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Naomi Norbez

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A member registered Apr 04, 2015 · View creator page β†’

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Thanks for playing!  I'm glad you liked it. :)

Thanks for playing! :) I'm glad you found it sweet.

Thanks for playing! :) I'm glad you liked it.

That follow-up does sound quite dramatic!  We'll see where the next game eventually goes. . .

"I'd like to think that SAL will grow to like Ash even more as time passes."  I hope so. :)

I would like to make "more of this" in the future. ;) If I may ask, what do you mean by extending the game with a longer/more compelling story?

(Edited 1 time)

Thank you for playing and for your responses!  If you don't mind elaborating, I'm a bit curious on some of the things you said: for #6, what do you think Ash wants in a relationship?  And for #7, why do you think Ash will drift away from SAL?

I'll be checking out your game in the jam asap. :) Thanks for the feedback!  If you see other routes later, please let me know what you think of them.

(Woo!  Steven Universe is great.)

Gotcha.  I believe my graphics card is Intel.  See on the game page that you mentioned that the game won't work on Intel & AMD graphics cards.  That's a shame; do you know why this is? :(

The default window size the downloadable version of the game opened in is really small (640 by 400) and it's very hard to see anything.  So I played it online instead, which was much better, though I realized later I could enlarge the window by dragging its sides (which some game windows don't let you do).

(The online link for the game it not correct, btw; the period at the end leads to a 404 page.)

The music can get really repetitive really fast.  I wish there was a mute button in-game.  Especially because I was "Waiting for a connection" for a REALLY long time.  I ended up opening the browser version and the web version and just waiting for one to load faster than the other.

After ~25 minutes, neither loaded.  I don't really know why, but this game will not connect.  I won't rate it out of fairness.  I know there's a game here from the screenshots, and I'm interested in playing it.

That comic it's based on is pretty funny-paranoid.  And the alt-text reminds me of a story in Blue Like Jazz, where an astronaut orbited space forever.  Let's see your interpretation! :)

I didn't get why it's called 1291.  Then I googled "1291" and realized that the xkcd comic this is based on is #1291.  Odd title, doesn't really fit, but alright.

It's basically a dream come true for the person in the comic: we get to shoot the moon at last. C:< But the moon is fighting back with meteors, and we die in one hit.  We must kill the moon before it kills us. . .

I'm really not a fan of the fact that we can't fully move around the screen in this game.  I guess it makes sense, but I still feel restricted by W and S.  Also the shooting in this game feels very slow and, with that slowness, tedious.

The worst thing about this game is that it basically amounts to holding down the J key and not moving AT ALL while the moon shoots projectiles in vain, because the center meteor will always hit your bullets.  It makes the game quite boring and amounts to no strategy at all.  And when the moon is destroyed, there's no "you did it!" or anything, you just stand there.

Overall, this was a rather bland shooter.  I'd love to see a full version of this, because it's a fun concept for a game.  But I didn't really enjoy that I played here.  From what you've said on your blog, an expanded version does seem to be in development, so I'll look forward to it whenever it comes out.

P.S. I doubt Randall will have an issue with you using graphics from xkcd, since all the xkcd strips are creative commons. ;)

(Edited 1 time)

DISCLAIMER: This review is NOT after playing the game because I'm writing this at 2:35 AM and don't want to wake friend up to play this.  This is after reading the game and pondering its design, outcomes, etc. for an extended period of time.  So it's VERY possible I'll miss some things in this comment.  With that said, here we go.

This is an interesting one.  The only board game in this game jam, I believe, and it tries to "gameify" the xkcd comic it's based on.  Unfortunately, it falls flat in quite a few ways.

If you do use alcohol in this game, it WILL get crazy.  The fact that non-alcoholic drinks can be used NEEDS to be in the PDF.  Also, a player can easily exploit the game by drinking slowly from a very large cup and moving a lot of spaces--unless you actually have to roll the dice, THEN drink and move, which the game never says but can be obtusely assumed by the presence of the paper dice (did you make the paper dice too, btw?  Or is it a free source image or something?).  This would make the game go by quite fast.  This is changed in the revised version to having the players move 1 space and then drink--this would make the game crawl by.  Also, it's never said how big your cup should be, or when the dice are even used--especially in the revised version, where players always move 1 space (which REALLY removes any strategic opportunities and competition in the game).  Furthermore, in the revised version and the original, the first player is always the one who drinks.

From here, I will be breaking down every space/rule and discussing how it needs to be explained/expanded after the game jam.  Buckle your seatbelt. :)

--"4. Stop all players and get some drinks" What does this mean?  Does every player take a drink?  Or do they literally get drinks from their kitchen or something, and save them for later in the game?

--"6.1 minute break,go outside and take some air" If this is a game about drinking, this probably should be a recurring space, not a rule, but that's just my opinion here.

--Space 2 (Junk food space): This is really confusing.  Is their literal junk food involved?  Or is this just junk food in the game?  Why would junk food make someone pass out?  Especially if the players use a junk food that doesn't have a strong smell, like chips.

--Space 3: Balance Test: How long does the line have to be?  Also shouldn't it be if they step off of the line they "lose", not if they collapse (I doubt players are super drunk by Space 3, unless their beer cups are enormous).  Also, what do the players lose--that isn't explained!

--Space 4: BarMatrix: "BarMatrix" is pretty funny. X) But now players also need food coloring/colored cups for the game as well?  And why would the player even choose to go back one space if that sets them behind everyone else, AND they have to do the line test again?  Likely every player will choose to move forward one space, which has no disadvantages.

--Space 5: Burping Contest: I like this idea a lot, but players with soda have a clear advantage.  Also, every player is incentivised to vote lower scores for everyone else, and higher scores for themselves.  How is a tie broken?

