Provide any feed back in this thread please!
Got a new idea or better thought on gameplay? I'd love to hear your idea.
Nice so far. I like the PS1 style graphics. Reminds me of Brave Fencer Musashi which is an under-rated classic. The Hyperlight Drifter influence is noticeable and I think you're hitting all the right notes with it. It's inspired by, without coming off as a clone.
Gameplay is great so far.
I'm going to just summarize my Music and Sound related comments to: Relax your approach to sound.
Music: Let the songs play and don't change the song from screen to screen. Changing the song too often makes it feel like you're constantly changing direction as opposed to working towards a goal. Maybe with each new screen or step towards a goal you can add a layer of music giving the player a clue that they are getting closer. This is something that Disasterpeace did well with huge tracks like "The Gauntlet."
New Song = New Area = New Goal
The whole first area could be one song that changes when you get to the boss. That will get our attention. Exploration time is over... Time to fight!
The music sounds well done. Let us hear it before changing the track.
Sound/Music Production issues:
Some of the effects and musical interludes seem to end abruptly with a click/pop. Let the sound fully play out. It'll add to the size of your game, but it will sound a lot nicer. The clicks are happening because the sound is being cut off. Before ending the sound, do a quick fade out (50-100 ms). That should remove the clicks. But, overall, I'd just let the sounds play out longer, especially if they're reverberating/musical in nature.
I know it seems picky but it's something that I definitely notice and takes away from the overall quality of the game and it's an easy fix.
Let me bind the mouse controls to the keyboard as well. I don't have a middle mouse button on my laptop trackpad, so I wanted a keyboard key for lock on.
I know it's a pain in the butt to program in this control stuff in Unity, but it makes for such a great user experience.
Being able to move the camera is great, but take control sometimes to focus on puzzles, directions or interesting vistas. It'll help you get the player going in the right way, and allow NPCs to make directional suggestions ("You can go this way <pan camera to show that direction> or that way <pan camera to show that direction>") It'll make it more immersive and allow you to make trickier puzzles.
Damn, that's a fun game!
I thought it looked good on Twitter and it looks even better getting to play it!
First impressions as I played:
-looked like a controller-style game, but my controller had some mapping issues (trigger buttons pressed start instead of rotating camera etc) - this is probably on my end, but just in case it's a Logitech F310, I've remapped controls in other games, but I didn't think it would affect this, as the game recognized the controller and displayed the appropriate buttons during the instructions, so again, likely an issue on my end
-damn this game is gorgeous, reminds me of a mashup of Zelda, Souls and Hyper Light Drifter, I get a tiny bit of the Dead Space guy from the protagonists helmet, and I'm not sure if this is at all intentional but I'm picking up vibes from an old C64 game, White Viper
-fun controls, nice quick intro to mechanics and it's off to the game, I spent a while in the first area just moving around and panning the camera and looking around, which makes the next bit all the more ridiculous:
-I got stuck for a few minutes with the first puzzle because I forgot to pan the camera around, and kept hitting the first switch and not seeing the second, then leaving the area, thinking that I had to hit that one switch in all the different paths you could go down, before finally realizing that I could look around, and solved the puzzle immediately. I think because of the associations with Zelda and HLD I kept thinking of the game as happening from a static overhead view, and that things that I couldn't see were intentionally hidden (like a switch behind a statue or wall in Zelda), rather than the reality of this game having an additional dimension to explore, or an additional perspective, at least. So, even as I'm writing this I'm thinking: this was introduced right at the beginning of the game, and I got stuck in one spot until I figured it out, which took a grand total of 2-3 minutes, and learning that left the impression that I might need to do that again, which is probably what you want. So I don't think it's really a criticism, maybe just make it a little more obvious, like a line from your NPC, "Make sure you look around up ahead." "Don't forget to look around you." "A skilled warrior is always aware of what is around them." Or something like that.
-Boss battle was fun, took a few runs at it, did better each time, but haven't taken it down yet. I rushed in and slashed madly when it started and when it dipped below the water I thought I killed it. Then when it came back, and all the rocks were falling, and the shadows, and the different timings, and the octopus sliding back and forth across the arena, crazy, hectic fun. Half of my deaths came from trying to get too many hits in before it spun around, only to get caught in its teeth and dragged down. I died and died and died and wanted more, what higher compliment can I give!
I'll update once I've had a chance to play more/investigate my controller issue, but, really, great job all around, from one solo dev to another!
ps - i am a composer and sound designer, if you're looking for music/SFX, and since you seem to have an eye for design/colour, maybe you'd consider doing a skill trade? Textures for Music/SFX? https://soundcloud.com/spectralvectors
pps - sorry to go off-topic!
