Absolutely brilliant. Puzzles escalated slowly, giving you time to learn the controls and mechanics. I feel like the second level was a bit of a bump but other than that I had a blast figuring out how it all stuck together. Truly a winning candidate.
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Never thought I’d get a nostalgia trip for the GMTK Game Jam. It’s a very interesting and kinda adorable twist on a basic game of tag but it’s fun and really engaging! Managed to impress the aliens more than once.
Probably the most polished game I’ve seen yet. The interpretation of the theme is perhaps not as original as can be, but the execution is off the charts. The self-contained typography puzzles themselves would have been enough on all their own, but implementing a Mario Maker-esque custom levels system is simply unreal. Very addicting, especially if you’re a graphics designer…
A very interesting way to look at the theme, as well as an interesting way of abstracting riots and protests. Always fun to see physics games focusing on crowd control. The minimalist artstyle and soundscape are sharp, extremely readable, and support the game’s theme of fighting against a cold and monotonous world.
If there is anything to criticize, it’s that the pacing is perhaps a bit too slow. Police forces are fast and can disperse your protesters pretty easily if you can’t outmaneuver them, meaning that levels take a while to beat.
A literally connection between two entities isn’t the most original take on the theme, but the execution is what’s important. I love the sub-atomic theme, the artstyle and the general tension created by the music. It does take a bit to get used to but once you do, it’s kinetic and very satisfying. Also props for using PICO-8, that’s always legit.
As other have said, collectibles would greatly help encourage players to move. Other than that, I’d say that once your “partner” is gone, you can do nothing but stand there and die. That’s maybe a bit too sudden. If the particles could take a bit of a beating I feel like the overall experience could be smoother and less unfair at times.
Where’s Waldo on steroids. I have to admit the connection to the theme is a bit of a strech, but the act of vigorously dragging around socks to find the correct one is a small thrill, if only for a moment. I read on the game’s page that this is your first game. It may be simplistic but it is very polished and readable. Makes the game even more impressive.
Combining colors is an excellent interpretation. The puzzles are interesting and require some thought to solve. It did a good job at engaging me throughout. The minimalist, striking artstyle does help to the point that I was heavily reminded of Thomas Was Alone. If I do have one criticism, it’s that the game starts easy enough then quickly ramps up. I was brute-forcing the last few puzzles, but that’s fair enough given the jam’s timeframe.
An interactive toy more than anything, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun and deftly satirical. A good way to kill a few minutes trying to string together an epic conspiracy. Brilliant way to interpret the theme, and the fact you actually went and used NewsAPI is just incredible. Certainly gets full marks in the originality department.
Still, I agree with the other comments about grammar: I often found myself lacking enough adjectives to string together coherent titles. But maybe that’s the point.
Absolutely adorable. Almost like playing through a set piece in an animated film.
The pixel art is insanely detailed and meticulous. It’s short, and does lend itself to trial and error, but the atmosphere, idea and general “spot the differences” puzzle aspect of it just kept me in.
Game feel is important, arguably the important aspect of when it comes to engaging your players. Even on a jam about intentionally bad games :)
Other than that make sure your textures are a power of 2 and use Unity’s built-in model compression. Also make sure you’re using the most recent build method. Unity still has legacy support for older algorithms that have poor compression in today’s standards.
When playing games made for this jam I come with zero expectations, as should be from a jam called “So Bad It’s Good”, but I did not expect a fully voice acted parody of Bethesda RPGs on my doorstep.
Morrowind/Fallout NV as seen through the filter of old GMOD nonsense machinimas is a great combination, as it turns out. Also mildly reminded me of West of Loathing if it somehow made less sense. With this sort of premise it’s easy to milk the joke for as long as possible, but thankfully Stalewater ends when it needs to.
While the voice acting and intonation was a tad too slow in my taste, the game makes up for it with excellent visual gags and smashing high-quality PBR textures on absolutely terrible modeling.
As others have mentioned, the gameplay itself is underwhelming. I don’t know if the lack of feedback when firing guns was an intentional SBIG joke, a reference to Bethesda’s lackluster combat, or just because it fits with the theme. But really I found the combat more monotonous and frustrating than funny. Hitscan weapons require sufficient cover and design to not feel cheap, and “death screams” being akin to children losing a backyard game gets old very quality for example.
But hey, off with mechanics, we’re not GMTK. Content is king here. Bottom line, it’s probably the most ambitious game I’ve seen here, both in terms of content, the subject matter it’s parodying, and actual file size (seriously, I believe it’s possible to compress the game further in Unity). And just for that it’s worth preserving.
Thanks! I did want to add more varied enemies, but since I had to wrap this game up in two weekends (keeping with my full time job and all that) I tried to do my best with just two basic enemy types, each countered through different means.