--Space 6: Staring Contest: I also like this idea.  But what do the players lose?  And if they're all staring at the wall, who judges the contest?

--Space 7: Dance: So is one player dancing to music, or all three?  Since each player moves once space at a time, that's 15 minutes of music dancing in a row because all 3 players will land on that space after one another.  What do they gain/lose in-game for dancing?  Out of game they might pee their pants, but what about in the game?

--Space 8: Don't Blink: Little nitpick, there's no blinking involved at all on this space, since the player's eyes are closed.  And what do they gain/lose for successfully drinking their glass with their eye shut?

I'm not sure if the arrow at the bottom is telling me to move to the next column or the space it's pointing too; I'll assume it's telling me to move to the next space, and read this page in a "U" shape.

--Space 9: Dark Souls: . . . Seriously?  Now the players need to own Dark Souls, too?  No, just no.  This has no business being here.  I know it's basically for fun, but please.  NO.

--Space 10: Try Your Luck: So now players need to play a whole card game before they can progress in your game?  And since every player will land here one after the other, that's THREE whole card games in a row!  At least it adds some challenge, since the winner moves one space, but it's still too much to ask of the players that they do a whole other game before continuing your game.

--Space 11-12: Another junk food space and burping space.  I already stated my problems with them. 

--Space 13: Cutscene.  So the players just read the paper previous to this page?  Why?  What does this do for the game?

This seems like an interesting game.  But it's vaguely explained, is riddled with typos (@Etra_Games said this is to fit with the drunk theme, but I don't know if I see it that way), and is CRAZY imbalanced.  Not only is there barely any in-game strategy, but it requires so many different supplies for the player to have in order to play it, and requires them to take too much time away from the game itself with its various challenges. 

There is real potential here, but it is not realized yet.  Perhaps after the jam it can be refined.

At first I was worried this was going to be some fidget spinner-based game, but after reading the comic this is based on, I don't believe it's going in that direction.

But I can't find out.  I have Javascript installed on my (Windows) computer, but I can't get this game to open.  And there are no instructions for install on the game jam page or on the actual game page.

Won't rate this out of fairness, please let me know how to open this--I really want to play it.

Hey, another game based on the Machine Gun Jetpack "what if?" article!  Let's see your take on it.

For the record, I'm playing version 0.3.  From the comments, this game has evolved quite a bit.  Had to extract the RAR file (I use Free RAR Extract Frog for that btw; it's a handy program and I recommend if for all your RAR extraction needs. ;] ).

I had some good fun with this.  It strays a bit far from the original "what if?" article (a machine gun would definitely not be able to move a car--and you would run out of bullets), but it's still a joy to play.  It's really fun to mess with the physics.

I do have a few complaints.  First, why aren't the controls in the game?  If a player gets some good traction, and then accidentally presses R, they're done without knowing it.  Second, while you say there's a set distance the player should aim for, it's never made clear where that goal is.  Would love to see a "level select" mode and an "endless" mode after the jam (this game would be awesome with online leaderboards and the ability to record your "rides" in-game, but those are pretty big things to implement).  Third, why is just the spacebar the shoot button?  Why not have it so the player can use any key on their keyboard (with the exception of Escape and the other keys on the very top row, of course.) to shoot?

If you rapidly press spacebar so the car begins to lift off the ground but doesn't turn over yet, it's basically game over.  From there it's a balancing act of trying to move the car forward without tipping it completely.  The best way to "beat" this game is the most boring way to play: press the spacebar every few seconds to slowly move the car forward.  And even then it gets difficult because every shot tips the car upward more and more and moves you less and less--I don't understand why it happens, but it's so frustrating because I want to actually beat the game (go the distance the title screen is telling me about), but the game itself is fiercely resisting that!

The other best way to play is just hold down the spacebar and watch the car go--I got 104 meters this way and then crashed.  But it's just holding down the spacebar, which is, again, kind of boring.

I played this game a good while before I came back to this page and read about the torque controls.  These are interesting to experiment with, but (1) really need to be told to the player in the game and (2) eventually also devolve into crafting a set, boring strategy to move forward, and (3) have the same problem as the regular shooting mechanic, turning into a balancing act after a while.

I had some fun with Machine Gun Powered Vehicle, but not as much as I could've, which is a shame.  The main problem is that your game contains 2 conflicting ideas at its core: (1) the player should try to make it to the end of the stage without dying, with encourages players to establish a set strategy and not experiment too much, and (2) the player should feel free to experiment with the physics and just have fun with it, which encourages players not to make it to the end of the stage.  I'm sure making these core ideas clash wasn't intentional, which is why I'm pointing it out to you.  Choose one or the other.

Another game based on "Devotion to Duty"!  Let's see your take on it. :)

This was alright.  I like the strategic take overall, but it is quite roughly done. 

Agree with @Xavier Ekkel--checkpoints at the start of each area would REALLY help.  Luckily the game's quite short if you know what you're doing, but unexpected deaths still happen even if you know the whole game.

You fall quite slow in this game compared to the walking speed, which could lead to a death for the player who gets the timing off solely because they didn't know they would fall so slowly.

The humor in this game did not do it for me at all--I hated it.  So many "lol cliche" and "lol convenient plot thing" jokes that just made it the game seem shoddy.  The only joke that worked for me was "Best be extra dramatically careful."--the others were just cringe-worthy and came off as lazy excuses for cheap game quality, not funny.

That said, I do like the minimalist approach to this game.  It's a simple level, but it's well structured--seriously, it's good stuff.  Don't like the main character and the enemy art, but the rest is fine.  Needs cool music.

Going down the shaft with the rope feels satisfying, but the character jerks fast when I go left or right.  Also, it's never explained how I got the rope--is that also part of the character's "magic hacking ability"?  Because that's . . . dumb.

