Right at the very start, actually. I believe it was just to the right hand side of where the character initially spawns.
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I saw you were looking for feedback, and I like this kind of game, so I thought I'd give it a go! I wrote down my thoughts as I was playing.
- Would like a way to adjust music/sfx volume
- Save function would be helpful
- Gradient bands in the skymap graphic
- Grass sprites turn to follow player, distracting
- Jump feels very short
- Can fall from high places but no falling damage
- Some noises were kind of shrill and annoying - smith in town, fairy giggles
- I was able to use the jump function to climb the hills surrounding the world and see off the edge of the map
- Some trees and objects not sunk into the ground
- Water reflections sometimes flicker (but look really nice otherwise)
- Also, scenery culls when not in view - but it's culling in the water too, making the reflections of hills and such disappear if you look down into the water.
- Animals inside of castle all animating at the same time, need to vary start times. Especially noticable with sheep.
- Guy constantly walking against merchant cart in the castle
- There was a key in an outhouse I couldn't pick up (or possibly it was for a quest I never found)
- If you walk up to someone who's always looking at you (like the hunter with the injured dog), they'll continue rotating to follow you even if you walk over top of them (they look like they're laying down looking up at you).
- Hunter, dog, and tent tent only appears if you're very close. I heard him whistle but couldn't see him at all until I was way closer. The fire was there but just floating.
- Good animations on all character models I saw.
- Kissing the frog was cute.
- Minimap was very helpful!
- Field of view change when running was nice.
- Lots of incidental details - footsteps, animal noises, birds and butterflies, rabbit, deer that ran away, etc.
- Liked the dog, cat, rat chase!
- The mouse? hamster? guarding the bridge was unexpected and fun
- The wandering characters added quite a bit of life to the scene
- There's almost always something to find even going to obscure corners of the map, either a chest or a tent or something! Good map design, I don't felt lost or disoriented and there's always something interesting to look at.
Overall thoughtsI'd say it's about a 6.5/10 right now. I really hope this doesn't come off as too negative - I've done some work in Unity and know how much work and effort go into a game like this! At the moment, it kind of feels like a tech demo. I never knew why I was collecting gems (or later, bottles!), and completing a quest (say, collecting arrows for the hunter) didn't really have a satisfying outcome. Everything was a fetch quest, so it'd be nice to see some variation in the quest types. I will also say that I understand why you'd need to use a variety of assets in an endeavor like this, but in places, it was very noticeable that they were from different sources. The animals were realistic but the humans were cartoonish, things like that.
Enough critique, though. It's very well done, especially for the small size of your team! I love seeing what indies produce, and it's still far beyond anything I've made! The character controller worked well and I never felt like I was getting unnecessarily stuck on terrain. (I did want to have a swim, but the game refused!) It kept me engaged for longer than I intended to play, so that's always a good thing. I feel like it's a really good start that just needs a bit more polish, you know?
Hopefully some of this ramble helps. :)
This is delightful! I wanted to do a special lets play for Halloween and this demo definitely fit the bill. Been following you for a few months now and I'm looking forward to the final game!
Interesting, I like that you did a video playing some of the other games too, you gave great feedback on them. It's a shame so few people were able to rate yours due to the controller/multiplayer, but the game looks pretty cool and going with a multiplayer game in a jam is a very complex project to tackle! I think I only saw one other multiplayer game among those I played.
Those are great - and thank you, I forgot that itch.io had a place to put devlogs! I'll go add my video there. Your game is amazing! I know you updated it after the jam was done, but still. The music fit perfectly, and that ending... oof. I legitimately got chills. Great work!
I really love seeing peoples' process for putting a game together, especially games with a quick turnaround like these jams. If you did a diary, please link it!
I took some video during the process of making Just A Circus, and cobbled together a "Making Of" video. Have a look! I also featured a few of the games from the jam that I really enjoyed.
Watch: Making of Just A Circus
Interesting concept, and quite fun to play considering I don't normally enjoy bullet hell style games! The upgrade bug made it hard to proceed, and things went from manageable to impossible very quickly if you lost health and enemies suddenly started appearing all around. Some balancing would make this quite a good game. A lot of work went into it for one week! I enjoyed how the music pitched down as the character lost health, too.
Thank you! I see what you mean about the stiffness; I elected not to animate a knee joint to save time. Poor bear! And yep, the very first update I intend to make after the jam is a pull mechanic so items don't get stuck against walls and are easier to position precisely. I truly appreciate the feedback!
I'm glad to hear you found the ending! It was my first time making a puzzle game, so it's a bit tricky to know if it's too easy, too hard, or somewhere in-between. I checked out and rated yours as well!
