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Snek

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A member registered Jan 06, 2019 · View creator page →

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I got so excitied to see your submission here, I've been a fan of your work since Where Crimson Flowers Bloom!

Sadly I can only rate this based on reading, not by playing it within the rating period.

This is one of the most imaginative games I've seen in this jam! I love a good freeform interpretation mechanic and it reads like it can be quite interesting. Although tbh I am not sure how well it ultimately fits the theme? A d26 / alphabet dice is way more out there than a d4/d8/d12/d100, which seemed to me to be the core idea of the jam. But other than that, this already feels well-polished in terms of presentation as a very lightweight rpg system.

One thing I would have liked to see were more examples. I needed several passes on the Playing the Game section to finally understand how everthing worked, and having examples on character creation and ineffective actions was greatly appreciated. Speaking of characters, a little more elaboration on what a Calling is (or can be) would have been cool. Because even just confirmation that it can be whatever a player wants is helpful, or if it's supposed to be a more defining character aspect

Overall though, this seems stupidly fun and I'll try to chuck it at a playgroup eventually.

Oh damn I completely forgot about the fact that not the physical dice but the tens and ones positions determine direction, that's on me ^^'

But regarding the design criticisms, these are two different game jams. From the standpoint of expecting a regular ttrpg that uses lesser loved dice, it doesn't feel finished. If this were the minimalist game jam, I would've pointed out other things, but it's not

So I don't have the ability to play a session within the rating period, so these impressions are just from reading:

The premise is cute. I'd be down for playing something like this.

The presentation however, is very rough. Setting aside the fact that it's a horizontal text box layouted on a vertical page, where ctrl+f doesn't work, some of the wordings definitely need a do-over. The most memorable examples:

  • Satiny roll 3 (Quirk) mentions a double edged-sword but the effect is literally either positive or negative
  • From my understanding, the fact that the PC pro and con is relevant to the d8 rolls is only inferred through context
  • Sanity roll 2 mentions a "negative contition". I assume this can also give context-dependent -1 but that's not explicitly stated anywhere either. Or maybe a negative condition doesn't affect rolls and is just narrative, like the paranthesis at the end of the Sanity Stress section imply?

 To aid with problems communicating gameplay paremters, a structued overview of what a character and round of gameplay might look like can go a long way here. And please use consistent wording for your mechanics, for example what something is called that gives -1 to a roll.

As from the perspective of a GM, some prompts as to what to design for, how long encounters shoud be, etc. would be appreciated.

Gameplay seems very sleek and freeform, which I think fits well with the setting and everything. The core of a fun, chill game session is here, it's just buried in a very inefficient way of communicating information. But like I said, it is an intriguing setting I'd love to explore.

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I wanted to like this game so bad, it hurts that it does not feel finished at all.

Visually, it's as default as it can get. It even uses Calibri. I like how printer friendly the layout is, but it is just not pleasant to look at. There are no icons, no visual identity in any meaning of the word. And I have honestly no idea why I was supposed to draw the waterline over the last page of the rules? Drawing over the text didn't seem to serve any gameplay purpose.

Continuing a bit on critiquing the layout, even the first paragraph still has "page xxx" as placeholder in it. All the text is in the same monotone font (no headings, subheadings, emphasis with bold or italic, etc.), this reads like the first draft of something.

In terms of structure, this was literally unplayable for me. I read through all six pages and could not figure out what the game loop was supposed to be. And as an aside, the game uses d100/2d10 interchangeably on page five, when the waterline navigation physically cannot be played with 1d100. It's not a big issue, it just signifies a lack of eye for details.

So yea, I did not play Marginal Adventurer, could not play Marginal Adventurer, and that's a shame.

I love the writing style with the intermittent self-awareness and dry humor. I love the physicality of it. It uses only 1 (or arguably 2) types of dice. I read through the first page and was hooked like with not a lot of other entries to this jam. But as a I continued reading, I sadly got increasingly lost where anything in the game was going, and that did not clear up in any capacity.