Also, found a bug: even after I died, I could still press "E" to laser the enemy to death.  And I didn't even touch this laser when I died for some reason:


The climatic battle is ok.  I like how you introduce the enemies at the very beginning, and then bring them back at the very end.  But the camera is so close in the final scene it's hard to see when the enemies are coming; I thought I had to run forward and take them out, but I would run into them and die!  So I eventually learned I had to just stand there and let them run toward me, which is kinda boring.  Also, why did you give the enemies guns if they're not going to use them at all?

Overall, I like the game's structure and ideas, there are things that need work.  Good job on this.

The comic this is based on is a weird one.  Let's see your spin on it. :)

"Anything else you want players to know before they play?
Have fun!"

I hope to do just that! :D

This was . . . ok.  It takes a completely different spin on the comic it's based on, making about trying to make coffee for guests in sort of a puzzle-platformer.  Not about "fake adulting" as much anymore, but ok.

It's a confusing game at first, and a weird mix of platformer and clicking mechanics--I'm not a fan of the controls, because you have to use the arrow keys/WASD to move and the left click to interact with objects (I use a laptop, so it's more clunky do both at once).  I would have liked an action key to interact instead, but eh.

I don't like how you put the mouse trap right next to the starting area--most players are probably going to activate it without even realizing why, which ruins any puzzle element of it.  I had to replay the game to see that the mouse will eat the dropped coffee grounds if you don't activate the trap.  That puzzle could've been set up so much better--maybe the player passes by a mouse hole at the starting area, drops the grounds and the mouse comes out, and then the player has to search the kitchen cabinets for a mouse trap?

The jump is also confusing--at first I thought it was just bad and short, but then I realized I had to mash the up arrow/W key to jump repeatedly, rocketing upward, which the game doesn't tell me I can even do.  Even worse, the game led me to believe I had to stack all those tables in the corner to use my tiny single jump to get to the 2nd level above, which was not at all what I needed to do.  Why are those tables even there?

Also, small nitpick with the vacuum: I dropped the vacuum on the coffee grounds, and nothing happened.  Had to run with it for it to suck up the grounds.  Which is fine, but I don't really get why dropping on it did nothing?  Ah well.

So yeah, this was alright.  Not really something I would play again, but it was a ok experience.  I did like the music, btw.  And this ending screen is pretty cute:


The "what if?" this is based on is pretty terrifying. O_o Let's see how you gameify it.  (Also, putting the link to the "what if" article on the game page or something would be helpful.)

I think this is the 1st game I've played in this jam that was made in the Unreal Engine, so that's pretty neat. :)

So . . . this is ok.  It's a playable version of the "what if?" article that shows how "Yeah . . . NO," the idea of generating power with typing is.  Not that too it.  The game clearly demonstrates how little power would be generated, and I like how you show stats at the end (my score was -11).

But the "How to Play" actually presents an interesting scenario, with people typing on social media and powering things with that--it's a different take than the "what if?" article and the playable game itself, the idea that with every "normal" social media activity, we could store up power for . . . something.  Was a bit disappointed the game didn't do anything with what the "How to Play" screen said.

Also, it would have been nice if we saw that the millijoules actually meant--I'm no scientist or electrician, so I have no idea how much "0.78 millijoules" is.  Maybe if there was a bar on the bottom of the screen with milestones ("heated a drop of water by a 1% of a degree!"), or some kind of real-world interpretation of what the millijoules add up to, emphasizing the futility of the player's actions.

Overall, a decent game.  Nice work.

(Edited 1 time)

The comic seems like an . . . unusual choice, at least to me.  I'm curious how you'll make that into a game--let's check it out! :)

(after playing the game)

Oh.  So that's how you make a "game" based on this comic.

Honestly, when I read "filler mechanics" on the title card, I thought this would be a game that explored tedious mechanics in various ways, so in that sense this was a real letdown.  But I do have to acknowledge that the game does interpret the original comic quite well, and I do like the little details; the hover text in this game is very "xkcd".  My main complaints would be that the "filler mechanics" title was completely half-chopped off when I played it--I play on Windows, btw--, the music gets annoying quite fast, and that this really shouldn't be called "Filler Mechanics" at all, imho, since it's really not about mechanics.  Maybe "Filler Game"?

Good work on this.

(Also I think the 3rd reference might be this comic?  But I'm not sure.)

It's quite easy to see why this game doesn't have many ratings: it can't really be played.  Any attempt to open anything in both .zip files (after extracting the contents, of course) gave me this popup message:

Still, I was determined to play your game and give you a fair assessment.  So I downloaded Monogame, opened the file from there, and tried to somehow play it (thought there might be a "test play" button in the program).  Didn't work.

BUT while I did that, I dug around the Tumbleweed folder a bit, and found the Tumbleweed application.  For future players of this game, it's located here (I opened this on Windows): [folder where you downloaded the game]TumbleWeed\TumbleWeed\TumbleWeed\obj\x86\Debug .

But the application wouldn't open.  It would act like it was loading, but nothing would come up.

Hmm. . .

I tried moving it outside the Debug folder into other folders--no  luck.  Tried moving it into the XKCD Tumbleweed Game folder, putting it in various places there--nothing.

I've tried to open this game for ~30 minutes.  Here is where I give up,

I won't rate it out of fairness, of course.  Please do better next time at exporting your game.  It looks like a cool interpretation of the original comic.  But that unfortunately doesn't mean much when it can't be played.

Thank you. :) & thanks for playing!

I'm glad you "enjoyed" playing this game.  Those are good theories/assumptions!

Thanks so for playing and commenting. :)

Why have a download option if it's just a link, not a file?  It would be cool to have a browser version here on itch.io sometime.

