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A jam submission

Midnight SymphonyView game page

A 2D fast-paced exploration focused Metroid-Vania.
Submitted by SPARDA_Blizzard, SadNugget, matildal, sh3rvin — 26 days, 19 hours before the deadline
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Midnight Symphony's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Level Design#73.3333.333
Storytelling#92.8332.833
Audio#123.1673.167
Overall#152.8812.881
Game Play / Game Feel#162.6672.667
Presentation (itch listing)#182.8332.833
Art Direction#203.0003.000
Innovation / Experimentation#262.3332.333

Ranked from 6 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • A pretty fun homage to Castlevania and so many similar games! Well done all around. Because you obviously spent a lot of time developing a narrative, I felt that should have had more visibility from the start of the game.
  • Interesting idea - a metroidvania in cthulhu's crib. The player controls and camera could use a few more passes to make sure it's really tight. I suggest taking a look at your favorite metroidvania game with tight controls, analyze them and try to copy as much as possible.
  • Fun game! The art direction was nice, and I'm very impressed at how you've managed to compress the genre into this quite bite-sized experience. I felt the ability unlocks were spaced out well throughout, and the enemy combinations were interesting. I'm not a huge fan of attacks that freeze-frame and remove player control (I'd have liked a way to get out of that), but the other aspects of gameplay felt smooth enough to give a good overall impression of control. I liked the story twist at the end. Tiny nitpick on the dialogue box: clicking before the text has appeared should fast forward the text to completion, not skip to the next line! I would personally have preferred being able to buy other stat upgrades than healing (simple stuff like a slight damage increase, the attack ending quicker, etc). Overall, good job guys, you should be proud!
  • I failed too many jumps.
  • Midnight Symphony , a big project with a huge scope. This Metroidvania gives homage to the founders of the title like Castlevania and Metroid. The size however is a bit of its downfall. While the level design is lovely and encourages newer players to the genre to explore and to get used to the game. The gameplay suffers a bit, perhaps because of the time limit. The combat, while it is the core mechanic of the game, feels the least developed, loss of character control while fighting, makes the fighting something that is avoided if not necessary. The ranged attack feels like an afterthought, as it is incredibly powerful at the later stages of the game, being able to completely obliterate any enemy and even the final boss. My tip to you developers making the game: Make sure to focus on the core mechanic first hand. If combat is what you mainly do to progress in the game, then put the absolute most resources on that specific thing. Now you picked one of the hardest mechanics to work on, which is melee combat. Establish timing, animation and feedback really early, nothing needs to be complete until the end, but make sure you take it all into consideration when making it. The hit stutters that you managed to make, with the game slowing down a bit when you hit things, really was a cool addition, now if the combat was more polished, it would be amazing! The core mechanic goes first. It should be your golden nugget that carries the game, make sure it really works 150%! The level design was lovely, I really liked what you did with everything looping around in order to kill what can be considered metroidvanias most controversial topic - the backtracking. The placement of the secret rooms was also an enjoyable part of the game, letting players feel a sense of pride once they found them. The art of the game felt spread out a lot. Now I imagine it is because the map is gigantic, but it felt a bit inconsistent from area to area. Try to keep in mind the scope of the project. Always think small in terms of the scope, and then expand when you feel that you have control of it all. If it is smaller, you can spend more time to decorate the areas, the enemies and everything, instead of trying to fill the gaps of giant maps. Boss battles are also somewhat of a timesink, always remember that. Keep it small and simple, but make those few things super tight and fun to play with. Overall though it was an impressive feat to create a big game like this, with upgrades, merchant and story. Keep in mind the scope and core mechanic for the next project! Well done!

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Comments

Submitted

Wow! I really enjoyed this one.

Fighting the enemies felt really good; I loved that three-part attack thing. The sound, the particles and the little jumps you do really make it feel great to kill enemies(which is good, since you do it a lot).

I never got lost or anything, as every area unlocked the next area through some new ability.
The final boss-fight was cool and well-balanced I think. All the health upgrades helped there.

My only minor complaint is that the phase-ability didn't feel like it was very meaningful. It's always used to solve the same problem in the same way. It's only a minor complaint.

Overall I thought it was real fun, I love games of this sort! :)

Jam Judge

I had trouble with the controls (as an MMO player, space is jump, not W!) and I had problems with the jumps (even ones I had to keep doing because I failed others). For some, you needed to walk off a platform and then jump; for others, if you did that you'd fall first. It certainly had an air of classiness about it, though.

Very nicely wrapped up this last week! Impressive! Very nice game feel. I had some issues with getting a hang of some of the controls but after a few trial and errors I worked out well. /Johan

Jam Judge

Nice job guys!

As I mentioned in gather towns, here's the video of my playthrough (the stream is casual, so there might be explicit language)! I'll provide some written feedback in the jury form as well.

(+1)

LOVED IT! Always fun with a bit of metroidvania! I was very overpowered by the end, but it was a fun power trip anyway. Great job!