Overall really nice. I really liked the mood and especially the art style. Gameplay wise I think there's some room for improvement but this seems like an awesome project. Looking forward to the future updates. Sad that I couldn't see the 2nd boss
I wrote some feedback while I played (:
- dodge didn't feel good. i think the recovery took a bit too long. it'd be nice if you could dodge multiple times in a row - but this'd obviously require some sort of stamina system
- tutorial felt very rushed, especially the part about targeting
- camera should be controllable with right stick (also i'd prefer to target an enemy by pressing the right stick, as in Dark Souls for example)
- d-pad not working in the menus
- the octopus' hitbox was inconsistent, on 1st/2nd phase the octopus itself would not damage the player on touch, but on the 3rd phase it would
- the shadows of the octopus/tentacles should disappear while the rocks are falling imo, as they get mixed up with the shadows of the falling rocks
- sometimes it looked like i got hit by the rocks even though i wasn't in their range
- i found the octopus boss fight too long (=hard) for the first boss tbh. I expected this game to be hard, but it just felt too dragged out for the first boss. I stopped playing after the fight didn't end after I beat the 3rd(?) phase, where the octopus dashes/rushes
- sometimes i got this weird jitter in the camera/graphics
Hey, quick follow up, the controller issue was that it was set to D-Input instead of X-Input, it's a little switch on the back for my controller, hopefully that helps anyone else having controller issues.
Just beat the first boss, damn, tough as nails. Like I said before, you've got that feeling of, "Oh, just one more try..." that's so hard to capture, but it was frustrating on the way there.
I didn't mind the octopus shadows getting mixed up with the boulders, but it did seem like there were a few times that I took damage/died when it didn't appear that any rock had hit me (standing in a patch of water with no shadow), though sometimes it would look like the rock mesh did overlap the character mesh in screen space, though it shouldn't have overlapped in game space (hopefully that makes sense)
I found myself reaching for a run button while playing with a keyboard, and thought the idea of a projectile weapon might be interesting
I also experienced the odd jitter in the graphics, mostly during the boss fight, and it seemed like the transition between octopus mode and rock mode had a bit of a frame dip, possibly just spawning all the rocks at once?
Great game, I had fun, looking forward to seeing more!
Hey! Just beat the demo and I have some feedback coming from a combat system designer's perspective.
Windows build: (06/04/2019 EU):
- Allow right stick to adjust camera.
- Add inversion options for the camera.
- The roll action during targeting malfunctions more often than not.
- Using a Dualshock, the 'block' button is the pause button?
-> Either blocking isn't accessible or there's no visual feedback for it.
- Add a reset button for bosses, since losing 1 of your 4 hp in the first phase can be a death sentence and killing yourself is unfun.
- The turnaround slam is significantly faster in start-up as well as cooldown lag compared to the basic slam. Additionally, the turnaround part of the attack has more range than the initial slam down, as well as being partially submerged. This makes it extremely frustrating to play around, especially combined with the boss itself moving.
- Sometimes, when standing in front of the boss's eye you're out of reach for normal tentacle slams (inconsistent?).
- When the attack animation starts the tentacle IMMEDIATELY gets a hitbox, this feels unfair since the tentacle is static (either make it constantly have a hitbox or only on the slam)
- Perhaps add some reason for the other 4 tentacles to exist, they feel mostly irrelevant (i.e. make them block the player when they try to circle around, since being cornered is currently pretty irrelevant).
- The tentacles are surprisingly poor at hitting the player when the player is static
-> Overall this phase could do with some added difficulty, currently you can slash multiple tentacles at once and finish them before they even slam down
- It seems that the Octopus's snout(?) has a portruding hitbox compared to the rest of the body, this means that when the octopus turns around to slam into another wall, you sometimes get hit when swinging. This feels unfair since he is static and usually static things have no hitboxes so far, but also because the portruding part makes it unexpected, making the only safe option to not attack at all.
- The phase is somewhat boring - If you want to play it safe you also have to consider rocks falling around the Octopus, which means oftentimes you'll just wait out another wall-dash. It's a lot of waiting for a safe opportunity. Perhaps add something to encourage players to stay more active (i.e. Tentacles spawning under the player position periodically, telegraphed by a shadow under the player?).
- Sometimes the rock shadows overlap the Octopus body, this means that when you're slashing him you can randomly get hit without knowing there was even a rock.
