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Joshua Galecki

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A member registered Oct 04, 2019 · View creator page →

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Hello, itch people. (Itchers?)

I'm working on a roguelike WebGL game, and it would be very useful for me to get some details on choices my players are making. Has anyone ever hooked up a game on itch into more detailed analytics? To be clear, I'm not looking for data on who is visiting the website (itch.io does a good enough job for that), but rather in-game how players are choosing Perk X over Perk Y, how long a typical game lasts, etc. I hope to use that data to make a more compelling experience.

I'm building the game in Unity, and I know Unity has some good data gathering tools. Do they work easily with Itch.io? Does anyone know of any tutorials or other places to get started?

Thanks,
Josh

Alright, I was able to reproduce the bug! On reloading the room, the chest was being added to to a Dictionary twice -  this caused the freeze on interacting with the chest. The other rooms don't have the same issue.

I'll be able to get a fix up today - just gotta add a little polish to another feature I've been working on. Thanks for the bug reporting, Yirggzmb!

Glad that you're enjoying the game, but sad that a bug crashed it for you. I've got a few questions - sorry if they seem really basic, but they'll help me narrow down the problem.

1) Were you playing with a downloaded version? There might be some logs I could look into for greater detail.

2) You're saying the storage screen was unresponsive, correct? You weren't able to move any of the inventory items or press Space to exit the screen?

3) Was this your first time this game in the "shadow cookie" room? (That's what I call the shadowy circle in this room.) Was this your first time on Day 11 in the shadow cookie room? If you were in this room before, did you access the chest?

4) Did you play multiple games of this straight, and the bug happened on a latter (i.e., not the first) playthrough?

5) Did you use any potions earlier on Day 11?

Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoy the work, and I hope that you'll have fun with the new updates I've got planned :)



I've solved the problem! Hahaha.

Being serious, though, I wasn't able to reproduce the collision bug. I did change the Tilemap collider to polygon mode. While I'm hopeful that fixed the problem, I can't test it to be sure. Thanks again for the info!

Thanks for the information. I'm still not able to reproduce the bug. (I believe that it is happening! It's just hard to replicate these things sometime.) You mentioned that you were standing about three blocks south of the top wall - about where were you standing in the east / west direction?

I've gone ahead and changed Unity's Tilemap collider from "outline" mode to "polygon" mode. This'll get pushed out in the next update (today or tomorrow). I think this will solve the issue, but I'd like to reproduce the bug first so I can prove it. I do appreciate the bug report and the help :)

Can you describe the bug a little more? I tried walking through the wall and wasn't able to.

Thank you, wife.

https://joshuagalecki.itch.io/dwarven-depths. It's a PWYW $0 minimum game, so I didn't think I could include it with the main bundle. I'd like to add it to the "support" collection though.

The tutorial work is nice! It seems easier to get into, although I do have knowledge from my first playthrough. Here's some more playtesting notes in no particular order.


Built a stage, but then thought I should move it. I couldn't figure out how to change the placement before it was built, and after the 'garbage can' didn't seem to schedule it for destruction (or if it did, a citizen never got around to it.)

I like the priority system, but I'm a little confused about how priorities interact with professions.
    -- I would add numbers to the priority squares for players that are red-green colorblind.
    -- For other examples of priority systems for jobs, check out Dwarf Fortress and Rimworld.

The UI buttons appearing from right to left (with empty space inbetween) seems less polished than the buttons appearing left to right. If there's no reason not to, I'd consider rearranging the buttons so that the ones appearing first are on the left.

I planted some tomatoes (do I need to do that manually?), and there are 'water' symbols nearby. I'm guessing they need water? No real question here, just a point where I'm not very clear on what needs to happen. I have a farmer dude.
    -- I just scrolled through the encyclopedia to read on tomatoes and tomato seeds. I would recommend a table of contents / index page when the encyclopedia is opened up, or some method to skip from the first entry to 'tomato' without tons of clicks.

In quest rewards, it's not clear that I'm getting blueprints instead of buildings. Maybe add a background sprite to blueprints to indicate that?

Under the forge build menu, I would like to see how many I have of each object. The current 'quantity' textbox I think is for building multiple objects, but it would be great to see if, say, I don't have any microphones and need to build some. (Or, conversely, that I already have one and don't need to worry about it.)

I think the "middle click to display building icons, click on icon to display building information" is a bit convoluted for an action. Maybe double clicking on the building could bring it up?

