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Ian Eborn

A member registered Mar 02, 2019 · View creator page →

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It's been long enough that I'm not quite sure of what's changed, but:

"Cis" has a green light, and some nice pillars. I don't recall whether it had them before, but if not, then they're a nice addition to it.

(Granted that I happen to be fond of green, so I may be biased as to its impact. :P)

"Void" now has a textual definition! That's very welcome, and was interesting to read. Thank you for that. ^_^

Before I begin, let me note that this game is perhaps not quite my style of game, and thus that my thoughts below should perhaps be taken with some salt.

That said, having played some of the demo--the reason for the "some of" should become clear soon--I would like to give some feedback:

First of all, I really like the aesthetics of the game. Gloomy without being dull, retro without being ugly, and overall lovely and atmospheric.

I similarly rather like the lore and setup presented as far as I got--there's a nice tragic romance to the whole thing, which I quite appreciate!

That said, I did find the early maze-like forest area to be a little unengaging after a time: while I liked the overall feel of it, there was fairly little to do or see (that I found) for a fair bit of exploration.

But that wasn't a major issue at all.

What stopped me, in the end, was the combat. (Or at least a violent encounter; maybe there was other combat elsewhere or later.)

In exploring, I encountered a strange creature, like a nervous system stripped of its body. It attacked me swiftly, overbore me, and proceeded to hammer on my prone form.

Something flashed up on the screen to the right. Perhaps due to the urgency and surprise and haste of the moment, I didn't get a good look at it--I was focussed on the creature on top of my character.

But seen just outside of my central vision I thought that it looked like an arrow, so in haste I tried a few upwards-motions. (At least of my mouse, possibly of key-presses--I forget.)

This, of course, did nothing, and I was killed.

I recovered, returned to the world, and had another shot at the encounter.

I realised--whether this second time or after--that the thing on the right wasn't an arrow, but a "press the button in this range" bar. I tried to match it--tried multiple times--but never did get it to work. I'm not even sure of which button I was supposed to press, and thus whether I was pressing the right one.

(I also had a few shots at punching the creature as it approached, to no avail.)

Eventually, I gave up.

Now, having the learning of a combat mechanic be achieved via experimentation isn't a bad thing--not at all.

However, the process of resetting the encounter is rather lengthy--long enough that it very much acts against rapid iteration and through it experimentation with the mechanics, for me at least.

On top of that, on returning to life one has only one health-point, meaning that after the first time one gets only one iteration of experimentation per death.

(Let me note here that I actually rather like the whole death-and-return sequence. I just think that it's at odds with experimenting with a mechanic that kills one quickly.)

And finally, there was little feedback (that I noticed) in the mechanic to tell me quite what I was doing wrong--was I pressing too early? Too late? The wrong button entirely?

All of this made the process of figuring out how to progress a little frustrating and difficult to carry out for me, and as a result I eventually set the game aside.

Which is a pity, as I was otherwise enjoying it.

For one, the business of either giving or taking "soul" to the dead that I find makes for an interesting choice, and fits nicely with the overall atmosphere.

All the above said, overall, from what I see, the game is a solid one and well-done! ^_^

In case you don't see Melphite's response, let me prompt you to look for it: the hints given there--for me at least--were very helpful. ^_^

Aaah--the huge hint was a huge help, thank you! ^_^

(The small hint didn't work because I had largely discarded the interaction in question due to there being no apparent effect to or feedback from it, I think.)

Okay, hopefully I'll be able to progress now! ^_^

This is a really charming and engaging game! I'm rather enjoying it thus far! ^_^

That said, I'll confess that I seem to be stuck. If you're willing, would you give me a hint, please?

Borrowing Tahan's Rot13 cypher-link:

I've done the following:

* Sbhaq gur juvgr, checyr, naq benatr ornqf

* Npdhverq gur phc naq hfrq vg gb jngre gur sybjref

* Sbhaq gur flzobyf sbe gur ahzoref 1 guebhtu 4 (V oryvrir)

* Genafyngrq, V guvax, cneg bs gur rvtug-qvtvg frdhrapr ba gur pybfrq qbbe

* Sbhaq gur ahzore "guvegl-sbhe" ba n cbfg-obk

* Frg gur gryrfpbcr va cynpr naq abgrq inevbhf pryrfgvny obqvrf

My inventory currently holds:

* N onggrel (hfrq ba gur ebgngvat urnq, gura ergevrirq)

* Na havqragvsvrq cvyy-funcrq bowrpg.

  - V pna ebgngr gur gbc bs guvf, ohg gb ab nccnerag rssrpg guhf sne

V srry yvxr V fubhyq or noyr gb bcra gur "frnfba" chmmyr, ohg V unira'g guhf sne sbhaq nalguvat gung frrzf gb ersre gb frnfbaf. V'ir gevrq n srj pbzovangvbaf sebz gur ynetr cnvagvat, gb ab ninvy.

