As it turns out, the hard part is picking WHICH idea to go with! "Cult Classics" is such a fun and open-ended theme that so many interesting possibilities come to mind. I think I've got it narrowed down now, though, and will start posting updates on my progress once there's something to show.
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That's awesome! So glad you checked it out and had fun with it. I wish I could post all the high scores on my game page, but even the top 20 is a lot to keep up with. Looks like you gotta beat 835 to place on the board. :)
Back in December 2017, I submitted my first ever FPS game to GitHub's Game Off game jam. It was inspired by DOOM, Wolfenstein 3D, Hexen, and others from the early era of sprite-based shooters. I filled it with weird music and trippy visuals and called it BAD VIBES.
It felt like a major accomplishment at the time, and was the first time I ever felt genuinely proud of a game I created. I thought that would be the extent of the experience, and I'd move on to my next project. I never could've guessed how long people would keep playing the game. Not only was it featured in GitHub's post-jam roundup, people also started streaming it and posting Let's Plays on YouTube, writing me with requests for new levels, and dropping higher and higher scores in the leaderboard. My mind is still blown from that first response.
Almost four months later, I'm still getting new high scores all the time. Unlike many other games, you can only get a high score on BAD VIBES if you beat the game. And anyone who has played BAD VIBES will probably tell you that it's not exactly easy to beat. Harder even still to break into the TOP 20, which I feature on the game page. Suffice it to say that I was thrilled to see that today we hit 100 HIGH SCORES on the BAD VIBES leaderboard! I seriously can't say thank you enough to everyone who has taken the time to check out my little passion project, and especially to the fine people at itch.io for providing such an incredible platform for independent game makers.
I'm currently hard at work on my next game, which is something else entirely and will be my first ever premium game (fingers crossed I can bring that one to GDC next year), so I won't be able to update BAD VIBES for a while. But I feel like it's doing fine enough as it is. Maybe I'll just leave it alone for good, and let it remain the weird, fun, little thing that first made me proud of my work making games.
Thank you! The beginning of the game is definitely the most difficult, at least in terms of progression, so I see where you're coming from. Your suggestions are interesting, especially the idea of a "monster encyclopedia". I don't think I would put that in this prototype, but that is something I'll absolutely try to put in the full game. Really appreciate you taking the time to play and comment, and thanks for the awesome feedback!
Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to check this out. Really means a lot! I'll be updating the prototype soon, maybe tweak the page presentation a bit more as well, and then it's on to full development. Thanks again.
Thank you! That's so good to know the puzzle of movement/navigation is resonating with you. It's absolutely what I wanted to build the game around, this idea of a game based on positioning and defense.
And yes, I absolutely know what you mean about how reaching the first upgrade can feel like a dice roll. I was hoping to illustrate early on how much of a difference each upgrade—and the work it takes to get to the next upgrade—can make for your ship. But you're probably right that first one should be easier to grab. I'll have to explore how to best implement that.
You're also right about the audio! Haha.. I sort of shoved it in last minute, otherwise I'd spend way too long trying to make it all perfect. Glad to know the things I did spend a lot more time on work better. Thanks again for the comment!
Wow, this is such good feedback. Thank you!
I love your idea about checking movement range with a mouse over, and I'll definitely take the AP suggestion into consideration. As for progression, my plan for the full game is entirely narrative driven, including a number of different environments and set pieces. I hadn't yet considered the idea of boss fights, but I think that's definitely worth looking into. In any case, there will be events and narrative beats that the gameplay centers around.
Thanks again for writing such a constructive comment.
Thanks for taking a second to check out my new game. It's a simple prototype that I made as the starting point for a much more ambitious project. I built this in order to test out the core mechanics and concepts that the full game will be built on. All of which is to say, while it's certainly not perfect, there's a fair amount to play around with once you get into it. So, without further ado...
Gem Diver is bare-bones roguelike set at the bottom of an alien ocean. You are stranded on a seemingly deserted unknown planet with little more than a small ship. Through diving deeper and deeper into the planet's ocean, you collect precious gems that fuel, upgrade, and energize your ship. You must learn how to deftly maneuver your ship and harness its abilities, in order to survive the dangers below the surface and collect enough gems to escape the planet.