- If you end this phase just after the wall has been slammed, the rock falling transitions overlaps the wall slam rocks falling. This creates for an unfair amount of rocks.
- Sometimes the Octopus is outside of the screen and due to the rock pattern you literally can't walk close enough to see him, meaning you can get trapped between rocks and then hit by an offstage Octopus without much chance to react (feels unfair).
- The rocks and the octopus/tentacles NEED to have a different color shadow. They also need to both be visible, so don't remove i.e. the Octopus shadow in my opinion.
- The rocks can sometimes fall half outside the level, making the shadow all but invisible.
- The rocks hitboxes are waaaay huger than the shadows, or the players hurtbox is wayyyy huger than the players' shadow.
- Generally I'd stick to two larger waves of falling rocks, keeping track of three waves is rough and sometimes you HAVE to remember which rocks fell first to find a safe place.
Unfortunately due to the roll action malfunctioning in targeting mode I had to clear the boss without targeting at all, which felt like it wasn't how the boss was designed (esp phase 1). He was pretty frustrating to fight and overall felt pretty unfair, mostly due to some execution-related issues outlined above (the core design *was* really cool!). When the players' health is this low, it's important that all interactions feel fair. Losing a single hitpoint to an unseen rock can be extremely frustrating.
I also personally feel like there is not too much depth to the combat in its current state. I'd recommend looking into ways to reward players who go the extra mile. A good example is parrying or other timing based mechanics, which really rewards the players' knowledge, execution, and confidence.
Hey Guys -- been tracking your progress on twitter for a while, super exciting to be able to give the game a go.
Below is a link to a video showing my playthrough, I shared my thots as I went along -- hopefully helpful.
Love where the game is headed and really enjoyed my time with it. I played for about 20 mins and defeated the boss. I played on a 4 year old Mac Pro tower, running Windows ofc, and used an Xbox One controller for Windows.
If you have any follow up questions let me know, always up for a game design chat. All the best with the game!
1 Can we get a menu to map our own (keyboard) keys? Currently not using a qwerty so it practically makes the game impossible to play (: .
2 the roll is very slow
I have only played a few minutes for now but it looks pretty promising! Cant wait to play more when I get my controller.
Hey I just played through the current build of the game, and my biggest takeaway is the lack of telegraphing on boss attacks. The only way I knew that the boss was going to attack was because I died a couple times to it before and learned how close I had to be to bait an attack. It would be fantastic if there was some sort of animation or sound that alerted the player that an attack was coming -- even if only a couple frames before. Also maybe a different way to let the player know that the tentacle is going to spin around, because I was not able to figure out which attack would trigger on my playthrough.
Another thing is that while I understand that you want to show the player that the boss fight is still going, and that it is just underwater, often the bosses shadow will cover up falling rocks, leading to the player being hit when they can't see where the rocks will land.
My final critique is about the dodge. In its current state, it does not feel usable. On the fights where I actually beat the boss, the only time I used the dodge was to move the last couple of inches out of the phase3 charge attack. Avoiding the tentacles with the dodge is a death sentence and I hope that this is remedied somehow -- maybe lowering the time it takes to get up?
All in all I had a great time with it, and I'm excited to see what bosses are coming next. Finally a question: When the game does fully release, will the Early Access owners receive the full copy, or will we have to buy it again?
edit: after reading some other replies I would like to add that I used mouse and keyboard, did not use targeting, and feel that aside from the lack of telegraphing boss attacks, the whole fight felt very fair.
The game felt really solid overall.
Love the art style, really different from current games! It felt like there was lots to discover and the world was big even with the thin sliver we could play.
I found that you can stand inside the shadow of the boss before it comes up and if you just swing you can skip the 2nd phase as you do all the damage needed before the tentacles can hit you. This felt a bit cheap so maybe add standing there hurt you when the boss surfaces?
Looking forward to future updates and new cool boss designs!
It seems that when you attack and then try to block immediately, the attack animation has to end first before you can block. This way you hold the block button but the character is not blocking. If it's by design, it doesn't add much to the gameplay but is quite annoying that you have to spam block button and when you see character blocking, you hold it. (played with keyboard+mouse).
Any chance to get any video settings available? I'd love to lower the resolution :)
Depends on the gamefeel you're going for I guess. I feel actions with consequences makes for a more engaging experience... e.g. pressing attack should commit to that attack ala Dark Souls. I think allowing a cancel (to say block) during "wind up" or "recovery" is a good middle ground.
