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A jam submission

The King's TrekView game page

A chess-inspired round-based tactical survival game
Submitted by Wallriver (@wallriver) — 1 day, 21 hours before the deadline

Play game

The King's Trek's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Community Choice#512.1742.364

Ranked from 11 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous.

  • The King's Descent is an attempt to take the boardgame classic and punch it up with Puzzle and RPG elements. It actually feels like a compelling concept that just needs some refinement.

    Liked
    + Art is simplistic but gets the point across
    + Fun concept
    + Begginings of solid systems

    Needs Work
    + UI is clunky
    + Inconsistent resource systems
    + Needs polish

    I really adored the concept of the King's Descent and feel it really deserves to go through a few more refinement and polish passes. The most glaring issue was that you are forced to use an on screen button to end your turn when that should be automatic when out of moves and/or given a key press input. Really the UI just needs a bunch of passes. It's hard to tell from a glance what enemies will be doing on their turn, you can't easily tell if your units have taken their turn or not. It's also a little strange you can craft a new unit then place them anywhere on the map. That's incredibly powerful and could break almost any puzzle, having a designation location for spawning items. Or perhaps a unique unit could do this. It would be interesting having a unit you need to protect to continue spawning new pieces. Speaking of an additional feature of an "unecesary sequel" would be a new unit that has a very odd non-traditional movement to sell it as a sequel. Like a Princess unit.

    Once the rough edges are smoothed over this concept could have some pretty good legs under it and I'd love to be able to play more. Even in the state it is in, I was disappointed there weren't more levels.

    -James Rossi

Elevator pitch
Descend to an old dungeon with your king, and slay all enemies you encounter. Craft mighty chess pieces which support you on your journey.

Describe how your game adheres to the theme
I have developed this game as a sequel to the classic chess game (which, obviously, nobody asked for). Instead of checkmating your opponent's king, your job is to keep your own king alive, while solving as many levels as possible. Most names of those levels have also been inspired by possible unnecessary sequels of popular games.

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Comments

Submitted
Pros:
  • Interesting mechanics
  • Well realized tutorial
Cons:
  • No audio
  • Several small annoyances
Here & There:

The tutorial was nicely done and explains the concepts of this game well, and the mechanics of the game definitely are interesting. There are a bunch of little things that grated on me while I was playing. The end-turn button should be mapped to the keyboard or a mouse button because moving to it and clicking is a chore. The accuracy of the mouse clicks seem off, as if there's overlapping hitboxes. The lack of audio is a bummer but since this is essentially a puzzle game it's not that big of a deal. Dying and restarting is a bit much too, considering the fact that the solution to the earlier rooms don't change, so you're making the player re-do something without a challenge. I did end up doing much better on a replay of the room with all the pawns, but it wasn't satisfying enough being more efficient to justify forcing the player to replay something for failing later. Also, the HP pickup in the Light Room gives 5 HP but it takes 3 or 4 HP just to clear the room, so it's actually a 2 HP pickup which is almost like the pickup is lying to you. This was a simple and interesting game that polish would help elevate a lot, especially with more levels.

Developer(+1)

Thanks for playing, and for your feedback! I'm glad you liked the mechanics. In the next version, I'll definitely map the End Turn button to a key, and let turns end immediately if there are no enemies which can attack anyways, so players won't have to switch between the button and the chess board any more. Sound effects (and animations) are also among the things I want to tackle for this version.

Regarding the levels: Yeah, these are definitely too static at the moment (and you are totally right about the Light Room). The main goal of this first prototype was to check if the game mechanics  are interesting, and fun to play - so I did focus on those. For future versions, I will definitely spend more time on the level design...I already have some ideas which I'll add to the game. Then, players also won't have to re-do levels they have already cleared.

The door seems to be bugged.. if I interacted with it before completing the level's goal, once I had completed the goal I could no longer interact with the door.

A really neat idea but the execution is ultimately kind of annoying. Having to click "End Turn" after moving one square every time got irritating quickly, especially when there were no enemies on screen. 

The lack of animations and sound make it very hard to tell what's happening between each move.