Gur fgne-funcrq ohggba-qrivpr ba gur gnoyr vf grzcgvat, naq V'ir sbhaq gur (cerfhzrq) pyhr oruvaq gur pybpx. Ubjrire, nggrzcgf gb nccyl vg unir guhf sne snvyrq, naq nabgure pbzzrag urer vaqvpngrq gung V znl or zvffvat vasbezngvba.

And thus I'm stuck! :/

I know; I'm talking less about the intent than the effect. I really don't think that you intended any value judgements.

However, I worry that this is turning into an argument--I really don't want to press the issue! ^^;

Speaking of the euphoria/dysphoria room, I really liked that one! I thought that the metaphor there worked really well! ^_^

Finally, it's quite interesting to read about how the order of approaching the rooms affected how much detail was given to each. Thank you for explaining that! ^_^

As much as I'd like to see a concrete definition, I can definitely see the appeal of having no textual description for "void", of having it be conveyed implicitly by the environment.

As to the "cis" section, I do hear you. And indeed, it only makes sense that most of the energy go to the other identities!

I'm glad to read that "cis" wasn't intended to be presented as "boring"--and indeed, that's not unexpected; I don't think that I took it to be the intended reading. I think that the lack of something there felt more like an an area overlooked (understandably), and which omission felt (to me, at least) to carry an unintended half-implication--in my mind, at least.

A clever game, and one that I enjoyed! ^_^

I do think that the double-jump felt perhaps a bit unresponsive at times--at a guess, perhaps it was a bit too particular about when it could be used.

However, overall this was an enjoyable puzzle-experience. ^_^

A very interesting exploration, with some fascinating usages of non-standard spatial connections! Very nicely done! ^_^

I was a little sad that "void" didn't get a definition. While perhaps appropriate to the term, I was left still not knowing (albeit being able to guess) quite how it fit into gender-matters.

I liked the use of arrows to suggest the idea of societal pressure towards "cis" identification.

(Although I was a little sad that "cis" didn't get a some feature to spice up its space. Between that and the endless loop, it sort of felt like "cis" identities were being presented as "boring".)

Alas, I encountered a bug: Somehow, I got the "lift" to break, specifically to leave me enough space that I could drop into the curving "lift shaft". And while I could wander around down there, I couldn't quite get up to the lift again, it seemed. ^^;

(At a guess, perhaps I used the lift, then found another route back to to the point at which I entered the lift, leaving the platform elsewhere. But that is just a guess.)

But overall I liked this. ^_^

This was a rather fun game!

I did struggle with the tune-replication puzzle, I'm afraid, and indeed didn't pass it. Alas, as someone with a poor ear for music, puzzles like that always prove troublesome for me.

(If I may, it might have been nice to have had an alternative indicator for the notes: text-colours associated with each note, or positions on the instrument, or some such thing, that were given as part of the "remember tune" command. That might have made life rather easier for people like me, who don't have a musical ear.)

Still, up to that point I had fun, enjoyed the atmosphere, and found the puzzles pleasant to engage with. ^_^

(4 edits)

Up to the point at which escape becomes possible, this is a fun puzzle-game! The challenges were interesting and nicely laid out, and the interface is surprisingly intuitive as text-parsers go! ^_^

I can't really speak to what I gather is the final puzzle--the one that involves a certain diagram.

Coming into this game from itch's "browse" section, I had no real reason to expect that this was part of some greater puzzle-event.

As a result, treated the puzzle in question as the ones before it--to no avail. I think that I made progress; in particular, I discovered certain external images, and found a connection between their origins and certain symbols. However, there was no clear way of entering a puzzle-solution, the images seemed unrelated to the game-content, and my attempted solutions made little sense.

It was only after giving up and attempting to find some hints that I learned that this is part of a puzzle-event, and thus realised that there may be no in-game means of entering a solution, and that the correctness of my solutions might not be evident.

All of this is then to say: If I'm correct about that final puzzle, then it might perhaps be worth putting some notice in the description to warn players who come in from sources outside of the event. Just something to warn us that said final puzzle is intended to apply to the larger event, and isn't solvable in-game (if that's the case), or something to similar effect.

Still, overall I had fun playing this game, and solving the puzzles that I did. ^_^

So let me finally say: thank you for this game! ^_^

Regarding the interactions being limited, that's very fair! If anything, it's perhaps a good thing that you didn't entangle yourself with more-complex mechanics on your first outing. So, perhaps take my critique there less as something that should have been done differently in this game, and more as something to think about for later games. And since you're already aware of it, all seems well!

As to design documentation, I don't think that it's a problem if it's part of your process!

