🤑 Indie game store🙌 Free games😂 Fun games😨 Horror games
👷 Game development🎨 Assets📚 Comics
🎉 Sales🎁 Bundles

Impressions on release version (spoilers!)

A topic by xaerock created 69 days ago Views: 166 Replies: 2
Viewing posts 1 to 3
(Edited 3 times)

Hey, just finished the game a couple times. I enjoyed it a lot, the presentation is top notch. The shmup mechanics didn't feel as engaging but that's fine for the most part. It's a neat game and I got hooked on seeing what happens next.

Some random things that came to mind after playing it. Don't take the suggestion ones too seriously, this is some rambly stuff since I've played too many shmups.

There's seemingly no reason to not mash the shot button all the time. Doesn't feel like there is much interaction with the shot button as a result, especially if you assume player has autofire mapped. The decreased movement speed is still some incentive to manage it though. Reading older posts about an older version needing to manage a reloading shot sounds neat but can see how it isn't for everyone. The intense screenshake from firing would be more impactful if you were encouraged to time it more.  A charged up shot by holding or not touching shot for a time would be interesting.

Movement speed of the player ship is a little slow to my liking but it's certainly playable and makes the game more challenging.

Stage 5 boss is a little underwhelming gameplay wise. Very cool visual/audio design but fighting it doesnt feel like a final boss encounter. Apart from the warping of the 2nd phase lasers I thought it was easier than other bosses. Stage 1 boss sort of sets a precedent of bosses getting stronger the further they go on and St4 boss goes further. The rotating laser/bullet stream gimmick was used on a lot of bosses(2,3,5?). 

Closest it felt to a normal shmup was dealing with the enemies that shoot aimed return fire in stage 4 and stage 1 boss.

Stage 2 boss first form aimed turrets are really fast to react to the first time you get there. Then again after facing it once this is a non-issue and getting quickly killed like that does fit with the simple intensity of the game.

Enemy spawn location indicator on the player ship could pop out a bit more or instead show up on the screen edges. After playing a few times you get used to looking for it though. Movement speed is sorta slow so if players get an enemy wave start spawning on top of them its easy to get blown up. Stage 3 seems like the worst culprit. But again maybe this kind of simplicity and memorization works with the game in the end.

When starting out I got killed once or twice because of achievement popups, worst one was blowing up the last big suicide bullet enemy in stage 2 and flying into the aimed + suicide bullets because of achievement hiding everything for a moment. Did make me laugh though :)

Scoring focusing on speedkill is engaging already but would be interesting to also have extra enemies pop up when you're taking things out quickly. Many games have this as another way to promote quickkills that gets rid of empty space even if you're making short work of enemies (and/or sync stages, bosses to music). I like how you can use the critical low hp state to take out enemies faster.

Rym 9000 as a visual trip reminded me of Rez and Child of Eden, definitely memorable.

Bugs: I can't get rid of fullscreen mode for some reason. I switched it to windowed once and defaults once and ever since it's stuck in fullscreen regardless of setting. Launching the game with -force-d3d9 makes it run faster on my machine (using a mid-range laptop from 2013), maintains nearly constant framerate this way.

Developer (Edited 1 time)

Hi xaerock!

I noticed you in the leaderboards this morning, congrats on finishing the game (twice!). That's impressive.
Though I might reset the leaderboards on 15 January to time up with the Steam release, but I'm not sure yet. I hope you don't mind, otherwise let me know I can get you back in there.

Thank you for taking your time to write your opinion about the game. Though I can't reply to all your points, I still hear you loud and clear!

The point you mentioned about button-mashing and aircraft speed had polarizing opinions throughout development. For example at first the aircraft had an overheating mechanic that many disliked, so I had to come up with an incentive for the player to ease down shooting over time, that's when I thought of button-mashing + slowing down the aircraft while in fire mode.

The charge shot while holding down the fire button was in my to-do list as well, though out of laziness never got around implementing it.

Aircraft speed is super slow indeed, I realized that quite late into development. By then I couldn't increase it as that would entail redesigning many enemy-behaviors that rely on the player's speed (like the Ranger in Area 2, Bomber/Area 1, Crusher-doors/Area 4, and many others). Though in a way I'm glad I kept it this slow, you get used to it pretty fast and the gameplay feels tighter and more precise akin to that of Guxt, my main inspiration gameplay-wise.

The other shortcomings about bosses are absolutely true, I reckon most of them need tweaking, and I also find myself struggling with the 2nd phase of Boss 1 more than the 1st phase of Boss 5 for example. They're still challenging neverthless, so I think that's good enough for a perma-death shmup.

The achievement popup scare the heck out of me, they're kinda loud and spontaneous, but I think that adds up to the surprise of having unlocked an achievement :) I could fix the Detonating Shooter popup by making it trigger a little later on. I'll add it to my to-do list, eventually this could get fixed.

I'll look into those bugs right now. It's strange I can't seem to turn off fullscreen either when I tried it just now. Thanks for the heads-up! Will look into this now.


Solved the fullscreen problem. The update will go live in an hour or so.