Thank you; looking to get back into dev-work soon!
Recent community posts
Cool to see the process!
The first few backgrounds remind me of the early days of the Pokemon TCG with sets like Jungle and the Base Set featuring the Sugimori artwork on top of a somewhat-edited stock photo.
I think you made a good choice though with the ground textures and can relate to the memories of excavation :) To me, the scenes of nature are good for showcasing the lifestyle of a creature while the ground textures represent more of an unknown excitement to the viewer. It's like an invitation to dig deeper and discover all you can.
Looking forward to the next devlog!
I used the EZ FLASH Jr.
You can load a ton of roms onto a micro SD card and then access them all on your GameBoy or GameBoy Color! In my opinion, this is the best option for testing your own games as well as playing games from other devs in the community.
Here is a GB Studio Central article that goes more in-depth on some options:
Finished playing through it last night. The atmosphere from the artwork is really enjoyable, you did a fantastic job!
With pixel art in modern day games, I've seen a lot of people make art that is really neat for GBC, but not necessarily practical for actually playing. I played this on an original, non-modded GBC and it was a great experience! Everything looked nice while still being very readable.
PS - the style to me feels like if Capcom never moved on to the GBA and instead made Minish Cap on the GBC
Thank you for playing!
It's great to see a recording of someone's first experience with it to.
Yeah, if I continue work on this game I definitely plan to make it more accessible both in difficulty and actually implementing a proper tutorial.
The game is inspired by Donkey Kong (with the first level layout acting as an homage) amongst other gorilla-based media (for example, King Kong, one of the inspirations of Donkey Kong
). Ultimately though, its inspirations are from a variety of long-term interests of mine (such as construction gear)! And believe it or not, the name "DE" is NOT actually derived from "DK" but rather a different past project of mine.
Slower tank-like controls were something I thought were fun when done right so I tried my hand at building a game with it. The use of a gorilla as the player sprite is in hopes that the player inherently has an understanding of the character's weight and heft.
In the arcade Donkey Kong, DK is at the top and is very menacing. I didn't have the ability to make a big bad guy stationed at the top of the screen (though I wanted to have one to indicate where the enemies are coming from) so I opted for the construction crane since it required stationary imagery as opposed to a large animated sprite.
The slow controls and sprite limitations (including hit-box limitations) made perfect sense to have a gorilla be the playable character navigating a construction zone run by the tiny fellow. So it was from these (and a few other) design decisions that the "reverse Donkey Kong" feel formed!
I had a lot of fun playing it!
My first play-through, I was just at the end and ran out of time... Managed to finish with 3:40 the next time!
The amount of mechanics you fit in here is very impressive. And the progression design that tied it all together was good as well! It reminded of a Link to the Past temple!
The hardest part for me (but also my favorite) was the part with the pit and where you raise the bubbles. I accidentally eliminated one of the enemies but it still took me a while to figure out what was happening without explanation or a short demonstration that shows what's going on. Perhaps a shadow below the ball could help show that it's higher up when lifted by a platform?
This part of the game was the hardest/most dramatic, so I feel like it could be a good fit for the "boss" of the experience.
I can see why this took longer than the 7 days for the GameBoy Showdown jam! You really packed a lot in here which was an awesome surprise while playing.
I think you could easily build out a larger scale game using all of these mechanics if you were interested in doing so!
I do plan to continue development and implement tutorials as well as other tweaks to make it more accessible.
Great idea! That would be a good break to change the tone of the instrument as well and perhaps apply a more complex and capable control setup like the one that juzek mentioned in the comments here.
That's nice to hear that it reminded you of the educational games - your game reminded me of my time I got to spend learning the basics of an old apple IIe when I was young (not a GUI system like the one in your game but still a similar experience).
Were you able to figure out either or both of the melodies in this game (or maybe get them by chance)? I do plan to do a longer version of this game with day and night as well as multiple seasons with different tunes, but after the feedback I've received here I am considering making it a longer and more drawn out experience. That will give ample time to ease the player in as well as get good use out of the mechanics.
Thank you for your engagement with the game and the feedback; much appreciated :)
After playing through it again, I see what you mean about the clouds as platforms. Maybe it's because I played on a non-backlit GBC that I didn't notice them the first time.
Ah, I see RumbleFest '89 on your page - is this project meant to be a port of that game?
