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(Demo available!) Satellite Rush: a roguelike about pleasing the audience

Discussion in 'Works In Progress - Archive' started by ericknajjar, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. ericknajjar

    ericknajjar

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Posts:
    8
    Hi, I'm Erick, a programmer at Kimeric Labs, a studio from Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Recently we had the oportunity of showing our game to another local development team and the feedback was amazing. Having other developers play and analize our game was very productive and I would like to have some more feedback from other developers.

    You can download a playable version for mac, linux or windows on our kickstarter campaign page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/680602475/satellite-rush-sci-fi-roguelike-shooter

    A brief description of the game:

    Satellite Rush is a sci-fi top-down shooter with pixel art graphics and Roguelike elements.

    Take control of an abducted office worker and blast through Satellite Moebius, an intergalactic space arena filled with vicious aliens, robots programmed to clean (or kill), and a (not always so cheery) audience.


    It is one part Super Smash TV, one part Binding of Isaac (Asimov?), four parts Douglas Adams, shaken - not stirred. Serve with a sci-fi imaginarium garnish.






    We appreciate any feedback, good or bad :).Thanks
     
    Gerald Tyler and Haagndaaz like this.
  2. Gerald Tyler

    Gerald Tyler

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Posts:
    80
    Alright, so you ever watch Shark Tank? You know Mr. Wonderful? He and I both share the philosophy that when you sugar coat something, you're not doing the other person any favors. As a business major, I believe that honest feedback leads to better quality products. It doesn't do the business any good to receive false positive feedback.

    So the following criticisms are because a) you asked for feedback, b) I would want and expect the same brutal honesty for any of my projects so that I can make them better, and c) I feel that the game has potential. If anybody feels that I'm a dream crusher for what I'm about to post.....*Shoulder shrug* sorry.


    Items disappear WAYYYY too quickly. I kill an enemy who drops an item, but I can't grab it yet because I have to kill another enemy in the way. In the short about of time it takes me to kill the enemy, the pickup has already disappeared. Or a spectator will throw me a weapon all the way on the other side of the screen with mobs in my way.

    You get a better weapon for about 5 seconds and then you're back to the garbage pistol. If you're going to reward the player, then REWARD the player.

    The shotgun is utterly useless. First off, 4 shots in my reward weapon? What the hell man? I get it with the 2 rockets, I do, but only 4 shotgun blasts?
    There are 2 points to a shotgun. 1- You don't have to make the effort to aim it. In a game where you can only fire 4 directions, it isn't any easier to aim. 2- The spread allows possibility of collateral damage. That would work if the enemies would approach from each others' sides, but they really like to stack in single file making the spread irrelevant.
    Also I wasn't too happy when I missed an enemy directly in front of me because 2 projectiles went diagonally left, and the other 2 went diagonally right, with no projectiles going forward where I was actually facing.

    No sense of progression. Most Roguelikes involve some form of progression, so that on your next run you're slightly stronger. Every time I reload, I feel like the time I just spent was completely wasted.

    I get the realism that you're not going to move as quickly while firing, but realism doesn't always make for good gameplay. I didn't care for it, I also didn't care for the delay between the end of the shot and the character's ability to start moving quick to dodge.

    Meter depletes too quickly. Remember that it takes multiple shots from a slow firing pistol to kill most enemies. Even if you were 100% on point with the pistol, it is still very hard to build the meter quicker than it can deplete. Some enemies it is fine because the enemies are clustered enough that you can kill them quickly. Having to go around and kill the spread out turrets though, the player isn't going to be able to keep the meter up.

    Would like the ability to swap weapons. Sometimes I get the repeater, but only garbage enemies are left on the screen. It's really painful to have to waste the valuable repeater ammo on junk enemies the pistol could easily handle. Also painful entering a room with my repeater and being forced to waste the ammo shooting at glass or exploding barrels in order to proceed.

    No difficulty curve. A game should ease its players in. Even though you're doing a roguelike, you can still add a difficulty curve so that room one gives the player say 3 enemies, then room two gives 4 enemies, and so on and so forth. Sometimes the first room is ridiculous, then the subsequent ones are a cakewalk. I shouldn't start off in room one with 9 enemies attacking me, then on room two be able to simply blow up barrels in the middle and kill everything instantly.

    The projection orb at the start of the game would be better placed at the bottom of the screen. Whenever I die, I want to get back into the action as quickly as possible. Having that in my way every time serves no apparent purpose.

    Sometimes you're doomed to a kamikaze enemy. At any given time, I only have so many valid places I could move to. If a single kamikaze enemy is chasing me, not much of a big deal. If one is chasing me a half foot behind a bigger enemy, I'm pretty SOL. I get backed into a corner while killing the bigger enemy, and then the kamikaze enemy (Who I couldn't shoot because of the meatshield in front of him) does a proximity explosion to kill me.
    It works in FPS because in a FPS if two enemies are next to each other I can choose which one I want to hit. In this game, whichever one is slightly in front is the one that I'm forced to hit. Perhaps in the rooms where you're spawning the kamikazes, you could make them more open so that players aren't forced into narrow corridors with no chance of evading the explosion?

    Try to smooth out how the player goes around corners. I'm constantly getting stuck on corners of things because the hitboxes are a bit off. For example, the hitboxes on the red crystals extend too far up.

    An "Are you sure?" when exiting to main screen would be nice. On gamepad the sticks are extremely sensitive, as in the dead zone is very small. Twice now I've accidentally quit to main menu when wanting to continue because I barely brushed my left stick.

    At the start of the "Boss" fight, it would be nice if the meter paused. If no enemies have spawned for the player to shoot, then it's really aggravating to watch the meter just deplete due to no fault of my own.

