No problem! There was also one more bug I needed to mention to you.
On the vertical scrolling stages, if I paused the game, the screen would continue to scroll upwards.
If the character was off the screen by the time I unpaused, the game would kill me.
Since your game is designed around keeping multiple players on the screen as it auto-scrolls, you'll probably want to make use of the object parameter/setting to bound them to the game screen. This makes it work like auto scrolling stages in Super Mario 3, or any top down shmup, etc. where you cannot move off of the screen and are forced to move along with it.
The way to handle killing your player if they were to be crushed by a solid tile and the edge of the screen is to have their death sequence also trigger if the object gets stuck within a wall (it's one of the link conditions you can make use of). I think this would be a definite improvement to your game.
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No problem! There was also one more bug I needed to mention to you.
For a first game (or one of your first few projects) this is alright, although quite simple.
-You really should include a HUD, the player has no idea how much HP they have left.
-If you run ahead of the camera, the game will kill you.
-Likewise, in vertical scrolling sections if you jump while near the top of the screen, the game will kill you.
This was alright. Without understanding the Japanese it was a bit frustrating to try and figure out how to evade taking damage from the giant crab enemy. Eventually I just grinded enough to tank it.
The presentation is kind of poor IMO, but I thought the end boss was neat. I liked how the flying bone bird enemies would slowly lower in elevation. Small detail, but it forces the player to deal with them.
Finally got around to trying this out.
Not bad, though I don't understand why my gold/currency would drop. Makes it take longer to get to unlocks. I liked that the enemies you'd fight would alternate between enemy mobs or a boss target that needs to be taken down. Being able to bring in an A.I ally was also cool. They weren't always that helpful but they did occasionally get me out of a bind. Also adds some gameplay depth as the player can choose to bring fights closer to their A.I companion so it can respond to enemies easier.
I found with bosses it was suicide to try fighting them directly, so I spammed projectiles (upgrade unit and the character's energy attacks) which sufficed as long as I was pretty careful.
One thing you need to correct is making it so that you cannot begin quests without having at least 1 party member in the active battle party. When I first played this I forgot do this and I tried to initiate battles like 5 times before I understood what was even happening.
Also, one party member should always be required to be in the defending party.
You need a cursor that follows the currently highlighted item because it's hard to follow where that is sometimes when going between submenus. Think of the glowing orb that follows the highlighted item in Kingdom Hearts. Something like that to direct the player's eye to where they are.
A sound effect when moving the cursor would be nice too.
Not having music really hurts the build, I'm a huge Contra fan so this was otherwise up my alley but some decisions didn't make sense to me. Such as how you have graphics that heavily clash (compare the helicopter at the beginning to the 3D object you suddenly have to fight later on).
Also, why does the player's weapon just change on its own every so often? You should've had power up objects to let the player choose what they want to fire.
Asides from a few things that clash visually, the graphics are nice. Love the palm-trees and rain. Good stuff. Wish the build were a bit longer.
God damn, I was very surprised by this. A high quality entry for sure.
Love the game feel, the music, solid pixel art, everything's so well done.
The combat is satisfying as hell.
I got to the town, bought some kind of jumping ability/relic from the old man but I couldn't figure out how to equip it to proceed in that forest area. So unfortunately I can't finish this for now but this is a stellar project.
Excellent job, man!
The digitized character graphics are neat, I was reminded of Shinobi/Shinobi III on the Genesis. I guess you didn't have much time to put this together before the deadline, the build is quite short.
I look forward to seeing this more developed, it's intrigued me for sure. I can't say much else about it due to its extremely short length.
I managed to clear the game by picking the shirtless character with the red beads around his neck and spamming the kick move into the edge of the screen. The opponent A.I would keep walking into me and they'd be stuck in a damage loop as I'd keep getting hits in.
You need to program it so that the player cannot continue to attack after the first round it over. I was able to keep kicking, and since the opponent isn't attacking I was pretty much guaranteed to win each match since they couldn't get an attack in before I was able to damage them when the second round began. The only opponent to give me any trouble was the second to last boss because he has huge range with that pole weapon of his.
I think the biggest issue with your game is that you didn't set the hitboxes up to properly reflect 'beat 'em up' planes. What I mean by this is that someone can hit their opponent despite the opponent being 'further away' from them. To a small degree this is okay because otherwise it would be too hard to actually hit your opponent, but a lot of the time blows were connecting that visually didn't make any sense whatsoever.
The visuals, music and presentation are top-notch.
How much of this did you do yourself? It's very impressive.