More tomato thoughts - a day later, they are still showing the water symbol. I have a farmer, and they are planted near a water pump with water available (blue meter is not empty). Not sure what to do there.

In the encyclopedia, the "building level" flag (showing the, say, fifth level walls) is maintained when the page is turned to a different building. Nitpick, but that was a little unexpected.

The second quest (collect resources) requires a certain amount of aquamarines. Are these mined from the same crystal pits that the crystal orbs come from?

My nutrient storage barrel doesn't seem to be storing any food. The barrel is empty, even though my inventory shows 14 tomatoes. Screenshot at https://imgur.com/a/d0x4DhM. My people are hungry!

All my citizens have now died of hunger. After the first one passed away, I set one of the remaining two's profession to farmer, maxed out farming on the preference scale, and planted three more tomato plants. I'm unsure if any additional farming was done.
    -- The game is continuing without any citizens right now, instead of giving a Game Over as expected. The top-lefft UI also says that I have one citizen left, although my character finder and priority menus don't show any.
    -- Additional note - I kept the default farmer's default preferences through the game. When I needed to change someone to an entertainer for the mission, I used my builder.

During my first game, I was able to get to 5 / 6 citizens, but never had more than 3 this time around. I'm not sure how to get more citizens.

I tried out Worst Space Guy. I cleared all three planets on normal mode then died on the fourth level of arena mode. Here's my thoughts:

-- The game seems like a bullet-hell shooter with orbital movement around a planet. That's a good premise, but I felt like the player's spaceship was both too wide (too hard to fit between oncoming bullets) and slightly too slow. It felt like there was a lot of time to see the bullets coming and prepare for them, although the width of the ship did make that a bit more difficult. A little more up / down range (i.e., the player could get further away from the planet) would also be good.

-- The planetary defense could fire through the planet itself. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it was unexpected. 

-- The planets all start out with all guns blazing, and the levels get easier as you pick them off one by one. Things got less exciting (and less fun) as you went through a level. I think it would be more exciting / tense / dramatic if planets had stages of defense. Once you clear the first layer (shields or whatever), more turrets appear and the stakes are raised.  You could do other things, of course, but I feel this area (raising tensions) would be were the most interesting design work could happen.

-- Another idea would be including powerups from downed turrets. This could help introduce variety into the player's strategy.

Not a bad start to a game. I think increasing the pace and increasing the player's maneuverability are the first things to do, and then see where it goes from there.

Looks good! That's a more detailed list than the broad strokes I was thinking about, but overall it's got what I was getting at. A couple of clarifications:

3a: The 'click the hover icon' mechanic works fine for explaining the more advanced buildings, but I think that the more fundamental ones should be more actively explained (instead of leaving it up to the player to see if they click the icon to learn about the building, or not). I think an explanation in a tip or the quest screen would be better.

4: I don't think you need to go over every need at once here. You could say something like "Your citizens will need energy, food, etc. These can be fulfilled by different buildings." After this, you launch the tip explaining missions, and that leads the player to go through the first four missions.

5: I'd actually remove all the blueprints and then fire off the blueprints tip (and enable the blueprints button) once the player finds their first one.

Kinda as a corollary to point 5, I felt like there was too much "stuff" in general at the beginning of the game. Things like the red rocks (and other rare resources), blueprints, and disabled buildings (no blueprint yet) could probably be hidden from the player entirely. Even if the player can't do anything with them yet, these currently-unusable things divert the player's attention away from learning the base systems. You could keep the tutorial more focused by removing non-essential options until the tutorial is over. (I'd also make the tutorial optional, so that you and other experienced players don't have to go through it every time.)

I remember playing a game that was a similar style some time ago called Kingdom: New Lands. I honestly don't remember if they even had a tutorial, but it could be useful to look at that game and see how it tries to teach you its systems.

I'll give the game another play later this week and let you know if I have more feedback.

Cheers,
Josh

Hey, I played for a little while and quite enjoyed the game! At first, I had a hard time figuring what was what - what I should be doing, what I could be doing, what was going on.

I see in a recent devlog that you changed the tutorial to be more "tips" instead of hand-holding, so this system might be pretty new. The tips work well for the most basic controls (camera movement, building selection), but I would change the first quests so that they give an idea of how resource collection and other gameplay elements work. I was going around building bunches of houses because I thought each villager needed one. The tutorial quests could give a quick overview of what basics are needed and how those basic systems work.

