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TumbleSeed

TumbleSeed is a deceptively deep roguelike about balancing a seed up a dangerous and ever-changing mountain. · By aeiowu, dlask, benedictfritz

Gameplay Discussion Sticky

A topic by aeiowu created Dec 01, 2016 Views: 1,732 Replies: 117
Viewing posts 21 to 38 of 38 · Previous page · First page

I just had a really frustrating situation happen.

I was being followed by 3 of those purple fliers, so I decided to see if the boomarang would save me. I made 3 attempts (3 seperate plots) and the boomarang each time flew out in comepletely useless directions, deftly avoiding all enemies on the screen each time. (The screen had more than just the 3 fliers).

Because I was giving the boomarang a fair shake, circumstances forced me against the wall with an overhang. Like this:

(Those plots were boomarang attempts)

Needless to say, I got hit. Problem was that I immediately went up against the ceiling, the game treated me as if I landed on the balance beam, and I was instantly hit a second time (this all happened at the same time). Sooooo I lost 2 hearts and somehow got out without losing a third. Very discouraging.

Don't quite know the solution, but this whole situation (from the boomarang being pretty useless and not acting in a predictable way to being hit twice for an inescapable situation) really took the wind out of my sails...

Developer

I'm really sorry about that. We're going to add an invincibility period after getting slammed into a wall if the wall is directly above you :( This is a known issue and we sort of just play around it since we know it exists, but we absolutely need to fix it since it's a heartbreaker.

For the boomerang -- the direction the boomerang fires is related to where you are relative to the plot when you plant it. It'll always shoot out in the direction that you're "pointing" (i.e. draw a line between the seed and the center of the plot when you roll over it, that is the direction it'll fire). Good to hear you're not enjoying it, though! Always interested to hear what people dislike.

Aiming with the player position is something I'm just starting to toy with, seriously. I can see how it can be good, I think I just need to gain a lot more confidence with movement before I enjoy it.

Thanks on the boomarang explaination. :)

Is the seed selector design final? Scrolling through the whole list to switch from the top seed to the bottom seed (especially if you're further into a run and have picked up several seed types) is kind of tedious and feels like you have to interrupt your own flow too much. Maybe some sort of radial menu (sort of like weapon selectors in a lot of open world games) would feel more streamlined?

Developer

Yep probably not final -- we feel that pain point as well. A radial is one of the approaches we've talked about -- so, good to hear another vote for that

I know the Bullet Turrets (the ones that home on you) have been discussed a little, but I just wanted to add something to it.

Beware of having 2 of those things spawn next to eachother if you plan on keeping their firerate as it currently is. I just got juggled by those things, going from about 5 hearts to death pretty quickly. I kept thinking that falling into a Crystal Room would save me, but I couldn't land long enough to enter the door...

Developer

Thanks! I just turned their fire rate way down and made their bullets die after a while locally. Actually, I stopped spawning them altogether for now since I made some changes to enemy distribution, but this is good to know for when they make it back in the game

After dying to this mess I'm very glad to hear that!

Developer

Oh nooo! Hahaha

New build coming today if all goes according to plan!

Some notes from build 0.5a:

  • I think the first quest should not be specific as to how you kill yourself. Aside from the tutorial, this is the first thing new players will see and you should encourage them to live as long as possible and see the game, not die on the first spike they see. Just having the quest be "to die" seems fine and would adequately introduce the quest system (in my opinion).
  • Aiming turret plants feels quite frustrating, I think because the hit box is so close to the point of rotation. You get your shot lined up juuuust right and then moving in to hit it makes it rotate like 30 degrees. Perhaps moving the hit box out (with an obvious marker) would make it feel better?
  • The bomb seed might be too powerful with the increased number of enemies. With the aura that takes 7 crystals instead of damage, I still had 40 crystals by the third camp (along with 8 hearts).
  • At the final boss, it'd be nice if it was more obvious that you've dropped the aura when you get hit. In the excitement of the battle I'd moved on to the next two patches before I realized what was wrong. Perhaps make the patches close their eyes and turn grey when you don't have the aura, as well as add a bouncing arrow that points to the aura when you've dropped it?
  • On the same topic, it might be nice if the map that appears in the final score screen tallied the number of patches you successfully hit in the last battle. Just getting to that battle is quite a challenge, and getting some acknowledgement that you partially beat it seems like it might provide some encouragement to try again.
Developer

I think the first quest should not be specific as to how you kill yourself.

I like this. My initial reasoning was that spikes killing players instantly is sometimes a frustrating gotcha, but that might be solvable through other means. Thinking about it a little harder I realize that the first quest might be the way it is because it was the fastest quest for me to test and it's the first one I implemented and just wanted some task I could repeat quickly which is not a good reason behind a design but is kinda a funny epiphany haha

Perhaps moving the hit box out (with an obvious marker) would make it feel better?

Good idea!

The bomb seed might be too powerful with the increased number of enemies. With the aura that takes 7 crystals instead of damage, I still had 40 crystals by the third camp (along with 8 hearts).

Hahaha yeah that could be. I've been having a lot of fun with the latest build because you sometimes get overpowered stuff like that happening, but it's definitely too much in some cases.

