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[Feedback Friday #3] - October 31, 2014!

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Gigiwoo, Oct 31, 2014.

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  1. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    [Happy Halloween!]

    Want design feedback for your new game? Then you've found the right thread! Post your game, and let us know which parts of the design need feedback. Discuss as much as you want until next Friday, when we'll lock the old and start anew.

    How To Get Folks To Checkout Your Game?
    • Show - Be Interesting! Which means - pics, videos, or best of all, a playable game!
    • Be Concise - Who's got time for a wall of text? Be concise and interesting.
    • Be Specific - What do you need feedback on?
    • Read This - More great guidance is here in @@superpig's post here.
    How To Give Good Feedback?
    • Be Positive - Offer at least one thing you like before ripping it to shreds ;).
    • Be Respectful - They want to improve, and they want your thoughts, as long as it's respectful.
    • Focus On The Work - Not the developer.
    • Be Specific - "Your game sucks!" is for nubs.
    Good luck!
    Gigi

    [PS - Feedback Friday #2 is here]
     
  2. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Okay, I will throw my platform game out there for some feedback. This is my attempt at making a retro style platform game. I am not intentionally going after low-resolution pixel art. My goal is to produce the kind of game you'd find on an NES, Genesis or even in the arcade 20 years ago. But programmed "better". I used to play those games a lot and while I appreciated what the developers had in mind I always thought, geesh they should have executed the idea better.



    Keep in mind, this game (Treasure Quest... is the working title) is early in development. I spent about a month just battling glitches regarding sprite and tile rendering and getting the workflow down for how best to work with Unity3D for 2D. This current web player version represents about 40 hours of actual development at this point. There will be more things to do in time. More enemies and obstacles to interact with. More objectives. That is already planned just need to get to it. I only spend one to two hours per night on this project.

    I'd like to thank @Misterselmo for creating the graphics for the stage platforms and back wall images. Thanks man! I appreciate it and definitely looks better. I think the game has a good clean (albeit simple) look.

    Collision detection for the snake's venom and egg bomb explosions are not implemented yet. But you can play like they are to get a feel for how much they will effect the game difficulty.

    Your Goal:
    Collect all of the treasures to make the key appear
    Collect the key to open the door
    Exit the door to clear the level (this is not implemented yet)


    Control for PS3 Game-Pad:
    The stock controllers do not work but a generic PS3 / PC controller plugged into the USB port does.
    D-pad left and right to move
    Triangle or X to Jump.
    Hold to jump a little higher. Press D-pad first then press X to jump further horizontally.
    Square or Circle to Throw stones

    or

    Keyboard control:
    Left and Right Arrow keys to move
    X to Jump
    . Hold to jump a little higher. Press Left or Right first then press X to jump further horizontally.
    C to Attack. Currently this is only throwing stones. You start with 50 of them in this W.I.P.
    P to Pause / Resume the game.


    The game starts out paused so... PRESS P TO START PLAYING!

    ***** Please play-test the game here *****

    Specifically, I'd like feedback on the following?

    1. Your overall impression of the game in its current state. Do you think it is "on the right track" to be a fun game?

    2. The controls. Games from that time were well known for requiring precise jumps and timing and so forth. I have tried to capture that while not making the jumps and such too picky.

    3. The enemies. Okay, so far only one... so... the enemy. Is it a challenging enemy that seems to be aware of your presence?

    4. Impossibility / Frustration. Does it feel like the snake & game "plays fair" or does it seem like you often end up in a situation where it is impossible to not be hit?

    5. What do you like the best about this game? Why?

    6. What do you like the least about this game? Why?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
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  3. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    @GarBenjamin - Thank you for sharing and glad to see your first release! It shows you've been bringing your ideas to life. I like how the graphics, audio, and gameplay tie together nicely to create an overall cohesive feel - like the old platform games from the Atari days and C64 days (ex Lode Runner and Indianna Jones). Here are a few thoughts that may help improve the design.

