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eminon

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A member registered Jul 24, 2019 · View creator page →

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Things I liked:

You came up with a very clever concept, and for the most part your level design supports it. Once I got used to the controls, I quickly started to see the complex consequences of your simple premise, and I really liked the puzzles you made out of it. You did a good job of choosing side elements (blocks and darts) that augment your main mechanic, and because of that you got a lot of milage out of comparatively simple building blocks.

Potential areas for improvement:

Have you ever played Myst? Even though it's a completely different game, for me it shares the biggest drawback to your game; it's really hard to tell where you're going without animation. Because you didn't have time to create sfx or major landmarks within the dungeons, it was often very hard to tell in which direction or how far I was going. Otherwise, there isn't much wrong here, aside from the small scope and lack of polish that's expected in the average game jam game.

Overall:

I'm very surprised that this is, as far as I can tell, your first game jam game. All things considered, the only real flaws here will be easily countered in the future by experience and practice. Given the creativity of your first outing, I sincerely hope you will continue this in the future, as I think you have a good shot at winning in the next couple of years.

Things I liked:

The whole presentation really got me into a hacker mindset, with the screen aftereffect (especially the fail animation), and particularly the key stroke sfx. I found the difficulty to be just right, hard without feeling impossible or completely overwhelming. I liked the design on a lot of the later levels, especially 5 and 7. You communicated all the commands diegetically, which makes it feel much less like a tutorial and much more like part of the experience.

Potential areas for improvement:

Some of the earlier levels felt a little redundant; it felt very clear that you can use commands before boot from the get-go. Level 6 felt too easy in comparison to the levels around it, mainly because I think there were an unnecessarily large amount of doors. It felt simple, but you seem to be working on changing that for the better, although you should probably keep in mind the tightness of the timing while typing multiple different commands-- it's already pretty hard. Also, the idea of a "crazy" virus feels very un-fun, particularly in comparison to the other ideas you mentioned, which seem like brilliant mechanics with lots of cool possibilities.

Overall:

You've committed to improving a game that already feels great, which I'm very happy to see. Given what you already have and the ideas you have proposed, I believe that you are fully capable of making this game even better than it already is. Good luck, and I'm excited to see what happens!

Things I liked:

I know you didn't create the art yourself, but the aesthetic was super cool, combining the viking imagery with more modern elements created an intriguing disconnect. As other people have mentioned, the forgiving collision for some elements was a godsend, particularly given the floaty controls. I don't quite know exactly how you managed the transition from falling into the pit to landing back on the platform, but it's easily one of the smoothest, cleanest ways I've ever seen that particular transition done.

Potential areas for improvement:

Some of this is probably already in the post-jam version, but I played the WebGL build so I didn't see it. I found the controls too floaty-- if you gave the character just a little more weight so that they came to a stop faster when moving laterally, it would make the game much more manageable. I didn't fully understand your main mechanic involving the button; it didn't really feel any different after the button supposedly broke. I feel like if you gave the button a larger function controlling the obstacles (such as reversing the direction of moving pillars) and incorporated that into the level design, your game would feel more unique and fun to play.

Overall:

The first jam as a solo developer is always hard, and I'm glad to see that you've taken to the challenge with gusto. I'm glad I was able to find this game, I think with a little more polish it could be very fun and interesting. Good luck on your next game, and I'm sure you'll be a valuable asset to whichever team you join!

Things I liked:

I've seen several games very similar to this one, but what stands out here is the mechanic of jettisoning passengers. It's a brilliant way to spice things up, and it creates a great risk-reward system of figuring out exactly how many people to jettison in order to be able to stabilize without tanking your score. The pixel art presentation is nice, and I particularly like the animation of the passengers flying out of the airlock. Although it wasn't particularly noticeable during gameplay, your comments have pointed out that you have an extremely intelligent difficulty scaling system. The duct tape was a neat touch as well.

Potential areas for improvement:

One of my main problems with these kinds of games is that I seem to always run into a problem Mark Brown calls "optimizing the fun out of a game." In this case, I ended up just running around with a wrench to fix the pipes because everything else I could keep under control, which meant that I didn't end up engaging with your more unique and interesting mechanics. Specifically, I think making the jettison button easier to reach might help make it a more used tool, along with possibly allowing you to use duct tape while holding a tool (or even buffing the time the machine stays off). Having said that, you've already talked some about changing the tools to fix the pipes, which probably would also work-- maybe you can use that as another way to help scale the difficulty?

Overall:

This game is an original take on a classic game jam concept, with several features that make it stand out. I'm glad to see that you're still working on it, because I think with a little more balanced mechanics it will be much easier to interact with the elements that make this game unique. I'm excited to see how everything improves!

