castle Labyrinth as a music album from 2014, but its concept has existed for a long 13 years.
And now, D.Byte of Reverie Promenade is cooperating with DOGSDAY to turn it into a fully-fledged shooting game!
The first trial of the game is out now! Click here!

Now, shall we enter the labyrinth?

Plot Summary
Quote
A strange rumor had very recently spread throughout Gensokyo.

"I found a place where you can get tons of treasure!"
"I went in to look for treasure, but I started seein' things, and I lost all my valuables."
"If you enter that labyrinth, mysterious things will happen..."

...And so on. Nearly everyone was gossiping about a huge labyrinth full of treasure.

Surprisingly enough, this supposed treasure was located somewhere up in Heaven.
Humans shouldn't normally have been able to get into Heaven, but according to
those who'd been there, they'd been guided there by a "three-colored lantern".

Reimu, Marisa and Sanae went to search for someone who knew more about the lantern.
The three heroines each found a companion, each with their own objective in mind.
And so, they set out on an adventure in search of the treasure's hiding place.

With lamplight in hand, the six ventured into the labyrinth, which almost
seemed to become a glimmering galaxy as soon as one set foot inside...

Features
  • A revamped story and updated art and character designs, courtesy of D.Byte.
  • A remastered soundtrack, courtesy of Pesot.jp/.
  • A main game consisting of six stages, plus a substantial amount of extra content. (For the trial, only the first three stages are included.)
  • Three playable teams of two characters each. Each character's shot varies based on whether she is active during unfocused or focused movement.
  • Three "lantern options", which influence the player's starting lives, shot power, and more.
  • A unique "Light Up" mode that involves mixing colors to determine item drops.
  • Infinite continues. Credits are outdated.
  • A fast and fully-functional spell practice mode.
  • A whopping 100 replay slots. Just because.
  • Auto-shot and auto-bomb options for those who may want to use them.
  • Accessibility options for color-blind players.
  • Complete support for both English and Japanese.

Playable Characters
  • Safe & Stable Security Type
    • Reimu Hakurei: Your run-of-the-mill homing type with average speed.
    • Tenshi Hinanawi: A slower, moderately strong forward-focused type with a touch of randomness.
  • Power & Speed Emphasis Type
    • Marisa Kirisame: A powerful, piercing type with lasers that stick to enemies.
    • Byakuren Hijiri: A penetrative spread type that gets stronger when used at a distance. (Warning: FAST!)
  • Slow & Unstable Expert-Oriented Type
    • Sanae Kochiya: An accelerating, aesthetically pleasing spread type with an average damage output.
    • Mononobe no Futo: A slow and powerful multidirectional type that rotates as the player moves. Spin to win.

Lantern Options
  • Red: Specialized in survival. Starts with 4 lives and ensures a life piece at the end of Light Up.
  • Green: Specialized in attack. Starts with 3 lives, substantially increases damage output, and ensures a spell piece at the end of Light Up.
  • Blue: Specialized in scoring. Starts with 2 lives, slightly increases damage output, and ensures point items at the end of Light Up.

Staff
  • Reverie Promenade et al.
    • D.Byte: Creator and owner of Treasure Castle Labyrinth, artist, storywriter, and development overseer.
    • Ikaro Automata: Artist and idea provider.
    • Pesot.jp/: Soundtrack composer and arranger.
  • DOGSDAY
    • Naudiz: Lead developer, system and package scripter, level designer, graphic designer, et cetera. (Now you know why I'm so tired all the time.)
    • Jean Fox: Creator of the Treasure Castle Labyrinth development group (i.e. the one who started it all) and level designer.
    • Gilde: English-Japanese translator, level design helper, and balancer. (Overall a HUGE help.)
    • Green Dinobot: Pixel artist (for boss sprites) and level designer.
    • Mino: System helper and balancer.
    • Natashi: Engine optimizer. (Made my scripting life a whole lot easier!)
  • Playtesters: Stormplush, yeashie, TwinHonks, Greninja, Adam, CreepyNinja_, PKWeegee, Trickysticks, K.Sine, and Frogmask.

« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 05:07:15 AM by Naudiz »
Co-developer of Servants of Harvest Wish, Sapphire Panlogism, Comatose Chaos, Treasure Castle Labyrinth, and more.
I'm the dog that makes your game and calls you a bitch.

Re: 東方宝天京 ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth. (STG ver)
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2019, 10:01:43 AM »
Behold!!!
Treasure Castle Labyrinth has been one of my favorite Touhou fanworks for a long time, and I'm over the moon about getting to help make it into a full game. :) (Officially, no less!)
I hope you all enjoy the new music, danmaku and everything else when the demo comes out in the next week or two!!