As to imitating Ultima VII, I'll confess that it's been long enough since my last playthrough that I don't recall what the player had to click on and what could be dragged, so fair enough!

Anyway, I'm interested to see what you make next! ^_^

This was a neat little game! ^_^

I was a little sad that I couldn't prepare one loaf while the previous was baking, I will admit. It might also have been nice if the controls for taking flour and water were the same as the controls for moving the bread--interaction would have felt more consistent that way, I think.

On the other hand, the interactions that were there were well-implemented, and felt pretty good to play out. ^_^

All that said, the game was cute, and was more fun than I expected it to be! Plus the whole concept was amusing, especially given the Avatar's motivation for the whole thing! XD

You also captured very well just how annoying the feeding mechanic in Ultima VII can be! XD;

Overall: well done! ^_^

To the first and third, it's my pleasure! ^_^

To the second, ah, I'm glad that I identified the poem correctly! It was somewhat unexpected to encounter it so--but not unpleasant. ^_^

It's a good poem, I do think--so much of that books poetry is--and one with a wonderful power to it, I feel.

(It's also one of the few bits of poetry that I know pretty much by heart, end-to-end.)

This is a pleasantly-meditative game, and an enjoyable experience overall. Thank you for it! ^_^

If I may ask, is the final phrase taken from The Lord of the Rings, specifically from Bilbo's poem of Strider?

I will note that, alas, the game didn't seem to work in Firefox, at least under Ubuntu 18.04.5 (I believe the version-number is). However, I was able to play by loading it in Chrome!

This was a lovely puzzle-experience! ^_^

The strangely-connected forest and the brief but useful clues added a nice air of mystery. On the mechanical side, the use of simple traversal across screens as a primary means of solving puzzles added to the strange feeling of the experience, complemented the idea of exploration, and made for an unusual approach to interaction.

All in all, I really liked this! ^_^

A rather neat puzzle/golf/dungeon-crawling game!

The experience is fun, the controls work well and are intuitive, and there are some nice touches to it. ^_^

Not a problem! Good luck with the rest of development! ^_^

Hmm... I don't know whether this issue is on my end or in the game itself, but when I press the "forward" key the character doesn't go forward, as such. It seems instead to also move to one side, thus ending up moving diagonally, which makes navigation a little difficult. (And the same appears to be true of the other direction-keys.)

Thank you for the comment! ^_^

"What gameplay time do you estimate for release version?"

I've never been quite sure of how to answer that. Would it be the expected time for a first player, which might vary significantly depending on how a given player fares at the various challenges? Or the time for an experienced player, which is likely to be far less than for a first-time player? 100% completion, or minimal?
At a guess, I'd say that I'd expect a non-expect playthrough to take a few hours, all told--but I don't yet have data to back that up, I'm afraid. As I said, it's a guess.

"Reminds me of Mist a bit, with those puzzle elements. :)"

Thank you! That's high praise, as far as I'm concerned! ^_^

"And will you have controller support? Should be nice for such type of game."

It already has controller support. ;)
(You do have to switch manually to a controller profile in the options menu, or bind the controls yourself if a suitable profile isn't available; the game is a little old-fashioned when it comes to handling such things!)

Thanks for letting me know! I've taken note of it for possible play at a later stage. ^_^

Whether the difficulty level is too low or not may depend on what you want this game to be. I know that, just enjoying it as some quick-and-simple fun, I enjoyed it.

If I may, I have two points of critique:

First, I had little indication of where I was supposed to go. This was especially troublesome at the start of the game: I was still figuring out what I was supposed to do, and the view was quite close to the rocket, leaving me able to see only a little distance around it.

Second, the collision detection around the giant trees encountered early on was a bit unforgiving: in places I could "crash" into one of them without apparently coming into contact. This felt a little frustrating.

All that said, let me note conversely that I rather liked the handling of the rocket: the controls were responsive, and the rocket's acceleration was low enough to suggest weight while high enough that it didn't feel ponderous. In short, the rocket controlled well, I think! ^_^

And as I said, I overall enjoyed my time with this game. ^_^

A neat game, I think! ^_^

A few thoughts, if I may:

 - I would like an easier way to restart the game on losing; right now it seems, at least, that the only way to restart is to reload the page.

 - I'd like to see a bit more fanfare on defeating a boss-level--some particles, or an animation, or something. A bit more of a reward for completing a level, in short.

 - Sound effects would really make the whole thing a bit more impactful, I think!

All that said, I enjoyed this overall! The controls are smooth and responsive, and the gameplay is simple and yet nevertheless enjoyable. ^_^

Fair enough! I'm glad if the report helps. ^_^

The Linux download seems to be broken: clicking on it opens the download popup, as with the other platforms, but no file-saving dialogue appears. :/

(This was observed under Ubuntu Linux 18.04.4, using Firefox 76.0.1 (64-bit))

Ah, I'm really glad that you found it so positive, and that you did find everything in the end!