Things I liked:

In your development video, you made it clear that your main priority was the polish and graphics. You certainly succeeded there-- it's incredibly rare to find a game jam that feels as finished as this one. The character is super likable, the stretch/squash animations did exactly what you hoped, and I was just as enthralled by the death animation as you were. Your concept was simple but easy to understand, and communicated clearly through the first two levels-- I know you were concerned about making your game easily accessible to a new player, and it shows in your game. Even the menu felt great, which is unheard of for game jams.

Potential areas for improvement:

The quality of life issues you and others have mentioned weren't that big of a deal to me. However, you mentioned that you have trouble designing levels for puzzle games, and that's something that I felt like was definitely noticeable. Most of the levels felt very linear, with a simple, clear path from beginning to end, and even then I was able to complete almost all of them with pieces to spare. I think you were hurt by trying to make the game more complex initially-- it's probably more obvious in hindsight, but I think by splitting your attention to thinking about the speed boost and changing toolkit, you weren't able to really hone in on the consequences created by your simpler set of elements. The last level, where you had to jump into a box on a platform, was brilliant and I would have loved to see more of it; maybe bouncing a box on a spring, maybe removing a platform while the robot is on it, maybe bouncing the robot over a wall of spikes to bounce off a clear patch of wall.

Overall:

This game works perfectly in every area you set out to succeed in-- it's gorgeous, with an extremely cute robot, and very accessible and enjoyable for anyone. Even my critiques on level design could be easily due to personal preference; the other comments seem to like the simplicity of the levels, and it definitely helps fit your criteria of being fun for everyone. Well done!

Things I liked:

This is a super original idea, and a creative take on the prompt. The different ship components were nicely distinct and clearly communicated their gameplay function. Your focus on buttons was good, because I think anything else would have been too difficult to control at the rapid pace required. Your tutorial level was a very clear way of communicating the rules. Art was very clear and functional, and the adaptive music was a nice touch.

Potential areas for improvement:

Your attempt to streamline the controls lead to confusion in some areas (the sliders and wheel took some getting used to). A pause button with the ability to go to the main menu would have been really nice, given that I ended up losing intentionally to get to harder difficulties. I think the most noticeable thing is that difficulty scaling based on levels is really hard to do with the concept you created; the way it is right now, the harder levels felt basically unwinnable because you can't navigate to enough panels. Maybe instead of increasing the amount of error caused by each component, increase the number of components? Or turn it into an endless single level with escalating difficulty? I'm honestly not sure about the best solution.

Overall:

This game feels criminally underviewed given the creative concept and effective, cohesive execution. It was very fun to play, even if the later levels felt unfairly hard (I can't imagine making 60 seconds on nightmare mode). Well done!

Absolutely loved it! Chaotic enough to be unpredictable but with enough control to be rewarding, and the screen wrap is a nice addition to the gameplay. If I could make one change, it would be to have the aim bar follow the ship-- as is, I spent more time aiming based on what direction the ship was pointing than the actual direction indication. Otherwise fantastic!

Things I liked:

Some other people have been drawing comparisons to Doki Doki Literature Club, and I also see a connection there. However, you explored the consequences of player control in very different ways, particularly Scarla refusing to accept their lack of agency. Honestly, the whole second half (starting from the player outing themselves) had some nice philosophical undertones. The cheery music felt a little out of place, but cutting it out at the end was super impactful. Also, nice art!

Areas for improvement:

I hope you make this game a project going forward, because there's a ton more here to explore. There are some polish issues, but that's just the result of not having enough time (as expected for a game jam). The main thing is that the dialogue is very blunt, characters simply laying their beliefs out without any preamble or nuance. This improves somewhat in the second half, but expanding the length should help this. Some other people have complained about a lack of agency, but I feel like that's the whole point. What I would love to have seen is a slow transition from normal dialogue options to complete passivity-- it would help make the lack of agency feel more intentional, create some subtlety in the build-up, and really emphasize the cruel irony of being relied on by Magenta despite having no more freedom in this game than her (brilliant idea working that in, by the way).

Overall:

I'm super impressed that this is your first game jam game. My first was definitely not this good, and I certainly couldn't have done this at 13. I hope you continue doing more game jams and working on this game-- I'm excited to see how you improve!

Things I liked:

This idea is genius, plain and simple. There's just the right number of layers to create an interesting puzzle without it becoming completely impossible, and the whole thing is so simple to grasp yet so hard to master. The simple, clean aesthetic helped give focus to your smart idea, and although at first I was sad there was no music, I realized that it definitely would have been incredibly grating as I kept playing--the sound design works on its own.  Your puzzle design was interesting and escalated nicely in complexity; I particularly like how the standard position of the arrow keys opened up a whole set of challenges involving moving in the wrong direction.

