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A jam submission

Flatout Drillin'View game page

Help Hank prove the Earth is not round!
Submitted by in Principle Games (@ColliderMc) — 1 hour, 40 minutes before the deadline
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Play truth

Flatout Drillin''s itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Fun#323.7303.730
Game Design#533.6983.698
Innovation#1613.1753.175
Audio#1773.2543.254
Graphics#1793.5713.571
Overall#1963.1883.188
Theme#8271.6981.698

Ranked from 63 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

Viewing comments 54 to 35 of 54 · Next page · Last page
Submitted

Wow! Such a simple mechanic, and so many variety! Making it endless is a good idea (you can make this into a monetized game also) Missed the theme being portrayed in the game, but there were plenty other surprises! Please keep making games like this! You have a talent for combining mechanics into a very fun (and addictive) game.

Submitted

Considering the quality of your rating comments I hope this one lives up to them:
Ill take this one apart criteria by criteria and hopefully help improve what is an already very good game!
Game Design:
Ive seen the idea of shoot to move before, but I dont think I've seen it in a endless (faller) runner type situation before. It gives a really nice touch of having to decide whether to shoot down to boost yourself up, shoot to the sides to dodge, or shoot (usually) up to kill enemies. All this also while breaking crates and grabbing coins. It's creating pseudo-mechanics through dynamics, which I really like.
You make items clear on their role even if you haven't played the game before: it's clear that the bad guys are bad (especially because you don't ever change their sprite so you wouldn't get confused on lower levels), that the crates are powerups, and that the coins are, well coins. Obstacles are clear too, even the laser which gives you a fair amount of time to dodge it with the warning laser if you've seen it for the first time.
The different guns give you a different way to play the game: they aren't especially better and so your experience as you go down the levels isnt especially harder and balanced because you get better guns: it forces you to get farther by just getting good: through experience. A good player will pick what gun to use at the right time. The shotgun for example is great to quickly take care of enemies or quickly dodge an object, but can be quite risky if you stay low because of it's longer shooting cooldown. The assault rifle is great to give you a breather from avoiding falling down to the bottom drill, but it also puts you at risk by placing you at the very top where enemies appear. The basic gun is just a nice all rounder that requires precision but also has a pretty nice cooldown.  I'm not too sure what the coins actually do: are they simply a score for you to appreciate at the end of a run or can you use them. Im guessing it's the first one because I didn't find a place to use them, so tell me if Im wrong. If that's the case, then maybe don't stack up coins between levels but simply let it factor into your "score", a value that you could show at the end of a run which depends on a function that takes the feet descended AND the coins a input. Otherwise, keep your coins and incorporate a shop to maybe buy player skins, a starting feet level, a starting gun, options for new guns, or a one run temporary boost.
For the enemies, maybe i would give a little warning at the top of the screen before they go down because it feels pretty unfair when you're up there at the top and they suddenly spawn on you and you lose health. Then again, that might make the assault rifle overpowered, but it's something to think about.

Fun:
Game is super fun and I can easily see it become a widely played mobile game if given some more content (especially a shop). Bullet time effects give really satisfying enemy kills, the dying sequence is clear as day and doesn't leave you unsatisfied... Even runs where you lose quickly were, for me, very fun to play.

Innovation:
Im not sure if it's innovative because I dont play this type of game often. To me it seems like the shoot to move mechanic incorporated into an endless (faller) runner is new, but I could be wrong and I can see it as an idea that someone might've already had. 

Theme:
As others have said, I don't really see it fitting the theme. I get what your point is (from your other answers) but I feel (and that's my opinion) like jam themes should be incorporated into gameplay, not just a background story that the game doesn't even tell you about.

Graphics:
One of the few jam games where the art is coherent in between individual elements! The style fits a mobile game perfectly and doesn't seem too hard to modify for individual sprites if you want to add content. So a great job on that: a simple, not too distracting art style that gives the game coherence but doesn't attempt to attract all the player's attention.

