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Enigma Dragons

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A member registered Jul 26, 2017 · View creator page →

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Pitch Looks Strong Overall!

Here are our recommendations for making it even stronger:
- Expand on more of the details on the key gameplay loop. From the pitch, it clear that Fighting and Customizing are key. But it's not clear how this happens without playing the demo, and it's not clear what's unique or different about the fighting and customizing in your game compared with other games. What sort of fighting actions will the player have? What sort of customization choices will players be making?

- Is Talking really a core gameplay loop feature? It is actually talking (player is making important interaction choices in the conversations)? Or is it just reading? Reading is far less of a selling point, and if there is no interaction or choices, then it's may not be part of the core gameplay loop. Either clarify the importance of "Talking" or reduce it's primacy in the pitch (it's the first point on one of the deck slides).

- Action-roguelike is a broad category. Both players and publishes are trying to answer the question "what game is most similar to Scrap Seas?" Make that question very easy to answer. Is this close to Dead Cells? Hades? Everspace? It's not immediately clear. Provide a mental shortcut hook for what game this is closest too and your pitch will instantly hit harder.

- Remove "Cell-Shaded" from target market. That's a game style/feature, but not a market segment. There is nobody who will say "this is a cell-shaded game, I must buy it".

- If you are pitching to publishers, the deck is missing some important details on your target market financial analysis. How much money could this game realistically make? How much money do you need for "Financial and Marketing Support"? Adding those details into the deck will make it easier for publishers to decide. Do the work for them, make their job easy, and that will increase the strength of your pitch and likelihood they will want to work with you.

Shapes can still work fine. I think there is absolutely a path to animating a cube that will make it feel fluid and alive. Even as is, one can conceptualize a cube as having four legs, or as moving by "rolling". Both of those metaphors could lead to some nice and simple animations that will make the flow feel great

This is the great beginning of a project, the game has a lot of potential.

The 2.5D Perspective is done just right. Good depth and parallax effects. That's tough to pull off technically, so it's a really good thing to get dialed in. I like having dash available at the start, and the combat absorb mode choice. Those both contribute to the gameplay nicely!

Gameplay: The biggest thing that needs to evolve is the character controller and physics interactions. The movement is "janky." It doesn't feel very fluid, and the physics allow some strange things (and odd kind of single-wall ascending jump pattern, flying up through platforms that look solid, attack animations that are very abrupt and don't feel very predictable). The tutorial is clear and the level designs seem very nice.

Art: The arts seems to be mostly greyboxed. As such, I won't spend much time commenting on it. For improving greyboxing clarity, I recommend ensuring that the lighting is a little brighter and the contrast between character and background are always strong. I had troubles seeing my character when I jumped high in the mountains area and in some dark areas of the cave. The most valuable piece of art will be the character art. Having a rigged character model will improve game feel and movement feeling a LOT. So, those are probably the two improvement that will offer you the most bang for effort.

This is a great prototype that could be evolved into a very nice modern platformer.

Really charming game!

From the screenshots, I wasn't expected much, but the game really pulled me in.

Music & Mood: The music isn't the highest production stuff, but the melodies and mood create just the right feelings. I was really impressed at how much the music calmed me and set me in a mental state of just relaxation and exploration. Really great writing and writing.

Art: The art is probably the weakest part of the game. If this is a hobby project, then it's totally fine as is. If this is a commercial project, that's probably the #1 to improve. As it stands, the overworld and dungeons feel pretty good. Very crisp and clear. The characters are good. The town and castle could use some work. The three-dimensionality isn't as well represented. I wasn't easily able to tell which areas I could or couldn't walk on when in town, though it was easy outside of town.

Gameplay Thoughts: The general gameplay is very unique. The concept was something I don't think I've encountered in an RPG before. The items are cleverly names and flavorful. The simplified combat removes the typical grind of old-school RPGs. I really love front-loading a powerful choice with the 6 accessory options. Gameplay is king here and it seems really strong!

