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happycrazywild

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A member registered Apr 25, 2017 · View creator page →

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Recent community posts

Hi IndigoFenix! 

Thanks for playing my game and giving such helpful feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed the mix of story with (somewhat) challenging game mechanics!

I was wondering if the difficulty was off. I posted the game on Newgrounds as well, but the ratings were a bit low yet there were no comments. I thought people could be struggling to get through and quitting in frustration. I did attempt to do as you described -- I made a dialogue tree and intended the "automatic" or "easy" responses to lead to negative outcomes -- but I worried about the game being too harsh, so I made it easy to recover from mistakes. Probably too easy, depending on the path you take in the story. One particular flaw is that saying nothing and wasting time has little consequence. In real life awkward car conversations which inspired this game, the anxiety of "It's hard to speak up, and I'm running out of time" is a defining emotion that is absent here.

I originally planned to update the game, but this was originally a jam game so the code a mess, and it's not Christmas anymore. Therefore, I'll probably move on from this project, but I'll make sure to apply your feedback to my next. Thanks again!

Cheers!

P.S. By the way, if you feel like answering, what did you think of the story's writing itself? (i.e. Were the characters likable, did it feel genuinely interesting/emotional or kinda sappy/boring?) I know it's taken me a while to respond, so it's fine if you don't reply.

Hi MegamiTensei!

There are multiple ways to reach the best ending. You can avoid that argument entirely, but you don't need to -- it's possible to bring the conversation back on track.

In general, pay attention to the attitude each choice has. Is it dismissive of Santa? Does it throw blame around? How honest is it? Think about which will yield better results.

SPOILER:

When Santa asks "So that's how you feel about your old man?", a Flappy Bird segment will start. One answer will have a clearly different attitude than the rest. Keep flapping until you find it!

Thanks for playing and leaving a comment! Happy Holidays!

Wow! I'm so glad the game was deeply meaningful to you 😁 That's exactly what I intended: to encourage people to communicate! Thanks so much for playing and commenting 😀 Us game devs really appreciate reading comments like yours!

Happy Holidays!  🎅

Thanks so much for playing! 😊 Glad you enjoyed the game!

Santa uses the sleigh for Christmas Day, but a car is more convenient for mundane things like picking up the kids from school, lol. 😄

Awesome, glad I could help!

Oh, and one way you could let players test the world builder without annoying them...maybe add a link or button under the login screen that says "Test world builder without login" with a disclaimer in bold text, "You'll need to log in to save your work." That way they know ahead of time and aren't blindsided.

(1 edit)

An awkward conversation with your dad, Santa Claus.

Play as Blitzen, Santa's adopted reindeer son. Make choices that affect the conversation, and uncover a funny, emotional story in the process!

Just keep in mind -- nobody ever said saying the right thing would be easy. Technically, you don't even have to be present in the conversation. That's what smartphones were invented for!

  • Features simple yet expressive 2D characters in a 3D cartoon background that evokes the cozy feelings of old Christmas TV specials.
  • Game lasts 10-15 mins. per play session depending on reading speed. Though...you'll likely want to play multiple times to get the best ending.
  • Family-friendly, appropriate for all ages.
I'd greatly appreciate all helpful feedback about the game -- positive or negative. Specifically:
  • Your overall experience, emotionally...how did you feel when you played it? Were any parts frustrating? Moving? Funny? I'd love to know!
  • The writing. Were the characters well-written and believable to you? Did you particularly like or dislike either character?
  • Any technical issues or nonsensical events/dialogue you may have seen
  • Which endings you saw, if any -- there are multiple endings and many ways to get there

Please be honest even if you have criticisms.Thanks for playing, and I hope you enjoy it!

https://happycrazywild.itch.io/my-dad-santa

Happy Holidays! 🎅

"

"MY DAD SANTA"

https://happycrazywild.itch.io/my-dad-santa

I really appreciate having a build you can instantly try in your browser! 😁 Note that I have not watched the tutorial video, so that I can test the software's intuitive-ness.

LEVEL

I started with the level "Trial of the Great Desert" by Kanami. (I checked all the checkboxes including "Story start only".) It was interesting, but somewhat overwhelming. Do all the levels share one story? The plot at the start made me unsure as to which level I should have chosen first. The characters talk a lot about unrelated lore pretty much unprompted, and I very quickly forgot where I was supposed to go (Maybe that's just me though...I'm tired today)...of course, I soon figured out I needed to go north to start the level. To make the initial experience be less overwhelming, consider adding a dedicated tutorial level easily located on the menu. It could introduce the lore and characters, but leave the unrelated details to be revealed when they become important, which would make the conversation feel more natural.