I totally get the lack of time. My project Song Bird definitely could've used a lot more features and fixes hahah
Nice job for your first time working in GBStudio! I look forward to seeing more updates :)
Sure, that sounds cool! I went back to the game to see how you have it worded currently and typed out what I think would be the most clear intro that includes the new information (each line would be a new text box on screen):
Press Z to push this chest. A soul is trapped inside.
Push them onto the mark of evil to feed their souls to your master.
Only creatures who still have a soul will be affected by the rewinding of time.
Thank you for checking it out :)
I agree; I'm going to do some testing and see how I can strike that balance of accessible but not too easy. Definitely needs to be more accessible right now though hahah
And I'm glad you enjoy DE '22! I'm looking to do a 2.0 update for that soon ;)
Thank you for the kind words, I am glad your enjoyed playing!
I remember watching that 8-Bit Music Theory video way back and thought it was a really interesting and creatively-smart choice Koji Kondo made. His scale is a bit spicier and allows for songs that use notes outside of the standard major key which is great for OoT's atmosphere. Similarly, I wanted to make a practical scale for this game's atmosphere which is much more vanilla, hence sticking with the standard major scale notes.
This game definitely has a lot of additions that can make it more accessible and friendly to all players! I especially want to make sure it is fun for those with little to no musical experience. I appreciate that you spent the time to dive a bit deeper into it despite its currently more vague state!
Thank you for the feedback :)
Super impressive puzzler! I had a lot of fun figuring it out. Some of the later levels really put me to the test haha
3 days is impressive! I never designed puzzles like this but I would imagine it takes a lot of work.
I would love to see what you could do with more polish and more levels.
Same as some others here, it took me a little while to realize that the "solved" blocks don't return when turning back time. A piece of text about that could be helpful if your are interested in making an updated version.
Additionally, I saw your comment mentioning that the player has to memorize the spaces that the blocks start on - maybe having a distinctive floor tile there to remind the player would be cool! Or not, if you want to keep the challenge :)
Fun game! Thanks for making and sharing in the jam :D
I very much enjoyed the story :) It is nice to have a more emotionally touching entry in the jam.
The drawings were all very nice as well! How did you go about drawing it? I'm assuming you made a digital illustration and then converted it to the proper resolution for GB?
I played through twice. The first time I happily opted out of the case and went straight to bowling. It was lovely. The second time I made it to the arcade where I got a call suggesting I retire from the case and go bowling. Seeing as creepy media is often too much for me, I was happy to once more avoid the horror (but I was too late...).
This game was fantastic. I legitimately don't know how you made the illustrations and story and programming all in 7 days. You must've been working HARD!! I mentioned that I can't really do creepy media, and this is one of the few times where I wish I had the stomach for it because I would've loved to see the full extent of all endings!
Wonderful job with this title; it is extremely creative and well made :D
Echoing others, it was a surprising in-depth and somewhat dark story - I didn't expect it to pack such a punch!
It is a very nice demo, I am glad to see that y'all plan to continue development! The ending is pretty neat and I think it would be great if the gameplay could be expanded to subtly build up to the reveal at the end. For example, you need to get information from a young nurse, but maybe only those close to "the end" can see/communicate with you. So the player needs to talk to those people and have them help receive info/an item from others as a proxy (just a thought).
Nice work for your first game made from scratch and under such a short deadline!
Thank you for playing!
Yes, I plan to have a proper tutorial and introduction to the controls in a more developed version.
I'm curious, as a musician, how easy or hard did you find it to hear the bird melodies? Were you able to play back the two melodies and win?
My thumb certainly got a workout with this one!
I'm curious, is there an end to this one? Like JH10, I pretty much would end at the same spot since the time limit is always the same. Something like having items in hard to reach places that add time to the clock could be a funny expansion on the idea.
Nice job for your first game!
A little tough at times with the close spikes and leaps of faith, but I often enjoy platformers on the more challenging side and the instant respawn instead of lives made this very enjoyable!
I got to the boss but was unsure what I was supposed to do? The best I could figure out was just to survive and dodge the falling rocks, but I would always die eventually before anything happened :P
Also, I thought that the main character's sprite was very cute!
Fun! Each level felt like a unique challenge. I especially liked the gameplay switch up in the last level.
Thank you, I appreciate the kind words and the feedback!
It's very helpful to hear your experience with it; these are all concerns I had while making it and figured they would need tweaking for future versions. In general, I definitely plan to implement tutorial sections and ramp it up in a full game. They player is certainly tossed into the deep end right now!
