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A jam submission

From the CoreView game page

A metroidvania with no upgrades? Is it possible?
Submitted by Rafael Bordoni (@eldskald) — 3 hours, 12 minutes before the deadline
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From the Core's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Gameplay#633.4553.455
Innovation#683.3183.318
Overall#1283.1823.182
Audio#1752.8642.864
Graphics#1882.9552.955
Theme interpretation#2212.7272.727

Ranked from 22 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

GitHub repository URL
https://github.com/eldskald/game-off-2020

Theme interpretation
I wanted to break estabilished conventions, going for a metroidvania with no upgrades and an unusual control scheme.

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Comments

(+1)

Nice!  It's been years since I played metroid, but this started to bring back memories. Great art, cool mechanics.

Great job!

Submitted(+1)

Well done! That's a pretty interesting and challenging metroidvania!

The controls are (as expected) part of the challenge, though I've only tried keyboard and mouse so far. I might give it a shot with a gamepad to see if I can have a better control (I found doing multiple suck in-shoot cycles with jellies to jump over a big gap quite challenging with the mouse, especially since the shoot angle moves at 45° and this can change while I'm jumping if I don't move my mouse properly).

Kudos on all the artistic aspects, it's a pretty good job for a solo game! And it's nice to see everything is properly licensed :)

Developer (1 edit)

Hey, thanks for playing! Yeah, shooting and sucking more jellyfishes is a lot easier with the controller. Locking the angles was a bit like an inheritance from the first control scheme, in which you shot with the arrows in the same manner of The Binding of Isaac. But controlling the character was so awkward that I changed to mouse and decided to keep the locked angles to make it easier to shoot down. I realize now I could have kept the recoil launches locked, but not the aiming themselves. I also think the wall jump mechanic is way harder than I thought during development. That's the thing about game jams, you have the ideas, prototype them, people play them and find the problems for you. Thanks for checking out my game!

Submitted(+1)

Gameplay: It took a bit to get used to the controls (but I know thats intentional). The level design was nice. It would have been better it the shooting rotated towards your mouse not just at certain rotations. Also it could be better to press and hold the mouse to shoot not click a bunch.

Graphics: The graphics were good. The art all fit with the color scheme.

Audio: The SFX were really good. The music was decent too.

Innovation: Pretty innovative gameplay. 

Theme: Metroidvania with no upgrades and an unusual control scheme.

Overall: Really nice game!!! 

Can you try (and review) my game?

Developer

Hey, thank you for checking my game! I will play and rate yours tomorrow, I'm on an airport, so I can't do it now.

Submitted

Looking forward to it!

Submitted(+1)

I love this game! Great movement options and fascinating mechanics. xPhere’s description is spot-on: the upgrades are in your head, as you learn more and more.

A few minor issues:

  • I couldn’t make it full-screen on Windows. That would be really good, so I can stop accidentally clicking on the window frame instead.
  • Collision detection near walls is a bit dodgy, with my shots (or enemy shots) disappearing, and with spikes atop a wall hurting me when I’m on the side of the same wall.
  • An autofire option would be fantastic. I get that fast-clicking is probably intended to be part of the challenge, but I found it really hard to do—and I don’t have any particular problems or disabilities. Someone with joint pain, say, would be unable to enjoy this fantastic game. That’s why I suggest making autofire an option, preserving the challenge for those who want it but making it accessible to others, too.
Developer(+1)

Hey, thank you! And wow, I never thought about the accessibility issues with the clicking. Personally I hate button mashing of any kind, I only made it this way because I needed the charged shot, so it wasn't actually about the challenge, it was more about the controls. Maybe I could have used the mouse wheel button? That's definitely something to consider the next game or on this one, if I decide to keep developing it. Thank you for playing it!

Submitted(+1)

Amazing game with amazing mechanics and ideas.  Level very well executed.  Nice!

Submitted(+1)

Wow, amazing entry! It felt like a metroidvania was running inside my head, with my brain leveling instead of the character. Haven't felt like that since The Witness. The level design is awesome, but the final levels... Oh, mamma. Can't lie here, I cheated a bit. One of the best games of the jam, for sure. Congrats!!

