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A member registered Oct 29, 2020 · View creator page →

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Hi MuffinCat! Glad you enjoyed the game and thanks for the kind words :)

Would love to see where the story goes! Really enjoyed playing the jam version and looking forward to the full game. And congrats on the great placing! :)

Sorry about that ZeroToHero. We're releasing the post-jam version of the game this Tuesday (Dec 22nd) which addresses all of these issues. Hope you'll come back then and give the game another try. We've also added new mechanics and endings!

An incredible game that all fans of city-builders NEED to play! The artwork is gorgeous and the music draws you into the world immediately. I lost myself in the world for hours trying to beat it on the hardest difficulty. Definitely of the best city builder games I have ever played.

Thanks for taking the time to stream and play! Was really helpful watching someone new to the game explore the different controls and mechanics. Really appreciate it

Hi Rayyan, thanks for the compliments! Glad you liked the visuals and sound.

Sorry about the bugs :( We only discovered them from user feedback after the submission deadline. We're going to be fixing them all in the next update, right after the jam ends. A UI rework and a tutorial are in the works too to help with learning the controls and mechanics early-game.

Thanks for playing!

A lovely little experience. I got lost in the universe immediately. Great storytelling, although I wished it was told a bit more through the gameplay (speak to characters in game to reveal more of the lore/discover locations, notes, etc). 

The artwork and music are awesome. It draws you into the world and sets the tone perfectly. The characters are very cute and full of personality. The platforming is a little unintuitive (some of the sprint jumps look impossible but the game snaps you to them) but you get used to it over time.

I wish there was a bit more to it. You can't get me hooked into this interesting story and just leave me there! >:( hahaha

Great job overall and a congrats on making such a good game. :)

Wow, what an incredibly well polished game. To have made this in one month is a moonshot achievement ;)

Where do I even start with my thoughts. Everything is top notch. Visuals are simple but perfect for the feel of the game. The little characters have so much personality. The screen shake makes such a big difference to the feel of the shots. The colors are striking and memorable. The chromatic aberrations add to the aesthetic and give it a very interesting look.

The sound design is fantastic. The music is perfectly fitting for the feel of the game, the sound effects are heavy and feel very impactful. The character speech sounds are very nicely done. You could have totally skipped out on it but your attention to detail clearly shows.

The presentation was extremely polished and professional. The menus have their own look and feel to match the aesthetic of the game. Everything from the font choice to the hyper stylized look make it stand out and feel unique in a world where menus usually receive the least attention. Incredible job on on that.

The one critique I have is that the left and right guns look and behave the same (at least as far as I played) If they had been different colors, that would have made it easier to mentally associate with the left and right hands. As it is now, once I start moving and the character starts turning, which gun is left or right is pretty much guesswork. Would have also been interesting to explore what happens when the guns are different on each hand. Would have added a new dynamic where certain situations preferred one gun over the other and you would have to position yourself for the best advantage.

Overall, an incredible experience, and a very viable commercial product. If you fleshed this game out and added more to it (more guns, more characters, more playstyles, more replayability) it could become a very very popular mainstream game. I really hope you continue to work on this post jam. The sky is the limit! :)

What an awesome game! Easy to learn but hard to master. And has that elusive "1 more try" aspect.

I loved how the concept was simple but the level design made it such a challenge. I kept retrying levels even when i got it right just to see if I could make it in 1 shot. The controls felt smooth and intuitive and the ball always behaved exactly how I would expect it. Very well polished mechanically.

The sound design and visuals were really nice too. Simple but effective, never overdoing it.

Great game, I had a lot of fun playing! :)  

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback 40wattstudio! We completely agree with you that the game's controls and mechanics aren't obvious to new players. We only realized that after submitting our game to the jam. We are currently working on redesigning the UI and making a short tutorial sequence to slowly and naturally introduce the player to all the mechanics and controls.

We also think this game has potential so we're going to continue working on it and make it the best game we can. We are adding new systems to improve replayability, new soundtracks, more intuitive control schemes, and much more.

