Hey, sorry for the issue, not sure why the game crashed. Did any error messages pop up?
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Thanks for playing! Sorry about the default controls. You can change the controls via the pause menu by pressing escape and going to “options” -> keyboard controls.
Thanks a ton for the feedback, sorry about those bugs, thanks for finding those.
Hmm the “Escape” menu not working is strange. On my end I’m able to use the mouse/arrow keys to select options in the pause menu and highlight them.
When you press “escape” and then hover an option, does it get highlighted? Similarly, if you press “escape” and then press “up” or “down” a few times (without moving the mouse), do any of the options get highlighted? If not then that’s probably a bug, sorry about that!
Thanks! Glad you liked it. You can feel free to post the feedback right here in the comments and I’ll take a look.
Love it! I’m a sucker for “phase2” mixups: love the added projectile attack as the cat gets lower on hp, it kept me on my toes! Got the cat down in just under a minute, great work!
Just played the demo, superb job. I’m really looking forward to this game. Some thoughts:
- I LOVE the flute mechanic. Tbh I haven’t played many of the games this game is inspired by (though I’ve played a lot of recent metroidvanias), so I don’t know if the flute mechanic has been done before but wow it was really cool. The idea of accruing new songs that have unique abilities over the course of the game is awesome, I’m sure there’s a lot of puzzle potential with the flute as well.
- The map feels good, I know it’s just a demo so there’s not a ton to go off of, but it felt like a good mix of vertical and horizontal.
- The platforming is well done. The character feels responsive, didn’t run into any issues jumping around. My only feedback on the platforming is sometimes I found it tough to differentiate actual platforms from background art (some platforms blended in with the background a bit).
I have a few thoughts on the combat but this is totally subjective. As a fellow dev, I know it’s easy to tunnel-vision on a piece of feedback and try to “address” everything, but my opinion is just mine and it’s likely many others will have opposite or conflicting thoughts.
It felt a little stiff to not move at all during melee attacks. I think it’s common for melee attacks in other metroidvanias to have a tiny bit of forward momentum. Learning the spacing of my own attacks is definitely rewarding, but it felt a little awkward fighting the boss and feeling like many of my attacks weren’t connecting due to my spacing being just a tiny bit off; might have been helpful to have a small step forward when attacking while holding a direction.
For the boss fight, it felt like the windows for me to safely attack were a little short. In the end I just traded hits with the boss since the boss’s damage was low enough for that to work. The boss difficulty felt good for an intro boss (was able to win on try #1 but used all 3 heals). Also love the added lighting attack when the boss gets to half HP, I always love a good phase 2 mixup.
All-in-all this game looks great so far. The demo was a blast and I didn’t want it to end.
I’m really excited for this game. I really love what I saw so far and I’ll certainly buy it on release.
Thanks! Nah, this game is finished, though I might re-use the idea of “real time deckbuilder” for a future project.
Hello! Sorry, I’m about to be quite busy over the next couple months, I don’t think I can be on the podcast. Thank you for the offer though! Thanks for playing, glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks for stopping by! I’ve definitely felt this with other hobbies too.
It’s weird, I do have other hobbies where I’m totally comfortable with them being just for me, but when it came to gamedev I convinced myself I needed to follow a certain trajectory because that’s what I saw others doing. Letting myself goof around in general has helped me enjoy stuff a lot more. Glad the post resonated with you.
I totally agree. As much fun as I had with my commercial steam game, it also felt a lot more stressful than just making a free game. There’s so much ‘mental liberty’ when you release something totally for free, rather than having paying customers to attend to.
This game feels so elegantly designed.
I love how the main goal is completely independent of the enemies; purely just about building the shrine. All the negative effects of 'enemies existing' suddenly turn into resources, like 'spending' health on a turn by not fighting in exchange for building supplies was such a great tactical decision.
I also love that you're gated not solely by mana like many other deckbuilders, but by # of cards per turn. It felt very "into the breach" if that makes sense.
The card-gating makes it a lot more accessible to plan a single turn, but also much more difficult/interesting to plan a deck. I can say "What are the exact 3 cards I want to play this turn" without needing to worry about optimizing or missing some insane 10 card combo, but I also don't get any "freebies" like in Slay the Spire with their 0 cost cards. This made basically every card addition a much more tactical choice for me.
It feels like each "unit" of content is so efficient. Like, I can imagine once you had the core mechanics in place, it probably felt like the content flowed from your fingertips when you spun up different enemies and cards!
I played the hell out of this game; I really love it. The fact that you made this for a game jam is a testament to how efficient the design is.
How did you come up with the idea for the core mechanics? Do you play a lot of deckbuilders? Is there another game/games with similar mechanics that provided some inspiration?
