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NickHenley

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A member registered Oct 25, 2017 · View creator page →

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Sorry for the wall of text.

For the positives: I think you have a great basic gameplay and aesthetic to build from, and I really enjoyed the music, especially how sections faded in and out in response to oncoming waves of enemies.

For some more nitpicky critiques: I didn't like the control scheme. I usually find games use Z and X instead of Q and W, with the up arrow also being able to jump. There was also one screen where you had to jump across a set of platforms while being shot at by ...lightning? (even though it looked like fire underneath?). I felt that was bit too much: it was the first platforming section, but we also had to deal with the parry that we just learned about, so it was pretty overloading. And the screenshake got a bit intense at times, especially when attacking / being attacked by more than one enemy at a time. I'd suggest toning it down a bit, plus adding an option to eliminate it altogether as an accessibility feature.

I think your game falls into the same traps that a lot of game jam games do: a really good core gameplay, but a way too intense difficulty curve with an overemphasis on the gimmick - in this case, having to rely on the parry far too quickly and too heavily. I've always felt the best way to introduce a complicated mechanic like that is "this is how it's done, it'll make your life easier, but it won't be mandatory outside of very specific situations for a few hours". With such a short development time, that few hours became 20 minutes and I just could not get into the groove of the game.

I think Stellar Sky Games had a lot of good ideas, like delaying when the attack registers to allow the player to parry ON the beat instead of just before, and including an assist mode was a good idea, and that the hi-hats were too prominent, and the waves were inconsistent in their length, and when multiple projectiles came at you you could only parry one of them and get hit by the rest.

For reference, I gave up on the sniper boss fight. I was going to quit in the first phase, but I found the assist options, gave myself more health and a longer parry time, but gave up on the second phase.

I guess I just didn't have enough of an investment in the game to really keep going. There was no story, no intrigue, no interesting visuals or set pieces to entice me to continue on, just the gameplay, which was good in short intervals but not enough to sustain me. I think some more obvious narrative elements, whether that means abstract imagery (if we have a visual reference, we can more easily see our progress) or a persistent voiceover (have you played Bastion? Because I think that kind of narrator would fit the gameplay well.) If it's more symbolic, then maybe the vertical falling and horizontal running sections could have some kind of deeper meaning? Falling into a pit of despair versus running from your problems? I dunno... You could also pad out the game with more platforming sections to get the player more acclimatized to your game.

You mentioned it being difficult to tell which 'weapon' to use. I think that could be done in a few different ways: enemies weak to the sword are small and have squishy, organic shapes, while bigger and more inorganic enemies need to be parried. You can also make the ghosts semi-transparent or dithered to show they're non-corporeal and you NEED to parry their attacks. Individual health bars could also show the relative damage of each attack, but that would probably distract from the visual design too much.

Hope all this useful, I'd be interested in seeing more of this game.

I also got a "System.IO.IsolatedStorage.IsolatedStorageExcep" error, but the level editor worked well, and everything has a nice to feel to it. Like, you know how there's that clunkiness to most game jam games? I didn't get that from yours.

I think you have a great start for a game here, but I would recommend making the level design less frustrating. Having to fit through spaces one pixel wider than your character and repeatedly launching yourself at breakable blocks is more annoying than challenging. Try making your gaps one block wider and allow the player to break through a bunch of blocks if they have enough speed.

Thank you!

I'm not using any macros, as far as I know. My only suggestion is that it might be tied to frame rate, at least tangentially. Like, maybe the hitbox stays grounded for a longer time than usual, causing it to apply the jump force multiple times per jump?

It seems you might want to look into your jump mechanics: I see there's one guy saying it won't work sometimes, one person says you randomly jump 10-15x high, and in my case, I ALWAYS made crazy high jumps. I also managed to touch a checkpoint and some spikes at the same time, which made me respawn on top of them infinitely. 

Those issues aside, I thought it was a pretty good game with some nice music and pleasing graphics.

There's a lot to like about your game, from the stellar animation to the fantastic music to the great controls and game feel. However, I couldn't make it past the second level because I couldn't manage to hit the robots before they hit me. I think either a longer attack range or some slower enemies might make the game more manageable. 

I really liked how it showed the path you took at the end of each level. The fact you had time to model and animate the opening cutscene was also pretty impressive. 

I can tell you made a really good game here, with a unique twist to the platforming genre and some nice audio-visual flair to back it up. However, I personally just hate these kind of extremely difficult game jam entries; they always seem to lack that certain je-ne-c'est-quoi that makes Super Meat Boy challenging but fair. I think it might be lack of playtime to get accustomed to the game's mechanics that leads to my frustration.

I love it! You guys made such a super sweet game! I thought the music was really well done, and it matched the visual style nicely. I did find it annoying that the camera didn't go all the way down, which made it difficult to see very far ahead of me. Regardless, I made it all the way through, and I thought the ending was really cute!

