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PerfectHumanInterface

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A member registered Apr 30, 2017 · View creator page →

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(2 edits)

I always find your game difficult to do on-the-fly analysis of since it's just so weird. 😄 So I'll share a little of my thoughts after-the-fact.

What I think is that your game is perhaps doing a bit too much to try to physically simulate things and it's affecting the action gameplay negatively. Often action games benefit greatly from simplifying out things like motion and aiming so that everything is tight, responsive, well-controlled and predictable. Not every game needs to play like a shmup but I think your game is going so far in the opposite direction that neither the player nor you guys as the developers are as in control of it as you want to be. It's easy to see why you want the physicality of the experience because of how it fits the feel and aesthetic of your theme, but ultimately I'm spending a lot of time just trying to kill other things and feeling at the mercy of the game a lot more than feeling like I'm applying, and developing, player skill to get a result. I think this is something that affects a lot of builder games, and you could argue it's just the nature of it, but to put it another way, a lot of the game time is spent outside of the builder in action gameplay, and I want to be able to enjoy that consistently. I think if we separate gameplay elements out as "more or less physically complex," elements of more complexity should be chosen carefully that benefit the gameplay, and things that don't should be simplified.

As far as the building mechanics, the thing that stands out to me most is that I can't really see what more or less optimal play looks like here. There's some subtle things that I can obviously discern as better or worse to do, but it seems like I have so many options and no feeling that many or any of them are particularly excellent. I'm sure there are more and less optimal builds, but as the player (especially new player) it's hard to see or feel that there's a clear path to becoming more powerful. I know you guys are aiming for a little bit of roguelite flavor in the progression, and one of the defining features of roguelites is that as you acquire upgrades your character gets really obvious boosts of power (in varying directions). And crucially, powerups also synergize with each other, which is exciting and leads to variety in "builds." Sipho doesn't need to be exactly this, but I do wish I could find some things that I could combine in some way that make me think "oh sick, this is going to be awesome." I also wish when I unlock more potential through acquiring food, which is basically Sipho's form of "levelling up," that I actually felt the excitement of getting to become more powerful. Instead I tend to feel like I just get to become "bigger," and often clumsier, and I don't really look forward to it the way I think I'm supposed to. I think I've made some suggestions pertaining to this in the past but I think for instance having the ability to spend nutrition to upgrade individual body segments instead of just adding more is something that could go a long ways towards improving this while still being reasonable to implement. 

That's probably enough to take in for now. 😄 If you want any more thoughts just let me know!

There's all sorts of things you could do. I can drop some more ideas on you if you like. 

I like to think of things like this in the form of "mechanisms." For example, in Iconoclasts you attach your wrench onto special bolts and crank them to open doors and move things around in a level. There's parts in classic Sonic where you use your spin dash to turn wheels that activate things. Tons of stuff throughout the Metroid franchise, like I mentioned. Zelda too. The more mechanically interesting it is the more satisfying IMO.

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Yes

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Hey, I noticed you mentioned in response to another comment that the game was running faster than intended, so I guess that was a factor in the feedback I left for you, but I guess the concept still applies!

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directional attack isn't a bug, it always attacks left or right when you're going diagonal 

"Bug" may or may not be the right word here. What I meant to get across is that, while using the keyboard, trying to quickly change direction from left/right to up or down and then press the attack button results in the game registering it as diagonal and attacking sideways when you wanted to attack up or down. So the way to fix that would be to check the last directional button pressed and attack in that direction.  

That's an interesting idea. To be clear, the part that was bugging me was the fact that the rotation gradually becomes slower as it approaches the cursor position, not the fact that it rotates slowly. I think it would be more sensible to the player if the rotation rate was linear. But with the way you described the "swinging" action you're going for, I guess the way you've done it encourages that more.

It might also be interesting if instead of slowing down it kind of overshoots the target and bounces back a little bit like a spring.

There's no inertia while shooting

Sure, but you also move too slowly for some situations while doing so.
I don't know of any traditional shmup that is taken seriously that has inertia. While "other games do it" isn't necessarily a reason to do something, the reasoning for it in this context is very solid. Honestly, I consider inertia in a shmup a cardinal sin. Your game has unique mechanics, but the bullet dodging is fundamentally the same. Avoiding damage with precise movement is life and death. I really like the mechanics but I couldn't really enjoy the game if I end up dying due to imprecise controls. That's my point of view.

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You better watch all of this.
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I'm glad it helps. I think I said it already in the video but honestly if you ignore everything else I said and work on making the levels more like that one part I think you'll be golden. 

About the combo meter and the flips, I tried it out briefly and it definitely does add something in terms of being able to get the meter up more frequently. Is it "enough" though? I'm not sure. It's sometimes a little hard to tell where you can or can't complete a flip (I think this might be more related to the flip speed being so variable), and while doing so is fun enough I can't help but think it's maybe a little too simplistic to be very interesting all on its own. Maybe if you added some other way(s) to gain combo meter too it would be nice. Maybe some different types of enemies, different ways to kill them other than just drive into them, and different mechanisms you can interact with on-the-fly. You've got the launcher springs for example but what about things that the player can use their given abilities to activate or get more of a boost out of instead of just working automatically or simply pressing a button when you're near it? Something to add a bit more skill and complexity. 

I'm also feeling the effects of not having separate left/right and rotation controls more now (I tried with the default keyboard controls this time; I know there's the other method) since not only am I trying to get more flips in but I'm also wanting to like just hold right while I'm combo speedboosted for the speed and sometimes I rotate unintentionally. And sometimes I get flipped around from the direction I want to go when I land or something and I lose a lot of momentum and maybe lose the combo. 

I think the idea of "perfect landings" keeping your meter up even if they don't give you the initial combo boost (similar to how you have it with the booster wheel things) is a nice idea, especially once you start getting the wackier terrain with loop de loops and things. For that matter, why not reward extra for flips that are landed "perfect" as opposed to "good enough?" 

I'm sure if you get your combo thing feeling good and nail the level design this will be a blast. Also this is more thematic than anything but more things to get that "bear on a motorcycle rampage" carnage feeling would be great. I think you just need more destruction overall, and maybe crashing through walls and such could even work with your combo boost meter. 

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This is just my point of view, but the purpose of "coyote time" isn't to be a handicap for the player; it's to correct for a natural bias that occurs in platformer design. 

The player tries to jump at the last possible moment on the ledge in order to achieve the maximum jumping distance (or sometimes to avoid bonking, etc.). All players have some error in timing, which can be either early or late compared to the point they're aiming for. Valid areas to jump however exist only before the ideal jump point, not after. That means regardless of player skill level, players will fail approx. 50% of the time when aiming for that point, even if they felt like they were on time. In other words, the valid jump area is biased in one direction, while player timing errors extend bi-directionally, which creates the misalignment. Coyote time is a means to correct for this.

Naturally the player can learn from failures and attempt to compensate by jumping sooner. But doing so runs counter to the pressure the game may put on you to jump as late as possible, and I think it's often not easy to determine how much sooner a jump needs to be made.

The window for coyote time could be different lengths of course. Generally it's not meant to be noticeable, but it seems reasonable enough to me that if you wanted a game to be more skillful you could use a short, tight window, while a more casually oriented game could use a longer one.


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Hi, I kind of botched the audio levels a little bit on this one so I apologize if it's a little hard to hear. I hope it's helpful anyways.

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Sorry for the delay!

Was gamepad an option? I would have tried it if I knew!

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Nice, I'm glad it was helpful!

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you are supposed to get hit

This hurt my soul