Well, better late than never, right?
I know I'm far too late to enter my project into the voting, but I thought I'd still share what I've finished because this game jam was the reason I did it.
If anyone has a spare 10 or 15 minutes to check out my little prototype, maybe even leave some feedback, I'd be absolutely grateful.
Best of luck to everyone who participated, and thanks especially to Second Dimension Games for hosting.
Well, it looks like I'm cutting things EXTREMELY close. I misunderstood when the deadline was, and thought I'd have until tomorrow to submit my project. I'm so close to being finished, but there are a number of tasks I'm afraid I won't get to in time. If it's at all possible, I'd love to submit what I have at deadline and then continue to update it. Could someone let me know whether or not that's allowed?
Thanks in advance!
Been a little while since I last updated my progress, but I've been working super hard to meet the jam's deadline. I actually started a new job in the middle of this, which is great (of course) but it cut into my dev time severely. I'm confident I'll have a finished prototype ready by the end of the jam, though I'm not entirely sure what the state will be. Here's how the game looks now. (This GIF looks better.)
It's 100% functional and ready to play (for the purposes of the prototype, anyway), so what I'm focusing on next is an entire graphic overhaul, a bit of music and FX, and a fully integrated beginning and end. It's a lot, but I think I can make it happen with a couple more late nights.
I'm afraid I don't have the time to go into as much detail as you're asking for here. But what I can say is just from clicking on your link and looking over your game's page, I have no idea what the game is actually about. I looked at the images, and from a glance the game seemed to have to do with space and resources, but I still don't know what to expect if I were to download it.
I'm not a MAJOR card game fan, but I do enjoy quite a few of them and have been playing them since I was a child. Your page seems to only explain the reasons why you wanted to make this game, and none of the reasons why I should be interested in playing this game. So in that sense, you sort of solved at least one of your problems already, meaning you understood you should make a trailer (AKA figure out how to excite players about what the game is and get them curious to try it out on their own). What I would want to know before trying out this game is:
- Who am I in the game world?
- What am I trying to accomplish?
- What is my opponent trying to accomplish?
- How am I going to accomplish this goal?
- What else is special about this game and how it is played?
Looks like you have a big project on yours hands, and that you're still feeling passionate about it. If that's true, maybe your #2 option is the best. Come up with a snazzy title, work on developing your marketing materials, and try to "re-launch" the project and attract more testers. And I'd say if all of that goes well, try to continue your work on balancing and polishing what you have. Maybe look for help in areas you don't feel confident with. Hope that's all helpful, and best of luck to you!
Wow! So fascinating to see all these numbers and stats together in one place. I'm extremely happy to be a part of this thriving and diverse community, and to see it continue to inspire and help people fulfill their creativity. Can't wait to see what itch.io brings in 2018. Happy new year!
Along with finishing a handful of various items, power-ups, and movement mechanics, I've also began piecing together an upgrade system and interface. There's a persistent "currency" in the game, which I'm currently referring to as gems and will be used to upgrade your character's ship. I'm also thinking I may take a Souls-esque approach to the currency, having you drop the gems where you "die" (technically, there's no death in this game) and forcing you to retrieve them on your next run or lose them forever. We'll see if I have time for that.
Anyway, the mechanics of these upgrades are still being fleshed out (the names are placeholders in the meantime), and will likely be finished when I post another update. Should have something more like a video or GIF to share next time.
Hope everyone else is making great progress with their projects as well!
Those are some pretty on-point references, especially Hoplite! I'm trying to pull from a number of different roguelike/dungeon crawler games while giving it a unique setting, some fresh mechanics, and a fully fleshed-out story. Basically, I've got my work cut out for me.
Gonna kick off this thread with a little screenshot of my prototype's current state. It's not much, but I'm very excited for what I have in store.
