I liked the sound pitch higher as you approach the tree! The camera could be improved, it's hard to know were you are going. Some visual cues hinting were you should go could help too.
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Wow thanks! :D
I updated the game today with some new visual effects, gameplay ajustments (nerfed stronger enemies HP, but gave them armor, buffed some spells, nerfed plants), and some quality of life improvements (like a button to reset cards). I will expand the adventure next, but it might take a few weeks, I think.
I didn't understand what you mean... You can use multiple cards each turn, the game will draw new cards automatically on the next turn. You mean drawing new cards before the current turn ends?
Thank you! It's an undocumented featured in Pico-8 that was added mainly to support tool development, but in my case I used it to emulate a mobile game! I'm working on a post-jam release and I'm also planning to port it to mobile eventually in case you're interested.
Yeah, the boss fight gives a difficulty spike at the end!
**Spoilers** The plant cards are super strong, so if you combine them with the black king and one of the three regular characters, you will have just 2 kinds to guarantee you can use a lot of cards every turn. But you are under the risk of running out of cards if you're not efficient with just 26 cards!
Thanks for playing!
Ha! Found it!
The bug happened when you clicked a card, didn't use it, and on the next turn you clicked on a target without selecting a new card. The game remembered the card (it shouldn't), but the related data was erased when the new turn started.
Fixed now! Thanks again!
Weird, I never had this bug... I tried to replicate it but found nothing... Looks like it's early in the game. From the image it looks like you used 2♠ to buff your character and then clicked the play button. Do you have any other detail? I'll try to look more into it.
Here is my progress so far with my game, Jack of Spades, a crossover between playing cards and RPG. I'm using Pico-8 again!
I started my game a bit late for the Jam (Nov 19). I hope I can get it to a good state in time!
Try to guess who each character is! Hint: on the left there's 2 Jacks, 1 Queen and 1 King. :D
Map (early mockup):
Good luck, participants!
I couldn't play much of this game, but I'll give my feedback from what I could experience:
- Nice visual style;
- While the theme is not strikingly unique, being on the the side of a goblin is a nice twist;
- The brag/insult mechanic got me interested, although I didn't experience it;
- The controls seem easy to pick up with the initial screen;
- The pause menu aesthetic didn't seem to fit with the game's;
- The music wasn't fitting the medieval theme of the game.
Yeah, it's hard to lose because your robot attack is super OP hahaha :P
Lack of descriptions was more about lack of time than because of the word limit. Will add it as well as music and sfx after the jam is over.
Thanks for your input!
Some things that helped me with colors: using pre-made palletes (like from pico-8 or aseprite) and adding more colors if necessary; picking individual colors from images/sprites I like and looking at them outside of their original context (you will be surprised how often the colors you see in an image are not what you expected).
Yeah, I think having icons for each ability, and some sort of visual feedback for how close you are of having enough "mana" to use them will help a lot in terms of getting a better understanding of your options.
Teaching some rookie strategies is a great idea! Maybe having some missions that incentivize dominating the field with more units, and others that the optimal strategy is going straight for the "master".
Thanks for the insight!
The thing is: I'm never wrong. So if I said you used MS paint, you DID use MS paint. It's not up for debate. Case closed.
Also, how can it be easier to use than paint? The perfectest creative suite. It's so gud that microsoft announced that they stopped developing it further, for the obvious reason that you can't improve something that reached perfection.