Audio:
The menu music is very nice and cute with simple phrases that come back later in the theme, which helps to cover up the loop. If the theme was a bit longer it would really succeed at that effect (I'm thinking an additional 8 bars to get a nice round 32, for a more bridge like section that isn't as pressing as the other part - when I say pressing I mean that the notes keep on coming and it could use pauses). Then again it's a menu so maybe a longer loop isn't really needed, it's just that I still have the game open while Im writing this so the loop is started getting a little frustrating haha.
For the levels, please make louder music. It's a real shame that we can't hear it better. It just sounds like some instruments are randomly playing in the background because they keep getting cut off by the relatively loud sound effects.
I would also add a different piece for the end of run screen. Maybe you might not need to though if you want quick reruns, then the fact that it links with the menu music will keep things smooth instead of jittery.
The sound effects are nice and crisp, but they could use some volume balancing compared to the music.

All around a really great game on it's own! Doesn't really fit the theme so I wouldn't say it's a great entry for this jam, but credit where credit is due: it's a very well designed game. I also want to say I really like how the menu works.
Great job on this!

Developer

Thanks for the informative writeup.

In response to your queries:

1. Coins, what for? A store is in the making. It will include accessories that alter gameplay as well as cosmetics. The game will also include an energy mechanic in the form of ammunition. There's too much to explain, but the long and short of it is that the jam version has no store as I wanted to nail the gameplay first.

2. Music too quiet: That's an issue of ducking. I've already addressed this post jam, but yeah, sfx are reducing the gain of the music mix excessively and abruptly as well.

3. Music too short: Agreed. Really a time constraint issue. For this jam I composed 2 songs, in essence, both with relatively few bars and instruments. As you descend down the mantles a different "style" of the same song plays, for a total of 9 individual arrangements. I thought this would be sufficient for a jam environment, however, I'm starting to think it may be enough for the final product as well. I think as long as the play loops are kept short, the repetition should not present itself as an issue, but that's hard to say. Adding more content to the compositions should not be an issue, in the end of the day.

4. Theme: I agree, but the more I think about it, the more I'm seeing a subtle yet stronger connection. I have yet to work out if this is delusion or not. :) Either way, it is my firm position that utilising a theme to the point of making a game deliberately less enjoyable, as many seem to have done during this event, is unacceptable. The most common other approach to the theme, when the game hasn't been damaged, is to make characters deceptive, or using some kind of extreme plot twist. In my estimation that's missing the theme, as it's about the game intrinsically lying. One more case is where some developer have opted for making the game itself into a character of sorts. While literal, I think this is a fairly good reading of the theme. Extremely rare are the cases in which the theme has in fact been embraced subtly and enjoyably, where the game truly is a lie in its mechanics. An example is https://charu12.itch.io/mindless-runner. So, in our case, our game's premise is a logical fallacy which our protagonist firmly believes in. Yet the game itself will never allow for anything to be proven one way or another due to its design. I suspect if we had added a piece of narrative (in the form of a cutscene, for instance), we may have scored higher on this metric. We opted against it due to it being a low priority. But, yes, despite my somewhat long reasoning here, I agree with your position on this to a large extent.

Thanks again for taking the time to play and review the game in a comprehensive way. I appreciate the effort that goes into doing such a thing.

Cheers.

Submitted

Yeah from your reply it sounds like most of the problems were due to time constraints and I totally get that. For the music, yeah, 9 arrangements of the same track suffices for the descent, you just can't hear it because of volume, but it's definitely enough. I get what you're saying for the theme, it's just it's a shame that it doesn't say you're trying to prove flat earthers wrong in game. Thanks for taking the time to read the comment!

Submitted

Really really fun, Guessing ill see this on app stores soon. Didnt match the theme too well. Or i missed that part completely.

Submitted

Really really fun, Guessing ill see this on app stores soon. Didnt match the theme too well. Or i missed that part completely.

Submitted

Simple but very addictive and fun! I would love to see this in Google Play Store after the jam!

I doubt my game could be ported to phone though. I would love to have your feedback and rating on my game!

I had a lot of fun.
Gamefeel is excellent, I really liked the difficulty curve. Level design ingredients are well thought and exploit the core mechanic well. 

Best game of this jam to me, atm. (Even though the link with the theme isnt clear lel).

Very good concept. I really liked it. Played and rated!

Don't forget to rate my game please: https://itch.io/jam/cgj/rate/476599

Submitted

Fun and addicting.

Submitted

The game was really fun and I quite enjoyed it. My main issue though is really just where the theme of the game was but apart from that you have a nice solid game on your hands.