The comic it's based on is an interesting one--let's see your take on it. :)

First off, this game is gorgeous.  The pixel art is downright beautiful.  I also love the little xkcd tribute with the password.

Another clicker game in this jam!  It's actually the first one I've been able to fully complete without cheats or very long waiting, so that's nice. :) The progression is pretty steady, making xkcd bigger and bigger with various things.  You make money and become more famous with ideas; things that give more ideas give you more fame.

The clicking is odd in this game; you can't just press the mouse forever and that's it.  There's a meter on the bottom, and you need to click so that the meter fills before you click again.  It's about a second's worth of delay.  It's . . . weird, and I don't know if I fully like it, but it also creates a certain rhythm as you click and progress (especially with the music, which is a nice enough track), and I do like that.

At a certain point, it becomes much more optimal to stop investing in fame altogether and just keep making "cheap" 3-idea comics for the same amount of money as a 25-idea What If that has more fame.  And that point where investing just in money comes very quickly, so I put fame by the wayside and just focused on getting money to keep investing into xkcd.

Which brings me to my biggest problem about this game: it frames itself as a narrative about Randall Munroe, the creator of xkcd.  It is about a real person, and shows how Randal slowly built xkcd.

Unless they're a heartfelt tribute/thank you, I'm not comfortable with games about real people to begin with, or media that contains a completely fictionalized narrative of a creator (unless it's by the creator themselves, of course).  At first I thought this game was going to be a tribute to Randall Munroe's work, or something like that.  But then the actual gameplay started, and revealed that you play as Randall to build up xkcd, and then  . . . let xkcd go?

I'll ignore for a moment that this interpretation is a completely different spirit than the original comic it's based on.  We'll get to that, but here's my biggest problem with this.

The ways in which you build xkcd (the "progress clicks" you get along the way, the amount of ideas you "spend" on certain things, etc) and the fact that the game is framed as playing as the creator of xkcd, and the fact that at the very end you spend a million dollars to let xkcd go (sell it?)--well, that says something about the real Randall Munroe, even if you didn't intend to.  

What are you saying about Randall Munroe when you frame his xkcd strips as the cheapest things to create?  What does your game say when some of the ways you increase in fame is by drinking with Elon Musk?  When you frame the creation of xkcd as mainly a growing business, what commentary are you making?  When you say at the end the xkcd was created in this game by "combating procrastination", what does that say about the real xkcd?  And so on.

I'm sure this isn't what you intended, which is why I want to make you aware of it.  By putting the player in the shoes of a real person trying to grow a real comic, you frame things in a certain way and comment (somewhat negatively) on the real Randall Munroe in the process.

Other than that, the game is very different from the comic.  The comic supports letting go of the distracting, instant internet to focus on greater, more meaningful things (at least, that's how I read it).  Your game says that when you're bored and read vapid internet things, create something meaningful in both a business and a creative sense, and then let it go for a million dollars?  It's very confusing, and I find it hard to tell what you were trying to say here.

Overall I enjoyed this game, but the subtleties underneath it raise eyebrows for me.

Oh, and the fireworks at the end are nice.

"There are no files to be downloaded just click on this link - XKCD dodge."

Then why have the option to download?  I was trying for quite a bit to download the game before I looked at the game page and found the link.

This game is ok.  Like @Etra_Games said, nice to see a student project here.  I'll give some critique on it to hopefully help you improve.

The movement feels rather stiff in this; I barely feel flexible enough to dodge the bullets flying at me (which don't register as a hit unless they hit my head, btw--was this intentional?).  I also don't know why I'm playing this game--if I survive, do I get a bunch of IQ?  The game would be a lot better if you the stage was timed and you got +10 IQ every (few) second(s), and the bullets left you in danger of losing progress.  As it stands, there's no real goal, and it feels rather aimless.

As is, the best way I found to play is not to play as intended.  Instead of trying to survive the stage, I simply held down spacebar (or, as I found out later, any other key/mouse button) to go & leave the shop, which causes my total IQ to increase every time, and thus enable me to buy the upgrades quickly.  And the upgrades are fine, though the shields disappear when I enter the shop for some reason, and I can't figure out how to attack with the Sarcasm Attack and Math Shield (which "people" am I attacking with those things, anyway?).

All in all, this is ok.  There's definite room for improvement.  I wish you the best as you continue game development.

(Edited 1 time)

This is a really neat game!  I love the tactical chess elements; it's a nice challenge to try and figure out how to move effectively.  And the fact that you made all the assets is incredible; the game looks and feels amazingly polished for such a short amount of time.

I do have a few complaints, though.  Mainly that the player who doesn't play chess will likely have trouble with this.  Maybe not so much with the pawn, but definitely with the knight.  It would be great to have a popup or dialogue box that explains the moveset of each new chess piece.  (Speaking of the dialogue, there were a few minor typos and grammar mistakes in the writing.)

And I do love the turner-things that you introduce at the beginning; it's a legitimately interesting mechanic to turn the piece into new ways to move.  But you never bring it back anywhere else in the game, and none of the other pieces you use really need it.

Finally, the knight section is a real challenge.  It took quite a while for me to figure out that I could hop over walls, and a bit longer to finally hop to the exit.  It's a very closed space and the most challenging level in the game.

I really enjoyed this one.  Nice job on it. :)

(Edited 1 time)

Haven't read the comic this was based on before; it's an interesting one.  Let's see your spin on it.

The game is way too big to fit in my browser window, and it makes it difficult to play and I can't see half the screen.  Please scale it down.  I had to zoom out significantly in order to play the game properly.

"If Boredom Reaches 100; you know what happens."

No, I don't.  And there is no meter/counter that shows the boredom going up, so I have no idea exactly when it reaches 100; I just get a game over (so nothing really happens).