UI: I had to refer back to the controls several times. I even got stuck on the controls screen and was trying to leave it (finally found it). I think if the controls could be customized a bit, or just if they were taught in a clearer way up front that might be a good minor improvement. Overall though, the UI seemed clear enough. I could play and figure out how to find informational easily enough.

Really fun game! Thanks for sharing this and brightening my Friday evening!

The art is fantastic and the mood of the game is just right!

The UI and progression felt a little clunky. I wanted to read the text faster, but didn't want to have to skip it (by pressing control). I wish that the text boxes could be fully filled instantly.

Also, the input for the Last One game felt a bit clunky. I have to click on the token, and then navigate on the number picker, go to the number I want, and then press return. That's a lot of inputs for a simple action. The game will flow better with a one-click input format which will make everything feel more fluid and natural.

Sound and music are great and perfectly integrated.

The writing is a little bit plain and a little bit verbose. If it were spiced up a bit, or tightened for more conciseness I think it would feel even more engaging.

Very nice game demo overall!

The game and trailer looks beautiful!

Also a bit stuck on figuring out how to access the demo.

Very cool game design!

I love the idea of quick progressing with various platforming upgrades.

This seems like a very good proof of concept game.

I couldn't figure out how to purchase an upgrade for 50 from the skill tree. I had more than 50 crystals and trying clicking, and pressing various keys but I couldn't purchase them.

It would also be nice to have an options menu to tweak the controls (I wanted to press Spacebar to jump), and tune the sound and music volume.

This gameplay direction has a ton of potential!

Nice game concept. Very clean implementation.

I love the sound design. Reminds me of Stardew Valley a lot!

Easy improvement suggestions:
- Add background music.
- Allow seeing a little bit further beneath the water while traveling in the boat.

Harder improvement suggestion:
The gameplay doesn't lend itself to much feeling of progression. While there are upgrades for sale and you must buy them to fish deeper, the core game loop isn't changed in any way. Once the player understands how to move, fish, and whether to click the Eat/Sell button, there is no new progression really offered that forces the player to learn something new, do something different, or reach a higher level of mastery. One way to add more progression might be to make the new fishing rod control differently... Or add some hazard or threat besides hunger.

Those are my thoughts. This is a very polished gameplay demo, and with some gameplay evolution, this could become a really cool and beloved game!

Very great notes! We will use all of these to enhance the experience.

We do own all the music rights for tracks in our game. I am wondering how we need to prove this to YouTube. Will look into it.

Really clean and tight game!

Just the right balance of challenge and comfort!

I couldn't figure out how to unlock bosses after beating the first one. Are they included in this build? Is there a secret to unlock them?

Game is very minimal. Feels more like a tech demo than an actual game.

My biggest suggestion would probably be that the player needs some sense of progression.

There is a difference between repetition and recapitulation. By giving the player and evolving challenge and some way to get actual better at the game, they have something to aim for. Without a sense of growth, most players are going to lose interest fairly quickly. This is one of the key skills in game design... how does one maintain the same core gameplay loop (whatever the game is about), while also keeping that loop fresh by introducing new elements that build on the players existing skills and challenge the player in new ways.

Game looks very cool!

It's a little bit weird to be submitting a premium game for Submission Fest without providing judges with a copy for review.

If you had a name-your-own-price or a demo copy, it would be easier for people to try your game and give you feedback.

Yay! Stacking!

I'm also having trouble jumping.

This game looks really cool! If you update with the jumping working, let me know.

Is there a free version we can try out for Feedback Fest?

Simple game with a good basic implementation.

Improvement suggestions:
- Use object pooling for slightly smoother performance and frame rate
- Make the 3d segments seamless. Right now there is a black line where segments are connected
- Add sound and music into main game (or turn them on by default)
- Evolve the segments as the player gets further into the game, instead of just speeding the gameplay up
- Add more visual variety as the player get further along. Maybe some different location themes?

I enjoyed this game though! You're learning some good skills

Here is raw gameplay footage: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Oi0LiATLMLpSWYd4Xub6_ddKsGhqfcvw/view?usp=shari...

Very interesting game! This is definitely going to be a nice gem, I can tell.