Something to consider might be using the rules of chess to help you set up safe attack moves. For example, attacking a pawn from the side you'll take no damage but if you attack them from a spot they can move to in chess you'll take damage as well. Because you take damage every time you attack, as it is it makes it nearly impossible to clear the full dungeon. 

What you did though I thought was pretty neat, I think the idea has potential

Developer

Hi,

thanks for playing! Which door do you mean - the one in the levels, or the doors in the dungeon menu? In the dungeon menu, it is intended that you cannot visit a room you have already cleared...maybe this needs to be made more obvious.

The animations and the "end turn button" problem are among the next things I'm working on - unfortunately, I ran out of time during the jam. Until the jam is over, I'm not allowed to upload any changes to the game, but when it's over, I'll upload a new version with these features. :-)

Yeah, more advanced features, including more chess pieces, or additional rules will definitely be included in upcoming versions! The instant attack once you move in the attack range of a piece sounds like an interesting mechanic. However, in this version, your chess pieces only take damage when you move (1 damage for each move), or when it's the enemy's turn, and he attacks your pieces.

Thanks again for your feedback!

Submitted

I do like the idea of incorporating chess rules into something like a dungeon crawl, but yeah, a keyboard shortcut for ending a turn would go a long ways.

It also might help to have attack ranges drawn for enemies as well.  I can understand if you'd want to keep it off to make it more chess-like: you have to KNOW what you're getting into, but maybe it could be a toggleable thing?  In any case, I died in one of the stages and had absolutely no idea why.  At very least, like someone else said, some attack animations would really help to clarify things.

But it is a really neat idea.  It just needs a lot of quality-of-life changes.

Developer

Thanks for playing, and for your feedback!

Yeah, in the next version, I'll include the shortcuts for ending a turn, since it was wished for by many other players who commented here - unfortunately, I'm not allowed to update my game it until the jam is over. But in the next version, this problem will be solved. 

The attack ranges of the enemies are highlighted right now (if you mouse over an enemy, you can see its possible attack fields highlighted in orange) - for a future version, I'll make this more obvious. (Maybe I'll include it in the tutorial somehow, to show players how they can see which moves the enemy can make.) I'm also currently working on some animations for moving, attacking, taking damage and dying - unfortunately, there was not enough time during the jam, but I'll include it in the next version :-)

Submitted

Conceptually I like this, but the actual playing of the game ended up being really frustrating. Having to move my mouse back and forth between the king and the end turn button when the king was the only piece on the board got annoying fast.

If you release a new version where that is faster, either a keyboard shortcut or automatically ending the turn when all pieces have moved, I'd love to give this another go.

Developer(+1)

Hi,

thanks for playing my game, and for your feedback! Yeah, that's a good idea - I'll incorporate this into the next version.

Submitted (1 edit)

Nice effort! A little buggy, though. I thought it was a little confusing the way I could keep dragging the king/other pieces outside of their normal movement range. 

I think it could use a few simple animations to communicate what is happening. I would try moving pieces around and then just suddenly they're dead! Animations can be nice because they communicate what is going on, they're not just for flash anymore. 

I found moving the king every turn and then manually clicking end turn was a little tedious. Maybe you could detect when all the pieces have moved and just end the turn automatically? Anything to reduce user clicks is always a thumbs up. 

I think this could benefit from sound sound effects! The way I see it, there's two ways you can go with this: 1) the pieces are plastic-y and they make chink sounds as they attack and get attacked or 2) the pieces are basically warriors and you hear the klang of metal on armor when the attacks happen. Not to mention some light SFX when the pieces move. I think stuff like that would add a lot! 

Developer

Thanks for playing! Hmm, about the bugs: I didn't notice this during development - do you mean that you can move your pieces to positions which have not been highlighted green?

Regarding the animations and sound effects: Yeah, that was a huge point I actually really wanted to address, but unfortunately I didn't have the time required to make them look / sound good. It's definitely on my to do list for future versions.

The moving / clicking the end turn button combination, if only the king is left will be removed soon. In the next version, the next turn will start automatically when your king is the last piece on the chessboard. Thanks for the feedback!