    • Faster experience - the movement, level design, jumping (up/down), and monsters could be faster and more fluid - currently it's oldschool sluggish, in a bad way.
    • Jump difficulty - the jumping could be much less finicky. I found myself taking extreme care for every jump. ... backup exactly this far, run exactly this far, and time the jump just so ... only to BUMP into the lip of the next platform. Instead of frustrating, the primary mechanic could be fluid, springy, and fun. Consider modeling the design of 80s/90s platformers (ex Mario) where every jump was a joy. Boing, Boing, Boing - ba-ding!
    • Unclear Goal - Am I supposed to collect everything, make it to the door, or just not get hit? Instead of so many objects (i.e. points), consider having a SINGLE objective - ex - Get the whip, Get the Key, or Get the Gem before running to the door! That has the mystery of wanting to get one object and get out, to see what's next. I felt like I was just mucking around and I never exited the first level. Even better, consider designing levels where the player runs to pickup their weapon (whip, rock, ...), then fight snakes/whatever to get to the key, and then exit. Sounds fun.
    • Crush the snakes - It took me a while to realize the snakes don't kill - they just annoy. And annoy, and annoy. I'm guessing they don't kill because that would be extremely difficult. Might be fun to be able to jump on them to kill.
    • Juice - Juice is almost always fun. Add bounce, movement, and wiggling in response to player input. This is sort of what happens at the beginning, when the camera moves - it's the tiniest bit of juice.
    • Keys - Instead of pressing 'P' to start, consider using the space key - and also consider using the space key to jump.
    • Scaffold the Learning - I read the instructions and then immediately forgot I could throw rocks. In fact, I didn't remember until just now! Consider making a first level where you jump over a snake. Then, make a second level where you must use your rock to kill a snake. Then a 3rd level where you combine both, and so on. Gives me progression and slowly introduce the concepts, just-in-time - win-win!
    Gigi
     
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  4. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    1. It's hard to say if the game will end up being fun or not based on the size of the demo. There are certainly some things that I'd fix, but overall what you have right now is decently solid...I didn't fall through the floor or anything, I was able to put snakes to sleep with rocks, etc. I think the concept is cool. It reminds me of an old India Jones game a friend and I used to play on PC.

    2. Agree with Gigiwoo that the jumping is too frustrating. It's hard to find the right trajectory with jumps also requiring momentum. I think one thing that's really bugging me here is that the player doesn't control like I'd expect. Based on the proportions of the sprite, I imagine more of a Prince of Persia / Flashback methodical platforming experience, and it doesn't look like he should be able to jump that high. I guess I'm just trained to expect that more cartoony characters have less realistic physics (like Mario, La Mulana, Spelunky, etc.).

    3. The enemy seemed really challenging at first. The snakes are aggressive, and I got pushed off that first ledge a bunch of times. Then I figured out that it doesn't really hurt you, and was able to progress much more quickly after that. Reminds me of the snakes in La Mulana with how they charge the player. If they are going to end up being able to hurt the player and remain aggressive, I'd make them not the first enemy in the game. Let the player get some platforming in before stomping them.

    4. I'd like to come back to this after I get a chance to play with a controller. Never been a fan of keyboard platforming =P

    5. I like the satisfying "thunk" when you land. I don't know why, it just resonated with me. I also like that the rocks I threw stayed where they were thrown. I was expecting them to disappear when they hit the ground, so that was neat.

    6. As mentioned, my perceived conflict between the style of sprites and type of physics.

    Edit: Thinking about the controls some more, I would use A/D for movement, space for jumping, and F for attacking. Just because WASD is so standard now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
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  5. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    1. Your overall impression of the game in its current state. Do you think it is "on the right track" to be a fun game?

    Overall, I think it definitely feels like an extremely early version of a game. Variables need tweaking, concepts need adjusting. The movement of the enemies is pretty cool, very smooth. I want to get to the treasures to see what happens but I can't. I can't make most of the jumps. I just move too slowly horizontally to get on the platforms or jump the snakes. Rock throwing works well. Conceptually, you've got an essentially impotent character trying to collect treasure. It can be cool.

    2. The controls. Games from that time were well known for requiring precise jumps and timing and so forth. I have tried to capture that while not making the jumps and such too picky.


    Movement is too slow, that's all. Especially in the air.

    3. The enemies. Okay, so far only one... so... the enemy. Is it a challenging enemy that seems to be aware of your presence?


    When the enemy is disabled, he can still block a treasure. This happened 5 times while I was playing around. And the enemy can still damage you when stunned. Which is debatable...

    4. Impossibility / Frustration. Does it feel like the snake & game "plays fair" or does it seem like you often end up in a situation where it is impossible to not be hit?


    Impossible frustration more often than not, due to an uncontrollable character who moves like his shoes are full of lead. It happens, you get used to the speed you test at. Happened with the first gamemaker game I made... later I played it and it was like it was in slow motion.

    5. What do you like the best about this game? Why?


    I'm the asian kid from Indiana Jones.

    6. What do you like the least about this game? Why?


    Slow movement, lack of control of character.
     
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  6. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    Yay! I'm not the only person posting prototypes anymore! But, I do have an updated one.

    Prototype Build of Sara the Shieldmage

    Controls:
    A/D - Move
    Space - Jump
    LMB - Cast Spells
    Z - Interact

    Objective:
    Get the treasure chest inside the Hall of Spikes, and return to the entrance via the top route. Pretend that after you open the chest, some obstacle prevents you from simply backtracking along the lower route.