Feedback:
- Music is very soothing and peaceful. For variety it would be nice to have a couple more tracks, but the mood is perfect.

- Art is very nice. Locations are distinctive and clear. Enemy art is really nice and has great flavor.

- UI. The UI Art is good, but navigating and clarifying what can be done at each place could be streamlined a little bit, especially when you have to go into a sub-menu to do a default action (like resting in the cave). Also, it was a little bit annoying to have the silhouettes of the characters slowly fade-in every time when I revisit a location. It would be nice if they were just there.

- Battle: Would be nice to have a battle tutorial the first time one enters a battle. I figured out the basics, but I felt like there was a lot I didn't know.

- Gameplay: On the first playthrough, it wasn't immediately apparent how the stats would impact my run when I was building my first character. On a subsequent playthrough, it would make sense. The tutorial was decent at helping me know how to do things, but it didn't give me as much as a clear sense of how I should progress, even with the quest. I felt a bit stuck at trying to get a Camouflage Cloak. I felt it was implied that I should be able to accomplish it somewhat early in the game, but never seemed to unlock any actions in the Field. Maybe this is intentionally misleading, which could be fine as a hook to pull the player deeper. It also wasn't totally clear why the characters chose to stop talking to me if I didn't progress their quest. It just happened with almost no explanation. I think if the progression flow was clarified or explained a little more the game would feel more natural and comfortable.

All these little things aside though, I really enjoyed playing this game. Probably my favorite of the entries I've played so far!

This is amazing! Thank you so much for this video. 

It will be super helpful for us to review and see which bits need refinement!

The game stills seem to crash on load. Was unable to play.

It's very hard to get a feel for how this game is supposed to feel.

Perhaps in the future it might be best to at least have a full gameplay slice that someone can experience? Or at least some documentation on how to play with others.

Very interesting escape room theme and concept.

For improvement suggestions:

- Music is extremely repetitive and could benefit from better production. This would add a lot of feel and professionalism to the experience.

- Sound work could make things feel more responsive and alive.

- The hint system is good, but some of the puzzles are very difficult in their design. Can't tell if they are unintuitive or if I'm just bad at the game.

- It would be nice if one could look at multiple inventory items at a time. Trying to jump back and forth between them (like the dice chart and the doodles) was a bit frustrating.

Love the general concept and the tight focus on the core gameplay fun! Can't wait to see how this one evolves!

This is very interesting!

I haven't heard of Wizards101 before. It looks intriguing.

Thanks for the thoughts! We'll consider things along these lines.

Thanks so much for your feedback and playing!

--------------------

Out of curiosity regarding the turn timer, what would make that beneficial?
Did you feel like the game was dragging? Did you not like how much you had the ability to fully plan your strategy?

I understand the need for a turn timer in multiplayer game cards such as Hearthstone/Legends of Runeterra/Eternal/etc. But in general, timers would seem to encourage something that feels fundamentally at odds with what strategy gamers are looking for. With that in mind, I'm curious to hear more of your thoughts on how a timer would increase fun. It would definitely raise the challenge level a bit, intrinsically.

Very cool game! Simple and elegant.

Feedback Notes:

- This seems almost perfectly crafted for what it is.

- Clean and consistent art style.

- Exactly the UI elements one needs and nothing unneeded or redundant.

- Sound creates the perfect mood.

- Controls are very responsive and precise.

Very nice game! I can't think of anything particular that I'd improve... which is super rare.

Feedback Notes:

- Very fun game. The fast-paced action got me very immersed in it!

- The core gameplay loop is strong. Shooting, moving, weapons and magic all feel good.

- Level design was a varied affair. Some of the levels felt a bit tedious since their layout implied (walk forward to this distant location and don't die).

- Enemy AI is good, but probably needs a little more variance as this game evolves. The general old-school FPS strategy of circle-strafe all day seems to generally work here. Also, you can exploit the max aggro range of many enemies, effectively turning whatever you current weapon is into a sniper rifle.

- The Christmas level felt a bit bland with no weapon besides my starting one. Switching through a set of gun feels pretty good, especially with the small clips on some of them.