So I'm a bit lost on what this actually is? There is nothing on character creation or what constitutes a "finished" story / playthrough.

I generated a few room layouts and find that this is best-suited for smaller dungeons as there's a tendency for things to eventually loop back in on themselves but that's a fine limitation.

I also appreciate the inclusion of resources for additional dungeon design stuff, although links to their concrete repositories would have been the cherry on top.

This is a neat tool

So I just played a bit of a solo campaign and here are my impressions:

the character creation process is as freeform as it can possibly be, which I wasn't that used to but it was fun. However, there is the restriction of PCs being part of an elite and top-secret group of explorers. I think that if you're gonna put restrictions on characters (which is totally fine btw), you should provide some creative impulses for players to work with, i.e. what makes those elites roughly the elites that they are.

With other people, this might be different but solo just feels too stagnant for me. While I can, and did, tie different debriefs together (esp. when I rolled the same planet again), the pace at which this story developed was too slow. More importantly, because the only tracker towards progress is the Dial Home gauge, I didn't feel like I was working towards some narrative goal within the parameters of the game's design.

A jam-specific criticism I have is the usage of the d6 for planet designations. There are three dice rolls used in this game, and one of them is not one of the Lesser Love Dice, when it feels like it could have been incorporated fairly easily. But I'll gladly read through your throughts of using a d6 and not a d4 or d8 :)

Overall though, I did have fun with the journaling aspect of I Went Through the Stargate Once. The prompts are fun to work with. It is just on a broader scope, where I think it could have used a bit more work.

Yea, this does what it says on the tin

In my opinion, some rolls are too specific to leave up to chance? Granted, I'm more versed as player than GM but I wouldn't e.g. give a random npc a bloodied knife as loot, players would probably use that as motivation for something and that should be part of deliberate design by the GM I feel.

Also, I love the tavern generator but it could have used some variability in the naming pattern, another roll that determined the pattern of the name. Currently everything is The [noun] [preposition] The [adjective or gerund] [noun], but I could easily see including a roll that told you to only performs rolls 1&2 or just 3&4.

The layouting and visual design is very functional and initially seemed very barren, but after a few practice sessions, I can very much appreciate the not-busy-ness of everything.

So personally, I'd probably do some modifications on what this generates in some instances, but just the sheer breadth of content and prompts you have provided here is really cool to work with! Nice

Thank you for the high praise if you don't usually go for these are types of games :3

I'm so happy to hear that you developed an atmosphere to immerse yourself in as time went on, and I just made a quick pass on page 5 to be a bit more clear what the first few steps of the playthrough are

Providing a print-friendly version would've definitely been on my to-do list had I have had more time but I only learned about the jam three days before it ended, so I couldn't focus much on anything besides fleshing out the core of the experience. Should I find the time in the next few weeks, I'll definitely provide a printer-friendly layout ^^

Yea! I just read through it and it just generally helps with getting the findamentals of the game across

I'm glad I could provide feedback for you, this is what any game dev processes boil down to, just iterating and finding different angles to things. It always helps to give your stuff to different people because everyone will find different things that are good/bad about something

As a disclaimer: Sadly I can't play this game during the rating period because getting a group together and setting up a campaign isn't that quick for me, so all the impressions are in the context of only reading the pdfs

On first glance, this is one of the most polished entries to the jam I have seen so far. The layouting is clean, and the minimalism works really well!

With more scrutiny however, it's evident that this is still not finished. Starting with information communication, I felt lost during reading because the game never actually told me what it was. I never learned what the intended player count is, and more importantly, the fact that Soulsplash requires a GM is only mentioned on page 6 (of 11!) mid-sentence during spellcasting procedures.

Continuing on this thread, it seems to me that characters are a bit more complex than freeform descriptions, which is totally fine and really cool! I love the use of colors to represent different aspects of the world! But then the manual needs to account for that. Give me an overview of what constitutes an Arderer; what stats do they have, when do they change (like a table with xp thresholds and corresponding changes), etc etc.