I played this earlier today, its really good (though i never beat the octopuss), wanted to see what your hopes and views for the game are, you going for a more Zelda/Metroid (with dungeons, puzzles and items like the hookshot) style or as some above message mentions being dark souls-like (meaning big interconnected world with multiple weapon types and armour)
Either way great job, lovely style could look really pretty with blossom trees
Wow, this is awesome. This is very close to what I am working on as far as the aesthetic goes. I was starting to have my doubts about how the finished product would look and if it would cause eyestrain but you have definitely inspired me to keep going. I LOVE the way the game looks and plays. Keep it up!! FYI my game will be isometric, but it will have strategic combat kind of like Xcom or Wasteland 2. I never thought about real time combat, but it seems to work very well with this style.
A fun, but short, game indeed! The current button set up is interesting, but here's my suggestion.
Rotate: As someone else mentioned, maybe tie the camera the Right Analog stick, it's what I automatically went for.
Locking: Y is doable, but give that option to the Right Analog stick by clicking it down.
Attack: Try linking it to the LT Trigger button, it feels more natural than "X".
Regarding sounds, its seemed alright, however the creature growling/screaming between stages was very loud, it made my headphones pop. Let me tell you, these babies aren't cheap, so for the sound that you used to do that means it needs some tweaking.
Boss suggestion: When the rocks begin to fall, have the shadows expand from nothing to their full size as the rock approach, it feel odd to see shadows appear everywhere suddently and somewhat takes away the feel of urgency vs seeing the shadows slowly increase in size incdicating they're getting closer and you need to hurry.
Those are my main suggestions, if you have any follow up questions, let me know, and I'll answer them to the best of my knowledge.
Great game so far! The atmosphere and unique art style is really something. I played with Mouse + Keyboard. Overall, the controls were good, but the camera rotation was too slow and I didn't like the camera rotate being mapped to 'Q' and 'E'. It made it difficult to move/strafe while rotating the cam at the same time. Maybe just have the mouse handle the rotation instead?
I think a few other people pointed this out, but the boss sfx were too loud and clipping most of the time. It was a little jarring compared to the other sound effects. The rock collision boxes seemed a little too large or I'm just bad at dodging them.
I liked the mood that the music gave off, but there were too many tracks and the instrumentation wasn't that cohesive. You said that you were using royalty-free music at the moment, so that kind of makes sense. I really think having dynamic music layers fading in and out at different moments would really be cool! Are you still looking for a composer? I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this, but I did a couple of mock-up tracks with some video a few days ago and just wanted to share I really liked the organ in the boss music and kept that as part of the instrumentation :)
Game seems good so far. Here are some suggestions. I know some are repeats but the fact that they are repeats might be useful.
- Rebindable controls. I'd like to be able to use the right analog for camera and have my attack be R1 and block be L1, etc etc.
- The slight pause when destroying things is kind of distracting for me. I get the intent but you might consider having it be a stop, then a slow speed back up to normal speed?
- Dodge distance seems a tad too short.
- The audio during the boss fight is way too loud. I get that it's a boss fight, but there's something about the WAY it's loud. Almost like it is clipping or something. I don't know a ton about audio engineering but I think there is a way to make it seem louder without actually having it BE too loud. Compression? Normalization? Something along those lines. Sorry for the vagueness on that one.
I have only read a few posts. I don't want to just summarize what others say. I want to make sure my thoughts on this game are open and honest and fresh. So if you see some topics or ideas, clearly from such a short experience, just remember I am not intending on repeating or copying. I merely want to talk from my current thoughts.
The art direction of the game is very interesting. I like the basic bitmaps reduced to a single type of squarish pixel, but allowing it to change around a bit and float over edges some. This really enhances the visual aesthetic. The colors are of a muted tone. This tinting of all the colors with a bit of white is a common way to introduce a harmony among your choices. This is important for future boss/areas and I hope that you explore a range of color usages.
The character designs are very fun. I like the minimalism of the protagonist, the stranger and the octo. It seems that the driving concept behind human figures are pointed triangles. I like this and I thought if you are to introduce any other character remain conscious of the theme you have started.
The corridors that are currently available have a wonderful forest element and I love aspen trees so you already have a bit of my heart. The meshing of the tree tops together to make them seem unified is a good choice. I would continue to with this concept into other methods of unification.
The Game play:
The best part of the gameplay so far is the theory. The feeling that I have a chance to defeat the boss, but knowing I have to work for it just a bit more than I'm used to, is an excellent design choice. I can imagine there being a tutorial boss for this game. One were it teaches and waits. DO NOT do this. Leave it just like it is.
