Don't hold your breath. IIRC for last year's jam they took about a day and a half after the jam "started" to announce the theme.
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It would be tricky to fit the mechanical feel I had in mind into a historical setting, I think. It's fine, I don't need a game jam. It just seemed like it might be a good excuse to make this thing now.
'Cause I finished up with the GMTK jam yesterday, saw this jam's title and thought, "great! That's a perfect excuse to prototype the mental-calendar-math game I've had in the back of my head for several years." But it doesn't have anything to do with ancient history...
"Curly" was the second level we created and I think we were both still in that "heheh it's fun zooming around the curves" phase.
And the last one...yeah. It really needs two or three levels of tutorializing. There's just no good way to learn the techniques and yeah, it feels like random chance otherwise. And then going forward is so touchy that I still fail it at least half the time even knowing what to do. I thought about making the tail longer to slow it down a little, but we were near the end of the jam and I wasn't sure it would be a simple fix.
So yup. Typical game jam misjudging-the-difficulty stuff. Thanks for playing!
I keep starting to comment on this and then scrapping what I've written. I think I really wanted this to be a somewhat different game. The only two ideas that might actually fit your current game are:
I wished that the spacebar would auto-re-route the power the way W/A/D do for the engines.
And that there were much fewer (probably bigger) rocks and no fast-moving ones. With the wrapping, it doesn't take much (at least for me) to overwhelm my ability to keep track of where they will be next. My brother's fancy Asteroids clone starts with only three "rocks" and new players still usually die a lot. And the power re-routing delay means that you can't react quickly to anything, so you have to plan ahead even more than usual in an Asteroids game.
Nice concept, though! Just a little too hard for me in its current form.
Looks like most of what I'd suggest has already been said...and answered, but I'll repeat anyway:
- Visual and audio feedback as to when enemies are about to move (some people don't see as well, some don't hear as well, or play with sound off).
- Separate keys (or buttons) for each action and for pause would make it (I think) a lot easier to learn. Most platformers require you to learn a bunch of buttons: not so many that require you to use a menu in the midst of gameplay. And you have several levels that require you to jump twice in a row, but if you want to do that immediately from a pause it seems like you have to cycle all the way around?
- I didn't notice anyone else saying this, but I'd like 'R' to restart the level directly, rather than kill you and then you have to press it again to restart.
- It's a little weird that you can kind of use the jump ability multiple times, but I don't see that there's anything you can do about it: it enables a lot of good level design.
- Checkpoints might be nice, especially in that last level. Different people have different tolerances for how long they're willing to go without a checkpoint and some games demand that you go a ridiculously long time between checkpoints (especially boss fights: Hollow Knight and Cuphead, I'm looking at you). But this one pushes the limits of what I'm comfortable with and you could make it more fun for more people by allowing them to take it one piece at a time. And you can always turn some off in a higher difficulty mode or something.
But yeah, those are polish things: for a 48hr game this is excellent. Jam games are almost always too hard and a little unpolished.
I'm afraid that for me this falls into the category of "it isn't actually more fun with only one button". I kept getting off a little bit and then having to restart the level. Maybe with a quicker respawn time? (though the death animation was a lot of fun). Or checkpoints? A nice start, though. And the level design was well done.
Hmm. It seemed like in the fourth wave there were the green barrel-throwing guys over in the bottem right where it was hard to shoot them, and then I ran out of bullets because they were all over there.
And even in fullscreen, the game was fully surrounded by black and it still wouldn't fire if I clicked outside the game area? So fullscreen didn't make the mouse control better for me.
But yeah, clever concept, and nice art.
--Josh (part of teamwintergreen for the jam)
Yeah, what olinkalex said. I'll be curious to see the new build. Also I think it would be more tense if your torch just slowly got dimmer, rather than the blinking-out more and more frequently thing. It would be more like a battery dying. Ooh. Maybe you could even shut it off yourself and then when you turned it back on you'd have a little more power.
