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A jam entry

Dino DarkView game page »

Dinosaurs in the Dark Ages!
Submitted by Puato with 5 hours, 52 minutes before the deadline

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Dino Dark's page


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Ranked from 3 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Host (3 edits) (+1)

Puato, here are my clear-cut words about your game called Dino Dark.

This game is QUITE great fun indeed, and it clearly represents a brilliant use of my AAP-64 palette in terms of the graphics, so very wisely picked in terms of your palette choice, first of all!!  ;)

Secondly, the premise and overall gameplay of finding a key and going through the door while collecting the many torches that will add 10 seconds each to the timer of how much light you have left is absolutely brilliant, and the way you have nailed the theme of “Medieval Fantasy meets Prehistoric World” is truly bang-on!!  And when you get the single-use lances, ohhhh boy, nothing is SO F$&KING SATISFYING than using them to stab at the dino’s bare flesh, killing it dead in such wonderful, wonderful animation as it goes down in a pile of crumpling bones... one of the many fantastic things about this game that I absolutely love!!!  ^^

Third, speaking about the animations, they are so fluid and breathtaking for a wide-pixel game, from the chomp from the green dinos to the walking animations of your knight character and so much more as this game is played, which spans itself over the course of all 15 levels in your entry.  And you have created quite a good amount of enemy variety as the levels progress, as well as the smooth difficulty curve that ramps up ever-so-slowly from easy to brutally hard as players move forward and forward through the areas, giving them just enough of a balance of torches and ammunition of lances to get the job done.  This surely lends itself to a rather interesting puzzle mechanic that is splendid well executed the way you have truly created such excellent level design... and so far, the highest level I have made it to on my very first day of playing it is Level 11!!!  ^^  The entire trek can be frustrating and very unforgiving at times in later levels, though, but the beauty of it all UNLIKE SO MANY retro-inspired games of its ilk simply is that Dino Dark actually gives players that “One more go!!!” feeling over and over as he/she tries and tries again, and try again you will... a lot!!  Yes, it is THAT difficult, but yes, clearing all 15 levels IS DOABLE.  Great addictive fun indeed!!!

If there are some slight problems that hold Dino Dark back a bit from achieving true greatness, however, they are:

  1. The control setup, because they are auto-mapped permanently to the WASD keys for movement, “Space” key for jumping, and “Enter” for using the Lances (though, I have quickly gotten accustomed to them as I have first played on on my very first go!);

  2. While the background is clear and very easy to see, the foreground walls look empty, and could use a splash of detail to make them more lively and authentic to the medieval/prehistoric setting you were going for; and...

  3. The choice of music, because although you were going for an 8-bit aesthetic, you have clearly borrowed 8-bit classical music sources from YouTube at the time of your entry instead of creating all your own original music for your game itself.  And therefore, I am marking it down some serious notches quite a bit in the Sound/Music department of your game, although the sound effects sure are very good and truly well done.

Those are my slight complaints, but apart from that, this is overall a TRULY DAMN EXCELLENT entry into my Wide-Dot Pixel Game Jam 2017... outstanding job in creating it and making it all happen, Puato!!!  d=(^-^)=b !!

Developer (1 edit) (+1)

This was one of the best constructive criticism i have ever received, thank you very much!

I agree with every point you made, i would really like to put rebindable keys but i still dont really know how to do that, it is a shame because i imagine that left handed people would not be able to play the game. Another peson has said that the walls look weird being all  black, so now i think i should change it. I agree with the music, i have no ideia how to compose music, but when i do i plan on changing the score, but i have no ideia when that is going to happen.

I plan on improving the game, but for now i cannot, i hope in a near future i will have time, and when i do i will try to use all the criticism i read as inspiration.

So, again, thank you very much for the great comment!

(7 edits) (+1)

it was original and perfect, i really really loved it (5/5 star) :)

just some notes:

1. there is no hint about input keys. i almost didn't understand "enter" is key for sward attack + i pressed alt and it jumped to next level(perhaps you forget to remove debugging mechanic in release?)

2. there is no story ?

3. i played 4 (or 5 or 6?) levels, and a lot happened in them.

i just moved, solved a spacial puzzle in dark, and solved a puzzle about how to escape a dragon, and in level 4(i'm not sure witch level was it), there was falling platforms.

and in every level, i was not sure about what should i do (am i doing it right?), for example in dark puzzles, i wasn't sure how lights will go off? after some time? what about if i bring up another torch, will previous one's timer resets?

i think you could introduce new elements in slower peace, i didn't even get used to this game, and you introduces too much game elements. instead you could design some more cool puzzles or fight scenario levels with dinosaurs for example, before introduce new elements like falling platforms (i didn't like that puzzle about finding path on dark, but i love that dinosaurs :p).

in general, i played too many games and get bored on them, but this game is original and well designed and awesome :)

Developer (3 edits) (+1)

Hi, thank you for the very constructive comment!

So about the instruction, i put a read me file inside the game folder that has the instructions, i am going to put it in the game page as i think that it is kinda easy to miss it, And yes, ooops, i forgot about taking out the skip level button, thanks for the warning!

I made the game on limited time so i still did not put a story but i am working on it.

And yes i did not really think much about level progression, i just made some levels until i did not have any more ideas and them put them in the game without really thinking about pace. I guess i just learned pacing is very important, thanks!

The light system works like this: There is a timer at the top of the screen, it displays how much time of light you have. At the start of every level you are in complete darkness and when you pick up a torch you increase 10 seconds of light to the timer, when the timer at the top of the screen reaches 0 the lights go out and you will be in darkness again until you pick up another torch, also you can stack up torches that you pick up since they add 10 seconds each.

And i think the Level you are mentioning is Level 5 ;)

Thank you for the comment i learned some things from it and i am going to fix the gamem thanks!

thanks for answer. no problem, glad it helped ;)

the game is awesome by the way, Good luck :)


This is great. Plays well, and looks good. My only suggestions would be to have some kind tile art for the walls, as is they're just black and my first reaction was that it was some kind of drawing glitch:)

Developer (1 edit)

Hi! thanks for the comment :)

What exactly do you mean they are black? Are you talking about the bits in the dark (outside the yellow light circle)? The walls are supposed to have colored lines that form the brick shapes in them just like the screenshots. Thanks for the opinion :)

I mean the collidable platforms. You can see them in the screen shots. For example the screenshot with "27" on top has a black horizontal platform in the middle. Looks odd to me eyes, like you accidentally just didn't render there.


Oh yes, i understand now, they are supposed to be black, i didnt really put much thought on it :)

Developer (1 edit)

So, i still am not finished with this game but i think it is already playable, and i think i may have gotten some of the music types wrong and since i could not compose the music myself i got some from the internet but i plan on them being only temporary until i can create my own (i have to lear how to compose music first, since i never tried to crate music), so please i would like to hear your opinion on the game, thanks!

Also this was a very fun jam, i really liked the graphical limitation and having to stick to a color palette, something i had never done, so thanks again for making this jam!