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Mystical_Pidgeon

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A member registered Aug 29, 2018 · View creator page →

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There's an interesting idea here, marred by a lot of confusing choices, dark and inconsistent graphics, and lack of player direction / feedback.

The game doesn't explain how to play beyond the controls, it's hard to see what is going on, the menus don't have a clear flow, the controls are sluggish and imprecise. And that readme...

I think this has promise, though definitely needs more content and play testing to iron it out. 

Personally, I never liked the hunger system in rogue, so constantly having to keep on top of that is no fun for me (I fully accept that's a me thing, and others view it as an essential mechanic in these kinds of games).

I'd like an indication of where a bomb's explosion will reach - maybe it just shows on the turn that you place the bomb, but some UI to help indicate where is safe would be nice.

It was tricky to use bombs effectively, the ghouls seemed to follow my movements away from bombs as I ran to safety so they weren't too useful.

Well put together, and feels good to play. Despite the randomness, it never felt unfair. If anything, I echo what some others have said that the magic attacks the player has may be overpowers but I don't think I'd get rid of them (maybe just make a sword attack more likely to be rolled).

I'm not sure how you could do it, but I would greatly appreciate a way to predict where enemies will move to before I finish my turn. As is, it doesn't feel great to be entirely at the mercy of rng during enemy turns unless I run as far away as possible from them.

Thank you for the feedback :D

Totally agree on the font in those menus - it can certainly be hard to read. I want to find a simpler one that has a similar feel, but don't want to use the hand-scrawl that I have on the tutorial text boxes.

For the in game background, I also agree. Currently exploring some other, simpler options. It's not that I don't like it, but it feels weird next to everything else.

Someone else suggested crumbling dice, so you can only flip them x times before they burst. I think that would work pretty nicely.

For the stars - you get 1 for scoring anything at all correctly, 2 for getting half of the goals (rounded up) and 3 for being perfect. Currently you only need 1 star to unlock the next level, thinking through some options to change that. Might switch to requiring 2, or having a more fluid "x stars total to unlock this level"

The die that kept going is a good point. I have the spawners all disable on game over, but nothing stops an in-play die from continuing on to succeed or fail. Definitely something worth investigating - I might just have all the in-play dice de-spawn.

In the original version the dice spawning was slower in the barrel levels, but I thought it felt too easy haha. Will probably go back and tweak it some more.

Thank you so much for all the feedback, this really helps a lot :)

I 100% hear you on the ads. From what I can tell, unless your game is really good no one is going to pay up front for it, so it's an unfortunate evil. I'll definitely have a way to pay to remove them though, and certainly don't want them to be annoying.

Also agree on the cannons. I added them in as a way to signal to the player that a bomb was coming, but I really don't like how it covers up that 1 die. If you have any ideas to get around it, I welcome them. I like how the goal UI works right now, so I don't want to mess with it too much, but we'll see what happens.

I'm not sure how to avoid getting a correct die in one swipe... unless all the goal dice are the same, I can't guarantee that a spawned die will start in an orientation that isn't 1 swipe away from valid. Again, I welcome any ideas to get around it.

Practice and Endless are still being fleshed out. I do want to add full customization to practice mode, and have it show you when dice are valid/invalid. And endless is planned to swap obstacles in and out with each roll of the goal dice. I've been working on a "stage manager" that lets me turn on and off every obstacle from a script, so for practice it would mainly be exposing those toggles in a UI, and endless will be automatically enabling them.

Difficulty progression is on the table for endless, I quite like the idea of ramping up the spawn speed over time. I'm thinking there will be base endless difficulties you can pick from, but that sounds like a good way to keep the in-game difficulty moving up as you progress.

I'm not sure about swapping out goal dice when they are solved - but it could work. My current plan was to have the obstacles swap out on every new roll of the goal dice, but if that were switched to swap them out based on your score it would play well with the dice auto-replacing each other and would solve some other problems I was thinking through. Will give that some experimentation.

