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A jam submission

Combine RacersView game page

Do tricks! Go Fast! Harvest Corn!
Submitted by euclidean-whale — 3 days, 2 hours before the deadline
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Combine Racers's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Gameplay#193.3163.316
Presentation#303.2893.289
Overall#463.1183.118
Theme Interpretation#503.0533.053
Originality#702.8162.816

Ranked from 38 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

(1 edit)

A bit late to the party, but here goes 🙂

This is a great entry as the run is short, but there the leaderboard is an incentive to try again. I managed 4th place, but I'm not sure where have I missed almost 3 seconds compared to the best web time (that was in the local postjam version).

I could easily imagine this being a very tight mobile game with a bunch of levels with the goal being just getting the best time or an endless-runner kinda thing (I loved playing Alto's Adventure). There's probably loads of games like that already, but that's definitely smt. I would play every now and then.

Here're my nits and suggestions, hope you don't mind the backseat design:

  • the control scheme could use a bit of love (I kept trying to use A/S to rotate)
  • the combine feels slow. I'd venture a guess combines move pretty slow, but that just less fun
    • the BG in post-jam version def helps, but I'd take it a step further and add some foreground elements that move way faster, throw in dust particles, add some wind trail particle and zoom out bit at top speed
  • juice it up even more
    • a bit of screenshake when landing
  • the boost after landing a trick is great and I'd lean more into that
    • let the trick affect the boost - either max speed or duration - a triple flip is just cooler than a single one
    • make them stack and don't limit the velocity (or do so, but very high just before it could break) - look at games like Celeste and how nuts the speedruns get
    • perfect landing (parallel to ground) could also net a boost
Developer (1 edit)

Thanks for taking a look! Really happy for the feedback. There are a lot of great ideas in here that would be simple to try out, so I definitely will.

the control scheme could use a bit of love (I kept trying to use A/S to rotate)

Could you elaborate on this? Am I right that you were controlling throttle with the arrow keys? I wonder if I should abandon one set of throttle controls and pick either arrows + AD (or AS or QW or something) -or- WASD + arrow left/right. What sort of scheme would you find ideal?

let the trick affect the boost - either max speed or duration - a triple flip is just cooler than a single one

This is happening, but it's unfortunately really invisible to the player. The duration of the boost is related to the number of flips, with a bonus if the trick isn't the same as the previous one. Doing a new trick extends any remaining boost duration. I think I probably need a boost timer, and to explicitly show a +whatever seconds somewhere when you do a trick or something?

I'm slightly skeptical about stacking velocity, only because it seems like it would make it harder to design levels. But getting a bit crazy with it could be fun.

(1 edit)
Could you elaborate on this? Am I right that you were controlling throttle with the arrow keys? I wonder if I should abandon one set of throttle controls and pick either arrows + AD (or AS or QW or something) -or- WASD + arrow left/right. What sort of scheme would you find ideal?

I have not realised A/S are throttle too, my bad. That being said, the player is just holding either of those so unless there's a plan to have tight jumps which actually require slowing down, then it could be just a toggle/flip directions instead. Otherwise I'm not sure what would an ideal control scheme.

This is happening, but it's unfortunately really invisible to the player. The duration of the boost is related to the number of flips, with a bonus if the trick isn't the same as the previous one. Doing a new trick extends any remaining boost duration. I think I probably need a boost timer, and to explicitly show a +whatever seconds somewhere when you do a trick or something?

I knew about alternating tricks, but have not realised the duration changes with the # of flips. Then some feedback FX and/or UI would be great.

I'm slightly skeptical about stacking velocity, only because it seems like it would make it harder to design levels. But getting a bit crazy with it could be fun.

That's yr call 🙂 But yeah, it'd make lvl design trickier. You could add in shortcuts that can be reached only at super high speeds though (think intended optimal routes in Neon White).

Another trick you could add to sustain boost could be wheelies.

