Recent community posts
We ran into some really nasty unity input bugs -- sorry about that :(
There are some instructions for how to resolve that bug on the game's page and we recently uploaded a post-jam fixed version
Thanks for you comment! I'm more used to creating janky movement that feels fun rather than constrained physics that respect the puzzle's mechanics and I think it shows. Really appreciate the substantial criticism, because it tells us what we need to focus on :)
I haven't tested on controller yet, but we set it up so that it should work on controller as well -- we just didn't have time to mention it in the game. Regardless, thanks for your comment -- really helps me understand a little more about the source of player frustration :)
Ah, I see -- thanks! Yeah it's a very weird bug with Unity's input system :\ some people have gotten it to work some haven't. I think someone mentioned being able to get it to work by plugging in a controller and unplugging it, but I haven't verified that yet.
Once the jam is over, we'll be sure to squash this bug 4ever
Thanks for letting us know about the input!!
Yeah it's super weird, some folks can't get pass the main menu screen, and somehow I ran into a real nasty bug that won't resolve itself even after deleting my player prefs -- the gamepad bit is a good lead tho thanks!
Loved this! I picked this up as part of the bundle for Palestinian aid and found it really helpful :)
I'm a real scrappy indie with 0 narrative/writing experience, so this has helped me a lot with thinking about how to approach the construction of a narrative. I especially loved sections that explained the theory/basis and the section that expanded the matrix for different genres. Initially I was worried if the high concept formula would be too constraining, but the last sections really shows how one could develop it to match their approach.
This definitely deserves more attention !!
Thank you!! Really enjoyed the gameplay loop in A Short Hike, what a great game!
Thanks for letting me know about the linux issue, I never got the chance to test on a linux machine (i think i also forgot to program a quit button in the game)
This game is a must-buy and a must-try! I can say with utter certainty that this game will hold a special part in my memory that I'll cherish forever.
Spoilers & a little story :p
As Vivi ate her Nasi Goreng, I couldn't help but reflect upon my own memories from my childhood that didn't seem particularly special, but stuck with me nonetheless. I remember as a young kid my mom would have me take a spoonful of liquid vitamin C, but the bottle was quite hefty, so she'd always be the one to pour it. One particular morning, she was in quite a rush and told me to pour out a spoonful on my own. And so I did, and I spilled a bunch all over the table, and my mom scolded me for it. The very next morning, she did something I totally did not expected -- she apologized to me.
I've always had this memory in the back of my mind, but I never really understood why until I played this game. For an Asian mom to apologize to her son... even for the smallest thing... I wish I could describe that feeling, but man, I'm just tearing up trying to come up with words.
Thank you so much for making this game and for providing an experience I didn't know I needed :) Please keep on making games
I just used Unity's terrain tool! I don't know if it's the best option out there (there were some issues with trees having both LOD groups and rotation/wind) and I think there are some asset store tools to improve on what Unity has to offer.
Ah yea, Cinemachine definitely has a learning curve. Definitely suggest a different side project going through all the settings to actually understand what you're doing (and maybe studying a guide or their samples).
Really neat game! I loved the intro sequence a lot -- the art and the font meshed together real well and the reveal was also sublime. The title of the game makes so much sense after having played it. The player sprite was also really cute and I loved the walking animation a lot.
Props to you for having a fully functioning tile/movement system and an inventory system (they're not easy to get done within the constraints of the jam). I loved interacting with the other crew members and wished there was more of it. Only wished there was more to the game (an overarching goal to work towards or something), but that's asking for quite a lot considering that this is just a game jam lol
Here's a twitter thread that I found really useful when approaching the balance within a game (like how many credits it takes to buy a mop) https://twitter.com/tanyaxshort/status/1301990872645468160 It really helped me when approaching the balance for my jam submission.
For dialogue, I would recommend https://yarnspinner.dev/ It makes it pretty easy to do iterative development for the dialogue. It's also open source, so it's not too hard to extend it to your needs.
The game reminded me of Orcs Must Die (with the traps and the tower-defense-like aspect), while the color scheme reminded me of Inside.
Camera can be a pretty hard thing to get right, but I found that Cinemachine can be pretty useful for that. It's pretty difficult to grasp Cinemachine at first, but there's a bunch of tutorials/guides to ease the process.
I'm also always wary about putting your instructions or critical gameplay aspect only within the game audio (and not having some kind of textual counterpart). This can end up providing a very different gameplay experience for hard-of-hearing/deaf players or players with limited listening proficiency in English. I also couldn't replay the tutorial, because it was skipped on subsequent playthroughs. The sound design was cool, though!