WishMakers

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Re: 東方宝天京 ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth. (STG ver)
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2019, 06:41:51 PM »
I'm both amazed that this is even happening at all and also surprised that nobody has tried to do this sooner.
Looking forward to seeing what comes of this!
Return of Eastern Wonderland! Made by a PC-98 fan FOR fans!
1ccs: SoEW (N), LLS (N), MS (N), EoSD (N, H), PCB (N), IN (N, H), PoFV (N, 5 char), MoF (N), SA (N), UFO (N), TD (N), DDC (N), LoLK (N), HSiFS (E, N, L), WBaWC (N)
Extra: EoSD, PCB, IN, PoFV, MoF, HSiFS, WBaWC
Scoring: HSiFS Easy (PB: 1.1b), Barrage Musical Hard (PB: 28.?b)

KaiserKnuckle

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  • and think about what you're doing
    • Music interests and whatnot
Re: 東方宝天京 ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth. (STG ver)
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 05:14:26 AM »
Trial's here!!!!

sorry if i beat you to it naudiz, orz
░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

Re: 東方宝天京 ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth. (STG ver)
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 01:54:46 PM »
It's never been that hard for me to find something wrong with a trial version.
First of all seeing all these people, d.byte, pesot.jp, Kuroha/Crystalwing (hope it's more than just one song in the trial though, kind of funny seeing as the game borrows oxygen mechanic from MB [tho it's closer to ADP] for Seki fight), gilde, Naudiz, Mino and others work together on something I wish was real since the original CD came out kind of warms my heart.

Secondly, sure, the game does get screen busy a lot, but you even implemented a Colourblind option in case (which while it only changes ghosts to letters, it's still an appreciated effort).

Thirdly, god the music and everything in between, dialogues, background, aesthetic, it really suits TLC to a T. It's one of the better looking fangames right now and it doesn't sacrifice performance from what I've seen. Maybe it's because just like with Nansei and Touhou UotAR I just know what's coming and I'm hyped to see my favorites being remade, but still, it does add to the experience.

Good luck, especially with all these postgame stages. I really hope Tenxka (if she's still in, would be weird not to see her) looks more like she did originally, rather than how every single Youtube upload portrays her.
No.

Re: 東方宝天京 ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth. (STG ver)
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 05:54:23 AM »
So I've beaten the demo now on Normal with Reimu/Tenshi-Red, Reimu/Tenshi-Green and Byakuren/Marisa-Green, and on Hard with Sanae/Futo-Green (tried Blue but found it too frustrating). I appreciate the effort and some of the unique ideas put into Treausre Castle Labyrinth, but I'm...not certain what to think of the game as a whole. It's got a lot of gameplay aspects that might not be objectively flawed but just don't appeal to me in particular. For this reason I wasn't sure for a while whether to post my feedback, but I love fangames, so in the interest of providing whatever I can that might help make this game the best it can be, I will do just that.

Let's start with the patterns. I found them overall to be decent, solid, but not terribly remarkable. The stages in particular weren't that exciting. The exception to all this is Seki; she's got a lot of nice thematic spells that I really enjoyed.

I have no complaints about the menus and overall package. It does what it's supposed to do. The fancy menu decorations and little animations when you're choosing a lamp color are neat. Wait, I do have one tiny complaint about the pause/game over menu: the menu choice is selected when you release the fire key, not when you press it. When I get a game over, I'm often still holding the fire key for a second or two and end up instinctively releasing it just in time to select "continue", which is a bit annoying if I wanted to select something else. I would recommend requiring the key to be in KEY_PUSH state to confirm the selection.

The visual style is pretty unique and I like it quite a bit. The animation when a boss appears is spectacular, and the stage 3 BG is very atmospheric and immersive. The character portraits are a little unusual, but they're not so bad to get used to. I do have a few of my world-famous nitpicks to hand out for the visuals, though:
-The player sprites definitely feel weird to me; I think it's that their motion isn't very fluid.
-The dark non-solid butterflies in San's final kind of blend into the background.
-A lot of the bombs' visual effects have a delay, with no really prominent effects going on, between when you activate the bomb and when the actual "bomb" part starts. Sometimes I go to press X and for a second I'm not sure if I actually bombed (this happens a lot with deathbombing).
-Those black regions on the HUD. I just...don't like those. I feel like if you have to obscure the HUD to make the text readable, it's too contrasty. I'd rather the HUD just be edited to make the text on it more readable. Or at least make the black areas look more like realistic cracks on a wall or something, because they look kind of messy as it is.

Music is good overall. I love the stage 3 theme, and the other two stage themes are great as well. I'm not quite as crazy about the boss themes but they're still pretty good. The sound effects are...very un-Touhou-like and they kind of bother me. Maybe I'm just not used to them, but they don't seem to have as much impact as the various SFX sets used in other fan and official Touhou games. Especially the initiating-a-bomb SFX, which also contributes to the problem I mentioned above; it's not noticeable enough.

