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Very Good. This is game feel done right. Loud gun sound, particles, lot of juice. I like how there is no reloading, since it doesn't lower the pace of the game
I haven't got a lot to say that hasn't already been said, but damn the pump-action feels satisfying. I've always loved games that do the "click again to pump" thing on shotguns. (Well, I've only ever seen it in doom mods, but still!)I also appreciate the little bit of lore at the start of level 1. The idea of a gang that's using reality-bending to its advantage is fun, and the phrasing of "Kill these 3 targets and you will gain access to the light" is delightfully ominous. Someone else compared the levels to EYE already, but that bit of implied storytelling is what really gave me EYE vibes--or maybe a bit of Cruelty Squad.
I agree with Zackarotto in that it'd be cool to have a bit of stealth, with enemies not immediately recognizing when one of their number has been possessed. If you really wanted to, you could probably build an entire immersive sim around that mechanic.
the "click to pump" thing is honestly something that i wanted to implement in a game for a VERY long time lol (it's basically the reason why there are shotguns - and even reloading in general - in this game). it always seemed to me that it would be really cool to have in a game, and i'm glad you find it good and not annoying ;D
i'm pretty sure that is the only bit of something resembling a story in the game - though i'd like to keep that sort of ominous but kind of irreverent mood going. i think it fits, and i'm happy that you find it engaging :) Cruelty Squad is a major inspiration, yeah - though i don't know if i'll fully take it into the "immersive sim" territory (just for the sake of keeping it lean). however yeah, some more "stealth" options would be cool to have!
also, i really need to finally get round to playing EYE already as people keep comparing this game to it lol
EYE is...look, near as I can tell, every piece of text in that game was Google translated from French to Russian and then into English. It's a mess, but it's a fascinating mess, based on the devs' homebrew tabletop RPG and full of overly-complicated mechanics that are never fully explained.Lore-wise, it straddles this weird line between Equilibrium-style cultish gun-clerics and cyberpunk dystopia, which is probably where the strongest part of the comparison is. There's talk of enlightenment and holy duties, and also gang members that may be useful if properly bribed. I can't tell if EYE would be better or worse with a more competent localization, and we may never know.
ok, this has convinced me to play EYE as soon as possible
I liked the possession mechanic a lot! You took its consequences into account and streamlined the gameplay to its favor. You don't need health pickups, since your possessed hosts are all the health you get. Not having ammo but keeping weapon reload was also a smart decision in my opinion.
Engaging in combat as the possessor was always a last resort for me. I see a lot of potential in the strategic depth of this game. Being able to formulate a plan and then execute it can feel very fulfilling and I feel like this should be (and most probably is) the centerpiece of your experience. I works as a slow-paced strategic game (exploring and planning) with fast-paced interjections (executing your plan).
There are so many possibilities arising from the game elements you introduced: "Which guy to posses first?", "How to position myself in order not to get involved in the shootout?", "My host died and dropped my favorite gun, what now?"
I don't think you need the Vibe limitation. A maximum possession range should be enough. The game would benefit from giving the player plenty time to asses a situation first and then act on their plan. I should get hectic when the player decides the game to get hectic.
Now I could start rambling about game feel and movement, but this clearly isn't what this game is about. However, please add a mouse sensitivity setting in the future. I really had trouble aiming since moving my mouse by a millimeter made the screen jump. But still, the game was fun even when I had trouble aiming.
I'm not a huge fan of the visual style, but that's a subjective thing. I did like the sound effect and the music a lot, though!
hey, first, of all, huge thanks for your thorough feedback and critique! as i mentioned in other posts here, feedback and constructive criticism are super important for me, and it's hard for me to convey just how much i appreciate it when folks do take time to provide it. thank you! :)
streamlining was a product of limited time and prioritization, mostly, and i'm really glad it turned out the way it turned out, as - indeed - the game doesn't really need a lot of the usual fps trappings. i didn't know that when i was making it though lol - health and ammo pickups were in the pipeline but i didn't implement them due to time constraints (and i don't think i ever will now, hehe - less work for me!)
yeah, i guess the "planning -> chaotic combat" loop is something i'd like to explore more - this actually might be a way to sort of "officially" gel the two sides of the game together. still, i'd like to retain some pressure on the player, so the vibes will most probably still be limited in some way (though i might experiment with this) - that said, i do plan on making it a bit easier to regain them (and, possibly, the Possessor's health too) as the current slower rate was in part a result of an oversight.
the mouse sensitivity slider (and the mouse acceleration slider, and remappable controls, and some accessibility features (mostly to do with flickering lights' intensity, probably a high-contrast mode too (if i can find someone to test it out))) are all a priority to implement as part of the settings menu coming In The Next Major Update - if there's anything else that you feel might need tweaking / setting, do let me know!
