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[Feedback Friday #39] - Mar 4, 2016

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Gigiwoo, Mar 4, 2016.

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  1. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Posts:
    2,981
    Feedback Friday #39 is CLOSED. FF #40 will open Friday, April 1st - Not a joke!

    Want design feedback for your new game? Then you've found the right thread! Post here to get precious player feedback. Discuss until we lock the thread to start the two week break.

    How To Ask For Feedback?
    • Show - Pics, videos, or best of all, a playable game!
    • Be Concise - Who's got time for Wall 'O Text? Less is more
    How To Give Feedback?
    • Be Positive - Finding redeeming qualities in the worst of games, is in itself a game
    • Focus On The Design - Not the designer
    • Be Specific - "Your game sucks!" is for nubs
    What To Show?
    • Minimally Viable Product (MVP) - Core game play >>> everything else
    • How To Scope Small (Unity tutorial)
    Gigi

    [PS - Feedback Friday #38 is here]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  2. Philip-Rowlands

    Philip-Rowlands

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Posts:
    353
    *Waits for the patrolling Moderator to turn a distant corner before making his way to the message board, sticking to the shadows where possible*

    Time to show off Spamocalypse again, now that I'm about to start locking down the mechanics. As before, you can download it here... or you could watch the video below.



    There's a few points I need to make about the video. Firstly, it's a little out of date, as it shows a bug I have since fixed (the mouse was invisible when trying to open a safe). Secondly, I know that my microphone sounds awful, so I'm thinking I may record the introduction separately next time.

    What I'd particularly like feedback on
    • The player feedback, particularly the spammers' voice clips. I am considering giving them floating question/exclamation marks above their heads to make it a little more obvious if they suspect or know the player is nearby, and then allowing the player to toggle displaying them.
    • The atmosphere, since that's what people seemed to notice the most last time.
    • The player can use logic bombs - these will bamboozle any spammers within their splash radius, giving you a few seconds to escape. However, I've accidentally set this up so that they damage the player as soon as you use them, even if they don't hit anything else - should I fix this, or leave it in as a way to discourage relying on them?
    What I know needs fixing
    • The player's melee weapon does nothing. I was thinking of building that into the animations for the player's model, but I'm thinking I'll just ditch the player model. I am also considering giving it some "treatment" that causes it to break glass silently to allow the player to get at some loot inside the exhibition cases in a later level.
    • Possibly the spammers' animations - I've noticed that shooting them when idle can cause them to go into a walk animation before dying. Amusing, but I should probably fix that.
    • The SQLer has a pathetically short range. I guess just increasing the launch velocity would fix that.

    *Starts sneaking back to the entrance*
     
  3. TonyLi

    TonyLi

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Posts:
    11,098
    Your game's coming along! I remember playing the first version where all of the spammers were gray capsules.

    Admittedly it would be more work, but for me it would have more impact if they communicated this by voice and body language (animation) rather than floating UI elements. Or, somewhere in between those ideas, you could increase the spammer's brightness or color tint.

    The atmosphere's still unique as before. I think changes in voice and animation as they suspect the player is nearby would accentuate the atmosphere.

    Speaking of atmosphere, I really like how LOUD the player's footsteps are, especially when running. It emphasizes the importance of stealth. Maybe also add a loud panting noise when the player has run a while? And it would be great (and terrifying) if the player had awful endurance. He'd make a lot of noise, and then he'd be winded and have to move very slowly for a while despite the encroaching spammers.

    Does the concept of damaging the player fit with the backstory?

    One minor map thing -- I went down a step and got stuck. I didn't know how to go back up the step. Maybe add the ability to jump? Or a higher step threshold?
     
    Gigiwoo and Philip-Rowlands like this.
  4. TonyLi

    TonyLi

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
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    I've been assisting a small team of designers and artists (@Desktopdaydreams) with a VR-capable first person horror game. We just put together a playable vertical slice, and we'd be grateful for any and all feedback!



    [Download Windows Build] (sorry, no web build)

    The Corridor: On Behalf Of The Dead
    is a first person sci-fi horror adventure. In a decaying society where violence and murder run rife, you are a Custodian, tasked with entering suspects’ minds to solve the most twisted and horrific murders.

    If no VR headset is connected to your PC, it'll play in regular mode. If a VR headset is connected, you can press 'V' in the title screen to toggle between VR mode and regular mode (default is VR). If you get jitter, restart the game and choose lower quality settings.

    You may notice a couple atypical design choices we made to improve the VR experience:

    First, the in-game menus are in world space. Screen space UIs don't feel good in VR. The premise is that you're in a suspect's mind, and the menu is injected into the player's perception by the Corridor system. (Press Escape or the gamepad Start button to open the menu.)

    Second, you'll notice a lot of straight halls and stairs. We want to make traditional navigation work in VR. Turning causes motion sickness, so the level design minimizes curves.

    Any feedback you can offer would be great!