Developer

Hi, the game's narrative goes like this:

Hank, the protagonist, is looking to demonstrate that the Earth is not a sphere. His theory is, if he digs down and the Earth is 3D, he should be able to get to the other side. If he can't, it proves that the Earth cannot be 3D (in his logic). The game is endless... That's how the game lies.

There was no way for you to find this out in game as it's not it. But that's fine, I'm much more interested in getting eyeballs on the gameplay than worrying about the theme. So we left the narrative for later.

Thanks!

Submitted

No problem. The gameplay was indeed quite solid.

Submitted (1 edit)

This is really well made! I enjoyed the graphics and sound effects. The game idea is also interesting. The first time I played though, I went way too much to the left before the cave starts, ended up in the black area and then I couldn't see myself as the game carried on. Had to restart. After that, I enjoyed playing it quite a bit! Didn't really get the theme but maybe I didn't play for long enough. Good work overall!

Developer

Yeah, that bug slipped through. It's already but I cannot upload it obviously. Thanks for pointing it out.

Submitted

Nice game! I had a lot of fun playing and it looks really nice overall. I'm not sure if it was compression or the import settings, but some of the sprites looked pretty pixel-ey for the overall theme. The gameplay was nice, but I found that weapons usually fell too quickly in my opinion, not sure if they were supposed to be hard to get. I liked the transition between stages and the bgm was also good. The particles and small details, like enemies falling into the drill, were also great touches. Good work!

Submitted (1 edit)

Your game is fantastic! It's fun and addictive. The kind of game is like Flappy Bird that looks simple and easy. But no, it's not when you are actually playing.  My highest score is 1306.

The graphics and particle effects are very satisfying and professional. There are particles even when the body hits the wall!

Although you've mentioned the story in the description, there's no dialog or something telling the story inside the game. I don't know it is still suitable for the theme.


I know you are not a fan of mobile games, but I really hope you could play my game once more to find the true ending and to see the little message at the end ;)

Developer(+1)

I agree with you on the theme situation. We will add narrative in game (maybe) at a later stage. For now all I cared about is getting solid gameplay in.

Submitted

Yes, great. This game could definitely publish on the market.

Submitted (1 edit)

At first I had some trouble understanding I had to use the weapon recoil to move. All other things feel really polished, can really feel the (huge) gab between an hobbyist like me and a professional.

Almost forgot, I loved the conspiracy theory theme.

Developer(+1)

Keep at it. Transitioning from hobbyist to professional is just a matter of how many hours you sink into your personal development.

Submitted (1 edit)

Lot's of people are saying go mobile, but I'm not sure if that will have the precision that's currently required. Either way was it's a pretty nice game. My highscore was 639.

In the description you mention that Hank is trying to disprove the lie that the Earth is round. I don't see how that fits with the theme that the game is a liar. Though, I'm glad you didn't hurt the user experience just to fit in with the theme. One thing I was wondering is, what happens when you reach the bottom/other side or is the game endless?

Let's continue with the gameplay. The smooth transition from the menu into the game and that you shoot the menu buttons, were nice touches. The slow motion when you shoot at the enemies was also cool. However, the collecting of coins served no purpose. Perhaps you can add a store with upgrades. I also found the game to be pretty difficult in some ways, but too easy in others. For example the gravity is pretty high, so you quickly fall down. This also means it's quite hard to pick up a new weapon from the crates. I also had some difficulty with moving left and right with the gun (maybe just have A & D). Resulting in me often dying from the obstacles. However, the enemies take a very long time before they start shooting at you.

Now onto graphics and sound. Something felt off to me about the graphics, but I guess that isn't very helpful. Perhaps it's the use of solid colours. If I'm not mistaken, South Park and Kurzgesagt both use solid colours. However, Kurzgesagt looks great, while South Park looks like ... eh ... South Park. The world also feels flat. Yeah it's a 2D game, but there is no depth. It doesn't feel like Hank is falling through a tunnel; it feels like he falling in front of a green screen. Lastly the sound stuff. The sound balance was good and the sfx were alright; no high pitch coin pick up sounds ;-). Perhaps you can improve the music, but I don't know much about music.

