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Help me to get better ;)

A topic by Soso <3 created Oct 11, 2019 Views: 57 Replies: 4
Viewing posts 1 to 4
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In my last game (Astronauturon) I believe that I haven't take enough feedbacks to improving my next one, so I'm doing this topic to take some more constructive feedbacks or suggestions.

I take the following feedback from Garry:

Instead of allowing N, S, E, W from every location, block off some of the exits so that it is more like a maze and you have to do some serious exploring to find the important locations. You can still keep the routes between the spaceship, house and mine fairly short so that you don't annoy the player.

But still, I had some compliments about the exploring feel of the map in the page of submission.
So I think that make a map which can be explore is a good thing and I wanted to try again that, at this time I will be careful and try made them less confusing/more easy to navigate.

And this from Polyducks:

We played through several times to try and find all the possible combinations of items

From this and thinking about the Mushroom game(which was the winner), looks like the "find items" is a very funny feature in the games, like the players really like to play again and again till find all items.
I don't think I would repeat the method that I work with items in the Astrounauturon instead I have something more interesting in mind.

I already thanks who can help ^^

Submitted (3 edits)

I haven't played your previous effort, so I can't tell unfortunately what could have been better with it. But you might want to give my game Hibernated a go. I released it for countless retro systems and recently I ported it to Adventuron. It won quite a few awards, so this might be a good example for a getting things going. I generally tend to lean towards a more narrative approach, with a story expanding from beginning to end of the game.  https://8bitgames.itch.io/hibernated1

Unhallowed is an even more narrative example: https://blerkotron.itch.io/unhallowed

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I'll make a try on they as soon as I have a break. ;)

(The game what I'm talking is from the past Adventuron gamejam, here: https://sommbra.itch.io/astronauturon ; Its a little interesting that Hibernated  and my previous game share a little of the same theme :P)

the Unhallowed link is also going to Hibernated*

Host (1 edit)

That's really good you want to try to improve 

Stefan's style of making games is not actually within the realms of everyone, he is a very gifted writer, well beyond anything I personally would be capable of, and I think at this stage, in this jam, that studying Hibernated is perhaps too large a task.

i would say that you should try to make your game puzzle, barrier, and object centric.  Your game should have a short scenario but I'd focus on game mechanics over story if I were you.

1. Puzzles. Try to make it so that there are at least 1 puzzles per 3 locations. A puzzle is something where you have to type a specific been noun pattern to change the state of the games (destroy an object, find an object, swap an object, change a boolean, increment a number, etc). If you make a large map with few puzzles, the game can feel empty. On spooky adventure, every location has a puzzle,  on cave of magic, there are two locations where there is something to do (out of 3 non ending locations). In your previous game there were 25 locations but I think you had about 5 puzzles. Examining things is not a puzzle, but every location should have something to examine and contribute.

2. Barriers. It's kind of boring to have access to the entire map at the start of the game. Players want to feel rewarded for solving a problem or they just want to feel a connection towards the world with "busy work". Manual unlocking and opening of doors is one way that you can shut off access to a location or group of locations. The "barrers" section of the adventuron manual should be used here. 

Anyway, try to build your map around a central area and other areas that are blocked off. You need to solve puzzles to remove those blocks, and inside those blocked areas there .at be puzzles or objects that will allow other blocked areas to be unlocked.

In Hibernated, one of the early puzzles is to gain access to an id card to be able to get through a security door. At the beginning of the game a very small locations are accessible until you find the card. This is generally known as a "pre game" and it gently guides the player to solve their first puzzle without getting lost in a huge environment. The door is a barrier that stops the player from accessing the remainder of the game. The beast, one of the games I have ported to adventuron has a pre game that involves discovering a story for a newspaper article and gathering all the items required to go outside into the cold and catch a bus. The first part of the game is just 3 locations but there are many things to do in those 3 locations. Once you are in the full game there are 80 more locations. It's typical to make the player earn access to the map.

3. Object centrism. In this jam, it's probably easier to make an object centric game. Rather than scanning through a lot of text for the location description, just make the location description short, one or two sentences then putting scenery in the room so the player directly knows what can be manipulated. If you discover something create a new object or new scenery. Youll find your game logic becomes very easy if you treat everything as an object. Object centric games often change the state of the game and are easier to display on mobile too. Spooky Adventure is an object centric game.

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Reasonable targets (there are not jam rules, just guidelines for a reasonably interesting game):

10 locations 

4-8 puzzles

3 or more barriers

20+ objects or scenery. (All should have an examine message and some should do something to move the game forward if examine). Others must be present or carried whilst typing a verb and a noun to change the game state).

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I'm not a great game author. These are just my personal opinions. There is no one right answer.

Chris

Submitted

Adventuron's advice is very good advice. Read it carefully.

Make the objective fairly clear right from the start. Allow the story to develop gradually, just like a good book, but don't forget that this is a game, not an ebook. It should be puzzle-based with short descriptions and it should be fun to play.

Think about where it is set (what country and culture, city or village, indoors or outdoors). Also think about when it will take place (ancient, medieval, modern, future). And make sure that everything is in theme.

We know that there will be a spooky house and a graveyard, because they're in the rules, but is it a Gothic mansion, a dilapidated house in the country or a condemned apartment building in the city? What sort of rooms would you expect to find in that house? How are they connected together? (Mine is set in a Victorian-style house and I actually did a Google search for floor plans of Victorian-style houses so that it had the right "feel".) What sort of objects would you expect to find in those rooms? For example, you wouldn't have a bedroom without a bed, but what style of bed? Draw up a list of what objects you'd expect to find in each room, then think about how to incorporate those objects into puzzles? Some objects should be easy to find. Some objects should be hard to find. For those objects required to solve puzzles, some objects should be found before you encounter the puzzle. In other cases, you should encounter the puzzle before you find the object needed to solve the puzzle. In other words, mix it up, don't make it too easy or predictable.

Try to use ordinary objects in unusual ways. For example, a broom is normally used to sweep a floor, but it can also be used to get something that is out of reach or to defend yourself against a foe or to repair the rung of a broken ladder or to play a game of Quidditch.

As your puzzles start to develop, you will find the need for more objects. Where should these be located? Should they be hidden or in plain sight? Again, mix it up.

Once you have worked out all your puzzles, discard most of the objects that you didn't need, but leave a few as red herrings or to give a sense of realism.

Adventuron said that EXAMINE is not a puzzle and he's right. EXAMINE should be used to gradually reveal more about the game, reveal hints and (depending on your theme) add an element of humour. Virtually every noun should be examinable. Give short room descriptions with very few nouns and gradually reveal more information as you examine all those nouns, but don't make it boring or repetitive. As a rule of thumb, avoid digging down deeper than three levels. And don't be scared to say "You say nothing special" if there's nothing special.

Give careful thought to the vocabulary. Add every verb that someone would be likely to use, even if they're not needed to solve the game. Then add some verbs that people are not likely to use, but if they chance upon them, they'll appreciate that you've given a sensible response.

'Mushroom Hunt' had beautiful graphics and beautiful descriptions, but it had spelling errors and bugs, virtually no puzzles, limited vocabulary, some very unfair scenarios and was very tedious to play. This is not a good example of an adventure, so don't use it as a model.

A much better example is 'The Troll's Revenge'. This had its faults, but it was not boring or repetitive and had some really nice puzzles. The apple cider puzzle was probably one of the best in the CaveJam, because it had multiple elements required to solve several mini-puzzles. Another good example of this was 'Seeker of Magic'. It had a lot of puzzles packed into a few rooms and nearly all the puzzles had multiple elements. For example, you needed the knife to cut the apple to get the worm to give the troll to enter the cave to get the rock to disable the troll to get the pouch to get the flint to light the torch to get into the dark cave. And there were lots of hints provided along the way.

I hope this helps and gives you some ideas.