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Feedback Friday #101 - February 14-17, 2020

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Billy4184, Feb 14, 2020.

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  1. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    G'day folks! Getting playtesting and feedback for your game is one of the best ways to find out ahead of time what your players are going to love or hate, and gives you a great chance to find out what to focus on for success!

    If some friendly advice is something you could use, you've found the right thread! Feedback Friday runs from Friday to Monday every week.

    What To Show
    • Minimally Viable Product (MVP) - Core game play > everything else
    • How To Scope Small (Unity tutorial)
    • Post a link to a playable game, preferably WebGL. If you don't have a playable game, post something substantial, not just text.
    How To Ask For Feedback
    • Be concise.
    • Specify what you want feedback on and what you don't.
    • Resist the urge to write an immediate defense. Take the time to understand their points. Remember that your friends here are taking time out of their busy schedules to help you for free.
    How To Give Feedback
    • Be positive. There's something of value in every game.
    • Focus on the design, not the designer.

    Feedback Friday #100 is here.
     
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  2. AntoineDesbiens

    AntoineDesbiens

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    About the game : I'd say it's a runner but the user chooses their own pace? The user needs to run cross a bunch of dynamic obstacles to reach the finish line. It is level based. The user can interact with the game in 2 ways, press the left side or the right side of the screen to move accordingly. A "boss" level every 5 levels and a breather level before those. Boss levels introduce new elements progressively. Eventually those elements are implemented into the regular play to scale the difficulty. No sounds have been implemented yet.

    What I would like feedback on :
    -Please comment on anything you believe could make the game more intuitive.

    -Do tell if you didn't understand something from the videos. It's crucial to me that when people watch a video of the game, they understand exactly what's going on and how the game is meant to be played.

    -I have an enemy I call the "pawn". It's an enemy that's in the game from the start. It's the yellow cubes all over the place. When the user moves, they have a chance to turn purple, which is an indicator that they WILL move when the player moves again. Problem is that cubes aren't good or bad in our heads. I'm looking for ideas that'll make users go "Oh, that's definitely a bad guy, I need to avoid that", while remaining super abstract in the design. I'm trying to avoid faces and characters.

    -I am providing 2 videos. One is orthographic and the player moves from the top to the bottom. The other is using a perspective camera and the user moves from the bottom to the top. They all come with their own issues but I can work around those. I'd like to know which one makes you feel better, which one you'd go for personally and your motives if you feel like sharing. (Please try to ignore the stuff appearing instantly when you look at the horizon for the perspective camera. I'll be animating that, should I decide to use perspective.)

    -Title's a working title. If you have an idea, do tell. If it's easy to remember, easy to pronounce and relatively descriptive of the game, it's a good idea by my standards.

    -At last, if you'd implement anything differently, or if you have ideas for design iterations that might be worth the detour, please share.

    Please don't comment on the cannon's visual design, it's place-holder until I get to it. I want to draw the trajectory, kill the pink arrow and make the landing platform more obvious.

    I have no build I can share of the game. I'm providing 2 videos.

    Context : I'm working on an hyper-casual game. When my games are ready-ish, I have a partner that runs campaigns on them to see how they perform and if it'd be viable to push them commercially. For the game to reach the desired metrics, it is imperative that they are intuitive and easily understood by everyone 12+, even people who have never picked up a game in their lives.

    Orthographic(Initial design):



    Perspective(Design iteration that began yesterday):

     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  3. Gor-Sky

    Gor-Sky

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    @AntoineDesbiens

    I skipped most of your text but i can give short feedback to the videos.

    - Regarding the current art style i like the isometric view better.
    It seems harder and more of a thrill or suprise because you cannot see what is coming next like in the perspective view.

    -Regarding the orange cubes:
    You want to avoid faces but you already have white ghosts with a face. Why not make the cubes ghosts too?
     
  4. AntoineDesbiens

    AntoineDesbiens

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    @Gor-Sky Thank you for replying

    Good point for the isometric view. I could probably spawn/animate elements dynamically and restrain what the user can see with the perspective view though. I was leaning towards isometric as well.

    As for turning orange cubes into ghosts, well the 2 enemies behave completely differently, and for that reason, I'd like to make a clear distinction between their appearances.

    I'm divided and unable to land on a decision regarding the ghosts having faces(initially, right about everything had one). I feel like faces appeal more to a certain market but aren't necessarily a good thing for an hyper casual title where a decent portion of the users are 35+. On the other hand, using widely known concepts such as a ghost helps users understand and relate to the floaty/dangerous behaviour.

    I definitely agree that it feels off that certain things have faces while others, that aren't inanimate objects, do not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  5. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Thanks for sharing your game on feedback friday!

    I also liked the orthographic view, but I'm not sure I like the top-to-bottom direction. Have you considered orthographic bottom-to-top? I don't know what's the standard for the views in these games though so if players are already used to the top-to-bottom view in other popular games I'm sure it's fine.

    The spikes are intuitive so I don't think there's much to add there.

    Good you're planning to improve the cannon mechanic because that's definitely a visual weak spot! It's a great mechanic though.

    The ghosts can't get you when you're in the canon? It was a bit of a tension killer seeing them all pile up on you at 00:15 and nothing happened.

    I don't think faces are a good idea with the rest being very abstract. Besides, you can't see the face until they are past you and turn around. For the ghosts maybe try a single glowing orange dot (or black to represent an open mouth) or something more abstract like that?

