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SyllabusGames

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Oh, I didn't expect someone to actually read through the code, so I didn't get your joke. If I continue this project, i'm going to have to go back to pretty it up and add comments before I forget what everything does.

(Edited 1 time)

"Punching can literally solve all your problems"

I agree, and it was a very good use of the theme. I too got stuck on that corridor.  I appreciated the sprite for the player character. The first two levels, I didn't really notice what it was. When I finally noticed it was a dude working a punching cannon, I giggled a little. That's great.

I'm not sure why I had to press SpaceBar to start the game when SpaceBar does noting in game. Otherwise, a lovely little game.

Thank you for the confirmation on 13. I understand the time constraint and am amazed by how many levels you managed to make. I played another puzzle game in this jam that was very nice but disappointingly ran out of levels right after introducing the second mechanic. You seem to have dedicated about 2 levels to each mechanic and made a very dense game as a result.

The one way blocks necessarily being 1/2 a block wide was always going to make them a bit harder to see. I'm glad you were able to improve it from whatever the original was.

I do appreciate that your game gets its difficulty from logic and not just difficult timing as many "impossible games" do. I always felt I was making progress or on the verge of learning something new about a level with each attempt.

As for a ghost replay, that would be a very unique approach to difficulty modulation for a puzzle and I think it would work well.
Thanks for pointing out the play-through. I can see the logic in the solution now. It's a good puzzle. I just wasn't ready for that spike in difficulty.

I look forward to playing the updated version of this if you choose to continue the project.

Thank you for the feedback. I'm glad you like it.

I just uploaded a PostJam version were a bug on Level3 is removed if you wanted to try that version. Noting else changed aside from fixing the pause menu.

I'm not sure what you meant about the player update method.

Cool. I look forward to playing the updated version. I used GameMaker for a while and have no idea how I would have added the chain mechanics, so good job with what you did manage.

(Edited 1 time)

I built it in Windows (in Unity). I think I just forgot to check the box when I uploaded.

RAYCAST YOUR HOOKSHOT! Trying to aim were the crosshair is going to be when the hook hits, while falling, moving sideways, and the mouse look is slow, is just to much. This is coming from someone who built a first person hookshot game (not for the jam) were you have to launch yourself, switch to a gun, shoot the enemies pursuing you, switch back to the hookshot, and anchor to something before you hit the ground.

I would also suggest mapping hookshot launch and release to separate buttons. (Ctrl release left, Spacebar release right, alt is jump because no one jumps when they could be swinging like Spiderman.) When I'm in free fall and launching both hooks madly at anything near me, I don't want to click one too many times and release just as I was about to save myself. This scenario never actually happened due to the very fast gravity which caused a single missed hook to always lead to a fall to my implied death. 

Also, an indicator of what is within range and can be grappled vs too far away and laughing at you as you fall would be nice. My slapdash but quick solution was to place a semitransparent sphere around the player and scale it to match the hookshot's limits. This makes it so everything outside the limit has a tint to it. Some post-processing effect would look better but take far to long to implement.

More air control and moving the kill box below the level a little lower would also help.

I do like the idea of having 2 hookshots and the levels look nice. The slow time mechanic with the changeable platforms is interesting and used well in the levels. I do like hookshot games (that's why I made one,) but I just don't feel like I really have control of my player when I am playing yours.

Don't listen to them! These snacks know nothing of aesthetics.

This is a very well designed series of puzzles. They are also maddeningly difficult. The number of times I though "This level in just impossible" was far above any game I have ever played before. I'm still fairly certain Level 13 is impossible. I couldn't figure out 9 either, but 13 is just too simple for me to see any viable approach. A walk-through video would be helpful / upsetting.

Using the main game controls on the menus is always an interesting idea but I have never seen a level select menu that is a puzzle itself.

While well designed and executed, this was one of the most difficult puzzle games I have ever played. I believe the problem is in it's apparent complexity. Some of the early levels, I could get a mental picture of the level in my head easily enough and really plan out a solution. Getting more complex than that forces you to solve the puzzle as you go since fully planning an approach is almost impossible. In many games, this leads to a trial and error approach. Luckily for you, this game is way too tough for that to work, but I am still left with a complex puzzle I cannot fully internalize. Even after spending half an hour on it and going back twice, I still cannot fully remember every part of Level 9.

