Serene, simple, clean, and overall great. :)
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I see two distinct issues:
- The current NSFW tagging option is not being used as much as it should due to it being hidden as metadata
- The current NSFW tagging option, regardless of its visibility, is too vaguely defined, as people have different definitions for what constitutes NSFW content
To me, both these have individual answers. Let's look at the first one. I went to a game that I believe should be marked as NSFW, which was You Must be 18 or Older to Enter. Nowhere on this page is a warning flagged for NSFW content, nowhere in any expandable section is this apparent (the developer did include tags for Erotic and Porn, however), and nowhere on the page when I download the game am I warned of its potential content. Only in reading the game's description and its title am I made aware that this game might not be appropriate for all ages. To me, that is an issue on the front-end design and the user experience, but that is a bit out of scope for this comment.
I propose we move the current NSFW checkbox from metadata to the main page where you edit the title, description, etc. For now this would be a simple checkbox, just as it is already. In making this move, though the definition of what constitutes NSFW may still be arbitrary, it should at least lead to more developers selecting the option, thus increasing the set of games on itch tagged NSFW.
After some time passes, statistics can be aggregated. How many new games uploaded were tagged NSFW versus before? How many older games that were not tagged NSFW had updates and then were tagged NSFW as a result of the change in visibility? To me, this is useful information in understanding how developers currently interact with the tools that already exist. While on this thread we have some limited insight and suggestions, I think I am most interested in understanding why a developer would click the NSFW button. What content did they feel defined NSFW? We can speculate on the obvious ones like nudity, but perhaps in probing the developers who do have games marked NSFW, we can better understand their decision making process. We can similarly probe users (with accounts) who play NSFW games, and survey them as well. Naturally, the surveys should be anonymous.
In probing for this information, we can then better learn what filters for NSFW should exist. As stated before, nudity is an obvious one, but I believe some not-so-obvious options exist in this space, too. Once an encompassing set of NSFW filters/tags is determined, then the developer dashboard can be updated such that those fields are available.
I would rather have a static set of NSFW filters, ones that the developer cannot add to, unlike the freeform and very arbitrary tagging system that exists currently. This is because if I want to filter out certain NSFW games or books, I wish to do so rigorously. If everybody can tag things arbitrarily, then somebody can tag something with a typo, or include a specific tag that I may not have heard of, whereas rigid filters like "nudity" or "drug use" are more universal.
I do not think specifying age guidelines like ESRB is a good idea unless forced by law. If the law forces this decision, then a much more rigorous process must be taken, akin to Google Play's questionnaire all developers must fill out for their games. The resultant ratings that emerge differ by country, sometimes in surprising ways, and the entire process is slow and not great to go through. It already is daunting for a developer to update their game and fill out every field that exists, but I would not want to introduce too many changes too quickly, as I do not wish to burden the developer with more noise they must work through when their end goal is to simply release their game.
So much to comment on! First, I'm extremely pleased that I am not the only indie game dev to feature the Oakland Athletics in a video game. This "review" will be long and personal, but I wanted to share it a bit since this game made me think a lot more about my upbringing and past than I expected to, going in.
Spoilers for the game below this point! Look out, folks!
Similar to many of the protagonists in this game, I grew up in a bit of a strict setting where I was expected to always do well in school and expected to not date during high school. This is pretty much akin to Noelle's experience: the entire sequence where she gets an A and her parents berate her reminded me of the time I got a 100% on a test and was scorned for not doing better (there was no extra credit for me to do better even if I wanted to).
The political backdrop of the game is pretty interesting as well, and served more to make the characters feel real than it did to distract from the plot. Obama's 2008 win and the Prop 8 debate play tangential roles, and I like how it was handled. The only thing to break realism for me was that some of the character dialogue felt more 2010's than mid-late 2000's, but it wasn't enough to distract me from the game.
Let's talk baseball, now. I already mentioned how excited I was to see the A's in a game. When I went in I didn't expect a game that would actually involve baseball, more of what I expected was baseball as a background setting. I grew up with a love of the game (my most stereotypical American trait) and, unfortunately, a love for my local Orioles team. I wish my high school did have a baseball team when I attended, but alas, I wound up in tennis.
