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[Feedback Friday #9] - December 12, 2014 (Holiday Edition)

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Gigiwoo, Dec 12, 2014.

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  1. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    [Holiday Edition! This one will stay up until Jan 9. Let's see what ya got!]

    Want design feedback for your new game? Then you've found the right thread! Post it here to find out what others think. Discuss to your heart's content, until next Friday, when we'll lock the old and start anew.

    How To Get Folks To Checkout Your Game?
    • Show - Be Interesting! Pics, videos, or best of all, a playable game!
    • Be Concise - Who's got time for Wall 'O Text? Less is more.
    • Read This - More great guidance in @@superpig's post.
    How To Give Good Feedback?
    • Be Positive - Finding a few redeeming qualities in the worst of games, is in itself a game.
    • Be Respectful - Whichever side you're on, play nice or don't play!
    • Focus On The Design - Not the designer.
    • Be Specific - "Your game sucks!" is for nubs.
    Good luck!
    Gigi

    [PS - Feedback Friday #8 is here]
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  2. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Alright, I am back again to get feedback on my latest project.

    This is just a very simple game I made for Christmas. The platformer is not dead I just wanted to make a Christmas game.

    It's just a simple retro style arcade action game played entirely with the keyboard:


    It's probably best if you enjoy retro gaming. Because if you don't play classic action games which typically have fast-paced action, a fair amount of information to process in a short amount of time and are basically difficult not holding your hand (think of Pac-Man, Frogger, Defender or most any 60 FPS C64 or NES arcade action game) you probably won't like this game at all. If all goes according to plan you should be pushing on from level to level. And at some point you will notice you are only 1 lost gift away from Game Over. Yet you still have a lot of gifts to deliver. You get that tense feeling. Pressure is on. You are ultra careful and feeling on the edge because you know every gift drop could be your last.

    That being said I have attempted to make the game easier than I originally intended. It seems easy (yet still fairly challenging) and a bit slow to me. BUT... I know that as a developer the games always get easy for us because we know them inside & out and we play our game hundreds or even thousands of times during development.

    YOUR GOAL: Deliver the presents by dropping them down the houses below.
    You can find out the rest you need to know (controls and such) on the Title Screen.

    So... basically all I really want to know are two things:

    Is the game too easy, too hard or just right?

    Does the player move too fast, too slow or just right?


    You can play the game here.



    Update:
    After getting feedback about the sled moving too quickly and play testing many many more times I had to agree it did feel a little slippery. So, I focused on the control and also decreasing the difficulty level in general. Of course, a big part of the challenge of an "old school" game like this is to figure out how to control your "ship". Often the key is not what you would think. In this game there are two distinct ways to be successful all revolving around which way you choose to fly around. Once you figure one out it should be very easy.

    Anyway, since I was in the code and because I prefer joy pad control for games like this I went ahead added support for PC/PS3 game pads. No guarantee it will work with yours but it does with mine. ;)

    You can play the game here.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  3. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Okay i finally got to level 2 after i finally figured out you drop presents with the spacebar (I was trying to land the sled).

    There doesnt seem to be any penalty to getting hit by the snowballs and it seems like your actually better off getting hit by the snowballs (because it brings the sled lower to the ground) and you kind of just wait until your close enough to the chimney to drop the present.
     
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  4. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Lol! The controls and objective are displayed when selecting About on the Title screen.

    There is no loss from the sled getting hit by snowballs. It is a nuisance in that it knocks you off course a bit and brings you down a ways. And yes! Smart playing is using the snowballs to help line up.

    It is a kind of thinking person's action game in some ways. There are strategies involved. All of the information to help you is in the game.

    I think this is balanced about perfectly now. So far, one person won the game, another made it to level 7, a few made it to level 4 or 5 and you made it to level 2. That seems about right I think. I was concerned it was way too easy!

    Thanks for playing!
     
  5. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    After playing it again i beat the game, level 10 had 40 presents. Well anyway after thinking about i really like the game. I just think with a timer to race against it would help with the pacing.

    Also you could sell this as a mobile app, just add a leaderboard, a timer and maybe some better art
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
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  6. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Thanks for giving it another go and congrats on winning the game!
     
  7. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    Did you all think I was dead? Or that Sara the Shieldmage was dead? HA! Wrong.

    Updated Prototype

    Controls:
    WASD - Movement

    Feedback On?
    Stuff. (Seriously)

    So, you'll notice that something is minorly different between what I've posted before, and what's in this prototype. It is a bit subtle, but I have been working on converting the game into an Eastern RPG.