Really like your boss suggestions as well! Definitely one of the far less polished sections of the game so ideas for that stuff are really appreciated

Maybe the poison seed should have a charge up, just in case players want to use it as area control and not just as self-poison?

Also, is it just me or is reflect better than shield in every way? Shield only protects you from the front and only from projectiles, but it doesn't reflect them.

Developer

The advantage of shield is that it takes 3 hits rather than just 1. We've discussed potentially having it surround the whole seed.

Allow me to vote for the shield surrounding the entire seed.

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So one suggestion for game play I have is to even out the difficulty variance, and to have it ramp more at the low end. In the forest having an easier first couple hundred feet/meters seems like it would make it more approachable to new players, but overall the variance over the entire game is very high. I feel like a huge amount of the current difficulty variance (seed luck aside, which is a separate thing) is a result of homing enemies.

The spawning algorithm does not seem to take this into account, so sometimes you make have 3 homing enemies (pink spiders and large pink fly's) spawn at once early on and follow, which is very demanding so early for new players, or you may only have 1 per screen or less at higher levels which makes it fairly simple for experienced players. Right now a runs difficulty curve can be all over the place and sometimes decrease as time goes on.

Something that could maybe be done is to spawn homing vs non-homing enemies independently so they are not over or under concentrated on spawn. Also possibly tracking the total number of homing enemies on screen and limiting it based on progression seems like it would help even out the enemy variance.

Developer

In the forest having an easier first couple hundred feet/meters seems like it would make it more approachable to new players

Agreed

The spawning algorithm does not seem to take this into account, so sometimes you make have 3 homing enemies (pink spiders and large pink fly's)

It does take it into account, but not in a way that is as effective as it could be. Right now every enemy has a weight. We spawn zones of enemies, and each zone has a weight sum. Homing enemies have a much higher weight than non-homing. The idea being that ideally a single homing enemy (or other more-difficult enemy) spawns in the zone, and then another high-weight enemy can't fit under the weight limit, so the rest of the zone gets filled with smaller enemies.

In reality what happens is we get bad spawns when homing enemies happen to *just* fit into an enemy's weight-sum so they are the only enemies in that zone. And of course two or three homing enemies with no filler enemies is MUCH harder than one homing enemy with a commensurate amount of filler enemies.

All this to say that we are trying, it's not working as well as it should, and it should definitely be improved! Limiting the number of homing enemies per zone is definitely one approach on the table right now, and should probably be the system since it is what the weight system is attempting to do right now, and failing quite often.

All this to say that you're right!

(2 edits)

Ah cool yeah that all makes sense. I guess the problem is non-linear difficulty of multiple homing enemies. 3x pink spiders is more than 3x as difficult as 1, but it is any homing enemy that effects this not just individual types. An exponential weight multiplier would probably do something. Also that they will persist and follow from the previous zones. Tracking homing enemies close to the player and including it in the new zones spawn weight to reduce it etc. Give you a hope of running away when under pressure from them with a slightly easier zone.

Developer

Tracking homing enemies close to the player and including it in the new zones spawn weight to reduce it etc.

We spawn the whole world at once so that we can have consistent seeding and eventually have daily runs.

The exponential weight multiplying is really interesting!

Hole squids feel too hard for the Forest, I think they should probably wait until at least the Jungle.

Flytrap seed should have a visible timer on it to show how much time until the spikes return.

Developer

👍🏻

Snowballs from Avalanche should have shadows on the locations the snowballs will land on as soon as the snowballs are on screen, or at least way sooner than they currently do.

I've never managed to use it without it hurting just me.

Developer

agreed. added it to the to-do!

Randoseed shouldn't cost any crystals to plant. It's just not worth it in almost anything but the most desperate situations at 1 crystal, and honestly even in those kind of situations it's probably not going to actually get you out of a bind as much as it will straight up kill you.

Tallspore + Homing aura is quite the powerful combo. The aura says "homes slightly" but it sure doesn't seem "slight" to me (the bottom shot curves all the way around to hit an enemy above me). Should probably fix either the aura description or the homing amount.

Developer

yea that's one our list. it's a real game-breaker. i'm not sure what the plan is but i think it's what you said in fixing the homing amount.

Why were the HP thorns removed from enemies? I miss them :(

Developer

you end up learning that innately and also it was just too much work. the shards looked bad and making armor for each individual enemy and then animating that armor, we just don't have time and it'd weaken other parts of the game that need more attention

Quest order seems a bit off with "use non-default seeds 15 times." I was in the desert when I completed it; the quest before and after were way easier.

Also, the quest flow feels clunky to me. After I complete a quest, I have to return to the bottom of the mountain and go into the quest house, and then I have to go up the mountain again (or restart) to get my next quest? Why can't I do both at the same time? Was it designed this way to somewhat deephasize quests so you feel more inclined to go up the mountain? It still feels inelegant (which is really out of place in TumbleSeed! The game is really tightly designed overall).

Developer

Yeah the goal was to de-emphasize quests and ensuring that people didn't think they were sort of "the game". They're mostly there as bite-sized guideposts for improving skill and exploring everything the game has to offer. Thanks for the catch on the difficulty spike with non-default seed planting!

