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A jam submission

DescendView game page

Top down roguelike horror-themed shooter
Submitted by Not Jam (@NotJamGames) — 6 hours, 15 minutes before the deadline
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Descend's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Overall#14.2864.286
Fun#14.2864.286
Visuals(Graphics)#14.4294.429
Sound/Audio#14.0004.000
User Interface (UI/UX)#33.8573.857

Ranked from 7 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

DevLog Link
https://not-jam.itch.io/descend/devlog/364116/descend-version-130-devlog-new-content

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Comments

Submitted(+1)

This is very well done! I really like how distinct the characters are in terms of gameplay. The pixel art is very good and gameplay is overall fun. I also really like the end score screen. I wanted to add something like that to my game but I didn't have the time and have a hard time with UI.

The only thing I found that could be improved is the boss fight at the end. I was having trouble with him at first, but eventually discovered I could just sit in the lower left corner without any of his attacks hitting me, while I shoot away at him. Overall great game and good luck with future development!

Developer

Thanks! Making the different characters and getting them to feel (mostly) balanced was one of the most fun parts of making this, so very happy it's appreciated.

Cheers for pointing out the issue with the boss - I'll see if I can figure out a way to fix that strat in a future patch. I think he could also use a slightly longer break between attacks, as I found myself getting a little impatient whilst playtesting and making stupid mistakes while trying to get a little more damage in, which would hopefully help make him a little easier to fight too.

Thanks for the feedback!

Submitted(+1)

Sure! Yeah adding new characters to mix up the gameplay sounds like a fun part of development to work on after the core mechanics are in place. Longer breaks between attacks sounds like a good idea as well!

Submitted(+1)

This was really fun! The art is charming and the core loop is good enough that doesn't feel tedious playing many times. Loved all the character(TM) inclusions here, not just Resident Evil inspired. 

I didn't test enough with keyboard but with gamepad it feels good and more dynamic to play, i prefer to play it that way. I'd cool if you add aim assist because i suck at aiming lol, but it wasn't really a problem. I managed to defeat the boss and unlock the secret character, who was a nice surprise :D.

I think overall the character variety is fine and fun to play. I'd love to see more synchronization in Ro's animations since she has long range and the bullet comes from the character center.

I didn't figure out in my first run you can fast travel in the minimap, i think that's a cool feature :). 

Developer

Thanks! Glad it worked for you with a controller. Aim assist would be a great feature - I was really struggling with shooting at long distance too

Ro was quite tricky - I initially set her shots to originate from the muzzle on the character sprite, but this ended up making vertical shots extremely difficult to aim due to the offset from the center of the player character. I ended up settling on shots originating from the center of the player character, although I'm sure there's a better solution that I've not thought of

The fast travel was fun to make - glad you found it! If I ever come back to this I think adding a proper tutorial would be great, as from the handful of playthroughs I've seen it looks as though a lot of people weren't aware they could do this

Thank you for playing! 

Submitted(+1)

This is a fun game. The art is great and I like how the enemies have multiple death animations. The different weapons for the starting characters add some variety, but I feel like the shotgun doesn't do enough damage to make up for the limited range. It also doesn't feel very good to have to stop when shooting with all of the weapons when the game is also sort of a bullet hell game.

Developer

Cheers for playing! I definitely spent far too long coming up with graphic death animations, so really happy that they were appreciated :)

Your feedback on the shotgun makes a lot of sense - I gave Leo armour to make up for the increased chance of taking hits, but in retrospect I think leaning more into the high risk/high reward side might have been the better option.

Having to stop to shoot and reload was a deliberate choice inspired by classic Resident Evil games, but it's definitely been a very devisive mechanic that's not been to everyone's taste. If I were starting from scratch I'd consider adding other playable characters who could move and shoot but with other drawbacks, or maybe a choice of game mode on starting a new run. It'd be interesting to try and see what works!

Submitted(+1)

Well I said I'd get to this game soon and I'm glad I did.

This was a cool horror influenced roguelike shooter. I admit I died several times and never managed to make it all the way through to seeing all the enemies, but what I did see what quite nice. The art style works and is easy to see and understand what's going on. It's kinda cool seeing familiar enemies like the not-mancubus from Doom and the not-Hunter from Left 4 Dead being recreated in 2D. I kinda wish I had gotten to see the secret player character, but I think I have a good guess at who it might be. Oh and I loved all the little portraits and posters around the level.

The enemies had nice variation in attack pattern, it felt particularly satisfying to take down not-pyramid head after dying to him a couple times.

I liked how the shotgun had the added detail of having to reload shells manually, made combat a bit more tense trying to sneak in reloads.

Oh and I really liked how you had the graphics option affect the example screen in the menu. Makes me wanna implement something similar in my project.

Definitely felt like what I saw was a shooter with horror influenced enemies rather than an actual horror game like resident evil or a creepy atmospheric shooter like FEAR. I don't know if that was intentional or not. From comments on the games page I guess the ring girl is pretty scary, though I never encountered her so can't say for sure. The menu certainly felt more horror-like than the game contained within, though that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the game.

There was a couple issues I noticed, the most noticeable was when I was killed while playing as Ro or Chloe there was no death animation and I was able to just keep moving and shooting. The other is that sometimes the menu UI wouldn't react on the first click or two, but judging from the games page it seems like that's been an issue for a while.

Overall I enjoyed it, had some nice enemies, mechanics and pop cultural nods. Great work!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for playing! This is some very useful feedback, I really appreciate it :)

Glad you enjoyed the game as a whole, sounds as though you saw a lot of the content from your comment. I suspect you've probably got the secret character correct - the silhouette didn't turn out especially subtle. Also happy to hear you enjoyed the posters, they were a whole lot of fun to make.

Regarding difficulty, I found myself tweaking various settings to make it more or less difficult throughout development, and I'm honestly not sure I ever really found a balance I was fully happy with. Were there any rooms in particular besides not-Pyramid-Head that stood out to you as seeming out of place?

Delighted that you noticed the graphics menu, seem to remember getting the idea from a GMTK video and was really pleased with how it turned out. 

It's definitely ended up more of an action title with a horror theme at this point, I was aiming for some kind of cross between Left 4 Dead and Enter the Gungeon but definitely ended up closer to the latter in terms of tone and feel. I think your comments regarding the main menu are spot on, I was always quite concerned that they didn't really fit the final game which is an issue given that they're the first thing a new player will see. I'll work on menu screens (and cover art, for that matter) on future projects, definitely an area for improvement.

Cheers for letting me know about the bugs too, I'll take a look and see if I can get them squashed at some point.

Submitted(+1)

I always like to provide as detailed feedback as I can, so I'm happy to help!

The rooms where you had to chase the sorta blob sludge looking enemies around in a rectangle hall were a bit frustrating. I found especially as Leo it was almost impossible to stand in range of the enemies, and in an angle where you can shoot them without getting hit. The fact that the enemies explode into projectiles compounds the deadliness as there's very little room to maneuver and the hallways are quite long. Admittedly I may just suck at top down shooter, so maybe its me. But those areas were the ones where I seemed to lose the most health. In general its more like I would be ground down by several rooms and then die, rather than lose all my health in one.

The functionality of the menu and how its laid out I think can remain the same, its just the color scheme and maybe music choice that could help it fit the tone more. Like maybe have some background music that's a bit more aggressive, and have the menu elements a bit less dark. I'm just spitballing ideas, I'm confident you'll be able to sort something out.