On a serious note, thank you for the link. I remember learning about that tool to teach programming to kids, but forgot about it. Bookmarked :D
I didn't get very far your game just went for the first quest and got completely slaughtered by the pack of wolves :P My feedback:
- The game starts well, you already have some skill points to spend, items to equip quests to pick, making it easy to pick up and try things out;
- Good visuals and fitting sound;
- The compass on the ground is a good idea, I don't know if other games have it since I'm not familiar with the genre;
- I liked how you put the text in the physical world, giving the player time to read. Might not be final, but for a jam it makes life easier;
- The objects in the world seem reasonably placed;
- The information is well explained. What each stat affects, etc;
- I liked how when you open the menu it locks the camera;
- The file size is way too big for a jam game. It will prevent a good chunck of your potential audience from downloading the game. It's a wild guess bit I think a lot of people come to itch.io to play games because they don't have a good PC to play last gen games. You choose your target audience though, so you can stick with it if you're confident;
- The game seems to have too much mouse sensitivity. It can be something on my end, but I didn't find a way to change that. To give you some context, the amount of movement I have to do to move the cursor from one end of the screen to the other was enough to make the character do 6 full spins;
- While the compass is a good idea, but it is too low on the ground. You have to walk looking to your feel to use it. I think the ideal way to do it would be place it just out of vision when you look straight, so tiltin the camera a bit down would already make it visible. You would also make it a bit transparent to prevent it from obstructing vision;
- The fist misson was completely impossible for me. There were like 6 wolves and I just died in seconds. Maybe I'm missing something because I'm not familiar with the genre, idk;
- In the description above you mention "use a bunch of the assets from the recent humble bundle [...] thrown [...] together". It is good to be honest with people, but saying something like that gives the impression you didn't put effort into it even if you did. This, the graphical requirements (had to use a friends PC to play), and the file size are the reason your game was the last one I played in the jam, and might be the reason you got less reviews than average in the jam;
- As I pointed out in other jam entries, this game too fails to grab your attention. The thumbnail is nice with the demon but is not really unique. Same applies to the name of the game, and it's overall theme. A nice way to know if your game is good at grabbing people's attention is to do an "elevator pitch" with your friends. An example: I have a few dozen games I plan to make, so I told my friends about some of them. A wonderboy clone where the protagonist is a girl; An RPG with aliens; A tower defense game where the buildings are human organs. The last one got so much more attention because it's just so bizzare. It's a fun experiment to make!
- There was a bug where after I died, I kept respawning and dying again a few seconds later as my life drained for no apparent reason;
- When I opened the "C" menu, I wanted to close it, so I pressed "Quit" and it closed the game hahaha. If you plan to keep it this way you should change the wording to "Quit game" or something and pop up a "Are you sure" sorta menu.
I didn't play Bravely Default though, but I read about it and found the battle mechanic interesting.
Something I wanted to mention but forgot in my original post: When I was fighting the final boss, he says that attacking him was making him stronger, and I was like "Yeah that's a bit silly. He could just order his minions to fight him to make him stronger". And then he says he would transform into his final form, and I went "IT HAS TO BE A --------!". And he transformed and I went "YEEEESSS". hahahah :D
Edit: Removed spoiler :)
Best game in the jam I played so far!
- Best robot voice since Portal;
- Boxes are cool;
- Especially red boxes;
- Magnificent game packed in just 362MB of data;
- Best use of MS paint since it's inception in 1985;
- You said the game is bad. False advertising;
- The game lags and crashes on the second room, preventing me from playing this forever;
- The dialog makes me remember of crazy Dave in Plants vs Zombies. Crazy is bad;
- Thin box is stronger than tutorial box. Thats not how phisics work. Completely broke my immersion.
I played your game until you get the third party member, where it ended. My thoughts:
- The idea of having 1hp is very cool, it got me interested from the start;
- The shield system is interesting;
- Graphics and music are good;
- The game introduces stuff slowly with explanation on the signs;
- The save system prevents you from being punished too hard;
- The shield system is very hard to get used to. My brain refused to cooperate :D. You have some colors that go through some colors and other colors that counter them. It would be easier to get used to it if instead of colors you had something with more flavor to it like classic elements (fire/ice/etc.) or anything else that makes it more intuitive. Yes, fire beats wood! My caveman brain understands! hahaha
- Same as other RPGMaker games in the jam, the game doesn't have a particularly unique aesthetic, which makes it harder to stand out from the crowd. I've gone more in depth into this topic in Ruo's game if you are interested;
- Not much to talk in terms of dialog and story. Maybe you could incorporate the mechanics into the lore, like the protagonist is cursed by some evil dude and for that reason he has 1HP. And the shield system could be some badass shield someone gave him or whatever you find cool. It's good to tie mechanics and lore because you can introduce them to the player together. Two birds, one stone.
Very creative game!