Thanks for playing and for the kind words!

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I recently took part in my first game jam and finally published my first game. It was the second game I ever made and the first I ever designed from scratch. I've written about my journey here: https://colorpalette.itch.io/the-first-wave/devlog/202645/game-jam-blues-and-loo.

Interested to know what all of your first game development experience was like.

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Hi all!

This game jam meant a lot to me and finally got me on the road to indie game development. I wrote about my journey here:

https://colorpalette.itch.io/the-first-wave/devlog/202645/game-jam-blues-and-loo...

Thanks for letting us know! The next update is planned for Dec 20th (when the game jam ends). All known bugs will be fixed so you should have a crash-free experience :)

Thanks for playing smokecastles, and for the detailed bug report! From the initial look into those error messages, I suspect some sort of browser add-on (like an adblocker or popup blocker or something along those lines) that's stopping the game from accessing certain parts of the browser. We will definitely take a closer look and try to find the exact cause. In the meantime if you would like to play again without the errors, firefox seems to work better than chrome for this game.

We will be releasing an updated version of the game shortly after the jam ends, where all known bugs will be fixed and the UI will be updated to be more beginner friendly. We also have a tutorial in the works to teach new players the mechanics and controls in a natural way. Hope you'll give the game another shot then. :)

Hi Sam! Thanks for the compliments and for playing more than once! 

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback about the gameplay mechanic as well. We agree that the runs are a bit short right now, especially on Lupus where you can get to Earth in 4 planets if you go for the shortest route, or 5 planets in Olor. We will take a look at that and try to come up with a good balance between making the runs longer and feel more substantial while also allowing for fast-Earth strategies. We want this game to have a lot of replay value and we're working on redesigning some of the mechanics to allow for that.

Glad you enjoyed the game!

Hi cykelkatalogen! It's definitely not you haha, we got a lot of feedback that the controls and mechanics of our game aren't easy to get into for newer player. And we totally agree with that. We're currently redesigning the UI to address those problems and will be releasing an update shortly after the jam ends. We also have a tutorial planned for first time players. Thanks for playing!

Thanks for playing Fry! Totally agree with you about the UI, we're redesigning it right now to be more intuitive.

Thanks for thoughtful feedback Jake! We agree with some of the UI issues you brought up and we're currently redesigning the UI to fix those problems. The game lets you right click to zoom in, which helps with reading smaller text, but that feature is a little hard to discover at the moment so we'll be making that more obvious as well.

Thanks for playing and for the compliments!

Hi GodlyAvenger! (cool name btw) Sorry you weren't able to play :( We've recently discovered that the game doesn't load on Chrome on MacOS Big Sur. Firefox seems to work better.

Could you let us know what browser and operating system you were using? It could help us discover the issue and fix it.

Thanks for playing renato and for your feedback! We're working on changing up the UI so that information is presented to the player in a better way.

Sounds awesome! Would be happy to help playtest new levels if you need more eyes on them. :)

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Wow there's a lot of depth here. I didn't make it very far but looking through the recipes I'm surprised by how much depth there is to the mechanic! Good job putting all of that together for a jam game.

I think there's a lot of room for improvement. Here's some things that would make the game a lot nicer:

  • Audio - A simple background track would add a lot of atmosphere and set the scene for the player. Maybe something a little upbeat since you're cooking food and feeding people. Sound effects would also be nice. You don't have to go super detailed, a simple "win" sound for when you get a recipe right would give much-needed feedback to the player.
  • UI - The UI could use a "theme". Since this is a restaurant, you can go with that. Make the recipes look like they're recipes in an actual restaurant/kitchen. There's a lot of ideas here you can play with. You can make it look like it was hand-written by the head-chef or your uncle. Or you can make them look like a commercial chain restaurant type thing. Make the images bigger and make them the focus rather than the text. In the kitchen, use a meter for the timer rather than a countdown text (or along with the text) People like looking at pictures more than reading :)
  • Gameplay - The actual gameplay is missing a "hook" to it, something that gets the player wanting to keep playing. At least for me it was. When I play a game I'm either into the story and wanting to discover and explore keeps me going. Or if its a skill based game then I need a mechanic that I can improve at, and seeing my skill go up and trying to get better at the game's challenge is what keeps me going. This game could use one of those hooks, or both! I would also make the restaurant days much shorter, especially for the early levels. 4 minutes was way too long and I wish I could move to the next day after about a minute. Shorter gameplay loops feel more satisfying to complete.

