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A jam submission

[GMTK Jam 2018] Knife To A Gun FightView game page

Sidescrolling Shooter -- Without A Gun?
Submitted by Silent Tower Games (@silenttowergame) — 10 minutes, 2 seconds before the deadline

Play game

[GMTK Jam 2018] Knife To A Gun Fight's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Design#3673.1793.179

Ranked from 39 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

Submitted(+1)

Since I believe the music to obviously be something you hadn't had time to properly manage, I'll focus my criticism on game design purely (although kudos on the aesthetic, it looks good!)

I'm having some issue considering this a shooting game without shots - because it feels more like a Strider-esque or Zelda 2-esque game, IE, an action-adventure game. I also believe the "Dodge" mechanic needs to not only get a rename, but also receive more focus - that's one of the most fun parts of the game! I could imagine an entire game about reflecting shots with a shield in a 2D Shooter - and that'd basically be a 2D shooter where you can't shoot! You've got a lot of potential here - you just need to improve a lot of things in terms of game feel and level design (and god the music) and you're absolutely good to go! <3

Developer (1 edit)

Thanks for playing!

I'm glad the aesthetic worked for you, I think that 1-bit graphics work nicely in a fix.

I can see why it doesn't feel exactly like a shooter, since there are games (like the ones you mentioned) that feel very similar to this one. The "dodge" mechanic is meant to be the main focus, but I added stabbing to make you feel like you have a little more control. The game feels more balanced with stabbing in my opinion, but it does muddy the theme. (My excuse? Metal Slug has a knife lol). With more time, I'm sure it could be balanced properly without the knife.

More on the dodge, another commenter suggested "block" and I think that's a much better name for it, I may go with that moving forward. I did design a few interesting things into the levels that you won't notice if you don't reflect bullets (a couple enemies on high platforms can be killed by reflecting bullets), but I didn't really have enough time remaining to flesh that out.

Also, the music. I've gotten a lot of complaints about it, but if you don't mind I have a few more specific questions about it: would it seem less bad if the volume wasn't unexpectedly way too loud? Is all of the music bad, or just the main theme?

I appreciate the feedback! I'll consider it all when/if this becomes a full project.

Submitted(+1)

Glad to help! And I'll offer as much feedback as possible!
About the music, specifically: It feels like a cacophony. As in, it feel slike a lot of loud, incoherent rhythms mashed together with no cohesive glue between them. Making it less loud (or better yet - a voluem slider) would be the first step absolutely - but there's also something that you need to keep in mind: What is the pace of your game? Does this help the pace? Not help? Or worse: hinder it? Because maybe for a game about reflection (which requires some thought), a blast of cacophony isn't the best way to go about it. And I couldn't hear the SFX or anything - I'm judging purely the music I"ve heard while travelling through the levels. I actually think SFX would help a lot with game feel! 

One more suggestion, if I may: That's a great excuse. Use it and abuse it: actually make it so that the stab only comes out when near the enemy, or funnier yet, when you dodge besides the enemy you instakill him with a flashy cut, just like Metal Slug! I mean it - use and abuse that excuse. Wear the inspiration on your sleeve! Heck, make the enemy placement, enemy positioning, all around metal slug! 

A lot of game designers fear wearing their influence on their sleeve, but I really honestly believe it only helps your game: It's what you do different that makes it stand out, after all!

Submitted(+1)

Solid game! Love the Atari-like art style. Completely missed the "dodge" ability at first, which had me frustrated, but once I was reminded of that I had a good time. Needs more levels! :)

Submitted(+1)

Fun game. Can use a few more levels and other elements. Overall a good game. 

Developer

Thanks for playing! I wish I had the time to make more levels, that's the biggest thing I would change about my process this time.

Submitted(+1)

I like it!

First time I played I promptly forgot about the "dodge" move and was going to complain that you just had to take hits. Then I tried again and got it. I suggest renaming it "block" instead of "dodge." Also would benefit from a scenario where you have to use the move to progress.

