Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I didn't have enough time to properly balance the game play. I had not intended this to be a procedural runner in the beginning - that more came as a result at the end when I realized I didn't have time to design levels. As a result, I slapped together the random output but only had the chance to play through it maybe 2-3 times before I had to submit to make the deadline. I find the endless runner idea interesting, but not sure which direction (random vs pre-designed stages) I will go if I continue work.
Recent community posts
Thanks for the feedback! After playing A.L.S.X. in the LOWREZJAM I really wanted to do a Shmup. You're right about not just focusing on the problems and "advertising" the game better. I had so much going on during the end of the Jam and was just frustrated I couldn't put together the entry I wanted. I just haven't had time to go back and clean up the page since. I see if I can squeeze in some screen shots. Thanks for yours in the mean time. Good look with your shmup, I had a blast trying to come up with and figure out how to code different patterns and attacks.
Thanks! I agree about the movement. I think I was too eager to jump over to the graphics and didn't fine-tune as much as I should have. I never did get to work in that secret chain room. That will have to wait for post-jam.
Great little entry. I was going to say almost exactly what @stuartlangridge said below, so I'll leave it at that. Nice job. I wasn't even bothered by the lack of sound after a while because it almost added to the atmosphere of being alone in some space station/ship. That was killed a bit when I got outside and it appeared I was not in fact in space. So I guess that can be my only real complaint. I found 260 coins. I was shocked to see there were still ~60 left to go. Great job.
EDIT: Oh man, I loved Pixel Peak last year. Glad to see you're back and still doing good work.
I like the feel of the game. I love that I feel like some out of control tank that can only stop when I hit a wall. Something about my power coming from reckless abandonment is enjoyable to me. This a fun little puzzler with a nice progression of mechanics. The tank tracks are a great, simple add for indicating to the player where the "rooms" exit is going to be if off camera. One little suggestion I would have is moving the first "recall system" so that it can't be missed. I managed to miss it on my first play through. I saw something that looked different and wanted to investigate but was then shot through one of those one-way tiles that sent me to the next room with no way back. Then when I died I was sent back to the first room. This would potentially cause some players to stop playing right there. But really, great job. I'd love to see this continued.
I love your visuals. Everything is readable and looks great at the low resolution. Great overall entry. Two suggestions if I may. Maybe adjust the input controls so that tapping a direction causes your player to look that way, but not move yet. Since direction is important to tool use, I found myself having to do a lot of extra movement to face the tile I wanted to. Another would be the inventory/equipping . Once I got the hang of it, it wasn't bad, but still felt a little clunky. Maybe have a tool equip slot and then maybe a seed slot. So "X" would use your equipped tool, but hold down "X" would bring up your tool change. Press "S" to use equipped seed, hold down "S" to bring up your seed change. This allows you to do all of your necessary actions without ever needing to enter the menu. Now this wouldn't necessarily scale well if you built on more mechanics/tools, but I think would work in it's current form. Again, great job.
This is a very ambitious first attempt and you've accomplished a lot. A lot of content packed into a small resolution. There were definitely times were I wasn't sure what I was doing. During combat for example. After I choose my action (like attack), is it just background rolls based on stats or am I supposed to be doing anything - like timing a click with that blinking/beeping square? I wasn't sure. So some player feedback improvements could definitely help. Great start. I would love to see where this ends up if you continue work on it.
Like mentioned below, it appears you left viewport scaled to actual size. I was able to play by zooming in my browser window.
I think some instructions would be helpful. I had trouble figuring out the mechanic initially. What I came up with was it appears you "drop" pollen when you move/jump. I had originally just assumed the pink particles were just effect to add some flare to your movement. After some testing, the more of the particles I drop by moving I do see my gauge deplete. It's an interesting mechanic because you now have to use your movement carefully and with consideration, else you wont have enough pollen to complete the stage. A fun little platforming/puzzler hybrid. However, you can't seem to "jump" while on top of the flowers (I'm guessing because you fail the "on ground" check required to jump) and I couldn't seem to find a key that allowed you to just "drop" pollen. So if my initial jump on to the flower didn't leave enough pollen, I'd have to walk off and then jump on again. This isn't necessarily bad, but felt clunky. The mushrooms seemed to react to me pressing the up key, but not always. I like the look and feel of the game. Definitely consider continuing to tweak the mechanic while maybe working on communicating what that mechanic is to the player.
Nice little entry. I love how much detail you worked into so few pixels. I'm curious how your respawn coordinates are determined, because I managed to get re-spawned in the ceiling/walls, twice. At least that's what I think happened. I couldn't see my character, but based on sound effects, he was moving. The way the camera was centered, led me to believe I was in the walls/ceiling. I guess the alternative was the player sprite wasn't being draw for some reason. Other than that, the game felt good.
Cute little entry. Love your frog! Soundtrack is enjoyable and perfect for the gameplay. Something I'd try, is maybe separate the camera scroll from the tongue movement. I think part of what makes it feel a little too slow (and as a result too easy) is when you move the tongue horizontally, the camera stops. This adds no consequences for moving moving long distances left or right. If the camera continued to scroll you are forced into tougher decisions the higher/further you go. Of course you'd want to make sure to include a system for catching back up with the camera when moving vertically, else you'd eventually be off camera. Another alternative, is the tongue is always moving vertically. Nice entry.
Fun idea. Love the retro design. Did you experiment at all with differentiating the bugs by color as well? This may have made it too easy, but just curious. This could have helped with the UI on the top row too. The camera, to me, was a little too sensitive. Nice entry.
Love the game mechanic and the look, but I think the larger viewport version works better. I had unfortunately played it before the LOWREZ version so it felt like taking a step backwards. Not sure how I would of felt had I only played the LOWREZ edition. Still a great concept and entry.