Hope you keep working on the game, there's a lot of potential here! 

Really charming game! The visuals and sound drew me into the characters world immediately and I wanted to find out what was happening. Sadly I got stuck in a tree about 15 minutes in and wasn't able to continue :(

The slow movement was bothering me at first but then I took a deep breath and realized that this game was trying to put me in a calm and relaxed mood so I embraced it and stopped bothering me. I loved the little bear's animation and exploring the world so it wasn't a bad thing to spend more time there!

This is a little thing but the footprints really got my attention! The fact that they show up slowly over time and help you see the path you've taken, maybe I read too much into it but for me that was symbolic of the fact that sometimes in life you only clearly see some things in hindsight.

Congrats on making an incredible game, would love to give it another go after the jam when a bug-free version is uploaded for web.

Wow what an amazing game! A really unique text adventure that had me hooked the entire time. Couldn't make it to the finish, one of the later satellite stages was a bit too hard and I gave up after several tries :(

Really awesome concept and execution. The different block types have so much personality to them, and somehow in my head they looked exactly right. @ for clouds and # for satellites was brilliant, same for the ones from the screenshot that I wasn't able to reach myself! Using colors on top was a nice touch as well.

The gameplay itself was addictive and has that "1 more try" quality to it! Sometimes it was a bit hard to plan where your stairs will go, but that's the kind of skill I expect to get better at the more I play. The difficulty curve felt pretty good and well thought out, slowly introducing new concepts and making it harder each time. The quick time-to-completion for each level also made it easy and painless to reset if you got it wrong. And the text on the side to add context to everything was the cherry on top. Really made the universe feel alive and got me invested in trying to do well!

Awesome work! Thanks for the unique experience :)

I love how you took such simple art assets but made the game look so good with the context surrounding it. Sometimes I wonder if my limited 2d art skills are going to stop me from making games but seeing games like this is really inspiring!

I wasn't able to get very fun but I enjoyed running around chaotically while I lasted haha. Some more movement tech would have been nice to increase the skill ceiling - jumps, dashes that sort of thing. Then the player could get used to the mechanics and get better over time giving them a sense of accomplishment and also add replay value ("Let me try again, I can do better this time now that I'm better at the movement")

Good job with the audio as well. And of course, hilarious intro :) Fun game overall!

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Thanks for playing Soul Grinder! Appreciate the feedback and the kind words. Glad you found the zoom feature useful, this the first piece of feedback we've gotten on that feature so thanks for that. Yes the controls aren't taught to the players very well right now :( We are working on improving that, its our top priority right now.

As for the ending, initially we had plans for a system where each ending would unlock new characters. They all have different abilities so this would unlock new playstyles with each ending you got, adding a lot of strategy and replay value. But for the jam we ended up unlocking all the characters and letting the players enjoy them all right away. Future versions of the game will definitely bring more weight to the different endings and add meaningful strategic choices for each one. :)

I tried to leave by moving off-screen

Thanks for the detailed feedback yousayrandy, we really appreciate it! Critical feedback will help us improve this game a lot and bring up all the weak points so I'm really glad you took the time to leave thoughtful feedback.

- There actually is an attack now button, it's right on top of the sliders. It's the big red button that says Fire. Unfortunately, we never explained this to the player. I decided to add that button just a couple of days before the deadline because I was having the same issue as you. I had gotten so good at the game that I was setting my sliders in 4-5 seconds and then just having to wait. Because that button came so late in development, we forgot to explain what it does at all :( But then again we did a poor job teaching any of the mechanics so that's an area we have to improve in.