Side notes...

* It's really charming how awkward Autem the dragon is, like catching himself using contractions ("I'm") in order to sound more dragonlike and then abruptly leaving like..."Bye!" 🤣

* I didn't do much of the actual combat gameplay, however.

* It can be tough to make dialogue advance quicker. When I press the spacebar while the character is still speaking, I expect the text animation to finish instantly, like in other games. (I'm a speed reader.) Then, ideally, I can press it again to see the next dialogue. The way it works now still leaves me feeling impatient, since the text only speeds up a little bit as you hold the spacebar. Due to my muscle memory, I found myself repeatedly pressing the spacebar, making it easy to accidentally choose options before I can read them.

EDITOR

...I'm using it now, and to be honest I'm pretty lost!

* I feel like requiring an account login could be a barrier to getting people to test your level editor. Maybe it's just me -- even though it's not a lot of work, I don't like having to keep track of yet ANOTHER account. Fortunately, this game requires just a name and a password, though; no email or any personal info as is the norm for user accounts. However, others may assume you'll want their email or something just to try the editor, and tune out.

* The Important Starter Resources screen was rather confusing. What does that "C" button do? It's also not clear that you must double-click the starter package to continue. Perhaps put checkmarks next to each resource and an "Import" button next to the "Cancel" button. That way you can easily import multiple packages.

* The main interface is overwhelming. I should have read the intro text better (I tend to skim, since I use a lot of game dev software and usually have a vague idea how it works, apart from tutorials) because it explains "Create a new room and edit it in the Rooms tab." Without that knowledge, I thumbed through the other tabs wondering how to get started. There seem to be an impressive amount of features, but my instinct is to start putting tiles and objects down ASAP, and I'm not able to do that.

* Besides the menus themselves, there is little visual indication (large headings, etc.) whether you are in "edit whole world" mode or "edit room" mode. That could be confusing for newcomers not used to editing software, who may wonder how to return to the former. (You have to click the small X.) Further playtesting can check whether this is a problem.

* Just by looking, it's not clear which items will spawn tooltips and which will not.

* Even after figuring out how to create and edit a room -- perhaps the software should create the first room for you, and start you off editing it! -- I have no idea how to put tiles on it. There's just a black canvas where stuff could be.

...And that's where I'm stuck right now 😮 I don't know how to start putting down ground tiles or objects.

Still, this is a cool idea for a game. And it's clear that cool things can be done with the editor, such as story scripting.  For the editor, I would look at well-designed interfaces such as Super Mario Maker or the well-loved free tilemap editor "Tiled" for inspiration. (There's also OGMO editor, which I've never used, but it's by Celeste devs and it looks stylin'!)

Read up on User Experience design as well as User Interface design...those are two separate things! Try to make things more visual and easy to understand. Reduce the amount of unnecessary decisions beginners have to make before they can get started. For example, you could pre-load the game with a starter pack of tiles by default, while allowing users to also add or choose custom ones.


Good luck!

Screenshot GIF

My Dad Santa

An awkward conversation with your dad, Santa Claus.

Play as Blitzen, Santa's adopted reindeer son. Make choices that affect the conversation, and uncover a funny, emotional story in the process!

Just keep in mind -- nobody ever said saying the right thing would be easy. Technically, you don't even have to be present in the conversation. That's what smartphones were invented for!

Features simple yet expressive 2D characters in a 3D cartoon background that evokes the cozy feelings of old Christmas TV specials!.

Game lasts 10-15 mins. per play session depending on reading speed. Though...you'll likely want to play multiple times to get the best ending. Family-friendly, appropriate for all ages.

Enjoy the game! Feel free to post below and tell me what y'all think. I'm open to critiques and feedback!

Happy Holidays! 🎅

My Dad Santa title card

D'awwwww :3 Such a sweet game!

This is really cool! I love the Scrabble mechanics and the clever way you give hints so the player doesn't get stumped. I also really like that you use these mechanics to tell a story. I have no idea how all this was done in 72 hours, so major props! 😀

.

.

[SPOILER]

And of course I love the happy ending!

The last word was a major logical leap for me, though, and since there were no more speech bubbles, I was actually about to post that the game had glitched. Until of course I gave up and looked up the answer on scrabble-solver 😝

This is GREAT. The level of polish throughout is very impressive, the intro animation was very well-animated and a welcome surprise, and the gameplay is fun and fast without being confusing. 