I had some frustration learning this since the instructions are in Japanese, however with more time I began to pick up on more things. Over more attempts, I eventually went from not being able to defeat the invisible ship to making it to the end-of-stage boss fight. Some aspects of the mechanics (when it comes to the purpose of leveling things, etc.) I still don't understand.
I dislike the initial enemies spawning right behind you (especially since you're placed near the bottom of the screen), and I don't understand why you chose to have lightning randomly strike/zap the player. There's no telegraphing whatsoever for the lightning. Those two things feel quite cheap and should be adjusted.
Currently I can't figure out how to beat the end-of-stage boss. I've done some damage to it without even realizing what I was hitting and then I end up dying before I can figure out what's going on. I'm not giving up though, eventually I'll beat your build haha.
Last year I submitted Coma State Eden to the Game Development Challenge. Like your entry, mine is also very inspired by retro arcade shooters. Yours reminds me of games like Mars Matrix.
You've definitely improved the presentation from last year's entry, but I was unable to finish this because I got too frustrated on the 8th stage.
What really holds this back for me is the wall-jumping. It feels sloppy and clunky. I wasn't a big fan of it last year but I think it was much less noticeable for me because your stage design in Hellcat Liv didn't get as challenging from what I remember (if I'm wrong I apologize, I think I got to the end of the build at the time).
I got through most of this with minor issues but that 8th stage really pushes the game design when it comes to the wall jumping because you are under strict pressure to get out of each tunnel before the spiked hazards move into you. I don't see any practical reason why I should have to hold away from the wall in order to initiate a wall-jump. The moment I enter a wall-hugging state after holding towards a wall, I should be able to cancel into a wall-jump if I press the jump button. It forces you to jump away from the wall anyways so it's not like the player can abuse this to stay on the same wall. It's also quicker to do.
I think if you're going to have multiple difficulties for each stage, you need to add in more enemies or something (maybe they can also move faster relative to the easier difficulties, etc.) Right now it's basically: do the stage, do the same thing again but with less lives, do the same thing again but with 1 life. I do like how doing the medium difficulty uses a different character, but maybe he should have some kind of unique trait or something?
I liked your music choices. The stage that went de-saturated and had the piano music was also funny as a juxtaposition.
I like the final fantasy/Mother 3/GBA aesthetic you have going. Nice pixel art.
My biggest criticism is that the fighting feels quite stiff. If you hit an enemy, you can sooner try to attack again, but it feels kinda stiff. if you attack and miss I found the character would just stay there on the last attack frame and it felt terrible/very slow. Sometimes hitting buttons would make him go back to normal and sometimes it didn't work and I had to do it multiple times. You want your game feel to be solid, after all these are actions the player will potentially be doing hundreds (if not thousands) of times. It needs to feel fun to the point you could say "I could do that forever." At the moment, I don't think it's quite right.
The decision to have the wall detection box move with the character as he jumps resulted in me getting stuck in the tile set and not being able to get back out a couple of times. This happened merely as a result of jumping in certain spots while moving.
Also, while I was stuck on the last frame of my attack animation, I was struck by an enemy wasp and somehow died but managed to bug out of the death sequence. I could then use potions (which didn't heal his HP) and I would just take damage from enemies but the game behaved as if I had HP left.
Good to see you're back! The game you made last time was interesting and I can already tell this new project of yours has come from the previous in some way. Looking forward to trying this.
I agree with Jet, this is really good. You took a similar design philosophy but applied it to an action/platformer type game rather than a puzzle/platformer. One thing I'd suggest is maybe having some type of visual indicator on the character for how many air dashes you have left.
Does your game use a lot of code? Or did you do most things through the in game runtime actions/without script calls?
I imagine you ran into a lot of interesting challenges to make something like this. My game (an endless runner) surprisingly has had a number of those problems for something that remains on the same screen the entire time haha.
...Oh man, YOU'RE submitting THIS?!
I've been checking out the development of this game on Twitter every now and then.
I need to actually play this at some point, I can tell it'll be a strong contender for sure.
Was Daikaiju Daikesse inspired by King of the Monsters at all?
This Japanese PGMMV developer I follow on Twitter is doing a very elaborate beat 'em up project.
You might be interested in seeing, he does use a lot of syntax I believe:
That's funny you mention that as the biggest challenge for you, I had the same issue in my submission since there's a grapple mechanic. The solution I ended up going with was using attack detections with attribute changes so that a specific value would be checked to indicate a grab (while a different one indicated getting attacked). But there's a small caveat, sometimes that 'grab' attack detection seems to kill an enemy instead of grabbing them, if the collision happens on a very tiny frame window. So it works most of the time, not all the time. Which is unfortunate, but I couldn't figure out a different approach that actually worked. Was your solution different?
