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Some notes from build 0.5a:

  • I think the first quest should not be specific as to how you kill yourself. Aside from the tutorial, this is the first thing new players will see and you should encourage them to live as long as possible and see the game, not die on the first spike they see. Just having the quest be "to die" seems fine and would adequately introduce the quest system (in my opinion).
  • Aiming turret plants feels quite frustrating, I think because the hit box is so close to the point of rotation. You get your shot lined up juuuust right and then moving in to hit it makes it rotate like 30 degrees. Perhaps moving the hit box out (with an obvious marker) would make it feel better?
  • The bomb seed might be too powerful with the increased number of enemies. With the aura that takes 7 crystals instead of damage, I still had 40 crystals by the third camp (along with 8 hearts).
  • At the final boss, it'd be nice if it was more obvious that you've dropped the aura when you get hit. In the excitement of the battle I'd moved on to the next two patches before I realized what was wrong. Perhaps make the patches close their eyes and turn grey when you don't have the aura, as well as add a bouncing arrow that points to the aura when you've dropped it?
  • On the same topic, it might be nice if the map that appears in the final score screen tallied the number of patches you successfully hit in the last battle. Just getting to that battle is quite a challenge, and getting some acknowledgement that you partially beat it seems like it might provide some encouragement to try again.

I think the first quest should not be specific as to how you kill yourself.

I like this. My initial reasoning was that spikes killing players instantly is sometimes a frustrating gotcha, but that might be solvable through other means. Thinking about it a little harder I realize that the first quest might be the way it is because it was the fastest quest for me to test and it's the first one I implemented and just wanted some task I could repeat quickly which is not a good reason behind a design but is kinda a funny epiphany haha

Perhaps moving the hit box out (with an obvious marker) would make it feel better?

Good idea!

The bomb seed might be too powerful with the increased number of enemies. With the aura that takes 7 crystals instead of damage, I still had 40 crystals by the third camp (along with 8 hearts).

Hahaha yeah that could be. I've been having a lot of fun with the latest build because you sometimes get overpowered stuff like that happening, but it's definitely too much in some cases.

Really like your boss suggestions as well! Definitely one of the far less polished sections of the game so ideas for that stuff are really appreciated