I shouldn't be able to jump in this game.  It only hinders my ability to interact with things using E.  Please disable the jump.

There are two things to do in this game: dream of books or read books.  Neither reduces the boredom meter for too long, and there's nothing else to do in this game.  It doesn't really approach the original comic's ideas, and playing this game is, well, boring.  If there was more things to do then it would be better, but as is I didn't have much fun with this.

Edit: While I was writing this, you updated the game to include a counter, so that's good.  I can still jump, though.

This is pretty neat!  I'd never read the comic this is based on before, and I like your take on it.  It's actually really cool to be able to walk around a 3d space and see money costs stacked into piles, from mundane regular things to events to people--it's great!  And it's actually a lot more approachable than the comic, at least to me.

I do have a few suggestions, though.  Most of these for after the jam:

--It really looks like the money is a looping texture on the top, and it cuts off, removing the realism at points.  Can this be fixed?

--I don't know if seeing the object the money represents (say, having a person standing on top of the money that represents) would be better or worse.  It's something to consider.

--I like all your ways to expand this game that you wrote in the description (except for the zombies--I know that's probably a joke, but still).

Nice job on this. :)

The "what if?" article it's based on is . . . quite an odd, strange thing.  Let's see your take on it! :)

I saw from the description that this is an idle/clicker, but this is an idle clicker of epic proportions--a whole mole!  I'm glad you allow cheats in the game, or I never would've finished it, and I was still able to have fun with your game & see all its content that way.  I admire your sense of scale and devotion to the original "what if?" article (similar to another clicker in this jam based on a "what if?", Laser Pointer Clicker), but the average player cannot finish it just by clicking, which in a lot of ways goes against the very design of clickers.  The fact I had to use cheats to see this game is both a good thing, because you were able to recognize the sheer magnitude of clicking and made tools to help make it easier, and a bad thing, because a player must basically rely on the cheats to finish the game, and that goes against the nature of clickers themselves.

I really liked seeing all the different moles you get when you level up (though how you level up is a tad unclear. . .).  My favorite is was the Abstract Mole, but all of them are great, and have little introductory subtitles that really nails that xkcd-style humor we all love. X)

And speaking of xkcd-style humor, the intro is fantastic.  Well paced, humorous, and explains everything a new player needs to know--you wonderfully set the tone for the game we're about to experience.  Except for the fact that it doesn't make sense that my clicking opens up the mole hole on a story standpoint, but I'll leave that question aside. ;)

Overall, it's a fun little game with some nice humor and charm (and a simple but good art style to go along with it, too) that requires cheats to finish.  Thanks for making this! :)

This was . . . ok.  

HamsterBall Heist presents itself as if we're playing as the people from the original comic, going to steal Wayne Coyne in his hamster ball.  But then it turns out we're playing as Wayne Coyne and trying to avoid the people who want our hamster ball (or rather, want to kill us, since we "die" if we lose health [partially b/c of the hamster ball thieves]).  Ok then?

I didn't personally find the crowd surfing all that fun--I usually only bounced once, and crowds were generated in such a way that I usually had 1-2 rows of people, so I had to go to other rows to try and find some better energy.  But that's how I found out I lose health when I touch the floor--(1) why? and (2) if I lose health when I touch the floor, why is there so much space between rows, and why does 1 row generate close to me with another row a good distance from me?  Also, the "lose health" sound gets grating fast.

Moving in this game does not feel good; you're basically at a crawl in that hamster ball, and your jump isn't that high at all.  I did find out that by tapping the spacebar, you can jump basically infinitely, but you can only go straight up as far as I can tell, which doesn't help much.  Especially in the second level, which was super frustrating because of the terrible jump and sluggish movement--paired with an orange stick figure who will push you back, and various objects that will do the same.  Ugh.

Really wish there was a timer in this game.  The goal seems to be to survive levels a certain amount of time in order to move to the next one, but it's never clear how long you need to survive for.  Along the way you can get health pickups and marijuana--I thought the marijuana made you invincible for a short period, but I still lost health.  What does the marijuana do?

All in all, this was ok.  Not great, not the best either.  Probably won't play it again, but maybe someone else will like it more than I did.

This game is really cool!  At first I was confused by the controls, but once I got to the second screen, I was like, "Oh.  So that's why the keys were xkcd.  Nice!"

This is a pretty clever game, and quite well designed.  It's very simple, but takes the player up step by step through each level.  My biggest complaint is the fact that . . . well, it ends!  You do such a great job setting up the puzzle's controls, and then the game is over!  It feels like you wanted to have more, but didn't have time.

I very much enjoyed this.  It's well designed, feels good to play, has nice little xkcd strips as its backdrop--this game rocks.  I'd love to see a longer, post-jam version of this; the game is so good that it almost demands to be expanded.  Great job on this. :)

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This is a nice little game! :) It was really fun to Katamari my way into everything and slowly grow larger and larger until I HAVE TAKEN THE WHOLE WORLD WITH MY POWERFUL KATAMARI CAR!  AHAHAHAHAHAHAH--

(ahem)

People who haven't played/aren't aware of Katamari Damacy will likely be very confused about this game; it'll take a bit for them to understand what they need to do.  If I didn't know about Katamari Damacy, I probably would've driven around for a while, confused and frustrated as I run into cars and hear a bad noise, until I happen to hit a small object which attaches to my car; after that, I might start to understand, or I might think I did something wrong.  The description is pretty vague, too, and doesn't really help a clueless player; you might want to edit the description or add a screen at the beginning of the game. 

Those who have played/heard of Katamari Damacy will likely find this game easy, but fun, like I did.  It's a charming little game.  The music track is pretty well chosen, though it does run the risk of becoming grating after a few loops.  The sound effects are very simple and more of them would be nice (cars honk when you collect them, sound of trees uprooting when you collect them, etc).