    For the purple cubes (and perhaps the ghosts as well) have you considered some particle effects? Some slightly extending/retracting spikes seems like it might work for the purple cubes, and for the ghosts maybe some black streaks swarming around the ghosts body or something. It would make them clearly not inanimate objects and give a sense of internal movement and tension.
     
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  6. welby

    welby

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    Game looks cool. perfect casual phone game.


    If you make the Cubes 'Red" it may be more of an indicator that they are bad, imo.
    Maybe even a red pulsing shader. and/or slight buldge deformation or scale cycle.
    Perhaps a tight vibration to them every few seconds( like they are angry).


    Tough call on the Ortho vs. Persp. I like the Ortho because I can see the world falling off behind me. Feels more urgent. Also you get more visibility of whats to your left and right.Feels more strategic. And the vertical format lends itself well to this.

    The Perp creates a Cone view where it's most narrow at the Player, feels like I am cramped a bit.
    Also you lose the personality of the world pieces crumbling away.

    design iterations:

    One thing that came to mind was having a power floor cube that when stepped on creates a radial pulse that knocks everyone away from you.

    Maybe have some floor cubes randomly flip 180, revealing a Cannon-side( like you have already), but this one actually blasts you Backwards! This sounds like a big rebuild though, to rebuild the map behind you setting you back. Just a thought.


    cheers!
     
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  7. AntoineDesbiens

    AntoineDesbiens

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    @Billy4184 First of all, thank you so so much! That is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping I'd get.
    I tried that yesterday! For some super odd reasons, it makes me feel unwell. Possibly it has to do with the fact that I've been playing it the other way around for the last couple of weeks? Anyway, I just recorded a level from bottom to top in isometric so other can tell me if I'm going mad or if the unwell feeling is shared.
    No standards whatsoever. I can think of many successful title for either way.
    Thank you! I'd be really happy if the later iterations of the cannon were able to recreate, if only a fragment, of the feeling the barrels in the donkey kong SNES series gave.
    I was debating, I kind of liked the idea of the cannons behaving like a safe zone from all dangers, but you know what, you're right. I find it's good to give breathing room to the more casual users but they already have that available to them if they take a risk and speed up to get ahead of the ghosts. You know how sometimes you play your game so much that you have a hard time seeing it through the eyes of first-time users. Right now, you helped me to see this as just another layer that's not necessary and actually fairly counter-intuitive, thank you for your help.
    It's worth exploring, I'll try. I think I could really freak out my users with an unusually large mouth(possibly expanding as it nears the player :D).
    Wohhh, I'm liking this! Good idea =) I'm implementing it.
    I'm having issues trying to picture what you mean!

    Also, thank you so much, it's really cool that you took the time.

    Iso bottom to top :
     
  8. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I prefer the new view, although there's something I do like about the top-to-bottom even if it doesn't feel quite right. You have more of a sense of what's ahead.

    Maybe get feedback from a bunch of different people.

    PS not sure if it's just me but the video seems a bit broken.

    Had to look that one up haha. Definitely has a similar feel.

    Cool! I think it's always more important to maintain the feedback expected by the player, even if it's harder (though you can often tweak things a bit, maybe the player is damaged less in the cannon etc).

    Yeah! Maybe just get a section in the middle-bottom of the ghost and drop it down.

    By 'swarming' I mean something like this, but much simpler and probably black or dark grey:



    For a simpler one, a spiralling 2D billboard effect would probably achieve the same feeling.

    Glad to help!
     
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  9. AntoineDesbiens

    AntoineDesbiens

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    @welby I really wasn't expecting all that when I posted. More amazing feedback, thank you for using your time to help me.
    I wanted to do red as well but red is, in my opinion, one of the better platform colours. I'm having a hard time making the pawns stand out when they're red as well and I'm not ready to sacrifice the red/pink-red and orange-red platforms. Not if I can find another way anyway.
    Yes, that is a very good idea. Plus it'll help the world feel a tad more alive. Thank you! I'm implementing it.
    I came to that conclusion as well. I tried zooming out the perspective camera, made me feel uneasy. Tried a few different angles, I just couldn't get it to feel right.
    That is true. Good way to put it. I've also tried the other way around where the player comes from the top of the screen, like in the iso version, but either the player ended up being way too small, the angle was bad or not enough platforms were covered.
    That does sound super cool. It'll give the player another way to interact with the world and feel powerful. I'll give a shot to implementing it.
    Whoaaa, I'm in love with this idea. Luckily, the code's laid out in a way that should allow this fairly easily. I was looking for a way to make the game feel less linear but my mind was focused on how I could modify the controls and I'd always end up going back since I wanted them to be as simple as possible. This is just a great idea.

    ---

    I'm so glad I decided to post this today. You guys gave me fantastic ideas. More than enough to stay busy for a couple of days. All goes well, I'll report back next week with the changes/new implementations and hopefully a playable build.
     
  10. AntoineDesbiens

    AntoineDesbiens

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    Hm, I'll keep exploring bottom to top then. I like how the title won't overlap the character before the game starts. Maybe the uneasy feeling is because I'm used to seeing it the other way around then.

    You're right, the video seems glitchy. Maybe it has to do with the fact I just uploaded it.
    Couldn't agree more. It needs to become their game.
    Yeah, that feels nice. Not an effect I've done in the past though, I'll see if I can manage a decent execution. Good idea regardless.

    Once again, thank you for your help. I'll report back next week with new implementations :D
     
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  11. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Are we doing this again this weekend? I dunno if there is some tradition involved otherwise I'd copy and paste the template myself. But I got a demo :)
     
  12. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Here it is. Looking forward to seeing what you've got!
     
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