The concept is solid and the core gameplay works. It just needs some polish, which can be time consuming but the difficult part is done I think.
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I've built some games in GZDoom (my entry last year, TWAT, was one of them) but I'm moving away from that engine for exactly that reason. What I've found is that with retro engines, there are hard limits on what you can do, at least while maintaining your sanity. GZDoom is about as flexible as it gets, but it still doesn't support (for example) skeletal animation, video playback, or a robust custom GUI (ZScript might have changed the last one). If you need any of those you're straight up out of luck. It could be an interesting challenge but it's not my thing.
I feel you. Running into technical issues and having a feature Refuse To Work really sucks, especially when the clock is ticking. I can't imagine what it was like with a literal hurricane bearing down on you, though!
The crack doesn't actually do anything other than create a text file, but it's deliberately made to be as terrifying as possible. I was worried that some people would absolutely refuse to use it, and the game isn't really winnable without it, so that's why I included the console commands in the readme file.
The optimal number of guns is 4-7. Above that it gets kind of boring, and above 20 it starts glitching out. I think what's happening is the bullets are either hitting each other or hitting the guns. I didn't really put much time into trying to fix it. I also didn't bother with object pooling or other optimization, so too many guns is probably a performance killer.
I prefer spamming missiles, though.
I wouldn't count on the CD Audio feature working fine. It worked in my (limited) testing but it's incredibly hacky. Music is actually played by opening VLC in the background, and stopped by killing the VLC process.
I feel this is a better game than TWAT, but I also feel that it's a weaker entry for SBIG Jam if that makes any sense.
It's nostalgic for me, and I think there is definitely an element of "you had to have been there". I think the timing is about right that a lot of people will have these memories but it's definitely not going to hold up over time or appeal to a younger crowd. It's going to bring back memories if you've played junkware, but some features might leave people confused (particularly the crack). I'm glad that it's clicked for you.
The CD audio feature is really questionable because not many people have optical drives anymore. I think it works for this jam but it's not something I'd bother implementing for a serious game. The implementation is also disgustingly hacky and I'm amazed it works at all.
The first wave is doable, and maybe the second. Past that it's basically impossible. It's deliberately balanced so that you pretty much have to throw money at it. One kill grants one geode buys one bullet, so you literally can't afford to miss. Geodes are persisted, so in theory you can grind it, but it wouldn't be a fun experience.
I actually made the crack and website first. The original idea was "Beachhead 2000 with microtransactions", but it wasn't bad or weird enough for my liking so I started throwing in other things later on. The bosses get weird around wave 30, and if you can get to wave 51 (impossible without cheats) there's a surprise. In retrospect, though, I feel like I should have stuck to the original concept instead of breaking the facade halfway through.
While the faux-retro isn't perfect, it's fine for a jam game. Getting a perfect look takes a lot of time, and this was a one-week jam. Downgrading graphics can be difficult. I'm quite familiar with Unity and I wasn't able to get Beach Defend 2000 to look quite the way I wanted it in the time I had.
I tend to like really bizarre, weird games, especially in this jam. The epitome of a "so bad it's good" game, in my mind, is one that makes me go "WTF did I just play" but also "let's do that again". I actually feel that every game I've made for SBIG Jam, including this year's entry, has been too conventional. I think next year I'll try to do something really weird.
How is Unreal's UI system? I have mixed feelings about the one in Unity.
A late entry but a good one. This was one of my favourites in the jam.
The awkward HUD, low-rent textures, and ugly models made into poorly cut-out sprites are definitely so bad they're good. The big-boxes-hooked-together level design, too. The intro cutscene really seals the deal; it's just amazing. It's incredibly cheesy but it does a great job of setting the stage and the tone of the game right off the bat.
The movement is awkward, the enemy AI is buggy, and the weapons are quirky. None of that is really a bad thing for this jam; it was pretty common back in the day and I can live with it. But I really wish I could tell when I was actually hitting enemies. Visible bullets, hit puffs, or a pain animation would have helped here. It seems like a petty nitpick, but this is really what brings the gameplay down from "janky but decent" to "functional".
