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A jam submission

Grapple (GMTK Game Jam 2019)View game page

A small Metroidvania with only one upgrade.
Submitted by python-b5 (@pythonb5) — 1 hour, 51 minutes before the deadline
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Grapple (GMTK Game Jam 2019)'s itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Design#2563.9503.950
Overall#5103.8003.800
Originality#6313.7503.750
Adherence to the Theme#8943.7003.700

Ranked from 20 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

Submitted

My time spend in the game was really good. Even though it took my quite long to beat it, it was worth all along.

At the end I encountered a bug that almost did not let me finish the game. For some reason I coundn't enter the door I needed to go through. After a bit of experimentation it finally worked.

An other bonus would be to have music as a chip tune track would fit the esthetics.

I also included it in a video with my favorites of the jam.

Developer

That's a bug I'm working on fixing right now - don't know why it's happening! I'm also trying to find some (good) music for the game.

Thanks for the feedback!

Submitted

I'm glad you are already aware of the bug.

I surely would play it again once it has music.

Submitted

Great concept and level design! I'd love to see you push the game juice on this! :D

Submitted

Really like the cute Game Boy aesthetics. The grapple remind me of the hookshot from the Zelda series, except it's in a side-scroller. Very cool memorable game!

Submitted

Really nice graphics

Submitted

Great graphics and clever level design.
I don't know what's missing, but the grapple mechanic doesn't feel the best (at least for me).
But overall a good game, congrats!

Submitted

Great colour pallet! You nailed the Game Boy aesthethic!  Your game is really cute!

I would love if you checked my game too, if you haven't already!

Submitted

Nice little game! Sadly I believe we can only vote for the version that was uploaded on itch.io

Just some remarks it's a bit weird to have the UP arrow as the interaction key, especially when you also need it to direct your grapplling hook. But was a fun game nevertheless.

Developer

Thanks!

Submitted

Wow, there was a lot of work put into this! I wasn't able to explore the whole thing, but from the 15 minutes I played I was super impressed by all the different ways you'd thought of to use the grapple hook. I think there could've been a few more save points, and maybe respawning a bit faster just to make dying less frustrating.

The presentation values are fantastic, I love all the artwork!

- Joe

Developer

Thanks so much!

Submitted

warning !  The cuteness of the character can kill you

Submitted

I love all of the ways you can use the grappling hook! It would have been great to have music, but what you have now is very fun and unique. I found various glitched movement options as I played, not sure if phasing through walls is intentional, and accidentally soft-locked myself while I played. Great job! I wish I could have finished it but it crashed, and I'd already gotten soft-locked once, so I quit. Keep up the good work though!

Developer

I've fixed the movement bugs (at least I think) in the version on the Google Drive page linked on the game page. Try that, and tell me if it is any better. I'm working on fixing crashes as I speak :)

Developer

And now I think the crashes are fixed! Thanks for the help!

Submitted

I love the gameboy aesthetic! Very metroid by way of kirby.  Even the names of the areas are charming. I didn't make it to far into the game, I need to git gud, but I had fun with the parts that I got to see.  I feel like, and this might just be me, part of what makes a metroidvania a metroidvania is that the upgrades change the way you interact with parts of the world. Since in Grapple you get the grapple after just a few short rooms there isn't much room for re-contextualization.  Maybe holding off on giving the player the grapple and allowing them to play through some of the game without it would give the game more of a metroidvania feel. I don't know, I just love games like this that make you think about genres in a new light.  Thanks for the cool game!

Developer

No problem! Thanks for the feedback :)

Submitted

It's an interesting idea, but unfortunately, I keep getting the same crash returning to the grapple room after the 'first' coin so I can't progress very far:

-
FATAL ERROR in
action number 1
of  Step Event0
for object obj_player:

Unable to find any instance for object index '100393' name '<undefined>'

called from - gml_Object_obj_player_Step_0 (line 99)

-

I think it's triggered when I try to grapple on to the ceiling in that room, but I'm not sure.

Developer

Thanks for the feedback - I have a bug fixed build ready to release, which should fix the bug you mentioned along with others. Unfortunately, uploading files is disabled during the jam's voting period. If you would like me to send you the fixed version, please reply with some way to send you the files.

Thanks!

Developer

Never mind about contacting me - there's a Google Drive link to the bug fixed version on the game page. Check it out if you'd like to see the rest of the game!