    "But, Asvarduil," you might ask. "Why do that? It was awesome as a Puzzle Platformer!" Well, the problem is actually the premise of the game itself. If I had been building the game based on the idea of purely conjuration, I could've added some awesome powers that lent themselves well to a sidescroller. However, I didn't; I was focusing around the idea of shielding, protection. That seriously limited what I could do with the concept of 'Sara the Shieldmage', funny enough.

    So, I started looking around at different genres, different paths in the maze of how to present my vision. An Eastern RPG seemed like a great venue for the character and her mechanics - eastern RPGs emphasize the group's journey, and I've been pretty serious about not wanting Sara to be the standard, elemental wizard. In this context - a ragtag band of post-pubescents who save the world - I can still give Sara the tanky magic mechanics that I've envisioned for her all this time. I can tell the (short) story I want to tell (I promise it will be better than The Hero's Journey...that wasn't the high point of my writing.)

    There's a lot yet to do. I've been working on the battle system, but the encounter system is disabled in this build (yes, it does launch you into battles, but I'm working on what comes after that.) I need to port a lot of stuff from the sidescrolling project to the JRPG project. But, I want to show that the game isn't dead, I'm not dead, and that I can model and render crystal formations. I'm really proud of those.
     
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  8. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    I tried it and there's not much to say at the moment for your other prototype.
     
  9. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    Point was to prove life. So...heartbeat confirmation is confirmed. WIth confirm sauce.
     
  10. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Can you shrink your goal? Sara is a neat premise and has potential, given a LOT of work. I'm wondering if it's possible to really shrink your scope down - take just ONE part of everything you have in mind, and build a game around just that. Something you can finish in a reasonable timeframe.

    Gigi
     
  11. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    Yeah. I've already seriously simmered down the main story to a much shorter, more concise quest line (for reference, start to end in The Hero's Journey was 15 'steps'. The story in Sara the Shieldmage is a significantly more manageable six.

    The game will only allow control of up to three characters; you'll be forced to take two predefined characters (Sara and another character, Davis), with a small option through some short sidequests as to who your third will be. For reference, all characters will have a grand total of four moves. Health numbers will be denoted by hearts, so you can rest assured that numbers are, and will remain, small and easy to work with for everyone.

    Really what I want to do is less a 60-hour eastern RPG epic, and more a 'RPG Lite' that emphasizes a good story and experience that can be told in 30 minutes if you're a speed demon, or about two hours if you're a completionist.
     
  12. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    If that is smaller, I can't imagine what the larger version was. I'm struggling to imagine that ambitious undertaking being finished 18 months from now, let alone 12.

    Gigi
     
  13. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    The larger version was just plain unworkable; I couldn't finish the plan, which was itself a red flag. It would have been a step backwards from everything I've done hitherto. This way, I'm just going to have to do a lot of work (that's a given, this is game development.)
     
  14. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Is it a "given"?
    Gigi
     
  15. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    Well, less work than if I had to code everything a priori. But, I'm a one man band (for now.) So...yes.

    The good news is I've A) avoided the pitfall of making something more complicated than I can actually pull off, despite nearly taking that plunge (for now), and B) I've actually managed to refine some of my technology along the way. I've already gained from this, but I think I see your point - having gained does not equate to a fourth finished game!

    I need to get back to work. Excuse me.
     
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  16. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Okay I played it again.

    1) Cant walk diagonally.
    2) Camera could be an issue
    ->See the tile to right of the character you cant see it from that angle.
    ->If the height changes and the elevation of the walls are higher the height of the camera (could clip), not a problem in the current demo but i guess something to think about.

    3) The colliders for the crystals seem to be way out of wack
    4) Player can walk out of camera area at the start

    5) I dont know a good way to solve it but your character will play the walk animation when (walking into the wall and not moving).
     

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  17. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    @Aiursrage2k - Good feedback.

    #1 - I'm considering diagonal movement. I won't add diagonal frames, period, because I'm not good at diagonal walk cycles (as you can see, front/back walkcycles give me trouble.) Why do you want diagonal movement?

    #2 - You may notice, but the level is laid out such that most walls that would normally fully obscure the player are actually half-high so that you can still see where you are. You raise good concerns about the camera, height changes, and general level layout, though. Fortunately, I have ways of altering how the camera works, though making the sprite alter itself to match may be somewhat more entertaining.