Thank you: for playing, for the lovely comment, and for making a video of your playthrough. ^_^

The comment is my pleasure; I'm glad if it's been helpful. ^_^

Regarding shooting, is there ever a circumstance in which the player might prefer to not shoot? If there isn't, then perhaps it might be worth considering having the player-character just shoot continuously, without player-input.

A rather fun game, this! ^_^

My only critique might be that it gets a little tedious to rapidly tap the space-bar to fire; I think that I might prefer to have the player-character shoot while the space-bar is held down, instead.

Still, that's a fairly small issue in an otherwise fun and stylish experience. ^_^

I think that I will indeed keep an eye out for updates, thank you! ^_^

That was pretty cool! The mechanics worked well, were pretty intuitive, and were fun to play with. ^_^

(I did feel that when I picked up a box it was held a little far away, making placement a little more awkward that I might have liked, but that's a minor thing.)

Overall, I really enjoyed this! ^_^

The game is a cute little non-violent stealth experience, which I like. ^_^

I will say that I wasn't sure of how to complete the game: I achieved both of the goals indicated at the top-left, and then... found no means of progressing further. I couldn't leave by the front or garage door, as far as I found. Was I intended to return the watering can? To find an open window? Something else? (Or is there no end as of yet?)

It's an interesting concept, and I like the "meta" aspect of upgrading the game that the character is working on, which is the game that the player is playing, and which thus upgrades the latter, too. ^_^

I do think that the "stock room" area could perhaps better convey that an item has been selected: there isn't much feedback there, and in particular no visible change of a given item's "state". It's only on going back to the till that one discovers that an item has been successfully selected. This can make for a minor bump in the experience at times, I think.

(I'm also honestly not clear on what the toy located second from the right on the second shelf might be. Looking at it again now, I'm guessing that it's a toy car? ^^; )

Conversely, however, figuring out which toy a customer wants is a nice little challenge! ^_^

A short and sweet mini-metroidvania; I like this! ^_^

My main point of critique would be that the wall-jumping felt a little unresponsive to me, and thus a little harder to pull off than I might have liked. (From what I saw, it seemed that it only activated once an animation had played, and possibly required really pressing heavily into the wall; I think that I might have found it more intuitive if both--presuming that I have them correct--were relaxed.)

Still, overall the game was rather fun, and I enjoyed it. ^_^

Short, simple, and engaging. ^_^

The "window shafts" that direct the player to the locations for the gems were quite clever, I thought--and not unfitting with the setting, if I'm not much mistaken.

There didn't seem to be much of an ending, alas--perhaps a little more clarity on what has been achieved on completing the game might have been nice.

But overall, I liked this. ^_^

This was a really fun game! The puzzles were interesting, the tools were neat, and the art was pretty. ^_^ 

My only real critique would be that, while I liked the art-style, it did also make the nature some of the tools a little non-obvious.

Overall, however, I really liked this. ^_^

That's all fair, I do think! Indeed, so it very often goes with game-jams, I do think: there's much that one wants to implement or fix, and only so much--so little--time in which to do it!

Update! I've tried it out, and--as tic_is_mad reports--it does indeed seem to work. ^_^

As to the game itself, I like the idea, but I have a few points of critique, if I may. Before I do, however, please note that I've only played a level or two, and so it's very possible that some or all of the below is answered in later levels.

- There seemed to be little incentive to move the human character overmuch. I just parked them in a corner and blasted away with attacks, with the occasional defence as called for.

 - Perhaps relatedly, there seemed to be few objectives, save "survive all enemies"--and no clear indication of how close I was to that goal (that I spotted, at least).

 - Since all the attacks were the same aside from shape and cost, and since enemies were seldom clustered enough for the attack-shapes to make much difference, the choice of which attack to use didn't feel all that interesting.

 - The tutorial was somewhat front-loaded, with quite a bit fed to the player all at once. It might be easier to absorb if spaced out a bit, especially if the player can do the things taught just after each lesson.

All that said, I do think that this is a premise that could be quite interesting, and I like the AI character thus far. ^_^

I've downloaded the Linux build, I believe, and will hopefully give it a shot and report back later. ^_^

Alas, it looks like the game doesn't render properly on my system: while the playing of sounds and music seems to imply that the game-logic is running, the window remains black. :/

(The dev- and Unity- logos do seem to work, however.)

I'm playing the web-build, running in Firefox (75.0) under Ubuntu 18.04.4.

Quite intriguing! I welcome this new protagonist, and am interested to see where the story takes her, and how--if at all--her story touches on those of Kat and the other characters... ^_^