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This is really great in just about every aspect. For me, the most striking part is the artwork and the characters. Everything looks like a lovingly made cartoon or comic, and it's impressive how your style is visible through each character's distinct look and mannerisms. I wound up matching with Sue and it actually felt like talking to someone I'd be friend with in real life. I think that's an awesome achievement. I would have played this game for much longer to see how the relationships could develop.

As far as constructive criticism is concerned, I only have two points. I would've liked a bit more variety and consistency with the sound. When the background loop fades out during the conversations, it pulls you out of the immersion. I think it could have been good to find way of incorporating other sounds as well, maybe as feedback for a characters positive or negative reaction. Just a thought. :) Oh, and also I'm sure this was more of a time issue, but it felt unnatural to have all of the same dialogue options for each person. More variety would have helped with the immersion.

Regardless, this is really fun and slick to play. Great work!

Once again, an excellent suggestion! And bonus points for the visual aid. If I can figure out how to juggle this idea and the health system, I'm going to use it for sure. Thanks!

Well, this is just wonderful. Already in love with my devious alien pirate.

I think the effect is cool looking and will add a sense of real time to the game. When I saw the glitched image, I actually thought it looked less like wi-fi interference than, say, a hardware malfunction or some sort of internal disruption. Maybe there's a way to pivot to that, if necessary. In any case, I think the effect will be useful to communicate something is wrong to the player, regardless of which end they'd expect the glitch to be on.

Wow! Congrats on the early finish, and of course on the game itself. Gonna jump in later today!

Another week, another update, and today's is pretty major. 

Once again I've simplified my graphics. I did this mostly because, as I started adding new visual elements, I was losing control of my color scheme. Solution: a monochromatic environment that the player character will always stand out in. I think it was the right move, at least for this iteration of the project.

Perhaps even bigger is that the basic combat system is finished. The enemy AI is 100% built (save for its "death" state, which is when you beat the game), and I'm super happy with its responsiveness. I'm sure I'll tweak all of the parameters before the game jam is over, but for all intents and purposes it works great. I've included a few different clips of fight scenarios below, showing basically all of the enemy's capabilities and some simple FX. Bear in mind that the player character in this video is at what will probably be the lowest level. I wanted to show just how slow and weak you are at the game's beginning, even though you're not exactly helpless.

As for my other goals, I didn't start building the leveling system yet, but I did plan out how it will look and affect the player. I'm going to avoid the usual stats (Strength, Skill, Endurance, etc) and try to make something unique, if I have enough time to implement it properly. The sound is also slowly coming along, including original music that my friend is helping out with. That should all be in the next update!

As always, I'd love any and all feedback on this. @majugi had suggested I include something so you can tell when the characters are in range to attack, which is a good idea. I tried using shadows underneath each character, but couldn't get it to work/look quite right. I'd love it if anyone has a solution to suggest for that. Also, I'd specifically like to hear your thoughts on the health bars being attached to the characters in the game world. Do you think it works? Is there a better way I could implement it? I personally like it more than slapping a simple HUD canvas over everything, but maybe that would be simpler overall.

Until next time!

This art style is great! Can't wait to make my character

Wow, thanks for the killer feedback. I may actually have some ideas in place that deal with the potential issues you mentioned, but I still hadn't considered them directly. Your point about hitboxes is right on the money, too. I've had that kind of frustration playing a game like Mother Russia Bleeds, and seems like something that could be solved fairly easily. Thanks again!

Just from my quick once over of your ideas, this definitely seems like the kind of game you need to play to fully understand. But if I'm reading this correctly, the idea of creating a character to play a series of minigames that have greater implications/consequences sounds super fun.  Reminds me a little of how some RPGs deal with character creation. Torment: Tides of Numenera, for instance, has you interact with a number of stories in the beginning, and the decisions you make in those encounters generate who you are in the rest of the game. This seems like an interesting way of taking that concept to another level.

Happy halfway mark, #NewJamCity crew! Hopefully everyone is still feeling jazzed about their projects and is gearing up for the homestretch. 

I've actually struggled a bit myself, trying to figure out what all I can put into my game's first iteration without cutting too much content or sacrificing quality. In fact, a lot of this past week has been spent whittling down my bigger ideas into their bare essentials. I'd planned a few major gameplay states for the player to have available, but that will likely be cut to just one for now. The amount of animating each state would require takes far too much time, and I'd rather spend that time making one simple, finished game work and look as best as possible.

As of now, I've got the basic combat trees in place, the enemy AI nearly finished, and the camera movement and particle effects implemented. My goals for the next week are to get the leveling system up and running and to start work on the audio. Hopefully by next Sunday I'll have some solid video to share of all that. 

Best of luck, everyone!

Seems like a lot of us are facing some moments of truth now that we're at the jam's midpoint. Myself included. I think it's hard to gauge whether or not an idea is too big to take on until you've put some real work into it. I bet that even if we don't all get as much finished as we'd like, there will still be some cool ideas to check out by the end of the month. And if not, well, it's still been great following everyone's progress. I've had a blast, and thanks again for putting this together!