I played your game up to the point where you fight the bandit leader (the one with plate armor). My thoughts:
- Out of the games I played in this jam until now, your game had the best intro text. Parents killed, saved by a badass dude, joins his group of badass dudes when grows up. Straight to the point and from there you're in the game;
- I liked how the game has a lot of stuff you can look into right from the start (village shops and pause menus), but never forces you into looking into that, so you can do it whenever it feels best for you;
- Music fits the game. Sound effects are satisfying;
- I liked how its medieval themed but has only humans. No need for goblins, golems, skeletons. You can build a nice fantasy world with humans. Or introduce fantastic creatures later into the game. Most characters using capes contributed to give the game it's own aesthetic. I feel like you can add some more flavor to it though, but it's a nice start;
- The game doesn't waste your time. Loads quickly when you die, turns are fast, you can relearn all skills easily, etc.
- I found those question marks on the ground very interesting as a mechanic. Hearing people from afar. I'm assuming you will change the question marks for something else later, like a skill you learn or something in the enviroment you can interact with like closed windows with some cue;
- There are a lot of grammar errors. Not a big problem though;
- The biggest problem with the game is that you miss attacks way too often. It's very frustrating. I maxed accuracy first, most items were increasing accuracy, and even then when I was level 15 vs the weakest enemies I still missed too many attacks. Evasion is frustrating in itself, if you want it to be your core mechanic you have to have a pretty clever idea to move it from the frustrating to the engaging realm of emotions;
- Your skills are too weak. They very rarely are better that a normal attack, and they can miss too which is very frustrating;
- Potions don't scale, they keep healing 20 hp all game. Maybe they could heal you 50% max health? It's they reason I stopped playing at that boss. Without a way to heal and the skills not being very useful (I was using axe at that point), the only way to defeat him would be to grind a lot of levels;
- There are some small bugs with collision, life bar goes negative for a frame when you kill an enemy, and your saved game sometimes loads without some items, HP different from how it was saved, etc. It's expected to have bugs in a jam though and none of them spoiled the experience;
- Your master sends you to fight a group of bandits with no help and stays at the town for no big reason (just hunting bandits). Maybe he could be poisoned, or your allies were handling some bigger threat while you seach for clues, etc;
- Some parts of the plot come a bit out of nowhere, like suddenly they start talking about a prince without a proper introduction to the topic;
It's a good start for your game. Keep going!
Wow, this game turned out to be a lot better than I expected! Well done!
- The pacing of the story is good;
- The combat is good with good difficulty. I defeated the last boss with one character left. Which is what you would expect from a boss;
- Music is fine;
- Visuals are good (I'm not familiar with RPGMaker, so I don't know how much of it is your work);
- Level design is well done (Though I got stuck for a bit in the first part with water because I didn't know you can climb vines);
- Dialog is good;
- The humor is good. I like the characters being aware of being very archetipical :D
- The fact you have 2 options in dialogue, 1 being the normal one and the other being funny makes you want to play the game again to see what the character will say. What you usually see in RPGs is to options with no real difference. Very good!
- The magic cave itself is a very cool concept. A cave that "spawns" anywere in the world. Gets you interested right from the start;
- The village part is very well done! First of all you don't expect a village inside the cave, so it's a nice surprise that will make the players interested in what is the next "stage". Second, it is completely empty, except for the chickens which makes you interested in what is happening (Where people went? Are the chicken transformed villagers? Maybe is a village of chickens!). The best parts of a story oftenly don't have dialog! This specific part makes me remember Mario RPG where in one village the villagers are paralyzed and in another they act very strangely (Yaridovich). It would be cool if you could steal some stuff in the shops and develop some kind of sub-plot with it depending on your actions. Third, one party member is added to your party as a chicken so it gets you curious about his true form. I tried to trick the game saving the file as chickens to see if the save file would have his true form, but nope. Just 2 chickens hahaha :D
- The part where you are a chicken and can't fight breaks the pacing from fighting to evading enemies in the map. It also has some chests that you don't know if you will have the opportunity to get later, which is nice;
- Characters are a bit shallow as you pointed out in the closing scene. It's common in JRPGs though because of the younger audience, so it really depends on what you are aiming for;
- The name of the game is pretty uninteresting. It is good that it references an interesting part of the game, but from the name it sounds like it is just a random cave with some magic monsters and magic loot in it, not that the cave itself has magic properties;