While deciding on the tempo of the bird songs for the jam, I wanted to make them faster in order to sound more like actual bird calls and therefore help add to the atmosphere. But, in the interest of not going completely fashion over function, I put the songs at different octaves as well to hopefully help make the tune more easy to grab on to (though, I realize that this could also make it sound like there are more melodies than there actually are). I will experiment and try to make them fast enough to sound like birds but slow enough to be practical!
For the timing of how often the birds sing, my goal was to not have the player need to wait too long to hear the tune again, especially since you don't have all day (literally) to learn it. But hearing that you felt it was too fast, I'm definitely going to look at extending the wait times!
I'd love to know if you're a musician or are a very active music listener? I showed this game to some people who have a developed musical ear (but don't read notation) and they seemed to be able to hear and replicate the appropriate pitches (not without some difficulty). I feel that it's very tough right now even if you have a developed ear, so I'm trying to figure out what people's experience with this game are like in relation to their experience with music.
Thank you again for the in-depth feedback!
One more thing I forgot to mention - I love your Electrosaurus logo! It's so cool and dynamic.
Yup! That's it.
I think also just the fact that the music here has some neat shuffle-sounding percussion is another thread of familiarity for me.
I agree, I think that'd be a great way to make it more of a true instrument - I think something like that would be really cool to have as a fully dedicated tool with swappable sounds! I'm not involved in the gameboy music scene but I know that it's pretty hardcore so I'd imagine there's a lot of neat stuff out there already.
Likewise, thanks for discussing the nitty gritty with me! :D
Very unique concept, at first I thought it might be a bit overwhelming but I managed to learn my way around and get to the end!
Neat mechanic and a cool way to tell a story. I think it'd be cool to see this used in various settings.
Charming game! I'm not going to lie, at first it felt a bit spooky but I no longer felt that once after seeing the ending for hard mode :)
I wasn't quite sure what the difference was between normal and hard mode. Does hard mode run out of false clicks quicker?
Cool concept! I'm assuming that part of the time-change mechanic is just a simple palette swap, but gosh-darn is it satisfying to do! And the animation is great (albeit, a bit quick) as well.
If you continue work on this, I'd love to see it!
Well hot damn!
That'd certainly be getting a huge range out of the unit. For this game I'd ideally want it to be as accessible as possible while still being involved with actual music and not totally just hitting buttons and hearing sounds (though, a somewhat developed musical ear is necessary for replicating the notes that the birds sing so that would have to be made a bit easier I think). Your idea would definitely help it be a more comprehensive musical tool/toy, but for what I have in mind right now, I think it might tip the scales to be a bit too complex on that front.
Ultimately I figured that the single scale of from F to F (F# if you raise that octave note, but that's a pretty useless note unfortunately as I don't plan on doing any flat 9 chords) is the best option. By having each button be a single note, I thought it's easier to remember the controls. And the only notes that are not a single button are hopefully intuitive since the player is pressing up or down to raise or lower that note's pitch.
Having A and B switch the the 4 and 5 triads+octaves would be more easily grasped for musicians, but I think it would be a bit tough to understand if the player doesn't know any music theory. Musicians would know how those notes are relative to not only the chord but the key as well and would have an easier time grasping what combinations are needed for a melody, but I imagine non-musicians would be confused as to how to put those all together. Regardless of musical familiarity, having the range of notes from say F4 all of the way up to C6 would invite a wide range of melodic options and anyone would be hard pressed to learn all of those different combinations, especially when 2/3 of the available playable notes are a combination of two buttons.
Keeping the available notes (mostly) contained in the octave allow for a set of less overwhelming (though certainly more restrictive) options. I imagine it'd be more comfortable for newcomers seeing as there isn't a plethora of puzzle pieces in front of them when attempting to hear what notes the birds are singing. And as a musician, this octave restriction certainly made for a more challenging writing task! I wrote out the melodies and counter point for the fully designed game where the player learns new melodies during the day and night of each season (day is melody, night is the counterpoint).
Since we are well in the weeds at this point, I'll post the notation of the composition here below so you can see what I mean. I tried my best to replicate the melodic lines from actual birds of the respective seasons.
Ideally, if I had all of the time in the world to make this game, the family band would play together and would play all of the parts that the player is able to learn during the timeframe. A hastily put together version of this was made for the end credits song of the jam version of this game. So if you got to the end, this is the song that plays: