Octoroc wrote:Did I find a secret (purple) block or was that a bug?
A secret, 5 per chapter.
Octoroc wrote:I notice there are four boxes at the end of each chapter, one always seems to have '1' in it. Is that for collecting everything?
First one is literally impossible not to get on the first couple of chapters as it means you finished the chapter without losing a life.
Octoroc wrote:The next two boxes are always blank and the final one has some kind of fraction in it.
2nd box is for completing a chapter without collecting any loot. 3rd box is for finding all the secrets in a chapter. Must be done in a single playthrough of the chapter. 4th box is for completing a chapter with few enough jumps to qualify for a 'par' rating.
Octoroc wrote:It's all rather opaque. I have no idea how well I'm doing. Some kind of level rank (e.g. A-E or stars) would be good. I'd also prefer a summary after each level rather than at the end of the chapter.
Good advice, but I don't know about a rank. I need something though. I might put more info into the summary of each level than just the score, but the summary of the chapter as a whole is important because beating a level by itself doesn't mean anything if you don't beat the chapter. The chapters are really the levels of the game, and the levels are just different parts of the level, or more like mini-levels.
Octoroc wrote:Other miscellaneous stuff that may or may not be intentional: I started one level and left no trail until I picked something up. The score multiplier doesn't seem to start decaying until I've picked something up. There seems to be a big difficulty spike in chapter 7.
Octoroc wrote:Well there's a twist. Not sure I approve, but it's your game.
Anything in particular, or just the general idea?
Well I doubt anyone will realise what you're supposed to do considering the name of the game it feels like a bit of a cheap shot to me.
But, it'd make an interesting secondary objective. I'd also add an individual level select and scrap the concept of having lives. Some of the later levels are very difficult- in a good way, but I think sending the player back to the start of a chapter crosses the line between "difficult" and "annoying".
Just my opinion mind, like I say; it's your game. However, it's probably harder to play than you think it is. Woods and trees and all that...
Octoroc wrote:Well I doubt anyone will realise what you're supposed to do considering the name of the game it feels like a bit of a cheap shot to me.
Well, I'm not sure how subtle I want it to be yet. I'll probably make the secondary objectives pretty easy to figure out, just need to think of a way to do that that isn't simply telling the player "Beat the chapter without collecting any loot to achieve this goal". I may need another name for the game, though I kind of like that it's misleading in a way. It's not entirely misleading, since the game is mostly about collecting loot and rushing to the exit. I'm thinking probably 75-80% of the final game's levels will be accessible without going for the secondary objectives.
Octoroc wrote:But, it'd make an interesting secondary objective. I'd also add an individual level select and scrap the concept of having lives. Some of the later levels are very difficult- in a good way, but I think sending the player back to the start of a chapter crosses the line between "difficult" and "annoying".
I understand where you're coming from but, at least for now, I'd like to stick to the design ideas this game was born from. I will need to tweak them to make the game palatable to people other than myself, but I'm convinced there's something special lurking in those ideas.
Octoroc wrote:However, it's probably harder to play than you think it is.
True. But I have been surprised by how easily people I've observed playing it adjust to the controls, even a friend who doesn't really play games got all the way up to chapter 7 before giving up. But the difficulty curve does need adjusting. Keep in mind that this is only 50 levels (+10 secret levels) and I'm taking the player from the easiest levels all the way to the hardest the game will likely ever have. I can see the final game having about 150 levels so the difficulty should ramp up much slower.
Thanks for taking the time to critique the game, you've given me a lot to think about.
One more question for everyone who's played it: Is it clear enough in the game how you get more lives?
I've made a number of small changes, mostly in the chapter select menu to make the secondary goals clearer. The menu will look a bit messed up if you played v. 0.1.1 before, but it'll fix itself if you play a chapter and return (even if you don't finish the chapter).
A talk on "game feel" by someone from Vlambeer convinced me I needed dust clouds when jumping and landing, so that's now in there. Not sure if it adds anything to the game. I probably just need to tweak the look of the dust a bit.
I also addeed text to the chapter select screen to tell you which button brings up the menu, which button confirms/jumps and which button deletes your save.
I want to preface this by saying that I don't enjoy 2D collectathons as much as their 3D counterparts (frankly I don't think I've played a good one without Yoshi or Wario in the title) so I'm going to pick on the actual platforming mechanics rather than gameplay objectives and such. Without wanting to seem too harsh, here goes nothing:
Octoroc wrote:If I was to suggest anything, I'd like to slide down walls a little quicker.
I agree with this and I'd go one further: the physics feel too floaty, just a little bit off. Maybe it's because it jars with how quickly you're capable of moving horizontally at times, but we'll get onto that.
Octoroc wrote:I haven't played Super Meat Boy or N so I also found the controls a bit counter intuitive at first- for example I'd expect pressing the direction key towards the wall to slow my descent rather than climb it.
