Thanks for coming back to finish everything after the jam is done. I appreciate the feedback!
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I agree 100%. I've learned that I need to work on my level design and balancing (a LOT). All this reminds me of a quote from Yoko Taro a year or so after Nier Automata was released: "I kind of want to continue to fail, because it’s easier for me to think of what I want to do next. Whereas if I succeed I might have to follow that path."
Thanks for taking the time to write down such detailed feedback! You make a great point about dexterous-v-puzzle, and I'll have to give that a lot of thought before I decide on one or the other. The reference frame is also a really good idea which I'll have to test out. Thanks again!
I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who participated in this Jam. There were so many great games and y'all make a great community! It is easy to feel alone in a group of over 3000 people, but I truly felt that I was a part of something big.
I especially appreciate everyone who participated in rate trading, even more so those who took the time to give feedback on my game. I've learned a lot from this and, thanks to y'all, I'm all hyped up and inspired to make more games.
I have the Mac's Magic Keyboard with Numpad:
The keys are very shallow and each if about the size of my thumb. I play the game by placing my left hand so each of my fingers is over 1-5. The issues is that my thumb is much shorter than my other fingers. This means to hover over the 5 key I have to twist my wrist to my thumb is over the key (making it harder to hit the other keys) or really push my thumb forward (my thumb then ends up parallel to the key, making it hard to press down without hitting a bunch of other keys). This issue with my thumb exacerbates the difficulty of crossing your fingers (or whatever the actual name is when playing piano) when switching from 1-5 to higher notes and back.
I liked the variety of options with the chips, although I only found myself using the attack and heal chips. Switching between chips was the perfect balance of being cumbersome, but not frustrating. Really fun game!
I think the swiping would make for a great mobile game (people are already conditioned to it with games such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush).
What confused me about the controls was that I didn't walk to where I clicked. I either walked past where I clicked or stopped short of where I clicked. I also had a few times where I swear I swiped one way, but flew another. As Crime Dog said, watching people play should help you figure this out. Also, it was hard to figure out where I would stop after dashing (this made the switches very frustrating). I think adding a marker of where you will land after dashing would fix this.
1) The movement of the player is perfect. It feels like I am in complete control (contributing to a feeling of being powerful). I'd be careful if you're adding anything such as a dodge roll or dash since those can take control away from the player (making you feel less powerful) in exchange for temporary safety.
2) The sound effects (love the Wilhelm scream, btw) such as the thuds make me feel powerful. Hitting multiple enemies also makes me feel powerful as does exploiting the enemy AI. However, almost everything else in the game makes me feel weak and like I am up against impossible odds. The sort of feeling you get when taking on the zombie horde with only limited resources. One of the reasons for this is the harpoon. Having one harpoon means you are going to switch into a (powerless) running away state when trying to recover the harpoon. The delay on picking up the harpoon magnifies this because you have to stand still for a short while, exposing yourself to the enemy.
Some other things that made me feel less powerful were:
- The zoomed in camera. Since I can't see the enemy (and some can jump across a good portion of the screen), my guard is always up. It is sort of like how you have to be prepared for what's around the corner or through the window in the older Resident Evil games. When I do see them, I usually end up using a more twitch-y reaction instead of calculated, controlled one since they are almost on top of me.
- The number of enemies. Mowing down hordes of enemies can make you feel powerful (I felt great after hitting three in a single shot!), but if you're outnumbered and forced to run, you feel very vulnerable.
- Enemies can jump over your harpoon. I think this is great, but it doesn't make me feel powerful. It makes my weapon feel weaker (since it can be dodged).
- You can't win. The game is infinite, so you will die at some point. It's hard to feel powerful when you know that you're going to die (although some final blazes of glory do make you feel good).
That all being said, I really enjoyed not feeling powerful. It was satisfying going up against a powerful enemy!
I have 0 complaints with your puzzles. I had a lot of fun with them and never felt clueless and/or at a loss. The only thing I can suggest is that when you make harder puzzles in the future, playtest them a bunch.
My only real complaint (& I already mentioned this in a comment on your game) is that mirrors can get stuck, forcing you to reset. This is an easy fix though with a grab mechanic (or something more clever you come up with!).
I'm impressed that you made an entire 3d game for a 48 hour jam! On that alone, congrats and great job! I like your light mechanic and your puzzles are fun. Like a few others said, the controls could use a little work (just being able to move diagonally would be a great first step). My only other complaint is that I would sometimes shove the mirrors into areas I could not back them out of, forcing me to reset. Either modifying your levels (wouldn't recommend) or allowing the player to grab and pull mirrors would fix this. Again, great job!