I don't understand why the game said "You're a star" at the end.  Is this a reference to Katamari Damacy,?  I haven't played it, I've only heard of it, so I don't know.

This was a fun little game.  Thanks for making it. :)

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"Grownups" is my favorite xkcd comic.  Let's see your take on it. :)

It's . . . very different from the comic.  "Based loosely" is right.

The game itself is extremely simple to the point of being disappointing.  The playpen balls are nice and colorful, but the game amounts to just finding three randomly-placed phones in a very small area.  There's not a lot to it.

Not much more to say--it's a simple, quick game that doesn't demand much of you, nor does it take much of anything from the comic it's based on aside from the playpen setting.

(Btw, what is an "xkcd phone" you talk about in the description, and how can I get one?)

Coolness!  I'll definitely give it a look after I comment on the other games in the jam. :)

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Quite an interesting "what if?" article to make a game out of! :) I like the idea (squirrel uses gun as a jet pack), but the execution leaves much to be desired.

The physics are not very polished.  It doesn't feel like I'm riding a gun by shooting bullets (wow that's a weird thing to say), it feels like I'm on a rocket whose thrusters are off by default, and left-clicking turns the thrusters on for one moment at a time.  Those two things are quite different.  I'm not sure if the game feels off to be because of the lack of animation & bullets or completely because of the physics--honestly I think it's a bit of both, and mostly the latter.

A few commenters talked about the limited field of vision.  I personally don't think that's the main problem, but it is definitely something to consider.  For me the biggest problem is the level design--it does not fit the mechanics at all.  This is a game about using a gun-rocket to go up to . . . somewhere . . . and your journey is hindered by these hard-to-navigate platforms that demand you to swerve left and right and every which way instead of rocketing upward.  It's like the level design is fighting against the mechanics of the game.  If the game had been better designed to fit the rocketing mechanics, then the level would be better, and the camera would be fine as-is.

There are other problems as well, like the fact that I can go right through the floor I start at, and go through platforms before dying (it's extremely frustrating to skim a platform that you didn't see coming and just die), and that the checkpoint is on an odd area of the screen.  But the level design is the biggest hindrance right now.  It's the main reason I cannot go past the very first checkpoint, as much as I want to.

I'm picking up from the comments that this is your first game development endeavor, and as a first game, it's ok.  There is definite room for improvement.  I wish you the best as you continue creating games.

This is an interesting one.  A game where you have to upgrade a wind turbine in order to fly up on a kite high up into the sky.  Don't see that every day! :)

I like the upgrade idea in order to use the wind turbine to reach the sky.  A bit of a different turn from the comic it's based on, but it works.  The colors are nice and well chosen.

A Huge Fan does have quite a few flaws, though.  There's no clear goal to it, for starters--you ride on the fan to get more money to purchase upgrades to ride on the fan.  It's an endless loop.  Where are we going on this fan?  Are we aiming for a certain height?  Give us something to tangible to aim for.

The flying . . . mole-things? . . . cannot be dodged if they're aiming right at you--once they fly toward you, you're likely going to get hit and fall.  There's no way to avoid them, and sometimes they just skim you and cause you to fall die.   An "armor" upgrade that protected against 1 hit (and then +1 for each upgrade) would really help, but more importantly, the player needs to be able to actually dodge these things.

Moving is extremely sluggish and slow, so dodging the moles and getting red packages if they're not directly above you is extremely difficult and basically impossible.  Speaking of the red packages, those are not well designed--sometimes they are placed in unreachable areas before you have 3 turbines to actually reach it, and it's not possible to reach red packages across the screen (or even ones that are quite close) because of the bad movement in this game.  Also, sometimes I got $20 when I collected a package, sometimes I got nothing.  Is this a bug?

Like how there's a "reset game" option; that's nice to have.  Would also be nice to have a volume option for the music--it's a well-chosen track, but gets repetitive after a while.

The upgrades also could be better.  Because of the bad movement and death by mole-things, I never ran out of battery on the turbine, so I didn't really need to upgrade it.  The other ones are fine, but the prices are too much.  Because of the same issues I just stated, I only earned ~15-30 dollars for every flight, so after I upgraded one of my $50 dollar upgrades and saw the next upgrade was $250, I decided to stop because it would take quite a long time to upgrade everything.  The design of the game keeps me from earning enough money to get the upgrades, and I don't want to keep continuing this cycle.

This game is ok, but there are quite a few things that need improvement.

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Man, that comic is sad. :,( Let's see how you interpret it in your game.

It slightly deviates from the heart of the comic, and focuses more on the opening panels than anything, this game is really good!  The idea of executing commands to control the robot is solid and well-implemented, the 3d space is gorgeous and fully realized, the graphics and colors are simple but effective, and the music is melancholy but beautiful.  I love seeing the things the Spirit Rover thinks throughout the game, and their movement is pretty satisfying as well.  

My main complaint is the level of challenge in this game, which is partially because of how the game itself is framed--hear me out.  At the start of the game, you simply present us with the controls and a goal, and leave us to it.  Because of this, I overused accelerate, left, and right, trying out wait and break once in a while but not much.  Eventually I gave up on the level when I kept failing a turn and looked at the walkthrough, where I noticed the skilled use of wait and brake.  If there had been a tutorial (or heck, maybe even a video) modeling things like wait and brake, I might've actually used it more, but I felt no reason to use it with the information presented to me, nor did I really feel the need to experiment with it (since the game didn't really give me room to do so, because of the level design--it's a tight space).