    Here are some screenshots:








     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
    Aiursrage2k and Philip-Rowlands like this.
  5. Philip-Rowlands

    Philip-Rowlands

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    May 13, 2013
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    Thanks! I've been working on this for almost exactly a year now, so I'd be embarrassed if it didn't have any artwork. Answering your suggestions in order:
    1. It would be a bit more work to make them look around while searching, but now that you mention it, it would be worth the effort. Though for the bots, I don't really have any animations - maybe a flashing light or two would work instead?
    2. The footsteps was something I borrowed from Thief, and I don't recall Garrett ever running out of breath (on the surface, at least). But I like the idea.
    3. I think it does. The player character buys some these logic bombs from a contact elsewhere, who warns him/her that using them may result in his/her brain hurting due to hearing nonsense; others are found inside a quarantined city, so they probably don't have any safety mechanisms...
    4. Yeah, that's a bug I didn't notice with a collider. I meant to add the ability to jump or climb an object (like in Thief), but I think I'll just add jumping alone. And I think the player should make some noise when they land, to try and discourage it.

    Okay, now for my initial comments on The Corridor. I'm running on Linux, and it (mostly) worked when I was running under Wine. The only problem I had was that the cursor position was quite off-target when trying to use the menu, but I've had that problem with Spamocalypse, so it's a Linux issue, and highlighting menu buttons when the mouse is actually over them definitely helps. It also took me a little bit longer to realise I could e.g. open drawers in the desk, because the highlighting system is a bit more subtle than what I have, but it worked fine once I got used to it.

    The setting looks a bit rundown and gloomy, which fits with your "decaying society". Is this set in any particular time period?
     
  6. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    That would work great! A spotlight is easy to add, and even if the bots didn't do anything special when the player was lit up, it would still be unnerving to be in the light.

    Thanks for trying it out! I'm used to a little more hand-holding in games, myself, but the designers' vision is indeed more subtle -- which may be perfectly fitting for horror games. I don't play a lot of horror games.

    Also, it's quite possible there are bugs in the menu system, which is complicated by using different input handling for standard mouse, gamepads, and a special world space cursor in VR mode, all coordinating through Adventure Creator's menu system. Any menu bugs are entirely my fault. I wish I had more time every week to offer them on this project, but I've also been hard at work on my quest generator product and supporting the Dialogue System and Love/Hate.

    My impression is of an Orwellian / 12 Monkeys-style near-future dystopia. Any thoughts that anyone has on the setting and/or how it's presented would be very welcome.
     
  7. Desktopdaydreams

    Desktopdaydreams

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Posts:
    152
    Hi all, I'm also working with @TonyLi on this and thought I'd drop by and say Hi!

    Thanks @Philip Rowlands for playing, here's a some feedback:

    I quite the idea of the question mark over the head. I think it would be a nice player feedback feature and it reminds me of early metal gear solid. An idea would be to make this fluctuate depending on the spammers alert state – amber, interested, red – chasing after the player etc.

    - One thing I wasn’t sure about was the overall goal? I read the manual and I had my eyes set on the teapot but I didn't seem to be able to interact with it once I found it. Maybe a brief intro to let the player know what there doing.

    - I thought it was a tad dark in places. I couldn’t make out my weapons or some of the geometry in the level. We had this too, getting the balance right between light and dark is a fine art. Maybe you could add the option to brighten the ambient lighting?

    - Possibly add a sky box to give a nicer feel to the world? Maybe a moody/stormy one to comeplment the feel of the game. I think AllSky2 has some interesting ones which might work.

    - Yes I’d leave it as is. The player will soon learn to get out of the way!

    Good work!

    oh, here's a little more on your question:

    In actually set a little into the future after a cataclysm has had its way with us. The world is left in a pretty poor state and as the survivors start to rebuild some type of society they realize they can't cope with increasing crime. During this rebuilding process an experimental technology is presented called 'The Corridor'. This is what allow you the player to walk in the mind of suspected murders/criminals.

    So in theory you could be in anytime period that the suspect remembers as 'The Corridor' uses the memories and thoughts of said mind to build the world your in.

    This is reflected in what you find around the world with a mix of old and new technologies, books, machines, furniture etc. there's also MOM propaganda which we hope will tell a story all on its own.

    From an art stand point there are quite a few influences, As @TonyLi mentioned, George Orwell's 1984, Blade Runner, Alien, Silent Hill etc

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Philip-Rowlands

    Philip-Rowlands

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    I thought it had a bit of a dieselpunk/cyberpunk vibe to it. I like it!

    Regarding your points on Spamocalypse, the objective for the teapot is to read the sign in front of it. The level I'm working on at the moment is a spammer-infested museum that houses the teapot, and the whole game is based around getting into the museum and swiping it. I was originally just going to have that level, but I started adding extra levels to practice saving and loading from multiple levels.

    Changing the ambient light intensity is going to cause a few problems, as I've managed to get the spammers to take light into account when detecting the player (basically, I built a customised navigation system where nodes include light intensity. There's probably an easier way). I suppose I could add a night-vision system to get around this instead?

