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A member registered Jul 06, 2016 · View creator page →

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Yep, interact-suck works good for that button masher dopamine hit from the fine grained low level tight cycle between button press and interaction.

It's why clicker games are so terrible and addictive and fun..and terrible. They hit the sweet spot for Don't Starve. That game had some other issues of course but the interactions weren't on that list.

Would buy it for more if I could. Easily worth $10 at this point.

If you're on the fence, even though you can technically play for free, it's still worth the investment to see this developed further.

I already got more than the asking price in play time as far as the mechanics go.

If you bought it recently post a comment in this thread saying why.

Oh god yeah, zoom in/out is badly needed. It doesn't even need to be by a lot. Just 2-3 levels of zoom. Standard, close up, and zoomed out.

Minimap would probably break the sense of exploration (players in practice tend to focus too much on the minimap), so adding a zoom balanced to area size will largely negate the need for it.

Could you elaborate on the build-by-region PE?

I really like that you released it alpha. A lot of 'early release' games and 'alpha' games get a bad rap and I think some of it is deserved, but a lot more of that reputation is from people jumping on the ea/alpha band wagon not understanding what they are getting into.

But for us, for people who buy alpha games and are comfortable with 'forever in ea/alpha/etc' thats part of the appeal, being able to comment on development direction.

It's really a big leap. I know releasing something unfinished to the outrage mob of the internet can seem like a trial by fire, so thanks for doing it anyway.

Obvious things like tumbleweeds aren't always obvious when you're coding and designing for a dozen other priorities. Can we get giant mutant chickens, like as pack animals (I loved the chocobos in final fantasy, and every kid I've met find chickens adorable for some damn reason). 

For worms I'd call them 'giant weevils' or 'annelids' or 'nematodes.' For some reason I can't stop thinking about the monsters from that campy horror movie series 'tremors.'

If you have giant roaches I'd call them "regular roaches", and in the description it'd be "just a regular size everyday roach." because why not? Everythings mutant and giant these days, thats people's new normal, it's all they know. Some tinpot crazy NPC could be like "could you imagine? Tiny little roaches? Like bite sized ones?" and you or another character might reply. "Thats absurd. This guys crazy." lol

The UI direction you took is good. You look at games like Metro Exodus and a lot of the focus is away from UI, lot of mixed fonts, and environmental indicators where possible, instead of upfront UI. A lot of things are ambiguous. Whos an enemy, whos hostile, what the place you are in is named. It's why your overworld map is so fantastic, because sure, you're in alaska, but it could be *anyway*. I remember watching early movies like six string samurai and thunderdome and loving the feeling of being 'lost' in the world that was presented. Being short on UI really helps to focus on the world in front of you and the immersion. Just, like a said, be sure to pay attention to legibility, theres been a lot of great games (and okay games) with horrible UI and font design that people didn't notice but thats no guarantee.

Absolutely, use what works. At the time I came from a non-coding background. Tons of serious professionals moved from rolling their own to GM because reinventing the wheel on a lot of essentials isn't cost effective and can be mildly insanity inducing.

Biomes are an excellent idea if only for variety. I'd think, if you were going to explore the great salt basin for example, it might warn you before entering one of the tiles "you are entering the great salt basin. This area is particularly arid so you will end up using more water. Cacti are also rarer. Come prepared."

Alaska is cold, and unless the earths axis tilted after impact it can still be expected to have a cold climate, at least after dark. And deserts can get pretty cold at night to say the least. It wouldn't be unexpected to have some sort of penalty if the player travels at night, or a warning at sunset. Maybe make torches a requirement for further north, or for mountain regions.

The amount of dust after an apocalypse might create regions completely shaded in night. And lets not forget that alaska is known as 'the land of the midnight sun.'

Besides bandits coming at night, it wouldn't be unreasonable to say 'monsters come at night, put up lights!' just like wildlife in the old west, attacking ranches (but what do I know, I'm not a rancher!)

