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A jam submission

Soporo: Wonderland In Ruin DemoView game page

A game about a cat and a fairy solving puzzles and fighting nightmares in a world that is slowly crumbling to pieces!
Submitted by Team Essell (@TeamEssell) — 2 days, 23 hours before the deadline
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Comments

Submitted

It's my first time playing this game, here's some feedback as I go through it:

  • At first I thought this was an old rpg style overworld map; it's a bit confusing to be put in the map when there's only 1 level to go into and you're already standing in it. Could possibly skip the worldmap just for the first level.
  • Jump charge effect can appear after you've already started a jump, if you held down to charge but jumped a bit before the charge completes. Is there much of a point to having a charged jump anyway when your default jump already has different heights depending on how long you hold the jump button for?
  • The phone booth door seems to swing towards the background instead of opening towards the foreground, if that makes any sense.
  • I'd prefer it if flying accurately with the fairy was the default.
  • Not a big fan of pixelart games using rotated sprites (i.e. sitting on a slope), but it's not terrible either.
  • The door you open with the weight switch might need a more distinct sprite when it's open, since it's basically using the same colors you can't really tell that it's now a background element at a glance.
  • Font in the pause menu looks somewhat blurry in 1080p despite being pixel styled.
  • The game registers inputs even when it's running in the background - not pausing/stopping the music might be fair, but I feel like it shouldn't be registering inputs.
  • Some sprites in general are a tad hard to tell from the background, since they don't have much of a different color/hue/saturation/outline thickness/level of detail
  • Jumping straight up while standing still in a slope can sometimes push you a tiny bit towards the bottom of the slide when starting the jump (like 1-2 pixels to the left on an upwards going slope, for example)
  • Water looks completely out of place, it's not even using the same pixel resolution as everything else in the game
  • Would be nice if you could get out of the water by walking against a same-height ledge like this
  • Underwater theme is cool
  • The boss is a bit of a drag, specially if you die towards the end, and the blood looks out of place too.
  • Sometimes the entire dialogue from the boss fight intro above the log bridge will play out again while waiting for the boss retry to begin again at the bottom of the pit.
  • Not sure if coins mode is too interesting without a timer, since flying around with the fairy negates any challenge.
  • What purpose does the humanoid form serve, since it can't run, high jump or charge jump?

All in all solid game, but needs more to it. Keep building up on this foundation!

Developer

-I've considered doing this after the prologue.

-I'll investigate the effect. As the the charge jump, it's for jumping high. You jump 3 or 4 tiles higher with it.

-That makes sense, and I see it too sometimes, but I've tried it both ways and done thorough investigation on that and that's just how it is, as I guess the door end isn't thick enough to properly seal the deal on the effect?

-Maybe I'll make it an option like auto-sprint.

-Hmm, a decent point on the door. I'll look into it.

-Yeah I'm struggling with getting fonts to behave.

-Yeah, registering KB inputs is not intended. Registering gamepad inputs is though. I got a fix in the works for it.

-I'm aware that I gotta do more art passes, yeah.

-I haven't gotten far enough with the fluid shader yet to pixelize it, yeah. Eventually.

-I don't think I'll be doing the same height water exit thing. If you're worried about getting out of the water quickly, you should try skipping off the surface of the water at full sprint. Press jump right before hitting the surface to bounce off.

-Say what about the dialogue? Do you have more details on this? I haven't triggered this.

-The coins mode does track your time and has a timer, but the timer is hidden by default the first time you play a level. Was going to make an option to always force the timer.

-Girl form can interact with the world, pick up, carry, and use items, and drive vehicles. Unfortunately none of these aspects are in World 1. It was more a bonus sneak peek.

Thanks a ton for playing my game!

Submitted

About the boss dialogue, I just died for the third time or so and when I hit replay I was at the bottom of the pit like you are every time you hit replay, but this one time it was displaying the "Run away! Mr Sol noo!" dialogue before proceeding with the bottom of the pit part, while I just sat at the bottom.