I'm not sure how you could improve this or even if it's something you would want to do, but just know that I have given up and am leaving 9 and 13 unsolved.

Also, I think the one way platforms need to be thicker. I had a hard time noticing them when I was trying to plan out a solution to the level. Everything else in the game is very clear.

I really liked the game, and spent far longer playing it than I intended to. (about 3 hours) I have no idea how you got through play testing within the 48 hour window, but good job for that alone.

That was very fun.

The sprite order is a bit off though because dead bodies were shown in front of the living which got distracting after the absolute carnage I just wrecked on the trolls.

The mechanics were very interesting and made the game exciting as I tried to figure out how things worked while protecting the vessels. I still don't know what they were for though. Perhaps they should recharge your shield automatically until destroyed?

Slinging the soul well around like a ball and chain was great. It would be nice if it actually followed the chain path instead of going straight towards the player. I know this would be both unrealistic and difficult to implement, but it would make the game more fun as I trace patterns across the screen before the portal whips around, wiping everyone out. 

Though not the most polished or complicated , it is probably the most fun game I have played here and I am glad you made it.

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The controls were difficult. If you want to jump over a wall you are standing next to, you have to jump away and then jump back which does not make me feel like a ninja at all. As a dash-slashing ninja, I assume everything I touch while dashing will be immediately cadaver-ized. This did not seem to be the case as I occasionally took damage when flying into enemies. I just did not really understand what determined whether diving into an opponent would hurt me or them.

The aesthetics were good, but the music really just didn't fit the environment, enemies, or ninja. Sound effects were quite fitting though.

The game would have been fun if I just got to fly around the level, dicing up anything in my way and flipping about as ninja do, but the time limit prevents this, two consecutive missed jumps and my character explodes out of pure shame. Removing the time limit would also have made the controls much more tolerable because a messed up jump would not have meant a reset quite as often as it does now.

It would be nice if tapping the jump button did more of a jump. The current hop can't even clear a crate and is mostly useless.

This is definitely an interesting idea, but I think it would have benefited from more play testing.

There are some games here that benefit from a "figure out the mechanics yourself" mentality. Your's is not one of them. I pressed every key until I found that R resets the level which brings me to... Reset the level on death unless there is something to do or watch after death. If my explosive death set off a chair reaction, that might be worth watching. As it is, there is nothing to do after death but restart so you should do it automatically.

You made the same mistake I did and made the game for your level of skill and not a first time player's. The game would be easier and feel more fair if the player character was smaller and the thorny plant's collision boxes were more self evident. As it is, the game just isn't fun. It's trial and error. I died at least once on every obstacle, so your game was not about learning the mechanics as much as it was memorizing how to get through each part.

I will admit, your title is rather clever and this is far better than most of the games I made in GameMaker.

After all the games that didn't provide instructions, you did, but "Press SPACE" is all the instruction we really needed. As everyone said already, beautiful game with fitting music, interesting mechanics, and well used physics (the path reacting when you land on it.) Also, you're probably one of the only people who had a valid reason to be making his own shaders while under this time limit. Anyway, you had an interesting idea which was very well executed.

"Art used:
- GMTK Thumbail"

Why did no one else (that I have seen) do this? Why didn't I think to put the competition logo on my start screen?

Anyway. It took me a couple minutes to figure out the controls. For anyone else trying to play:

Hold X, Select the side you want to cut on(arrow keys), Release to cut. You can only cut when there is a blank space for your platform or the one you cut to move to (They have to move away from the cut you just made).

As a puzzle game, I expected every level to use the cutting mechanic in some new way. You did this for the most part but some of the levels were very straight forward. Level 7 seemed entirely redundant though it did make me realize your camera tracking was very good. It does offset towards the block being cut too much. You only notice this if you hold down a cut for a long time which there is really no reason to do.

Level 8 the game really started getting good and in 10 you build on the mechanic introduced in 8 like GMTK keeps mentioning in Mario games.

Level 11 was the best in the game. Multiple things were going on and I really had to plan ahead. Sadly, that's pretty much the end of the game. I can see time was a real hindrance here. "Work faster" is terribly unhelpful advice, but you introduced and tutorial-ized the mechanics so well, it's a shame there was only one level really combining the mechanics of moving platforms, unblocking lasers, and maintaining an exit route for yourself. Adding teleporters into the mix would have made an awesome level if only you had the time.