Coma State Eden (my submission to the 2019 PGMMV Game Dev Challenge) is like that for me. Honestly with any art or craft, if you want to make something good it's going to be really hard and time consuming. There's lots of details and you can't ever ignore a good idea. It's definitely worth it though, you have to make something you would actually play the hell out of. That's when the work turns out better and you're having a lot of fun.
I haven't actually played this yet, but I'm gonna have to admit this looks like it'll be strong competition from the art-style/screenshots. Nice pixel art. How challenging was it to make a beat 'em up in PGMMV? Did you have to utilize much syntax or was all this done without anything like that? Also nice game logo!
Okay, just finished playing through this. First off I have to say I'm impressed you chose to make a beat 'em up for your first PGMMV project. I think there are more challenges that come with it than doing a standard platformer/metroidvania. The feedback I'm going to give is keeping in mind that it's your first project. Actually, my feedback is more-so some suggestions I have for you, I'd strongly recommend you update these things before the deadline next Saturday. This should make your demo stronger for this contest.
I felt the attacks lacked a bit of 'oomph' and in part it's because you don't have SFX for when someone gets knocked over and when they hit the ground. Some home made voice clips and grunts of enemies going "Hah" or "uwwaaaah" or stuff like that would add to it.
Is your jumping state an animation that moves the sprite up and then down in the animation editor? If it is, I'd strongly implore you to make those animation frames 'interpolated' so that the jump is smooth (do this for the air attack as well.) If you don't know what I'm talking about, click on an animation frame and in the settings for the frame you can see "Interpolation". Of the two options, choose 'linear'. Do this for all the frames in your jumping animation and your air attack and check out how much smoother the jump is!
The boss got me into a bit of a loop where he'd keep knocking me over, and right on the frame as I got up, he'd hit me again. You can do a HP draining special to knock him back but with Beat 'Em Ups the standard seems to be that enemies/bosses will give you just enough space to get up so that if you get hit soon after it's your own fault and not the game's if that makes sense.
Your main character needs an idle animation. A VERY basic and simple/quick one to do is the bobbing up and down like you're in a fighting game. Small addition but it'd make the game feel even cooler IMO.
And that's all my feedback for now. I'd like to rate your game on its homepage, but I'm going to wait until you have more content put in first.
I can tell a lot of love was put into this and it looks like it has decent potential. Good job!
This is an interesting entry. The presentation is solid and makes good use of custom assets. The first person perspective battles are well done, with enemies dying in bloody messes that even have some variance with their graphics. There's little details like that which show the effort put into making the game feel immersive.
The music is well used and fitting for the tone of each event. As simple as they were, I liked the 'hallway' and 'ventilation' sections which required player input to move through the 'environment', clever usage of image stretching to simulate movement.
Every skill is useful and there are items which come in handy during a pinch. I actually don't want to spoil my observations because I think discovering these sort of things for yourself is part of the experience.
After a recent streamer played my game he echoed similar sentiments to you. Just wanted you to know that I did end up changing the frequency at which the power up roulette cycles between items. At the time I disagreed with you, but you were right about this in the end.
Hey man, just wanted to say that I totally really appreciate that you assumed I knew that bug existed and fixed it already (I didn't know it even existed lol.) Actually, you were the only one to discover that. Thanks for the bug report! How embarrassing, though. But not as embarrassing as when the high score text on the title screen read "Harcdore" for the longest time and Firespike, who noticed the typo last year when I first made the title screen, chose to wait until near the deadline to see if I would notice (I didn't) because he thought it was funny (it was. BUT STILL!!! That font was pixel art. I manually and very slowly made that typo.)
As for your second bug, it's not a 'bug' in the traditional sense. I was aware of this one. It's impossible to do on the intended controls (game-pad/controller) because you cannot shoot left and right simultaneously on a stick, but you can on a keyboard. Depending on the results of this contest, I may leave the keyboard controls in the final game build. Specifically for players who don't own game-pads. However the game isn't built around the keyboard controls. I was able to beat stages with them, but it's awkward. The game-pad is far superior for the experience. I guess to fix this second bug I would simply put in a check to make sure the opposite direction isn't being held down on each side. At least in my head it seems like a simple fix. I'll do that soon here.
About the controls. I've left in a couple of things for players to discover if they get creative and are observant. I don't want to say what they are, but I will say that whether or not you discover them you will get better at the game over time. This was an intentional decision on my part, I wanted the experience to be this way. The 'twist' with the controls isn't some very sophisticated/complex feature, but it requires the player to get used to the game on its terms. You have to meet it halfway in that sense. And as a result, the experience will stick with you more. When I tested Coma State Eden, I almost always tested on Hardcore mode because I needed to know that the game content could be beaten at its most challenging iteration.