Thanks for adding your thoughts. Not to complain of anything, as this is what allowed me to actually participate in the first place, but I think the jam being (around) two weeks long as opposed to, say, one weekend does allow this sort of feature creep to take control over your project.
This isn’t necessarily bad, but it is something to be mindful of; content is king, that’s true, but as you said, “not a lot of good content” is better than “a lot of meh content”.
P.S. I didn’t really mean to insinuate you worked for a corporation. This type of “institutionally-mandated fun” is kinda uniform everywhere :)
P.S.S. A program starting another .exe file raises some eyebrows, maybe? VirusTotal says at least 2 anti-viruses consider that file malware (interestingly, not my own, which just makes this even weirder). But then again, I have to ask why that frontend is even necessary when Austin.exe works fine.
Shoot To Move isn’t a new concept, but paired with pinball it’s a hectric 3rd person shooter that maybe takes a bit to get used to, but has some real challenge regarding movement tech.
The idea of having a limited number of bullets in your mag occasionally got me into some BS situations, but it also adds another dimension to the game: there were times where I blew my last bullet on nothing just so I could reload and have a full load.
It does get a bit repetitive and monotonous after a while, but it is a very interesting concept with the sweet harmony of clashing samples and GIF explosions.
I knew I’d be coming into a Portal parody, but I didn’t think it’ll actually tie into the actual game. The concept of a DIY Aperture Science is not only a thematic joke but actually used with the portals themselves, which is pretty brilliant.
I will say though, the portal view isn’t optimized at all, to the point that the game ran at sub-20 FPS at most times on my machine. Render Textures be heavy, y’all. Still, from what I played, it’s a superb take on the theme despite its performance problems.
Really solid concept, we may or may not have thought of the same mechanic simultaneously, lol :)
It’s short, sweet, and highly intuitive. I like how you taunt players with shorter paths that eventually turn out to be the incorrect path. Overall it held my interest throughout.
The graphics are drawn in like 5 minutes but they have a lot of charm to them. Details like the zoom transitions and audio cues really helped its charm, too.
Had a lot of fun with it, and it was just as long as it needed to be.
I first smiled not during the opening cutscene, but the minute I saw all my controls were Spacebar. I knew exactly what was going to happen. And it did.
Technically playable and has a goal, but it doesn’t matter. It felt like playing old school GTA in a a way, just made infinitely more entertaining considering it’s “Tim Hanks” in there. Very good work, and God bless Tom Hanks.
It’s funny, both in its writing and its SBIG-ness. I don’t know why but… the premise vaguely reminds me of Persona. The pacing is a bit too slow, both in terms of plot and text speed. Took a while ’till things really got going. The minigames were j a n k, as to be expected, but they were a good way to break up the reading.
Yeah, it is a bit of a mess, but it’s a constructed mess, and one that I assume accurately describes the academic experience in whatever country the “narrator” is from.
The graphics as previously noted are very colorful, but maybe they’re too good for this particular jam ;)… Aside from the shoddy UI, everything here is adorable, from the characters to the obstacles you’re supposed to avoid to the background gags to the premise itself.
As for the gameplay itself, I agree with y’all that it is janky. I managed to go past the two dogs after a lot of trial and error; there isn’t enough contrast between the background and foreground so what I was supposed to avoid and what’s just a background detailed fizzled out. But then I died a bit afterwards for reasons I do not understand? I tried everything.
Anyways. If you are going to make a post-jam version I’d recommend maybe trying to go for an endless randomized runner with very obvious encounters rather than a predetermined sequence of actions as it is now. It will make replaying the game more varied and also give you a chance to prioritize what is and isn’t relevant to the game itself.
Christ, this brings back some corporately mandated memories. This isn’t just any parody, it’s clear you have experience with the subject matter. The details were spot on - corporate slides, uncharismatic presenters, instructional vids ripped straight from YouTube, terrible UI and a lazy and cynical gamification aspect to the whole thing. It’s all there plus some punchy dry humor. Definitely gets points in the SBIG department.
But as much as I feel like you did really have fun creating the whole thing, it’s just too long for a casual player, and was hard to engage with. Most of the time I was watching slideshows or videos, and with no overarching narrative and middling pacing, the joke did languish after completing one section. I think that with a tighter scope and focusing on just one aspect, alongside a solid hook to keep me going, this could’ve been a great little satirical piece.
Still, I enjoyed what I did experience. I will now wash my hands, but only because I want to seem polite after this interaction.
PS: my anti-virus thought ITALauncher.exe was malware. Just FYI.
Glad you enjoyed it :)
I am a sucker for interactive non-textual tutorials so I tried to pull one in lieu of programming an in-game tutorial. I admit the mouse prompt could have been more obvious. It’s always a balance between letting players figure the mechanic out on their own and just giving them the answer.