- For hunting, not sure how far you got so I'll explain the whole loop. When you reach a planet, first you do a planet scan to reveal the resources on the planet, then you do a hunting scan to find where the animals are. This step will prompt you to use the radar, and you use the WAD keyboard keys to turn to the right and face the right console which has the radar. The start button will glow green so you press that to start hunting. The radar will show 3 animals on screen, a bunny (small yield), a deer (medium yield) and a bear (high yield). The smaller the animal the easier it is to catch. This is signified by the fact that they have smaller number for you to memorize and type in. You use the number pad right below the radar to type the number and then press the enter button on the pad. The in-game explanation for this mechanic is that you stay on the ship and use the radar to locate these animals, and then send the coordinates to the crew so they can catch them on the ground. There is a timer on the radar that goes down pretty quickly, it only refills as you catch more animals. Catching bigger animals gives you more time but it's harder so there's a risk-reward tradeoff there. Again, none of this was taught to the player and the only way to know how to do any of this would have been to press H once you selected hunting (but even then, a wall of text isn't the ideal way to teach mechanics to the player). Once you finish an activity, the tall screen on the front side to the right of the big screen tells you what the results of that activity were. So whenever I finish hunting, I look there to see how much biomass I collected and whether any crew members got injured in the hunt.

Thanks for taking the time to play! Hope you revisit the game in the future, we will work hard to make sure it's very beginner friendly and teaches the player all the mechanics and controls in an intuitive way. This was only the second game I've ever made in my life, and for both Cigfer and I this was the first game we made from scratch all the way to completion (design, planning, etc). We are both learning as we go and hope to improve over time :)

Hi Johnonym, thank you for the detailed feedback! During development we only managed to get a couple of playtesters so I really appreciate the thoughtful comments and constructive criticism. It'll help us a lot! We are definitely going to continue working on the game, and hopefully flesh it out a lot more and bring it to market. We really like the game and think it has a lot of strategic decision making and replay value that fans of the genre will like.

- Good point about the hyperdrive effect, we'll definitely work on the effect so it doesn't feel like something went wrong.

- The thruster lever gave a lot of players a hard time unfortunately. It turned out to be not as obvious/intuitive to use as we had thought. We will rework the UI for that so it's completely obvious how to use it, thanks for pointing out the problem.

- Glad you liked the UI! This was my first time doing 2d art for a game so I'm glad someone liked it haha (my main skills are programming and music)

- Yes, it's possible to skip all the planets and go straight to earth and try for diplomacy, although it makes it harder. In the game, there is a meter for how strong the galaxy's technology is. For each planet you visit, every planet gets a bit stronger (their ships become higher level during combat and your starting stats for diplomacy get lower). So the risk with going straight to earth and trying diplomacy is that you have a much lower chance of success. When I play for diplomacy ending, I try to research the diplomacy options that will increase my chances (upto +15% for both subjugation and trade) and that requires quite a bit of resources so I stop by other planets and gather those. But yeah as of right now, there's really no penalty for skipping all the gameplay and going straight to earth. It's actually even a good way to see all the endings quickly haha. Failing subjugation (the Captured ending) is my favorite. We will work on making it so that it's more punishing to go straight to earth and only very skill level players should risk that strategy.

Thanks for the compliments about the visuals and sound design. For a 2 person team, this was a pretty ambitious project and we're proud of what we've accomplished so far. We have a good vision for the final version of the game and will continue working to get there. Thanks for playing!

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You understood the game pretty well despite our poor attempt at explaining it in-game. I'll try to explain all the inner mechanics of the game along with the numbers. Long post incoming, but I'll label the sections so you can navigate it better hopefully.

Timing

Yes, the combat rounds have a 15 second timer. The player has to make all their decisions within that time, that's the challenge of the combat game. (There is a crew member perk that adds 3 seconds to the combat timer to make it easier). Once you get the flow of the combat you can get good enough that you won't even need the full time. Then you can press the big red Fire button on top of the sliders to instantly drop the timer to 0 and start that round.

