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Average Fox Enthusiast

A member registered Sep 03, 2022

Recent community posts

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Too much time spent playing the original

I had a few optimizations which saved a few seconds (the two main ones were going under the crumbling blocks in the last room of stage 1, and a one-cycle strategy for the room after that), but overall nothing crazy so it's probably a matter of cleaning up movement.

I tried for a little longer to see how low I could get and I got a 1:29. I think with my current strats a 1:25 is possible, although celeste 2 has some crazy tech so I'm sure much lower times are possible. In any case I think I'm done lol. GG, you definitely gave me a run for my money :)

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Can't wait to play as the hunter and rabbit in the Euclidean plane

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First of all, apologies if I ever get too critical about your game design especially if it's on a point I've misunderstood. As I've already made clear I think this game is good it's just that there's plenty of room for improvement and for a free game made in a month that's to be expected. I'm critiquing this sort of as if it were a full release rather than an project.

I downloaded it on the 3rd of January so it seems I missed out on both updates.  I downloaded the latest version and played through the first few areas again, and I can see that most obvious issues have been fixed.

Being able to aim up definitely alleviates the issue although I think not entirely. Spreadshot helps as well but you only obtain it quite late in the game. 

I guess there are a few other things I can mention

The ability to heal from the lights feels weird, not only because it's a little random and incidental but also because you can leave and re-enter the room to respawn them (and leave and re-enter the room again to respawn enemies) so if you're ever in trouble you can generally farm back your health. Getting health from enemies is alright, but I personally think that the lights should have been cosmetic and replaced with (if anything) fixed, health pickups that refill on saving, sort of like soul-totems in hollow knight.

In terms of the world design, I feel it doesn't quite succeed at the metroidvania formula. What's the point of making a game a metroidvania? Personally I feel it's first and foremost about creating a sense of authentic exploration with the secondary advantage of making more mileage out of the existing content as you will retread certain areas with new abilities. While backtracking is an essential part of a metroidvania, I don't think the backtracking itself is what most people enjoy, especially when it becomes tedious and is not spaced out with enough new content.

I think silent paradise suffers here for a few reasons. First, it has, as far as I am concerned, a completely linear progression tree. This means that the exploration loop is as follows: explore everything you can access until you find the one place where you can find an upgrade, which then opens up a little more of the map. Rinse and repeat.

To me this doesn't lead to satisfying exploration because it feels like less of an adventure and more of a completionist box-ticking exercise. It also makes exploration backtracking quite tedious for obvious reasons.

Another reason is a lack of deliberate world design; the game does not guide you towards the new upgrades and areas. There should be something in the world that suggests a room has an upgrade or is critical to progression, as opposed to making them look the same as every other room.

Finally many of the abilities are just different coloured guns with slightly higher damage, which isn't particularly interesting.

Of course amending all of this requires work and it might be unreasonable for you to have included it all within the time limit given the size of the game, which is why I suggested that for future game jams it might be better to focus on a more concise experience.  

The other issue for me is the story and I feel my criticisms here might be a little more subjective. It starts off sort of middling and then out of the blue we have eldritch alien space fish and then 10 minutes later the game sort of ends (I didn't continue to play the games past the credits because I felt I had seen enough). 

In the lightkeeper I recall the story outline was that you were a lighthouse keeper on top of a wreck of an alien prison ship with eldritch monsters which was fine for me mostly because I recall it was pretty light on story. Then in the trespasser... honestly I don't remember what on earth was going on but something about a meteor causing a bloodborne-esque nightmare? I though that was fine, in fact a little better because although you had a bunch of different conflicting ideas centred around the theme of eldritch horror, it didn't devolve into an incoherent mess for me (unlike, for instance, backrooms-themed games) as it added to a confusing nightmarish aesthetic where it's uncertain what's real and little makes sense.

However what really determines the quality of a video game world, especially in metroidvanias, is the details.  In the lightkeeper there were a few nice touches, in particular the boss fight activated by assembling the belongings of the previous lightkeeper was very memorable (I also recall that in the above ground area there was this strange enemy that shot a large laser, and I remember thinking that it looked like big chungus which is really confusing to me looking back, maybe I was imagining it?). The trespasser had even more cool moments and I think that's much of what I enjoyed from the game. For instance the cyanide pills item, the poem to find the ring that automatically uses your estus for you, the idea of the first trespasser fight, and that diary entry from some spider cultist talking about how the spider boss is supposed to have ascended from his human form but now all he does is bounce around and eat, and his dog can do that (which I recall finding quite amusing at the time).  It also had some cool exploration moments, for instance walking over the lake and then being able to swim under it, and dropping through the floors repeatedly to progress through the graveyard area but I digress.

The point I'm trying to make is that while the overarching story is important, what's more important in a metroidvania is that it is filled out with well thought out details that work together towards a coherent aesthetic and make the world come alive.