I remember plaything this earlier and really enjoying it, and I enjoyed playing it again! That being said, I apologize because I'm about to be a Negative Nancy (rolling with the pun here):
In a stream on Thursday, Mark Brown said that the reason he gave Only One examples in the jam theme video such as your "only one bullet" was that he felt they were the obvious answers to the theme (this was not communicated well in the video). We have seen this in the jam with there being a large number of "only one bullet" games. I'm a big worried that "only one bullet" paints you into a corner when it comes to design options. That being said, your plays the best out of all the ones I've experienced, this jam or otherwise.
To utilize the theme of the jam well (in my eyes) you have to build the game around the consequences of your "only one" mechanic. In your and other games, we have seen the consequences of having only one bullet being:
- I must bounce the bullet in order to hit multiple enemies
- I only have one shot per level
- I have to make sure my bullet does not break
- I have to collect my bullet in order to fire again
- In order to effectively fight enemies, I must use some telekinetic-like power to recall or push or move my bullet
- Since there is always one bullet, I can teleport to it; if you had multiple, you wouldn't be able to tell which you would teleport to (I have only seen this in yours, and this mechanic is what makes yours stand out and be so much fun for me)
You have 4 and part of 5, but it might have been interesting if you also were able to push away the bullet (they do something similar here: https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462860). Pushing away the bullet also works well with your teleportation since you can push it to a more safe area behind enemy lines. There are probably many other creative consequences of having one bullet that I'm not thinking of that you and other people can and will come up with. I'm not advocating for implementing everything here; I'm just listing what I saw in the hopes it inspires you.
Another thing I've seen people do is design enemies around having one bullet. The only example I can think of right now is an enemy that can only be hit from the back. One thing I don't remember seeing, but probably exists is a special enemy that can break your bullet if you're not careful (this could be frustrating). A variation of this could be an enemy that freezes your bullet or hits it back at you (so it damages you). That could cause one of the gameplay state changes Mark Brown seems to like where you go from being powerful with a bullet to running away.
I hope something in this post is helpful. Again, I want to reiterate this I really enjoyed your game. I'm just being a bit more negative here in the hopes of giving you helpful feedback.
Back in middle and high school, I was in band, so I know the basics of reading music. That being said, I had no early idea how I was supposed to sync up with the drums (never played with a non-symphonic band to be fair) until I listened to your audio and started head banging. After almost 30 minutes, I pulled off the lick (twice, apparently, but I only remember doing it once). It was so satisfying
, almost like it was the Dark Souls of rhythm games.
I think having eighth notes being the first thing you have to pull off (at the game's tempo) is too fast. To make things more difficult, it is hard to use the keyboard to play. I have to both scrunch up my hand and twist it to cover the keys. Maybe a numpad would be better, but not everyone has one.
The only real cue you had for when to play (aside from the subtle camera shakes and the drum), was the music at the top (only at the beginning). I can't see someone who is unfamiliar with sheet music being able to read it without it lighting up in time with the drum (like in other rhythm games). Just having that up there as a visual refer for when to play (pros could still disable it if you wanted) could help a lot. Options for changing the bpm might help as well (sort of like custom difficulty).
I'm going to disagree with Crime Dog a little here and say that I think the movement controls could work as long as players were able to fall into a rhythm with the lick. If they were able to do that, they could focus on movement more and playing less (sort of what you said). I think it would also help to make the circle around the player bigger. That way if people still had a hard time, they would have to move less. I'd be interested in what others think though.
Your idea on paper gets me excited, and I did really enjoy pulling off the lick, so I think you had the right idea. The issue (for me at least) was the barrier to entry being too high.
The most fun implementation of "one bullet" that I've seen yet -- and it doesn't even break the theme by adding extra mechanics! In the beginning, I wish I had a little more room the throw my bullet around while I get the hang of how to control it. I spent a number of early runs either shooting myself or hitting a wall right off the bat.
Really fun game that has a thing Mark Brown has been talking about lately: switching game states. I really enjoyed going from having a weapon to running away to find another. Great job!
Also, your gif for this is so great that I had to drop what I was doing to find out what your game was.
I hope your internet gets better! I have a browser version of mine, but don't worry about it if you're having issues.
Mine is a puzzle platformer where the only things in the level are you and the goal. You'll have to use your past selves to reach the goal: https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462512.
I really enjoyed your level design, and all the potions added a fun new element to the game. Great stuff! A few times I felt frustrated with being forced to reset by something offscreen. In one level you have an orb that allows you to look ahead. If that was a different view you could change to ever level or you could zoom the camera out, that would solve the issue I had and allow your level design to really shine.