I'm building a turn-based, "dungeon crawler"-type game with a bunch of roguelike elements, as well as a major focus on character progression, narrative, and randomization. My primary focus right now is building the game mechanics and core gameplay loop, which is why there's no artwork yet. But if I have enough time during this jam, I'll implement as much art as I can after the rest of the game's structure is finished.
Can't wait to see what everyone else is working on!
Hope you all had a killer time with this game jam, and got some really good feedback on your work. I'm pretty pleased with the results myself, and I just want to shout out a massive congratulations to all the top voted games. I think everyone is extremely deserving of the praise and attention. I feel extremely lucky to have been included in GitHub's Staff Picks for this year.
With all the voting and what-not behind us, I decided to take some time to write down my thoughts about the experience. I focus mostly on the creation of my game, but I also offer some thoughts on the game jam itself. I cover a bit of ground in this post, so it may take a little time to read. But if you're interested in the development process and why I think itch.io should change how game jam voting works, it just might be worth a look. :)
Thanks, everyone. Can't wait to see what awesome stuff we make next year.
You're off to a nice start, but the current version of this game is nearly impossible to play. There's substantial lag and frame dropping on my system. It seems you have a solid idea, but need to work on making this more manageable for run-of-the-mill computers to play. At this point, I don't feel I've been able to even experience enough of the game to give it a proper rating. That said, I see an interesting idea and visual aesthetic here that I think you should spend more time developing and polishing. Good luck!
Really see the potential in this game, and I was almost to a point of getting somewhere with it. Main issue was the control scheme took a LOT of getting used to. And once I tried to re-bind the controls, it became so convoluted and frustrating that I had to step away for a while. I'd suggest simplifying that aspect of the game. Otherwise, this is really well done!
Thanks for playing, and glad you enjoyed it. I sort of see what you're saying about the art for the "keys", but their appearance is actually 100% intentional. Along with the rest of the game's colorful aesthetic, they're meant to be a little "wink wink, nudge nudge" reference, which I don't expect everyone (or maybe anyone) to get. Maybe ask yourself what a white square with a smiley face on it reminds you of. :)
This is awesome! Your high score is up on the leaderboard now, along with someone who just knocked me out of top ranking with a 795(!). Oh yeah, I'm gonna check out your game today as well. Super excited.
Thanks a bunch! The game really works best with an external mouse, especially now that I've updated the game to make the controls more sensitive and accurate. Definitely check out the new build if you're interested. :)
Gonna make sure I've played and rated all the games in this list ASAP. At this point, I don't think there are very many I haven't played. In the meantime, here's a link to download and review my game. Would be awesome if you left a comment as well!
Oh, and here's a new gameplay video I made today. Thanks for giving it a look!
Hey everyone! A quick heads up that BAD VIBES just got a fairly sizable update. A new enemy was added, some control tweaks were made, and I added a persistent high scores system, both to the game and to a global leaderboard. My highest is currently 725, and I'm dying to see if anyone else can figure out how to kick me out of the top.
The look of this game is impeccable, and I feel like its core ideas and mechanics are well thought out. All of it makes me think of classic GameBoy-type RPGs and the like. That said, I did start to feel like I had so few choices to make from moment to moment. Like I could only press a button and watch what happened. I think this could be a really good game if you gave the player more agency and abilities. Really strong start, though!
You are absolutely right about updating the info, which I've done on the page now. My only issue was with the motivation/intention of the person who posted the comment, not the fact that the sprite was apparently from another source. That was my mistake, and hopefully I've now provided proper attribution.
As explained on my game page, my game is explicitly inspired by a number of different 90s FPS games. And of course I used freely available assets. I assume that the majority of entries used a fair number of free assets for their projects, some even more than the few that are in my game. It's part of how game jams often work. I have no problem with that. I have problems with someone stealing an entire game, making ZERO alterations to it, and calling it their own. If you look at the source code of the game I pointed out, it even has the name of the original game still in its files. That's ridiculous, if you ask me.
FWIW, I've never seen this mod you linked to, let alone played it. You can obviously see that the two are extremely different aside from one graphic element, which I only found as a random and free animation asset. So would you mind explaining your point, and why you decided to create a new account solely to make this useless comment?