    Outstanding areas of improvement:
    I've been a slacker this week, and sick in the early part of the week. So, I've taken note of the following things from last week, and am considering how best to use them:

    1: Spell interface placement.
    2: 'Effect Ghost' shading - red if you can't cast, green if you can, more transparent in both cases so it's obviously a ghost.
    3: Physics still feel abrupt when jumping (it feels like you're teleporting upwards in the early ticks of a jump.)

    Feedback:
    This week, I haven't done much to the game, other than alter some minor cosmetic things, and update the level design. The cosmetic things, Sara's run cycle and the fact that there is a new animation and setup for Sara holding the contents of a chest in front of her chest, simply doesn't belong in this section. So...

    1: Level Design. Does the level's layout feel suitable to being an early-game optional mini-dungeon? Do the obstacles seem sufficiently challenging, without being unfair? More specifically, the final obstacle of the upper path - what are the general thoughts on that? (It's designed to be an obstacle that requires two mana charges to scale, as well as to force the player to try something with Summon Block.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  7. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate it.

    LOL! So... I am not sure... but I got the impression something needs to be tweaked with the jumping?

    Okay, I agree. In the very beginning I had the player jumping differently. "Well this is just too darn easy, I want these jumps to be challenging the way they were on so many old school games", I thought... so I clamped it down. I received feedback about the jumping being way too hard. So I made it easier. Now with the consensus being jumping is still too hard... I reverted back to the original way. Jumping should be no challenge now. You still jump further if you are walking when you jump but overall jumping is much easier.

    Also... just throwing this out there... maybe part of the difficulty in jumping is because I just assumed players would hold the jump button/key and the d-pad/key to jump further. Holding jump makes you jump higher. Holding jump and directional while doing a running jump and you jump a little further horizontally.

    I also increased the player movement speed by 14%. I do not want to go beyond this so hopefully this makes it a more pleasant experience. He is definitely zippier now.

    If any of you get a chance, give it a quick test and see if the jumping is better for you now.
     
  8. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I never saw the "final obstacle of the upper path" but the level looks good.

    The control / spell casting is much better than the last time I play-tested. The last time I was only able to make it across about 3 magical blocks before dying. This time I made it through a couple different areas of the spikes. BIG improvement in spell casting. It still feels like the mana recharge is a bit too slow but overall it is workable because you (well I feel at least) want a game to be challenging. It should feel hard at first until a player masters it. That is a big point of games I think. If everything is easy then what is the point, right? ;)
     
  9. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    @GarBenjamin Might want to think about climbing and ledge grabbing. Right now the biggest issue is the level is built to require the maximum jump height which you only get from a running jump. There is at least one jump that requires you to teeter on the edge of the platform to build up enough speed.

    The snakes aren't too good at the moment. Right now they have two states: hostile roadrunners and statues made of spikes. Not really sure what the point of the stun is other than to make sure they don't move.

    @Asvarduil Right now it still feels like a battle of figuring out the mechanisms that are determining mana/block casting conditions. After that it isn't really that difficult. The solution is simple but the execution is usually what fumbles.
     
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  10. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Thanks for the feedback! I actually considered the idea of a ledge grab and being able to climb up or drop down! Be easy enough to implement but I decided it was not really something I wanted to get into in this game. Mainly, I am trying to build a game fairly minimalistic yet have more to it than something like an infinite runner. ;)

    That is good to know about the snake. Very interesting they only come across as having two states! They actually currently have 7 states (1) patrolling, (2) pausing at the edge of the ledges looking around (not animated yet but will be), (3) chasing, (4) startled (slithering away when hit from behind with a rock), (5) spitting venom (they telegraph their attack by bobbing their heads up and down first), (6) laying an egg bomb and (7) stunned. They also are play-balanced a bit in that if the player is too close to them they will not go into the chasing state. So... I thought I had designed those fairly well. I may do another design round on them and see if I can make them more interesting.

    Regarding them still dealing damage when stunned that will change. They definitely will not harm you when they are stunned. I just have not implemented that yet.

    Thanks for all of the feedback so far everyone! I really appreciate it!
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
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  11. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    I'm mostly summing up the states as actively moving and trying to kill me or set in stone and probably an obstacle. Goes to show what the player actually cares about.
     
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  12. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    That makes sense. They probably will have only two states in that sense. A threat. And not a threat. It's all of the little details to bring them to life in those two extremes I focused on. I am thinking of possibly allowing the player to kill them. But I had an idea of trying to get away from all of the killing in games (although it is a lot of fun)... so came up with traps to temporarily immobilize the enemies. As a quick way of testing that I just added rock throwing to knock them out. lol

    Anyway, appreciate the feedback!
     