Duke Nukem and Strife? I can see it, and maybe some HacX too. To me it feels more like some of the indie shareware and freeware titles of the early 2000s than a true mid-90s commercial game, but whatever, it's still retro and cool.
I don't know if there ever will be an Episode 2, but if there is, I want to play it.
I don't know if I really found it too hard so much as just overwhelming in general. I think it was done deliberately, and I think it works for this jam, but I couldn't play it more than a couple times.
I've never played Cute Adblocker or any of your other previous games. That's probably why there were a few things where I felt were a reference to something but I didn't get.
To be clear, I think this was a good entry. I think it really does hit the mark on being "so bad it's good". It just wasn't really my thing.
Well, now that I've figured it out, or have been told how to play it...
I really like the look and feel of this. It's not perfect, but it does a good job of capturing the essence of Windows XP, sketchy hacks, and awkward video tutorials.
It's a neat experience, but it's not a very good game. The interactivity is really unintuitive (as the conversation below can attest), shallow, and without a win or loss condition. In my mind it barely qualifies as a game at all. I don't want to call it bad, it's more like there's not enough there to call it good or bad.
I think this would be a fun nostalgia trip, but not for me personally. I never played Club Penguin and I never watched this type of video tutorial, though I knew about them at the time.
This is probably my personal favourite this time around. I think it's the only one that ticks all the boxes: is "so bad it's good", is retro, and is something I liked. There are other games that do some of the above (and some better than this) but I think this one is the best for "all of the above" if that makes any sense.
It really captures the feel of an N64 game, maybe more an iffy third-party title than a solid first-party one, but it gets it right even in a lot of the details. Often it looks horrible because of it- the text in particular is atrocious- but it looks right.
The story and dialogue is weird, but funny. Same goes for the odd-looking character models. I like that there were many shout-outs to various games, some more subtle than others, but it didn't rely too much on parodying one in particular.
The gameplay is just okay, and that's not something I really realized until I'd thought about it for a while because it gets so far on style alone.
My only other gripe is that it's lacking quality-of-life features like pause, save, and skip dialogue, but the game isn't long or frustrating enough for it to really be an issue. Oh, and quads were really the Saturn's thing, not the N64's, but that's ridiculously nitpicky even for me.
I don't know if this is, objectively, the best game in the jam. It probably isn't. But it meshes the most for me.
I really went overboard on this one, after saying I wouldn't this time. Honestly, I feel TWAT was a stronger entry; Beach Defend 2000 doesn't have the jank and bizarreness of TWAT. Beach Defend 2000 started off as "Beachhead 2000 with microtransactions" and then I just started throwing stuff in when I realized that wasn't really working.
Also, like I said, I spent way too long on it. I pretty much spent the entire week on this project.
I tested the CD music functionality with Sabaton's The Great War- of the four physical CDs I own, it was the best fit. I think it would also sync up well to Carolus Rex, Will To Power (Arch Enemy) Dark Passion Play (Nightwish), or Imaginaerum (Nightwish). Only one of those really makes sense; the others are just ones I was listening to with tracks arranged in the right order (though I don't know if physical copies are arranged differently).
I didn't realize a controller was non-optional. Seems to work with an Xbox Controller connected over Bluetooth, Chrome 76 on Windows 10 1809. It doesn't run at all in Waterfox 56.2.14.
The art style and janky gameplay really remind me of mid-2000s Flash games. I could definitely see this on Newgrounds some time in the previous decades.
Although, to be honest, it would have been one I checked out, thought was cool for a few minutes and moved on from. The gameplay wasn't really satisfying and I couldn't get past the giant barrel boss. To be clear, a lot of this is down to personal preference; I'm not really into games like Double Dragon to begin with.