(also, mouse jank is something inherent to the HTML5 version - i had some trouble getting a good mouse tracking going there. it feels much better in the native apps - though let me know if you have played it as a native app, because that means something's going very wrong lol)
and yeah, the visual style is basically programmer art with some attempts at making it at least somewhat visually-coherent lol. i'll try to figure something out to make it a bit nicer to look at at some point - though i kinda like how chaotic it looks (plus, clear lines and silhouettes inherent with the low-poly janky look do help the gameplay a bit, i think)
i'm very glad you like the sounds and the music though - this is something i'm a bit more proficient with (at least i hope so lol) so validation feels good ;D
I played the downloadable Windows version. In my experience HTML5 versions have some sort of issues most of the time. Maybe the jumpiness of the mouse look (i.e. very high sensitivity) depends on the screen resolution. I have a 2560x1440 screen here and I played on fullscreen. I'm not sure how Godot handles mouse input in regards to viewport size. But in general, having a sensitivity slider would allow people with similar issues to work around such problems.
If you'll pursue this concept in the future, I'm looking forward to see what you'll do with it.
oooooh, yeah, the resolution would explain it, of course! (Godot can give you relative mouse movement values in pixels, which i'm using to rotate the camera; obviously the mouse will cover move pixels in the same distance if the resolution is higher) (and of course i haven't tested the game on anything other than 1920x1080)
shit, i need to patch this asap lol, i hate to imagine how slow the camera rotation would be on resolutions below 1920x1080
also, i'd actually be really interested in hearing your thoughts on game feel and movement (if you have time and would like to share them, of course!) - your game's movement is one of the best-feeling ones i've encountered in this gamejam thus far, and it's something that i've kinda been nerding out about recently.
Thank you very much! :)
Diving into movement code of Quake-engine based games can become a bit of a rabbit hole. Since the original Quake code (and also Q3) has been open sourced it's not much of a mystery, how player character acceleration is calculated. The calculations differ slightly from game to game, but the general approach is mostly the same. I looked into Quake 3's code to emulate its movement model in Orbhead:
Also there's a series of youtube videos taking a deep dive into Quake's movement:
Needless to say, it has its quirks, but it managed to feel great across many games sharing the Quake DNA.
An important realization I've made is, that you shouldn't let some built-in physics solver (PhysX in Unity, Bullet or Godot Physics in Godot) handle your movement. The only thing I'm using physics APIs for is collision detection, and then I handle the outcome myself. So I ended up writing my own collider component which uses boxcasts for detection and adjusts the objects velocity/position accordingly. You also don't need any fancy capsule shapes. Axis-aligned bounding boxes are perfectly sufficient (they have been in Quake 3, HL2, and in many other FPS games). They are cheap, simple, and they don't have inconvenient round shapes.
I also handle vertical movement separately from planar movement. The player controller I've written performs a boxcast starting somewhere at the player's knees downwards to their feet. The downward distance of this boxcast is often called the 'leg height'. It defines what the maximum step height is the player can climb. This is how I detect steps, slopes, and whether or not the player touches the floor.
As for Possessor, I think that a slower paced movement works well with the theme and the overall character of the game. It reminded me a little bit of Thief or System Shock 2 (slower walking pace, high player eye level, as if on spindly legs, if you know what I mean). I think it was very fitting. If the movement would be faster and more fluent, I would've felt more compelled to engage into direct combat instead of strategize on who to posses next and how to take out a group of baddies. What the game wold benefit from is the ability to take steps/stairs without jumping.