I did start experimenting with outlines - the bombs currently have a red outline. Was thinking of adding it to all objects as an accessibility option, but I may make it default if it looks good on everything else.

Agreed on the cannons - the sound made more sense when the cannons weren't there, so you could envision a catapult or something shooting them, but now it does feel odd.

The music I 100% want to swap out for something else. I found these clips on free sound and they fit well enough for the jam, but I find the in-game music gets a bit grating after a while so I want to find something that fits in better. It's currently low on the list, but will be done eventually.

Thanks so much for all the feedback! Funny enough, some of the points you raise are things on my todo list already.

The dice rotation was one of the first things I worked on - took a while to figure out how to do it cleanly, but yeah my focus there was to avoid frustration with controlling things.

Glad you like the gumball machine! It was an idea I had during the jam, but was not gonna happen with the time I had so the focus was on level building and bug fixing.

For the stars, I'm still thinking through what the best system would be. I could change it so you need at least 2 stars to advance, or you use accumulated stars to unlock further levels. In it's current state, it doesn't seem right to have that latter system but adding more levels may make it viable. I will say, it is impossible to get 1 star without touching the screen, every die will spawn in an invalid orientation (that's part of the reason there's never more than 5 goal dice).

The last level does in fact have everything - bombs, barrels, and inverted dice! I do want to have a more "ultimate" level that has everything plus normal and inverted dice, but my focus so far has been cleanup over new content.

Endless mode was a recent addition and certainly needs a lot more care. I am currently working on a system to swap between different obstacles for each "roll of the dice", so when you complete a roll of goals it would swap to barrels, or bombs, or a moving barrel. It will start basic. I want to have different difficulties, easy could have only 3 active dice and swap between easier obstacles, medium could have 5 dice, then hard could have 5 dice and swap between every obstacle. Currently there is a max of 5 active dice. I'm torn on stopping the spawner between rolls though - I was originally thinking it should only spawn up to the number of goals, and wait for you to lose or complete the current roll, but I also like the idea that you are constantly having to juggle the full number of dice and need to keep doing it while obstacles swap out. Maybe I'll have the normal difficulties only spawn up to the goal count, and have a "hardest" difficulty that uses the current system.

Endless does have a mistake counter in the top left, but it's not well animated so I see why you missed it (they just turn red in sequence). I'll need to work on making that clearer.

I'm planning to swap out that background for something cleaner and less dingy, might have it swap between a few options depending on the level.

For the models - that dispenser needs a massive update. It's 3 squashed unity cylinders, when I have time I want to find / make a better model for it. I totally agree that it doesn't look great. The cup I want to swap out for something that looks more plastic, like this

yahtzee cup" 3D Models to Print - yeggi

Rings was an idea I was thinking through myself - could be an interesting thing to play with, where there is 1 or more rings, maybe they move around as they score them, so you have to juggle a number of dice and only launch the right one through when it's ready.

I like the idea of crumbling dice... I'll definitely explore that and see how it feels in game.

I already have a prototype for a barrel that moves across the bottom of the screen, so glad to hear others think that could work.

Not sure on the bowling pins... I like the idea, but it sounds like it'd be tricky to control with the current player input. Worth experimenting with, so we'll see if anything comes from it.

Also really like the bomb balloon idea - I was thinking of adding in balloons in a different way, where they could float up from the bottom of the screen and obscure your vision or if you swipe them they pop and cause nearby dice to move and rotate. But the idea of a jugglable die you have to manage but never score sound like it could add a nice challenge.

It's definitely not random, but it feels unpredictable. Like I'll be holding a 6 and need a 1 for a button. I'll tap the throw button while aiming upwards and it will switch to a 1, then a 2, and sometimes even a 3 before stopping, and when it does land on the button the physics don't tend to "attract" it to the button, so it can roll off even when I get it correct. Maybe adding a visible throw arc or projected landing position could help?

I'd also recommend a clearer visual/explanation about when things will explode. Not sure how best to do it, but that feels inconsistent to keep track of as well. I'm hesitant to suggest putting a number of the die itself, but maybe having some cracks or something in addition to the color change could work?

