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suuuper awesome game. i just love the visuals, everything is so polished and thats probably what i enjoy most about any particular game. Like for example the rotating save icon, it just looks perfect. I need to learn how to accomplish that effect, is it just the RotSprite method (upscale > rotate > downscale)? anyway enough gushing about the details.

At the beginning i was kind of frustrated with the combination of slow movement + platforming. Before getting the feel for how to use the momentum to my advantage, i felt like i was spending too much of my time standing still, grappling, adjusting my length and swinging in order to make it to another spot, instead of grappling a few times and using momentum to get where i want. after going back to the beginning levels after beating it, the levels didn't feel as frustrating because i was used to the momentum. It felt like too much of a contrast between the 'slow, position-management' platforming and the 'fast momentum grappling' later. i feel like there could be a better way to handle this learning curve at the start, but im not sure how. Even the first jump was kind of weird, it took me a bit to even realize i could make it onto the next platform. the first two levels are pretty good, but im still not sure what the best method is to beat the end portion of the third level. 

As for the controls, I was going to mention that i found myself mixing up jump and grapple a lot, and was going to suggest making jump be both actions, or at least having jump cancel the grapple. but i noticed you added that as an option and i enjoy it a lot more that way.
Is there any reason you can't reel in/out while while moving? I think that was what made me most annoyed about the grappling. you can reel while swinging with momentum, but only after letting go of the buttons. Also im curious as to why you chose 'up' to be extend and 'down' to be  retract, i feel like it should be the other way around. Everything else felt nice though, the momentum is very good.

I think my favorite part was cheesing the red outlined block level by grappling the first block, letting it push me into the platform, and shooting me off to the right to skip half the stage. I wish there were more opportunities for me to do that again, that seemed like the only spot.
Also I figured out you can grapple at the ground and use the jumping effect to gain height from nothing: 

not super helpful in most cases but still fun to do haha

anyway i can't wait to see where this project goes. the polish is absolutely my favorite part


Thanks! Means a lot :) 

I usually use this website when I want to create smooth transitions for things like the save icon. So it's some easing function for the scaling + a sine wave for the rotation.

I've thought about your second paragraph troughout the day and I'm thinking I can't really remove the slowness and the potential frustration of the first levels. I think because the hook is not intuitive to use right away, the first levels are going to be slow no matter what. Currently, any level can be finished pretty fast; even the third level. It's a matter of getting used to the physics and discovering how to take advantage of it. Like you said, the second time was less frustrating because you got used to the momentum.    I don't want to be completely dismissive though. Obviously I'd prefer if people didn't feel bad playing my game :~) I'll try to figure out something. Very helpful comment 

I added that restriction to the reel in/out keys to avoid getting reeled in if you want to aim diagonally while swinging. It's a decision I took without even testing with and without, and now that you bring it up I'm not sure it was the right call. I kind of find it annoying too, but I'm so used to it that I don't notice the restriction anymore... I'm going to test without it but I think you're right :~)

I probably binded the up and down key like that because that's how Umihara Kawase does it. I took a lot of inspiration from that game.

I left a lot of intentional shortcuts , but that one isn't lol.     I wonder what you mean by "I wish there were more opportunities for me to do that again". You mean cheesing the level, or stretching the grappling hook to shoot yourself? Either way there's probably gonna more of both in the final game :)

yeah.. I know about that bug while shooting down. I don't know if it's going to get fixed. It doesn't bother me that much and doesn't break anything. Let's ignore it for the moment.

Again, thank you for your help and nice comments :)

What i meant by the save icon being so nice is how it rotates without distortion. if you have a pixel sprite, rotating it will almost always cause some sort of jaggedness. I was going to make an image showing the difference, but while doing that i noticed that it actually is just a normal sprite rotation. probably because the icon uses pretty much only straight lines it looks fine. so my original point is meaningless haha
probably the reason i thought there was something unique was because it matched most of the other game (such as the black waves at the top or the checkpoint triangles rotating), but neither of those are sprites (i assume) so just drawing them wouldn't introduce those artifacts.
of course you could also just use higher resolution sprites and downscale them and it would have the same effect so i guess there isnt a technique im missing after all

I definitely saw the Umihara Kawase inspiration, which is great because it's an incredible game and like nobody knows about it? so one of the first things i was looking out for was a place to test if the hook wraps around objects. i was juust a bit disappointing to see it doesn't, but honestly that mechanic is so complicated, i don't think i would even be able to implement it. and it doesn't really add much to the game unless you specifically design the levels around it

and yeah, i meant just more opportunities to use the stretching grappling hook to shoot off things. the ability to cheese levels will come naturally ;)

I considered making the hook wrap around platforms, but i'd have to give up moving platforms and yeah it wouldn't have added alot. It isn't worth it I think. It's a nice challenge i'd like to solve someday though