Finally, and this is probably the most depressing point to end on: seeing this group of fictional girls be friends among one another and having a common experience with regards to their ethnic background left me deep in contemplation. From my name on here I'm sure you can guess that I'm of Arab descent, but funnily enough, I never grew up with anybody of a similar background. The game talks about how the characters, living in the California Bay Area, didn't realize that outside their bubble not many Asians existed. I guess it was something I never had, and it did get me wondering just what my childhood and high school life would have been like if there were others like me. At the very least, this game let me live vicariously to catch a glimpse of what that might have felt like.
Definitely recommending this to people. Thanks for making such an original work!
This is the best movie adaptation I've seen in this jam. Some small points that could really solidify this game:
- Switching between Space to start an interaction and Enter to continue one is a bit confusing (and hitting Space multiple times causes a bug) so I'd recommend just one action button for that.
- Diagonal movement would be sweet.
- Some basic audio assets, like a crackling fireplace, would go a long way.
Overall, this is a complete entry and I enjoyed it. Extremely wholesome, family-friendly entertainment.
I've played about half of the games for this jam and so far you're the only one to get perfect ratings in every category. Really enjoyed this and loved the fast-paced minigame-fest you included. Great work!
I actually really enjoyed this. At first I tried the arrow keys to move but was pleased at finding WASD worked just as well, especially since R was bound to reloading. The chill music in the background as you popped folks was pretty nice and definitely my style of humor.
Gave multiple attempts to load the game, but my browser (Firefox) kept forcing the process to close due to it taking a long time to generate a level. Is there a way to play a version of the game with a preloaded level?
This is really cool to look at! I did find a few minor bugs that might be helpful to know for future work:
1. I'm using a keyboard with a volume scroller, and it seems like scrolling the bar counts as a valid input, same as clicking the mouse.
2. I hit N to get the next song but I think it ended up playing all the songs at once.
Really cool stuff overall! :)
Downloaded this because a [bug on itch.io](https://github.com/itchio/itch/issues/1558) specified it didn't run on the Windows client. Didn't have a problem installing this through the app, so I tried it out. It's really cute and I love what it's doing. My only thing is that I wish there were more so I could see the other endings. :)
EXTRA PLANETARY is a short exploration 3D game that I rushed out in roughly two weeks for #LOWREZJAM. It was released through 3 Halves Games and is available to play entirely for free! When I saw the 64x64 pixel restriction, I wanted to try making a 3D game for the first time. Here's how I did it:
To the left is the view of the map from the game, pre-rendering. I made a giant heightmap file in Photoshop and exported it as a raw to import into Unity. The map was then automatically generated from that, fairly simple. I originally was going to use mostly realistic colours, and then last minute decided that a wild colour pallet would be a better option.
To the right is post-rendered. The game itself was created to play at exactly 64x64 pixels to fit the restriction, but I upscaled the frame to 640x640 to keep a perfect nearest neighbour grid in place.
Later on I would add colours that dynamically changed by area. The map was huge and texturing was a problem, so none of the maps actually have any textures! I also had to turn off anti-aliasing and other such things. While this improves performance, the primary goal was to benefit appearance. As it turns out, lack of anti-aliasing helped make the terrain look more distinct, and easier to navigate.
Fog effects were used to achieve the background lighting. In the above graphic, the fog effects were bright red.
As you go through the game you will encounter spinning bright green cubes. Collecting them will give you an item, which will appear atop the game layer. The graphics were made at exactly 64x64 pixels and were simply overlaid—the up-scaling took care of the rest. The pixel art for these overlays were created by Rolos.
There is one "complex" "model" in the game and that is your spaceship. I simple overlaid a bunch of stretched and rotated cubes until I got the above result. I don't think it's a very convincing spaceship, but hey, it's sci-fi, kinda, right?
That's all I got! I mostly posted this because the 3D art forum was surprisingly empty, haha.
Sometimes when I type in the body WYSIWYG on Firefox I can only type one character at a time. I've tried this on the latest stable versions of Firefox on OS X and Windows 7 and Windows 10. This issue I believe has been around for some time now. Steps to recreate would be to write something, then select all text and cut it. When you try to type you will only be able to type one character before focus is lost. I just tested this now and had the same results.
I like the forum as a blog where one can post weekly or biweekly (or daily!) updates. For a developer it removes the pain of having to set up a blog or site, and it certainly gives you more freedom to post longer updates as well. Linking to a forum post I made on itch.io through Twitter didn't get me any new comments, but it got me follows both on Twitter and on itch.io.