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Adam Marsh

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A member registered Jul 14, 2017 · View creator page →

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I drew a couple of sprites to animate some of the tiles like the decorated trees and flowers, but never got around to implementing those animations. The way I set up my entities, each object on screen that animates or is interactive has to be instantiated in code. So it's a bit tedious to add new ones. But now I have an idea to modify the map data directly, which is usually just static tiles. I'll definitely be including that improvement in my next project. Thank you for playing and for your feedback. :)

Yep, or Carol of the Bells if you prefer. :b

I did! My submission is called Presence, if you wanna check it out. https://itch.io/jam/extra-credits-holiday-2018-game-jam/rate/347149

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So at first, I thought "Hm, not much of a Metroidvania, just a platformer really." But then there was backtracking! I think having to move along with the moving platforms is fine -- it's an extra challenge where otherwise I would just be waiting to jump to the next one. Having some small progression of player abilities would have really solidified it into the Metroidvania genre you were going for. Maybe adding a double-jump that you acquire in one room and need to get to another? That could replace the keys as a way to gate progress. It would also open up more possibilities for platforming challenges. As it is, the challenges on offer are a bit samey.

Overall, great work on this submission. I think you definitely have a foundation here that you could build on, if you wanted. :)

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Where to begin? Art and sound on this one are stunning. The spritework is gorgeous, the title screen really draws you in, and the character designs are great. The splash art instantly communicates their personalities, or at least how they feel about the situation. The host feels very gregarious, and the contestant looks comically panicked. The level art is also really appealing, and the studio props and such really tie together the setting.

This is definitely one of the stand-out submissions for me: FNDS has tons of charm and challenge. But I have a few gripes.

Maybe I'm just a n00b, but I felt like the difficulty here was just a little bit too punishing for me, and I couldn't complete the game. Sometimes I wasn't sure what counted as a platform, and I mostly got better by just memorizing the stages and hazards. I'm also guessing you tuned the controls for a gamepad since it's recommended, but with a keyboard, the precise movements the game requires are really hard to make.

I will probably revisit this one again with a gamepad, but despite how tough it was for me, I still adored this game. Your team made something really special here. Congratulations. :)

Writing was super witty, and the multitasking felt like a good mechanical metaphor for social anxiety. Great work on this one!

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The spritework and audio were really well-done, and the mechanic of scouting ahead with your double was interesting. The controls felt a bit unresponsive at times, especially on the segment with 4 gears you have to jump over, but nothing felt like it required pixel-perfect precision. Overall, I had a good time with this one. Congrats to your team. :)

I liked your interpretation of the theme, moving the player back through their onion-skin-trail when they take damage. The art was appealing and the animations on the character and props were smooth. It feels just long enough to explore the ideas you had without dragging on. Short as it is, it feels finished, which is great. I had fun with it! Cool submission!

I felt that too, like it needed a bit more challenge or branching paths. I hope to keep expanding on this game's foundation. If you're interested in seeing this concept grow, feel free to follow my page. :)

Mostly, it's in case you decide you want to open the 100 coin gate near the beginning. There's no Easter Egg to backtracking, but now I wish I had made one. As for PICO-8, I thoroughly enjoyed it! It has semi-realistic 8-bit constraints and lots of helpful resources that made getting into it pretty easy. TIC-80 is another very similar engine that I also considered using.

The writing in this game really shines. I can tell there was a very personal touch put into it, and I appreciated the emotional little vignettes you get by reading the letters. Thank you for this sweet experience!

Excellent challenge! Pro tip: you can fire off a shot or two before time slows as you enter each stage. I enjoyed the choice between deflecting incoming shots versus scoring as many hits as possible. Visuals were simple and clear. If I had one nitpick, I'd say that when time speeds back up, it feels a bit abrupt or jerky. Making that speedup a bit more smooth would make it a little less frustrating to lose, because I often can't tell what hit me.

All in all though, a very enjoyable submission!

Moving right has never felt so satisfying! The soft music, crisp sound effects, and lovely animations made this a sweet couple minutes of enjoyment. I think you could easily run with this idea and aesthetic into something more feature-length after the jam, if you wanted. Great submission. :)

I enjoyed the unique platforming elements of the piston-things, and the sliding tall blocks that sweep over whole platforms. Challenging, short, and sweet!

Very sweet game. Short but enjoyable. I loved using the Flappy Bird mechanics to choose dialog options, and having to work harder to get to the better options. That's something you rarely see in conversation sims -- having to do mechanical challenges to get the best responses -- and I loved it! I think more games should do it. Congrats on your submission. :)

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Very beautiful spritework! The tiles and characters are very appealing. The music really fit the aesthetic, helped establish that dungeony atmosphere. Would have liked to hear more SFX to get feedback from combat. The UI text was a bit small, but the colors contrasted enough to help readability. I like the idea of having limited time / moves to explore, but the enemies continually boxed me in or wore my health down and I couldn't really get past the second room. I would love to see more. Maybe letting the player's Masteries persist across lives would make it easier to progress? Lots of potential if you wanted to develop it beyond the jam!

Thank you for playing! Everything you mentioned was just what I was aiming for, especially the crunchy boxes. :)

I really enjoyed. :) I think this is the first Bitsy game I've played with music, and it fits really well. Great entry!

I got stuck after Droid 2 appeared. Couldn't figure out how to go on. Cool concept though!

Glad you didn't lose sleep over this snooze-themed game! I had fun trying to uncover all the special moves. Feels very chill as there doesn't seem to be a win/lose, just try to have fun and make silly poses. I really enjoyed this. Well done. :)

I feel the same way, haha. This is likely a project I will revisit, so I hope you will play again if I make enhancements! Thanks for your comment. :)

I loved the retro Fallout feel on the overworld map. Trading with more distant settlements felt like it was worth the extra time and risk. I liked the ending, but it was pretty hard and I couldn't win. To anyone else who plays this game, try to get as many upgrades as you can in 30 days!