Potential areas for improvement:

This is where I think it's important to separate the objective quality of the game from my subjective experience. I don't like making finicky, small, precise movements in games,  or in real life for that matter. And this game is entirely based around them. So no matter how much I can recognize the brilliance of the idea, the intelligence of the execution and puzzle design, the beauty of the simple aesthetic, I can get over my deep frustration that ultimately made me rage quit the game. But I don't really see any way to change this without fundamentally altering the game beyond recognition. My only piece of real, concrete feedback would be to make the esc key less punishing-- it's just too much in an already brutally hard game.

Overall:

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I think this game is basically perfect, even though it isn't really my thing. I hope that lots of other people will find this game and have fun with it, and I'm super excited to see what you'll make in future game jams!

(excuse my self-indulgence, I had a lot of thoughts that I needed to get down)

Things I liked:

The opening cut scene was hilarious, and it along with the tutorial gave the whole game a nice sense of cohesion. The whole premise was a remarkable original take on the prompt, and the idea of using chickens as a dual purpose mechanic--kill them to get health when you need it, or let them live to potentially last longer-- helped  the idea feel fleshed out. The day-night cycle was clearly communicated, and I particularly liked how the music went silent. The monsters staying alive to hurt the werewolf was a clever touch.

Potential areas for improvement:

I personally have never liked using spamming buttons to control a character. Your game manages it better than many I've seen, but I think it drags the game down a little, particularly in the werewolf sections; something involving luring the werewolf around, possibly set up during daytime, would have elevated the game. Having said that, you have a lot of mechanics for a game jam game, and adding another probably just wasn't feasible. This is going to sound crazy, but I liked shooting the grass more than the monsters; it felt really fun to have to avoid hitting the chickens, and I've shot monsters too many times by now.

Overall;

I thought you had a really creative and interesting take on the prompt, and I'm glad I was able to see it, though some slightly tweaked mechanics would easily have made the game even more rewarding

A list of actions was on my to-do-list, but i just ran out of time. I included animations indicating your health, the next action, and when the enemy hits half hp, but more might have been useful too.

Yeah, sorry about that, but I didn't get a chance to add in-game instructions. The commands just determine which moves you can take on which turns, and you have to actually perform them by either pressing WASD or the up arrow key (for shooting) on the beat.

Very polished, with a stunning amount of depth in both the levels and the central mechanic. My only complaint is that going back to the beginning of the level every time I fell into a pit got annoying after a while, especially after the final boss-- it might have been better to have a checkpoint system or make the player lose a heart.

Thanks for the advice! I appreciate that someone's checking out all of the lesser-viewed entries.

You wanted terrible fan art? Well, you got it!

My  game, if you want to see more mediocre pixel art! https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/463684

I can just visualize that gallery in the MOMA! Thanks!

Now I'm even MORE excited to play the perfected version! I'm not sure how you would implement not letting the players switch to every piece gameplay-wise -- you would need some symmetric, hard rule it would follow (like only being able to switch to adjacent pieces) -- but whatever you decide, I'm sure it will be great!

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I'm glad! I'm excited to see where this game goes! I'm sure with more time, you can turn this into something great!

I had a good time playing it, the twist was interesting and added a new element to think about. It would be nice if you were a bit more up-front with how many turns until the next switch, possibly even before they decide to switch in the first place - every time felt like a surprise to me, taking a bit away from the decisions your twist adds. I'm glad you'll be working on improving this, I'm excited to see a cool concept become a wonderful game

It might be nice if you had it so that you only restart the level you're on instead of going back one. Love the simple design though!

An interesting idea, with a well-designed mystery that's confusing but not impossible. I think with a little more polish and a way to restart from any point in the deduction, this could be a great game! 

The movement feels excellent and really fits right in with the cute, simple music and art. My only complaint is that the game might work better with more vertical level design as opposed to straight, narrow corridors, but as is this is an extremely fun and addictive little game.

I want to love this game. The art and music are both beautiful, making the game world is a fascinating place full of rich detail. However, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't figure out the gameplay. Unless there's something I'm missing, your gimmick simply makes the platforming more frustrating, changing nothing except adding one extra jump. I never found a place where the level design took advantage of the opportunities it offered. I wonder if this game might have been better if it focused entirely around the concept of the world closing in around the character, as happens later in the level.

It's meant for 2 players, and the goal is just to shoot the ball into the goals at the left and right

You, good sir, are a genius. One day, your works will hang in art museums across the world to be treasured by future generations as masterpieces.

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/463684

This might not be quite what you're looking for, but here's an great set of tutorials that helped me out a lot.

https://blog.studiominiboss.com/pixelart