Meters & Weapons

The 3 meters are guns, shields & thrusters. Guns are how much damage you do, shields are how much damage you block, and thrusters increase your chance to dodge & crit. The value of the gun and shield meters are the values you will hit for and block respectively. The value of the thruster sets your dodge chance to 50% of the value and your crit chance to 25% of the value. Crits deal 2.5x damage. The total values for all the meters add up to your ship's reactor value. By default your reactor starts at a 100 so you get to distribute 100 points between the 3 meters. There are research options and crew perks that increase this. And yes, you use the sliders (left side, front console) to set the meters. The gun and shield sliders have 3 buttons each above them to set their respective element.

Nukes deal 100 damage instantly and stop you taking any damage for that round, but also injure all crew members so it's a risk-reward tradeoff. The nuke also takes about 5 seconds to arm so you have to make the decision to use it fairly quickly.

The element system

The element system is rock-paper-scissors. The 3 elements are called: Ballistics, Laser & Plasma. We made the "weak against" and "resistant to" based off pokemon's typing matchup system. If you match your shield to properly block the enemy gun, you're resistant and take very little damage. If you get completely the wrong type (the type that's weak against it, think a  fire type in pokemon fighting a water type), then you take high damage. If you use the same element as them then you're partly effective and take medium damage. The element strength matchup goes likes this:

Ballistics > Laser > Plasma > Ballistics

This applies for both when you're choosing your gun type against the enemy's shield, and also when you're choosing your shield type against the enemy gun.

Injuries

Your crew members also have a chance to get injured, proportional to how much damage you take in that fight. So if you fight recklessly and don't block much, your crew will have a much higher chance of getting injured. A dead crew member doesn't contribute their perks anymore so that's a big loss. If all 4 crew members die, that ends the run.

Round example

Enemy sets: 50 guns (plasma), 30 shields (ballistics), 20 thrusters

I'll set my shield to about 40 so I can block most of the damage. I want it to be laser, since laser is strong against the enemy's plasma gun. (If I chose plasma, the same element as the attack, I would only block half of the damage, or 20. If I chose ballistics, which is weak to plasma, I would block 0 damage!)

Since I used up 40 on shields, I have 60 left for guns and thrusters. I'll set thrusters to 20. This gives me a 10% chance to dodge and a 5% chance to crit.

Now I have 40 left and I'll use that for guns. I'll set the element to plasma, since my plasma guns will beat the enemy's ballistic shields. Because I got the typing right, the enemy will block 0 damage so I get the full 40 damage in. If i crit then that's 2.5 x 40 = 100 damage.

My final setup: 40 guns (plasma), 40 shields (laser), 20 thrusters

Another round example (w/ Nuke)

Enemy sets: 80 guns, 10 shields, 40 thrusters (higher level enemy with 130 total reactor, 90hp left)

Lets assume my ship only has 140 hp left. The enemy has a high chance (10%) to crit here and kill me. I can either set high thrusters myself and try to dodge, or set my shields very high (~80) with the right element and try to tank the hit, or I can use a Nuke.

I decide on the Nuke. I take no damage for the round so I save my ship, and the nuke does 100 damage and destroys the enemy. The drawback was that all my crew members took injury damage and I'll now have to use biomass to heal them up.

Conclusion

Hope that explained the inner working of the combat system. It's a lot to throw the player into without properly guiding them through the mechanics. We tried to explain the basic system in the in-game help (H key brings up help any time in-game and explains whatever activity you're currently doing) but of course that's not really an ideal way to do it. The post-jam version of the game will hopefully do a much much better job of guiding the player through the mechanics so they can pick it up intuitively and then naturally get better at it over time.

Thanks a lot for your interest in the game and making the effort to understand it. We put a lot of thought into making the mechanics fun and strategic and really appreciate your effort!