The last point I wanna mention is wording. And here I would advise that you make everything as tight as possible. The first glaring example for me is on page 3, where the rulebook tells me to choose 4 skills and improve them. For me, these two short sentences have two ways of being interpreted:

  1. Choose 4 skills and keep/improve only them. Discard the rest.
  2. Choose 4 skills and improve one with +2, three with +1. Keep the remaining four on your character sheet with +0.

And because the game never told me about the parameters an Arderer has, I couldn't infer the correct interpretation with context either.

So then, here I am shredding your hard work to pieces. Why? Because humans have negativity bias, so any small hitch during gameplay might turn them away, even if they are really into one of your mechanics. But I only do so in good faith because those good mechanics that you have, they are good.

Skill Wounds and the Death Meter read amazingly and the freeform descriptions in the Spell List just reek of shenanigans a creative playgroup can come up with. The foundation for something great is here. (From reading the Discover Reflections chapter, the different, non-equal ways of discovering Reflections might turn out to make it unfun to play certain colors, and that's totally fine, that would be discovered during playtesting. I don't care about untested mechanics that might not work.)

Though it might not seem like it from the three quarters of negativity in my comment, I really like the premise and concept behind Soulsplash and with some thourough formatting cleanup, this could become a cool system to play!

bought it and immediately wrote 9 pages of existentialist sea urchin lore that features a cycle of rebirth, ecology, dead gods, and bottom feeding in the nutrient and mineral cycles


very fun and good game, can recommend

The voting period has ended so I was curious when the results would be revealed

UTC+1 GANG LETS GOOO

exactly, having concrete points to iterate on in future projects is such a great help! tysm

thank you for the feedback! I agree with basically all the issues you brought up, and if I had had more time, I'd have created a custom tileset and put more work into communicating what was going on

Sadly because of how time zones and my sleeping schedule lined up, I ended up having just about 14 hours for the entire thing, since the jam ran from 6 am to 6 am for me haha

ngl, I have no idea how this fits the theme and I got stuck on level 5 but it was still surprisingly entertaining! The physics shenanigans you can do with spamming spacebar is very funny

it's like 2013 rage gaming youtube all over again, I want to rip my eyes out

solid entry to the jam

this is genuinely balling wtf

Nice game! Overall I think it is a bit difficult to gauge what's going on since you're on twice the speed as the enemies (who felt a bit unpredictable at times), especially in the boss arena, but overall it's a solid concept!

ah that's understandable, here's how it works:

Each room has a number from 0 to 20 and you need to find the key to unlock door 21 (door to The World) in the first room you get to. But periodically, the room each door leads to will be increased by 1 so it's your job to figure out a route back to room 1 while the doors keep changing their destinations

The jam page says the voting period is from the 18th to the 22nd of April, which seems.... wrong?

This is absolutely adorable, literally just "imagine a cute thing. Congrats, you won."

Snail Snooze is the best-designed game of all time and I'm glad I read through the 2 pages of the pdf :3

Thank you for the extensive feedback! We're glad you found it compelling enough for multiple playthroughs :3

Ah yea, I'm glad I could provide useful feedback! I think it could help to consider how different player types might interact with your game to make sure you get your story across. Because I am used to getting lost in games and then just scouring the map for anything I missed, and so if I got through everything on a seeminly-repeating map and didn't find a way, I'd assume that's the end of my time with the game.

But other players with different previous experiences will react to these circumstances differently!

The allocating of ressources / energy was really fun to mess around with and the level of visual fidelity is awesome too!

Nice, clean visuals, solid work on the sound too

the timer got a bit stressful at times but the general gameplay loop is very solid! (And I once got a game over because the timer ran out while I was on the green tile)

But overall, I liked it!

Yo the visuals and story setup were really cool!

