This was heavy, man. It's really easy for people in my position to not think about things like this. Thank you for sharing your story.
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There's a huge mix of stuff here. Students, like yourself, post projects that they work on in class. People participating in game jams usually come here to host their stuff, even for off-site jams. There are lazy devs, spoofs, and asset flips, but it's not really any worse than anywhere else. And don't worry about your game being stolen. People catch on quick in this community, and the people bold enough to steal end up blacklisted and fade out anyways. Itch.io is an open platform and therefore has all the pros and cons of an open platform, but if the question is "Do [I] recommend this site?", I absolutely do.
I don't know if I'm missing something, but I can't seem to finish it. I see (and collide with!) The saplings on the ground, but shooting them doesn't seem to do anything. I can't get the jump from the platform to the tall ledge after the first bit. I wish I could have seen more, but going from what I have seen, oh my god that tileset is beautiful! Is it yours? Mechanically, the discrepancy between walk speed and jump speed felt off to me. Altogether solid!
I could listen to that song for the rest of my life, it hit me hard in the nostalgia. The gameplay is pretty tight for a platformer, though I felt like the placement of some the green guys was a little frustrating, plus I didn't really get their movement patters. I noticed you plan to do some other levels and they sound cool, but without them I don't really see this fitting too well with the theme. That said, visuals and atmosphere are nailed and I would play a full version of this game based on those alone.
I assumed I'd be able to just run through it without referring the the how to play section, as I've played plenty of platformers in my life. I died ten times before I realized you could double jump. Then I fell through the inverted blocks so many times I gave up and went back to the how to play section. With these little twists, there's a surprising amount of depth in a very small game. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Howdy! Programmer and Sound Designer team here. We have a text-based 'College-Survival' game that we're working on for the jam. The prototype is largely built. Let me know if you'd be interested in helping us finish it.
Word of warning, the UI is super ugly atm.
If there's only good, then there is not free will. Without evil, good isn't a choice. A good follow up would be: Why is free will vital to God's plan? This game made me think more than I had intended. I'm not even religious.