thank you for such a thorough response, really gave me a lot to think about! hence the long time to respond :)
yeah i never managed to get good-feeling results in my (many) attempts to create a character controller based on physics/rigidbodies (both in Godot and Unity). it almost feels like a trap option :D Possessor uses Godot's KinematicBody node for all character controllers and moving interactible objects in general (gun pickups, throwables (coming soon), etc)
// for those unfamiliar with Godot a KinematicBody is essentially just a Collider That Can Move and you move it solely via code, with a bit of Godot's collision detection sugar on top
i've seen both the "boxcast for collision" and "boxcast/raycast from knee height down" approaches used to great effect (particularly yeah, stair/slope/drop detection becomes a breeze as far as i can tell) but i've never tried it as it's honestly a bit daunting and i feel it's a bit beyond my programming skill level at this point. imo capsule works for the time being, but i might just have a tinker with this approach, just to familiarise myself
and yeah, i totally get what you mean about Possessor's slower, spindly-leg movement :D especially when i replayed it with your comment in mind. yeah, it's not as quick as classic fps movement, but hopefully it does feel, uh, agile enough to consistently dodge/peek corners. i kind of tried to emulate Unreal Tournament 99 a lil bit, not necessarily where it comes to sheer speeds at which you can run but more with the "sharp" feel to it - high acceleration / friction, quick changes to movement direction, that kind of thing
and yeah, you definitely did a great job of emulating that Quake feel in Orbhead! looking at Q3 source code tells me the movement mechanics in Quake 3 are MUCH more intricate than i expected - so it's cool that you managed to translate them so well into a completely different engine
you know, I really enjoyed this vibe. map design gave me strong feelings of eye divine cybermancy, and the look--and feel--totally reminded me of frozen synapse / introversion. this music definitely has promise. really though the gestalt of the whole thing--the tutorial, the menu, the maps--felt cozy in a sort of unified way.
the guns didn't have a lot of juice (which is fine) or weight, but they did feel sharp, which I liked. they also felt different enough to be reasonable as player choices, although I'm ultimately not sure how the rifle differed from the pistol?
I appreciated the removal of various standard fps inputs that were deemed unnecessary, like crouch and reload--definitely streamlined the experience. however, 'vibes management' (should be the name of a band) was something I pretty much completely ignored. reading numbers in a twitchy game is really hard, but for the most part it just didn't seem to impact my experience. similarly, I forgot that shift was an action I could take, because it never felt motivated as a choice in the game.
that being said, after playing for a bit I began to appreciate a little that this game could go in two directions, and it seems to me that your intentions for picking one of them are actually fairly well communicated. on the one hand, this could be very fast and juicy, with possession as a line of sight mechanic (that maybe triggers slomo as well) with some nice fast interpolation... this is what I thought was missing a couple minutes in. on the other hand, this could retain its slower, more thoughtful speed. it becomes a kind of tactics/puzzle/even sandbox thing, which rewards map knowledge and creative solutions. after finishing a session I realized that this is where you took the design, more so than the other thing, and I think that's cool.
e.g. the hide => Q => WASD => F interface flow for possession in the beginning felt awkward and interrupting--too long, too many choices, breaks the flow. but later on I began to appreciate it. it's more of a sandbox thing; it gives you more control, slows down play and makes you think.
in that case though, I would like to see more creative constraints on the player. when vibes did block me, it felt kind of arbitrary. I want vibes to be more of a valuable resource: something I spend to try and get past a hard part of the map. shift feels a bit one-sided as a player action: it always seems to benefit me, so why would I ever not use it? where's the risk? all of this feeds into possession, which I think fights a little as a core mechanic with shooting (which one is more important?). I enjoy possession and I think it has a lot of promise, but during play it was sort of unclear when and why I should do it.
I'm sure you took a look at driver san francisco when making this, but it seems relevant enough to bring up. they also managed this kind of dual player desire (taking control of cars vs epic driving action) in a way I recall feeling successfully awesome. might be some learnings there.
overall, great work! will be playing this again (right now).
shift felt a little more useful on my second playthrough, once I intentionally tried to use it as much as possible. one simple thing to try is just making the vibes counter a bar, or around the xhair, or something more fullscreen.