I also found it difficult to press the 'Start' button in the main menu (not sure if this was a pun with the title of the game lol).
I found it really hard to time the buttons correctly. Not sure if some traps like the boulder has a different delay from the other ones? It also took me quite a bit of time to get from one button to another. I'm always a fan of "fun" movement regardless of the rest of the gameplay (games like Spiritfarer and Night in the Woods feature "fun" movement techniques that players can enjoy amidst the rest of the game).
Also not sure how I felt when the game told me to "Get a life nerd" lol
I'm a big fan of rhythm games in general and I loved the ideas that this game explored quite a bit. Props to you for getting procedural generation and pathfinding in the game, those are not easy things to implement (and get right) given the time constraints.
For a game with an emphasis on the down-beat, you might want to pick/compose a song with more of an emphasis on the down-beat itself. Additionally, having some kind of rhythm indicator would help too (i.e. Crypt of the Necrodancer has the bar at the bottom indicating the beat, Rhythm Heaven mini-games mostly feature characters that bop to the beat of the music). These are all not simple tasks (making a bop/indicator that feels right, syncing the animation to the BPM, etc.), but it might've been more impactful to the game than the pathfinding or procedural generation.
I like the idea of "combo"-ing arrow key inputs to make a directional attack. It just didn't make sense to me at first (why do I need to make three arrow key inputs to attack to the left instead of just pressing left?) Maybe it might make sense for a weapon like a mage's staff where the combos end up casting some sort of spell or what not? Another option would be to require players to make arrow-key inputs to a specific rhythm (maybe on the upbeats?), and then introduce different weapons (like bows) that require a different rhythm/combo.
It's also pretty hard to make a 2D tile-based rhythm dungeon crawler without making it just like Crypt of the Necrodancer. Regardless, good job getting all of the stuff you got in for the jam, it's not easy to make rhythm games functional within the timeframe.
Played through the game and got a final score of 5333. The graphics conveyed the mood/tone of the game pretty well, I was a little spooked at first. I especially liked it when everything turned red and when the tornado spawned.
I think there was a lot going on within the game and it's definitely difficult to fit everything in within the jam's time period. Camera, for instance, is deceptively difficult to get right. I would suggest trying out Cinemachine and following some of the talks/tutorials to help you get a good grasp of what it does.
The zombie attack animation looks like it's transitioning into the same state over and over. Not sure how your animation controller is set up, but it looks like the attack animation is never fully played out, because it keeps restarting from transitioning to the same state over and over again. https://answers.unity.com/questions/1568474/animator-what-does-can-transition-to...
Really enjoyed the game! The atmosphere/mood/theme was definitely on point. I like how you tied most things to the buttons, made it very easy to grasp what is going on. Also props to you for getting a whole settings screen in there and bless you for including an actual menu system.
When I got to the 3rd island, I didn't know that I had to use the moving platform to get to the 4th one. Maybe, turning the camera to the "thing" that just activated could help, but I'm not sure how you'd do that while the island is dropping...
I managed to find endings 1 - 3, but I have absolutely no clue where to find endings 4 & 5. I thought that maybe each island would be associated with one ending, but I couldn't find any buttons on island #2 & island #4 Maybe some kind of hint at the end of each ending could help players find out the next ending? Or did I miss the hints? You could also try to hide the buttons on island #3 or #4 a bit more to ease players into the idea that they'll have to search for hidden buttons?
The game reminded me a lot of Superliminal & Antichamber, and I thought that some kind of narrative aspect could really help tie the game together (of course that's a little bit demanding for 72 hours). That way, I feel like you could really provide some meaning to sequences such as the one where "I keep pressing the button but the island keeps moving away".
Regardless, my feedback is a little skewed because I'm not a big puzzle person. You might be able to get more valuable feedback from folks over in https://discord.com/invite/eybtCDR (I've heard good things about the discord, especially if you're into play/making puzzle games).
Ah, thanks for the playthrough and the review!
There's more to the game than just the main "story", such as movement skills from finding chests and a whole fishing minigame with a whole different layer of unexpectedness (that leads to a super secret interaction). The main story was actually the most rushed aspect of this game, because I ran out of time :(
I updated the game in V 1.1.0 to make some of these things easier to find.
The camera blurriness is actually based off of how much up/down you move the camera. It's not the best design, and that's what I'm fixing in the next patch, and I really appreciate being able to watch your reaction and see what happened.
I'm not sure if I can fix the controls, but hopefully it feels better when you're not streaming? Not entirely sure what happened there either, but thanks for streaming it -- wouldn't have known that it was an issue.
