Glad people are having some fun with Ace, and I totally agree with some of what has been said about the gui icons. However, I will address a few things that some other posters have even pointed out:
1. The cursor does
change significantly when over something you can mess with (it pulses in/out). I could've made the cursor change to a million different things, sure, but they would likely have confused just as many people in different ways.
2. Walk is the default action in the game, and right-clicking (as the readme says) will always
cancel your current action back to walk except
when in gun mode. This is important, and also, it's the way many, many p&c's were made in the early 90's (and what I was shooting for emulationwise, if you'll pardon the pun).
3. It seems like about 1/4 people have trouble identifying the gui icons by image. My first instinct was just to use words, but in c-64 format that makes for VERY WIDE text. The one thing I did do was explain in the readme what each icon was in advance just in case they weren't perfectly clear, so do have a look at it if you are confused! Also, if I can think of some more obvious shapes that will inform people what the icons do, I'll certainly change it. Those were the best I could think of at the time.
4. The status bar upgrade was purely an experiment on my part with making the gui more of a gameplay element, and I thought upgradeable guis were a cool idea. I could've equipped the status bar at the beginning, but with the cursor auto-animating over anything of value I figured most people would get it -- and it seems I was right!
5. The one pixel issue I somewhat agree with is the light switch, although I did try to make it stand out from the rest of the wall (it's light gray on a dark grey patch). I'm curious if some of you at least aren't playing it windowed? I highly recommend you play it full screen since 320x240 (even doubled) looks really tiny on conventional monitors.
Not convinced that pixelated graphics was the way to go, though.
c-64 16 color double-wide is a style choice and something I enjoy working with, and a lot of people still like it so all I can say is...
and it looked off when the scaled characters or dialogue options where using a higher resolution.
The font choices were mainly necessity. I started off with c-64 fonts and couldn't fit dialog options or anything into the gui window or dialog tree. I'm thinking of finding some small bitmap fonts that look more retro, though!
The writing was a lot of fun, too... I hate to say it, but Ace is way more appealing to me as a character now than Roger Wilco was even after six sequels and a fan prequel. And the puzzles were pretty well balanced, difficulty-wise, and I can't say enough good things about allowing players to choose between multiple solutions.
What an awesome thing to say! I really appreciate that, especially since I always hated Roger for being such a wimp, and I'm glad you found the puzzles to be challenging without pissing you off. If there's one thing I hate
about adventure games it's puzzles that can only be solved the way some weird designer made them with no latitude, so I step back, think of what Ace would do, provide that as an option, and then try to come up with 2 alternatives. This is also a hint that there are, in fact, 3 ways of approaching most of the conflicts in the game: Badass, pure logic, or a combination of the two.
The game takes too long to get through the intro to the point where you can load a game if you die, even skipping using esc. And the single save slot made me fear that I'd accidentally overwrite my late-game save with one in the first room after death.
Even with the escape key? My aren't you an impatient one! :D How about if I have escape also substitute for 'enter' at the title, would that help?
Was Maureen inspired by the character of the same name in Full Throttle by any chance?
Sort of. She's collage of Mo from Full Throttle and Maggie Robbins from The Dig. Well spotted!
And as for development, I'm adding music and sound effects now and will then extend the game a bit! I hope it won't disappoint people to know I'm not going with chiptunes but am using a rather retro sci-fi cowboy approach. It sounds good, I promise!