The swiping of the sword having a certain amount of damaging frames and a bit of a delay and cool-down seems very effective. I can rely on the delay in the set of swings to count my hits accordingly. I also can mostly rely on the shield. Over all the melee combat is effective and serviceable. I would like to see it flesh out even more, such as parry, stuns, rolling attacks etc.
The dodge roll is, manageable. This is were I start to find it hard to compliment certain choices.
The lock on system is very reminiscent on the Legend of Zelda Ocorina of time. It has a nearly perfect ellipses that the character follows and the camera rotation follows the same track. All of this is fine. But above you can see what I have discovered as certain zones of influence for dodging.
The tops triangles above the yellow lines are the effective dodge range for when you are not locked. The red cone behind is the effective doge range while locked. This is more representative of the stick zones on my control really but I don't have a good way of showing.
This seems to work fine when I am locked onto the trees.
It seems that the system breaks when you start fighting the octo. The character hits a weird invisible wall that seems to prevent them from completing the entire action.
Out of anything I could say is bad, hitting a invisible wall during a dodge is just awful. I would make this one of your main focuses.
The visual design of the game is good. The sound is serviceable but you've already addressed that, its royalty free stuff so I get it. The core gameplay is good but could be even better if you could resolve the dodging issue.
I dont know code, I just play lots of games and have been for most of my life. Also, as far as art is concerned, I have a degree in fine arts and I wouldn't mind helping some of the direction of the game. If you need it. Message me for details.
Thank you for the fun experience. ( Oh and I found and exploit that makes this very easy to beat without taking damage. Ill let you in on that problem/feature if you need to know.)
Have a great day!
Cool looking game, I like the puzzles and the bosses! I have a few minor qualms- not sure if its just me, but the quid boss seems to have a ton of health. also, would be nice if there was a save from the pause menu. and I think it would be super cool to have some minor enemies around the world.
I love the aesthetic. Very retro and nostalgic for me. I unfortunately had to put this down out of frustration with the squid/octopus fight. It was overall a problem of hitboxes, consistency, and telegraphing. Here are my opinions as I like the direction a lot and hope it's still in development.
Had a lot of issues with the tentacles. It seems that the damage hitbox is active the entire animation, despite the fact that there's a clear moment when it swings, and it can hit you multiple times in one swing. This at first resulted in me seeing the windup animation, reacting and pressing the block button or dodge button, only to be hit anyway because the base of the tentacle was close enough to my character (when I need to be quite close to attack). Similarly on the attack where the tentacle spins around, the hitbox sometimes doesn't even seem to line up with where the tentacle is, resulting in me successfully blocking the swinging animation and releasing once tentacle has completely passed me to move and counterattack, only to be hit by an enormous disjointed hitbox. The dodge was also problematic, as it doesn't seem to have any invincibility frames, which aren't always necessary in a game, but combined with the weird hitboxes on the tentacles and the fact that it doesn't seem to move you faster than just walking (and has really finnicky controls when locked on). The prevailing strategy seems to be to just sit in block next to a tentacle until you see it exit the swinging animation, hit it twice, then sit in block again until it finally attacks again.
I didn't actually have many problems with this one! The same tentacle hitbox problems exist of course but since they took fewer hits to destroy so I could kill them before taking damage once I knew the pattern.
First off the rocks. a few people have mentioned some cool ways to improve the shadows and I'd like to input my own. The rocks in the ceiling dramatically obscure the players vision, so maybe the shadow growing effect mentioned before alongside maybe moving them faster higher and making them fall much faster (to compensate for moving them higher) would have the same timing without obscuring the players vision on the top half of the room. Its also a bit problematic that they spawn around the enemy's head. Since the head moves so fast, the prevailing strategy I found was to run to the center and wait to see what direction it goes and try to catch up to where it ends up so I can actually hit it, but it doesn't stay in place after the rocks finish falling, so timing is tight. This isn't THAT bad, as figuring out that strategy was fun, but the fact that rocks fell near & around the target made it into a waiting game, waiting for a pattern where it looked more or less safe to be standing next to the thing. This made this phase take quite some time to reliably complete without damage (and even then sometimes I got hit by a rock when there were none falling near me).
Since players will optimize the fun out of a game, the very low player health, the high enemy health per phase, having to start from the beginning every time, wonky hitboxes, a useless dodge, and having to redo the phases another time once completed made the whole bossfight more of a tedious trial than a careful one. Anyway its been like 50 days since there was an update but I really hope you're still working on this! All of the core of something great is there and I hope it gets built upon!