- Progress UI was very helpful for indicating about how long a level would be and where the enemies are. That's actually a nice improvement from some classic shooters.

- Wish I could have rebound the magic buttons. They didn't feel convenient to press. Maybe that's an inherent struggle with needing to trigger them with the left-hand, when the right-hand on the mouse is doing most of the shooting action.

Those are a bunch of my thoughts. Really fun game!

Feedback Notes:
- Interesting game concept.

- I had troubles knowing the words since this isn't in one of the languages I know.

- The collision precision was a bit tricky. Even when I tried to hit a letter I wanted, it was a bit of a gamble if I could hit it.

- I couldn't quite understand how "Score" worked or what it represented.

- Game design seems like a simple enough idea that with a little polish this would make a great mobile game!

Feedback Notes:
- Concept is nice. Pixel platforming feels like it could open the door to very very technical and precise gameplay.

- Controls felt pretty wacky and unpredictable. They did not always seem to work. I think something about the input handler must not be integrated correctly.

- Screen going all black is not very nice.

- Could use some sound effects, at least for the jump and landing.

- Interesting demo. This could be cool with more development effort.

Feedback Notes:

- The visuals are cute, charming, and very nicely detailed. Game is oozing with style.

- Music is good and happy. Sounds could use some more work and evolution.

- Writing is fun and playful. Just about perfect for the intended casual RPG audience

- UI needs some work. It's not immediately clear what the controls are. Some things have to be discovered. Some clarity issues. Some Z-Layering issues. Mostly polish and communication stuff.

- Combat tutorial should be progressed as player's pace instead of automatically. Also, a little more more exposition around the elements on the screen and the general gameplay flow would be useful. I was initially confused about why things were "Super Effective" or "Not Effective" when they seemed to be doing almost nothing or plenty, counterintuitively.

- Gameplay-wise: I'm wondering if there will actually be incentive to kill any enemies, or if it's a relatively meaningless gameplay choice. Why wouldn't I just befriend everyone?

- Ran into a game ending crash or geometry stuckness (See video).

- My character choice in the main menu didn't seem to have any impact in game

- Overall, this seems like a really nice demo! It reminds me of the charm and fun of Paper Mario, with a quirky and cute flavor gameplay.

Gameplay footage can be found here (sorry for the glitched Webcam): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CgK6eRTj0h9Euh9NYtP7OFMJ_Hz9hCz3/view?usp=shari...

Yes. I think he commented already on the submission page. It was likely the LDJam server traffic getting hammered during Submission hour.

Thank you so much for your feedback!

We will work on the lighting for the dark office rooms in future iterations.

Thank you securas!

What was your favorite humor bit in the game?

Sorry that some of these things are unclear.

1) The woods are a representation of the emotional state of Pauline. It's a visualization of how she feels. This is what her world is like, even though, physically, she is still in the office.

2) The goal is to help Pauline make it through a whole day without having a Panic Attack. This means that each time she is in the forest, you are trying to defeat the Demons you are facing.

3) The collectable items can power up the corresponding Comforts that can be found in a forest. This can lead to some interesting sequencing decisions. Read the journal for hints about which items empower which Comforts. So, if you have Sugar in your inventory and then you find and drink Coffee, it's more effective than if you just had the coffee without sugar, for example.

Thank you for the feedback. We struggled to find the right balance of explaining versus letting the player explore and discover.

I think we erred a little bit on the side of not enough clarity.

Really appreciate your feedback! And thanks for sharing the video!

Thank you so much for posting this video! This is awesome!

I'm so sorry about that!

That is very strange. It must be some unique streaming media problem. The game is a little bit large, so maybe on some internet connections it doesn't come through.

Maybe try downloading and playing the Windows or Mac desktop version? Then you shouldn't be impacted by internet streaming issues.

There actually already was a link in the Description.

We didn't see that there was a separate field for an LDJam specific link. I added that now too. Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks for the suggestion! I will do that.

What kind of issue are you having?

Are you on Windows or the Web Version?