Ah, that explains it haha

It's definitely not unintuitive with the current setup, I'm not sure what the "right" solution would be honestly. Currently you only have an x that appears over the enemy when the mouse is near them and they are "dead", but that effect is subtle and seems easy to miss, and if you don't move the mouse near one before clicking you may not even notice it. I definitely triggered the dash on accident more times than I did purposefully just because of how sensitive it is. This feels fine, I'm more thinking that from a player feedback perspective it can be confusing what caused the dash to happen. Maybe if the enemies flashed or something to try and draw you to shoot at them more once they are in a dashable state, or if the mouse cursor itself was a crosshair of some kind that changed when in range to dash (maybe with a line showing where the dash will take you?)

Like I said, it feels good to play, it's really more about informing the player about how things are happening.

Guns akimbo would be pretty cool haha!

A particular enemy triggering the roll would be neat to explore. Or maybe "kill the number of enemies equal to the rolled side". Or you could leave it on the existing timer with a visible indicator, and just give the player some extra incentives like a particular enemy that when killed will make the next face have a powerup (or going back to the number idea, if you kill the right number of enemies on a given side it makes the next side have a powerup / modifier)

I second everything Szym said. The base ideas here are cool and could produce a very nice puzzley game, but as is there is a lot of frustration.

I love the idea of preventing backward movement, and the randomness of your moves makes sneaking around more tense which can be cool. The theming is great, and I like the pixel art.

What I would recommend adding/investigating:

* Try removing the randomness of the guards movements. Keep the randomness of the player movement, but make the guards predictable. Maybe have a visible effect to show where they will move next turn.

* Zoom out the view more, or provide a way to move the camera outside of the players own movements. It can feel very unfair to pop out where a guard is who was offscreen and you had no way of knowing they were there. Giving me a way to see where I will be going would help that a lot.

* Movement hurts my eyes. The jarring jump of the entire world on each tile is not pleasant to look at. Having a smooth movement and some animation to it would alleviate that, or having the camera zoomed fully out so you see the whole level and it never moves may work as well.

* Change the music. For this kind of contemplative game, you want something that is present but doesn't draw a lot of attention to itself. This often happens when there is a lot of repetition of harsh noises. I'd recommend putting it on in the background and listening to it at a normal volume while you do other things. If it doesn't annoy/distract you, then it is usable as background music.

* Don't have a single tile wide hallway open into a guards path. This feels very bad when you are forced to walk into the guard.

* Clean up the background pixel art. A single floor tile shouldn't be so busy as to draw attention to itself.

Your menus seem a bit bugged - "Play" works when I press enter, but none of the other buttons do anything.

Gameplay wise, it needs juice! The dash to kill mechanic is really cool to play with - some better effects and a clearer explanation of how it works in game would make it awesome.

For the moving enemies that stop every so often, I'd recommend a way to tell the direction they will move in. Whether that's a telegraph, an icon on their "front", or an animation / ease in before movement would help a lot.

Thank you for adding undo! Level 6 is still really tricky, but with the undo this game feels so much better. It's definitely got good design behind it, I do wish the undo would go a bit faster when you hold it down though

Figuring out how to play needs to be a lot clearer. It took me several restarts to understand what was meant by "get the room layouts to match". A few small levels of tutorial would help immensely here. The general idea is neat, but once you know what to do it's becomes tedious maneuvering around the rooms to get them to match each other. Maybe if the goal was to get each room into a particular layout, or if the game rolled a layout that you had to get the others to match up with. Also the slot machines feel a bit unfair - as a player I know what I want the rooms to look like, but I am at the mercy of RNG for what the slot machine will do and it doesn't much change how I interact with the game.

Aesthetics are very nice, though I would like the player to stand out a bit more from the rest of the level. When not moving, I find it easy to lose where I am.

First let me say I really like this. It feels good to control, the obstacles work well, and the combination of dodge + score is an interesting touch.