Submitted (1 edit)

Wow, thanks for the speedy support (which given what I say next might sound sarcastic, but it really isn't). I don't know if I keep downloading the wrong version, but the bug still seems to be there. I've narrowed it down to being caused by trying to shoot a grapple up while standing on a door. Interestingly, it doesn't happen if you do the same while standing on a checkpoint tree, so I guess the problem is to do with switching rooms while the grapple is initiating.

Developer

I'm on it - thanks so much!

Developer (1 edit)

Hmm... I can't seem to get the bug to reproduce, at least in the way that you described. Where were you when the bug occurred?

Also, it's possible the bug is now fixed, but you downloaded the wrong version - did you download from the Google Drive link on the game page? If not, download that and see if it's still a problem. Thanks!

Developer

Wait - I got it to reproduce outside the room with the first world's token! I'll keep trying to fix it, hold on :)

Developer

And that should do it! I believe now that the game is fixed. Thanks so much for the help! I'll replace the Google Drive file with the new build soon.

Developer

The new build is now up on the Google Drive link on the game page - try it out if you'd like and tell me if any issues persist - I want to fix as many bugs as possible! Once voting ends I'll add the bug fix as a downloadable file on the game page - but uploading files is disabled for jam games right now, because of voting.

Again, thanks so much for catching this bug!

Submitted

I haven't found a way to crash the latest build, so it looks like you've got it fixed. Nice. I think you've got a wonderful core here, made all the more impressive by the 48 hour time limit. The aesthetic is incredible and I like the little touches you made - the bouncing antenna, and one foot dangling as you slide the grapple on the ceiling look lovely.

Honestly, platformers (and so most metroidvanias) aren't really my thing, so you might not want to take my mechanical feedback too seriously, but I found a lot of the game (as far as I got - just one coin and one key) quite difficult and so at times frustrating. 

I think you managed to come up with a lot of interesting mechanics aind interactions surrounding the grapple (I only just started seeing the breakable blocks, and I'm sure there were going to be some neat interactions with the enemies), but it often felt like I didn't have a space to experiment, since failure would mean going back quite a way to the last checkpoint and having to redo a number of difficult challenges.

You can't please everyone and I get that I'm probably not in your target audience - I don't think I've played anything close to a metroidvania beyond maaaaybe Rogue Legacy. But for a player like me (interested more in the mechanical puzzles than the execution), the game might benefit from you watching a novice playtester and getting feedback on where/how/why they get stuck or frustrated.

Overall, I think you've done a great job and I'm interested to see where you take it. :)

Developer

Thanks for the feedback! I'll be sure to keep this in mind - when you design a challenge and test it it's not quite the same as someone else doing it; I know the levels in this game front to back and so rarely get frustrated playing them. However, I see where you're coming from - other people have said the same thing, and I won't deny I need to maybe get other people to playtest in the future.

Thanks again for all the help!

Submitted

I've definitely come up against the same problem in some of the stuff I've made, and I guess that's why the common wisdom is that playtesting is very useful. I don't think anyone's expecting extensive playtesting in a 48 hour jam, but I think if you want to take this game further, it'd be a good idea.

Ideas are easy and execution is hard, so here's a worthless idea: it could be neat to make a few more of these single mechanic metroidvanias and package them all together into a single game. So the player picks from "Grapple", "Roll", "Dash", ... on the main menu and then is taken to the separate metroidvania. That way, they could easily go and try something else if they get stuck in one of them.

Developer

Interesting idea... although you might also be able to put them all into a single game. Maybe different areas could focus on a certain power-up, using the others for secrets.

I might take this further, might not... I am working on other, bigger things, though - some of them will release soon! But I might come back to this if I ever have the time.

It`s a pretty interesting little metroidvania. You`ve managed to create an interesting level design with only one upgrade. However, some of it feels more like a challenging platformer than a metroidvania, with tricky jumps and cheap deaths. Also, the move while grapped on the ceiling is broken (you can grapple move in the air xD).

Developer

A bug fixed version is coming after the voting ends, when I can upload the file - the build is already done. The bug you mentioned is now fixed, thanks :)

Developer(+1)

Additionally, if you haven't yet, could you please rate this game? I don't have many ratings yet and anything helps :) Thanks!

Submitted

I like this little platformer very cool idea and plays really well