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Steven Z

A member registered Oct 18, 2016 · View creator page →

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Had a good time, but the stages were too long. Died after 40 minutes on my first run and had no desire to restart. 

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Wow this game is so cute!!! I really didn't expect such a fleshed out  little sandbox for a "demo"!

Everything works really well together. After getting immersed, the visual language makes climbing the routes accessible yet challenging, but it always gets my palms sweaty once the peaks get snowier and the stakes get higher (and you find little frogs with campfires and tents encourage you). It ends up really feeling like a little mountain adventure! I love the little details everywhere.

I really like the visuals / color palette too, it's super warm. The cloud layer is really animated and pretty, and I love looking up at a mountain where the colors just s t r e t c h into the atmosphere.

The dynamic music for each area is really nice too. It's really poppy and fresh, and I like how it jazzes up and simmers down when I would make it up and fall off a mountain (and little flourishes in the music when you walk by things are peak sound design).

It's just all very well-done! All the little props, the tight design, the dialogue and UI.  Very cute, 10/10. If this is just a demo then I can't wait for the full game. :)

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In a medium dominated by battles and melodrama, finding a game about growth and diversity even among literally thousands of indie games feels like a pure stroke of luck. It's pretty and polished and full of curiosity. My partner and I had an amazing time.

One of my first favorite games when I was young was Half-life 2, and I think the part that captured me most back then and still does today is when the game sort of drops off near the end as you get sucked into the bowels of the citadel and get lost in the nooks and crannies of its architecture - as oppressive and and unwelcome within its halls as it is outside. This game digs at a lot of things I like about games - both those that I like to play and those that I want to make. It abandons all but the sideways suggestion of reality for a dreamlike experience to be painted on, and offers a vague, yet corporeal sense of place using only footsteps and head-bobs through walls and sets of stairs that should be made for humans, but only barely feel like it. The main attraction - this use of 3D space in such creative ways - was evocative to me in ways I can't put into more than a collection of disjointed and sometimes contradictory words: dreamy, godlike, firm, foreign, ignorant, controlling, familiar, vast, paranoid, and close. The diegetic soundscapes and instrumentation of the score carried me gently and moodily through this journey, and there was an absence of any technical or design problems that would have taken me out of the experience. Although I was initially surprised by the unexpected length of the opening cinematic, adapting to the flavor put me in the proper headspace to enjoy the piece - one that spoke loudly to my subconscious and quietly to my attention, like a negative space for my mind to fill, impressing movements upon my soul for me to move with and reflect upon. Never before have I played a game that so deftly guides me to think about such a curious place and, indeed, myself in quiet cognizance between such an original, earnest, and well-made series of novel and vivid architecture. 

Fugue in Void - 5/5


I wrote this review about 8 months ago, but I don't think the ratings are public, so I thought I'd post it again here. I've been following you on twitter since then and since then I've enjoyed and been looking forward to future work! Wonderful stuff.

Really tremendous writing, and the look of hurt that Mao gave me when I told him I wanted to be a land owner is one I won't soon forget.

I'm glad you're interested! It's indeed gonna be story-heavy, and I'm glad the art-direction is being received well because I'm kind of new to that whole thing.

There's a long way to go in terms of content and in lots of polish, so it's good to know it stands out a little. Thanks for your feedback!

Alright so I don't normally play games about cute girls or real-time strategy but I've been interested in your project in the threads enough to know it's not just waifu-bait and the WW1 aesthetic caught my interest.

To start off with UI/UX, it's suitably janky and kind of barren for its demo state but mostly functional. As far as problems go, I had no idea how much anybody was actually being damaged (is the blood black? or are those bulletholes?), leaving me to just sit and watch not sure if I should pause again and change my strategy. As a personal preference, the camera buttons felt wrong to me, like they should be switched, but I'm not sure if I'm normal or the game is. As a result of this, you need an options menu where you can change it, but I'd also throw it into and add a basic "restart level" or "main menu", also prompting you to replay a level when you beat one, but that's up to you.  Also add a "sprint" function for the camera to move it faster.

Graphics are honestly the best part of this, and don't take offense in regards to your gameplay. I remember you posting drawings and asking for feedback and I'm glad you went with the more grounded style, as far as anime goes, and you've executed it really well in both the art (excellent piece of the two characters in the trenches at the beginning, also the cool impressionism backdrops for dialogue) and the low-poly environments (although they could use much in the way of visual effects like smoke, dust, wind, animals, etc.) There is one persistent bug where before unpausing the game after it loads, it gets really dark, and to make any decision I need to unpause and pause again. But overall it's just got an appealing attribution to industrial-era war for gameplay and story mixed with cutesy stylized fun during the more abstracted parts of the game like marching and loading screens. The UW title on your game icon is also really cool with the flags and stuff in the negative space, really well done.

What sound is there is good, but it lacks ambient soundscapes and music, which you're probably aware of.

Gameplay-wise, I'm no connoisseur of real-time strategy, but I found this quite approachable and somewhat engaging despite it's limited extent. The cover system is intuitive and the combat plays out alright, but the AI is kind of dumb and you never put them in very interesting positions, which is a more level-design issue than anything, but isn't much a problem for just an early demo. I still would liked to have seen some reinforcements, patrols, embedded troop lines, and trenches anyways. One weird point is that the march lasts a really long time for some reason and I don't even think it's loading anything. I was gonna mention that you don't use each map enough, with only two usually grouped-up encounters in each, but I noticed you re-used the map, so I technically can't complain. You should probably fix both of those things though.