I'm not familiar at all with the original TCL music album, so I don't know anything about what will happen in the full game, but the story seems interesting enough. Not overly exciting right from the start, but I'm still looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Now...the system. Oh boy, the system. This will be the longest part and also the hardest to write. Let's get the positives out of the way. I like the complexity in mixing colors to get exactly the resources you want; it's a spectrum of possible resources instead of more black-and-white choices. Choosing a color at the start for a somewhat different gameplay style is a neat concept. Aside from those points, though, the system feels like an an amalgamation of everything I dislike about UFO and TD, which happen to have my two least favorite systems in all of the official games, with some additional annoyances stacked on top of them.

To get the color you want in Light Up, you have to really focus on going to the locations of the correct colored items, and I feel like this competes with the main objective of dodging bullets. It's not the same as, say, trying to collect as many autumn leaves during the Harvest as you can, or grazing and collecting items to extend Aspect Shifts. Those are things you can kind of just do at the same time as dodging, and if you miss a few items it's no big deal, you can keep doing the route you were doing. In TCL's case, though, trying to collect exactly the items you need feels almost like a second set of bullets to dodge on top of the actual bullets. The thing I disliked most about UFO was having to play this little UFO minigame (both collecting them and filling up the UFOs) at the same time as dodging like normal. I actually find it worse than UFO because in that game, at least you know what each type of UFO does. In this one, the small light items spawn in a predetermined color order, and they tend to end up bunched together, and you'll start sucking them in if you get close enough, and you have to dodge bullets at the same time as doing all of this. Between all of that, it feels like I don't have a lot of actual control over what resource I end up getting.

The TD-esque part of the system is that you have to kill specific stage enemies to get the orbs that activate Light Up. What I didn't like about TD's system was that you can only get resources when the game says you can, instead of getting resources by playing well (I had this problem with WBaWC as well), and you have to defeat exact, specific enemies that might be blocked off by bullets or other enemies, or else you can't get those resources. You may argue that the older official games only gave you bombs at predetermined points, and that's correct, but at least 1) it was usually easy to get them and 2) you still got extra lives by playing well. And this part of the system is also even worse for me than in TD, since, thanks to all those things I stated above, killing those specific enemies only gives you a chance at getting the resources you want instead of just getting them. This could theoretically be a game where you have to plan good routes in order to get the optimal amount of stuff, but it seems like collecting a single color item 2 seconds too late or failing to kill a single enemy because of bullet RNG will screw over your entire route.

TCL's resources are also extremely tight just like in TD, maybe even more so. No decision about what resource I'll go for ever feels like a good one. It takes an entire stage just to gain 1 of the resource that aligns with the color you chose (longer if your color is Blue since no resource is aligned with it), and if I do that I've totally neglected the other one. Or I could try to earn resources more evenly, but then I'm almost to San's fight before I accumulate a single extra life or bomb. And again, the resources I get are usually not exactly the ones I wanted. Also, you can't get them at all during boss battles. I just find that really lame.

So how would I suggest to the team that the system be changed? Well, that really depends on your intentions for the game. I can see how the system would appeal to people with different taste in systems. I might simply not be in the main audience you're aiming the game at, in which case I perfectly understand, and you don't need to listen to the random opinions I'm spewing everywhere. But maybe one or more of these thoughts (arranged from least to most effect on gameplay) I'll throw at the wall might give you an idea you like:

-Add some kind of diagram indicating your exact placement on the...uh...Light Up Color Matrix. I don't know exactly how many items I need to collect to switch to the next color.
-Have light items only be drawn to you if you're focused.
-Simply increase the amount of resources Light Up gives you or allow it to be activated more often.
-Add Light Up opportunities during boss fights or simply have bosses drop resource pieces.
-Instead of spawning in a predetermined color order, have the color/amount of light items be determined by the color/type of enemy. This would tend to create groups of like colors rather than a mishmash of every color, and make routing more consistent. For example, you could wait until a group of enemies has traveled to one side of the screen before defeating them, which spawns their color items away from enemies on the opposite side.
-Ditch the large light items and have Light Up be activated when you collect a certain amount of small light items. This would work best if you increased the number of small light items and/or had them disappear sooner.

So yeah, I'm sorry for complaining so much, but I'd like to conclude by saying I don't think TCL is a bad game. I did enjoy it to some extent. There could be (and are, based on other responses I've seen) people who enjoy this style of Touhou game way more than I do. I hope it's understood that I'm just saying how I felt. And regardless of whether or not you make any changes based on my suggestions, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the full version and wish everyone the best on the rest of development.

Naudiz

  • The Somnambulist
  • The watchdog who never stops watching.
Re: 東方宝天京 ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth. (STG ver)
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 05:16:12 PM »
Alright, I'll use this as a springboard to announce what's been changed since the first trial.