Would like to see more feedback when hitting the enemies.

The music gets grating pretty fast.

But on the whole the game's executed very well. Nice work.

Developer

I appreciate the thoughtful feedback!

I've now realized that "dodge" was a poor choice. I wish I had thought of "block" in time, it's perfect. I think I named it an hour before submitting it haha.

About the music, yeah I wish I had made a better (or at least less repetitive) main theme. Also I forgot to set it to a normal volume, so it's pretty intense.

Now that you mention enemy hit feedback, that would probably improve the feel a whole lot.

I'll keep these things in mind for next time. Thanks for playing!

(+1)

nice change up! reminded me of nidhogg. nice enemy variety for only 2 days. music could be mixed up but that obviously comes later. fits well for the challenge by gmtk.

Developer(+1)

Oh yeah, I can see the similarity to Nidhogg.

Early on I decided that enemy variety would be important to making the game feel complete, and thankfully it was easy to program.

The music loops could've been longer for sure, I'm going to work on improving that in the future.

Thanks for playing!

(+1)

This is interesting - it almost feels like a rhythm game? Really fun, good concept, seems like something I could get into. Good entry!

Developer

Now that you mention it, it does have some quasi-rhythm game elements to it. The idle animation is a dance, everything works on timers, etc. I think I see it haha. Thanks for the feedback!

(+1)

Are you planning on publishing any other levels?

Developer

If I publish any other levels, it'll be after the jam is finished being judged. I haven't decided if I will or not. If I'm going to spend much more time on it, I would rather turn it into a full game than continue it in its prototype stage.

Submitted(+1)

Fun little game. I quite like how you took the name/concept and just ran with it!

Developer

Thanks! I had fun with it. I think if I had spent more time on level design, I could've run even farther with it.

Submitted(+1)

Good concept Bro !!

Developer(+1)

Thanks! It seems we had kind of similar ideas haha. Reflecting bullets is a great concept, in my opinion.

Submitted(+1)

I agree with that one

Submitted(+1)

You can make the bullets bigger, at least as big as the head of him :D That way its easier to see them and to dodge them

Developer

If I end up turning this into a full game, I'm going to reconsider a lot of the choices I made to speed up development time. The resolution is incredibly low (128x72!!!), and the bullet size, as well as balancing the game in general, had to suffer as a result of the short development cycle. Thanks for playing!

(+1)

Good concept, decent presentation (especially considering the deadline) and the actual gameplay is pretty good!

Developer

Thanks! I think it came together pretty well, better than I anticipated. I appreciate the feedback!

(+1)

Little short but very fun

Developer

Thanks for playing! I also wish I could've made it longer, but I was pushing the deadline when I finished designing the last level. I might make a full game out of it at some point, I like the idea a lot.

(+1)

Nicely made! My only issue is with it's brevity and not noticing shotgun guys took multiple hits to kill.

There's honestly not a lot to say about your game. You seem to have known exactly what you wanted to make, then made exactly that. It controls well. It was a good level of challenge (though maybe setting me to 3 health at the start of every fight would have been better than 5 health that caries between levels). The art was exactly what was needed to tell the enemies apart. The music fit the visuals, and overall, it was just really well executed.

It was a fun game. Thanks for making it!

Developer

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I feel like it came together pretty well. I wish I could've made it longer, but the last thing I did was design the levels, and the third and final level was finished about 15 minutes before submit time haha.

Submitted(+1)

Nice Idea and was really fun can't wait to see how this could be taken further

Developer

Thanks! I like the idea a lot. I think that even in its current state, there could be some interesting level design. I like the idea enough that I might turn it into a full game at some point.

(+1)

The music is awesome and an impressive variety of enemies

Developer

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the music, thanks for playing!

(+1)

Was a lot of fun!

Developer(+1)

Thanks! I'm glad it was fun :D