And I suspect if you're one isn't familiar with the source material a lot of it is going to be lost on them. I think it really falls into "it's a decent entry but not really my thing" for me.
EDIT: To clarify the last line because it comes across as a rambly mess: I think you have to be familiar with Double Dragon to really get this one, and I'm not really familiar with it so it just didn't click for me.
I love the aesthetic and the concept, but I find it too frustrating to play to be fun. If I try to rush through it I hit things and lose power. If I try to be careful and methodical, I end up bumping something and staying in contact which drains power even faster. If power was only drained on impact I think it would be a lot more playable.
Scanlines aren't really my thing, but between that and the low-res (filter?) it almost sells the retro look despite really having too many polygons and too nice lighting. The sound is good but I kind of wish there was background music.
This is one of those games where I think it was done well but I just didn't like it all that much*. I'm not personally a fan of games where the only objective is score. I like my shooters simple; with constant spawns, the floor changing color, being able to fall off the map, and some enemies actually friendly there was just too much going on at once for me.
I don't know if it was actually happening or just seemed to be happening, but I thought some enemies were changing from green (friendly) to red (evil). After a while I gave up on trying to get a high score and just killed everything that might be a threat.
I think you gave the retro theme a good shot, but it just doesn't feel right to me. The biggest problem is that I'm not sure which period you're going for. The HUD tries to be 8-bit (although the drop shadow kinda breaks the illusion), the weapon sprites are mid 90s, and the 3D enemies and environments are late 90s-early 2000s. The company logo/intro is firmly New Tens and the main menu is mid-late 2000s.
I'm also not sure what's up with the streamer in the corner. I feel like it's a joke that I almost, but don't quite, get.
It's really, really hard for me to rate this one. I think it actually is a strong entry, but it didn't really click for me.
* You stand in good company at least; I put Undertale, The Witcher 3, and GTA V in this category.
This is definitely one of the entries that feels "so bad it's good" immediately upon opening to me. It's also a bit bizarre, and I like bizarre entries.
I like the twist with the gameplay, but after a while I was too disoriented and nauseous to play. Of all the entries, this is one of the best for having "so bad it's good" gameplay. It's actually pretty fun and I want to play it, but it makes my head spin.
I don't know if it was supposed to be retro, but it didn't really feel retro to me.
I wanted to like this one. I think it's a really neat idea, and could have been one of those games with "bad" but fun gameplay, but it just didn't click for me.
I just didn't find it fun to play. Ultimately it felt like playing a boring maze game but with awful controls. I think part of it was the difficulty; I found it impossible without "cheating", and if I do that, then it has no challenge.
Which is somewhat ironic considering I submitted a literal pay to win game.
This also crashes the tab on Waterfox 56.2.14. Not entirely unexpected given that it's a nonstandard browser, but most of the other web games work.
I still think it's really cool that you tried to think outside the box and build something with quirky, weird gameplay. For me, though, it just didn't work this time.
This is a pretty decent entry.
The graphical style is kind of a mess. Some of it is retro, some of it is lowpoly but modern, some of it is just weird. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing for this jam so I didn't rate against it.
The gameplay was simple, but solid. I'm no good at it, but it works. I found it confusing at first but it grew on my once I figured it out. Score attack with a shared leaderboard was definitely the right choice for this game. I'm impressed that you got that working; I had a similar idea but declared it out of scope early on.
I was never able to figure out how to get into the classic version. I do like the box art and title screen a lot, though.
I think this is the start of a good game, but it's the very opposite of what I think of when I think "so bad it's good". It's neither good enough nor bad enough, if that makes any sense.
This falls firmly into what I've been calling the "mediocrity gap". In the immortal words of Anatoly Dyatlov: not great, not terrible. It's not awful enough to be hilarious and sporkable, but it's not good enough to be a truly good game.
The core gameplay is solid. A physics puzzler where you remove blocks to guide the ball into the goal. Simple but fun, and well-paced with new elements added in to keep the experience interesting. I'd be surprised if this hasn't been done before, but this is the first time I've played that type of game so it was fun and fresh to me.