I understand this is my subjective opinion, but I truly feel that this is a flaw in the game. There no real room or space for the player to experiment with the commands, nor are the commands modeled before the game starts, which made Spirit Rover more challenging than it needed to be.

And it really is a fun, decent challenge, with some interesting tools to utilize to get Spirit to the end.  But if I had been more familiar to those tools, I could have had a lot more fun with it.

Even so, I found this game beautiful, funny, and a nicely challenging.  Thanks for making it. :)

That's awesome!  & thanks for preserving me. ;) I'll definitely give it a look after I've commented on all the other jam games.

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Since I don't have the book, I can't rate whether this is faithful to the original "what if?".  For the sake of fairness, I'll rate it a 3, right in the middle, for "xkcd-ness".

"I'm looking for feedback! Please let me know what you think. I want to make the game better."

I appreciate that!  I'll do my best to make my thoughts clear and helpful. :)

"Don't get sick!"

Too late.  (I am sick in real life as I type this.)

Anyway, let's get to the game itself.

The idea behind The Common Cold is interesting, though it isn't what the game itself says it is.  The title screen says that I'm playing this to find out "If everyone on the planet stayed away from each other for a couple of weeks, wouldn't the common cold be wiped out?"  But the game isn't about everyone being isolated, it's about making sure those who are sick don't stay sick enough to infect others.  

So that's quite misleading.  I started this game and immediately tried to keep people away from each other and scrambled to find out how I could isolate them (I thought I had to keep people behind the fences or something), but was confused when they resumed walking a moment later instead of staying put.  In order to gain clarity, I had to read the description--which also told me the basic rules of the game.

It's very hard to tell who is sick in this game.  There's a coughing sound effect, yes, but there are also 30+ stick people scattered on the screen at once (some of who walk offscreen with their legs poking out from the top), and the coughing animation is difficult to distinguish from the regular walking one if you're not looking for it; there's not enough visual information, so when someone coughs, I have no idea who it is unless I happen to be looking at them, and the stick figures aren't scattered too much on screen.  Not to mention that after they cough, they stand there in the same way that other stick figures just stand there when they feel like chilling out, blending in with the crowd and making it harder to cure them.  The obvious solution is to have some kind of signal above their head, and/or make the cough a certain color, like green or yellow, and/or playing an "alarm" sound, and/or having them walk differently after they cough.  Also, I'm playing with speakers, not headphones, so if the coughing sound effect is coming from a certain area audibly, I can't tell.

Which leads me to another point: Curing people is hard.  Not only because I can't tell who's sick, but because there's only one bed, and the game doesn't tell me the boundaries of curing people.  Is there a certain amount of time sick people need to stand by the bed?  Can I put more than one sick person in the bed at once?  If I put a sick person and a healthy person near the bed, will the sick person be cured, or will the healthy person get sick, or both?

And speaking of that, how fast does the virus spread?  That's not clear at all.  I assume there's a time frame of some sort, but I genuinely don't know.

I do like the music that goes with this game, though it can get a little tiresome after a while.  Picking up people is fun, but the "Oh!" that they say when you do is all nearly the same sound effect.  Some more varied sounds/lines would be nice.  There is a genuine charm to this game that I like, even if the sound effects get a tad redundant.

So yeah, this is a neat game idea, but leaves much to be desired.  As for a win condition, this is one that requires expanding the game a bit, but here goes:

--Once you reach a certain point, you realize that the cold won't stop infecting people, and you need to find a permanent cure.  In the next level, the player needs to look not only for sick people to cure them within the time limit, but also scientists in the crowd, who you bring to a lab (at the corner of the screen?) to find a cure for the common cold (and if the scientists get sick, you need to cure them too, which ticks away at the timer).  You need to survive each new level to give the scientists time to research, develop, test, and complete the cure.  Perhaps how fast/slow the cure is developed depends on many scientists the player was able to find, and maybe you have to bring people to the lab to intentionally infect them for research, and hopefully cure them in time before they infect the general population.

Hope this helps!  Please let me know if you have any questions about anything I said here.

It took a while (the whole game really) to understand how to play this.  It's an interesting game, somewhat complex, with cards that are little tributes to xkcd.  It seems you're quite a fan of the comic.

I do agree with @Rainbow Serpent Labs's ideas: a tutorial and multiplayer would be great (perhaps after the jam is over?).  Sound and music would really make this game, as it's already quite well done, but needs more audial feedback and awesome tunes.

I got my butt kicked by the AI, but the screen still said "You Won" (even though it clearly displayed the scores [Me: -3, AI: 19]).  Also, the bun's words on the ending screen are some kind of haiku (syllables go 4-5-4)--was that intentional?  It's nice. :) Though I would have liked a restart button.

This game is pretty cool--a really neat card game that's also a tribute to xkcd.  Great work! :)

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Second game I've played based on "Squirrel Plan".  Let's see you take on that comic. :)

I hope you eventually update the game to include the information that's in the description--there's a lot of important stuff in there. . .

Does the eraser work?  I tried using it, but it wouldn't, well, erase anything.  I see this is an issue for other commenters as well.  Another issue I had that other commenters also had: it's not clear that the squirrel needs to be placed on the ground.  I thought the squirrel-placing-button was broken until I skimmed the comments.

I have no idea why, but when I did the tutorial ship (squirrel, balloon, tie string to squirrel), the game basically exploded with squirrels on balloons, which is where this screenshot comes from:

Sooooo . . . yeah.  No idea what the issue is there.  I still got a lot of research from it though, and was able to invest in more materials.

I invested in wood (why can you only put down 3 planks of wood at a time?), and then this happened.


The game keeps exploding.  It is my browser (Chrome)?  Is it a glitch?  

Read the comments again, and it turns out I have to put the balloon more than 1 tile above the squirrel.  Ok?

Luckily, this worked.  Phew.