Yeah, it was mostly the last level of your game that was beyond my ability to track everything in my head. I was just about to break out the pencil and paper or give up when I finally figured out the strategy. The others were challenging but simple enough for me not to get too frustrated. But I also usually do pretty well at puzzle games. Maybe you could have an "easy" mode where you have a key to switch planes without actually moving. Or maybe you can do that, but it counts as a move so your score is worse?
As for Filament, yeah. Philippe did most of the level design, and he kept making levels that were fun for us but very difficult for new players. We have a farm, so Saturday and Sunday are usually work days for me and I didn't have anywhere near as much time as he did. I tried to make a few easier levels but mostly spent my time adding some bits of UI and visual feedback (things like the switching-between-levels code), which seemed more important at the time. Thanks for playing!
Huh. Either this was seriously buggy for me, or it's mostly unfinished? The mines seemed to teleport me around but not reset the boss's health so...does that count as actually dying? The game didn't end when the boss hit 0 health: it just kept counting negative. The "beam" was a really slow-moving ball that just stuck to the boss and didn't seem to do anything.
It took me way too long to realize that the boss was up in the air. "People never look up", heh. But that's on me. Though maybe there's some way to do a directional flash of light or something that would point to him?
And 1000 health just seemed like too much when you were only doing one damage at a time. Even when I cheesed it and got him just over the corner of a building so I could stand there and just hold the fire button, it took what felt like several minutes.
And...now that sounds hopelessly negative. I actually loved the concept,and even in this state it was surprisingly fun to play for a little while. I could see where you were going with it. It just seemed like you ran out of time to finish it, or maybe it's just broken on my computer.
Very cool. Much more original of a take on "a 1D slice of a 2D space" than our game.
I actually got stuck on the third level for a while since I didn't understand that the four-way arrows was referring to the arrow keys. And combined with the voiceover cue...I spent a while thinking that maybe there was an invisible gap in the line where I could go in a different direction with WASD, and then thought maybe I could pan around with the mouse (since that sort of shape usually means drag-to-move). I did eventually get it, but if they had been arranged like they are on a keyboard it would have been clearer for me (and maybe enclosed in rounded-rects to look like keys)?
It might also be a nice touch to reveal the whole level once you beat it? I feel like it would have helped me to be able to check my understanding of the shape against reality. It might give too much away, of course. But maybe for some of the early/tutorial levels?
Generally excellent design though!
--Josh (part of teamwintergreen/Filament for this jam)
Our game, Filament, is at 9 ratings.
One path through the level: crazy curved ones. I think the controls are solid and fun, and you have different max speeds forward/back so you get a different challenge going out than coming back. I'm sure some levels are too hard but you can scroll through with PageUp/PageDown or the gamepad bumpers, and I think we included a good variety of experimenting with different mechanics.
It's definitely not as cool of a take on the 1D vs. 2D idea as Tunnel View though. :)
Edit: There's also https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/unrated which shows the games with the fewest ratings: there are currently a whole bunch of games with only two or three.
It would have been cool if there was more visual feedback (an animation instead of flipping instantly, maybe?) on the rotation. I kept forgetting which direction came next. And maybe left/right click could rotate in different directions? It was sometimes tricky because I wanted to reflect it one way and then almost instantly reflect it with the rotation three clicks away. Though maybe that's an intentional part of the difficulty?
But yeah, that was fun. I always like games where you reflect a thing.
--Josh (part of teamwintergreen for the jam).
Oh, very nice. I played a few levels of this at the beginning of the rating period, thought, "yeah, sure, not bad" and then put it down. But I just came back and played the rest of the levels. There are only a couple tedious ones and some of them are really excellent. I appreciated that you have click to start/stop drawing as well as drag.