    #3 - ...Darn it. The problem is, some crystals are mesh colliders, and some are box colliders. I did the box colliders so that you can't climb the crystals and go out-of-bounds. This is a problem I'll need to address sooner rather than later, so I'll put more thought into the crystals.

    #4 - Not a bug, functions as designed. There's supposed to be a trigger to change to the map scene within the halt zone. The camera halts because it does not need to move any further (unless you go back into the level. Then, it follows you again.) Also, you can't run out of bounds because you're blocked.

    #5 - I can figure that out. Good suggestion!
     
  18. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    I dont know how i feel about not adding diagonal movement because you cant properly animate it properly, I think its pretty standard to have it.

    I guess another thing is when going from static camera to dynamic camera its sometimes a bit jerky.
     
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  19. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    I said I'm considering the movement! The animation is what's not happening. Besides, there's games out there that have my sort of aesthetic, allow diagonal movement, but don't add diagonal sprite frames. It's not a bonkers, off-the-wall idea by any stretch.
     
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  20. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Oh this one is staying up till next year.
     
  21. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    I see a lot of really small demo's from you, but what is the game part? Also, you ditched your last project about 1 or 2% in after months of little progress. And it seems like this is going that way.

    Goals?
     
  22. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    First: It was more than 2% More like 5%.

    The problem was as Gigiwoo originally hinted - the premise was fundamentally flawed. There was a reason he suggested a wizard shooting fireballs instead of summoned objects - a wizard shooting fireballs just works better for a sidescrolling genre. The sort of defensive play style that Sara (the character) has been designed for falls flat in that context. So, learning opportunity.

    The immediate goal I'm going for is a vertical 'thin-slice' of the game. My grand goal is to create a single sidequest, complete with a town, a dungeon delve, and a quest reward. As much as I enjoy iterating things, I agree with you - my previous 'lots of small demos' really aren't helping me finish a darn thing. They're just getting in the way.

    That's why I've been quieter lately. Thanks for confirming that concern though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  23. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Lately I found that "thing" you want adds x time to the project, with each tiny feature being 2-3 hours of work. So your town is artwork for each thing (10 things = ~20-30 hrs unless they're extremely simple, then maybe ~10 hrs) then your dungeon part is going to be 40+ hrs dev time right there, your quest reward might take 5 minutes to set up but that's ??? Hrs of balancing, etc. So, turn that into a whole rpg just ass pulling numbers.... 250 hrs? Anyone?

    Let's say you're a beast and you are disciplined like bruce lee, you sit down and waste 0 time for 5 hours per day, that's 50 days or just about two months straight.

    Is that realistic for one guy? Is that even potentially profitable? You could make 2,000 bucks with a part time job with that same time. Perspective.

    Edit... this also means that this game will basically cost you 2,000 to make, minimum, as time is money.
     
  24. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Well he could also put his system into the assetstore and some money that way.
     
  25. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    What is numbers on that you how many sales do you plan to get remember the top asset people are making a lot of money with everybody else making practically zilch this entire thing is just one gigantic math equation.

    Also remember the sheer volume of free, good stuff that is out there.
     
  26. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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  27. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    I could, and might after either A) the ERPG version is done, or B) the ERPG version fails horribly. Either is possible, but I'm putting work into Option A.

    As far as money, I'm touched at the concern. The good news is, I am gainfully employed, and I do this as my hobby. I can't invest a lot in the way of money, but I have time to make this game real. Of course, since time = money, it's all down to patience and learning to manage myself correctly. That, or get certain people on a certain game engine forum to apply social pressure whenever I start getting dumb.
     
  28. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Go for it!
     
  29. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Well if you don't care about the time or the money, maybe that's why you don't put any pressure on yourself...
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
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  30. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    I dont want to make a RPG kit.
     
  31. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Don't do it then!
     
  32. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Um, no. You're not going to make that in the same amount of time I described. A decent draggable UI system takes at least a month to complete from scratch. Everything else, makes my brain want to explode.

    Edit: I'm learning how long things take by actually doing them. Case you were wondering.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  33. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    Okay whatever. Anyway I was thinking nows a good time to do a new years resolution to finish a game - steam worthy game that is - for next year. You got 1 year to do it bros!
     
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  34. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    I'll go fire Kamehamehadoukens into the ocean over and over!

    ...Wait a sec...
     
  35. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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