The field mission at the end was kind of dumb and made me wonder if I was supposed to die. If it was, I have no problem with it, but it's unclear, making the joke or intent fall flat. If it wasn't, engaging the grey uniformed men on an open field is not an exciting level.

As far as story goes, the moment-to-moment writing is actually great and I found myself enjoying it, but it lacks in exposition. Some of the stuff is picked up naturally as they make casual reference to it, but I still don't know who these people even are or why they're here fighting the grey-uniform dudes.

Structurally, it begins with a LOT of dialogue and ends with none at all. The gameplay and story here are very skewed, and while I don't know the genre enough to recommend how you integrate the two, I'd try to work them hand-in-hand while at the same time spreading the story consistently throughout engagements (after the initial exposition, which needs to be long) instead of dumping it all at once then never touching it between destinations. This is probably a product of just putting a demo out, but it bears mentioning nonetheless.

Overall I really liked it! You've got a cool style, interesting story, and cool set of gameplay elements with a lot of room for growth and polish, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one and follow your twitter.

Congrats on making Demo Day!

Pretty cool but kind of difficult. 

The main problem is kind of the stickiness of the controls. After you jump or commit to an action, it seems difficult to discern if you can alter your movement or even look around. For instance if you're wall running and run into a wall, you'll continue to kind of just sit there attached to the wall, or if you jump, you can't look all the way around. You should also make it so that if you jump while climbing up a wall, it doesn't do anything or kicks them off (unless that ends up as frustrating) unless you're looking away from it so you aren't just stuck looking at the wall while you fall down. The window for doing these things like turning and jumping when climbing is confusing as well. 

As far as controls go, I'd add more interactivity, such as a sprint (which takes time to build momentum and exists to make basic navigation faster, but also to up the skill ceiling) and slide.

A few small things that didn't fit anywhere else:

  • When you're falling and holding jump, then hit the ground, you shouldn't jump until you press the button again. Just using "Input.GetButtonDown" for jump should fix that but I don't know what else it would affect. It's just annoying falling from a wall run then hitting the ground and jumping into a nearby ravine.
  • There should be a long jump of sorts. It would be fun.
  • The C-section (heh) doesn't make much logical sense and it was really difficult to figure out and then to execute.
  • Get really liberal with your checkpoints on demos you publish. We're retarded and we've never played your game before.
  • When the player is running here you set the precedence with a slope, so when they turn around and come here it's gonna look like there's a slope that they just can't see or don't have enough time to register there isn't. I fell right off the first two times I did the level. One solution would be to give them more time to see the break coming, or maybe angle the landing place so they see it before it emerges from the ledge's lip, but you could also do it visually with an asset looking like the path is broken off or has a certain color.

Also add a pause button for your demos! I kept hitting escape by muscle memory to type some thoughts down only to exit out of the demo.

All in all though, I really appreciate the actual level design, with a nice tutorial area (although I'd make the last part easier when you exit the hole) and some interesting challenges that you'll only get better at making over time. The pseudo-art direction with the placeholders is nice too. I can imagine some good Italian or Mediterranean art assets and soundscapes, a more polished character controller, and some goals that result in a really cool game. 

Congrats on making demo day!

Hey it's been a while since you posted this but I want to let you know I appreciate you checking out my game! It's actually really cool to see somebody else play it on Youtube. Forgive me for any bugs you might have seen, like the tremendous amount of flying enemies in Level 2 (which wasn't supposed to happen), but it was a game jam game, and so it goes.

Again, I'm glad you liked it, and the rest of the video was cool too, as well as your presentation and some of the other games you showed off. Thanks for giving mine a look.

The game looks great and plays pretty well but can be difficult to a point where it's hard to play very long. The sound of the clock is nice but the lack of music and other sound leaves it kind of empty.

The art and sound of this game are really fantastic and work together well. The gameplay, while seemingly impossible to get to the end, is engaging and controls pretty well. The only thing this game could really use is some music.

This game is gonna give me carpal tunnel. The generation is impressive but ultimately doesn't make for a very fun game. Art and sound are decent.

If you can figure out the controls it works pretty well for what it is, but the character is prone to flying off-screen and not coming back. Art is endearing but the gameplay is lacking.

While there isn't much to this game is has some things going for it; the music is bangin', the game runs well with the theme, and core gameplay idea is fun to interact with. However, it could have used a little work overall, as the art of the platforms themselves and the environment are rather spartan and the procedural generation could prove to be impossible to overcome at times - especially when paired with the buggy controls. 

The controls are tight, the art is good, and the design is solid. The game is fun to play but the synchronization between the icons and the song weren't quite right, even after restarting several times. Theme has more to do with time itself than running out of it, but works pretty well. Each component of the game came together well, displaying a good idea of scope management.

The art is made with love but the game has some problems with jerky controls and lack of sound. It seems to be a product of compromise, as what's left here from what was imagined doesn't leave the design in a very good spot; if I hadn't seen you make it I'd have no idea what to do.

To install, make sure the Khnum's Emnity Data folder inside of the data folder is adjacent to the .exe file.