Submitted

The flip mechanic is pretty addicting. I found myself being a bit greedy and bonking. The controls feel pretty good, but I'm not fond of the half-loop that reverses directions because it's not clear what key I should be holding at that moment. I did manage to finish the level though.

Developer

Yeah, that part is not very intuitive. I think I suffered a bit from trying to cram everything into one single level. But my process for creating levels was so painful that it just wasn't realistic to make more. Thanks for playing!

Submitted

It feels great to get the speed bonis! I did two times at the last jump :-D

Submitted

Very addictive game with a catchy soundtrack, had me playing over and over trying (and failing) to make it onto the leaderboard. I feel like this would be well suited as a mobile game so that it could use tilt for the rotating, though this version is still very enjoyable. The speed boost after tricks feels nice, and there's definitely potential for different strategies to try get the best time.

Submitted

Nice! I had some difficulty staying on a high speed. I liked the way tricks allowed you to go faster.

Developer

Thanks! It's not very obvious, but if you follow up a front flip with a different trick like a back flip or double-front-flip, you get a longer boost. Try to sneak in tricks when you can, even between the "jumps" on the map. Staying low (jumping well before the crest of) the hills in the second section helps.

Submitted

Nice, excellent job on the trick detection. The game is surprisingly polish, even with gamepad support! Though it felt a bit too slow, and on the middle section it's very easy to accidentally lift off on the second bump and lose all speed necessary for the big jump, and the beginning felt a bit too repetitive for me to continue playing it.

Developer (3 edits)

Really appreciate the feedback. Thanks for playing.

My goal was to have a short but very polished experience. I was committed to not building multiple levels and a level select screen, so I was trying to "do it all" in one level. I had competing goals of easing newer players in and making a competitive  skill-based leaderboard.

I also worked pretty hard to optimize iteration time when modifying the level, but my totally manual inkscape -> blender -> gltf pipeline took something like a minute to execute even after I got pretty decent with blender's hotkeys, so it was a huge time sink to tweak the level.

The final jump is sort of ruined by the jumping physics. If you just roll over it without jumping you can clear it no problem even at 69kph. 

Jumping on an angled ramp pushes you backwards and kills your speed. I'm at a bit of an impasse there and I'm not really sure how to fix that. I had some last minute tweaks that made the jump easier but didn't go far enough. I think the impulse I add should just be in the direction of the "vertical component" of the player's orientation. But by the time I was figuring this all out I felt that it was way too late to be making major physics changes that might have unforeseen consequences.

No tricks are required to clear the level. Just hold forward for a bit, and then backwards for a bit. But the base speed does make that a bit boring. 

Submitted

I liked this and came back to play with it a few times haha. Trick detection is great, bonk is the best trick. Kinda wish that the boost would last longer. Nicely done though!

Developer

Thank you! I may have gone too far balancing the boost when I started keeping track of whether or not the trick was the same as the previous trick and adding a bonus when it's "fresh." It's pretty easy to stay boosted on the first half of the track, but the middle's not as fun.

Submitted

Cool idea and nice, simple visual style. The green “road” winding up and down is almost meditative :D Seems like a bit of tweaking could improve the gameplay a lot. The ride seems slow and the speed bonus wanes off too fast to use it on the next jump. Has a potential for a really nice game. Congratulations!

Developer (1 edit)

Thanks! I completely agree that the velocity damping is out of control. I had to give myself a moratorium on physics tweaks at some point because I was afraid I'd break the game in some subtle way. But it's something I want to play around with post-jam.

I do feel that the road could use a subtle stripe texture or something. On flat sections of track, it can be hard to tell that you are moving. That's one reason I left the cliff to the left at the start of the track.

Thanks for playing and for the feedback!

Submitted

Or maybe a background with parallax effect to show the motion? Something like a waving field of wheat stretching toward the horizon with a setting sun and some clouds. Then the game could be interpreted as a farmer’s day dream - dozing off in the combine, they fantasize about doing crazy stunts :D

Developer

I like it!