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A jam submission

TRYH4RDView game page

Conquer three unique bosses with your sword!
Submitted by abhimonk (@abhisundu) — 7 hours, 36 minutes before the deadline
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TRYH4RD's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Gameplay#14.6824.682
Overall#24.7164.716
Audio#44.5914.591
Visuals#74.7274.727
Authenticity (use of resolution restriction)#134.8644.864

Ranked from 22 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Did you work in a team?
I worked alone on this game, making all the art, music, and code myself, but it was still a fun experience!

Was the resolution a challenge?
Definitely a challenge! One of the most surprising challenges was figuring out how to fit text on the screen. I was forced to keep all my cutscene dialogue very short and quippy, since I could only fit 16 characters on a line at a time! I couldn't reduce the font size, because that would make the text unreadable at such a low resolution!

What did you learn?
This was my first game using Love2D, and I realized: I LOVE love2D! It's very easy to use, and it gets out of your way when developing. Since Love2D is a framework, it means all the 'engine' code (physics, collision,gameobjects) needs to be handwritten. Using Love2D helped me learn how to architect a simple entity component system for my game.

The low resolution restriction taught me a very valuable rendering technique: I can render to a separate, 64x64 canvas, and then upscale to my desired resolution (512x512) instead of manually scaling everything up. This greatly simplifies things like coordinate systems and gameobject positioning, and also makes your particle effects comply with the resolution limitation (which makes them look really cool)!

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Comments

Submitted(+1)

I'm really angry I just missed the rating time, because I would've given this a 5 in everything! The game has such overwhelming style and polish to its gameplay and visuals, the simplistic art style lends super well to the combat, and animations always telegraph attacks. 

The music has a classic 8bit feel to it, and I really, really like retro music like that. On top of that, it fit extremely well with the action, especially with the final boss. 

The combat and movement is quick and very fun. Every attack you deal has an amazing feel to it, especially that finishing blow, reminding me of the finishing blow from Shovel Knight. Every boss telegraphs their moves well, and have a wide set of moves. I especially like how you are immediately thrown into action, as you are taught the mechanics. On top of that, every boss also has a strong personality, with the last one feeling truly powerful. It certainly has enough polish and class to make me want a full game out of this.

It's a little touch, but I like how the game tells you how bad you were at the end, with the "you got up x times". Overall, one of, if not the best from the jam.

Developer(+1)

Wow your comment made my day! Thanks so much for playing, I put a lot of effort into this game, I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Haha I'm glad you appreciated the "you got up X times" at the end. (Fun fact: If you go deathless, instead of saying "you got up x times" it says "UNDEFEATED" and does a little VFX burst)

Thanks so much for your comment. It makes me so happy that you noticed all of the little details and appreciated them! I loved your game and I'm so glad to have connected with so many devs like this over this jam.

Submitted(+2)

All I can say is that this game is fantastic and certainly the best game I have played in the jam so far. The personality of the bosses and the player character were great. The gameplay was fun and responsive, and it had more juice than a Vlambeer game. My only complaint whatsoever was that the control scheme felt a bit awkward. The hand position I need to use to press both the x/c keys and the space bar is a bit uncomfortable. Excellent game overall, I hope it wins.

Developer

Wow thank you so much! I love juice, and Vlambeer is definitely where I get my juice inspiration from! I agree about the control scheme, in the post jam version I think I'll update the controls / add controller support.

Thanks a ton for playing!

Submitted(+1)

Very nice animations and effects! The only downside could be that the roll is too much exploitable!

Submitted(+1)

It feels so good to play this game. It is easily one of the best games in the jam. The characters are dripping with personality, and the combat is satisfying but challenging.

I love how the first battle is the tutorial, and although we are thrown into it, we're also given all of the game's controls so we never get lost.

What a wonderful little morsel of boss rush goodness!

Developer(+1)

Thanks so much! I'm glad you appreciated the tutorial, I was considering having a room before the first boss that just dumped the controls onto the screen, but I'm glad I went with throwing the player into the action. Thanks for all the kind words and for playing, I'm happy you liked it!

Submitted (2 edits) (+1)

This was so great! There's a lot of juice to this game. I love the music and the sfx, they make the fights feel even cooler. The stylized screen whenever the player or an enemy dies is also super cool! Animations were also really good. You were able to pack a lot of personality especially with the second boss. I love that guy!

 A little bit hard, though. And I keep forgetting that I can roll, and I didn't quite know which attacks I could roll through. My only real gripe is the weird controls. Mixing x/c with the spacebar was just really hard. Wish you used the z key instead or the up arrow.

I think this might be my (new) favorite entry so far!