About the coin timer, I meant time limit, my bad.

Developer

Hmm... I'll give it a try.

About the timer, I think that's fine. The coin missions are all completely optional as well. You do get palette swaps for them, but it's not the worst thing.

Submitted

I'll comment on the new stuff, everything is still as great as I remember it from two months ago, so I won't repeat that:

The DEEP LORE book intro is new (I think), I liked that. With the full name Aozora reveal (which hints towards the Mr. Sol = Ao's father theory, which is commonly accepted as true in the Soporo fandom (Soporodom for short)).

The new final boss UI is cool, especially with the draining shield/life bar, it really gives a better feel for how long the fight is (although I feel it is shorter now than before, or maybe my Soporo skills have just increased that much). No wait, I figured it out, it's the new Ao controls, it just feels better to control now. Good job on that!

Human form is cute too, I'm looking forward to what it can do, maybe human things like working  a day job or make indie games or something.

And of course my favorite addition, the chat (fr.: cat) log, which makes it possible to read the story without destroying the S-rank run. Very clever solution for that, putting it in the pause menu!

Still super fun, looking forward to the shop keeper and/or world 2!

Developer (1 edit) (+1)

 -The lore book is a temporary replacement for the prologue. I'll have to do that. Ao's family and origins will be brought up sometime. It's pretty sad, none of the them are alive anymore.

-The boss fight is actually slightly longer, but the controls have been tweaked to be a bit more snappy, yeah.

-Girl form can interact with the world (stuff like switches). She can also pick up items, carry them around, and use them. She can drive vehicles as well, but only 2 are planned atm.

-There's also a text skip button (Tab/L2 by default) if you wanna jam through!

-Have a preview of the shopkeeper, Rey.


Like usual, thanks for playing my game!

Submitted (1 edit)

A cute game about a cat and fairy! I'm getting very comfy vibes from this one!

-I don't know how helpful "run using the action button" or "press the character switch button" is when I don't know what those buttons actually are

-The cat and the fairy are cute! I like cute things!

-I like the banter they have, makes the tutorial feel a bit less tutorial-y

-The trees are cute too!

-It feels a bit weird to call the first enemies you encounter "lesser nightmares" instead of just nightmares, since the first enemy in a game is usually the baseline for comparison. Them being lesser nightmares could be established after you've started encountering the non-lesser nightmares, or something?

-Big fan of how the music gets blurby when you go underwater

-I don't know what the catgirl can do, can she do anything?

-You can skip the healing orb cave by just jumping straight up the log waterfall using the power jump, is an this intentional thing for time attack/speedruns?

-The boss seems a bit out of place, the games very cutesy and then having a boss bite its own tongue off to drown you in its blood seems a little off


Developer (2 edits) (+1)

-With the Lesser Nightmare thing, it alludes to there being bigger nightmares on the rise later.

-The catgirl can interact with the world, pick up, carry, and use items, and drive vehicles. Unfortunately none of the levels have these objects in them yet, so it's just a sneak peek.

-It's actually that way so you can recover from failed attempts. The log ride uses to be a lot faster.

-This is intended. Remember the name is "Wonderland In Ruin". The game will get a lot worse from here. I put that boss up front so as to allude to the kind of gore/body horror you will see, especially late game. Late game is largely based off actual nightmares I have, and they're pretty brutal! It'll only get worse from here! But at the same time, it's not without a light at the end of the tunnel. You become the heroine the wonderland needs.


Thanks a ton for playing my game! Sorry if it's not turning out the way you would have liked!

Submitted

Not at all! Game is looking good so far, I just wasn't sure what direction you were going in!

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

About the boss thing. Understandably things are going to get worse, but it seems to be too much in the face at the start. eversion did it more subtly. What about making Nightmares less.. nightmarish at the start and then slowly ramping up the horror factor?

Unless you're aiming to surprise the player (going from 0 to 100 in an instant), which game does decently, at least for me.

