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Neil Dickson

A member registered Feb 25, 2019 · View creator page →

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Thanks!  I'm glad you liked it!  :D  It's not my first *attempt* to make a game, but it is the first time I've actually made one.  Everything I'd tried before either had too large of a scope or turned out that the core mechanics weren't fun or interesting enough to bother finishing.  It had been several years since I last tried to make a game, and it's been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, so I figured I'd give it another shot, and I happened to find something okay this time. :)  The forcibly limited scope of the jam and the neat theme helped, too.

Neat idea.  I had to play it intentionally badly before I realized that I was getting scored, haha.  It might be a little too easy to get A+, or maybe that was an intentional commentary on the futility of trying to line up papers better before stapling, because it'll never be perfect, but nobody really minds, 'cause it's just a staple?  Either way, if you'd ilke to make it more challenging, you could make the player both translate and rotate the papers, 'cause then you'd have to get the centers to line up and orient them.  You could also have the motion of one paper slightly mess up the position/orientation of the other paper, so you have to keep readjusting them.  Anyway, I like the pixely look, and I hope you had fun making it. :)

Pretty cool.  The first level was fairly easy; the second level made me think about whether the boundary between turn-based strategy game and puzzle game in this type of setting is related to the quantity or variety of ways in which one could win... because I failed big time, haha. :)  Maybe if I'd taken more time to plan things out several moves ahead, instead of only one or two, I'd have done better.  I was a bit confused about the order in which things occurred, so a few times, moves I thought would work didn't result in a move, so my attacks correspondingly didn't hit as effectively.  Also, did some of the non-javelineer, non-banshee units deal friendly fire damage?  I might have unintentionally dealt myself a bunch of damage from that.  It might help to significantly slow down the animations depicting the damage and the moving to make it clearer what's going on, and communicating the order of events that the player has control over (both moving and damaging) before they're enacted would be handy, too.  This is a very neat setup, though.  You could probably make all sorts of funky puzzles with the basis you have here and experimenting with different units.

Very interesting.  The art and music were neat.  Nice use of public domain background images.  I've never played a narrative game before, so this was a new experience for me.  It'll take a while for me to process it.  I have no sense of which decisions did or didn't impact the story, but it all seemed fairly smooth, so good job on the writing, too.  I only spotted one minor typo, (an "and" that should have been "an", if I remember correctly), which is pretty good for so much text.  Very cool character design.  It'd be neat to see what you could come up with in a longer form game of similar genre. :)

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I'm super impressed by how much you were able to get done in such a short timeframe!  Great style, visuals, UI, audio, even options that save to a file, and a high score board.  I also ran into the issue of not being able to play through it again without restarting the program, but that's not a huge problem, just a small nuissance.  I'm glad that the controls are customizable, though it'd be handy if arrow keys were supported by default in addition to WASD, 'cause my left hand isn't quite as good at this sort of stuff.  It might be even better with some type of mouse steering, since I found the keyboard control was a bit coarse; mouse might give finer control for faster speeds.  That's just me guessing, though, so it might not work.  Anyway, great stuff; I think it'd make a neat full game if you expanded it out a bit, maybe adding NPCs or other players to race against, more levels, etc. :)

Super cute game!  The audio really adds to it, and the goofy dying dynamics fit the style well.  I finally made it through; that last one took me longer than it should have, and I didn't have the endurance to make it through the speed run mode, but I like how the timer in speed run mode doesn't count the unsuccessful time, for people like me who miss a lot of easy jumps, haha. :D  Along those lines, it'd be handy to have a key to respawn slightly faster, 'cause when I've been at the same spot for a bit, I don't always want to wait the couple seconds for the respawn every time, even though it is only a couple seconds.  (Also, after reading other comments, I'm super glad I always disable the shortcut key for Sticky Keys, haha.)  The fade out after XII is a nice touch.  Thanks for the great game!

*whew*  This is hard to play when I'm actually tired and have blurry eyes, haha.  Very neat concept, though.  I think it'd be cool if more games added in tiredness effects where appropriate.  My mouse is too flaky to use for this, so I tried using a trackpad; I'm not sure if that made it easier or harder.  Either way, I definitely didn't make it to the third level that people seem to be referring to below.

Woooooooow... I just checked out a video of someone playing Antechamber and it's amazing how similar it is in such specific ways!  Of course, Antechamber is a 3D game that's much better put together than my game, and it doesn't have mirrors, haha.  It still blows my mind, though, with the decisions bit, and having the similar sorts of signs around everywhere.  Thanks for pointing it out! :)

Thanks for the high praise! :)  An additional secret with the images is that I screenshotted them, pasted and cropped in Paint, scaled them down 4x, then scaled them back up 4x, so that they'd be blurred a bit and it wouldn't have to take any more CPU time to do anti-aliasing at runtime. XD  I uploaded a new version today that by default renders at 1280x720 and scales up to fullscreen, instead of rendering at full resolution, but it's still pretty slow.  It did fix some key response issues, though.  I have an algorithm idea for how to render much faster, but I need to work out a bunch of edge cases first.

and thanks for playing it! :)  I uploaded a new version a few hours ago that hopefully has much smoother keyboard input response, though the framerate is still pretty low, so it still feels a bit jittery.

I'm glad you liked it!  I'd love to make a tutorial about it. :)  The math isn't too complicated.  I honestly didn't know what it would look like before I tried, and it turned out to be much more interesting than I thought.  The main idea is that it's showing what the character would perceive to be in a particular location, by sending a ray in that direction travelling for that distance, but bouncing off mirrors along the way.  On the flip side, because it's sending a ray for every single pixel and every bounce, it's super slow; I have an idea how to avoid that, but there are edge cases I have to sort out first... especially if I were to make a 3D version of it. ;)  SDL makes it super easy to construct an image in an unusual way like this and just show that in a window, though if I make something more graphically complicated, I should probably learn how to do it properly with OpenGL or Vulkan, instead of overheating everyone's CPUs, haha.

