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Aquamarine

A quiet survival adventure in an alien ocean. · By moebial

Share Your Pre-Alpha Demo Feedback

A topic by moebial created Oct 12, 2018 Views: 486 Replies: 20
Viewing posts 1 to 9
Developer(+1)

Hey everyone!

Thanks a ton for checking out this unfinished, early demo of Aquamarine. My name is Patric, and I'm the game's director and lead designer. As you've likely noticed, this demo is very low on content and is very much a work in progress. We've made it available for you to download, though, because we want you to get a glimpse at the kind of world we're building and gameplay we're designing for the full experience. This isn't the game itself, but more the direction it's headed.

There's a lot of balancing, polishing, and creation still left for us to do, so please share your feedback in this thread. What do you like doing in the game? What do you wish was different? What kind of mechanics should we add? Does anything need to be taken out? There's no bad feedback you can share. It will all help our studio make Aquamarine the best it can be.

Thanks for giving us a look, and I look forward to reading what you have to share.

- Patric & Team Moebial

(+2)

The game looks great, love the theme. Really looking forward to this now.


Here are some things I noticed:


- The intro text moves too fast to the next text (probably hard to fix due to pacing though, and the pace is very fast right now which I think is suiting)

- Didn't understand if it was possible to get out of the water and return to land

- Not a fan of the mouse clicking controls. It's not clear where the next spot I can click will be when I'm underwater

- The game crashed after I headed south, west, then tried going south again


Looking forward to seeing more of this! Keep up that good work

Developer

Thanks for the great feedback, and glad to hear you're excited for the future of the game. Totally hear you about the mouse controls, and it's likely we'll be tweaking those a good amount as development continues. We'll also make sure to take a close look at the bug you described. 

Thanks!

(+1)

The game looks nice, I have already played for about 3 or 4 hours, I think. I also have some things to say:

- I find it hard to find food, or at least on the quantity I should get, considering how quickly I starve and die because of it;

- This makes the game more about lucky than strategy, but I think your plan is for it to be more based on strategy;

- Food I collect, if I just spend gems to go "home", my food stock shows as empty. I don't know how this food would get lost ;

- Once I ended up going more to the east, and then I got stuck between two consecutive maps. I was on the east border of one, couldn't move but could go to the next map. When I went to this next map, I couldn't move either, just move back to the previous map. Also, my "energy" was decreasing by itself very quickly, even if I was standing still. I don't know if this was a bug, but it didn't make sense to me because I couldn't get out of it;

- When I'm near the starting point, I couldn't find a way to go to land (as someone also said above). I miss this, considering we can do this through gems (but only if we are more far from the land);

- At first I got a bit confused that I couldn't fight the monsters, only get hit or run away from them.

These are the main points that I feel like something is missing. But I like how you have to discover things by yourself, with no hints of what you may end up encountering. It's just like on the game itself: you are alone and know nothing about that world. And the player having the same approach to me is what makes the identity of this game and makes me want to play it again.

Even if sometimes I get a bit frustrated for not finding food at all, I want to continue playing it.

Do you intend to public a new version, before the final, so we can see the changes that are being made?

Developer

Yes, thank you! This may be the first time I've heard this kind of in-depth feedback from someone who also expresses a strong understanding of what the game is going for.

"It's just like on the game itself: you are alone and know nothing about that world. And the player having the same approach to me is what makes the identity of this game and makes me want to play it again."

This is exactly on point to what we want to do with this game, and I love that it came across. At the same time, your comments are super helpful. A few responses for you:

  • The one problem you described about the energy decreasing even while standing still, as well as getting stuck, is definitely a bug. I'll make a note to fix that.
  • Also making a note to make it possible to move back to land from the starting point.
  • Certain aspects of the food system aren't fully fleshed out, which is why it's not clear about some of the food disappearing, but will be soon. FYI: there are currently two types of food to find, and only one of them doesn't "survive" when you're out of the water.

There will definitely be updates made to this demo, which should be published sometime next month. Thanks again for this great feedback!

(2 edits) (+1)

The art is insanely gorgeous. I really enjoy the premise and setting, and the intro cutscene is perfect. I love the vibe of the music, especially in the intro.

Some criticisms:

After about 20 minutes, gems have apparently stopped spawning entirely. The last several trips, I have wandered around until I ran out of fuel without seeing a single gem.