You did raise a point about audio. It is a lot harder to pull shitty audio than shitty visuals without having your audience GTFO. Improperly mixed alarm sounds are used both to increase tension and to sorta tap into that SBIG mentality a bit. As for the speech pattern - it’s a gag regarding visual novel dialogue beeps. I tried replacing those beeps with my voice and found it funny so I kept it. I understand why it’s a bit annoying though, it really is a niche gag.
Anyways, thanks for playing!
As much as I like the idea of looking for a car only by listening for it, it took me a while to understand LMB does anything - the hand doesn’t animate at all and I had my headphones fairly low so the car audio wasn’t audible.
But yeah, it was short but funny, felt like a satire of horror games in a way. The patrol car pulling robotic 90 degree turns made snicker a bit, and the ending gag is weirdly adorable.
The core mechanic is simple but it’s impressive how many puzzles you managed to make out of it. Plus, the difficulty ramps up nicely. The color palette lacks contrast but the art is readable once you get the hang of it.
All in all cool little game that was satisfying to solve while drinking some hot cocoa :)
For a game made in 12 hours it is certainly a good effort. As another player said, the game giving you an MG42 by the end and letting you mow down what I hope are Nazis is very cathartic. The guns also feel heavy, punchy, and have some good recoil. I am also a sucker for snowy environments.
However I am ashamed to admit I did ragequit once. The enemies absolutely overwhelm you at the start, and not in a fair way. They blend with the background and blizzard to the point that I died randomly my first few times. The way they bee-line towards you, and take far too many hits, is also frustrating. There is also a distinct lack of ground bullet hits. This makes recoil very random and it is unclear where your bullets really land, almost like each shot is a dice roll.
I eventually solved this issue by climbing on top of the mountain and just cheezing my way behind them. The lack of proper lighting was the problem I suspect, which also contributed to me being very confused as to where to go.
I’m sorry to say that I don’t think it is fit for a bigger release, even with all of these bugs ironed out. Call me pretentious but GameGuru is great as an introduction for game dev but I would not call it a professional or even flexible engine by any stretch of the imagination. Why not try learning Unity/Unreal/Godot? I assure you you’ll have substantially more freedom and customization for your game.
Lastly… I don’t know why the game ends with a random anti-Zionist quote that has nothing to do with the game, and has made me laugh out loud due to its extremely random inclusion. But eh, you know, you win some you lose some.
I think you have the potential to become an FPS level designer and/or game designer. The fact you made this in 12 hours means you’re competent with the engine - maybe join a game jam and hone your skills with a more flexible engine? Either way, Allah Ma’ak ya Tzahbi.
אגב, גם במשחקים שלי מתלוננים על באגים מוזרים של שליטה לא רספונסיבית עד באגד-אאוט לחלוטין, מה שמביא אותי לחשוב שזה אולי בעיה של הקומפיילר של יוניטי עצמו.
מה שאני ממליץ תמיד, למרות שזה קצת סחרורת וקשה אבל הוכח מולי כעובד, זה להריץ את המשחק על מכונה וינטואלית של וינדוז.
בפעם הראשונה הייתי מבולבל בנוגע למה אני צריך לעשות ולמה אני עושה את זה בכלל, אבל הכל התחבר כששיחקתי שוב. ארט נפלא, אחלה אווירה, אומר הרבה במעט מאוד - ושאפו על העברית!
אם אני צריך לבקר משהו, זה שלדעתי הסיפור מגלה את הקלפים שלו מהר מדי (הבילד-אפ יכול היה להיות איטי יותר) ושאין ממש אינדיקציה על העכבר עצמו מה אינטרקטיבי ומה לא, מה שגרר מלא קצת פיקסל-האנטינג להבין מה אני אמור לעשות. אבל אחלה חמש דקות, נהנתי.
Loved it. It’s a clever, bite-sized twist on the theme, the timeline is a great idea, and overall the presentation is very polished. Could see the ending coming but it still got a chuckle out of me.
I apologize for the wait. I just released a patch that tries to rectify those glitchy non-Windows builds. It’s important to say upfront that I don’t have a Mac or Linux machine at hand to test these builds on. I flipped some switches and optimized settings as best I could, referring to recent tutorials, FAQs, guides I found for advice. Try it out and see if there’s any difference.
Hi, that’s good to know though I recommend you list this as a “post-jam” version and keep the original version as well. It’s unfair to keep only the updated version you fixed after the jam-contest concluded.
For some reason all of my Mac/Linux builds are in some way broken. It will take a while until I’ll get a chance to update them. For now the best I can recommend is to use some sort of Windows VM or back-channel to play the game.