Both bugs are fixed!
I want to say that I agree with you, OvS isn't my #1 favourite but it is one of the stronger entries in this contest for sure. There aren't other games that play like it. The presentation is a bit simple/minimalist and that can put some people off (in addition to if they don't like puzzle platformers much.)
I think the game deserves more ratings. Same with Mortimer Dark.
Also, you'll be happy to know I fixed the Wasps Nest.
Out of curiosity, do you find the game too hard due to the controls? Or would it mostly be because you don't play a lot of shooters?
(Unless you do, in which case, never-mind the second part of that question.)
Justus, thanks for your feedback. I'll respond to your points:
1) You mean which parts of the enemy will hurt the player? Their hit boxes are generally a little smaller than their body shape.
2) Related to the power up capsule/power up roulette:
A) I lowered the movement speed of the power up capsule, however not by much because I recently chose to increase its hit-box. In this build, you can only hit the capsule area to break it, but now the area above the capsule respond to bullets too. So it's easier for the player to hit.
B) I will not be changing the switch frequency because what you described is the exact point. It's supposed to be challenging to get the power up you want. And you have agency too, you can shoot the power up roulette to force it to cycle. Just learn the timing, and manipulate when needed. (You can use the boomerang shot to pick up a power up too!)
C) I can try playing around with having the capsule flash so players can't miss it in colourful environments.
I like the pixel art for the little characters, but the environments are not good looking. I also don't feel the music you chose to use was very fitting to the game.
I understand you said you've made this in one week, but I don't understand your decision to not have the player's health refill after dying. He revives with 1 health, and then every single time you take damage you have to watch him fall over and be stuck for a moment until he revives. With 1 health. He also doesn't even get invincibility frames when he revives. When enemies were over my body, I couldn't escape unless I was mashing the jump and dodge buttons (somehow this allowed me to take priority and escape their hit boxes with a jumping roll dodge.) You could have had the enemies move away from his body to give the player momentary breathing room after 'dying', or giving him invincibility frames. If there isn't even a punishment for death (like the game ending, etc.) then you should have just had the health refill upon a 'revive' in your demo.
With enough work this could be made into something interesting, but as it is I honestly feel it really needs a lot of work to get there.
I have a pretty powerful gaming PC/Rig. It runs my game very fast for the most part (can lag in some very intensive moments.)
But every boss fight in your game ran slowly for me. It's weird because you separate your rooms with scene transitions and I don't imagine you have very many processes running during a boss fight. Do boss fights run slowly when you test your own game? If not, it must be something with my PC, although I have no idea what it could be. If it does run slower for you, I'd suggest you optimize whatever the cause of that is.
Take this next part with a grain of salt since this can be subjective but I did first try your game last summer and you had a different OST for it. Obviously you wanted something custom made for your game, which isn't a bad decision, but I didn't feel the new music fit as well as the previous tracks you had. It just didn't have the right energy. I think the music can be improved to better enhance your game feel and experience.
Some of the enemies felt placed just to waste your time because they weren't very threatening. Like the shield goblin that throws axes. Also on your title screen's menu and in a couple of other spots your font is getting cut off from the top of the characters a little bit. You should fix that wherever it happens.
Overall I'd echo Firespike's thoughts. Your game could benefit from more fine tuning in general. I know you're already making improvements in response to feedback. I can see the passion you have for this project. Keep working at it, Jay!
As a side note:
I think Magi needs to be able to shoot faster. It feels slower than Mega Man's when I'm close to something and mashing a button. That little exploit is a necessary part of your game feel.
Yeah, I mean there are different reasons for that. A good example would be when a game developer on Reddit reviewed my game in r/playmygame. He played it for 20 minutes on stream and told me he genuinely thought it was the best itch.io game he'd ever played. But then he also said it was too hard for him. When I watched the footage of him playing my game, he didn't fully read the How to Play screen and then he even skipped over the Flash Shield tutorial. And so even when he was playing on Practice difficulty, he could not make it past Waluculican (the wasp mini-boss) because he wasn't using the Flash Shield.
But that being said, some people just aren't accustomed to shooters. And if you aren't accustomed to shooters, you're probably going to find the game to be very un-intuitive and won't fully realize how useful the Flash Shield is because you're just so concerned about staying alive more than anything else. For some, they just weren't paying attention, and for others, the important things just didn't 'click' into place for them and changed their experience with the game as a result.
One selling point on this competition was the guest judges. And while I think it's awesome they are going to play the entries that make it past the preliminary review, I think it's sort of pointless for us as developers if we don't even get to hear their impressions of our games.