This is far and away from the original purpose of the thread but I have to ask, when did the apocalypse happen? Because by the time it did, alaska could have been developed as any other coastal state (maybe with a very rural, traditional interior. It's a big state after all).

If it happened in the future, theres no reason alaska couldn't have developed say, metros or rails between now and the time that the world went to pieces.

Moving from Gamemaker to Love2D ate four months of my time but tooling was a big reason why. Before that my big thing was having to recode the level editor but I ultimately ate the cost. It has everything but multiplatform export but I decided realistically, as a first time developer, I wasn't exporting to the switch (for example) anyway. It still nets me windows, mac, and linux export, plus android (and ios I think).

Big thing was I realized how much reinventing the wheel in Gamemaker was eating my time. I spent a couple weeks writing my own tweening library, and then another week debugging it and a week more improving it for some edge cases and specialization. And then theres figuring out the work flows for using arrays as lightweight objects, realizing timelines weren't deltatimed, build times being 1-2 full minutes for a single change (versus other tools that have hot reloading), and so on. 2019 Q4 they're finally bringing functions and methods to objects, plus light weight objects. it was just a bunch of papercut type complaints. Yeah yeah I know, don't blame the tooling.

Eventually I just said "you know, I'd love to be able to export/import to json or another structured format without worrying about if the type conversion is going to lead to errors because of issues with embedding datastructures in datastructures." I wanted a flexible map format and it was just too much to work around GMs issues yet again.

It's still a great tool, but with Love2D I got full access to the filesystem, decent multiplatform support sans console, access to a proper scripting language, object support (and classes, and mixins with moonscript), fast rebuild/testing (seconds), the works. Also plenty of free libs to work with, instead of reinventing the wheel.

In fact I was looking at your map format and it looks like you're using CSV for it? It's funny because thats the exact route I'd started down before I moved to L2D. I was only looking at it because I think it would be interesting to write a map  or scene editor.


I think we all like to keep a notebook (or in my case a stack of em lol). Your logic card game looks superfun. I have the opposite problem you do, doing art for too long fries my brain. Used to do art over at opengameart, just little things, was starting to get good, just didn't know what to do with it. Spent a lot of time teaching my sisters. You'd be amazed how easy kids tune out if all anyone does is give them praise. Long time ago I saw an article saying "for every criticism, give them three comments on what they did right." (and vice versa) or something like that and oh my god, it's absolutely true. Just the right amount of feedback on what to work on, and what they did right, and the encouragement of it works wonders. One of them is doing skin packs for minecraft, making $350ish checks a week. Couldn't be more damn proud. Kids are great, teaching is great. It's hard to break people of the "it's all about talent" mantra too. And the better they get the more they bump into the skill plateau and resort to thinking it's about talent, instead of 'work work work, practice practice practice', but thats true of any skill. Got it pretty well ingrained in them at this point.

Same is true of coding I guess. Have to build up your foundation and stamina for it.

The irony of staying healthy I'm only just now starting to recognize. 8 hours in a chair isn't healthy for anyone. "Fail quickly" I wished I'd known sooner, but "if wishes were horses," as they say.

If you already have a sequel planned out I take it that means you have plenty of content planned which is cool. 

I'm really looking forward to seeing this succeed, and watching both the game's story unfold, and your own. 

How big is your world map btw, and how many current locations do you have? I came across ellie's orphanage and steven's farm so far.

Cool.

"It would be good for your development anyway. Postmortems are always useful to me when I design something, even if I never code anything"

Had the opposite problem. Spent a year coding all sorts of little systems, changing tools, coding new tools, and in the process the game that started out as a fun prototype some how lost it's magic.

"I have scraps of paper and notebooks full of games I'll never make lol."

It really is a tragedy isn't it?

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If you add any collectible resources you should  add one and call it "Fiat" as in "Fiat Currency" and make the icon look like confetti lol.

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> I don't. I probably should. I am really bad at checking multiple places for comments and such.

Ha, guilty as charged.