Overall pretty nice, but some missed opportunities (like with the coins).

Submitted

Just saw your comment on how it fits the theme. Perhaps you can have the start button say: "Start endless mode". Though, people will still probably miss how the game fits the theme.

Developer

Hey there. Store is on the roadmap. Couldn't get it done within the week.

The game is endless. That's the lie.

There is a bug with gems now. As they play their SFX, the music ducks too much. Did you dislike the sound for generic coins too? Lemme know!

Difficulty balance: that's a tough one for sure... The enemies take ages to shoot (well, this enemy type anyway) intentionally. Later, when you reach 2000 ft or so, you will find yourself overwhelmed with crowd control. The game becomes much more strategic later, in terms of deciding whom to pick off and when.

Interesting comment about the graphics. Will talk with the artist, see if there's anything we can / should do about this.

Thanks for the useful feedback.

Submitted

Woahmygod, this has gotta be one of the most fun games I've played from the Jam!! Beautiful visuals, nice sound and a kickass gameplay loop :D The only thing I can fault is that maybe the theme was a little loose? But really its no biggy- this game is awesome regardless :D

Developer

The theme isn't explicit. We want to add it to the narrative in game at some point, but the gist is this:

1. Hank (protagonist) is setting out to do a scientific experiment. He will dig down through the Earth. If he gets on the other side, then it means the Earth is a 3D object of some sort, so he will prove he is wrong and the Earth is a sphere.
2. If, however, he doesn't get to the other side, then the Earth must be something that isn't 3D.
3. The game is endless, which means he will never be able to demonstrate the earth is spherical this way.

That's how the game is a lie.

Submitted

Hey nice idea, would be a good mobile game, great job

(1 edit)

Hey men, I work remote on another computer and it totally messed up that connection and instead of controlling the game it did al kinds of stuff on the remote computer. So I used the Win_64 version. Haven't rated your game because of this (cause I didn't play eventually ;) )

Developer

I've heard of this before. Not sure what causes it. You can use the link to play it directly in your browser if you want: http://www.inprincipleinc.com/games/FlatoutDrillin/index.html

Thanks!

Submitted

Loved the game. Flat design for flat earth was the best idea I have seen in recent times. By the looks of a vertical screen I believe you have already considered releasing a mobile version. If you add some power ups and a progressive difficulty this game can go places. Loved the blood effect both splatters and after hero's death on the machine as well. The game was a treat to play and graphics and music helped it in a good way. I tried NOT following the instructions as that was the case in most games, but quickly realized that was not it. And oh almost forgot the transition from main menu to gameplay was smoother than the butter, loved it.

Submitted (1 edit)

A fun and engaging mobile game. There are of course things that need tending before I'd suggest an actual release on mobile but guessing by the polish this game has, you know already know what those things are. Tons of potential if you want to pursue it. My 5yo really liked it but had a hard time with how fast you fall down. Might I suggest a "slower gravity" version? Really a fantastic game and with some upbeat music, a progression system and a bit more polish you'd have a legit mobile release.  Maybe I didn't get far enough but I never saw anything that applied to the theme? Straight up the theme was dumb so I don't really care. Great job!

Developer(+1)

Thank you. Glad to hear you child enjoyed it. Interesting comment about the difficulty. We're going to have to ponder who our audience is when balancing. Also, it's a little gory at the moment, which concerns me for a younger audience, to some extent.

As for the theme, our game has it pretty deeply, but it's not advertised in game. Hank, the protagonist, is a flat earther. He has decided to use the scientific method to prove once and for all that the Earth is not a sphere. His demonstration process involves digging vertically into the ground. If he gets to the other side, then the Earth is indeed a 3D object. If he does not, then it's definitely not a sphere. However, the game has no end, so it makes proving either side impossible. :)

Now, this will be included in the game, somehow at some point, but my concern number 1, 2 and 3 are always gameplay. The rest comes after.

Thanks again for playing!

PS: My daughter got to 2800 ft. Can your boy beat her?!? The challenge is on! :D

Submitted

Wow... You thought out the theme so deeply I completely I completely missed it. I love your mantra of gameplay 1st. When my son wakes up I'll have to see if he wants to take up the challenge. Cheers! 😄

Viewing comments 54 to 35 of 54 · Next page · Last page