It definitely feels hard. It's mostly fair once you get the hang of it, but the learning curve is quite steep. I would recommend easing in a bit slower - maybe the first sets of cards / chips move slower or have a longer "warning" time, and the amount of overlapping obstacles can get pretty overwhelming. Perhaps just a clearer warning for moving obstacles would help, not just "here's a chip" but an easier way to tell what direction it will move in.

Looks way better than what I played in the jam, but it is now difficult to see enemies after hitting them once (when they turn black), especially on darker sides of the die. Not sure how you have the lighting set up, but it may be caused by the direction/intensity of the lights on some faces.

Enemy spawn rate vs gun fire rate feels unbalanced, maybe tone down the rates on the sides with more pips or just increase the base fire rates. Love the powerups, I just think the basic weapon needs better juice.

I'd like more player involvement in the dice rolling, as is it feels very random. I don't think it needs to be entirely player controlled but maybe if it were more tied to killing enemies, or at least had an on screen timer of some sort to let you know when it will rotate.

Controls menu option doesn't work, it closes the settings menu.

I like the idea you have going here, but it is really tricky to roll specific numbers when needed making it more frustrating than fun. Maybe if tapping to throw would consistently roll the next number it would feel better - often I would still roll 2 or 3 more making it all luck based if it landed the way I needed it, which doesn't work well when the die has limited rolls.

Thanks! Those are definitely fair criticisms. If I continue working on this as a real project, I want to get new models, add an option for a "simple" font, and get more custom music instead of that old classic haha.

Nothing major, just things to iron out from playtesting really.

The gun seems to be able to be spammed as fast as you can tap the button. The camera could be a bit jittery when moving fast. It may be intentionally absent, but I would love a dedicated button for firing diagonally.

Aw dang, I goobered it! Love the art and presentation here - actual gameplay is pretty basic, but it is well implemented and feels good to control. Well done :)

RIP Bingus. Shame about the issues, was really looking forward to a guttural adventure haha. Love the idea

Interesting idea here, needs some polish though. I found the controls not that responsive, but I think most of that was a lack of feedback - aiming felt off, and it wasn't clear when I could hook/blink again. I'd be curious to see this more fleshed (ha) out.

This game is awesome, the orb is mine! You did a wonderful job conveying how things worked in an easy to understand manner. It hurt my brain a bit with all the world rotations, but that's not a you problem that's a me problem. Once I got the hang of it, I loved it.

A few things I have legitimate gripes with:

  • I wish pushing/pulling a block wouldn't stop if the block got stuck, I'd rather the player stop moving if I try to move in an invalid direction than have it break the connection to the block
  • I would love a better visualization of the block dice orientation, I was able to get them all through trial and error, but a built in system to help you know what orientation they would go into when moved would help an awful lot. Or simplify that part of the game in some way?
  • The dice buttons can be confusing about what number they are, a cleaner graphic would help

Other than those points, I really liked that. It escalated it's mechanics well, the art, music, and overall presentation are fantastic. Really well done.

Really cool idea here - those animations are choice!

Some tightening up of the controls, and maybe have the colors control more than just what enemies you can hit (maybe link to movement options?) would be cool. Also, it was annoying sometimes trying to shoot enemies that were slightly above me as they would fly horizontally making me have to jump and shoot repeatedly, that may have been intended but it didn't feel great when it happened.

Would love to see this expanded on :D

Very interesting take on turn-based combat. The overall UI/interactions need a bit more tightening up, I felt like I had to re-select things a lot since they didn't work the first time. Also I wasn't expecting friendly-fire to be on, made me almost not want to use anyone but good ol' d20. Would love to see a more polished version of this though, with some more distinction between the dice beyond health/damage. Well done :)

(Thank you for the volume warning, cause hot dang that was loud).

I really like the core idea here, needs polish of course but the constantly switching play areas were implemented well and I liked seeing the enemy spawn areas moving around. I did feel like the aiming wasn't as tight as it needs to be for a game like this, I think having an in-game laser sight/reticle to show where the character is aiming and where the bullets will hit would go a long way in making this feel nicer to control.