  13. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    If you didn't notice the final mobility challenge of the upper path, that's a very good sign; that means to you it was intuitive, which is a very positive thing. You cannot pass that obstacle with only one mana charge, it's mathematically (and, practically, I was sure to playtest my level!) impossible. You would have noticed had I not given you enough resources to work with. Specifically you'd have had to fall back to a spike-less block (which, per previous suggestions, I added to ensure that players knew what to do.)

    This seems like an extremely interesting bit of feedback. Reading into what you said, it seems like you did figure out the relationship in question, but found the presentation that made you able to make the connection lacking. What would you suggest changing to make it more obvious?

    Further, when you noted that the solution is simple, but the execution fumbles, what did you mean by the execution fumbles, exactly?
     
  14. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    Fumbling is mostly an issue with platforming. The spiked bottleneck in particular is bad. Having it staggered to actually account for the jump arc would help.

    The only issue I had at the end was figuring out that there was an opening at the top which doesn't stand out well.
     
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  15. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Okay, just a quick update here. I got in a 20-minute dev session this morning...

    Two Enhancements:

    1. Alternate keyboard control has been implemented:

    A or Left Arrow or D-Pad to move left.
    D or Right Arrow or D-Pad to move right.
    Space or X or Button X or Triangle to jump.
    F or C or Button Square or Circle to attack.

    I know WASD has been a standard for a long time and I have always hated it. If a game doesn't allow movement via arrow keys or (better yet) configurable, I don't play it. The Arrow, X and C keys control scheme comes from the majority of retro game sites. That is the standard controls for people into web page retro game playing. But, I am all for supporting other configs (may even add a config for it in time) so I implemented your A/D/Space/F. :)


    2. I implemented the snakes truly being stunned. Meaning they will not harm you when asleep.

    I probably should have done that before throwing the game out for feedback. But, you know how it goes, this is very much an early WIP. There are many things not implemented yet. ;)

    Anyway, the update is available. It should be much more playable now.

    If anyone gets a chance, please try the current state and let me know how it goes.

    On a side note here, I think I have found the greatest game ever created: finally tried Life of a Pixel. Fantastic game. Completely blows away almost every other game I have played. LOL! Okay, it might not be the best but it really is an awesome game and I think anybody into Game Design should check it out. Learn that graphics, music and sounds do not make a great game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
  16. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Halloween with the kiddy last night, work now... will play when I'm on a pc.

    WASD works the best, btw. You can always have dual input where arrow keys and WASD control movement...
     
  17. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    @GarBenjamin Definitely a lot easier to control. The stunned snakes no longer doing damage definitely helps, now the only improvement to them would be animation cues for when it's about to wake up.
     
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  18. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Thanks man! Hopefully it will be a more enjoyable experience. I am about to leave for the day too. I just wanted to get some work done early this morning so I could address some of the biggest issues before I get into busy work for the day.

    WASD sucks! :) But I know many people like it so that is exactly what I did. Well not W and S but I added the A/D/Space/F control scheme. The arrows/C/X and game pad are still in as well.
     
  19. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Good deal! Thanks. I wondered if I should do that. There is a cue but it must not be very good since you did not notice it. The Zs stop spawning a short time before the snake wakes up. So when there are no big Zs right above its head that is the cue to get away.
     
  20. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    Either it's not a long enough period, or I'm too busy to notice. Probably the latter. Ideally, the snake would lay down when stunned and would rise up during a recovery period, but requires more artwork. That "should" be enough of a visual state change that it's easy to notice. Food for thought.
     
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  21. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Regarding WASD

    I used to make all of my games using arrow keys. For some reason, the arrow keys seemed like a d-pad and that's how I wanted it modeled. There's a lot of precedence for using the arrow keys as well. However, WASD is superior for many reasons:
    1. Familiarity - Every controller I've ever used has the d-pad on the left-hand side, my fingers are already wired up to control movement with the left hand, while executing common actions with the right hand.
    2. Comfort - I don't think any debate exists about the "[A][S[D][F]..[J][K][L][;]" positioning of your fingers on the keyboard. It's how the device is designed. There's a lot to be said for sticking to these keys for common commands (if you have to use a keyboard as a gamepad... which is a problem in itself albeit an unavoidable one).

    That said...
    I have become a fan of simultaneous input schemes, thinking a bit outside the box here... we're polling the whole keyboard anyway. In other words, we have the technology to make it better, stronger, faster... we're not limited by hardware. You could, for instance, have:

    [Z][X][C][V] mapped the same as [J][K][L][;]
    WASD mapped the same as Arrow Keys.

