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Feedback Feedback Friday #124 - July 31 - August 3, 2020

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Lime_x, Jul 31, 2020.

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  1. Lime_x

    Lime_x

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    It's Feedback Friday time! :)
    Wether you’re new or a veteran, it’s always good to get feedback on your game.

    Want free design feedback for your work in progress project?

    Then 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 #123 is here.
     
    Billy4184 and TonyLi like this.
  2. DrewMelton

    DrewMelton

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    Wow, I totally forgot to post my new demo yesterday. I guess there's still time.

    I posted this game a while back. There have been a ton of updates. This is a strategy game much like Age of Empires except there is more focus on the individual units. It's more about managing and training a small force and slowly wearing down the enemy than it is about large battles.

    There is a lot to absorb here if you are not a strategy gamer, so please read the in-game descriptions.

    I'm just looking for general feedback. Do you think it looks nice? Is it engaging? Do you find yourself wanting to keep playing? Also, let me know if you encounter any bugs.

    I'm trying to get this into the final stages so I can release it this year, so there won't be any major changes. From here on out, I'll be tuning the difficulty, game length, balance, and so forth based on user feedback. Consider it to still be a little rough at this point. Also, keep in mind that it's a solo project except for the soundtrack which I hired someone to do.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/s740er3402gddjm/The Last Cohort Demo 2020 (V2).zip?dl=0
     
  3. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Hi @DrewMelton - I noticed a lot of improvements since the last time. The gameplay is smooth, the UX is intuitive for the most part, and the graphics have an excellent, classic look. What would you think about switching UI fonts? Readability is the top priority, but the Arial bold style font, while readable, doesn't have the same visual appeal as the rest of your graphics.

    Also on the topic of UI, I find the text on semitransparent black background a little hard to read:

    upload_2020-8-1_23-33-55.png

    Gameplay-wise, I could have used a little more hand-holding to get myself reoriented to some of the controls. I forgot how to pick up things like this gold that a barbarian dropped:

    upload_2020-8-1_23-34-55.png

    The AI seems smart enough to be fun. I'll be interested to see how their difficulty ramps up in later levels.

    Oh, in addition to the graphics (which I have to compliment again), while the combat sounds could stand to be a little more intense, the sounds in general are good, too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  4. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    I've been working with a new game designer on a short project:

    upload_2020-8-1_23-41-3.png

    [PLAY WEBGL BUILD HERE]

    Concept: Meet interesting characters while running an interdimensional bar.

    I just did the programming to glue together his concept, which combines a sometimes frantically-paced bartending simulator with a visual novel-style character interaction system. Sort of like Overcooked meets Coffee Talk.

    This build is a pre-alpha prologue.

    Is it fun?

    Did you enjoy the bartending part? How was the timing? Too fast? Too slow?

    Did you advance past the first night? Each night, the bartending part gets a little harder, with more customers, more drink recipes, and slightly faster timers.

    Any thoughts on the dialogue? (At the end of some nights, a customer may stick around that you can click on to start an in-depth dialogue.)
     
  5. DrewMelton

    DrewMelton

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    Fonts are definitely something I'm going to look into. Unity didn't seem to give me any options for fonts, so I just marked it down as something that I need to look into. I'll play with the transparent background, maybe take a look at other RTS games and see what theirs looks like, get some ideas at least.

    To pick up loot, you have to use a unit with a backpack. I tried to make each class useful. Scouts and whatnot can easily be a throw-away unit which was something I was trying to avoid in this game where each unit is supposed to count. (this game focus more on NOT sending units to their death as freely as most RTS games). Whether or not people like this mechanic, is something that player testing is going to reveal, which is what I'm trying to get more of now.

    Like I said, I still haven't tuned the difficulty or various other things. I just kinda set it to a point that felt ok and left it. So, there's still plenty of room for improvement as I tweak the game in the final stages.
     
  6. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    When you get to tuning, it would be interesting to test the move speeds of scouts -- maybe make them move a little faster.

    Perhaps there could be a message when the player tries to pick up loot with a unit that doesn't have a backpack.

    How does one pick up/open barrels?
     
  7. DrewMelton

    DrewMelton

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    The scouts used to move faster. I slowed it down when I realized how long it takes me to make a level and how fast they can get across it when running. I also wanted to cut down on hit and run tactics. If people complain enough, I can re-enable the running.

    You pick up barrels, crates, sacks, gold all the same way by using the scouts or rogues. Just right click the object. I could add a message when attempting to perform certain actions with the wrong unit. Maybe it would help clarify a few things.

    I'm trying to make the game rules more apparent to the players so the game is mostly self explanatory. Of course, there will still be plenty to learn when it comes to combat tactics or making decisions about what to do next, but I think players should learn that on their own. I already recently added a warning icon when resources get low to indicate what happens when you don't have that resource (like can't heal with monk when out of herbs), since I got a message recently about someone saying the monk stopped healing after a while. I don't know if it was a bug, but I suspect they ran out of herbs.
     
  8. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    That happened to me -- I only had one monk, and he ran out of herbs.

    What if the scout could sprint for a short distance?
     
  9. DrewMelton

    DrewMelton

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    Perhaps I could reduce how much herbs the monk needs to heal someone. In all honesty, this is the kind of thing I would need to see a video of how people are playing. Then, I'd know if they are doing anything that I didn't originally intend or maybe they have different playstyles that I do.

    I'll consider playing around with the scout class and whether they can run. Maybe I can make it a toggle, but it affects stealth if they run.
     
  10. Lime_x

    Lime_x

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    The game looks quite impressive. It's got a very classic artstyle, which I think many people might enjoy.
    I found myself wanting to learn more about the game.
    Here are some thoughts I had while playing the game:
    1. At the start, I didn't know exactly which resources I could harvest. I found I could harvest Iron from iron rocks, get herbs from containers and money from enemies. It quite a while for me to find the lumber camp. Since the other resources are found in the world, my first instinct was to try to cut down trees to get wood. When that didn't work I tried to search for the lumber camp in the world, until I realised that I had to build it to gain more wood.
    Food is said to come from bushes, however there are no nearby bushes at the start of the level, which makes it a bit confusing.
    As a final statement on the resources, I think it would be good if it was possible to highlight the resources, so that the player understands what's interactable and what's not interactable.
    2. After training some soldiers, I noticed that I could build more. I realised that it was due to population cap, but I think it would be good if the player is indicated why it's not possible to build more soldiers. (for example: "You must contruct additional Cottage").
    Another reason why it got more confusing was that the soldiers that died, didn't get destroyed, which meant that they took a population cap even if they weren't playable anymore. Though, it was possible to send home those that had died, they could still get stuck in the terrain and keep locking the population cap.
    3. The pikemen could get stuck in an attack animation loop even after their target had been killed. [bug]
    4. When I tried to retire a unit and there was another objec behind the UI, the other interactible object would be selected and the unit would not be able to be retired unless I moved the camera. [bug]

    Over all, I think the game is quite interesting and I hope it goes well with the project. :)
     
  11. DrewMelton

    DrewMelton

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    Thanks, this definitely helps!

    1. Yeah, a lot has changed over the last few months, and I probably need to go in and reword the descriptions to make sure players know what is going on as clearly as I can. The more I know about what others find confusing, the easier this will be, hence me wanting feedback from players on here.

    2. I could put a warning icon when reaching the pop cap like I did with other resources. Although in all honesty, I'm think about creating a new text area for tutorial messages like they do in some games. You know, where you get a pop up telling you what is going on and what to do. Maybe I can add a tutorial message option at the game start screen where you choose your tent colors and whatnot.

    Also, perhaps I should build a time-out failsafe into the retired soldiers so if they get stuck, they will get removed anyway after a few seconds.

    3. I thought I noticed that before too. I'll have to look into it.

    4. I should be a raycasted invisible image behind it like I did on some of the other screens to prevent this.

    This is the kind of thing I needed to get my game ready for the public. I can only do so much on my own. I need to see what others are doing and what bothers them or what they find confusing because ultimately, they are the ones buying the game. Maybe when I sign on with the publisher, I'll have more access to testers. I'm going to follow up with that this week.
     
  12. Lime_x

    Lime_x

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    While I personally don't drink alcohol in real life, I kind of like these kind of bartending games. It's nice to mix different drinks together and it's a good change of pace to have the dialogue in between nights.
    However, I found the initial tutorial to be a bit too long and contained too many words that didn't add to the story.
    A possibility would be to have the controls visible in the UI, so that the characters don't need to tell the player which button should be pressed to switch between the mixing menu and the customer view.
    Also, in the very beginning, there is no music as the first text appears, which might deter some people.

    In regards to the dialogue, I found the big letter that moved the sentence along, to be a bit distracting when trying to read the text. Aside from that, I found some of the dialogue options not to be as impactful to the story and the helping thought-bubble more or less said what I needed to say in some of the conversations, which made the dialogues less engaging. When I think of dialogue options, I usually think back to the way dialogue was handled in Deus ex: Human revolution, where the different dialogue options had a hint of wether you would respond politely, agressive, etc. That way you would have to read between the lines to understand what would be the best way to respond in each situation.
    As a side note, some of the text might need to be read again as I found a misspelling while playing.

    When it came to the difficulty, I found it to have quite good pacing in the beginning as I managed to serve all the drinks that were required. By the fourth night however, the pacing had gotten too fast and I could keep up with the customers' demands and the game got too hectic for my taste.

    Over all, I think it has a lot of potential and I hope it goes well with the game. :)
     
    TonyLi likes this.
  13. DrewMelton

    DrewMelton

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    Wait, just to be clear, you should see a glowing outline on things you can interact with. Character units and buildings are kind of a teal blue, loot is green, enemies are red when you hover the mouse over it.

    You are seeing this right? I'm just trying to make sure it's not a glitch or if you are talking about something else.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    This might be an ideal game to incorporate Unity Analytics into. You could get anonymized, statistical feedback on how many players finish each map, what units they built, how much resources they harvested, how often the monk healed units, etc.
     
  15. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    @Lime_x - Thanks for the feedback! I'll pass it along to the designer. My feedback to him falls along the same lines, except I guess I had gotten used to the exaggerated text animation and didn't notice. I'll tone that down in a polish pass.
     
  16. Lime_x

    Lime_x

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    Yes, I noticed that. However, I found that it took a while to find which resources where harvestable. Maybe a possibility would be to have a small highlight for the interactible objects?
     
  17. DrewMelton

    DrewMelton

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    You mean kinda like in some games like the Uncharted series where loot objects have this shimmer/sparkle effect? I could look into that.

    I could also make it more clear which resources the player should be looking for by showing a picture of the iron rocks with the UI text or something along those lines. Which might actually be easier to be honest. Between that and the tutorial pop-up tips, I think it should be pretty clear.
     
  18. Lime_x

    Lime_x

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    Yeah, I think those sound like good ideas and should probably make it clearer to the player what is interactable. :)
     
  19. DrewMelton

    DrewMelton

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    Quick question, for those that played was it readily apparent that if a unit got injured (completely disabled) in combat that you could save him with a monk?
     
  20. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Yes, because he was leaned over rather than splayed out dead.
     
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  21. Lime_x

    Lime_x

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    Alright! That's it for this Feedback Friday. We had some good discussions this time. :)
    Join us next Friday for more feedback!
     
    TonyLi likes this.
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