Thoughts for improvement (dunno if you're planning to work on it more):
- It was hard to tell exactly how big the chicken was. The grid lines helped, but it was too many spaces to count on the fly. Some graph paper has slightly darker lines every four or five cells: something like that could help a lot, especially if the larger grid was the exact size of the chicken (and you placed the background carefully for each level, though maybe that would give too much of the solution away in some cases).
- You have to be careful not to move the mouse while clicking or it's interpreted as a drag instead of a click. It would be a nice touch to pretend that it was a click if you drag less than, say, two line segments before releasing the mouse button. Not something you'd expect to see in a jam game, of course.
- There were one or two levels that I would have liked to replay: a way to switch levels would have been nice. Even in a jam setting where you don't want to waste time on a level-select screen, sometimes you can let people switch with page-up/down keys or something. Or even just left-click to go on, right-click to replay?
- I don't know how it would fit into the code or the gameplay, but it would be cool if it limited the slope of the line. I had to restart a lot because I twitched the mouse and made a bump that was too steep for the chicken. Which was fine on the shorter levels, but frustrating near the end of a long one.
- There was one weird drop in the difficulty curve (after the first hard one, then there's a super easy one where you just draw a line up and over the block in the middle? It starts the segment where you build up to keys in three of the four corners). It was fine. It was actually nice to have an easy level after the previous one, but it was so easy that I kind of thought "why is this here?"
But yeah: awesome game, nicely polished, solid level design (and lots of levels for a jam game). Big thumbs up from me!
--Josh (part of teamwintergreen for the jam)
Haha! My brother is an artist so I know how that goes. I bet that took a lot of work. My team on this jam (teamwintergreen) are both programmers so we didn't do any art at all, and we chose a very simple core mechanic, had the base game running in about four hours, and then it was just thinking up crazy level designs and doing little bugfixes and adding a bit of UI and control tweaks. Most relaxed game jam I've ever done. :)
Nice! Very tricky. As others have said, the collision could be better: the hitboxes on the spikes feel a little too big, and it would be good to have some visual indication that all sides of the spike blocks are deadly.
Being able to press 'R' to restart would have been nice: I had to go to fullscreen mode because the game didn't fit on my screen otherwise, but then pressing Escape would quit fullscreen. So to restart, I had to hit Escape twice (exit fullscreen, then restart the level) and then click the fullscreen button again. I did eventually find a way to scroll my screen just right so I could play without needing fullscreen, but...
But yeah, a nice little puzzle. Kind of like some of the puzzles in The Swapper. And the art is cute.
--Josh (part of teamwintergreen for the jam)
Are the hex and the shield while falling supposed to protect you? They look like they should but it doesn't feel like they do. I love the multiple moves on one button thing. I only managed to get to about 36 seconds but it's very fun.
Yeah, I realize the rocket is safe. It was more that I'd move it too far and then wonder why the orb kept drifting up (or down). The orb doesn't move vertically very fast so it sometimes took a minute to realize that it was drifting instead of staying on the line where I thought I was. It was mostly in the 500-600s at times when I had the orb near the far right and was intensely focused on dodging between a bunch of closely spaced enemies.
Nicely done! I love the fade in/out when you switch the music on and off: that's a very nice touch.
It would be nice if the Space key would select menu items and restart the game after you die instead of having to use Enter.
I had a lot of trouble training myself which side to be on at the end of the platforms. That felt backwards to me for some reason. I think I wanted to "jump" through and "up" to the next platform, instead of just waiting to fall off the end? It always felt like the next platform was too far away and that you'd fall through the gap if you just ran off the end, so maybe a subtle jump/ramp shape at the end of the platforms would help? Or maybe it's just me.
But yeah. A fun infinite runner and lots of nice polish.
Hmm. A promising start, but it was too frustrating for me to play for more than a few minutes.
- It doesn't give enough time to react before something kills you: you should have more than a fraction of a second to evaluate the situation after starting the game or spawning a new wave of enemies before you're dead. Similarly, ONE-SODA tells you which way it's going but then just barely gives you time to get out of the way.