This was the sort of direction I was taking my own game but seeing as you're already going that direction it means I don't have to build something I want to play because you're already developing it. I've been wanting to pivot a different direction for a while (I've always wanted to do something in the vein of The Road, or something with zombies - I know, so original)

And here I developed the basis for towns, locations, characters, quests the works, in a similar setting and it'd be a shame for all that work to go to waste. I don't expect you to use it, but if you'd be willing I'd like to share it with you to use at your own leisure.

Just didn't want to make a giant post with it here all at once without running it by you. I know a lot of devs who kind of treat their game like their baby and a lot are hesitant to take any outside input for several good reasons.

In any case, if thats something you'd be open to I think it would be cool to contribute and see what you can put to good use. Think on it and let me know what your gut says. Couldn't hurt to give it a try.

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Don't want to be a bother or anything, just wondering.

Edit: Also posting here, anything I contribute I contribute freely under an open license free for commercial use and disclaim both ownership and liability. Know some developers don't like taking contributions or anything for legal reasons.

DUST.ods


It's an open office file, hope thats not a problem.

I was looking for common items that occur across survival games and why, i.e. categories.

jeez, I must be getting old.

Can't believe that didn't occur to me.

Also it's weird, because I posted this 3 hours ago.

And you responded a minute ago.

So now it's gonna look like I've been sitting here the whole time waiting on a reply lol.

What do windmills do?

I mean, they spin yeah, but what are they *for*? 

I haven't had a chance to try them out yet.

Keep the categories, scrolling tends to be painful, but names+icons is a good idea for sure.

Additionally:

- I thought the metal bars and oil drums were cool. Felt like scavenging in a world hundreds of years old. Like finding the remnants and garbage of civilization lost in the sand.

- A nice progression and goal for the players would be resources that require bigger, better, or sturdier tools. Maybe better tools harvest faster, or harvest more, maybe. 

- The name is hard to spell (though charming!), and i'm not sure if it will survive the google filter because of the spelling issue. Maybe some of us will finally learn to correctly spell 'superfluous'.

- the music gets tiresome after a while, add some silence, or the sound of the wind blowing.

- I think the trees growing and still being dead is hilarious. Don't change it.

- Digging the "Harvest Moon meets Fallout" theme.

- Well need a little sprite work, at least on the small ones. Both the large and small ones are distinctive I just think they could be even better.

- Where are the tumbleweeds? Wheres the crazy plants-vs-zombies-pot-on-head survivor chasing tumbleweeds and chickens? Some say hes still out there to this day, still trying to catch em.

- For sound work go watch "rango" and a play through of New Vegas. Pay attention to the sound effects when you come upon a new location.

- If a well or other object is exhausted give us some sort of indication, maybe darken it or show a small meter as it recharges, or physically have the water level drop.

- The up/down arrows on trade boothes are kind of ambiguous. Do they mean 'sell/buy for more/less'? 

- I can hear chickens from far too far away.

- You know how q/e are used in both the build menu & the crafting menu? Do the same for the trade menu to prevent breaking the player's expectations of the UI.

- The dust falling on screen kind of looks like snow. Is it snow?

- If you want to generate new things on the map, like stones, metal, cacti, etc, just do it when the player travels and arrives to a given location. Alternatively have it fade in as it comes onto screen with a small effect, as if the wind "blew sand off of it, revealing something that was buried", as sometimes happens in deserts.

- The signs on trade booths are hard to read. Try adding the item and amount to the sign tooltip

- Remaining storage space wasn't immediately obvious to me as a new player. Probably could have the remaining space in the form of 'n/m' where 'n' is the current amount of stuff, and 'm' is the total amount you can store so players know, at a glance, when they are running out. Obviously this is in addition to the resource square 'filling up' the way it is now.

- Sleeping or a new day, could be used to show events or survival costs per day. I believe "sheltered" does this (if you you've ever played it).

- I sometimes got stuck in fences and doors when I happened to be walking forward at the same time as I closed them. Once stuck I tried opening and closing them, jumping, etc, but nothing worked until I saved and reloaded the game.

