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A jam submission

Trikumax Arena (SAGE 2021 Demo)View game page

When you pit a fighting game character against shoot 'em up bosses you get Trikumax Arena!
Submitted by Syphyous — 26 minutes, 26 seconds before the deadline
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Trikumax Arena (SAGE 2021 Demo)'s itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Fan Favorite#273.7333.733

Ranked from 15 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

(+1)

Really dynamic gameplay, and not something I think I would find in an MZ game (in a good way!). That said, things feel a little TOO frantic. I couldn't get past the second stage boss, and when I played the arcade mode I was able to nearly defeat the 3rd easily (a few more tires and I would have gotten it). The difficulty ramp is very VERY steep. Perhaps TOO steep. Also, I feel that with the engine it might be able to handle the multiple precise inputs for a game like this, so with things going as fast as they were, I was reacting, but getting hit with something else, like a random projectile that came out of nowhere.

Suggestion: It doesn’t have to be so frantic, and it can still SEEM like it is, especially with damage taken stun locking the character. Give them invulnerability frames. Also, definitely tone down the difficulty. While it’s a boss rush mode, that second boss was NO JOKE.

Developer(+1)

Hey! Thanks for the feedback! :P

If you wanna try the new version it includes things such as invulnerability frames, difficulty settings, many balance changes (especially to that second boss) and a bunch more small changes to make the game better!

Would love to hear what you think of the new version! XD

(1 edit) (+1)

Right off the bat this kind of looks like a Unity game, decent music and customized splash/title screen. Not a bad first 30 seconds.

I love that you let the player rebind their keys and you even give the option for the gamepad. Very cool!

Quick note for your tutorial mode, even if you select controller it gives you the information for keyboard commands only. The tutorial should reflect which mode the control scheme is set in, or just add both controls to the text pop ups.

Valiesk stage(one) doesn't appear to have any risk/challenge. You just hit the floating thing without taking any damage. Not sure if that was intentional, Maybe have it shoot a projectile every now and then.

The charged up special move looks cool and all but it doesn't really seem to do much damage.

The green spike things on the terrain that damage the player are VERY hard to see. Make them less transparent and more obvious that a collide-able object is on the screen and about to hit the player. It took me getting hit by it like ten time to even realize what was hitting me. I think it would be less frustrating if it was telegraphed better and making it not blend into the background soo much. They fly by sooooooooo fast, that it's almost impossible to react in time to dodge them unless you're a 13 year old Korean Star Craft Master.

I don't know if you can beat your own game, but it would be impressive to see someone beat this. It's unfair at times. You get hit by the green see-through spikes that blend into the background which triggers a 'knockback' phase and before you can even recover you get hit by another one then another one. I mean did DJ Khalid help you make this game? "Another one!" "Another one!" There were times when I was hit four times in a row by that and no matter what I did (except by dodging the first one) I was stun locked. 

Here's the thing, that last section IS THE EASY PART! Phase two of this boss has a cluster bomb move that you have to doge while at the same time staying on a platform and if you fall off into the green lava you explode. It's hard enough to try to dodge and stay on a platform, how are you supposed to deal damage at all? The monster stays out of reach in the top right of the screen mostly. This is truly a painful experience. 

I like what you've tried to do here and there's a lot that you've got right here, so let's get that out of the way. However you went from stage one with absolutely NO challenge, into stage two, which is insanely challenging. I think you have to find a middle ground and ramp up the difficulty slowly. It really missed the mark.

The controls are not terrible, but they're not as good as you would want them to be in a game like this. It's impressive to make any type of game like this in RPG Maker and for RPG Maker it may control well, but the casual player won't care at all that it was made in RPG Maker and will hold you to the same industry standards compared to games made with other engines. Resulting in what some people would say are 'bad controls.' 

If you entered into this competition to test yourself and see what you could do with this engine with no intentions of winning then I can understand it's a personal challenge to see how far you could push an engine designed to show text and run turn based combat, however you're using an RPG Maker engine to make a platformer game which is like going to a Steakhouse and ordering the pizza. :)

At the end of the day you have to ask yourself "Is the gameplay fun?", and I'm going to have to say that it's not. It's grueling and unfair. I think you've done something impressive and even taking on a task like this deserves some props. I think you made a 'cool' game, but not a 'fun' one. I really like what you tried to do, but you have to playtest your game more. You want to include as many people as possible and the harder your game jam entry is, the less people will stick with it. It's better to be on the easy side for a game jam. I bet most people who play this game don't even see all the stages. They get to stage two and give up, because it's too hard for the majority of people. 