    Invincibility frames, use them! When those drones shoot at you during the boss fight, it would be so much easier. If I'm hit during the bullet hell them I'm really screwed.

    The player's hit box is too tall. Due to the frame of reference that you're using, if a projectile is going higher on the Y axis than the player's shadow, then it should be passing "behind" them, not colliding into them.

    I get that you're partly inspired by Smash TV, but you've not put in the things that make it work. In Smash TV you're running much faster than enemies as you're shooting. You don't need to stop shooting to escape. You're also firing in 8 directions which is far superior to trying to shoot in only 4. The guns fire quicker, the projectiles move quicker, and the projectiles fly much further than a few feet away. Additionally the player is getting powerups to help clear enemies.

    Rethink some of the room designs, particularly the obstacles. I keep thinking to myself "Maybe there is some smart way that we're meant to use these obstacles to our advantage", though I've only seen 4 cases in over a dozen playthroughs where that was true.
    Look at a game like Rogue Legacy. The room placement for each playthrough is indeed random, but each room is handcrafted with a specific group of enemies. There is an optimal way to clear the room that the player will learn over their multiple playthroughs. If you were going for the same concept, I just don't see it. The rooms with the red crystals are fine because you're just kiting stuff through, but the other rooms I just don't get. There is one room where if you fire straight up you'll hit barrels and cause massive damage to the enemies, but since it takes so many shots to hit the barrel, the giant monkey things have already gotten in my way before I could actually blow them up.

    Definitely increase the width of the playable area. Yeah I get that you're going for the reality TV thing, but my screen is 13 inches across, 6 of which are unplayable due to the spectators on the side. So you've reduced the playable area that the player can maneuver away from projectiles and kamikaze units by nearly half.

    If the same gun is on the ground that I currently have equipped, I should just get the ammo. I would want to manually pick up a different gun, but why do I have to manually pick up ammo?

    I'm not going to pretend to be hard, I couldn't kill the boss. The 3 waves of drones who all fire at you simultaneously, combined with no invincibility frames, combined with the oversized player hitbox, combined with the low health drop rate, combined with the fact that boss never stops shooting, I just couldn't pull it off. Got to it several times, was always too weak. Bots would shoot at me, and in my efforts to avoid the projectiles, would run into the spotlights of other bots (Which actually activate slightly before the player even reaches them, which is frustrating because I dodge based on what I see, yet the collision boxes count it anyway) You could rightfully call me a noob of course, I only spent an hour on it.

    I'm not sure if you're going for the "Brutally difficult" type of game, but I think in its current form it's going to be too difficult for people to keep playing. It could be that perhaps I'm just terrible at this game or the genre, but if I had purchased it on Steam I'd be getting my refund at this point. Part of a mastery type game, is that the player has a lot of options in how they're going to approach it. Dark Souls is a perfect example of this (Which I'm currently enjoying my first playthrough of). The player dies, and they learn what works and what doesn't work. When I die in your game, what exactly was I suppose to learn and master? In many situations, no matter which direction I'm going to move, there will be a projectile waiting to hit me. What was the option that I was supposed to see with experience?

    The graphics are acceptable. Not the best obviously, but not once did I say "Man that looks bad." You've got a clear aesthetic which I always like. The animations are good. I certainly enjoyed that delay on the giant ape's melee attack so that I could avoid it. So I like that you're actually having melee attacks rather than the player simply taking damage because they touched an enemy.

    Maybe you're just going for something else than what I'm seeing. Maybe everybody else sees a masterpiece. After all, I am only one voice in the crowd.
    Best of luck to you.
     
    georetro likes this.
  3. ericknajjar

    ericknajjar

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Posts:
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    We've updated our kickstarter yesterday with a new version. Check the new build out. A lot of your critics have been adressed one way or another. I really apreciate honest feedback, and you were spot on on yours, thank you.
     
    Gerald Tyler likes this.
  4. Gerald Tyler

    Gerald Tyler

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Posts:
    80
    Much better difficulty curve

    Gun is better.

    Bug found where fighting the boss, when I died and respawned the projectile from the crystal was still there and damaged me upon respawning.

    Room design is much easier on the player, as enemies are more segregated and it's easier to destroy 1 or 2 at a time rather than half the room charging at once.

    I like the little bulldozer robots. At first I thought they were just filler, then I watched them shatter glass that they ran into; a nice touch.

    Finally got the shotgun to be good, got aggressive with the boss crystal and hit it with all projectiles at once.

    Finally beat the boss, which was awesome. I couldn't find any spot where I could shoot the boss and be free from retaliation, so I just found up doing hit and run tactics. 2 shots, retreat, 2 shots, retreat until it was down.

    When choosing which pedestal to place the orb on, would be nice if players had any idea what the potential reward was going to be, rather than making a blind decision.

    Perhaps completely fill the player's health after each boss?

    I thought it was pretty clever the way the "Drone walls" became activated after the first boss was beaten. It was really ingenious from a design perspective as well because you're able to use the same room and achieve two different difficulty settings from them, I'll have to remember that for my projects.

    Reached the end of the demo. In my subjective opinion, much better. I know everybody is different, but for me personally, it felt like just the right amount of difficulty. I would encourage that other viewers of this thread to go check out the updated demo and give it a try.
     
  5. ericknajjar

    ericknajjar

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Posts:
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    Well, our kickstarter is over and we've failed. We're gonna try a different approach from now on. We are gonna try and bring our players as close to the dev team as we possibly can. We will be releasing playable builds two times per month, collecting feedback and iterating on it for the next build. I plan to update this thread with every build we make :).

    We also have a patreon now, it's an experiment. If anyone here like what we're doing and wanna support our work, you can become our patron here: https://www.patreon.com/kimericlabs

    See you next build :)
     
  6. ericknajjar

    ericknajjar

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Posts:
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