Thanks!  I should really play Antechamber; I've heard people reference it a bunch, but I never got around to playing it.  I uploaded a new version a few hours ago that should avoid the big delay between the first key press response and the second.  It's still a pretty low framerate, though; I still have to work out the edge cases for a better algorithm to speed up the rendering.  It might be a while before I get around to that change, though I might start work on an expanded game if it works well. :)

Thanks!  I'm hoping that I can fix the key input issue soon.  I used the automatic key repeat from Windows, which has a longer first delay, instead of checking the key state on a fixed interval, which is what I should have done.  The signs on the floor were initially just as a stand-in for a narrator, but I thought it looked neat to have something other than just the character and the floor tiles reflecting, too.  The part where all directions appear to say "Don't go this way" due to reflections was a happy accident, haha.  :D

Thanks!  I think I can hopefully soon fix the biggest issue with the keys fairly easily.  I completely agree that the mouse view direction control is bizarre for a 2D game, haha. :)  I mostly did it out of curiosity, to see what it would be like to have FPS controls in a 2D game, which is also why I put the player off-center, to more closely reflect (pun intended) what a player would see.  It turned out to be less awkward than I thought, but still super weird.  If I made a 3D version, though... ;)

Wow, thanks so much! :)  In fairness, I've tried to make a game several times before, but this is the first time I actually did, haha.  I usually can't keep the scope in check or discover partway through that the only unique thing about a game idea wasn't fun enough to finish, but it's been years since I'd tried, and this one happened to work out.  I'll see if I can make a few improvements to it soon, since there are a few things I can probably fix easily, like rendering at lower-res and scaling up.  It might be interesting to expand on the idea, too, though that'd be a lot of work.

Pretty neat mechanic!  It seemed like the enemy health was a bit more fine-grained than what was displayed, or maybe I was misinterpreting what was being counted as a hit.  It might help clarify to have a visual indication whenever damage is done.  The floor seemed icy, which is apt for this time of year (at least in the northern hemisphere), though it sounds like from a reply below that it wasn't intentional.  It might be that you're applying a force in the direction of the arrow keys, instead of setting the velocity in the direction of the arrow keys, though I don't know what your setup is like, so I can only really guess.  I think it's okay icy, though, 'cause it adds a bit of challenge.  Congrats on completing a game for the jam! :)

I guess I'll have to try it again once you've uploaded the finished version in a few days.  Neat character design and art, though! :)

Thanks!  That's a very good observation about the OS auto-repeat for keys.  If someone has long auto-repeat delays on, it could make the game super slow, and even with fast auto-repeat delays, the first delay is always much longer than subsequent ones, so it'd cause jumpiness.  It's probably easy to fix, so I'll try to remember to fix it once the games are unlocked after the jam.

*whew*  That was fun, but tough, at least for a panicky player like me.  In 10 tries of normal mode, my best scores were both 16/50.  I'm glad that arrow keys work in addition to WASD, since my left hand isn't quite as dexterous, (no Latin pun intended.)  I like how there's a difficulty curve to it, (even though I didn't get very far up it), with the increasing number, variety, size, and motion of enemies.  The varying speed of enemies and lifetime of apples over time is pretty neat, too.  It might be interesting to have another type of enemy that just gets in the way instead of ending the game, or some other sort of obstacle to vary the play space a bit.  I am very glad that enemies seem not to spawn too close to the character, else I wouldn't have even made it as far as I did, haha. :)

Thanks for playing!  Yeah, the grid and lag are why there's an epilepsy warning, so I hear you on that.  That said, if the floor were a solid colour, there wouldn't be much indication when the player is moving forward, so some sort of variation is definitely needed.  Most of the signs were primarily because there wasn't time to figure out how to add narration voice overs during the game jam, so in a full-scope game, I'd probably have gone that direction with it, instead of messages on the floor.

I really like the aesthetic.  After reading the instructions and dying once, it quickly became so easy that I was wondering whether I was progressing or not by just always dodging.  You could take it in a few directions; it looks like others have mentioned destroying enemies.  You could also/alternatively ramp up the difficulty of dodging and make it a "how long can you survive?" objective, with a timer or wave count, possibly with slowly increasing difficulty.  There could also/alternatively be points for hitting targets, or something like that.  I like the way the player bullets come off the player, so it'd be a shame to lose that completely.  I hope you have fun trying out new mechanics in your future endeavours, whether it be expanding on this game, or making something else. :)

Cool design.  I mostly agree with the other commenters about a restart button.  Having a restart button appear upon losing would also make it a bit clearer that the losing condition is final.  Because the animation continued, I was wondering if the intent was to break away somehow.  Nice use of Creative Commons images.  It would be slick if the music looped more smoothly, though I don't think I've ever successfully gotten music looping smoothly, myself.  Something in the playback system always seems to delay just long enough for it to be noticeable, though there must be a way.  It'd also be cool if the page described what tools/tech you used to make the game... and maybe I should too on my game's page, haha. :)

Thanks!  You might want to double-check those dead ends again... ;)  For smoother screen updates, you can try running one of the .bat files to play windowed at 1280x720 or 800x450.  It's very CPU-heavy, and I didn't have a lot of time to optimize it, so the lower resolution can help a lot.  Narration would be really cool; if I'd had more time, that would've been a neat addition. :)