I really did find myself missing quality-of-life features though. Things like pause, quick redo, being able to pan around the level. And the music was a bit loud and harsh.
In general it feels like an earnest attempt at a game that just needs polish. The fundamentals are there, it just needs things like aforementioned quality of life features, menus, some sound and graphical tweaks, that sort of thing.
As for the modifier, it very much feels like a casual mobile game. It's coherent and well done in that way, but as you've said, not retro.
This is probably the best looking game of the jam, might have done the modifier the best, and is probably one of the more coherent.
It definitely has the look of a PS1 (or, to me, more like early Glide) game. Low res, limited palette, no filtering and awful draw distance, check. Well... almost. I don't know if it's a bug or I just didn't notice it the first time, but the second time I fired up the game the facade dropped a bit. It had very modern looking motion blur and I could tell that the pixels were done with a postprocessing effect. Kind of a shame, too, because the first time I played it I was blown away by how retro it really looked.
The framerate also varied a lot. That might be my computer's fault; I'm not sure if it's actually running on the dGPU or not.
The stealth music feels really out of place. I don't know if it's a reference to a specific game, but it really threw me off.
The gameplay is eh. It's rough but it (mostly) works. Normally I'd say that it's off to a good start but for this jam I think it's probably the worst place to be. My favourite games in previous years were the ones that played well but were awful in other ways, or had horrendously weird and awful gameplay but were still somehow fun.
With no HUD, no menus, no pause, and no checkpoints, it felt really incomplete, like a prototype. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing for this jam. I did find having to start from the beginning every time very frustrating, and never reached the end.
I don't know. I think it's actually really well done, especially in terms of being a retro game, but I found it kind of boring to be honest.
I like the concept, but there just isn't enough to this game. It's one joke, which is a pretty good one, but once that's worn off there's just nothing there. To me a "so bad it's good" game is one with depths- often unintentional depths- that you can come back to or at least engage you for a while.
This is just one game with different filters, and it's not a very exciting game. I think you've really only captured half of the multicart experience. There's an element of exploration and discovery with most cartridges, playing through all the weird shitty clone games to see if any of them are good, which ones are ripped off, and how many are actually on the cart. If you could have captured the feeling of excitement before the letdown I think this would have worked a lot better for me.
On a side note, I don't personally own any pirate multicarts but I do have a few sketchy famiclones with built-in games.
I don't like this game, but I think you hit the nail on the head. This game is pretty much exactly something I could point at and say, "this is so bad it's good".
I found the graphics to be absolutely hideous. The sprites are mostly really weird, ugly pictures cut out and pasted in. I also didn't like the font (though that's more personal preference) and the maps on the sides are just broken.
There's music but no sound. For this, it works.
I think it would be my top pick if the gameplay was just a little better. There's that fine line between "bad but playable" and "unplayably bad", and this sits on the unplayable side. You're supposed to dodge the expanding clouds, but with very slow horizontal movement and no vertical movement it's not actually possible most of the time. You're either almost guaranteed to miss or guaranteed to hit depending on the timing. Simply put the gameplay as designed doesn't really work.
There's also no endgame when you run out of time or hit the ground, which makes it feel incomplete.
It doesn't really come across as "retro" to me. I see what you're going for, but I'm not really feeling it. The intent may be there but nothing really stands out as oldschool when playing it.
I'm not familiar enough with Good Omens to say whether it's a good fangame or not.
It also runs like absolute garbage. I wonder if a desktop build would work better?
This one's a really tough one for me to rate. I really, really like it- I love retro first person shooters and a homebuilt raycaster is just cool.
I wish it was just a little bit less janky. The flickering hurts my eyeballs and I can't tell walls apart from enemies and projectiles. The music is good, but some of the sounds hurt my earballs. Given that this is SBIG Jam and given that it's a raycaster built in Flash, though, I can forgive all of that.