This has got to be one of the most polished and fully realized game jam games I've ever seen. The graphics were amazing, with the particle effects making everything really satisfying to look at. The fact that you had the time to make all the cinematics was also very impressive. I didn't really enjoy the shooting, though - it was really hard to hit anything but I didn't seem to get penalized for missing my shots either, so it really didn't add much to the gameplay.

I think you have some really smooth animations, probably the best I've seen at a game jam, which is both a good thing and a bad one; all those leading frames means it's hard to tell when exactly when you'll be considered dodging and when you'll bang your shin on a box. Either some faster animations or a more generous timing window would be much appreciated.

Your game was really fun to play! I enjoyed the graphics, as pixellated as they were, because it looked like a lot of effort was used to make the turning and squashing effects look natural. The music was nice, and the use of a narrated tutorial for worldbuilding was well done.

If I could make some criticisms, I would suggest adding some sound effects to give some more feedback during gameplay. Also, in the first level, there was a section with really tightly packed 1x1 squares that made it very difficult to move around, even when I could see my surroundings. It's not a bad design in general (love is blind, after all), but I felt it was a bit too much for the very first level - maybe level three or something.

Super cute! I really like what you did with the last level! Though I think too many people went with a "it's a game about love and also it's hard too see" motif at this jam...

Nice game! I like all the humorous pictures you get when you fail an adventure. I played through a couple of times and got a couple of different endings, but I don't think I could last long enough to finish all 100 days. I think the game would go by quicker if it skipped right to the results once you click on an option - though if I'm understanding your interpretation of the theme correctly, it might be better to make the 100-day ending really hard to get.

Thank you for your feedback! I've been hearing about the dense introduction a lot, that's certainly something I'll keep in mind for future jams. I'm glad to hear you at least found it interesting to play!

"What's the matter, smoothskin? Never seen a Ghoul before?"

Couldn't seem to be able to change the skin colour, though. Also, why do the eyes glow? I'm guessing just the lighting hitting them weirdly?

This is amazing! And even more so that you made it in only seven days!

*double checks submission date*

THREE days? Incredible!

I thought you did great all around, with great controls, awesome art and sound design, and an interesting (though probably a bit over done for this jam) theme.

You have some really well-made models and textures in your game, but I'm afraid the gameplay itself wasn't all that fun; mostly it was just a mindless shooter. I found it difficult to even control the game since, even at a 320x200 resolution, I could only manage about 5 frames per second on my aging laptop, so I think some optimization is in order.

I think I understand what you were going for, but was there anything past the "in the end it's just me and the darkness" line?

I really enjoyed all the sprite work; the enemies were all distinct, they had fluid animations, and I thought it was a nice touch that they exploded into little hearts. I have to agree with the others that the music was pretty bad, though. Still a great game, though!

Thank you for the feedback! You're definitely right about showing the player the effects right away. The plan was to do one form per chapter, but I ended up putting too many words in the first one.

This was a really amazing game! The controls felt so perfect and the implementation of sumo wrestling rules were fun and intuitive to learn. The only downside I can think of is, despite having a long playlist of songs to keep things fresh throughout the whole game session, none of them are what my mind would immediately think of when I hear "sumo" or "skateboarding". I was expecting something along the lines of J-pop meets Ska.

Either way, Kudos! I hope you continue developing this game! I could see it as a fun little indie title!

I like the idea, and that way your body catches up to you when you cling to a wall was a nice touch, but I unfortunately felt the game was too frustrating to play as it is now. It's a lot of little things, but they add up pretty quickly, like how you can't escape from spikes if you land on them, to the fact the camera is pulled in way too close to see ahead of you, plus a lot of little collision bugs here and there.

As a piece of advice, I've found that it's best to make a really easy game for game jams, just so everyone can see all your ideas without getting stuck. And, adding onto that advice, if you feel the game's difficulty is just right, then it's actually way too hard, since you already know all the rules of the game while the player won't. Hope that helps :)

I really like what you did with the theme! I think it all came together really well, both aesthetically and from a gameplay perspective. I especially liked that level where you had to keep shifting gravity to stay between the spikes; I felt it was an appropriate advancement of the game's mechanics. My only suggestion would be to have a clearer outline of which part of the walls constitutes the hole, as I felt it was a bit vague. Otherwise, I think you should continue with it, add a few more levels and new mechanics, and release it as a mobile game!

I like your take on the theme, but I felt you got launched way too hard, making it difficult to tell where you'd end up. I also wasn't a big fan of the camera controls, how you could only control the horizontal but not the vertical, and the fact that the inputs didn't update based on camera angle. I think some smaller levels with a fixed camera view could help the readability of the game.