Developer (1 edit)

I definitely wanted to go to 0-100 in an instant with the Imp, the nightmare type that possessed Mr Sol. Over the course of the world, Peperi was scared of the Lesser Nightmares due to their ability to merge and possess people like that, and warns Ao of it. Ao brushed all that off, and when it went south, it went south pretty fast. Imps are a weak nightmare type, alluding to crazier stuff about to go down late in the game. I definitely want to instill that nightmares are not friendly and should be feared.

EDIT: On that note, early game, nightmares don't show up all that much, so I really wanted their appearances to have some impact in the form of the bosses. Lesser Nightmares are fairly harmless on their own, but hopefully after showing the player that lesser nightmares can merge together, it might be make players a little more wary of Lessers, especially the kind in rings. Late game will be fairly gorey in general, so I feel like it's really important to dial up to 10 for the first boss so that people don't think it's some cute game and then get upset when they're decapitated by a butcher in world 6. (actual planned thing btw)

Submitted

I like the general cute and relaxing feel of the game. 

Overall the levels are not too difficult but I got myself killed quite a few times getting trapped between the floating death balls because I don't seem to get i-frames when I get hurt.  Also the dialog is well presented, so I can enjoy the game and read in my own time.

The controls are responsive and tight, I would like an option to auto attach the characters I like what you did with splitting them for puzzle solving.

Nice work.

Developer

You have i-frames when you get hurt, and getting hit while you have i-frames will refresh them without you losing HP. You can't get comboed to death in this game, although I'm sure it can feel like it if you're not watching your health.

Auto attaching is something I'm looking into but I need more insight on the puzzles later. I foresee autoattaching being a huge problem later in the game, so I'm keeping it from being a thing at the moment, but it'll forever be on my mind.

Thanks for playing my game!

Had a lot of fun trying this demo out. Everything feels so nice and polished. Art and music is really nice. Puts you right in the zone. Moving the characters around also feels good. It is a lot of fun to move the characters as fast as you can trough a stage to get a good score. I also enjoyed the many dialogues between the characters. Ended up not going as fast as i could the first times because i wanted to see the chemistry between the characters.

Overall looking forward to see more in the future.

Developer

I'm glad you liked it! Thank you for playing!

Submitted

I accidentally started the same stage several times by accident, but other than that this game is very well made. The UI and overall scenarios are adorable and gorgeus, the characters are very enjoyable and the sound effects great (especially when the fairy moves around or the underwater effects)

If this gets mobile support, I can think of several people who would love to give it a try.  The levels are not too difficult, but it's the first world of a demo so that's perfectly ok. The boss and the way in which it's defeated is GREAT, one of the things I liked the most. 

Overall this feels like it's ready to go . One of my favorite games among all the demos. Good job!

Developer

-How did you manage to restart the same stage with the mission select UI? That's amusing to me. It happened a lot last demo, and back then you couldn't pause to exit stage. :P

-I don't have any plans on putting this on mobile as touch input for this would honestly be awful, as well as the general difficulties of releasing on mobile.

Thanks a lot for playing my game!

Submitted(+2)

Basically I restarted the stage by being an impatient kid and spamming the action key after beating the stage... then, as I appeared on the mission select world, I started the stage again by mistake instead of moving onto the next. 

Thanks you for making this game, it has a great mood around it!

The tutorial section was problematic for me, because I misread the text for the big jump as "hold down jump", instead of "holding Down before jump". So, I had to restart the level to reread the dialogue. Having the actual explanation permanently on screen instead of in dialogue would be a lot nicer. Also, the jump-charge visual effect could start instantly for better indication imo.

The dialogues themselves are somewhat useless the way they are designed, as they get in the way of play. They happen while in action - so I can't read them anyways -, and they always have to catch up, rarely being relevant to what's actually on the screen. For instance on the level with Mr Sol, while I was standing in front of the exit, the dialogue was super far behind. I had already passed the sun, but they were still talking about how the button that activates the floating block doesn't make sense.
If the focus was on the dialogue, there needs to be a lot more downtime between the sections.