    There are no conflicts, so there is no reason to have to choose.

    BIIIG difference now that I can get by the snakes and jump on platforms. I got all the treasures and the key appeared, couldn't go through the door though. Also there was a weird glitch when I passed the top of the screen that everything went into slow motion. Weird.

    Old school action games like this are a matter of refining everything down to the perfect speed, getting the feel perfect. I would say you are 80% correct, but that other 20% could be anything.

    It needs a death condition. Probably three hits: Warning, Final Warning, Dead. It will awaken your inner player skills and get you operating at peak performance, that way you can start seeing where the game is too easy and making it difficult in ways that make sense.

    Also I need to be time constrained. This is arcade... as Morpheus once said "quit trying to hit me and hit me!"

    *Also the graphics I did, I didn't see it before, but for some reason the RGB balance is way off now and that I can see the game in full resolution there needs to be some adjustments made to the terrain graphics to get it all consistent, etc. It can wait, but at some point it all needs to be colored in the same style.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
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  22. randomperson42

    randomperson42

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    Just one quick tip @Asvarduil the player needs to be able to see down into the pit after they get to the top of the first obstacle. Otherwise they will fall down into the spikes without even knowing they were there.
     
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  23. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    Sounds good. I think making the controls customizable is the way to go. That way people can play how they want and you don't have to worry about it.

    Anyway, busy weekend ahead, but I'm looking forward to trying your and Asvarduil's updates out when I get a chance.
     
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  24. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    So you're aware of a lot, but let's start with things you might not know about?

    I can infinite jump by clicking below my character and creating ghosts of blocks. It's kind of fun, but obviously not what you intended... this could be an accidental mechanic though, when you think about it. If the block you create destroys the oldest block, then you could keep climbing. To limit this just make creating blocks cost mana.

    The mouse cursor is what should flash when a new block is available.

    The ghost effect is completely unclear. I think you should do a blue wireframe of the block one that is red when a block cannot be placed.

    Any questions, go ahead and ask.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
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  25. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    That's actually a really good idea. It would help convey that an action is now available, plus you could prevent ghost blocks from showing before the flash, which would help connect the mechanics.
     
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  26. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I agree and you hit the nail on the head. I try to minimize the project scale as much as possible and the artwork is one of the first things I cut. However, I definitely agree with you. In this case, I should not have skimped. There is a big difference between cutting out "FX" and gloss that is not adding game-play value and cutting out readability / communication with the player about what is going on. I will do quick & dirty snake falling to sleep and waking up animations. Or maybe I will just go ahead and do those traps I originally intended. Thanks again!
     
  27. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    I think don't cut features if the artwork seems to hard, just make the artwork extremely rushed. Capture the concept but spend as little time on the art as possible, then find someone to do all the art when the project is finished. A lot easier when you have more done, imo
     
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  28. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Not to me. I find those finger positions very cumbersome. Always have. I used to favor the Arrow keys for movement and either Ctrl & Space or Ctrl & Shift for action keys. But after playing web-based retro games for quite a while now I have grown to like their use of Arrow keys and X & C. Of course, depends on the system being emulated, sometimes it is X, C, V & B.


    Agreed! That is how I implemented it in the platform game and think I will adapt this as a standard going forward. That way the controls cater to people with my preferences (me? lol) and people with your prefs, etc.


    That is great to hear about it playing better / easier. You know, I have noticed that after the last upgrade of Unity! Occasionally, in the web player I see / feel the glitch where everything seems to lag but it only lasts for very brief amount of time then goes away. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for it.

    OH!! You may have hit the slow-motion key! I neglected to mention for developmental play-testing I added a slow-motion feature. Pressing S toggles slow motion off and on. It only effects certain objects though depending on what I am testing.

    That's also great news! I can accept being 75% to 80% of the way there because most of the tuning will happen once everything is complete. I do try to tweak here and there during development but since everything has to be taken as a whole and each element can effect the overall play experience, I leave most of the tweaking til the very end.

    The player will definitely die and be injured. The flickering effect after colliding with the snake is his safety time after being injured. I just don't have health rating showing yet nor am actually applying any damage yet. I actually just received the death animation I requested from the artist a few minutes ago. So I can get on with that piece next dev session.

    I've thought about a time limit. I was thinking instead of a visible countdown timer, I would use an internal timer and after it expires, either do a "rage" state where (a) the enemies become more aggressive, (b) the blocks randomly become molten (with a warning first, of course) for a few seconds and so forth or (c) send out a special enemy kind of like the old Venture game. If you take too long a special enemy comes out that can move through all walls and continually tracks you. I actually prefer the (b) molten ground or the (c) rage enemy.