However, upon finally getting a balloon squirrel in the sky without exploding the screen, I noticed that the RP goes up very slowly.  ~1 RP for every 5 miles (which drains away when the balloon breaks and the squirrel falls to the ground)--but I got 122 RP for glitching the game (twice) for a short amount of time.  

The intentional optimal way to play may be (at least in the early stages) to break the game for high RP.  I'm sure that's not what you intended, but.  Well, here we are.

I'm sure the way to play this game is to create interesting ships and experiment with them.  But when the ship tools are locked behind a slow unlock method, and building those ships is somewhat too challenging in and of itself (how do you put the wood together to make a structure?), then I can't exactly do that.

From what I've played, this is an interesting game with slow progression as squirrels are sent into the sky for the sake of nuts.  But getting that progression is pretty slow (if played the normal way, I have to send a balloon squirrel in the air 5-7 times in order to unlock wood), and there's a glitch to get it a better way that needs to be fixed.  Also there's no music or sound effects, which really would've enhanced this game.

I'd like to see an updated version of this.  As it stands, this game is ok.

The comic this is based on is a beautiful one, and I hadn't read it before.  Let's see how you interpreted it. :)

It's a very charming game.  The music and color palette are both very well chosen.  Personally I don't think it really goes in the same mental/emotional place where the original comic does, but this game creates its own space with that comic, which is totally fine.

Exploring and flying is rather fun; I very much liked the flying mechanic (though the player who hasn't read the description will probably spend a bit of time pressing WASD & the arrow keys in confusion).  I do wish there was more to explore and see besides just rocks and trees.  And actually getting in the birdhouse was rather frustrating (because the controls are about going up or down in flight, it was difficult to get in).  Do wish the game had a restart button.

A nice little game.  Thanks for making it.

This is a nice one!  The comic is a great one to choose for a game, and the game you made is quite good. :)

Like everyone else is saying, the animation is great.  Love the pixel style, and it's all very smoothly done.  Seriously, well done; the animation is goregous.

The gameplay, however, leaves some things to be desired.

I like randomized content, but in this game, sometimes things were randomized to make a level impossible.  I've had to knock away a bomb and eat a bird at the same time (which I can't do, so I died.  Btw, the whole eating birds thing reminds me a lot of another Dino Run I've played).  Levels tended to generate in a way that was either frustrating (lots of obstacles) or boring (not many obstacles, or obstacles placed in such away I could just run smoothly for a while).

The controls are a bit odd, but they're ok (W E S are odd keys to fumble with--why not W E R, which lands smoothly under 3 fingers and lets my thumb rest on the keyboard?).  But the gameplay itself doesn't feel fully thought out.  My jump was barely high enough to get across two spikes (^^); I had to master the timing of jumping at just the right time.  The jump itself sometimes goes higher when I hold down spacebar, but sometimes it doesn't.  And when there's a arc of coins in the air you're supposed to get, my jump arc doesn't match the arc of the coins at all.  It feels like you spent most of your time on the animation (which is quite beautiful) but not enough time on the gameplay--which is basic and functional, somewhat satisfying, but could be a whole lot better.

There is no music or sound effects in this game, which is a real shame--this game really needs some.  It has a charming atmosphere already, and sounds & music would fully complete it.

Overall, I had fun with this game--the art & animation is great.  But the gameplay needs more to it.  I'd love to see this updated after the jam.  Nice job with this. :)

Like the title screen and how it parodies the explaining style of the xkcd comic (and the book Thing Explainer). X)

The game's instructions are not as clear as they could be, though?  For the first level I thought the slider was the circle-thing, so was confused when I got "job not done".  And level 2 really amped up the amount of tasks and difficulty (the spiral one is especially confusing--I understand the instruction at all, and just wrapped it bit by bit until the sound played).  Things are explained in a way that's more confusing than it is simple, and I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.  I eventually set the game to easy and had a much better time (thanks for having an easy mode!), but a walkthrough would probably help too.

I also think it's a pretty mean dig at the original xkcd comic.  While Simple Machines does make a fair point (that complex words are important, and simple words can only hinder understanding if used incorrectly), Thing Explainer, by using simple words, tries to be an accessible way to view complex things, and shows how simple words can help understanding.  Simple Machines takes the complete opposite approach to this, which I suppose was your point.

This was a pretty fun game, and surprisingly complex for a game made in a weekend.  Definitely worth playing.

I hadn't read "Landing" before this--that's a beautiful comic, and a great one to make a game out of. :)

This game is very confusing though.  The controls are not told and not obvious when playing.  It took a minute before I had started the mission and started going.  And I don't know exactly which way the comet is, so right now I'm traveling aimlessly with no real sense of purpose.  The music is beautiful and well chosen, but I have no idea what I'm doing.  I think I need to find the comet, based on the comic, but where it is is completely unknown to me.  Not helping is the fact that as I travel deeper into space, the information on the bottom-left corner of the screen becomes unreadable in the darkness.

I want to like this one, but I don't really know where to go.  Please make this clear, either in the game or in the description--it would really help.

"It won't be finished at the end of the jam. Please travel to the future and check back."

Then why do you have a game file?

I was curious of this, and after a brief google search, I found out that a .love file can only be open with the Love engine.  So I downloaded the Love engine, opened the file, and got the image above.

Looks interesting!  I'd like to see it when it's complete.

Other than that journey I went on to find that, this game seriously has no business being submitted yet.  I suppose you just wanted people to have a laugh with the screenshots, which is ok.  But it's not a game--and I mean that literally, it's not a game for the game jam.  So I won't be rating this very highly.

If it does get submitted before the voting period finishes this week, I'll come back and review it.  Until then, this is not a game, it's a series of non-interactive funny pictures.