We were planning on adding some text that hopefully would point to the quest being de-emphasized like "Remember, it's not about the quests it's about getting to the top!" Or something along that line of communication. Does that feel like it'd help?

It also might potentially be a little different for someone who's not already an expert like you? The quest system has been simplified since the do-one-quest-at-a-time thing was a part of it so it's feasible to have them chain together one after another, but the de-emphasis is still somewhat important to me.

I've been thinking about this, I think the text you suggested would be a good idea. Like you said, I'm in a weird place because I got good at the game before quests were even introduced, so I don't really have the proper experience--I'm trying to power through the quests because I want to see what they are, so something like this that gets in my way feels awkward.

I have another idea, and maybe this defeats the purpose entirely (trying not to play backseat game designer here) but I figure I'll suggest it anyway. Maybe you could streamline the quests, but find a way to mechanically emphasize that getting to the top is more important. Like, if a player regularly makes it well past the teleporter quest block they're working on, they could skip straight to the next block. Like if I'm working on the Jungle teleporter but I've already made it to the Desert a dozen times, let's just skip ahead. This is sort of similar to the approach Spelunky had with teleporters. Does that make any sense?

Developer

Hmmmm, thanks for the insightful thoughts. I have a bunch of fears with secretly skipping quests

- The game experience will silently vary between players in a way that makes conversations about the game weird

- There's an achievement for doing all the quests

- I'm afraid of introducing complex state into a the game that complicates save files and changes a linear go-from-one-thing-to-the-next into something *more* than that

The case where a player has mastered the game but hasn't unlocked the teleporters is one I hadn't fully considered, but on the same token teleporters are hopefully not very enticing to someone in that situation in the first place.

Super appreciate your thoughts on this. I'll definitely be adding a dialogue bubble that appears after completing a quest that explains.

According to the leaderboard, nobody has beaten the game on this build. I'm cautious to play the difficulty card, but are the desert and summit too hard right now? Feels like too many aiming turrets maybe? I definitely appreciate the removal of spawners from Jungle, those had the potential to ruin your economy if you weren't paying attention.

Unrelated: when you press A after a daily challenge it sends you to the main menu. This is better than just restarting, but I'd much rather go straight to the daily leaderboard, since I do this manually every day. Or maybe integrate the daily leaderboard into the game over screen somehow? (Maybe just "Rank: #5 of 25" or something?) Something about the way the UI works right now doesn't "feel" like a Daily Challenge, it doesn't make that "well that was my only shot!" as explicit as it should.

Developer

good call on sending you back to leaderboards post-daily.

for difficulty: so yea, i just played to prove your wrong and got iced in the desert so hahha, my usual strategy sorta failed there and i took a few too many risks that bit me. desert definitely needs a look at for sure, esp. with the node/plot flies. there are tons. i'll take a look at snow as well, we did a bit of a big shift recently to try and make those biomes much more unique feeling by introducing enemies in each as opposed to sorta having a lot of haphazard overlap, but yea, certainly could use a pass or two. thanks mike. our head's have been mostly focused on other parts of the game balance wise so this was needed. :)

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I was just blown up by a bomb due to not knowing the explosion range - I did not even have the bomb visible on my screen yet it murdered me, which did not feel fair. A visible explosion radius would be super helpful!

Developer

thanks sebastian! that should be amended in the latest version on steam. i'm preeeetty sure. Yea the previous bomb fx were p bad. sorry about that!

I have this game on my Nintendo Switch, having fun so far (About 2 hours in the game) and I noticed a little something. When you die, the animation that plays afterwards (the seed flying out of the ground) sometimes stretches or shrinks. Just a very tiny issue you might have overlooked.

Developer

Thanks for the feedback – I believe this is fixed in our latest patch which will be coming to Switch soon!

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Hi Guys . 

 I bought game on N Switch and I had my up and downs . Some issue on this game is really annoying ! And one of them is seed bank !!!!

Game lakes some initiate lessons and guides  for some abilities  places like seed bank ! After playing for 13 hour , I can't use seed back yet !!! Why you guys  don't explains some necessary part of game ? . I plant seed in bank lot of time  and next time nothimg I can take !!! 

I opened portal and I was so happy , then ..... it is kinda useless because I can't buy power to proceed . basic powers are useless to defeat those bastards . It seems you don't like to add portal in first place because when you did you punish ppl who use it ! It's no wonder lot of ppl hesitate to buy it guys . Don't get me wrong I like this  game and I really try to enjoy it despite the suffering you guys give  me ! :D . Im not sayimg why game is hard and unfair all I am saying why pp should suffer to learn thing that must be told in first place . I invested 5 time in seed bank and nothing happens , this kinda things are really really annoying gyus .

How can I use seed bank ? I guess that only way to invest seed so we can countinue from portal to  first camp  and have some shard to buy power .  Please answer atleast this question . Im waiting ...

Developer

Thanks for the feedback!

The way the seed bank works is that it stores crystals within a single run. So if you deposit some crystals in the forest camp, you can withdraw them at a later camp and get more back than you put in :)

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