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Hi Vasilis! Thanks for playing the game and taking the time to understand it. Sorry about the confusion, we realized after getting player feedback that the game is not beginner friendly, and we're working on the game now to improve in that area.

The combat has a rock-paper-scissors type of mechanic where the 3 elements are strong/weak against each other. If the player matches the elements properly they can do massive damage and take very little damage. Sadly the difficulty curve on that game wasn't adjusted properly so its really tough for new players to do well. We will fix this problem after the jam for sure.

You get the crystals (called gemstones in the game) from other civilizations. We treated this like a "money" value so you go to planets with civilizations and then either trade with them, subjugate them, or destroy them in combat to get their gemstones. Mining and hunting have a chance of giving gemstones as well but only if you perform really well (research makes this a bit easier). We will do our best to explain all of this in-game in a natural and intuitive way!

As for the other builds, yes we will provide downloads for all major platforms after the jam. Right now we are focusing on fixing all the bugs and improving the new player experience. Thanks a lot for your feedback and compliments, it means a lot to us! :)

A fun color matching game, I used to play this kind of game when I was younger but they never came with an interesting story haha. Good thinking there. Adding a story element ends up adding so much to a game, really adds that personal touch to it.

The puzzles themselves seemed pretty easy at the start and I thought I would finish all the levels no problem, and then the game introduced 3 colors and I had a really hard time lol. Good jam entry!

Really funny concept and very well executed! I got too drunk and wasn't able to make it to the moon but I really enjoyed trying to stack the cups. The godzilla in the background was a nice touch haha. Fun game!

Hi Boopy2, we're really sorry about the confusion and the confusing controls :( This game was made for a game jam and we realized after the deadline that new players were having trouble understanding the controls. As the developers, we never even considered how unintuitive it would be for someone playing for the first time.

We are currently working on a short tutorial sequence and a UI rework to slowly teach the player all the controls and mechanics before throwing them into the full game loop. The game jam ratings end on the 20th and we're planning on updating the store page right after that. Hope you come back then and give the game another chance, there's a lot of interesting gameplay and strategic options to explore.

Really fun and addictive gameplay! Wish there was some audio, even a simple background track would have added a lot to the game.

The mechanic itself is really well thought out and implemented. The character feels very responsive to control as do the cars. I love that you can turn the cars in place because having to drive backwards is a nightmare with this perspective haha. I only figured that out in my second run but I did pretty well after that.

Great game overall and has a lot of potential. Hope you keep working on it, would love to play it again in the future with more polish!

Ouch my ears :( The sound effects are so much louder than the background, I had my volume turned way up with headphone to listen to the background track, would be nice if you balanced it a little better.

The visuals are fantastic! I loved the 1 bit art and the character seemed to have personality just by the way they looked. That's a sign of really good character design in my opinion, great work!

The shoot and teleport mechanic was fun as well. Would love to see more levels and challenges with this mechanic. And maybe a story for our main character too! Hope you keep working on this, there's a lot of potential here for a really good and popular game.

I only have a Mac, wish there was a mac build or a WebGL build :( Artwork looks really cool would love to try it.

Incredible visuals! The artwork was so well done, props to the artists! 

The idea of adding bullet-time to a shmup was really cool. There were times where I felt like I had no choice but to take a hit even with the slip time activated but that's probably because I didn't destroy the threats early enough. Another idea I had during playing was that maybe the slip time mechanic can be a trade-off. As long as you're shooting it won't recharge so you have to stop shooting to get it back. That way the player has to decide when to be aggressive and when to be defensive. Just a thought!

Very cool game overall, had a lot of fun with it.

Really cute character! I liked the level art, especially the background. It really felt like you were a little person in a big city.

The level design was good, seemed like you put a lot of thought into it. The first zipline had moons above it to teach the player that they can jump while zipping, that was a really nice touch. There were a lot of moons I wasn't able to get but I'm sure I was just missing some kind of movement tech because later on I was getting better at getting more of the moons and even backtracking to find more I had missed.

Wasn't able to make it to the end but enjoyed the time I spent. Good game!