Some Notes:   Thank you so much for the high movement speed. So many games like this have a little pause each time I move the cross hair. The sound effects were very fitting and really add a lot to watching blocks move.

(Edited 2 times)

That was a lot of pretty neat ideas. You really seem to have paid attention to GMTK. A lot of his advice is evident in this game and it's very well executed.

I think I appreciated the mechanics more from having to figure them out for myself. When I noticed you had posted instructions in the comments, the only rule I had not figured out was grey=ok, black=damage. If it were black=ok, red(possibly with glow)=damage, I may have figured it out myself.

I liked how most the split upgrade tree really had value in upgrading both sides. I thought it would be something like Infamous, were you go all the way with one side and ignore the other, but there really is value in how you split it up. I didn't even think to buy the health upgrade from both the pink and green sides until around my 8th play-through.

Your alternate guns seemed under-powered (from reading their descriptions) so I didn't buy any until about my 17play-through (when I finally beat the game), but I did not expect it to only apply to the color I bought it for. This is a good idea, I just did not expect it.

I will admit the game got a bit repetitive after the 12th play-through, but the desire to see what all the guns did pulled me through. Part of my problem is that every play-through I bought speed and both health upgrades first. Starting a little faster and with 1 more health might have let me decide a better gun or special ability was more important.

Some Notes:     Spawning (+$ 50) when I kill something would have been a great help since the game is too intense to look at the money counter while shooting. I liked how you have to modulate your own difficulty by deciding you can survive making the enemies tougher. A texture on the floor would have made it easier for me to tell how fast I am moving when I go straight up or down. Buying both speed upgrades seemed to increase my Y movement more than X.

In my comment, I somehow forgot about the time constraint. You made a fairly massive level give the 48 hour limit. Also, you are of course right that this health/checkpoint system would work very well with a larger map. I am glad you focused on a reasonable difficulty. I only realized my game was too tough the day after submitting it. I look forward to a post-jam, expanded version of this game if you choose to continue development. Best of luck!

Thanks for trying it!

I feel like this is the same game style as Crypt of the Necrodancer, but I haven't played that game, so your getting 5 stars for innovation anyway.

My biggest complaint is that the game in unplayable once you reach <4 health. if you're not already next to some health, that's pretty much a death sentence since you can't see anything.

The atmosphere was likely exactly what you were going for; scary, intense and panicky. The game has a good pace, forcing you to constantly run into the unknown because staying still will kill you. The oppressive circle of darkness was also quite well done. I would not have thought to put purple particles circling around it but they actually work pretty well.

The great atmosphere is marred somewhat by the enemy's color pallet. I understand not wanting to make the pure black as they would blend in with the rest of the darkness, but making them a light grey is just not as intimidating as the rest of the game's empty darkness.

Last note: Some people see an installer and immediately decide it's not worth the risk that your game is a virus. If there is a way you can distribute this game without using an installer, that might help you get more people to play your game.

The game kept skipping the tutorial for some reason so i couldn't figure out how to reload. After a couple restarts and unplugging my controller, it eventually loaded and I had a good bit of fun playing your game until it crashed (others have covered that so I will say no more.)

No soundtrack is better than an annoying soundtrack but sound effects always add some impact to what you're doing. They are also good feedback when animations are not clear. (Your game has great animation but a sound effect for each action always helps the player know their input is impacting the game). As for time constraints, my game's sound effects took about half an hour (7 clips total). Most are just 3  1/16th notes played in LMMS. That's just my opinion of course, but it really does not take long compared to how much it could add to your next game.

You really seem to have known what you wanted to build and it has the polish to show it. The expression on the crate's face is the main reason I clicked on this... just so you know.

My thoughts on the game in no particular order:

Very well made. I did not expect a metroid-vania in this competition given the time constraints, but you pulled it off very well. The controls were responsive. The mechanics were easy to understand. The level design made the most of the mechanics, intuitively making me attempt to use my new abilities when I didn't even know what they were.