Quite a complicated project for a game jam! I liked the music a lot. I feel like I'd need to play longer to really get to the meat of the game, and as others have said, the random encounters come a bit too frequently and are somewhat tedious. I tried some of the other non-attack options but didn't feel like I was getting much feedback on what they actually accomplished in some cases (though I did catch on that things didn't always do what I thought they would). I feel like there's a great basis for a game here with some additional work. Well done!
I've been rating the games of every comment, did a thread to rate other peoples' games which helped a lot... mind you, not everyone in that thread rated my game - maybe a third of them? I think having a WebGL playable in browser helped a lot too. I've played and rated over 160 games and I'm pretty exhausted, but it's been fun. It's my first jam and I really wanted to see how other people approached the theme.
And hey Termack, you're at 20 now. Congratulations! Loved the narration. :D
The narration is absolutely my favorite part of the game. Pshoow, mind blown... hehe. I unfortunately ran into a bug as I was trying all sorts of things to get that door next to the boxes open - I think I must've clipped through the wall. I thought that's what I was supposed to do (but then the narrator gave the actual solution) and I'm stuck in a wall. :( Overall, I like the concept, having an unreliable narrator but consistent game rules is a delightful combination. I'll revisit this one after the jam and see if I can make it further. Well done!
I am most definitely planning to make updates! The number one critique I've gotten is the movable items getting stuck in corners, causing the player to have to reset. I knew it was an issue but couldn't think of a good solution - and naturally I realized a pull mechanic would be ideal after the jam was over! I want to add some additional graphics and sound effects, transitions, fix a couple bugs, and generally just add in some of those things from my rather long "if I have time" list from back when I was brainstorming this thing.
I figure I will limit myself to one additional week so I don't just fuss with it indefinitely.
Take a look if you'd like! https://msrednebula.itch.io/just-a-circus
The combat feels great, really fun to play. The QTEs are an interesting idea, but just don't work for the otherwise fast-paced gameplay - even if you're used to touch-typing, releasing the gameplay-critical mouse to try and get to the correct key in time feels pretty clunky, unfortunately. Still, there's a really solid game system here!
Starting with a good long brainstorming session helped me. The first day of the jam, I was meant to go out with friends - I thought about cancelling, but instead, took the time driving there and back to think up ideas. I used a Trello board to write everything down in two lists - must haves, and things to do if I have time. I concentrated on the must-haves first and made sure I had a playable game within the first couple days. Everything else was adding as much fun fluff as I had time for! This is all juggling my normal job, as I'm sure many of us were.
I also kept a timer on the desk and made sure to stand up and move around or get on the treadmill for a few minutes every half hour or so. Plenty of sleep, no skipping meals.
Fun, I like the visual style! The cartoony little *cough* aliens seemed a bit out of place, though... were they supposed to be tiny or was my drone just huge? Still, fun idea and it was amusing getting yelled at by the tower. :D
Ahh, you were so close! Consider what else you've seen the ball do. :)
I'll be adding a pull mechanic to the ball after the jam too, so it will be possible to position it more precisely without it rolling off somewhere you don't want! Thank you very much for playing, I'm glad you enjoyed it otherwise!
There is more to it beyond "There is no escape" and there is an actual ending. One of the updates I'll be doing after the jam will hopefully make that more clear, but it's a loop, and things you did as you went through the first time remain as you go through again. You can continue playing if you wish, or check the walkthrough video I put up on YouTube if you prefer. I'll also pass your note about the music along to my husband, I think he did a great job with that part!
I appreciate the note about the jump button too, but I am just the opposite. Several games I've played during the jam have featured W for jumping, but I'm so used to SPACE, it was causing me problems! I was thinking to just allow both in my update, or perhaps a way to remap the keys.
Thank you! And I concur - some graphics, were box placeholders that I intended to replace with drawn graphics, but ran out of time so I just tried to make them look as nice as possible. There are several scene elements I intend to replace. Thank you for the critique!
I rated yours as well, comments on your page. :)
Cute graphics and wholesale produce slaughter! This was fun. Pretty much any criticism I have you've already addressed in other comments - stuff like the character moving a bit slow and the first half of the game being slightly overlong. I honestly thought you were going to pull a "Kill the veggies!" and then present us with things like tomatoes, only to call us out for killing innocent fruit instead. :D (I got a bit slaughtered by the boss, though, lol)
Cute graphics! My only feedback has already been covered by others - the precision jumps are just a smidge too precise and I kept having to redo sections. I'll revisit after the jam to see the revisions you mentioned!