Quote
Let's start with the patterns. I found them overall to be decent, solid, but not terribly remarkable. The stages in particular weren't that exciting.
All three stages have had some minor-to-moderate tweaks done on them. Now there's no more 5 seconds of complete nothingness before the death fairy in stage 3.

Quote
Wait, I do have one tiny complaint about the pause/game over menu: the menu choice is selected when you release the fire key, not when you press it. When I get a game over, I'm often still holding the fire key for a second or two and end up instinctively releasing it just in time to select "continue", which is a bit annoying if I wanted to select something else. I would recommend requiring the key to be in KEY_PUSH state to confirm the selection.
Ah yes, I forgot this was an issue in the first trial because it was resolved so long ago. It's since been updated to check for KEY_PUSH instead.

Now, from what I gleaned from your complaints, the two biggest system issues in 0.01a were:
  • Resources are too scarce.
  • It's hard to get the desired colour during Light Up.

Both of these have since been acknowledged and the system has been changed accordingly.
  • My solution of choice for issue #1 was to make it so that lives and spells require fewer pieces to obtain the fewer you have in stock.
    In 0.01a, the number of required pieces was arbitrarily set to 6 for both lives and spells. Now that number starts at 2 and goes up 1 for every life/spell you have in reserve.
    My rationale is that the more you manage to have in reserve, the less you'll end up needing throughout the game.
  • Issue #2 was resolved using an idea I previously had but waited until recently to try implementing: the colour of each small lamp item spawned now changes every few seconds, instead of only when enemies are killed.
    The spawn colour is indicated by a new, rotating colour wheel indicator next to the Lantern gauge (shown below). The wheel spins more slowly while you're shooting and more quickly when you aren't.
    This way, you can release the shot key and wait till the wheel lands on your desired colour then hold it down to farm as many of those lamp items as possible.
[attach=1]

I've also added something to indicate the exact status of the colour during Light Up. Stay tuned!

Anyways, thank you kindly for the feedback. A lot of what you mentioned was dealt with before but every piece of advice counts for steering the game in the right direction.
Wishing you the best for DLW, by the way.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 05:11:25 AM by Naudiz »
Co-developer of Servants of Harvest Wish, Sapphire Panlogism, Comatose Chaos, Treasure Castle Labyrinth, and more.
I'm the dog that makes your game and calls you a bitch.

Naudiz

  • The Somnambulist
  • The watchdog who never stops watching.
Re: 東方宝天京 ~ Treasure Castle Labyrinth. (STG ver)
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2020, 09:51:12 PM »
Hello again, maidens! Seriously, what's the demonym for people in this forum?
Today I bring you a special announcement regarding the upcoming enhanced trial version of Treasure Castle Labyrinth!


Notice anything new or different in this screenshot?
This new trial isn't simply a rehash of the previous one with bug fixes, so instead of being numbered 0.01b or 0.02a, we've skipped all the way to 0.10a!
DOGSDAY and iroirodou (formerly Reverie Promenade?D,Byte changed their circle name for this game to the one they use for everything else) plan to release it during the first week of February!

Let me detail some of the enhancements you'll find in the new trial:
  • Replays! Lots of 'em! The most glaring fault of the last trial was its lack of replay support, but now everything works as it should. Like I said before, this game boasts a whopping 100 replay slots.

  • Support for the old album soundtrack. Party like it's 2014! Just be aware that the game is and will be designed around the new OST, so gameplay may not be perfectly synced to the old one.

  • No-lamp mode! This is our answer to HSoB's black sub-weapon. No perks, no Light Ups, Final Destination. Large lamp items instead always give you 1,000 PIV, instead of only during Light Up (as they do for the other options).

  • A polished Lantern system, complete with a brand new Light Up UI! I've seen several complaints about how the Lantern system is confusing and how it's hard to get the colour you want during Light Up. These changes were made to remedy those issues.
    (Also note the dimmer lamp items; they're like that so they won't as easily get confused for bullets!)

  • Spiced-up stages! There have been several adjustments made to the game's stage portions, to give them more character and to reduce the lull which was complained about.

  • Bigger and better Byakuren! Our favourite monk did some training and now has a more potent spread. Stage portions now pray for her mercy.


Having said all of that, please wait warmly for the next release!
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 10:01:19 PM by Naudiz »
Co-developer of Servants of Harvest Wish, Sapphire Panlogism, Comatose Chaos, Treasure Castle Labyrinth, and more.
I'm the dog that makes your game and calls you a bitch.

Naudiz

  • The Somnambulist
  • The watchdog who never stops watching.
Co-developer of Servants of Harvest Wish, Sapphire Panlogism, Comatose Chaos, Treasure Castle Labyrinth, and more.
I'm the dog that makes your game and calls you a bitch.