Damage mechanics were confusing though. Sometimes I took damage while dashing into enemies. I don't know if my timing was off or what was going on. I just couldn't figure it out. I mostly avoided enemies after the first 2 deaths. Also, some fires seemed to hurt me while others didn't. All in all, the health mechanics are the only part of the game I just didn't get. Having to spend money on health to stay alive while also needing to conserve it to get though the door on the start screen was an interesting mechanic. This was a better mechanic before my first death, when I thought dying would entirely reset the game. While it would have been annoying if this was the case, the entire health system is undermined by the re-spawn system, making death nearly meaningless since I can get back to were I died with little effort most of the time. Not that I think it should have been a rouge-like, but these mechanics encourage death since it refills health, like in some shooters were suicide is an easy way to get more ammo.

I appreciate that this game is controller comparable. The graphics and art style are unique (though reminiscent of Pony Island). All in all, it was a very interesting experience and very well executed.

Sadly, I accidentally pulled off a boundary break by jumping over the left wall on the top screen, and fell into the boss fight. I am not sure how much of the game I skipped as I have not yet replayed it to explore those areas.

WHAT DID I JUST PLAY!? (Pseudo-Frog Combat in Tron?)

Lovely texturing, lighting, and music. It reminds me of Bomberman's multiplayer (SNES) and would likely be just as fun if I had 3 friends to play it with.

I know AI would be difficult given the time limit, but even AI that just jumped at random would improve the game. I just did not have much fun in 1v1. Having 2 computer controlled players would have made it better, even if they were awful at playing the game, it would have added a level of complexity were their ignorant hopping could blindside you if you did not pay attention.

Otherwise, a very well made game that's fast paced while still being simple to play.

As a note: My dad and I had no problem with the controls.

Thanks for fixing it.

This reminds me of the game Defender (atari) if it looked nicer and was way more playable. 

First off, I missed the instruction screen because I was trying to adjust the window. Putting it on a timer instead of a button press closing it may have been a bad choice.

The pink projectiles were a little hard to see with the pink landscape behind them. If this was intentional to make me use only half the screen and only risk the lower portion when things get really bad then that's perfect because that's exactly how I played.

The music matches the game very well. That theme combined with the star field drifting by as I fly past alien ?clouds? and unknown opponents makes me feel very alone. Not many games can set and maintain an atmospheric feeling of  alone-ness. The only other one I can think of right now is playing Minecraft alone at 3am.

Once I learned all the enemy ship types and behaviors, it was quite an absorbing game.

One bug I must note: This may just be a feature of your re-release to fix my error, but the game does not reset properly after each death. Some ships and power pickups do not disappear, letting your new ship pick them up. If this was intentional, the fact that not everything stays hides this fact.

Thanks! I cheated my way back to that last screen and gave it about 10 more tries and finally made it through. I appreciate that you gave the game an ending. Many of these games are either endless, or just kind-of stop.

Error: The program can't start because MSVCR120D.dll is missing from your computer.

Your game looks interesting, and I would like to play it. Any ideas about this error?

I'm not sure if other people will have it too.

Sorry, but I gave up after retrying the level with a bunch of walls you have to jump over for the fifth time. The difficulty would have been a bit high even if the level didn't take a few slow minutes to get though.

The game mechanics are definitely interesting. I especially liked the second level which is where I noticed that instead of walking places, I could just hurl the chick and hope for the best which I found hilarious.

A very interesting game that was a bit slow and unforgiving. If I didn't have 775 other games staring me down, I would likely have finished it.

Man am I tired of clicking!

I guess the violent abuse of my mouse in real life is mirrored in the game as the mouse wizard is assaulted by skeletons. I hope that was intentional.

As for a review, I lost the game 5 times before figuring out how to play. When I clicked on a skill I wanted to level up, I saw the number go down so I kept clicking and saw skeletons dying so I though that was how you played. Click to level up a skill and the combat is automated.

After dying, I played again watching the lower mouse make progress and again the top mouse failed to protect me.

I finally figured out to click on the skeletons because they were the only option left. I did signle click on them first thing but the combination of their loss of health only being shown as a slight color change, lack of any other feedback (a sound effect would be great here), and the fact that some of them lost health without being clicked on made me think it wasn't doing anything.

Otherwise, a quite new way to approach a tower defense game.