Mostly, it feels indie and retro, rather than bad.
The thing that kills it for me is the lack of an end condition. I personally hate open-ended games; some people like them and that's fine, but I like closure. I want to rescue Megan! Even a scoring system would be better than nothing. It's still fun to play for a while, but it just feels kind of incomplete without a goal.
As for the modifier, well... I understand what the intent is, but I see the Flash icon and part of my brain goes to "early-mid 2000s web game" while the other part is still on "early 90s raycast FPS". I know I probably shouldn't judge it based on the technology but it's just cognitive dissonance I can't shake.
So that's why it's so hard for me to rate. It's one of my favourite games in the jam for sure, but I also don't feel it's a good fit for it.
It's not bad, but it doesn't really stand out in any way.
As far as I can tell, this is a bog-standard RPG Maker game, mechanics-wise. That's not necessarily a bad thing- the base mechanics are solid enough- but it's just like a zillion other RPG Maker games. You can get custom scripts that change things up a bit, and I've seen some pretty good use of them in other games. I've also seen some truly horrendous use of them, so your mileage may vary.
I do find it odd that you're asking for feedback on the game systems and mechanics in particular given the above.
The environments are kind of bland and kind of weird. Not terrible, but again, they don't stand out as particularly good either. The buildings are too big and the layouts are weird. When I design environments I start by thinking about how things will function, both in real life and for the player, and then go from there.
I didn't play that far into the game. Maybe things get better later, but one thing I've learned the hard way is that you need to put your best foot forward with a solid hook that draws the player in.
So, I finally had a chance to play a bit of this. My first impression is of one of those games that promises a lot but just doesn't deliver. Do bear in mind that I only had time to play maybe half an hour of the game; however, the first part of a game needs to be strong to draw players in.
I was really excited to see a game set in ancient Persia and Mesopotamia. It would be a unique setting for a game that isn't seen that often. But when I actually started the game, everything was European styled or generic anime and the characters had names like Eric and Natalya. So... I guess it's not set there?
I'm not personally a fan of the Generic Fantasy Setting, but there's nothing inherently wrong with it. I would rename a few things and change the description so the game isn't presented as something it's not.
The gameplay is... fine. The battle system is decent enough, and seeing a quest system is nice. Some of it feels hacky or incomplete, but it's serviceable. With a little balancing and polish it would be satisfying enough. However, I do feel the description on the web page is overstating things a bit.
It feels unpolished in places. Part of the intro is in one corner of the screen, some of the graphics look out of place, the character name/gender selection doesn't work at all, and the main menu is blurry and full of JPEG artifacting. This is pretty minor stuff, but it's the kind of stuff that leaves a poor impression on players. Every game has issues like these at some stage in development; they're usually irritating to knock out but not particularly difficult issues to fix.
I'd focus on improving the dialogue first and foremost. That's really where Crossroads of Fate falls flat in my mind. The intro is truly confounding; I have no idea who's fighting who, who's on which side, who's talking or what's happening. In the game the dialogue is stilted, confusing, and extremely unnatural. I'm a big fan of writing dialogue like people actually talk, although some prefer a more refined style. In this game, at least from what I've played, it's just... bad. I know that's harsh criticism but I really don't know any other way to put it. The ideas are there- maybe- but they're just not coming across coherently.
May I ask if English is your first language? If it isn't, you may want to try getting someone with a better grasp of the language to proofread some of the lines.
Glad you liked it! Despite appearances, I actually worked really hard on this game. Project scope kept creeping before being slashed then creeping again, and I ended up spending way longer on this than I wanted to.
I'm pretty happy with the (MSPaint-esque) aesthetics, (badly made) sounds, and (mostly solid) level design, but I do feel the gameplay was too straightforward for this jam. I wanted something solid and fun to play but I wish I'd strayed off the beaten path a bit. I also wish I had time to build more levels (five were planned) and refine the ones that were there (Abandoned Factory has a weird side passage not because I thought it would be cool, but because I screwed up). I also wanted to do more with the characters and their abilities but I just didn't have the time and I feel they're very same-ish.