Developer

Thanks! I'm glad you liked all the style and FX, I had a ton of fun scripting the boss death / player death screens! I also had way too much fun with the second boss's dialogue, so I'm glad you liked it!

Sorry about the difficulty! You can technically roll through any attack (rolling makes you completely invincible) but that's not super well-communicated in-game. Also sorry about the controls! I've had a few people comment how scrunched up the controls are with x/c/spacebar, which definitely feels awkward in retrospect. I may add some alternate controls / configurable controls post-jam.

Thanks a ton for playing!

Submitted(+1)

Really great game! The fighting mechanics, effects, and sounds make the game feel really good to play. Well done!

Developer

Thank you!

Submitted(+1)

Very cool game ! It feels like your inspiration was undertale, and you did it ! Very nice boss phases, animations and 8 bit sound design / musics also.
Maybe i would have prefered to use up arrow to jump, it's more intuitive.

Keep it up ! :)

Developer(+1)

Haha I feel like undertale inevitably influences 100% of my dialogue in games. It was the first game I played that had the 'expressive text' with sound effects and screenshake on text. Glad you liked the art and music, sorry about the controls! I've had a few people message me about the controls feeling off, so I think in the future I'll just try to make the controls configurable in case someone has a preferred control scheme.

Thanks for playing!

Submitted(+1)

I see you've also made a triple boss fight. (Mine is more on the easier side though.)

Your game's narrative and dialogue has a alot of charm, I loved how the speech was emphasized through sound effects and timing, very clever. I also loved the fluidity of the last boss' animations. I thought it was also clever that the last boss was aware the player would be knocked down, quite meta.

I do think some of the the attack patterns especially in the latter half of the second boss and the third boss in general were quite difficult though, mainly either alot of different things to juggle at once or the super quick reflexes it takes to respond. The partial health recovery definitely helped with making the game easier to beat but this was a really great entry overall.

Developer(+1)

Thanks! Also I loved your game, glad another boss fight game made it into this jam!

Thanks for the kind words on the dialogue, I was a little worried that people would be bored during the cutscenes so I'm glad the dialogue FX spiced things up!

The final boss attack patterns are definitely complicated. One thing I always have trouble with is making things a fair difficulty. Since I'm the main playtester, I tend to get too much practice with the game and inevitably over-complicate things. The knockdown mechanic was the main way to help people finish the game, so I'm glad you found it helpful! Thanks for playing!

Submitted(+1)

Amazing job!

Really good design on the bosses, there was enough difficulty while not being impossible to learn the pattern of the attacks. The ability to "Get back up" when you lose is a great idea, especially for a game jam, where people won't have too much time to give to your game.

Your music is great too!

Developer(+1)

Thank you! I'm glad the difficulty felt right. Also I'm glad you enjoyed the music!

Submitted(+1)

I have to agree with what I assume everyone else is saying: This game is awesome. You nailed the feel of the combat. The music and sound effects are great. This is an actual game and I would love to see more. Very cool that you made it with love2d. congrats!

Developer(+1)

Thank you! I'd love to work on this more, so I might do some post-jam updates. Thanks for playing!

Submitted(+1)

The look of this game is amazing. Not only is it visually appealing, but you manage to give so much information to the player without overloading them, like using colours to show what the next attack is going to be, the little red flash to show where the "attack" zone is, but the way it fades out also tells you how much time you have to dodge, everything really ties together to make this awesome compact experience! 

Developer

Thank you! I'm really glad you appreciated the red flashes. I pride myself on being able to give the player a fair chance to dodge attacks, so I'm happy you found it useful! 

Submitted(+1)

Extremely juicy combat that is tight and responsive as it needs to be for a boss rush action platformer. The characters pop with personality in their animations. The boss attack cycles are really well done, and the slash, roll, and jump all work really nicely together to make for engaging encounters. It's got a unique vibe and while I don't think I totally get it, it seems to get what it means to be a challenging but fair kind of game. Very very nice.

Developer

Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you found the fights engaging, I love scripting complex attacks so I'm glad it flowed well! Thanks again for playing.

Submitted(+1)

sick. as. hell.

Love the animation, the sounds, the screen effects, the attack indicators, all the fun attacks all the bosses do, the dialog, everything.  What a great jam game!  And you've struck a great balance by reducing the health of the boss after a death, meaning jammers of all skill levels can keep trying, but you can also make the bosses difficult and have all kinds of sick moves.  The only thing I'd ask for selfishly is a phase 3 for the final boss :)    Definitely one of my favorites! perfect scores all round

Developer(+1)

Wow thanks so much! Thanks a ton for all the kind words. Also I'm glad you appreciated the attack indicators specifically, I spent a lot of time trying to make sure the attacks felt fair and the player would know exactly where the damage zones would be, so thanks for mentioning that!

