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A jam submission

Marble ExplorerView game page

Exploration themed Monkey Ball-like, developed by Team 17 for our third year university collaborative project.
Submitted by Acid-Seltzer, DanielDavis, Ben Munday, RougeCommando, milestreet, EPerry (@Eperry017) — 6 hours, 32 minutes before the deadline
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Marble Explorer's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Quality of Game#24.1434.143

Ranked from 7 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.

  • Visual style very clear and defined, nice solid easy to pick up gameplay. only jarring thing is the whole front end & "material" for the game makes it look like "temple" theming, but then tutorial is VR world. when making a tutorial temple would work just as well and be more consistent in theming. otherwise only other notes are - could be a bit more forgiving re: checkpoints but that's probably just me being bad at the game.
  • - Very nice trailer! Good humour :) Shows the key features and concepts quickly :) Backing track felt a little slow for the pace of the footage... - UI - Like the game level shown in the background of the main menu! A nice touch - Seems to fully support mouse and gamepad properly throughout the menu which is excellent to see!! Consider accepting D-pad input for menu interactions too, not just joystick :) - Options screen needs some tool tips to know how to move between the tabs. Aso the controls screen tab is quite jarring and it's not clear how you get back to where you were. - Control screen - I like the aesthetic of the menus, but the border around each menu item makes the controls screen quite a difficult read as the border decoration crowds the text, making it a little hard to see. - Concerned about the menu highlight - it doesn't stand out quite enough - particularly as you move past slider controls - it's not bold enough against everything else. - Really like that the menu has lots of sound effects through-out to acknowledge the player actions. - Pressing 'B' to go back on the game pad! YES! Excellent touch to smooth out the UI flow :) - Credits screen should scroll by itself or allow me to hold the joystick down and continually scroll through, rather than having to repeat the "down" action. - High screen is good! Like that I can see the scores for all of the tracks - will help me pick what to play next time around. If a tab is empty, it's worth disabling it, and/or greying it out. Tried to access the tutorial tab on booting the game and it didn't seem to do anything. It's possibly worth condensing this into the level select screen, as I may want to try and beat a high score, so would need to navigate more of the UI to get back to load the level, rather than just starting to play it straight away - Game - Nice touch that the timer doesn't start until you start moving - Potentially need checkpoints - or a difficult option to turn them on... - The boost columns need to counteract an collision physics you may have going into them to some extent as I got trapped on the tutorial level for a bit trying to line up the final big jump on the last tutorial level as I kept slightly clipping the towers meaning the boost was complete wasted or fired me off the track in a weird direction. I think the boost towers are an excellent feature, just need to be a little more forgiving if you don't quite have the angle right - consider mapping the angle the player enters the towers to a tighter cone on the output - so they can still go wrong, but if they're roughly going in the right direction, then push them in the right direction. - Controlling the ball is challenging - but a good challenge :) - The jump pads on world 1 track 1, it's a little weird that you can overshoot what the jump pad wants you to do by continuing to hold forwards while in the air. This may need a tutorial step to tell how best to use them. - Really liked the tutorial (except for the last jump) and how it layered in the game mechanics. Be very careful not to frustrate the player in the tutorial phase, save that for the game :) - The 3-2-1 after exiting the pause screen is an ingenious touch! Turns out to be crucial if you pause the game at the wrong point. - It's a little mean that you lose all your coins for falling off the level and they don't respawn on the track. As you must play a level through from start to finish perfectly anyway, it seems an unnecessary layer of difficulty which doesn't add to the game. If there were checkpoints - I'd understand as you'd be "paying" to carry on from your current location - perhaps that would be a nice way to add them in - if the user doesn't pay, they go back to the start and try again with the level refreshed. Else, they lose some/all the current coins, but finish. Then it will add more meaning to the high scores as you'll be aiming for a fast time and lots of coins. For shorter levels - consider no checkpoints but reset the coins on the track, and for longer levels give the player a choice. Occasionally, take the choice away again for long levels to create a difficulty wall for them to overcome. - Branching level is excellent addition! Gives you more areas to explore and find more coins/challenges. - Level design is excellent through out! The array of functionality is excellent (cannons, springboards, boost towers, sliding obstacles)! I like that you've considered the speed you'd enter certain areas of the track so you've put rounded walls to catch the player, so they're slowed down by physics rather than "magic forces". - Art is also excellent - everything feels like it fits together into the same consistent style, to make a cohesive game. I really like the chibi style you went with to simplify things so you could make more content! Excellent! The lighting is also really good! And I think you hide that the track is in a sandboxed area very well - I don't remember seeing out of world. Maybe the mountain could've had a little extra stuff on it for the main menu shots, but that's being a bit picky. - I think you need a better default camera sensitivity on the game pad. I didn't realise I could tune it and thought it was far too twitchy. Once I went hunting through the menus, I found it - perhaps this needs adding to the tutorial - as bad camera sensitivity makes or breaks this game in my opinion. -I liked the prompts and tool tips as you play through the levels to teach you about new things.
  • Fantastic "just one more go" appeal to this. The cutesy art style was a plus, and the levels were very well designed, especially the split route Aztec Temple one. I think the tutorial levels could look better, and I encountered some performance problems on the World 1 levels, which I shouldn't have experienced on my machine. My biggest gripe though is the lack of checkpoints. I got very frustrated at times that I had to redo so much of the level. I also encountered some collision bugs which meant I flew through walls. But all that doesn't take away from the fact that this is a very solid offering, with a lot to recommend it. Fix the few issues and this has a lot of potential!
  • Cool stuff. I'm a big fan of speedruns including Super Monkey Ball so I enjoyed this a lot. Top stars for having a complete settings menu where I can turn music off. I had some problems with the camera but managed to play through several levels and everything worked smoothly.
  • Despite some quick reacting camera annoyance and yelling after bouncing the wrong way when the end was in sight, this game was an entire joy to play. Reactive controls, great levels, and themes, fun to play for sure. Mechanics feel fleshed out and the game is stable to play (as far as I can tell). Had such fun I needed to complete all levels wanting more. Bugs/Feedback - Camera controls immediately go to max speed, some digital input from the joystick instead of analog would help a lot - Great fun mechanics feel the polished and sound design is greatly implemented - Levels are well laid out, easy to see where to go and "cheese proof" with death volumes - Full controller support, I like it a lot - Do not know if sections were inspired by the sonic games or not but I found myself humming "Escape From The City by Ted Poley and Tony Harnell" whilst playing - Short but well polished, good work, would be nice to see a credits page (I could not easily see on in-game) - Powerups were well implemented and well placed, simple to use and fun

Credits
James Sneyd-Gomm - Tech
Bruno Fernandes - Tech

Edward Perry - Design
Sonny Matthews - Design
Tam Kapilan - Design
Daniel Brooks - Design
Jack Davis - Design
Ben Munday - Design


Rashad Khan - Animation
Tyrell Sharp - Animation

Miles Street - Art
Sam Veasey - Art
Jack Wright - Art
Kieran Edge - Art
Kieran Hancock - Art
Aden Martin - Art
Lewis Stubbs - Art
Jack Owen - Art
Daniel Davis - Art
Catch Howieson - Art

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