Developer(+1)

Hey, thank you for your kind words! Your game was also incredible, so those words coming from you means a lot! And yeah, that feeling you described was exactly what I was trying to accomplish with this game. The last challenge was very hard, especially the room with the spiked cubes, I would definitely change it if I decide to work more on this game. How did you managed to cheat on it?

Submitted

I usually only play those games which can run on the browser, but had a feeling with yours and downloaded the source code in order to play it from Godot Engine directly. Don't tell anyone, but after jumping on jellyfish for fifteen minutes to no avail, I changed the gravity parameters of the main player and fly to the exit. 😳😅

Submitted(+1)

Hey this game was really well done! I had to get used to the controls at the beginning but it kept me hooked throughout the game! At some point I had to backtrack quite a bit though and the wall jump was sometimes rather annoying to get used to haha (same in my game though). Please find y video review below:

02:39 From the Core

Developer(+1)

Hahaha, thank you for playing! Yeah, the wall jump mechanic was the worst part of the game, and one of the things I will change the most if I decide to go on with this game, as well as the locked aiming directions. I realized at the end it was too clunky, but if I were to fix it I would have to change the whole level design and I didn't had time to do it, so I made the choice to go on as is.

Submitted(+1)

Thanks for checking out my game it was fun to see how a simple mechanic becomes really interesting further in the game. i felt the difficulty curve was just right. the graphics were different from what i normally see but they worked well with the game. Good job!

Submitted(+1)

Amazing gameplay, good job!

It was brilliant to start with simple game mechanics to develop into a more intriguing mechanics as you unlock stuff. I also liked the charge shot, but the fixed 8 directions is slightly hard to aim atthe enemies (I was using a mouse & keyboard). I dunno if it's easier to play with a controller but yeah that's just my humble opinion in regards to playing with a mouse and keyboard.

Overall, I really liked the progression of game mechanics were you unlock stuff as you go on. I had fun playing your game, looking forward to future updates!

Submitted(+1)

I really like the idea of a metroidvania where there is a bit more puzzle solving with regards to the mechanics rather than the traditional upgrade system, feel like you're really on to something and I would be interested in seeing how you can develop this further.

Submitted(+1)

I played From the Core, good stuff.

It was enjoyable to figure out how to use the apparently simple mechanics we start with at the beginning to learn how to do more and more with it. I actually wish there wasn't any hint, because it felt much better when I figured out a mechanic by myself rather than when it was explained to me.

My main criticism is toward the controls. I suppose it was made to feel like the old style metroid games (and maybe also to make sure the player can easily aim straight down when jumping?), but being able to only shoot in 8 directions was a bit annoying. It makes aiming extra hard in some situations, in the wrong way imo. The character movements felt heavy and slow, and the charge shot also felt pretty long.

I couldn't play with the controller because my mouse was conflicting with it, and it was hard to place the mouse relative to the character to aim correctly. Maybe use the mouse position relative to the center of the screen, that way when doing a long jump for example, we don't have to move the mouse along with the character.

I'm not a huge fan of the aesthetic, but I guess it's an homage and that will really be a personal preference :)

I definitely felt the sense of progression without power ups that you are talking about, so great job on that!

Developer

Thanks for posting here too! Addressing something I didn't addressed in the your initial post, you guessed right about the aiming: it was made so that the player can easily aim downwards. It felt awkward to aim and the shot not go through the mouse cursor, but I thought that the knockback was more important than the shot. Looking back now, I could have locked the knockback to be 8 directional, but not the shot. I also felt that the wall jumping mechanic was a bit too hard. I guess this is what game jams are for, right? We have ideas, prototype them and have people playtest them while you playtest theirs. I'm glad I seemingly got the metroidvania progress feeling right. Thank you again for playing!

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

Really amazing experience! I’ve had a lot of fun going through the whole game, even in the most challenging part, for me it was the climbing with spikes helped by the jellyfishes part.