I think I found the basic 1 - 4 ones (the obvious ones). I felt like there were clues with the skin in the hallway, (and something else about skin elsewhere) but I wasn't sure where to put the two-and-two together. I also have pretty potato memory :(
Well, I certainly don't know the best way to align voice with text, so if you were to explore a narrator idea then I'd definitely want to nail it with text first before figuring out the audio portion.
It was also hard for me to track how many of the endings I've gone through. I think some kind of checklist would help, especially if it's perhaps in a form of a picture? or text clue? that way you can hint to the players that endings lead to others. Regardless, I'm definitely not the go-to person for puzzle design advice, because I don't do any of that. There's this discord server, I've heard it's filled with folks who are pretty into puzzle games https://t.co/c9ibJWVhUp?amp=1 (might be worth dropping your build in there for puzzle design advice). Otherwise having a friend/playtester record their playthrough with their narration could help with the design as well.
Totally appreciate the feedback and thanks for checkin' out the game! Games like Night in the Woods and Spiritfarer kinda taught me to try to make sure the movement is fun, so at least there's something players can enjoy regardless of the rest of the game.
I've heard similar things about the camera -- it's my first time doing 3D camera for 3D movement so I kinda just made it work for me, whoops! That's exactly what is planned for V 1.2.0
Nice! I loved the premise of the game (using logic to navigate through each room). I love the unexpected paths, I felt that the game is full of personality! I really like the ending with the number 5 and the number 9, but I there wasn't a path out to exit so I wasn't sure if I actually hit the ending in that route.
Totally not in scope of the game, but a narrator like in Thomas was Alone or Portal could really help tie the whole thing together. I managed to find some of the endings, but I wasn't sure where all of them were.
Amazing! Love the premise and the overall idea :) I wish there was a way to quickly restart -- I had to press escape and play the whole thing from the start. Love the look and feel to the game, I think the mood is very on-point.
I really like the bumpy floor and the pit filled with broken pins (that was a very nice touch). The music also set the mood really well, and I like how you use the light to guide where the player should go.
For the first few times I tried this game, I spawned outside the starting area (after hitting the 'bowl' button) and just fell off the map and was just confused. Not sure if you need to reset your momentum or set the position or what not.
I played the game up to the 3rd room, but found that it was too frustrating to keep going past that. I know y'all put in a lot of effort into this game, but sometimes players just get stuck with the smallest part of the game and quit. I think it's okay for a game to be brutal, but I think there are definitely ways to make it feel less frustrating. For instance, Celeste immediately spawns you at the start of the specific screen on death and makes sure you can quickly get back and try the game again. When the screens are so small, the player can learn from their previous death and can quickly apply things like jump here earlier, dash up this way, etc. I think you were going for the Souls-vibe and that's why you set the spawn to be the campfire, but sometimes you have to make the choices between the mood/theme vs game-feel or gameplay loop experience.
One other thing is to put more difficult maneuvers closer to the start rather than at the midway point. In the third room, I found jumping off the rotating platform to be super hard, because I couldn't feel like I could predict the movement of the ball when the the floor is also spinning. This isn't explicitly bad, but the walk back to that jump really added to the frustration :( It's hard to design a game to be challenging rather than frustrating, but these little small things really help.
One other option to explore that switches the mood of the game greatly (which may not be what you want) is to provide more agency to the player (i.e. adding jumps, dashes, or making it easier to switch direction/momentum) . Being more in-control of your movement option makes the player feel more responsible for their death (rather than end up blaming the game for it). It's very much a perception thing (because at the end of the day, it's objectively the player's fault), but the line between "oh darn i was so close, let me try that again" and "dangit this game asdflsakfjlskdajf i'm done" is very thin.
But then again, these are all my opinions that were molded by my favorite game of all time (Celeste), so other types of gamers might find this challenging instead of finding it frustrating (which I did). Maybe you wanted a frustrating experience and then that's okay, but it was just too much for me to try to get to the end of the game.
Other small things to keep in mind is how dark you make the levels. Although it does really contribute to the mood of the game, don't forget that everyone's monitor/set-up and eyes are all different so things that are super low-contrast can be hard to identify for some players.
I think it can be pretty disheartening sometimes to hear folks get stuck on the smallest part and end up not experience all the nice parts of the game you designed. However, this is something that pretty much all game devs run into (seeing streamers skip through all the nice parts of the world I designed wasn't fun to watch either, but oh well). Over time you'll learn what to catch early on and you'll build a wider game designer toolkit to apply to your levels.