OldSoulCyborg wrote:The walljumping in my game is vastly different to Super Metroid. It's more like Super Meat Boy in that regard.
I completely agree with both of these too. As much as I like the walljumping in SM, it's way too tight for a game where it's going to be required at all skill levels. This begs the question: why do you climb up walls when you push into them? You've got a perfectly serviceable single-wall walljump mechanic there, and every game I've played of this type has taught me to press into the wall either to fall under the platform I'm sliding down or to enable said walljumps. It just seems like an entirely unecessary mechanic, bordering on irritating because of how (needlessly) different it is. I keep trying to do one thing and I end up with something else entirely. I wouldn't be so harsh on this but in a self-proclaimed 'twitch' platformer, reactions are everything.
Other things: 1. Why does moving decrease your jump height so much (seemingly by a third)? Platformers, especially 2D ones, are at their most fun when they have a bit of pace to them -there's a reason a lot of them have a run button. Having to slow down to make higher jumps is anathema to that. It's even worse when you walk (ie you're moving, but haven't attained full running speed yet) into a jump, because you still lose the height but you don't gain any of the acceleration a running takeoff creates. 2. Why does your air speed vary so much? If you take off from a running start, you accelerate immediately and then quickly deccelerate back to walking speed. This goes back to the last point - there's a lot to be said for maintaining momentum and it's constantly flying up and down here. In a game about running and jumping, it's not ideal that the fastest way to get around is to spend as little time in the air as possible off each jump.
And I know I said I wouldn't pick on anything bar basic mechanics, but: I don't think invisible collectables are ever a good idea.
That came out a lot more brutal than intended, sorry. Hopefully some of it's helpful.
Won't have time to respond to that until next week probably, but even though I vehemently disagree with most of what you've written I do appreciate it and it has made me question some of the choices I've made for the game.
Yeah, not really sure what to say in response to the critique other than thanks. Not a fan of your suggestions because they really don't go all that well with the game I have in mind, but the fact that these aspects of the game stick out for people is something I need to think about. The controls at their core may not change all that much, but there are probably some things I can do to make things clearer and the learning experience smoother. Like how do I make it really stick that pushing against a wall will make you climb it? Most people get used to it after a little while, but what can I do for the rest? Maybe a sound effect when climbing would help to connect pressing against a wall to climbing it? Need to try that out some time.
If anyone's curious, this is what pretty high level play looks like (might answer some questions about why the controls are the way they are: because they make those sorts of things possible, and I find those sorts of things really fun to do):
OldSoulCyborg wrote:Yeah, not really sure what to say in response to the critique other than thanks. Not a fan of your suggestions because they really don't go all that well with the game I have in mind, but the fact that these aspects of the game stick out for people is something I need to think about.
I won't argue about any of things that are clearly design choices (wall climbing etc), they're really down to preference and it's probably not fair to critique them any further until I see the final product in action. Even the air speed, although I think it's an arbitrary way of pushing the player towards a certain play style, may end up working - I hope I'm proved wrong! I was really hoping you'd address this though:
GM wrote:1. Why does moving decrease your jump height so much (seemingly by a third)? It's even worse when you walk (ie you're moving, but haven't attained full running speed yet) into a jump, because you still lose the height but you don't gain any of the acceleration a running takeoff creates.
To be blunt: this seems like a bug, not a feature. I mean the walking jumps have to be a glitch, right? I can't see the sense in creating a jump that's got both terrible distance AND height compared to the alternatives. It's utterly useless, or even detrimental if you're doing a high jump and press a direction a fraction too soon. It just looks so bizarre.
GM wrote:Even the air speed, although I think it's an arbitrary way of pushing the player towards a certain play style, may end up working - I hope I'm proved wrong!
Are you talking about how walljumping and jumping while running gives you a speed boost? There's a very specific reason for that: it makes the controls feel much nicer to me (and I've tried it a number of other ways and nothing works quite as well).
GM wrote:To be blunt: this seems like a bug, not a feature. I mean the walking jumps have to be a glitch, right? I can't see the sense in creating a jump that's got both terrible distance AND height compared to the alternatives. It's utterly useless, or even detrimental if you're doing a high jump and press a direction a fraction too soon. It just looks so bizarre.
I think I see what you mean, and I could probably do something about it. I haven't really noticed it myself (I've probably just been playing it in a way that I don't run into that problem, because I know how the game works and avoid playing it "wrong").
I won't take away the speedboost you get when jumping while running because, like I said, the game just feels so much better to me that way, and jump height decreasing the faster you go is important because otherwise jumping while running at full speed will take you too far and too high and would basically break the game (at least in its current form), but I can make it so that jumping at a really slow speed will give you more height than it currently does and maybe more of a speedboost as well.
In fact, that's what I've just done. Here's the new version: Download: Loot Rush v0.1.2b
It's very tricky to balance the jump height with how much of a speedboost you should get depending on the your speed. This version feels better to me, but I never even noticed that this was a problem before so that doesn't mean much.