Squeeze up the right side!
Recent community posts
A few bugs from 0.5a:
Had the seeds in a seed cave appear "on top" of the crystals [pictured below]. Then, when I took one, the other didn't disappear.
Some of the enemies don't appear to draw in quite the correct order when they're on nearly the same location vertically. Also, it seems weird that the vertical maggots don't have the same ridges as the horizontal maggots:
Saw forest shadows on a quest speech bubble:
In the tutorial, it seems like it might be a good idea to avoid putting the weather vane in front of the very first plot:
Some notes from build 0.5a:
- I think the first quest should not be specific as to how you kill yourself. Aside from the tutorial, this is the first thing new players will see and you should encourage them to live as long as possible and see the game, not die on the first spike they see. Just having the quest be "to die" seems fine and would adequately introduce the quest system (in my opinion).
- Aiming turret plants feels quite frustrating, I think because the hit box is so close to the point of rotation. You get your shot lined up juuuust right and then moving in to hit it makes it rotate like 30 degrees. Perhaps moving the hit box out (with an obvious marker) would make it feel better?
- The bomb seed might be too powerful with the increased number of enemies. With the aura that takes 7 crystals instead of damage, I still had 40 crystals by the third camp (along with 8 hearts).
- At the final boss, it'd be nice if it was more obvious that you've dropped the aura when you get hit. In the excitement of the battle I'd moved on to the next two patches before I realized what was wrong. Perhaps make the patches close their eyes and turn grey when you don't have the aura, as well as add a bouncing arrow that points to the aura when you've dropped it?
- On the same topic, it might be nice if the map that appears in the final score screen tallied the number of patches you successfully hit in the last battle. Just getting to that battle is quite a challenge, and getting some acknowledgement that you partially beat it seems like it might provide some encouragement to try again.
The crystal shield aura seems really powerful. Combining that with a bomb seed that gave me (probably too many) gems got me a full two stages further than I've ever been, finally dying on the boss when my gravy train ran out of gems.I also got the thorn aura which seemed more fun than actually beneficial, but I don't think that's a bad thing.
- Add a permanent projectile that bounces around the screen without regards to gravity. Bounces off walls, the balance stick, and the top of the screen. Damages both enemies and the player.
- Add a permanent thorn / damage area below the player / stick. Always faces straight down, though, so you have to be above whatever you want to hit with it.
- Add a "ghost" seed that tracks your movement and damages enemies it touches.
- Permanent poison aura
- Add poison aura to all non-enemy projectiles
- Attract nearby crystals
- Add an extra seed option to the next crystal room. Or expend to get both seeds from a crystal room
- All non-enemy projectiles/attacks seek enemies to some degree and orbiting thorns slowly rotate towards nearby enemies
- Increase size of projectiles/thorns
- Increase speed of stick movement
- Slow down enemies near seed
- Getting hit removes N crystals before affecting health
- Enemies cannot hurt you, but if you fall into a hole you die. Optionally, also add a rising "flood" or timer which will kill you.
- Fill all holes, but any other damage kills you. Same option as above.
- More crystals on the ground and more enemies
- Plant for free but you lose access to all four basic seeds.
- Slightly decrease the size of all holes
- Falling down / taking certain damage seems extra punishing because you lose all of your accumulated thorns.
- Thanks for making crystals never fall down the holes. :)
- Bonus for using all the plots in a stage? Or fewer plots in a stage? (Although I guess this is functionally similar to simply using the crystal seed...) Bonus for no checkpoint plots? If you want it to be subtle you could just alter the number of crystals in the next camp.
- If you fall down a hole during the button challenge, I feel like you may as well just end the challenge because there's zero chance of finishing.
- When I started a new game, I immediately pressed up on both control sticks (like you do). The seed got a big kick to the left. Might have been a physics glitch; I know Unity physics can occasionally be weird.
- Three-button bonus crates can sometimes appear off-screen below you without any indication that they've done so. I've also had one block my forward progress, without any way to break it.
After hitting the spring into the second camp, my seed was inside the camp but the balance stick was stuck below the camp. I took a screenshot, but accidentally overwrote it, so you get an mspaint recreation of the events:
I couldn't move the stick up, but could move it down. After moving it down far enough my seed fell down, and I could resume moving up again. Unfortunately, as you can see in the screenshot, the spring was already sprung, so I was stuck.
A few suggestions after playing some more tonight:
- In the button challenge room, it might be nice to have an indicator of how many buttons there are left to push. I've never actually gotten far enough into it to be able to judge how difficult it'll be to hit all of the buttons in 30 seconds because I have no idea how many buttons there are.
- You might want to re-word the bank to clarify that you'll only get money back if you visit him again in the same game. Perhaps have him say "...when I see you again further up the mountain...". Coming from a background of playing a lot of Binding of Isaac, I initially assumed it worked like the donation machine and the gems could help me out in a future game.
- Passive upgrades seems like an interesting design space you could explore. The potential synergies could help create more emergent gameplay and keep people engaged. Also, occasionally letting people get overpowered combos can help people who feel like they are bad or stuck make progress in the game.
- I don't know how hard you want to go on the meta-progression elements a lot of rogue-lites have, but unlocking seeds based on various criteria seems like an obvious step in that direction. Kill X green flies, die in the last hole before a camp, that sort of thing. This can also increase engagement so long as it's paced well, and maybe keep people from being overwhelmed by seeds right from the outset.
- Speaking of green flies, I died to one in a camp... :(
- I think there is the potential for some interesting alternate game modes:
- Random starting load-out
- Classic "holes only" mode
- "Seeded" (ah ha ha) daily runs
- An arena mode where you just fight enemies in a static room
A few things I noticed tonight. On the death recap screen, the background behind the gems count is too small:
This might be by design, but I found that gems on the ground in the post-forest camp are kinda hard to see:
After going into a button challenge room, starting the challenge, then leaving the room before the timer expires, the challenge UI (timer and gem count) remained on the upper right corner of the play area until I quit the game.
Vert Laser Seed has a planting cost of 0 crystals? Is that by design? If so, there's a small grammatical error, as it says "Costs 0 crystal to plant".
Just as a data-point, I think I played four games this evening and got about half way up the area after the forest, including unlocking the teleport to the first camp. On that subject, it'd be nice if the bubble unlocked the teleporter as soon as you reached the camp, in case I want to try the challenge room, so I don't have to worry about losing the bubble. (I don't actually know if you can lose the bubble like that; I didn't try it.)
I found myself mostly sticking to using the basic seeds, I think mostly because I was more comfortable with them. Maybe it'd be a good idea to get a free, automatic use of a seed when you acquire it, just so players can see what they do? (Or in the case of seeds acquired in crystal rooms, after you bounce out the effect activates?) I know there's text describing things, but, for example, the Vert Thorn Seed's particular attack isn't what I was expecting when I used it.
Enemies seem very tenacious, and overall the game feels quite difficult, but I think that's pretty expected since it's more-or-less the first time playing. Still trying to figure out what the "gem economy" is like. I've never had enough to buy anything at the store or to invest at the bank.
Last thing for tonight, I found myself wanting to see a gallery of the seeds I've gotten at least once. I think that would provide a nice sense of meta-progression and accomplishment.
In the main menu (where you can press up to view the leaderboards or down to view options), pressing left or right on the controller appears to try to navigate up/down, but immediately navigates back. In other words, it seems like it's responding to any amount of "up" or "down" input, which is too sensitive and results in jittery movement when pressing left or right. I'm using an Xbox One controller.