There doesn't seem to be any purpose to resting. 

I agree with the others that food is way too scarce. 

I also agree that the current navigation system of clicking on invisible markers is frustrating.

It is very unclear how to tell where I can advance to another area. I'll often get to the edge of an area expecting to get the prompt to move on, but instead get nothing.

While it's understandable for a demo, I think moving forward the most important thing should be giving the players more reason to explore the world.

Developer(+1)

Great feedback, thank you. Some of your criticisms are due to there being no explicit tutorial. For instance, there is a purpose to resting, which is actually linked to the spawning gems. But those things will come more into focus down the line.

Your last point about giving players more reason to explore is absolutely correct. This demo is very low on content and is missing at least three specific mechanics that the final version will have. We'll have a solid update coming in the next month that will address those issues first and foremost.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts!

(+1)

I think my main complaint about the demo, understanding it's a prealpha, is the moving experience. It's really difficult to tell where the tiles are and where it's possible for myself and enemies to move to. It could be a toggle on and off so that it doesn't interfere with the visual of the scenes. But really, gameplay is paramount in a game, and I find this difficult to navigate from a UX perspective. Same with the world map to a certain extent, it's really unclear how I should be exploring the world in order to get to the target. This might be resolved with a tutorial, but really each element should speak for itself and be easy to navigate without explicit instruction imo.

Developer(+1)

Really good feedback, and thanks for taking the time to share. We’ve had the movement/tile issue on the top of our list for the next update, and will look into your comment about the map, too. Just to be clear, are you referring to the main map with the big smoke cloud on the righthand side? 

Yes, what I assume is the overworld map where you can spend crystals to return home

Developer

Noted! Thanks again.

(+1)

This game looks like it's going to be beautiful and a really cool exploration/survival game! Unfortunately I'm running into issues running the demo on my MacBook Pro (2017). The screen appears to be the wrong resolution for me, so the left and right sides of the screen are cut off. During the dives, the game runs too slowly to tell when I'm interacting with things - it can take several seconds for the hover state to trigger, and several more for the actual action to happen, whether it's movement or pressing buttons on the control panel. Needless to say I didn't get far enough to provide much real feedback, but the little bits I can provide: I wasn't sure what the camping buttons did ("dusk" and "dark" seemed to progress time, but I didn't see a way to cancel out back to the main screen) and once I was diving, I couldn't see an option for returning to shore. Thanks for sharing your work-in-progress - I look forward to following the rest of the game's development!

Developer

Thanks for letting us know about this. We've been receiving other reports about problems with Mac and Linux builds, so I've decided to pull them down for the time being. But if you'd like to help us with testing, we'd be glad to have you.

That said, what you're describing sounds like an issue we have with all Mac laptops. I have one too, and I wouldn't ever try to play an unfinished indie game on it, or much else for that matter. For us, often the way they handle graphics just slows the game down a ridiculous amount. I'm going to see what I can do about it, though.

Yeah, it makes sense that an early build wouldn’t be optimized for performance - and laptops usually aren’t always great at running games in general. But I’d be more than happy to help test future Mac builds!

Developer

Awesome! Here's our Discord: https://discord.gg/3bEZdyy

Feel free to ping me @moebial and I'll be in touch with a tester soon :)

(+1)

Distro:Arch Linux
Kernel:5.5.2-arch1-1
RAM:16 GB
GPU Driver:NVIDIA 440.59
GPU:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
CPU:AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Eight-Core

Really loving the art direction, I'll be sure to keep an eye on this. It runs absolutely great on my system, assuming the bugs are just game bugs and not platform specific. I can for example keep battery and defense technically infinite by pumping it up above sea level (requires no gems). Other bugs range from unable to no longer move, unable to rise/descend (visual glitches vary from this). Also, nothing happens when you harvest a plant (except that the mouse disappears and I'll have to restart the game).


I wish you luck with this! Penguins will be pleased.

Developer

Oh, this is such good feedback! Thank you. Going to look into those bugs you described today and get another update sorted ASAP

(+1)

Great job ! this style is what I been  trying to make in 3d mode

Developer

Thanks so much! Would love to see something similar in 3D :)

(+1)

Here's my coverage:
it's an ok Demo, a lot could be changed and improved

Developer

Yep, that's the plan! :) Thanks for making a fun video about it