I like RMB to throw. would love for that to be a thing that does damage as well. guns might be a little harder to pick up than they should be maybe? and easier to distinguish from one another.
solid 7dfps entry! still enjoying the menu music.
throwing stuff was supposed to be a major element to the game, but - again and again! - i ran out of time lol. as a remnant of this, there's quite a large chunk of code in game that allows to do all sorts of nifty things with picking stuff up / interacting / throwing / etc, so i might revisit this and try to do something clever I.T.N.M.U.
and, again, thank you for playing and for your thorough feedback! also glad you like the music :)
first of all, huge thanks for your intricate review and critique! getting constructive criticism is very important (and giving it is really hard!) so i am immensely grateful for you taking the time and writing it up :) i'll try to respond to (most of) them point by point, if that's ok. there's gonna by a lot of "In The Next Major Update" in here, so i'll probably abbreviate it or something lol
first of all, the guns will probably get a slight re-balance / redesign pass I.T.N.M.U. - don't know how extensive but a few things definitely will need tweaking. the idea with the "rifle" (it's supposed to represent a pistol-caliber carbine btw) was to have something a bit more precise and powerful but less spammy than the pistol - to fit between it and the actual rifle (which never made it in. whoops!). i might differentiate them a lil bit and have the carbine occupy a more rifle-like role, we'll see
the "removal" of unnecessary inputs (along with unlimited ammo) was purely to do with time constraints and prioritizing - i was planning on adding them but ran out of time. which is good, actually, because the game does feel better without them lol. of course, the entire user interface will need a major overhaul I.T.N.M.U. - honestly there's not much to call an interface in there at the moment
also yeah, the game does pull in two different directions, mostly because the whole possession mechanic wasn't even in it until about halfway through the development process. i was planning on doing just a fast-paced twitchy shooty thing with some cool slo-mo action, and being lazy/time-deprived i was hoping to reuse most of the code controlling the player for the enemies (only swapping the "brains" and keeping everything else the same, essentially) and then it kinda dawned on me lol
that said, i'd like to retain the fast-paced, chaotic bullets-flying-everywhere, hard-to-hit-anything-but-everything-dies-fast feel of combat, and i'd like for the player to have some ways of creatively approach the combat/possession situations, all the while not losing the sense of, uh, leanness to the game. guess it's gonna be quite hard to marry these two modes of play, which is a whoops. however, this is where posts such as yours are incredibly helpful - along with some really good advise and pointing out things that i might not have even considered (for example, i did not consciously understand the tension between the core mechanics until you pointed it out ), it really helps to see how other people approach the game, so, again, many thanks!
also yeah i played Driver San Francisco for a bit many, many years ago, and i did not even realise the connection up until your post lol. probably gonna need to have a fresh look at it
I love possession as a mechanic, it lends itself to all kinds of fun. It might be cool if enemies didn’t immediately turn on their possessed allies? Though if you’re going for pure Superhot action over a stealth/puzzle thing, I can see why you wouldn’t.
The most fun thing for me was making all the enemies drop their guns.
yeah, that's something i'm considering, actually - the current AI (such as it is) doesn't really support this but it needs a bit of a rewrite anyway. definitely would be a cool option to have!
as for the gunless enemies - i'm sad to announce that this strat might not work in the future versions of the game, as i am fully intent on teaching the AI the forgotten, arcane art of Picking Stuff Up
Letting them pick stuff up is good. Having a well or hole or something in the environment I can throw guns into so they still can’t get them back is better!!
oooooh, now THAT would be an interesting mechanic!
i really need to make a (slightly) better AI, so that it would be more interesting to troll it
Some very cool ideas in this game, the addition of several types of weapon along with the various mechanics you’ve included is very impressive. I had some issues hitting enemies when they were moving, and ran out of vibes a bit quickly (could maybe use a faster regen), but I had fun combatting with enemies.
hey thanks, glad you liked it!
at the moment, the enemies aren't very good at letting you know they're being hit - there's actually like a whole layer of stagger mechanics and such that's in there but upon further review looks almost entirely invisible :) i'll address this in the update (i'm currently leaning towards not including the conventional hit marker (this is not a game about precise shooting after all), but there are other ways to indicate landing hits, i'm sure)
as for the vibes, i accidentally made them not recover fast enough in combat (the plan was for them to recover quite quickly when you're being shot at or cause or take damage). this is mostly to me testing it against a crowd of like 10 enemies who constantly shoot at you and make the meter go up super quick - and you never encounter this many enemies at the same time in the actual game lol. again, will fix at some point!
A lot of cool ideas in this game! Getting some SUPERHOT vibes for sure.
The blinking lights are indeed quite distracting though, and I had a hard time aiming for moving enemies.
yeah SUPERHOT was one of the inspirations towards how to make it not look too bad with my limited abilities :) and thanks!
i'm planning on adding a setting (in the yet-unimplemented settings menu) that will control the, uh, intensity of everything, which hopefully should help
So many interesting mechanics! Great weapon variety too.