Well done.

Neat underlying idea here, but the implemented minigames felt very repetitive, and how are you supposed to win game 2??

I really like the idea here where you are flinging your physical character to damage enemies. The dice part felt a bit odd with everything else, but I would love to see the base of this expanded on with tighter controls and more enemies/levels.

Didn't realize this was multiplayer for a little bit haha. Not a bad idea, would've liked for a way to end turns early though to help speed up the match. Fun little game :)

Really love the art here, especially the way the grass turns into flowers when you water it. I wish the die would roll more frequently, I felt like I spent a lot of time waiting around for the sun to get angry at me.  The destructible terrain was a nice touch, really incentivizes neutralizing bombs regardless of where they land. Well done :)

Made it to turn 16! Definitely would have liked an in-game tutorial to help explain what was going on, but it did click after a few turns. Very neat idea, I wonder if you could do some sort of co-operative mode in here. Not sure how it would work, but this just has a feel of a co-op board game to me. Loved the presentation and need to think at each turn about what would be the best short-term vs long-term choice.

haha yeah, it does not play well with a trackpad. Glad you were able to enjoy it :)

I should be able to do something like that - I'm thinking I'll just set add a specific collider for die on die collisions that's either a sphere or a rounded square.

Thank you for putting in a level that forced me to go over the red squares - I thought they were immediate failures for a while haha. Very well put together :)

No worries at all! I think that's something I should have conveyed better in game, and the game should definitely handle clicking directly on a die better too. Thanks for the clarity :)

Fun game, though I wish the buffs lasted longer, or at least the timer didn't tick down between waves/floors. Well put together :)

Thanks, glad you liked it!

The bombs don't actually collide with the dice, they only explode if you swipe one. That's probably something that could be conveyed better.

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Thanks!

The physics are all 2D, but the logic for figuring out dice orientation is actually 3D - the code has no idea which face is which, it calculates it on the fly by checking the 3D object's orientation and seeing which axis is pointing away from the screen. Similarly, for rotating the dice it does a 3D rotation toward the axis closest to the swiped direction.

Thanks so much!

I want to try redoing the tutorial, not in terms of content but in terms of conveying things to the player. I think it's a pretty good ramp up in terms of introducing rules and difficulty, but I'm unsure how I could go about instructing the player without a text dump at the beginning of each level. I tried to keep the text minimal and give it a bit of flair, but wondering how I could make it more accessible by limiting it more or adding better in game hints about how things work.

I know exactly what you're talking about with stacking dice, and I'm honestly torn on solving it or not. It feels like a funny troll to me when it happens so I'm tempted to leave it in. It's similar to a physics quirk with the barrels - often you can get a die to land on an edge and it'll just barely have enough force to make it fall into the barrel correctly giving you a tense "will it or won't it" feeling. I have thought about going down 1 of 3 other paths for the stacked dice: have it count as a success if it's valid, give it a nudge so it falls off instead of just sitting still, or add specific levels that are about stacking dice in a proper order. I definitely don't want to have it count as a fail in the normal case, as it would likely lead more to frustration as you described.

I was originally annoyed that you could cheese the barrel/bomb levels by spinning the dice in the corners, but I think if I sped up the spawn timer that would help balance it out a bit without removing the strategy there.

Thanks so much! I missed the stream where you got to play it unfortunately, but glad you liked it :)

What kind of qol things would you look for? I know I want to tweak the menus and tutorial buttons, but curious what other problems you ran into.

Thanks! I'm curious what you mean by stiff, wondering if it's something to tweak or more something that's unclear. I know it doesn't play well with a trackpad, but I was mainly testing with a normal mouse while developing. Did it feel like you were missing with your swipes, or more that the die would rotate to an unexpected side causing you to have to swipe additional times? Also, were you swiping through the die, or clicking on it and then dragging out of it?