I had a phase 3 planned for the final boss but I ran out of time haha, maybe something for the post-jam version! Thanks again for playing!

Submitted(+1)

This is very impressive, given the time constraints! I’ve ready your devlog, and as a fellow Love2d first timer as well, I totally agree with your feeling: it absolutely gets out of the way, allowing you to build whatever you want on top of it.

Is this game open source anywhere? I’d love to see how you managed to handle your animations, especially the “trail” on the last boss’ moves, it was very very well done!

Also, great job on the screen shake and the little details like the red squares moving inside the HP bar.

Definitely one of the best games I’ve tried in this jam!

Developer(+1)

Thanks a ton for playing! I've been loosely planning a technical devlog post-jam to go over a lot of the lower level details, so I'll send you a link when that's up!

I wasn't planning on open sourcing the game's code, but I might open source my engine code if I get the time to clean some stuff up. Regardless, I'll definitely include that "trail" VFX in my technical devlog, it's a lot simpler than it looks! (In a nutshell I'm basically just spawning some pooled 'gameobjects' [which are just tables with x, y, color, and texture/sprite] between the start/end position of the boss, and changing the alphas of the sprites over time, but I'll go over that in more detail in the final devlog).

Glad you liked the screenshake! (as an aside, the red squares moving in the HP bar was actually a happy accident. My drawing code is clamped to the nearest pixel and my UI layer is included in screenshake, so rounding errors end up causing the red squares to move around haha!)

Thanks again for playing! I'm glad you enjoyed it! 

Submitted(+1)

This is absolutely delightful. I loved playing this and all I want is more bosses or a continuation of some sort. I have no real complaints, the boss fights are hard but the knockdown mechanic makes it accessible to all players.

Developer(+1)

Thanks a ton for the kind words! I'm glad the knockdown made it feel accessible, my biggest fear was that people may lose interest after a few deaths so I'm glad you found the knockdown helpful! I really loved working on this game so I might add more in a post-jam version!

Thanks again for playing! 

Submitted(+1)

This is absolutely amazing!  One of the best games I've played so far!!!  The gameplay is so tight and the amount of "Juice" is great.  you can really feel every impact.  The sprites are perfect and every character and movement is clearly readable.  And the music's grooving too!  Literally perfect in all categories!  This really shows just how much is capable in such a small game space.

Developer

Thank you so much! Your comment made my day, I'm really glad you enjoyed it! I spent a ton of time on the 'juice' and making attacks and deaths/victories feel impactful, I'm glad you appreciated that! Also I've always been a little insecure about my spritework so I'm really happy you liked it! To be honest the 64x64 restriction ended up helping me a ton with respect to art and animation, since I didn't have as many pixels to worry about. Glad you liked the music as well, it's always my favorite thing to work on.

Thanks for playing!

Submitted(+1)

Great job! The battles felt engaging and the dialogue with the rumble effects made me laugh.

Developer

Thank you!

Submitted(+1)

Great animation, fluid motions and very dynamic flow of action during the game. Music fits quite well. Excellent job!

Developer

Thanks for playing!

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

Wow this was insanely good. Really liked it. The speech was done really well and added a lot. The music and sounds suited perfectly. I also think the difficulty ramped up nicely which can be tricky. The bosses had a nice variety of attacks and really good indicators for each which made it fun to learn the patterns rather then frustrating. I also really like the art and character designs! Really great game over all! I’m feeling inspired to make a boss rush game now.

(oh also, just to let you know I accidentally deleted your comment on my jam page. I read it all first and it was really nice! Pointing out the thing about getting stuck in the wall as well as I was able to fix that quick enough. Thanks for playing my game and leaving the comment!)

Developer

Thanks a ton for playing! I'm glad you thought the difficulty was good, I was worried the game would spike a little too hard at the final boss. I'm also glad you liked the art and the music! haha go for it, making boss rushes is really really fun!

No worries about deleting my comment, it happens. Glad you were able to fix the bug!

Submitted(+1)

This game was so good you did such a good job! I really appreciated how forgiving the "knocked down" feature was, so the game never felt overly difficult. I found the control scheme a little confusing to use though, and got my wires crossed a couple times.  Overall though, a very enjoyable game :)

Developer(+1)

Thanks a ton for playing! I'm glad you liked it! The control scheme tripped up a few of my friends too, I think for the post-jam version I'll add controller support and maybe configurable controls. Thanks again for playing and for the kind words!