Good job submitting a project to this game jam and I look forward to seeing what you put out in the future. I like your style, but keep difficulty in mind for the next one. I'm sure that you've honed your abilities in this game making process. Keep up the good work! :)

Developer

Hello, and thanks so much for the feedback!

A lot of what you've said has been addressed in the new version that'll be in SAGE 2021, if you wanna check it out when it's on. :P

But yeah, difficulty balancing is the big thing I've learnt from this game and a lot of changes have been done, especially to Aracnoid, to make the game way more fun and balanced. Including adding things like a small amount of invulnerability frames so being hit doesn't feel like a one hit kill in specific places and changing parts of fights to make it easier to understand, less tedious or just removing parts (like that green spike) to make it way more fun! I do hope you'll try the game again when it's new and improved!

Lastly, with the controls; yes it is 100% true that they need improvement. With the deadline I had to cut my losses with them but I will be ensure to improve them until they are as good as they can possibly be!

Submitted(+1)

Good day, Syphyous!

I have played this game and here are some of my feedbacks:

  • Congratulations on bringing the game engine to the next level!
  • Arcade and 80s vibes with easy to learn controls.
  • Gameplay can be improved especially on the response time.
  • Interesting art styles and graphics.
  • Music and sounds were nice but I had to lower the volume.
  • I really wish I had a very creative mind like you!
Developer(+1)

Thank you so much for the feedback! I'm so glad that you liked the game!

Also honestly with the creativity, it took a lot of bad mistakes with game development and design to get here so I'd say that more than anything helped. XD

Submitted(+1)

Forced fullscreen wasn't that fun. The spider boss was just needlessly difficult. If you are on the right side of the screen, you can attack backwards, but have no time to react to the pillars.

You can end up hitting a pillar just due to bad luck if you are trying to kill the enemies or if you get an unexpected pillar popping up. Didn't see any way to break the pillars.

The platforming part was a bit of a pain after the pillar phase. Not much time to react to the fireballs jumping out of the pool.

You can only attack forward and can never attack/face backwards even if enemies are behind you. This was kind of annoying.

Felt like this game was designed for a gamepad, not a keyboard.

Other than that, it was smooth. I just think you should have ramped up the difficulty gradually, not spiked the difficulty.

Developer

Thanks for the feedback!

A lot of what you've said has already been addressed for the next version of the game so hopefully you'll be able to play it after the game jam and see what you think! :P

Especially when it comes to the difficulty, we've made many adjustments including changing more unfair attacks or removing them completely to ensure that the game is more fun and accessible. The big lesson I've learnt is that if it's a challenge for the one making it it's going to be nearly impossible for those playing it. XD

Submitted(+1)

In general, think of it this way: Because you are the dev and know all the mechanics and secrets, unless you have no idea how to play games beyond a casual level, you are automatically going to do better than the vast majority of your players. You might get a small percent that are better than you. In general, you want to slowly train the players so that they can adjust.

Think of it like how rhythm games usually work. You have different difficulty levels. For most players, they'll start at beginner on the easier songs, then slowly as they get used to the game, they'll work on harder songs and they'll try harder modes of the easier songs. With practice, they will eventually be able to (as long as their physical state allows) do the hardest modes on the hardest songs.

You can use that here as well. Have your bosses slowly ramp up and have different difficulty levels. For example, story mode, every enemy might be 'normal' difficulty. If the player fails a level enough times, it might even offer an 'easy' difficulty. When you beat the game, it might unlock the harder difficulties, but you can also have the harder difficulties in a boss rush mode, arcade mode, etc. On harder difficulties, the bosses might have additional movesets that are harder to deal with, there may be additional mechanics that the player has to learn, etc.

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

So kudos out of the way first, this is probably the most impressive use of the RPGmaker I've ever seen. Not only does it look superb, but the controls are nearly flawless. Most sidescroller/platformers made in rpgmaker feel very janky. I have no idea how you made this feel so smooth. Stellar work.

However, as others have mentioned, it's brutally difficult. Figuring out the key to damaging the boss in each phase take a bit to work out. I made it to the 3rd phase of the spider boss, but never figured out how to damage it. And it took a while each time to get back to that (if I even made it), so it eventually became frustrating enough that I decided to stop. I don't mind a challenge, but having to replay all the phases just to try to guess how to hurt the third one was a bit of burn out.