I wouldn't recommend having a quest for all the buildings - that seems like a bit much. What I think could work is having a tip explaining the quest tab just before you show the building button tip. The first quest (and only have a single quest available, not the dozens I saw at first) would be something like "build a house", which could segue nicely into the building button tip. The quest could explain why you need a house and so on.

I had a whole bunch of blueprints after five or ten minutes of playing. I'm not sure if you start off with these or you get them as quest rewards or achievement bonuses, but I feel like it's too much right at the beginning of the game.

I'll try playing again later. I'm sure it'll be easier the second time around.

Keep it up! :D

Thanks for trying out the game! The variable-distance roll is a great idea. I'll include that in the next major update.

The skulls are difficult - right now, they don't have a cooldown after they cause damage (like everything else in the game). I think adding that back in would make them less of an issue (without decreasing the difficulty too much).

I agree that there need to be some UI updates on the camels getting attacked. I like the risk-versus-reward mechanic of choosing to explore a cave for treasure versus potential damage to your caravan, but there could be better ways to communicate these things to the players. I want it to be 'risk damage to a camel for treasure' instead of 'lose an entire camel while you hurry to get back'. I'll put some thought into this.

I appreciate the feedback :)

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That was enjoyable! I got past the first boss and was warped into an enemy-filled room. I got an error message:

___________________________________________
############################################################################################
FATAL ERROR in
action number 1
of  Step Event0
for object o_enemy6:

Unable to find any instance for object index '120236'
at gml_Object_o_enemy6_Step_0
############################################################################################
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
stack frame is
gml_Object_o_enemy6_Step_0 (line -1)


I liked the style and the pace of the game. Things got a little frantic with all the bullets flying around, but I enjoyed it even though bullet hell games aren't my usual cup of tea. There were two things I think you could expand one to help differentiate it from the other twin-sticks.
1) Completely by accident, I held down the 'fire' button and it was in sync to the music. I thought it was intentional at first. Making a rhythm-based twin-stick would be an interesting challenge and could open up some interesting possibilities.
2) I really liked that you could reflect enemy bullets with your melee attack. I'd like to see that expanded on, perhaps even made it into a major game mechanic.

Keep up the good work!

Cute game :) Short and sweet.

The message board wouldn't let me attach an image, so here's a link: https://imgur.com/D5u42Nl

Hi Sven,

I played through again. This time I got up through Level 5 (Let there be light). More thoughts:

The tutorial did explain how the block towers work (more on that later). I was able to figure out the first several levels. I think part of the confusion comes from just how many different things the arrows can mean. For instance, a Block tower cannot be placed on a tile with more than two arrows. A better way to show this in the UI  would be to make illegal tiles red and legal tiles green when the player selects a Block tile. Likewise, there are blue arrows even on the longer paths, with different shades showing the first path and the alternative paths the monsters could take. It might be easier for the player if the current "best" path was emphasized more - maybe a blue line going through all the tiles? - and 'possible path' was shown some other way.

I understand the Block towers better now, but I think they are a bit confusing at first. The problem is that they do two very different things: they remove arrows from an adjacent tile if the tower is placed on a tile pointing towards the adjacent tile, and if the tile is not pointing to an adjacent tile, they add arrows instead. The overloading of functionality makes them difficult to understand. I'd recommend splitting this tower up into two different separate towers - one that blocks on tiles that it's pointing to, and one that adds in arrows on tiles that it's pointing to. (This would require rejiggering the early puzzles at the very least, but it would keep the concept cleaner.)

The tutorial slides seem fixed, but I did find more blank slides after hitting the 'prev' button and then 'next' button on level 4, slides 1 and 2.

On level 1 (I think?) placing your first tower shows the entire tower and not just the 'roof' of it. Minor graphical glitch.

It's a little unintuitive that monsters keep going when they reach O hp. I see what you're going for with the 'overkill', though. I'd recommend adding some feedback when the overkill happens in game - maybe some tiny popup that reads "Overkill!" or something to let the player know instantly why their solution isn't optimal.

On Level 5, my first solution was placing the four towers symmetrically, first one tile away from the middle edge and then one more tile away from that. I pressed play and the first monster made it to the goal with too much HP, so I failed the wave. I hit the reset button near the play button and half the level disappeared. 

I was unable to continue at this point. I tried to go back to the main menu and use the Level Selection buttons to return to this level, but clicking on those buttons only triggered the level title to appear at the top of the screen. The Continue button also led me back to the same broken level.