    That was me. I intentionally recolored them thinking the color looked a bit more like ground.
    I have now replaced them with your exact images in the webplayer here!
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  29. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I agree with that. Generally, that is what I do. Just quick & dirty programmer graphics. The platform game looks way better my W.I.P. stuff normally would. Looks even better because you made the platforms & back wall and the artist made the player. I'd have simple & quick art until the game-play is done. BUT... when I posted on the Works In Progress forum it seemed like people were so focused on graphics (which is another reason why I think many people here are obsessed with graphics). I find it interesting how non-devs / players seem more able to focus on the actual game (play) than game developers. But it actually makes some sense.

    Anyway, so I made a few iterations redoing the graphics, redoing the graphics, redoing the graphics. Got tired of working and reworking graphics this early in the game.

    I am back to my quick & dirty stuff though for the egg bomb, venom projectile, venom splatter and stunned Zs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
  30. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Eff it. I mean, graphics... you can reskin any game to look like anything. Who cares? If it plays well, you'll keep playing. If not, you'll lose interest. Gotta focus on the gameplay aspect 110% until it's outstanding. I think you could use colored rectangles (literally) to fine tune the mechanics. Graphics are focused on because people know literally d*** about how to make games but they know how to complain. Since they can't give a coherent analysis of the play, they b**** and moan about the graphics.

    It's their way of diminishing someone who can do something they can't. :/

    Just power through and you'll find your mojo eventually
     
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  31. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    That was me. I intentionally recolored them thinking the color looked a bit more like ground.
    I have now replaced them with your exact images in the webplayer here!

    When the colors aren't grayscale, altering the colors can have unexpected results... its odd but computer displays are just mathematical approximations of real colors. I have noticed that changing brightness up and down can make brown red, or purple just turns white, etc.
     
  32. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    That is exactly my view! In fact, I originally had solid color blocks, colored triangles for treasures, etc. You are right and I wish more people would get that. A big part of the focus on graphics is because Unity, I think, has attracted a lot of people who are artists. They are good at making art and have "an eye for art" so they focus on it more than programmers or players.


    There is truth to that for sure. I do think a lot of the reason for so much obsession with graphics around here though is a lot of people seem to be artists trying to make their first games. Looking at all of the Work In Progress games it seems like nearly every person is a (at least fairly) skilled artist. The average look of the games is definitely much better than what I have seen at other game development communities in the past. In fact, it is rare to even see a WIP here that has programmer graphics! So, I think this has to be a big part of the reason for obsessing over graphics.

    Anyway, I am back to my normal way. Just quick & dirty graphics until the game-play is completed and all is balanced. Then the art will simply be replaced.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
  33. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    @GarBenjamin

    The zippier speed is rather nice, and now knowing that you can hold down jump made many of the jumps less tricky. I would make the hitboxes on the snakes smaller, perhaps the upright portion that has the head. That platform on the top right is pretty tricky with a snake taking up half of it! Also, I ran into an instance where I thought a snake had noticed me when I was behind it, but this was because its alert state was set immediately after it turned around. Maybe add a 1 second delay or so the player knows the snake has turned?

    I also thought my rocks were going through snakes at times, but this is because they were bouncing after they hit the ground, and they don't hurt snakes at that point, correct? Maybe have the rocks stop immediately when they hit the ground. Kind of a bummer though, because the skipping effect is cool. Or make the rocks continue to hit snakes while they're bouncing. I managed to hit a snake by bouncing a rock off the wall, and it was really satisfying! I can see this becoming a frantic, fun plaformer with globs of venom exploding and flying through the air. It was a bit of a challenge just to get all the treasures without the enemies being able to kill you, so I wonder what it will be like when they can :eek:

    On my 360 controller, I could jump and throw rocks, but couldn't get the guy to move.

    @Asvarduil

    Wow dude, this is a huge, huge improvement over the last prototype of yours I played! Even in the prototype stage, it already has that addictive quality you get from "masocore" platformers. Every time I died, I wanted to try to get across those spikes one more time. Using the mouse to place the blocks is so much better!

    I was able to get past most of the spikes this time, but had a real problem trying to get up that wall at the end. The boxes I placed always ended up hitting the wall and bouncing away. Maybe block placement could be more forgiving somehow? Also in agreement with Misterselmo that the block placement queues should be at the mouse. I died a few times having to look up in the top left corner of the screen while the block under me was disappearing.
     
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  34. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    I think one problem with many WiP threads is that they only post screenshots and videos, so you only really have the audio visual presentation to comment on.
     