I think adding some way to restore health along the way would help a lot. Maybe just some healing item that pops up on screen from time to time and gives the player something else to jump at. Perhaps tone down some of the damage of the environmental hazards too (especially the purple bubbles, which wrecked me a lot).  And give a few clearer clues to what hurts the boss (breaking the web string was a very good example of an intuitive damage mechanic).

That said, this game is so great that I'm sure I'll have the itch to go back and try some more (I'm already thinking about it). I'm completely amazed at what you've produced here, especially since you say you did it with just eventing!

Edit: finally got the first impression video of me playing this uploaded, should you want to see precisely how I struggled: https://youtu.be/s50C5GXeQl4?t=3287

Developer

Thanks so much for the feedback and it's awesome to hear that you like the game! :P

But yeah, as you said it seems the main thing people agree on as an issue is how hard the game is. It seems the main flaw I've gotta work on is balancing the difficulty of the boss fights and provide better context clues on how to beat them. With the whole healing items thing, I'm not sure if I wanna go down that road as a way to make things easier but it is for sure a suggestion I'm gonna keep in mind for the future. XD

Submitted(+1)

In terms of looks, this is amazing!  It's crazy to think it's even possible to do all this without plugins, but I suppose that someone with enough scripting knowledge could pull off practically anything.

I didn't make it very far as I'm not very good at platformers, but I didn't see any reference to stars, either literally or figuratively.    Perhaps it's later in the game?

Developer (1 edit)

I'm so glad you like it! And I'm also glad that you notice the no plugins! Eventing is just my personal way of doing things. XD

With the stars we wanted to make it more a visual factor than leaning into it with the story or gameplay. Which is why things like the title screen and boss areas have stars constantly present in all of them. :P

Submitted(+1)

The visuals are really amazing and polished! I love it so much! It's hard to believe you made this on RPG Maker because it doesn't feel like a typical RPG Maker game. Some feedback:

  • Hazards and attacks don't feel consistent because some things damage you while others don't. Btw, the hazard in the second boss fight was unfair. I felt that it moved too fast for me to avoid it.
  • The controls are hard to get used to. I don't normally play games that use Up to jump. I think you could benefit from having an input displayed on the screen
  • I couldn't beat the second boss and the control issue kept me from trying. It felt like I was spamming buttons hoping for something to work

Great job with the game! I hope you continue to develop it with platform levels in addition to the boss fights.

Developer

I'm super glad you like the game!

We unfortunately didn't have time to properly balance everything and it seems that Aracnoid has been tough for a few but if you want to you can try out the other bosses from the main menu in the Arcade mode. :P

As for the controls, you can change them from the options menu available from the main menu or pause menu. Hope that helps!

(+2)

I love the concept of this, it's pretty insane what you where able to pull off! and Full controller support as well. Few things

1. I think the First Proper boss is a little TOO hard, It was pretty hellish, It took me a bit to figure out how to damage it, and trying to keep track of the small adds, as well as dodge the Way too fast spikes was frustrating, then to be trolled into a Phase 2 when I have no health what so ever was a bit much. So maybe tweaking it down would be a bit better, or swapping it in for a more boss with a bit more ease, that or cut Phase 2 all together.

2. I know Boss 1 is suppose to be a damage sponge to get use to the controls, but giving it an attack or two would help teach the player to dodge and such.

3. This is an absolute Flex, and I love it! Keep it up! Might want to add a Quit option to the Stylish Menu.

That's it, Would love to see this Balanced and expanded upon. Insane you where able to do this in RPG Maker MZ, you guys took that Challenge and ran with it!

Developer(+1)

Hey! Super glad to hear that you like the game! And yeah, we did think about certain things like adding attacks to the first boss but time crunch became a big factor at the end. XD

As for the quit button, the main menu does have more options if you press left and right. You think I should make it so it's up and down instead? I'm unsure if we can update games after the game is submitted to the jam so I don't know if I can change that right now but I will for sure! :P

(+2)

I think you should hold off on updating until after the Jam voting (We are doing the same for our game. We released it a few days early so we can get feedback and iron out bugs while we could before the deadline) But yeah up and down, cause with the Menu layout it looks like it would scroll up and down just like the options menu.

So I say start working on the patch, and release it post Jam voting.

Developer(+1)

I just hope that the menu thing doesn't cause issues for too many people but what's done is done for now at least. XD

Submitted(+1)

Yeah, I don't think you can change it right now, but that'd be great for later! As my friend said this was amazing!  It really shows what can be done with RPG Maker MZ, and just how far this can be pushed! Great job again! I enjoyed it!

Developer(+1)

Thank you! Took a lot of work but I think in the end it was worth it!