I liked the concept for your game and left a long (but a little unorganized) comment with feedback. I hope the feedback is what you were looking for!
If you have the time, I'd appreciate your feedback on my puzzle platformer with only one person per level: https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/462512. I've gotten mixed feedback on the controls and how I teach (or don't) the core mechanic. Any help in those areas I would greatly appreciate.
Fun concept, but I wish the game did more with having multiple characters across multiple screens.
Maybe some enemies could only be damage by being attacked on two screen at once? A boss that appears on all screens at once, rewarding the player for properly position their four shadows? Level hazards that can only be activated from one screen? I not really a big fan of any of those ideas, but I hope they communicate what I was thinking.
I really only used one screen at a time or ignored them all together. In the beginning, I just found myself focusing on only one screen at a time (as enemies appeared). By the end, I was just jumping around and slashing frantically because that seemed to work well.
I liked the armor mechanic being tied to the weapons because it forced me to pick up weapons I would normally avoid (due to lower stats). The two things that would break me out of my state of jumping and slashing wildly were the coins and weapon drops because I would have to navigate over to them on one screen.
Really unique and cool idea. It took me a little while to figure out that the directions were based on the local direction of the person (instead of global up, down, etc). Still, definitely one of my favorites from this jam!
Fun game! I especially appreciated the puzzle elements and the test fire. I'm not really sure what crouching is for (I got shot), but hiding adds a surprising amount of strategy for such a simple concept. My favorite parts of the game were tricking the enemies into taking themselves out.
Fun game that reminds me of how addicted I am to upgrade systems. The attacks, without much telegraphing and such speed, felt incredibly difficult to dodge.
I'm going back to beat the boss now...
Fun game that could be that could be improved with a little tweaking to level design. In particular, the second level where you grab the ceiling could benefit from a larger starting platform (I fell off a number of times, even once I figured out what to do). The wall jump also took a little getting used to. I might've gotten the hang of it faster if I could cling to the wall indefinitely.
I think the cover photo and name does affect it to some degree (I think you have a good name; it's nice and to the point). The best thing you can do is to post here (like you did!) and rate and comment on other people's games.
As for how many ratings you should be expecting, I don't think that's really the point (not a good metric to judge a game by) but... the median yesterday was 8 according to someone and the mean is currently 15. Keep in mind that there are a few games pulling that way up (there are a few with over 100 rates) and there are other games that still only have 1 rating.
Great art style and atmosphere! I liked how only certain colors would show certain parts of the level. I only real issue I had was trying to pickup small objects without knowing where my cursor was.
I failed to escape, but I enjoyed the puzzles and was completely engrossed while I played! The only puzzle clue I didn't understand (ignoring all the others that I killed myself with) was the "number of steps". Once I counted the number in the image (and I'm unsure if the topmost "step" is actually the landing and should or should not be counted), I was at a loss as to what to do. I tried counting forward the number of characters, but got a letter and I moved on to other clues. What made the clues (even if I didn't understand them enough to win) work for me is that it was apparent what was a clue, but it was not obvious what the clue meant. Because of this, I never felt completely lost and could justify my (wrong) decisions.
I'm excited to see what all you add! My only worry is that adding too many will give the player choice overload/paralysis. With only one window, you have to keep a lot in your head. But, it probably won't be an issue.
I ended up doing the same thing as Crime Dog and spammed the alert button after seeing a message. With your guidance, I restarted after that and completed the game. It had me thinking, so I enjoyed it (& you succeeded with your goal)!
I got stuck because I didn't know where to look for clues. I could look to the narrator/creator for clues, the hashes, the dialogue that was not the narrator, or the incoming messages. The first time I saw the messages in the hashes, I ended up ignoring them because I wanted to brute force the hash (not the smartest decision I've made). Having a fail state where either the hashes (early on) mention using the alert button or the narrator mentions "ignore the messages" or "stop distracting me; only alert me when you've found a match" could help those that get stuck.
Really fun stealth-puzzle game! The enemy patterns made sense to me. The timing was a bit tight for some levels, but that can be adjusted and, as long as the player can get back into it quickly, it shouldn't matter too much. My main probably was that I had a hard time telling when the guards were able to see me at long distances. Maybe adding a line of sigh or sight cone would help? You could also make it so the guards have a state between not seeing you and chasing you (sort of how the soldiers in Metal Gear get curious and slowly walk over to check things out). You could also do something like Thief does and have a visual indicator showing how visible you are. You could also modify the levels to make it more obvious where you can and cannot hide.
I really enjoyed the stealth puzzles and you had great audio feedback. The only two issues I had was that the clone does not seem to always press down buttons and that it was hard to tell when a guard was going to see me at long distances.