Hey, thanks for playing and for the video! Glad you like it!
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Hey, thanks so much!
The resolution and font are inherent to PICO-8, so unfortunately there's no real way around those. (I could make a custom font but then it'd be a struggle to fit enough text on screen). You can, however, go into fullscreen mode with Alt+Enter if that helps.
Hey, thank you!
And actually I've never heard of that movie at all. The choice to make it with penguins kinda just naturally evolved from the "chill" theme, and the story content itself (or at least the overall context and message) was inspired by some personal experiences.
I'm not even sure why I decided to go with a train initially? Like I've never been very into them but for whatever reason they keep cropping up in my games (ex. NULL).
Chill can be used in any sense of the word. So it could be literally cold, laid-back, or anything else you can think of that fits.
If you can work it into theme then yeah, horror is totally allowed!
Well there's at least a decent handful of them, judging by activity here (and even though I'm running the jam I've also got a game in the works for it).
But really, time will tell. Heck, there's so much time left that some people might not even start for at least a week. But even if just 10% of people actually submit something that'll still be a fair few games.
As long as they're properly paid for and credited as requested by the creator I say it's alright to use them.
It's more important that you started the game itself on or after the start of the jam.
The whole point of this jam is to be a laid-back thing, where people are free to make what they want using whatever portion of the allotted time they like. Would it be nice if every game submitted was of excellent quality and clearly took a lot of time and effort? Sure, but that's not really realistic or in-theme with the jam.
People only have so much vacation time to spend, and oftentimes plenty of other ways they could spend it, so for a 0-stakes non-competitive jam I wouldn't be too concerned by people making simplistic games. Plus, because this is designed as a very approachable jam, it may very well get submissions by people who are inexperienced with making games. Creating *something* playable is still a significant achievement for many people, no matter how small or unpolished.
Cookies don't inherently relate to the theme of "chill", but if you can find a way to tie to the theme then yes, technically. Though having watermarks over images may impair your game visually.
Well, yeah, a solo dev under tight time constraints, trying to make a challenging final level, and not having time to playtest with anyone else does tend to lean towards overly tricky :P
Glad it wasn't too much to make you dislike the rest of it though!
Hey, thank you!
Yeah it definitely needs music, but unfortunately PICO-8 pretty much requires you to make your own and my brain could not muster it in the last hour or so I had left. (It also didn't help that I didn't have time to actually start the jam until Saturday.)
And when I went through and attempted a perfect run I got 178 too, so I think you did it! (I admittedly wasn't counting the stars as I placed them in the editor.)
Somehow you managed to make the level completion effect a jumpscare in its own right and I'm not sure how to feel about that.
But more seriously, this game definitely has a neat idea, and it is pretty well executed. While some more ambient sound could be nice, the lack of it definitely does build tension. And seeing the screen start shaking when you have no clear idea where the ghost is is quite nerve-wracking.
The addition of keys to track down in later levels is interesting, but I do wish you had a little more time to see where they were located before the level goes dark. (I didn't end up playing past the first key level, so I dunno if anything more gets added afterwards.)
One thing I feel like it could use is a sense of progression. Without clear visual distinctions or a level counter, it took me a bit to make sure that there were actually distinct levels and I wasn't just mis-remembering layouts.
And lastly, one mechanic that could have been cool to add would be the ability to do a hard knock on a wall, which would reveal a larger area but draw the enemy's attention to that spot.
Overall, this was pretty cool and effective for how simple it is!
This is a neat concept, and looks pretty great visually, but needs some work.
When you're screenshake is to the level when you can't reliably see what's happening (especially after hitting the boost crystals) it only takes away from the gameplay and game feel. This is especially problematic in a game about precise movement and dodging, as it makes it much harder to do either. The enemy bullets also have far too large a collision radius - you don't even have to touch them, as you die even just from getting a bullet's width of space away from one. This makes the final level require way more precision than the controls really allow for.
Not a bad concept, but I'm really not sure how this fits with the jam theme. It didn't really take away any standard platforming mechanics. There's also nothing about it that's actually hack-and-slash.
The controls seemed a bit unnecessarily awkward. There's no advantage to not having a sword equipped, so I think it would have worked better to immediately equip the next available sword after running out of a type, automatically equip a new one if you pick it up without another sword readied, and just use two buttons for cycling between them. Holding down middle mouse is also a decidedly weird way to use an ability, and I think holding shift or S (down) would have been more intuitive and comfortable.
That all said, I do definitely like the idea of each sword having unique, often unexpected abilities, and I'm sure there are interesting ways to expand this idea.
I definitely like the concept of this but I can't help but feel like I wish there was another move you could do (like dedicated vertical and horizontal kicks, or a dedicated bunt button like Lethal League has). As it stands, I think you have too little control over the ball for it to really work well. It can be difficult to get the ball into the air from the ground or vice versa when you need it, and it seems inconsistent whether you'll redirect, propel the ball faster, or bunt it and kill its speed when you kick it while it has speed.
It is pretty nice in terms of visuals and game feel though!
Aw, glad you liked it!
And yeah I'm actually kinda surprised how few PICO-8 submissions there seem to have been for this. Based on the recent games with the PICO-8 tag it looks like there were 4 others submitted to the GMTK Jam, but I haven't seen any of them on the PICO-8 forums (despite there usually being a flood of them for things like Ludum Dare jams).
I liked this one, definitely challenging but rather well-made and executed. Having no direct control over when you shoot is an interesting choice.
The aesthetics of the game are pretty nice as well.
A few notes:
1. I do wish there was actually a bit more of a delay on when you start shooting after absorbing bullets (either that, or faster aiming), as your first shots almost always completely miss because you can't rotate your shield around quickly enough.
2. I think your recommendation of using a gamepad is actually kinda misleading, as I find it far harder to pull off the precise aim needed with a joystick than with a mouse.
3. Some visual indicator for when your shots are about to fire would also be nice (ex. the shooting portal visibly charging up), but it's certainly playable without it.
This is definitely quite well-done and fun, even being essentially just one short level. It definitely gets fairly intense towards the end, though I was able to get through first try.
I do wish there were proper game over and victory screens instead of just restarting the game on victory and defeat, though.
Hey, thanks for the kind words and the video!
I had made the game in time for Halloween (and released it on the PICO-8 site around then), but I didn't get around to properly setting up my itch page till recently so I posted it way out of season here.
As for the music being reminiscent of something specific, if it is that's completely unintentional. I was just fumbling around trying to do what I could to make something sound Halloween-ish.