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  35. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Thanks! I am very glad to hear about the richochet hit. When I play a game I am exploring especially the first 15 minutes or so. Not only the game environment but also messing with the controls to see what happens if I hold or double tap, etc. And yeah play around with jumps and attacks and such to know what I can and cannot do. You're the first person to mention using the richochet to knock out a snake. To me things like that are part of the fun in games. So I am glad you did it and found it satisfying! I was starting to wonder if maybe I was like a 1% of all gamers who do things like that. I often get a lot of fun from doing trick shots to kill enemies in the games that support it.
     
  36. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I am on my cell so no long posts... lol. But anyway, I thought I should say this is not an actual real first level. It is just a generic playfield that will have every enemy and obstacle packed into it in time. It is a testing sandbox. Just realized most people probably think this is the first level. Like Gigi mentioned the first level will be much simpler. Easier jumps, only a couple enemies and maybe not even the snakes at all. There will be a bat, a spider and possibly a rock golem in time. The artist already created the player whip animation so yes there will be a whip at some point too. But eventually, this level will have a couple snakes, couple spiders, couple bats, maybe a rock golem. Attacks with a whip (i will probably keep rock throwing because another main thing I wanted to do is make it so anything the player finds can be used as a weapon - just not sure this is the right game for that but it could be). Also every so many levels there will be a mini boss. That may help to put it into perspective.

    Nevermind, I managed another long post despite the cell. ;)
     
  37. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    lol, yeah I thought it was your first level. This is especially groan-worthy to me because my game is in exactly the same state.
     
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  38. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    Well, here's what I've been working on.

    Overhead 2D Mech Shooter - Proof of concept

    This is my first Unity project, and represents about 3 months of work. Similar to @GarBenjamin's prototype, this is not an actual level, but rather a testbed. It is how I envision the first level starting, with the player moving through an asteroid belt enroute to an enemy planet, but things when change a lot when level design begins.

    Specific things I'm looking for feedback on are:


    1. Controls

    Do the controls feel responsive? Are the player physics decently smooth?

    You move around with WASD on the keyboard, or the left analog stick on a controller. The controller inputs are based on the 360 controller at this point, so I can't guarantee they'll work for anything else.

    2. Weapons

    Are the weapons fun to use? Do any of the weapons feel more powerful than others?

    First of all, the player has 3 melee weapons that can be switched between at any time. The controls to do this are Q/E on the keyboard, the mouse wheel, and D-Pad Left/Right on the controller.

    Each weapon has a basic attack that can be trigger by pressing either the right mouse button, or controller left trigger.
    The attack button can also be held down to do an auxiliary attack which are:

    Sword - Guard. While holding the button, the player's character will hold their sword out in front of them and can reflect enemy shots. The number of shots that can be reflected is limited, and shown as a blue meter on the HUD. When the player runs out of guard meter, an effect appears showing that their guard is broken and they can't block again for three seconds (the meter flashes). To recharge the guard meter stop blocking.

    Axe - Explosion. The axe is swing downwards, triggering a short range explosion.

    Lance - Charge. The player will fly in the direction that the player is aiming, piercing anything they go through. They are not invincible during this time though.

    There are also 5 different ranged weapons (6 if you count the pea shooter you start with). You get a new ranged weapon when you pick up a powerup for it. This prototype has one of each kind of powerup arranged along the bottom of the screen for convenience. Firing a ranged weapon is done with either the left mouse button, or right trigger on the controller.

    There are two classes of ranged weapons, and they work a bit differently. Manual charge weapons (pea shooter, spread shot, missile launcher) are pretty typical in that you press the fire button to fire a single shot, or hold it down to charge a more powerful shot. The shot's charge level is shown as a yellow bar on the HUD, and flashes when full. Also, a number is on the side showing the charge level as an int. The missile launcher is a little different in that you can just fire a cluster of missiles if you want, but while charging you can also move the cursor (or let the laser sight hit an enemy if using a controller) to mark a target. When the button is released, one missile will go after each marked target.

    The second type are auto charge weapons (rapid shot, flame thrower, beam). With these, the charge level automatically rises while you're not shooting, then you hold down the button to continuously fire a sustained shot (which lowers the meter). When the meter hits empty, the shot stops. The flame thrower will set thing on fire and kill them eventually.

    Known Issues

    There will be some visual artifacts left on the screen from the title menu. This is because the menu viewport is fullscreen, and the viewport in game only covers part of it. I just haven't taken time to get it cleared yet. In this build, the viewport is set to take up the entire vertical extents of the screen, so depending on the actual resolution of the display there may be some clipping. If you have a really large vertical resolution it may pass the extents of the star field. There is an option to have the game output at 720p and stretched to fit the display, but the GUI is far from finished so it can't be accessed yet.