Anyway, awesome game!
Thanks a ton for the response, that makes sense! Also thanks for the kind words haha, glad you enjoyed it!
This is such a stylish game! I was looking for 1 bit inspirations and this game is really a gem.
A quick question: How did you get the "3d" effect for some of the enemies? i.e the cylinders whose glasses rotate around them or the 'cake' enemies (they look like stacks of cylinders) that rotate. Did you do some kind of sprite stacking? Or are these true 3D models?
Awesome video! Glad you got a chance to play it! Haha I loved the "no card pickup" challenge, nice work! The game is definitely tough, even with a negative score you did quite well considering you didn't add any cards to your deck. Thanks for playing!
Ooh awesome, good platform support / easy export is super important to me, so I'll definitely have to give Defold a try! It sounds reasonably lightweight too, which is cool because I'm never touching something as big as unity again
This is great, you definitely nailed the 'getting over it' vibes. I got all 10 cookies but the last cookie made me sweat with how high up I was. The movement is super versatile, despite being 1 button 1 function it was really cool to experiment with different techniques of rounding corners via slingshotting myself, swinging, or just pulling in a weird direction. Very cool prototype!
How'd you like using Defold? Is it something you'd want to keep using?
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Awesome guide by the way, good tips. The dodgeroll is key to making it past the toughest parts of the game.
Also just a heads up, the full game is out on steam now!
Wow, this was really special. The sound design is impeccable, every track fit the mood so perfectly.
I really enjoyed the writing in this as well. I also wonder how the winning/losing of the minigames impacts the ending, but I really loved the story as well and how you elicit specific emotions from the player directly through gameplay fragments.
I don't always believe in authors giving away / spoiling their own intent with things, so feel free to leave this up to interpretation. I also love hearing how people experience/interpret my own games, so here's a few of my interpretations of this amazing game.
I interpreted the fishing minigame as representing being in and out of consciousness, blacking in and out drunk. That felt like a really cool realization, when the truck driver says "I thought I lost you there" after you catch a fish, it was like fishing around for your own head trying to wake up after blacking out.
The minigames felt kind of like stages of getting more and more drunk, though this might be a bit of a stretch. Perhaps it's more like the previous paragraph, where it's just me trying to fish around for my consciousness after having had too much to drink.
In between cutscenes, the winding and confusing paths with the awkward turns/movement and strange geometric imagery felt a lot like stumbling around drunk, being only *just barely* able to perceive boundaries well enough to not hurt myself, but not being lucid enough to really understand what's around me (hence the strange shapes everywhere). I thought that was really really cool. I feel like it pushes the boundaries of what games can elicit from a player; more than just goal-based progression, but a focus on bringing about an incredibly specific feeling.
I didn't fully understand the interaction with the semi driver, though my interpretation is: The fishing club clearly seems to be a metaphor for being an alcoholic. I'm not entirely sure what the scene with the grandfather means either, but the taste in the player's mouth in my mind perhaps is medicine that they were forced to take? Or maybe it's a metaphor for having something tough to swallow being said to you.
Your games always make me think about what games can do as a medium, thank you for making this. It's really lovely and evocative of different but cohesive feelings.
Totally awesome and so cerebral. Got my first win! Wish I took a screenshot, I had the 2 damage draw, the 'place anything near gravestones', the even-odd matching domino, and one more I can't remember.
The upgrades were really clever and empowering, with some of them leading to really cool domino chains and double kills. I really liked this game!
Thanks for the feedback, I'll take a look at the binding of isaac setting to see if I can do something similar in my game to improve bullet visibility!
Great video! I liked the spells that you chose, orbital flames and bouncing frost wave are both great! You almost got the boss down, nice job!
You can change them! Press escape and go to "options"->"keyboard controls" and remap them however you like!
That upgrade idea is really cool, same with the shield stacking! Thanks for the kind words, glad you enjoyed the game!
Also just found out that this game got into indiepocalypse issue 31, congrats on that! If I may ask, how did Indiepocalypse go? I'm curious about the anthology format and how much of an audience it has.
Hahaha that’s a great idea, you’ve convinced me! I’ll probably put at least a couple achievements referencing past games in there. Thanks for playing the demo, glad you enjoyed it!
Wow, I love these mechanics so much. The design is so elegant, the way movement interacts with both turns and cooldowns is so slick. The "swap" mechanic is the cherry on the top, it really brings a ton of strategy into the mix. I also love the warning before enemies attack, it reminds me a little of 'Into the Breach' with how cold and calculating / fair it feels. I'm really excited for the full release!
Also absolutely love the soundtrack and art style. Really awesome work!