But, you know, it's a game jam.
I'm happy knowing that someone noticed all the little things I threw in- I do it in every game I make but I often feel they don't get seen. I prefer more subtlety than some other humour games and I wonder if a lot of it gets missed.
I take it you played as Spark? Also, how did you find the boss fight? A lot of people who tried the game had trouble with it, and I occasionally tripped up and died horribly during testing.
Anyway, I really like seeing what other people come up with, even if some of them aren't my cup of tea. There were some very interesting entries this year, some that I thought were good, some I thought were bad, and some that managed to do both. Thanks for getting this together again this year, it was a great jam and one of my personal favourites.
Hexen is based on the Doom engine and uses (mostly) the same tools, but adds a few more features to the mix. (G)ZDoom actually used the Hexen map format even for Doom maps (Doom in Hexen Format) because it was more capable, before eventually switching to UDMF which is even better. Polyobjects are a hacky way of doing 3d-ish moving geometry created for Hexen. It can be seen in the first map, with a pair of towering wooden doors that swing open ominously. (G)ZDoom extended them quite a bit and that's how the sliding and swinging doors are done here.
The final boss is (barely) killable with the ammo in the room. Old shooters didn't have autosaves, but there's a critical quality of life feature these days. On top of that, some of the more complex (G)ZDoom mods would break horribly with an oldschool pistol start.
Polyobjects have come a long way since Hexen but still have some... issues. They can be mitigated with careful level design, but as you could probably tell, I never actually finished that level.
Was it in the large room with the silver platform? That is the final boss and is meant to be challenging. The game is supposed to autosave at the beginning of every level, but it could be bugged. I could and should have set it up to autosave just before the boss fight but it just hadn't occurred to me.
But I mean, it's SBIG Jam, so these kinds of issues are to be expected. Glad you enjoyed it despite (or because of?) the issues.
Yeah, originally I was going to include an installer script that would automatically pick and install the right binary, then run the game. But I don't know Bash well, and I ran out of time. Still my bad for not at least including instructions!
I tried to go for strong gameplay while making it bad in other ways. In my opinion a "so bad it's good" game still needs to be fun to play. It is very conventional, though, and some of the other games I've seen in the jam did stranger things that were "bad", but still fun which I agree would be a better fit.
I guess I'll take that as a compliment, though. Two of the inspirations for this were mid-late 90s shooters and early-mid 2000s Flash games, so pretty much spot on.
I'm kind of on the fence about self-awareness in a "so bad it's good" game. Most non-deliberate examples don't have it, at least not on purpose. There have been some happy accidents as it were. But at the same time, if you're actually trying to make a game that's so bad it's good, you kind of have to force things a bit. You do have to go a bit meta.
To me it's really trying to balance on a knife edge. It's so easy to fall off one side or the other, ending up with either something "so bad it's terrible" or "so okay it's average". I feel much better about striking a balance with my entry this year, but I can 100% say that what I did last time didn't. It needs to be ugly, but not too ugly. It needs to be irritating, but not too irritating. Bad but not too bad. Good but not too good.
Like I said, a knife's edge.
I also feel that the gameplay needs to be legitimately good. It can be strange, and I've seen some really interesting and unusual games in that vein, but it can't be terrible. If it's frustrating, broken, or incomplete, it usually falls off into "so bad it's terrible" for me. It can appear bad but should still be good gameplay design, if that makes any sense at all.
On top of that, a lot of this is subjective and varies from person to person, and a lot of it is "know it when you see it" stuff that can't be explicitly defined. Definitely a much more challenging proposition than it would initially appear.
Philosophy aside, while I feel some entries were better fits than others, I enjoyed playing all of them and just seeing what people came up with. Even an interpretation that I don't really agree with can be interesting to look at.