    I do actually have a skybox, but it's just a black background with stars dotted on it (and they probably don't show up very well). Thanks for suggesting AllSky2, I'll have a look at it.
     
  9. Desktopdaydreams

    Desktopdaydreams

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    Ah I see, so I was on the right track! ;-)


    Nice idea or a flashlight might work if you don't want to alter the ambiance too much.
     
  10. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    I neglected to ask for specific areas of feedback on The Corridor in my previous post.

    For anyone who'd be kind enough to try it out, would you please share your thoughts any on the following:


    Controls
    How do the movement and interaction controls feel?
    Do you have any issues with gameplay controls, or do you have any suggestions for improvement? (If so, please let me know whether you used keyboard/mouse or gamepad, and in VR or regular mode.)


    User Interface / Menus
    How does the menu system work for you?
    Do you have any difficulty opening the menu, navigating or selecting menu items, or understanding what the menus mean?


    Level Design
    Can you navigate the level easily?
    Is the level visually interesting?
    Do you notice any issues or want to call anything out?


    Puzzles
    Are the puzzles too easy or too hard?
    Are there any technical issues that make it difficult to complete the puzzles?


    Story/Setting
    This build drops you into a level without much backstory. Do you still get a feel for the setting?
    Were the objectives clear enough?
    Does the game give you a sense of setting or place?

    The game is still in development, so don't hesitate to answer "no, I have no idea what the setting is," or whatever your impression. Your honest feedback will really help us. Thanks!
     
    Desktopdaydreams likes this.
  11. Philip-Rowlands

    Philip-Rowlands

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    I've just uploaded a new build for Spamocalypse with a crude night-vision effect that I found on the wiki. It affects the UI as well, so I'm considering replacing it entirely with flares that would be fired using the same launch mechanism as the Sockpuppets/ Logic Bombs (i.e. something I know works).
    If you give this a try, the night-vision effect is toggled using N by default.

    Another thing is that I've given the player an out-of-breath mechanism. I don't have a sound effect for them being out of breath yet, but I do prevent them from moving when they are out of breath. It's still a bit rough around the edges - you can technically still run on the spot while exhausted - but I think I have the core of it done, and the main design issue is whether the player's breath drains or recharges too quickly/slowly.
     
  12. SVER

    SVER

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Posts:
    13
    Hey Guys,
    I just made a game called Rocketeero. It's an arcade style game reminiscent of lunar lander, but much more fast paced.

    Currently it has:
    - infinite mode (infinite runner)
    - upgrades
    - flight manual (instructions)
    - saves currency in between plays

    Future Inclusions:
    - expedition (campaign)
    - more abilities
    - more ships with special stats

    Notes:
    - FREE
    - GameJolt version has inconsistencies with saving right now since using playerprefs instead of gamejolt API

    Where to play:
    Android FREE:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.PoopCrew.SpaceExplorerSharp&hl=en
    GameJolt FREE:
    http://gamejolt.com/games/rocketeero/133189
     
  13. BingoBob

    BingoBob

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Posts:
    80
    When I review a game I'd like to know who the target audience is. I think it's important to consider what type of players might buy your product. Example: I bought my young nephews 5nights at Freddy's, they enjoy suspenseful scary games. how ever I don't know if I would buy them a game where a teddy bear is made out of flesh and has a Winky.(maybe its just the angle of the shot but it looks like a wanker). I remember playing the Forest and suddenly there were zombie chicks wondering around with their breasts exposed. That's not a game I would let be played in my home with kids around. I get that there is a market for these kind of details, I would just consider the long term impact that some of those things might have.
    If you could also provide your target audience, It'll help to provide more accurate feedback.
     
  14. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Good points! Perhaps @Desktopdaydreams could clarify the target audience. In my head, I call that screenshot "please tell me that's just a tail." :) I haven't actually played that far into the game, so I don't know for sure, but I assume it's just an unfortunate angle.
     
  15. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Apr 10, 2012
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    @SVER - Interesting concept! I don't play a lot of these kinds of games, but to me it feels like a flappy bird game with a twist. I died a lot, just on the edge of too quickly to feel like I was making enough progress to get hooked. I wanted to get hooked, though, because the concept adds an extra dimension that I think is really clever. The thrusters (GameJolt) felt a little too sensitive, at least for someone like me who doesn't play these kinds of games frequently. If you don't mind dumbing it down for noobs, could you make the thrusters ramp up more slowly as the keys/touches are held?
     
  16. SVER

    SVER

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    Hey, thanks a lot for the feedback. I actually have found that the game is a bit too punishing and fast paced to start for new players. So yeah, I'm definitely going to be slowing it down a bit. I want it too be hard, but not to the point where it feels like you can't really progress.
    Thanks again!
     
  17. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    Great discussions. And another FF draws to a close. Next will open April 1st - Not a joke!
    Gigi
     
    AndrewGrayGames likes this.
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