- There is some text that is not well translated to english, and some that are in spanish. Not a big problem to me personally since I speak portuguese and the few words in spanish were similar to portuguese. Just to let you know;
- The game gives too much story in the begging. This is a problem in two ways: First you are telling stuff to the player about a character he doesn't care about yet. You need to make the player care about a character before telling stuff about him. Second in the start of the game, the player is expeted to be eager to play the game, so it is usually better to give some gameplay before going for story (I'm not saying to remove the intro completely, just make it shorter). Third, this specific story is better saved for later. You are getting too deep into the character telling stuff about his father and mother right from the start. You could have just told the player that the protagonist is a young guy searching for his father who is the first to have entered the cave, and both would look badass enough (the young adventurer and the pioneer) to get the player invested. Later if the protagonist finds his father you can reveal the part about his mother sickness and at the same time develop something from it (maybe the protagonist doesn't forgive his father for abandoning his mother saying that she had a miserable life being sick without the care of her husband, maybe he is just happy he found his father and they both how their lives have been since he left, maybe he never finds his father). In any case it is usually better to tell specific parts of the backstory when they become relevant or when they will be more impactful/surprising/[put-the-emotion-you-want-to-convey];
- The first earth spirit seemed to help them for no particular reason;
- The game has very typical RPGMaker visuals, which make it hard to stand out in the crowd. Remember that the first thing people will experience in your game is the screenshots, thumpnails, and the title (or word of mouth if your game/franchise is already successful). You can only give a first impression once though so if your game doesn't stand out visually it is possible that a lot of people will never experience the story/gameplay/characters you worked so hard to craft;
- Not really a "con", but I'm not a big fan of random encounters, because you have no control over it. It can get annoying if you are backtracking, for example. A good example of a game that handles encounters well is Paper Mario, where you can control not just when to engage in battle but also you can start a battle with an attack from the overworld;
- Also not a "con" but the game has pretty standard combat. It really depends what the focus of your game is, but usually great RPGs come with their own unique combat mechanic. From simpler ones like Bravely Default cumulative actions to wierder ones like Undertale's mini bullet-hell;
- Like I said earlier I got stuck in the beggining and in another instance I found out I had to jump from the cliff to the roof of the house completely by accident. I had not much else to go in both cases so it wasn't much of a problem. Also getting stuck is sometimes part of the fun. Just letting you know.
This review ended up being a lot longer than the others because the content of your game was very diverse. Good game!
They are supposed to be aliens, but post apocaliptic pokemons works too! hahaha :D
Being compared to undertale in terms of storytelling in any way is quite a compliment for me, thanks!
Yeah I couldn't do more than just the intro. The way Pico-8 works is that the programming is limited to 8000 words to put it simply, and i hit that limit. So I have to make the code more efficient first in order to have space for more story.
Pico-8 has keys (X) and (O) which translates to Z/X unless you change it. I changed it now. Should have done it this way from the start. I will try to ramp up the complexity slowly to make the tutorial as minimal as possible.
Thanks for your feedback!
This is a good start! Zapped Cow already pointed out a lot of the things I was gonna say, but here's some things I'd like to add:
- I like how there is an island with the same name as the game. Makes it feel important and gets you interested in it. Use this to your advantage!
- The UI is well done and you can access it bot via keyboard and mouse;
- The way things are far from each other gives a unique feel to the game. Maybe you can add something for the player to do when going to places that are far apart to keep engagement. Like something that happens on your ship while traveling;
- Making the map transparent could help looking at it while moving Diablo style. Or maybe make it smaller or even have a mini map on some corner of the screen. It's something you can experiment with;
- The thing I think you should work next is polishing the main mechanic of the game. Assuming it is combat, make the movement feel good, the cannons feel the most responsive possible, the enemies interesting (either via having good AI, enemies with different weapons, different behaviors, etc). Your game already has a lot of stuff (quests, items, a populated world), so your main mechanic has to be crisp to let you see the best way to fit all these components together.
The framerate is definetly not your fault. All 3D games in this jam are very slow in my PC. I tried to run your game again in low resolution but I didn't help.
But since you are interested in my feedback, I will try to play your game on my friend's PC, it will likely run better there.
It is not easy to take criticism on something that takes so much time and effort like making a game. Good for you being open to it!