    The HUD is junk. It hasn't been updated in a long time, and needs a ton of work. I keep hoping that Unity v.4.6 will be out by the time I get to it =P

    You have 5 lives in the demo, but the HUD doesn't show them yet.

    Other stuff

    You can press escape while playing to open a pause menu and go back to the title screen

    You can press P on the keyboard to take a screenshot (apparently Unity won't let you read the print screen key?)

    Here is the download link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3UI-gS7D7IbQXZzS1Z3U3Q3dXM/view?usp=sharing

    Thanks for taking time to check it out.
     
  39. RockoDyne

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    @BeefSupreme Unless they changed it, it should be possible to put up a webplayer version on google drive. Too lazy to download at the moment.
     
  40. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    I'll try to post one in a bit. Unity gives me compile errors when I target the web player because I'm using GetFiles to determine the next screenshot file name, so I'll have to strip it out.
     
  41. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    Sorry, but it doesn't appear to work. I followed a tutorial on how to host a webpage on Google drive, and generated a url that opens the page as html, but the Unity player doesn't do anything after allowing it to run. There was a mention on drive that server side stuff like javascript is not supported.
     
  42. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Wow that's pretty cool, I always wanted to be a mech in a TDS. Never saw it executed quite like that. I need a lot more things to kill before I can really give you any kind of decent feedback, you're past the initial mechanics stage.
     
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  43. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    @Asvarduil - I think the blocks might be too big. I was thinking and I remember megaman had those disappearing block jump sequences. I think this could be like that, where you create the blocks yourself, and then of course they perish. And who says they need to obey gravity? They're magic.
     
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  44. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    Thanks. Hopefully I'll be on to level building soon.
     
  45. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    @BeefSupreme:

    Controls seemed good. Of course, I hate the WASD scheme but I just used A and D and that worked. I think a game pad is the ideal control method. I am basically like you in that regard... I don't care much for keyboard control. Some games it is good. D3 has a solid control scheme of mouse and keyboard. But keyboard is only used for skills and works well. The tracking indicator (laser sight) for where I am pointing / shooting is excellent and helpful.

    The weapons are fun. I never used any melee stuff just the projectile / beam weapons. I think I got these from blowing up asteroids but I am not sure. I only know I was firing at asteroids and enemy ships and at certain points my weapon changed. Started with the green energy blobs and then went to a wicked yellow scatter shot. Also, found a red laser. It seemed like the laser was more powerful. I liked holding down fire to charge the weapons (not for laser but for the others) and release a mega projectile.

    I think the impact of weapons hitting the asteroids need more of a visual and audio indicator. There is not much feedback other than when the large asteroids split into smaller ones and the smaller ones disappear. I realize you probably just have not got to that point yet.

    You didn't ask but I will say the graphics are sharp. It looks cool. I also liked that enemy ships collided with the asteroids and were destroyed. Few games do that. The whole game has a good look and feel to it.

    I agree with @Misterselmo that more stuff to blow up and so forth would be great. It looks like an excellent start but it is hard to judge because that asteroid field and enemy attack wave is pretty short.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
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  46. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    I wouldn't, procedurally generate enemy waves based on that zigzag flow graph @Gigiwoo posted in the thread about rpg stats.

    That's where they money is
     
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  47. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Before play-testing @BeefSupreme's game I spent 40 minutes updating the platform game. Graphics work takes a long time for me. I made two more images for the snake to go into and out of stunned mode. I implemented it so after they wake up there is a very short pause before they are back in action (as was suggested). Definitely should make the snakes stunned state more readable.

    The new demo is available if anyone is not burnt out on play testing.
     
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  48. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    @BeefSupreme All around it was fine. The only real issue I had was you are kind of large and slow, so dodging just felt weird. Although I suppose that is also when compared to more bullet hell type games.
     
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  49. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    I feel like this game is going to be more like Ikaruga, instead of dodging you're blocking, shooting, dodging and also slashing... not a pure shooter
     
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  50. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    Thanks for the feedback! Controls can be devisive, I'm learning. One of my friends is really into shmups, but hates keyboard and mouse controls as well. It's not in the current demo, but I have implemented a classic control scheme that keeps the player from rotating at all and you can use X and B on the controller for your two weapons. I much prefer a controller for nearly all games, but do like how aiming with the mouse feels. MaybeI should add a controller + mouse setup =P

    At present there only one enemy that drops a power up. It's the ship that fires two red bullets. All the other power ups are just at the bottom of the screen so you can try them all.

    I need to figure out a good impact effect for the asteroids. Having them flash red like the ships doesn't look right.

    Thanks for the compliment on the graphics. It's good to hear.

    I hate making long posts on my phone as well!
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
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