Thanks! I hope to expand and polish this so it's more feature-complete, so I hope you will come back and play again then. :)

UPDATE: Wow I really shot myself in the foot overscoping this project while knowing I'd only be able to work on it a few hours every weekend. I'm trimming down to just the concept for the first chapter at most.

I'm super excited to play this one! I'm also working on a "Post-apocalyptic water merchant" game, though it's completely different in execution to what you've shown here. I love the Fallout and Pipe Dream inspired gameplay segments. Best of luck. :)

Hello. My name's Adam, and I'm currently the sole developer for this MFGJ Entry that I'm just calling "Water Merchant" for now. These are some notes from the planning phase of development. Obviously this is all tentative and subject to change, but these were my initial ideas.

Wall of text ahead.

OVERVIEW

The idea for this game combines inspiration from the game "A Dark Room" with the optional theme of the jam: water. It places the player in a parched desert where villages survive by trading with traveling water merchants that source their goods from remote freshwater springs and oases.  The interface will be mostly agraphical. Players interact by reading text descriptions, clicking buttons, navigating across tabbed views to manage various tasks, and responding to events with pre-determined options. In general, the player accumulates wealth in the form of water. They must have containers to collect from a water source, which can be crafted from other resources or traded for with water. Water stands in for cash in the setting of the game -- a true liquid asset. Upgrades can be built to improve production or other elements. The game will be divided into three chapters. Potential spoilers ahead for progression / story details.

Chapter 1

In the opening chapter, the player is wandering the desert when they stumble upon an empty reservoir with traces of moisture. After a bit of digging with their hands, water springs up to the surface, saving the player character's life. They survive by themselves for a while, trading with some passing travelers. There will be multiple opportunities to make choices when interacting with your visitors. Whether to be generous or greedy; whether to acquiesce to force or stand your ground. At this stage, the player can also dig for clay to fashion into ceramic jars for storing water. In fact, digging the spring at the very beginning gives them a little bit of clay, teaching the player that there's more to gather than water. Clay jars take a little time to form, and then a while longer to bake in the sun before they can be used. There may be an optional kiln upgrade, available either by gathering enough clay or bartering for some materials (both, probably) that will make crafting jars much faster. Advancing to the next chapter will require a rare upgrade -- probably digging a cistern for extra reservoir capacity and to catch rainwater. They may also need to keep from dehydrating by drinking from their own supply regularly, or else get a Game Over.

Chapter 2

The second chapter has the player truly establish themselves as a merchant. People have heard about the spring, and start showing up offering to help in exchange for water rations. The player can now recruit volunteers to work the spring, gathering building materials, handling customers, or guarding the camp. More choices will come in this chapter, and the challenge will increase. Events might come along that require the player have certain defenses prepared, or a certain amount of resources stockpiled, to succeed. Failing will probably result in setback rather than total game over. The addition of the cistern adds a layer of complexity -- unpredictable rains will refresh the cistern. Counting on rainwater can leave the player high and dry if no rain comes when they need it, but hedging too carefully and keeping a full cistern will cause rains to simply run off, wasted. There will probably be a scramble when rain comes to sell as much water as fast as possible. Players will want to keep the cistern from overflowing and maximize their gains. Instead of attending to their personal survival, the player's "health" is measured in keeping ahead by having enough water to pay their employees. Dropping into the red will send them back to the start of the chapter. To advance, they must install a pump that draws from the aquifer feeding the spring.

Chapter 3

The third chapter makes the player's operation mobile. Things at base camp mostly handle themselves without much management required. Instead, the player must travel around the desert region to various villages to conduct their trade. They might receive "quests" in the form of contracts or requisitions from local leaders, but can otherwise travel and trade as they please. Prices are controlled by the player's reputation and the scarcity of water. The more desperate people are, the more they are willing to pay, but gouging them too hard will scar the player's reputation. Losing all reputation causes the player to be blacklisted by the region at large, labeled as "not to be dealt with," and sending them back to the start of the chapter. Occasional events will continue to offer choices to the player that will affect the regional economy and the player's rep and inventory. If regional water scarcity becomes too desperate, the game's ending will be triggered. The likelihood of events that will make water scarce increase over time, pushing the player towards the end.

Epilogue

The ending of the game will involve one final, difficult choice. If the player meets a certain requirement by that time, they can choose one of, for now, we'll say two endings. If they don't meet the requirement when the ending is triggered, they get a "bad" ending and are allowed to restart the chapter.

That's all for now. I want to make the next entry more about my specific plans for implementation. I'll start taking screenshots of development, compiling lists of features/encounters I want to add, that sort of thing. Until next time, happy jamming!

Yeah that'd be awesome! Glad you found it interesting enough to share. I'll be watching for the date to be announced. :)

At first, seemed like a fairly straightforward block-puzzler. Then I got stuck on a level that seemed impossible... Then I learned I could pull cannons! Overall a fun challenge. Music was quite nice too. :)

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One month later, I've finally gotten around to updating the game!

Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you enjoyed the game. Yeah, I was really frustrated with how jammed up the text boxes got, but at the time, Bitsy didn't yet have the capability to add line breaks. Maybe I'll go back and tweak it now that it does.

Wow, thanks so much for playing my game! It was the first game I've ever made that I got to see someone else play, and that was very rewarding. Glad you're helping indie devs get exposure. Keep up the good work!

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+1 on this! Would really help control the pace of dialog and make two-way dialogs easier to manage. You could easily indicate when the speaker changes.