No complaints from my antivirus here, but my computer seems to always struggle to play UE4 games... You wouldn't happen to know a way I could reduce the graphics even more, would you?

I think the idea of the game is good enough (it's like that Toki Tori game Mark talked about), but I think the execution was a bit underwhelming. I couldn't get very far because I kept dropping the torch for some unexplained reason whenever I tried to approach the door on the right, and the door heading down just lead to a black void. That, plus the fact your character moves so sluggishly, and the fact pick up and put down are two separate buttons when they probably could just be one, really put me off from putting too much time into this game.

Wow, that was really intense! It felt amazing to go so fast and smash through all those asteroids like a champ. My only complaint is that the sound effects were so loud it was impossible to hear the music.

Congrats on using "2 Colours" as a gameplay element and not just a graphic choice! I thought the game was pretty good, a little rough around the edges but still very fun. If I could make a suggestion, I would say to make the player always shoot the opposite colour to the background instead of switching between the left and right buttons; I think the game would be slightly more intuitive that way.

I think there's an interesting idea here, but the way it's presented is beyond frustrating. I'm not happy to admit that I couldn't even get the second coin. The platforms were too small to accurately land on each time, and they never felt like they would behave the way you want them to. They'd move when you don't want them to, and they stay still when you really need them out of the way. Once you had too many on screen, it was more than likely that you'd get stuck. 

I didn't care much for the controls either; I would have preferred Z and X to jump and shoot, not Z and Space, but that's just personal preference. The ability to control zoom levels was a nice touch, but I think a more elegant solution would have been to zoom the base camera out a bit and to have smaller, more easily beatable levels.

On a more positive note, I think the music, sound effects, and overall aesthetic presentation were well done.

Your game is very visually appealing and it has a lot of quirky charm to it!

All of the enemy and player sprites would blink in and out of existence for me. Is this an intended feature, or is it just a bug on my end? Either way, it was pretty annoying to look at.

Great game! I really like the parallax effect on the background, it really gives a good sense of movement to the game.

I think your game is the only one I've seen that makes use of "two colours" as a central gameplay element, so kudos for that. The music and sound effects were also well done. If I could make some changes to the game, I would increase the speed of the player's bullets and add a background texture to better show that they're moving across a room larger than the viewport.

A fun little game with a creative concept, especially given your time constraint.

Unfortunately, I think my version wasn't working properly, as the sweep flashed between fully green and fully black without any of the dithering effect, making it even harder to locate ships. And, honestly, I don't see why you can't just render the green sweep under the black ships and forgo the whole shader business altogether.

The amount of content you made for this game, especially considering you came in late, is really amazing. The shader looked really cool, and the fact that you had time to even make a cutscene is something I don't see a lot in game jams.

However, I didn't care much for the gameplay itself. I found the "press button to select item, then press different arrow to place it" to be really hard to quickly grasp, especially since they were so closely aligned at the bottom (making it feel like pressing that button would place that block in a Coulomb automatically). The inconsistency of the bombs were also really annoying, especially because it was hard to properly account for the risk of the bombs carried by, say, building a section of frowny faces you'd want to get rid of. Finally, I felt the game had too long of a time between 'cash-out' points where I could clear the board and get the points I've built up. Too many times I would be leisurely placing blocks only to run out of time, or I would rush, get a bomb, and wipe out half of my progress. Either way, the end result was the same: I ended the game with a score of zero. I know you designed parts of it to be purposefully annoying, but I think you went a bit too far with it.

Also, personally, I would have made the happy faces white with black outlines and the frowny faces black with white outlines, just to make it easier to differentiate them at a quick glance.

Once I got into the game it was an enjoyable experience with some detailed pixel art in a nice style. I also really liked how the lights were your health bar - it was a really nice twist to the mechanic. And, as I understand it, you made this game for two jams, so that is certainly impressive.

However, I feel there is a noticeable lack of conveyance for the player. For instance, I found it difficult to understand what exactly pressing the four buttons did at first. Even when I understood it, I found it a bit difficult to remember which button was which shape, and even when I got *that*, it was sometimes difficult to differentiate between the circle and the octagon.

I think the false colours are a good idea in theory, but I'm fairly sure you need a really high refresh rate to pull it off seamlessly.  Otherwise, I've found that it's only really acceptable on small sections of the screen (IE player sprites)

And btw, I found the keyboard controls easy enough to use as they are.

Great job! It's really fun to play and it has a lot of attention to detail. If you fixed some of the gripes mentioned below and added some sound effects, I think it would be perfect.

"Some days I wouldn't cast spells at all and the day was just as magical"

Well isn't that just the most wholesome thing I've heard this jam.

So is there more to the game? Lunatic Dancer talked about a bad ending, but all I got was one 'placeholder' room I couldn't get out of.