Good difficulty progression, very nice learning mechanics experience, having all the character’s skills available to explore at your own pace. I love the concept!

The climbing mechanic was a bit difficult to grasp at the beginning and even more combining it with the jumping since you have to press fire + jump. Just as a suggestion maybe using only the jump action would be enough, avoiding shooting the wall and possibly falling down.

This is a great submission! Well done!

PS: I’ve attached the proof that I reached the end (I did 5/5 and 5/5 as well) :)

Developer(+1)

Wow, thank you for your kind words! And yeah, you're right about the clunkiness of the wall jump. I made it this way because I wanted all the mechanics to be non-intuitive enough for the player to not easily find out by themselves, but they had to be intuitive enough to be satisfying and easy to use. Double jumps and wall jumps/climbs are so overused that I had to make them a little less obvious. I realized that the wall jump wasn't  feeling so great at one point, but if I were to change it, I would also have to change the whole level design, probably by making wall climbing one of the first things to learn. So I decided not to take the risk, it was already the last week, lmao! Thank you for 100% it!

Submitted(+1)

Wow, this is really good!

I was unable finish it, I just couldn't work out exactly what to do in the room with the spike cubes and the jelly fish. I was trying to wall climb between them, but the spike hitboxes seemed to overlap the wall slightly, making it really hard.

The jelly fish climb before that was super fun, if frustrating to fall a few times!


I think you definitely nailed not having powerups too, the level design introduced the mechanics and the ways they could be used together in a way that made it feel like you were getting powerups, even though you had all the tools at the beginning, great work! 

Developer

Hey, good to know you liked it! Yeah, that room you talked about is definitely the hardest. The next one was going to be the last. What you could do is wall jump from one, grab a jellyfish, then grab the next wall. If I had more time to polish, I would make grabbing things on the air easier, the area detection is a bit too small and if you're a little off, you'll miss the jellyfish and get hit by it, as you might have happened upon during the jellyfish climb. I would also rework wall jumping, there's too many buttons to push in order, it's really hard to get used to.

But yeah, thanks for playing!

Submitted(+1)

I liked the attack sound and projectile - felt very satisfying :)
Wish it had a free angle for shooting instead of locked in angles, would have made shooting more easy :)

Submitted(+1)

Nice game, webgl build world have been nicer.

Great to se Godot engine being used.

+ good retro graphics

+good sfx

+ good map

+ nice tutorials

- bit more visual cues would have made the game awesome.

Submitted

Same thing that in other comments, sfx are played only in left channel and the game crashed when trying to vacuum an already dead jellyfish

The game seems to be quite polished though ! The game really looks like an old metroidvania and the mechanics (both flying when shooting and vacuuming stuff) are really cool :D

Developer(+1)

Fixed the game now, with patch notes on it's itch.io page, I hope you can play it to the end now. I played it on the final build from beginning to end, so I think it works now. Thanks for checking the game out!

Submitted(+2)

I really liked the mechanics of pulling/shooting things, it was fun to use enemies as projectiles. For me the shooting/moving audio only played in the left channel which was a little annoying. The game also crashes every time at the big room with the platforms (where jellyfishes come floating from the left) Fun idea, would play more if it didn't crash!

Developer(+1)

Hey, thanks for checking out my game! And yeah, someone else told me the game would crash on that room too. I found it strange, it didn't crashed here and the editor would give me no errors or warnings. But I played the game again and it seems like it crashed! It seems like it crashes only when I'm running the final build, but it does not crash when I'm running the game from the engine. This is very sad because this room is from the very beginning of the game. I'll see if I can fix it and ask the people running the game jam if patching this type of crash is possible. Thanks again for playing my game! I'll check yours out next!

Submitted

The organizer said in the FAQ that you are allowed to patch bugs that make the game unplayable, but check yourself to make sure. Be sure to leave an update if you patched it so I can play it :D

Developer

I checked it, I think it's okay. I updated the game and wrote patch notes on its itch.io page. You can check the game again!