Alright, I figured out the issue. The exception was occurring because there was no gamepad plugged in. I've corrected this mistake and you shouldn't run into that problem anymore.

Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for.

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Hi Sven,

Thanks for trying out the game! I have two ideas for what might be causing the issue.

1) During the first second or two of the title screen loading, the input keys are disabled for the player. I put this in after playtesting showed some players mashing buttons at the Game Over Screen. The button presses would go from the Game Over screen to the Title Screen and then immediately start a new game. This would overwrite the player's autosave file. This isn't needed at the start of the game, though, and I will make some adjustments.

2) It's an unknown bug :) If it's not the delay issue above, I have no idea why it's doing that. I keep debug logs with each game in the CaravanaDebugLog folder next to the .exe file. I'd appreciate it if you could email me the log file 'CaravanaDebugLog0.log' if this is the case.


Cheers,
Josh



I recently put out a demo and I'm looking for some feedback. All feedback is welcome, but I have some specific questions.

1) How do the combat controls "feel"?
2) Is there enough variety in combat encounters and what the player can do?
3) Is the Trade / Map screen understandable?
4) Less of a question, but some playtesters have noted that they either can't roll forward or roll backwards. If this happens, please let me know and let me know what type of controller you are using.

Thanks for helping out! You can check out the game at https://joshuagalecki.itch.io/caravana-demo

I got stuck on the second level of the tutorial. Here's some thoughts:

During the first level, some of the Tutorial dialog pages were blank.

I wasn't really sure how the Block towers changed the nearby arrows. Sometimes they would add arrows to adjacent blocks and sometimes they would remove it. Never figured out a rhyme or reason to it.

In stage 2, wave 1, I placed a block tower in the top right corner and then a tower to the left (top middle block). This created a path from the start to the goal tile, and the instructions said that the monster needed to go through 3 tiles (including S / G). The monster went through 3 tiles (S, in between S and G, and G) but I was informed that it didn't count because the monster still had HP left. I think that the S tile isn't getting counted in those '3 tiles' - the UI should be updated to reflect that.

I think that casting this as a Tower Defence game is confusing the terminology a little bit. Are we trying to get the monsters to the goal? (If so, then why does it matter if they have HP left?) Finding a different theme or just different words would clear things up. For example, I think you could replace HP with "Steps" (as in "this monster can take three steps before it dies") and things would be much clearer.

It's an interesting idea for a puzzle game. Keep on game dev'ing!

Hi Luka,

I played through the first chapter. I really enjoyed the music for the game - it set a tranquil mood.  Exploring the world as a cat was fun to do. I was less sure what to do once the magic gun was found, though. I eventually figured out how to activate it, but the things needed (milk and water and ketchup) didn't make much sense. I'd say the exploration was the best part of the game - perhaps lean in to that more.

Keep up the good work!


Great, thanks!

I took part in a game jam and used Itch to host the finished prototype. I was planning to continue working on the project, but figured I would come up with a different name for the game in the meanwhile. Lo and behold, the placeholder name became the official name, as such things often do. I've uploaded a demo version, and I plan to eventually release the full game.

The original prototype was uploaded to joshuagalecki.itch.io/caravana, while the demo was uploaded to joshuagalecki.itch.io/caravana-demo.  I would like to use the /caravana URL for the full game. If possible, I'd also like the game to show up under the 'new games' pages on Itch for increased visibility. Is it possible to, say, delete the prototype project and create a new project using that old URL? Or would I have to create a /caravana-game URL to get 'new game' visibility?

You wake up in a desert and guess what? YOU CAN'T REMEMBER ANYTHING. Totally original idea here. (Don't hate - I said it's inspired by Arabian Nights, which gleefully throws stories together from different centuries, cultures, and continents.) You sign up with a passing caravan to protect their camels and their precious trade goods from monster attacks. In exchange, they give you a dagger and a name.

This game started from a Ludum Dare project with a theme of "Start with Nothing". After an hour of brainstorming, the idea I came up with was that your protagonist would start off with no memories and no name (and no water, while in the middle of the desert). The story evolved from there. Since the jam ended, I've been expanding the prototype into a full-fledged game. I'm excited to share this open-access-demo-beta-type thing with the world!

You can check out the game at https://joshuagalecki.itch.io/caravana-demo. I'd love to hear what you think. (If you don't hear back from me this next week, that's only because I'm in the middle of moving to Boston for a nursing assignment.)

Trailer:


Thanks for checking it out!