- There's no audio feedback when you hit an enemy. The knockback alone isn't enough for me: I'd like to see a sound effect and maybe a white flash or something. Most limited-bullet games (the classic Asteroids, for instance) just don't let you shoot again when you run out of bullets. So they reward accuracy (if you miss, you're defenseless until your bullet dies). Your game is more friendly in that sense, but if you fire again before you hit the enemy, then nothing happens. So in the heat of the moment, it's hard to tell if you're hitting the enemy a lot of times or just firing at the air in front of them a lot. If there is only one sound, I'd prefer it to mean "you hit an enemy!" (which I'm often not sure of) instead of "you fired a shot!" (I know that. I just hit the button).
- It's hard to tell where the hit-boxes are. Sometimes I got killed instantly, and sometimes I thought I should totally have died but I didn't. Particularly with ONE-SODA after the first three enemies: I couldn't tell if it was invulnerable a lot of the time or if I just wasn't shooting it in the right place.
- It seemed like the enemies switched on a timer? Sometimes I'd kill one and then just be standing around with nothing to do for several seconds before another one activated, which was boring.
But I like the idea and with just a little more polish it could be a lot of fun.
OK, I got to 666. Not sure if I care enough to push through to the ending. So. Some more thoughts.
- I wish you could hit space or some key to control the orb. If you're not pointing with the mouse, then there's no reason for it not to just be a key, and I'm better at keeping my fingers relaxed while constantly pressing a key: when clicking the mouse button like mad I tend to tense up and then not want to play for as long.
- Arrow keys as well as W/S would be nice for movement: I don't care too much in this case, but some people do prefer to control movement with their right hand (on a keyboard).
- Since this is LOVE2D, you could use scancodes instead of keycodes so that I don't have to switch my keyboard layout from Dvorak to QWERTY in order to play. If you use love.keyboard.isScancodeDown or the second argument to love.keypressed/keyreleased, then you can use the same names (w/s) but it will refer to the key's position rather than the character it sends.
- The art is fun: the game name and the stalactite graphics are great.
- I kept losing track of the ship because I was so focused on the orb. It might be cool to have a dashed line or something from the orb to the ship?
- It was a little distracting that the skulls died with the same sound as the spinners: I'd sometimes think that I killed a spinner and move on and then go, "oh, wait, that was just a skull exiting the back of the screen." I think it would be better with a different sound, or even none at all for the skulls.
But those are all minor things.
Nice! Another LOVE2D game! Simple and effective, though it took me several tries to learn the collision shapes where the heads grab the orb, and to stop treating the orb as a bullet that you hold onto and shoot out when you're lined up.
Once I realized I should treat it more like a yo-yo or something, that it stays remote most of the time, I did better. Still not very good at it though: my best score so far is 261 and I haven't seen the red orbs/skulls shown in the screenshot.
Yeah, level 3 is built around a physics glitch. It's not a bug, it's a feature! :) I wasn't quite sure about that myself, but Philippe made the level and it's fun once you figure out what's going on.
I found this extremely difficult. Interesting idea but I think it needs more build-up or tutorial (I know, game jam time limitations). But maybe even having it start out with more focused waves of bullets instead of jumping right in to having them come from lots of directions at once? Since Godot lets you animate any property, my brother has used animations with tracks for things like particle spread and direction, emitter position, and so on. That technique makes it really easy to build a difficulty progression over time.
I think two sets of left/right keys (like A/D for one shield and left/right for the other) might have worked better for me than trying to do it all with one hand (left/right up/down) the way it is now? I had trouble with the up/down for rotation.
Sometimes the red dots went straight through the shields. I'm not sure if that was intentional or just Godot's buggy physics, but it was confusing.
Nice concept though. I'll have to come back to it after the rating period when I have more time to practice the mechanics.
And (blatant plug): our game is Filament (https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2019/rate/460871) if you want to try another probably-accidentally-way-too-hard-jam-game. :)