I am definitely not one for memory games tho, especially if it's just based on trial and error. It could very well be that I missed something but it seems like there is no indication which of the platforms are real and which are not, which honestly feels like the game actively wants to waste my time and I just don't vibe with that

So if people are into this style of game, it's definitely a solid entry, but I just don't like that type of game design

Alright so going off of this page, you probably have some artistic vision for the game, which is great! Unfortunately, it seems to have went over my head because apart from going in circles on this ever-repeating map I had absolutely no idea what to do

The visual and audio design was really solid tho!

imo the game is really rough

For a horror game, it's not scary or atmospheric at all and overall there are some pretty big issues: The level is fairly empty (especially with the movement, I liked the jump physics tho) and everything looks the same, the shooting isn't responsive at all and way too loud compared to the rest of the game, and apart from a few lines of text, I just didn't see the theme here (you work through fears and doubts by shooting them?)

Very polished game for a game jam (visuals, story, responsive gameplay, difficulty selection), just really not my type of game

Especially during my first run I just lost because the game didn't tell me I had to actually look at my surroundings until it was time to hunt for aliens

I am very much looking forward to the full release then!

Really interesting concept, I liked the puzzles!

I think some way to see if you're at the edge of a blue platform would be handy tho, because I fell off way too much because I accidentally stepped forward. (Or just a double jump could also save this haha)

The mashup of different visual styles was an interesting decision and it worked for the most part! I especially liked the backgrounds, although it was hard to navigate and keep track of where I was and where I could drop down in the first level. The platforming worked well enough and the fetch quest-y nature of the game wasn't revolutionary but not terrible either

Nice entry for a first game jam

The sense of pace is really nice when you get going

But I think the levels are a bit too tightly packed to really be playable, especially without invincibility frames, and the rotation feature was just useless

But I had fun and especially the first few levels really nail the balance between breakneck pacing and throwing obstacles at you which made this the first game of the jam where I audibly laughed with glee at how enjoyable it was!

(A main menu button would be nice tho, I thought the game crashed when I pressed esc)

chill vibe, didn't know if I won tho lmao

And the orthographic camera made depth perception really diffiult at times

Was fun tho

So the visuals, sound and concept are all great and I really enjoyed my time with it but there are two big gripes I had with the gameplay:

1. No indicators of heart rate while in the sleeping quarters and repair status while reparing. I see the game design with only showing those in the main room while stuff is going down, but I would've liked to know when I'm good to advance to the next task I needed to tend to, instead of just blindly guessing when my heart rate was lowered enough or the repairs were finished

2. The button layout feels straight-up awful to use on a qwertz keyboard. I haven't used the x/c/z buttons for main interaction since flash games in 2015 and there is a good reason why q/e/r/f have become the default for doing stuff. Especially without on-screen button prompts when holding the fire extinguisher I think I dropped it instead of using it like 60% of the time. (Also, why is drop/pick up on separate buttons?)

So sadly, I couldn't really enjoy the game to its fullest because it just felt like a chore designed to wreck the bones in my right hand without a gameplay justification for doing so.

Don't get me wrong, the level of polish in all respects (audio, smooth movement, visual fidelity, etc.) is staggering for a game jam! But that doesn't help when most of my mental load while playing is occupied with thinking about which buttons to use :c

The tutorial said to attack with space but that didn't seem to do anything? Like, gauging by the other comments I'm clearly missing something but I don't know how I got any score and why I didn't visibly attack a single time :(

The 3-cycle using the rgb channels is an interesting addition to the "press button to change geometry" subtheme many people came up with during the jam!

it was a fine platformer but I could imagine it would be nice to see the current state or maybe traces of the other platforms if there were more complex levels

And some ux things were weird (probably due to time constraints), like having to manually unlock the mouse and the "next level" button in the third level just not leading anywhere

But overall, solid use of the theme!

ngl, I don't really see the theme in here

But it was a solid top-down shooter. I'd have appreciated the option to hold down the mouse to shoot tho, when I saw an enemy with 70 health I just quit the game because I do not feel like RSI today

The visuals were also clean, but the lack of any sound was a bummer