The game plays like many old-skool arcade shooter games however with some new challenging twists. When most targets are destroyed they drop a pod, these pods must be collected by the player (increasing the players pow meter), if the pods fall past the screen bottom the target will re-spawn. The player has a dual use cannon system that will fire a shell if one is loaded and will fire a rather short range shell-propulsion blast each time the cannon button is pressed.  This dynamic is strategically complected by the fact that holding the fire button will start the cannon cycling, the longer the button is held the faster the shells are loaded, however no propulsion blasts will fire in this case. When the cannon is cycling the ships engine is also accelerated (from the recycled propulsion-blasts) allowing the player to move progressively faster as well as deeper up the screen. The max firing rate is also limited by the number of pods collected. (meter top left)  It is much harder to explain than play!

The game features endless progressive levels of difficulty, each wave brings more nasty bugs that are also more aggressive, and challenging. Procedurally generated space backgrounds, sounds, and music, to go along with the bugs AI generated flight paths, and devious reactions to the players moves. The game can be played equally well with strategic single shot targeting, or insanely fast cannon cycling shot barrages, however a mix of styles seems to provide the best bug removal and pod collection balance. 

Windows 1.4.1 release is out now, with OS X and Linux to come at a later date.

 

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0 comments by jph_wacheski on Mar 13th, 2012

This was a pleasure to watch, even though frustrating. It seem, I may have made this game too difficult to figure out for all but the hardcore. This guy was SO CLOSE!


Thanks to WhoKnowsGaming for doing the video and getting so close to cracking my unintentionally cryptic game mechanic.

What he missed; There is no POW loss for dying, it is the re-spawn delay that will likely result in some of the Cores falling off the screen.  Each time a Core is lost, off the screen bottom, a Bug re-spawns, AND one POW is subtracted from the bar!

The shooting is a bit more complex than a single shot limit. There are actually two shots fired each time the button is PRESSED, one is the propulsion blast that fires the cannon shot up the screen. This will fire as fast as you can press the button however with a low POW bar these blasts are more of a melee type weapon. They do become very powerful with larger POW meter.
 
The main Cannon's shots have a long reload time, however as the fire button is HELD the propulsion blast are recycled, so no melee shots are fired, the main cannon fires faster and faster, till the POW bar is fully charged. Yes maintaining the POW bar in a Charged State will move the ship faster and further up the screen as well. The intent is to provide game-play options and no single way to play this game. Shooting Bugs quickly will cause many Cores to start falling, this is fine if the player can juggle ;) otherwise they will be loosing POW for each one they miss. Had he had a bit more POW on Wave 3, he would have seen the next Bug type 'The Flakers'.

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Debug Formulation Demo

Debug Formulation Demo

Feb 23, 2012 Demo 0 comments

First public demo release of Debug Formulation. The single .exe file is simply run to play the game, and should work on any modern PC running the Windows...

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 13)
soul667
soul667 Mar 12 2012, 4:00am says:

I've just uploaded a video of this game to my channel attempting to demonstrate as many of it's features as possible in as short a time as is reasonable. Any feedback / corrections you have would be appreciated.
Youtube.com

+1 vote     reply to comment
jph_wacheski
jph_wacheski Mar 13 2012, 11:06am replied:

Thanks for that video! You made many correct observations, and where so close to cracking the unintentionally cryptic game-play,. .

+1 vote     reply to comment
flatage
flatage Mar 10 2012, 10:54am says:

looks good shmups.

+1 vote     reply to comment
sternhammer
sternhammer Mar 8 2012, 6:18pm says:

Just bought the full version and I'm loving this. Top old school retro feel but with a refreshing new twist. Feels like I should be back in my youth feeding coins into an arcade machine whilst drinking a beer and planning which night club to go to in the evening.... ahhh, sweet memories...

+3 votes     reply to comment
Slushy_
Slushy_ Mar 6 2012, 2:38am says:

My Avira antivirus freaks out and won't let me play this demo

+1 vote     reply to comment
jph_wacheski
jph_wacheski Mar 6 2012, 8:40am replied:

There is nothing malicious about the games software. Just turn your virus checker down or off, it is misbehaving. Some antivirus makers are very lazy, and their software screams out many false positives. It is probably that I use UPX to pack it that triggers the false positive. En.wikipedia.org

+2 votes     reply to comment
Wasserstern
Wasserstern Mar 5 2012, 12:32pm says:

Looks nice, gonna try the demo soon.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Vhorthex
Vhorthex Mar 12 2012, 4:41pm replied:

I'm assuming you were bored the day you left your comment and decided to nitpick at this game's description?

It's true that the term 'hertz' is commonly used to refer to the refresh rate of monitors, but the term 'hertz', regardless, still means cycles per second, as you pointed out yourself. So one could say, this games displays frames at a rate of 60 hertz.

Were you that bored? lol

+1 vote     reply to comment
graspee
graspee Mar 12 2012, 4:48pm replied:

I wasn't bored. It took seconds to type. I just don't like the way people use terms loosely and they end up changing meaning so we have less precision with our language. "lol".

+1 vote     reply to comment
jph_wacheski
jph_wacheski Mar 5 2012, 8:53am replied:

I used 'hz' as in 'a per second rate', refuring to the games fps speed. Of course, performance may vary,.. I take no responsibility for people running this game on a ham radio, for instance.

+4 votes     reply to comment
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Debug Formulation
Platform
Windows
Developed By
jph_wacheski
Engine
zGameEditor
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Iterationgames.com
Release Date
Released Feb 27, 2012
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