Is this all going to be text based, or are you doing any graphic elements? I could see a text-based hacking game being really interesting. Curious how you're going to design the interface. 

This sounds like a really fun idea! Excited to see how you bring it to life.

This part of your post stood out to me: "One thing I definitely want to focus on with this game jam is trying to change my habit of trying to make things look nice before the actual gameplay portion is finished."

This is 100% something I've been running into and I need to change it, too. I could spend endless hours fiddling with color schemes and textures, which seems especially pointless for a game jam. If you've got any tips for dropping that habit, I'd love to hear them.

As I continue to refine my process for making this game, I've decided that Sunday will be my official update day. Just FYI :)

So, quite a lot has developed for my game, both practically and conceptually. It turns out that my title,  A Lil' Murder Never Hurt Nobody, is a better inspiration for the gameplay than the game's overall tone. The more I thought about the core themes and mechanics I wanted this game to work with, the more and more it felt like it belonged in an abstract/supernatural setting. This also turned out to suit an art style I'm more confident working with and have come to really enjoy. Essentially, the game will take place in a sort of "limbo state," a place that appears vaguely familiar but is clearly unreal. There, the character will have to conquer certain personal demons (manifest as physical beings) before passing through to the "other side." Growth (i.e. a leveling/stat system) only comes through failure, though of course the player never actually dies. But in regards to win/lose game states, I've got some sneaky ideas in the works. 

Hopefully some of that seems interesting to explore. I know I can't wait to get into the nitty-gritty of coding it all. In the meantime, here's a quick look at where the game is as of today.

I'd love to hear any and all feedback! I'll be lurking around these boards all week, and you can expect another update from me next Sunday. Til then!

Replied to Petrak in Windy City Radio

Downright adorable

Love how unique your idea is. Can hardly imagine what the dialogue options would be for a bidet salesperson.

Appreciate hearing that, especially because that's the one animation that will likely be used by all of the various character states I have planned. Really glad to know it works well.

Hard to say what else you could add without knowing more about the story, but I'm always a fan of a secret/mystery room that's either hidden or off limits for reasons that later come to light. Or maybe there's some sort of sub-level all-purpose room that's been barred off because of some hazard. Like I said, I'd guess it depends on the direction the story is going.

As you can see from the edits to my previous post, I have officially trashed that garbage I called artwork. :) That image was basically a loose mix of concept building and getting my feet wet with pixel graphics, and I should've never shared it. It has very little to do with the direction my game is currently headed. I am, however, pretty happy with the character I've put together now, who is currently animated with enough movements to help me get the game's foundation up and running. I decided to make a quick video to show some of that in action. 

With the player basics prototyped (I plan on including three more versions of this move set), I'm moving on to an enemy prototype so I can get some interactivity going as well. Looking forward to share more of that soon!

As I voted in the Waypoint poll you posted, I think the most interesting and engaging idea would be the player hosting a livestream from their bunker. The number of directions that could go, especially with a chat function, seems just about endless to me. Looking forward to how this comes together.

(Edited 5 times)

I debated over and over about which title to choose for this jam. And though I was tickled by There Are Other Shotguns and intrigued by what a game called Thirst of the Wild could be, it was A Lil' Murder Never Hurt Nobody that got the idea bucket overflowing. Maybe I'm playing it safe with a theme that could loosely describe countless games, but I mostly wanted to use this jam as an opportunity to explore my own version of a brawler/hack'n'slash/fighting-type game. I think I've got some core mechanic ideas that will keep things interesting. 

Try as I might, I'm no artist. My partner, who I'm working on a separate project with, is the talented one in that regard. So it's likely I'll end up having to use some pre-made assets for this, unless I get the framework finished early enough to sink a sizable amount of time into fiddling with art and animations. Anyway, I did some very simple pixel work to get started on prototyping. I'm actually hoping the game won't look like this at all by the end of the month, but I like the idea of sharing the development process.

Next up is coding the player movement and combat. Once I get something working and shareable there, I'll drop in another update.

Wow, you've set the bar high already! These are some really nice looking clips, and I'm curious to see the story you're going to tell with this world and these characters. Appreciate the in-depth look at everything

Posted in Ascend comments

This looks really nice! Would love to try it out if  it's ever available for Mac.

This looks like a very pretty and very interesting game. Any chance it'll be playable on Mac in the future?

Thanks for the grade-A intel, @Onarru and @OneGameDad. Think I'm pretty much all set and ready to jam!

Created a new topic So you've joined a game jam...

Hey everyone! Just wanted to start a little topic here for people (such as myself) who have never done a game jam before and/or have any questions about the various innerworkings of this here jam. There's already a thread on the Waypoint forum that covers all the basic stuff, and then some, but we might as well have some discussion here as well. 

I for one would like to know what the rules are for pre-made assets. Does everything (from art to code to music) need to be crafted from scratch starting on July 1, or could I, say, include some sprites  I made months ago, code from my other games, and music I made in 2012? I plan on doing most everything myself, so it'd be great to know where the lines are drawn in terms of integrating previous work into this project.

Thanks for the tips everyone, and good luck.