I had asked PixCube previously about getting them to stream their game-play, but she said for technical reasons it couldn't happen. However I think it's definitely doable for them to post their impressions of the games as a review in text. This could be on the contest submission pages for each game, or on the actual pages for the games. If they did this, they should state who they are so future visitors know the review is from a veteran of the games industry. It's sort of an endorsement for the games they really liked.
I honestly feel like if we don't get to know their impressions, it'd be as if we were watching American Idol and all of the footage with the judges and their reactions were cut from the episodes. As it is, the winners will get emailed later on and they can only think "Wow, Koji Igarashi played my game!" But, like, what exactly did he think of it? Surely even with the winning entries the judges will have constructive feedback or specifics about their praise that the developers should hear. This makes it all the more a learning experience for the devs.
With my entry, I took some big risks and did something unique with the controls. Some liked it, some didn't. Others couldn't even figure out how to play the game properly. I want to know if the judges understood things (like my game mechanics) the way I intended them to be, etc.
Could this be done?
This game was a mess. Somewhat amusing, but still a mess.
For starters, the ball is way too fast. In the second stage the blocks are put too low and there only ended up being one viable strategy to clear the stage. Any other way resulted in the power downs messing you up because the blocks were placed so low.
I could not even figure out the third stage. Why did you have a buzz-saw moving around the screen clockwise that damages you and takes your lives? I couldn't clear the stage as much as I tried. I could not finish this game.
Also, why did you have English voice acting in some places but not in others? The woman tells me to go check out the tips page in English voice acting. So I do that, but it's all in Japanese text with no English voice acting.
Why is the menu/HUB done as breakout? It was awkward to select stuff.
It should have been a simple menu.
What is "Robotter"? It wouldn't let me pick it.
This is pretty unfinished but I think it has potential. I know this is a demo/concept, but having to reset the game every time I died (because there wasn't even a respawn implemented) was a bit annoying.
I like the pixel art for the stage tile-sets but I think the smaller/fodder enemy ships could have their designs/look improved.
What I enjoyed the most was the music. Whoever you have doing the music did a real good job. The compositions are nice and the style is reminiscent of like...PC Engine game soundtracks? It's very cool.
While the game is inventive, the result is somewhat convoluted. It's not very intuitive to have to switch between a platforming mindset and then operating the robot. Most evident when you have enemies coming after you and suddenly you have to destroy like 4 of them.
But you definitely get points for uniqueness. I think the controls and execution could be improved so it's somewhat more intuitive. I didn't find the art-style that appealing, but that's just a matter of taste.
Also in rooms with moving block platforms it's easy to get the player character stuck inside of actual tiles by getting 'crushed' by the moving block platform.
Short little play-through, but it was a good time. I like how fast you can play through stages with the fluid movement, the sound effects were well picked and the track is fitting. Nice pixel art.
Some minor nitpicks:
-The stage select screen should highlight the stage you last completed when you return to it.
-What's the point of having the green diamonds if your progress isn't shown on the stage select screen? You should have some way to indicate if a stage was completed 100% or not.
This should be developed further. Definitely has potential. Maybe you could come up with more gimmick blocks to introduce in further stages?
Hey man! So I finally got around to trying your game. It's one of my favourites from this contest (edit: It's actually my favourite.) Good job, seriously. Unlike most of the games submitted, you've actually tuned yours in ways I find to be very important. The controls are fluid and I definitely didn't have any frustrations with them. It's not janky or anything. There wasn't issues with inputs dropping, etc.
Your pixel art is great and I like the player HUD. Mortimer seems to have inspiration from Jack's character design from Jack and Daxter. Was that intentional?
Your game seems to have some depth and it'll be interesting to see how it develops later on. To comment on my experience with that boss Aandrea Asperges mentioned, I died a number of times on it until I realized the dash and dodge were quite useful. The randomness of the shots still proved to be a bit frustrating but after a number of tries my successful attempt resulted in me taking no damage whatsoever. Felt cool.
As a side note, I think the zombies have a bit too much HP.
Local co-op will be added eventually. PGMMV has no support whatsoever for peer-2-peer, so none of the games in this competition have online multiplayer. The game will also not be free when it's completed.
My biggest issue with this entry is the game feel. It lacks oomph. Little things like enemies just instantly disappearing when you kill them would describe what I mean. The pixel art is nice, the music isn't bad either, but it doesn't all come together in a satisfying way for me.
I don't usually play tower defense games but I like the concept of this one. Especially visually. The choice to stick with the three primaries (R/B/Y) on simple backgrounds so the colours can pop out when they are splattered was a nice touch.
What game engine did you make this in?