Stupid ghosts! I'm a fan of runners and this was a great runner that worked really well within the confines of the 64 pixel resolution. Great pixels, fun soundtrack, nice gameplay (though sometimes I felt the responsiveness robbed me occasionally - or at least that's what I'm telling myself). Loved the different monster mechanics. Overall, really fun and good looking entry.
Great pixels. I liked your camera transitions as well. A really complete feeling game. I wish the block pushing was a little more forgiving. Maybe a forgiveness counter on the push (player would need to be "pushing" the block for ~5 frames before it actually pushes for example). There would be times I'd try to jump on top of a stack or even a single block but end up accidentally pushing the block off which ultimately resulted in me restarting the level. Overall, great entry.
So much packed into such a little space. Love your pixels. Gameplay feels really good. I'm not a fan of the "coins" - they make visibility of the enemy bullets unnecessarily more difficult (and I wasn't a fun of the "pickup" sound effect). Really great entry though.
I loved how tiny you went with your pixels. If I could make a suggestion, maybe give the enemies/hazards a different color than the environment - would really help with readability. Impressive scope and amount of work for the jam. Nice entry.
I mentioned this in your devlog, but I feel obligated to repeat it here - love your pixels and gui design! The music provides great atmosphere as well. Nice evolution of missions to teach the units. Plays exactly how I'd expect and want for a tactical game. I didn't initially read the instructions so I felt very confused by the "hack" ability. SO I guess I could nitpick that and say maybe add an in game explanation. Maybe add a slide to your tutorial. But really great entry!
You and I have very different definitions of "very bad condition". You have a really good foundation here. I like your pixels - great scale for the 64 resolution - everything is readable and the viewport isnt too crowded. If you do continue work on this, some simple things to consider adding:
- This game could greatly benefit from a "shoot/fire" sound effect and a "hit" sound effect, at minimum. If you didn't add any other sounds, those too would help provide so much feedback to your players and they are pretty simple/basic sounds to come by.
- Camera shake is pretty easy to add (you already have a nice working camera system in place) and adds so much to a shooter.
- Push Back. For enemies and the player when they get hit. Possibly to the player when they fire. Again, adds so much feedback and "weight" to the gameplay.
Nice entry. Great graphics and really fun music. Since he's a bee, I liked the fact that the jump had a little hover/float at the top. I found a little bit of wonkyness to the camera, at the end of and beginning of sections/rooms (not sure what to call them), but nothing that ruined the gameplay. The punch animation wouldn't always play, especially when running but the sound effect always would so I was never sure if the punch would still register. Not sure if it was a result of a long load time or the enter key not registering, but I always seemed to need to press the key quite a bit at the continue screen. Great job though, felt like a very complete entry.
I like the concept. I did much better on my second go-around. I feel the difficulty ramps a little too fast (could just be me). And this might be browser related, but movement felt unresponsive occasionally - like I was pressing keys faster than the game could handle. Maybe if the towers still hand to be manually triggered, but possibly by just walking over them instead of having to press the action key. Then that might make it too easy, not sure. Shortening the tower cooldowns could help with the difficulty ramp too. This obviously fits the 64x64 theme of LOWREZ but I really like this idea for the LD42 theme. Overall, great job.
Though short, it's a really nice and complete entry. Love your pixels. Really enjoyed the last stage - I think puzzle games need more boss battles. I may have misunderstood what I was supposed to be doing, but it felt like it wasn't always registering the blocks on the targets for the final battle. Sometimes it would cause the boss to lose "hp" and other times it wouldn't - again, may have just been me doing it wrong.
Also, I didn't read the instructions, so I had fun trying to get out of that "The End" screen. For those that come after me, you press "P".
Thanks! That cover image is my favorite thing I created during this jam.
The fall-through pipe "mistake" was left in on purpose. Kind of. It was not intended to behave like that exactly, but I liked how the mice enemies would then drop down through there instead of turning around so I decided not to fix it right away. It definitely needs some post-jam tweaking though.
Thanks man! I was torn on putting in a "intro" level that demonstrated a little better how the world and mechanics work instead of thrusting you into the fire. I'd say I didn't because I was emulating the games of old, but realistically I just didn't have time.
Thanks for the feedback! Mark's chiptunes are amazing. I never quite got the feel of the controls to a point that I was happy with. I think working with so few pixels is part of it (though that is more likely me not knowing a proper way to work within my confines). Post-jam I'll probably release a version with additional key layouts. I'm bad at prioritizing what makes it in sometimes and forget how important accessibility can be.
LAST UPDATE (pre-deadline)
Created a few new animations, but didn't get them all in before the deadline.
- Finished an intro cinematic with the exterminator (that made it in).
- Spawn animation (did not make it in)
- Death animation (did not make it in)
- Exit into Pipe animation (did not make it in)
When I get a chance, I'll
put up some gifs of the animations and of course add them to the post-jam version.
Thanks for giving it a play and the kind words. Sorry to hear about the controller. I'm using a Xbox 360 USB and that works in the browser version. Let me know what controller and OS and I'll see if there is any change I can make on my end. One of the things I tried to do this time was play test more with keyboard (or at lease equally). In the past I would always do my play testing on the controller and then come to find out the feel was terrible with keyboard controls. Sadly, the controller still handles better.
Getting the balance on the boss battles is tricky. I sometimes think the mechanic might be too easy and one little tweak suddenly makes it a whole lot more difficult. It's also been hard to test on my own since I know the timings and what he's going to do. Though I still die despite that. I'm also trying to figure out the right balance for the drop rate on hearts. In earlier builds you'd almost always have 4 hearts, but I've gone 8 stages and not picked up a single one (though not always because of drop rate, sometimes the bounce doesn't go my way). Thanks again!