- You know what would be cool? More salvaging from objects like you did with the oil drum and metal bar. It's a big desert world, lots of semi rusted, semi ruined items buried under those sands I bet!

- would love using a dowsing meter or rod to find water deposits. It's an apocalypse, and the lore is water is highly limited. Seems a little too abundant early game.

- making signs and resources legible is extra important if you're focusing on crafting and trading as game mechanics. This is double important if you're even considering porting to other platforms//where an existing legibility issues will become greatly magnified problems.

- if you're gonna let players jump, let them jump over fences or use it to climb things or dodge in combat.

- traders sometimes get stuck in or against trade booths until I go over and remove the items from the booth/switch the item being bought/sold.

I know this is a lot of feedback all at once, but I hope it helps.

I've really enjoyed testing what you've made so far, and I look forward to the full release later on.


A while back I was doing a survival game with trading elements and I wanted an idea of all the various items and categories there were across several games. So I took a half dozen games in the genre, and basically dumped their entire inventory contents to look at commonalities.

Hundreds and hundreds of items, resources, and so on.

I don't know if it would be of use to you, but if you're interested I'll post it for you to peruse while you continue to design your own item system Adam.


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Everyone basically honed in on the same designs. C & D.

The tallness of the ears is what I locked on to.

Edit: A is a close second.

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I want to start out by saying how fantastic this game is Adam, thank you for your wonderful work!

I've wanted a post-apocalyptic base builder for some time. Atom Society looked cool but it just wasn't my thing.

This is something else entirely. So with the spirit of that, I've compiled a list of paper notes while playing, because I enjoyed it so much and would love to see it succeed and have as many others enjoy it as possible too.

Lets get started:

- I'd love if the player just 'popped' through doors (maybe with an accompanying sound of the door slamming). Having to open/close doors as it stands is a little bit difficult, over and over so I just end up leaving them open as it stands.

- Stamina made sense, felt like it had just enough juice in combat, however health bar wasn't immediately obvious to me. I only made the connection between it and my health once I was close to death.

- Fade out during death took too long. Shorten the tween, or use bounce-in/out on the fade, dunno. Something. Could just shorten it.

- Font on build menu was painful to read and navigate repeatedly. I went through and looked at font alternatives. I looked at several, including raleway bold and various DIN type fonts (I'm a UI designer) like Barlow. I found a couple that maybe you'd like, or at least ones that appeared to fit the feel of the UI, are legible, free for commercial use, and then did some mockups.



Thats Caveat Brush at a couple different font sizes. It's similar in look to the font used in Terraria, which I've always loved.

Another font os is Capital Darren. It's non-commercial, but the has that all-uppercase feel that seems to fit so it's worth checking it out and looking for similar fonts.

The other font I tried was Ropa Sans..


..which you can find on google fonts, again, open font license, so it's free to use commercially. I don't like how big the clock element 'afternoon' is here, but this was just a quickie to eyeball what it'd look like.

The focus was 1. contrast, 2. legibility, 3. multiple weights, 4. open licensing, 5. matches the 'light and cartoon feel' feel of the pixel art and I think both Caveat Brush and Ropa Sans check most of those boxes.

Other observations:

- There were a few headscratchers about what some of the resources were. Putting names next to them would create an ugly distracting wall of white text on the left of the screen, but maybe put the resource name in a tool tip that pops up when hovered?

- Be sure on each level when you spawn objects that produce resources, that you set a limit for balance. For example, if testing shows that the ideal amount of metal resources on a map is 30, don't spawn more than 30 *objects-worth* of objects bearing metal resources. That makes it easy to diversify the kinds of objects per-resource that are spawned and the amount each type of object spawns, without overdoing it. You'll always know, by drawing on a limited set pool, how much of any given resource will be on any given map.


I have other input but I don't want to flood you.

Thanks again Adam, you've made a cool game. When do my family and I get to play it on the switch?

- J

Edit: I don't know if you meant "PLACATE THE BOVINE" but I chuckled and left it as is in the mockups.