The background art is somewhat hard on the eyes, as it's very saturated. The trees are weird as well.

I played with a controller and have nothing to complain about the movement. Everything felt alright, though the fairy dash felt super cheesy, as I could spam it to basically skip everything.

Not sure about the reconnection of cat and fairy though. I expected it to be the same button as to separate.

Music, sfx, menu, ui is very nice.

Story I can't say, as I didn't really read the dialogue for reasons stated.

Developer

-Yeah, I plan on changing the wording of that text. You can pause to see the most recent lines of text if you miss something.

-The dialogues are definitely something that aren't ideal, and some people just can't read them. I want to add voice acting to the ones in level star fox style for that reason, but that's a problem in itself.

-I do my best with art, and I'm always making passes over it. Hopefully it'll get better.

-It's fine if fairy dash is pretty good. You still need some skill to actually dodge stuff, so I think it's fine. It's actually getting nerfed and then reintroduced in full capacity as an item in the shop, when I get to that.

-It's pretty messy to map reconnection to the same button as swapping characters. It was something I considered, and is always on my mind. I think it'll make more sense when you have to deal with the fairy carrying keys and other items around.

Thanks a ton for playing my game!

Submitted

Ok I finished the demo (still missing a few medal missions). I really liked it. The dialogue and art are great.  Awesome boss fight, really! But I think you should rethink some stages design to make em harder.  The dificult gap between stages and the boss is huge! I love Peperi!

Developer(+1)

The difficulty gap between the boss was actually intended, as the boss was supposed to feel like a lot of pressure, because a nightmare has arrived! Some people seem to have a bit of a problem with fighting him initially, but they always seem to get it after a couple of tries. Don't get dunked under the blood! I'm glad you like Peperi. She came out a lot more enjoyable than I intended. I thought she'd be kinda annoying.

Submitted

Here is my feedback:

Negatives:
-It wasn't obvious how to start a game on the book screen, I thought button coords for mouse just messed around on my display, its good I read comments below on how to start
-animation of cat looks a bit strange, but I don't sure I could do better myself, once I tried to make an animated sprites of cat for cat platfromer game, but walking animation was a mess
-too quick texts as for me, I'd like to see options to set speed of text, or let it go like in boss level, where you can skip it when you want
-strange innertia, either it too small, or too big, also its strange when you jump out of water, if you have run mode on you move very quickly in the air
-that was too much text,  especially in gameplay moments, either you stay and wait for it, or just go and barely notice what they talk
-boss was cool, but I don't really like that survival type of battle, where you need to just wait for his death, If player knows the game, I think player should be rewarded with a possibility to finish him off quicker, at least doing something, not just waiting

Neutrals:
•I think you should freeze your game when it loses focus, or disable input, when I was typing notes on your game, it reacted to all that inputs
•speed of cat is a bit slow, but I appreciate autorun option
•I think you should let players collect coins from the start and give them reward for this, if they collected them all, and coins sound seemed strange, but I think this part of game is something unfinished
•cat girl form looks unfinished and useless right away, also her art is less appealing for now, but I understand that it's w.i.p.

Positives:
+its interesting idea with two combined/separated characters
+really plesant sound effects and music
+adorable cute art
+I like how your sounds and music change under the water and other little details like that
+it was cool physics with liquid in boss battle, I really liked that
+overall it was interesting and fun game to play, thank you for that 

Developer(+1)

-The walking animation was intended to be a little bit of a sassy walk.

-There's no way to lengthen the time text is on screen, but there's a button to skip the text. Tab/L2 by default. If you miss it you can see it on the pause screen with Enter/Start.

-You can skip on the water if you time your jumps with it.

-I feel what you're saying about the boss. I'll try to think of what I can do, but the cat and fairy both have no method of attacking.

-Freezing the game when you lose focus was causing softlocks due to bugs in Unity's core when you return to the game in certain instances, and was pretty much out of my hands. That'll have to be how it is.

-The speed of the cat is a little low since I'll be adding a metroid type speed booster later in the game. The autorun was a suggestion from last DD. I added it as an accessibility option for people who have trouble holding a button down for a long amount of time.

-The reason that you can't collect the coins in the main mission will become fairly apparent. The coins sound strange though? I'll check it out. The coin missions will remove bigger puzzles from the level and just be a straight coin comp for the most part. The coin missions should be pretty finished.

-Her focus is on item use and world interaction. There's nothing in the levels atm that actually uses her, yeah. Was just bonus.

I'm glad you liked the game! I definitely put a lot of focus in some of the smaller details, probably way more than I should. It was fun though!

(3 edits)

It took me a while to get passed the screen with the book at the beginning. I tried clicking on continue and pressing every button but nothing registered.

You should work on the background art and the animations for the cat. The smiling faces look quite creepy. The trees look too flat. The walking animation could use more frames.

The music is very good.

I got stuck for a while again at the gate in the 2nd level. It's hard to see because it's the same color as the tree trunks. The game doesn't tell you which key to press to switch characters. I know it says the "switch characters" key but you should tell which key on the keyboard it is. Also if you skip the dialog too fast you have no idea what to do and can't even go back to the main menu.

The game sounds very promising, looking forward to see you improve it.

Developer

Press X on KB, friend. I imagine you probably are using an unsupported controller like the DS3 if you couldn't find it?

Oops, I found it after writing my comment and made an edit.

Developer

I'm a programmer, so this art thing doesn't come to me the easiest. I'm trying my best on it and when all is said and done, it's my best work. I'll keep making more art passes and trying more.

Ardklaw is a pretty amazing musician, you should check em out.

That's an interesting complaint. Not judging, but do you have any form of color blindness that could have added to this situation? Also you can pause the game using Enter. A chatlog shows up on it too.


I'll do my best, but I doubt it'll be perfect. It's already my best work. :) Thanks a ton for playing my game!

(1 edit)

It took me maybe one more second than normal to see it. What I really meant to say is that brown on brown doesn't look too good. Something important should pop out more of the background you know?

It's nice to see you had a pause menu after all. I'm used to press escape for it to show up so when nothing happened I assumed you hadn't implemented one yet.

Developer

I'll look into it at some point, I just wanted to make sure. I've had people with colorblindness come to me with complaints.

The pause menu even has the full control list in it, remappable! It's the full shebang. Even has some accessibility features.

Submitted

Starting off with pages of dialogue about a kid with her pet cat and dog was a bold move, Jack.  Introducing two more characters, Peperi and Rey, before I've even seen the first three characters is also feeling like a lot!  Maybe it would be cool to have a picture with each paragraph and do a little picture book/slideshow/comic of the intro for brainlets like me...  And some HUD elements showing the available actions would be cool.  The game seems intuitive and fun though!  I like the meow button and the characters.  And the pitch change in music when underwater!  I wish the dialogue wasn't interrupted by me zooming into the phone booth.  I'd really like a faster way to pair up, like if I'm playing the cat and I jump through the fairy, it auto attaches.  Or if I fly into the cat, I attach and pilot the cat.  The sun fight was cool, i like the dynamic environment stuff a lot.  More blood than I expected.  Good demo!

Developer

-I got complaints about not knowing the story up until that point last demo day, so I put a blurb about it there. It's going to be cut and replaced with cutscenes and a prologue level eventually.

-I was actually thinking about adding a thing to list the available actions. The thing holding me back from that atm is that I'm still not familiar enough with rewired to actually properly map the buttons in code like that. There doesn't seem to any direct connection to their button map and the specific indices and it really has me struggling with input.

-Did you figure out that the meow button has two states? Down + meow will make you do angry meows and neutral + meow will make with do "locked outside the door and wants to get in" meows. I haven't found happy meows yet but I plan on finding something.

-I can't help you with the phone booth problem tbh, you'll have to show some self restraint. I know what you mean though.

-I've thought about several methods of auto-attaching but none of them work out will with the kinds of levels I'm planning for the future. It will be forever on my mind over the course of development though.

-Yeah I wanted to show blood and light gore early to set the mood of what the later levels are going to be like. If this is how it is in World 1, how will it be in World 8? Right?

Thanks a lot for playing my game!

Glad I could finally try this! Some thoughts:

  • The environment sprites are a bit lacking in detail (e.g. the logs and door switches), but the UI work is really really nice. It's cool to see pixel art UIs nowadays, because I often see games that try to mix a modern UI with pixel graphics, and sometimes that looks odd. This feels authentic to the SNES/GBA era
  • The dialogue is cute and I like the auto-scrolling text while you're playing
  • The text during the boss battle felt odd - like there's a timer that stops you from pressing to advance, but the timer is longer than the time it takes for the text to read out. The concept is fine but the timer is probably too long
  • Gameplay-wise, I mean, it's a standard platformer. I assume some features of catgirl form have not been implemented yet, because I couldn't find a use for her compared to the cat, seeing as she walks more slowly
  • I must reiterate that the dialogue was fun, and I think the overall flavor of the game is a large part of its appeal, because the core gameplay is something that we've all played before.
Developer(+1)

-I'm not a artist (I'm a programmer actually) so I'm trying my best. There's a lot of a iffy stuff all over I have to deal with. It's nice getting this far though, I never thought I would.

-There's also a button to advance the auto advancing text. Tab/L2 by default.

-I can see where you're coming from. There's a fixed timer for all text to advance, it's not based on the number of letters or anything. You can also use the dialogue skip button if you're ready to continue.

-Yeah, the girl is used to interact with the world, use items, and drive vehicles. None of the current levels have these objects in them, so it's just a sneak peek at the moment.

-Yeah, the game's a puzzle platformer, but you're lacking a key component of the game's puzzles in world 1 (girl form), as to not flood world 1 with tutorials, so I tried my best with what I had to work with. It should find its stride more in World 2.

Thanks a ton for playing my game!

Submitted

I liked it. I do agree with the other guy who said the cat feels a little bit slow though.

Developer

Thanks for playing! Hmm, I'll look into maybe increasing her accelleration a bit. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to please everyone with it though, especially when I add the Metroid style Speed Booster.

Submitted

Maybe it's not necessary to increase the speed given the context of what you'll add later to the game, that was just my first impression. I also loved the music.

Developer

That's true. If I tweak it, it'll probably be fairly minor. Also I'm glad you liked the music, I'm forwarding all the music compliments directly to the musicbro responsible. :)

Submitted

Some thoughts:

  • Cat feels heavy, likely due to her slow acceleration.
  • Holding down to jump feels off, handling jump height with just the jump button would be better.
  • Enemy fireballs are totally non-threatening, even for World 1. Maybe make them bigger and/or slightly faster.
  • Split character system is good and I want to see what you do with it.
  • Cool sun.
  • Boss fight doesn't feel like much of anything. I'd try integrating the split character system into it, maybe make the fight revolve around solving a puzzle using both characters to beat the boss.
Developer

- Hmm, I see, I'll keep it in mind.

-Did you feel the same way about down to jump in Super Mario Brothers 2?

-I tweaked the enemy fireballs a lot for the situations that you wind up in with them.  I'll look into it later.

-I'm pretty happy with the way the boss is conceptually. He could use a few more attacks though, to keep you moving, though.

Thank you for playing!

Submitted

Come to think of it, I don't think I ever played SMB2. So I don't really know. I'm just going off of what games I have played and what feels 'natural' to me. I'll give it another run through later, see if maybe it just takes a bit to click. As for the boss, I agree. Just a little something to spice up the fight a bit is all I feel it really needs. No need to rework the whole thing, disregard that.

I look forward to seeing your progress.

Developer

Yeah, people who came from SMB2 told me they were relieved that you can actually walk while charging in this game. Aesthetically, it also fits the bill, as that's sorta what cats do before they high jump. Thanks for the kind words!