To me, this game didn't really have that and so the story just felt hollow to me. At risk of being overly critical, it felt like a hasty mishmash of eldritch horror tropes which failed to provide any new substance or character (although I do still think it was better than no story). And to be clear I am being over critical, for most other games on this platform I would find no issue with such competent story telling but I think creating a somewhat compelling world is something that you intend to do with your games and in previous games you have done this better. 

Again, I think this comes back to the issue of scope; if you have limited time to make a game, sure you can make an ok 2 hour experience that follows the template set by your previous work (where ok does not refer to the standard of free games on However if your goal is to advance your understanding and skill in game design within that limited time frame, a more polished 20-30 minutes that experiments a little might have been better and I think generally that's what game jams are meant to be for; you can certainly see that intent in some of the other entries (as well as the traditional silksong copium game).

I guess for an example of how all these points have been done right in the past, consider hollow knight. 

Of course this is all my opinion, others may disagree.

I thought this was very good for a game made in a month although you might have benefitted from making a more concise and polished experienced.
I won't provide such extended feedback as I did for the trespasser because this was made under a time limit and so I'm sure there are many issues you're aware of but just didn't get around to fixing.

That being said I wanted to point out that the combination of 2-directional aim and a high level of verticality felt a little jank, especially when dealing with flying enemies.  I suspect this lack of options is also responsible for holding back the enemy and level design, as it ensures that the difficulty often becomes about maneuvering and manipulating/waiting for the enemy to get on your y-level (which I don't find especially fun, although maybe some people enjoy this?) reducing the scope for difficulty in terms of dodging more complex attacks. Or maybe you just didn't have enough time to work on the enemies, I'm not here to judge.
Super-metroid solves this general problem (if you consider it to be a problem) by providing 8-way aim although that also requires you to add a dedicated button to lock in place or something similar so the player can fire while stationary. Something else you might want to consider in future games is aiming by cursor, which would certainly require rethinking the formula you've established for this series (and wouldn't be as retro) but I think it could turn out to your benefit. There was an indie metroidvanias called "rusted moss" which takes this approach, and I've heard very good things about it so you might want to look there for inspiration. 

Overall it's still a solid game to be proud of. Good luck with your next project :)

The control scheme reverses the role of the hands when I play hollow knight so my brain was incredibly confused playing this

All the entrances to dungeons are blocked off by NPCs saying something to the effect of "you cannot pass yet" and I can't find any other way to progress.

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Very good game! I didn't expect a free game to be this large or high quality.

A bit of feedback though: 

I felt a lot of the time that the most effective way to play the game was to "cheese" it, for example by sniping enemies from a distance, tanking or jumping over them rather than fighting. I personally found this kind of fun anyway, but it's maybe not what you intended for most of the game lol. That being said I'm not sure how you would entirely fix that, since it's sort of endemic to how the whole game functions and other people seem to enjoy the core gameplay as it is too.

I think to improve this you could rebalance a few combat mechanics, mainly the massive difference between the strength of weapons;

 When I first tested out the bombs on enemies and saw how much damage they dealt I thought to myself, there's no way you can design an effective boss now if you want players to be able to use other weapons as well. And indeed when I got the final boss I was able to beat them by standing in the corner and throwing bombs before they got through even half of my total health. The persistent damage idea is nice, but I feel like the bomb needs to be nerfed as it trivialises every boss encounter after. Not to mention that you no longer have to engage with ground-level enemies because all of the can be easily one-shot.

I also found the sword much weaker than the gun, which feels wrong because so much of the enemy and boss design is built around the sword that I feel like it isn't meant to be outclassed. The verticality of the sword hitbox was sort of weird, and the animation was really slow. Plus I don't think the stamina restriction on guns is enough as it stands - For regular enemies you can run away and recharge your stamina, and in bosses you won't be attacking all the time so in that time you can wait for it to come back (which happens very quickly). In fact I personally found you can get significantly more hits off with the gun than the sword, because you don't need to worry about setting up the right spacing, and at the same time you have way less risk.

This wouldn't be so bad if stamina was used all the time for movement, but the two moves that use stamina aren't that common and again both suffer from really slow animations.

This was why I didn't use the backdash very much; the tutorial prompt said to use it against the snakes, but whenever I hit them I would get immediately hit back before the backdash had time to activate. Maybe I wasn't using it right but it seemed kind of useless. This in turn made the sword less useful, because the sword and the backdash complement each other.

I also would've preffered it if the i-frame dash was faster, because it lends it more use and I always feel the dodge-roll/i-dash is the best movement tool in any game that has.

Another change could be to have more late game enemies and bosses should deal double or triple damage, because your health grows much faster than the difficulty, which encourages tanking as the game progresses (I didn't really care whether enemies hit me by the time I was in the final area)

That being said, all the other components of the game were so strong that I didn't mind too much overall and still really enjoyed the game.

It would be cool if there was a true ending update in the works because the way you've set up the story seems to be leading up to that, especially with the dialogue from the man with the dogs. Unless there already is and I just can't find it :D

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See if you can beat me :D