I haven't gotten to the boss, though, because I can't seem to get an A rank on level 2. Maybe the requirement should be to get a B rank? I got tired of trying over and over. It would also be helpful to know how many points constitutes each rank, like in Sonic games.

I also find it difficult to successfully target enemies, because the range for the "homing attack" (X) is a bit short, so sometimes I've moved out of range by the time I can react. Other times, the homing attack time limit runs out right as I'm pressing X, so a more noticeable visual indicator of its time limit would be helpful. It's also nearly impossible to hit enemies that are lodged in little craters of land, like in level 2.

Despite these issues, I still enjoyed the game. Keep up the good work. I'd really like to see more of this!

The hand-drawn art in this was so pretty, especially the color palette. The music was also nice.
I tried to "win" without drinking, but I think I messed up a choice or two along the way, so I was left with literally nothing else to do but take a drink. That doesn't make much sense to me. I feel like there should be other ways to build up confidence even after you mess up.
The game could also benefit from a system like in Oxenfree where you can overhear characters talking (i.e. read their speech bubbles) as you travel the overworld, to make the conversation more natural.

Still, this whole game is really impressive especially considering the time constraint. Keep up the good work!

I liked this. It would be nice to have keyboard controls, though, so I can click Continue without accidentally choosing an option before I've read it.

Thank you! :)

Thank you! :)

I'm really glad you thought it was deep. I wanted to make something cute and accessible but also with a lot of substance to its story. Thanks for playing it and leaving a comment! :D

(Sooper long feedback alert!)

This was REALLY interesting. My jam game was a conversation sim too, so of course this was right up my alley!

When I first got into the game, I spent a long time staring at the controls, yet when I pressed Start, I was totally overwhelmed and confused. This might be what you were going for, but introducing the mechanics more gradually, say with an interactive tutorial, would help a lot. It is also very visually busy and fragmented, so try finding ways to make the elements simpler, easier to focus on, and make more sense together. (For example, the teddy bear is really cute and makes sense as a "lolrandom" thing, but it could be contextualized a bit more. You could have the player's character daydream about it before the gameplay starts.)

Once I got the hang of the system, though, I was able to appreciate how clever some of the ideas were. I love that the answers scramble themselves if you mess up on the minigame, and that there's often more than one good answer to the questions. The sheer amount of questions and answers is awesome as well. However, it was often very frustrating when the guy seemed to respond to a different option than the one I intended. I might have taken my eyes off the clock (which is awfully tiny considering its importance), tipped the scroll wheel a bit, or bumped into something right before time ran out.

The dialogue is well-written too, but sometimes unnatural or unfitting. He asked me a lot of "icebreaker" or even job interview-style questions to the point where I started to wonder where he was reading them off of. 🤣 Sometimes he'd overreact or underreact to awkward choices, too. One time I selected a horrific option like "we're celebrating a miscarriage", and he acted freaked-out for a moment before immediately asking another question (even calling me "friend") as if nothing happened. Try adding more specific categories for answers and creating more transitional dialogue.

The text to speech was also very helpful. It's somewhat realistic, but not quite. (You could find ways to roll with it though. For example, you could anthropomorphize the other person into a robot who simply acts like a human.)

Anyway, this is a really cool concept and I enjoyed playing it. Keep up the good work!

Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you found it heartwarming :)

I like this! It's really clever how you used the ? spaces to tell little stories and you used the gates to make sure the player explores and doesn't miss anything. It's short n' sweet and doesn't feel overly drawn-out.

One tiny nitpick though - when I saw the ? space at the beginning of the game, I started looking for an actual box. Then I figured it must be on the gate, but it's locked unless you put coins in, so it's not really a donation xD

Great job with this game!

I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D It really means a lot that someone took the time to play it and leave a friendly comment. Thanks so much! :)

Just this page itself looked so awesome I just had to try the game :D

I played the browser version briefly, but I had a really hard time telling between background elements and elements I could walk or wall jump on. Also, sometimes stuff seemed to randomly kill me even when I had time left.

However, I like the pixel art, the animation, and game's level of polish. But I think core mechanics like the visibility of the level should be of higher priority. (I learned this the hard way while making my jam entry.)

Keep up the good work!

Thanks!

Thank you! :) Any feedback on things that could make the game a smoother experience?

Looks adorable :) but what could this retro game possibly be doing that would require a 3.4GHz i5??? o_O

This looks really cool and hilarious! Downloading it right now :D