Whee, yet another new build! Managed to force a few friends to sit down and play while I took notes, and got a nice list of things that I could improve on, that were safe enough to attempt so close to a deadline.
Also, as a reward to myself for slogging through the tutorial, I made 3 more extra mode bosses. (The "Extra Credit" group is sort of my bonus level, where I abandon all pretense of being fair, and make a bunch of [mostly] brutally hard, thinly veiled Touhou references.)
I meant to say that there should be more time after you hit the boss before they start shooting. Really, though, my main reason is just so there's a delay so they don't start shooting again before the smoke from the last pattern clears (which, with the smoke here being the absorb particles, turning down the alpha would just as well fix the issue). But that's just coming from someone with little experience with danmaku shooters.
It's a fair comment though! I've turned down the alpha on the particles you absorb significantly, and that should hopefully help at least some. (As you might imagine, I'm definitely hoping I can get away with the fix that is just a graphical tweak, rather than the fix that requires me to rebalance timing across 40ish bosses...
I'm really impressed with this.
Game mechanics feel fresh and unique, visuals are fancy/stylish enough to be eye candy but minimalistic enough to be clear and readable at all times. I like how there's a bit strategy/mild puzzle solving involved rather than just pure twitch reflexes.
My only major complaint is that the controls are a bit imprecise at the moment. I found myself accidentally moving out of safe zones more than I would like. Perhaps slowing the ship's movement down a bit would help?
I like the story/theme but I'm not sure how well it meshes with the gameplay (that might not be your intention anyway). I pretty much approached the game like an abstract shmup with quirky-looking bosses.
I'm glad to hear you liked it! Thank you!
Yes, I freely admit, the "story" was basically an exercise in "I have a bunch of ideas for bosses, but don't want to have to spend time animating them all, how can I make a story that lets me throw whatever I want in there and not feel like I have to bother explaining it?"
As for moving slowly, ideally, that's what the shift key is for. (Well, that and charging up fast.) It is very helpful for precise maneuvering. Almost no one seems to use it for that in playtests though, so maybe I need to make it more obvious in the tutorial?
Looks like you got all of 2 days or so for the IGF deadline
Well, the build that I put up on wednesday is my "safety build". As in, if I manage to screw it up this weekend, I'll just fall back on that one. I lucked out a bit though in that I am extremely disorganized. I thought that the deadline was last thursday you see. So I thought I was working right up to the wire, and finishing on wed. night. Now I discover that I have +4 days that I didn't expect, and I'm having a marvelous time doing some polish work and bugfixes. I should get dates wrong more often! (If only I could do it on purpose and make sure that I get them wrong in the right direction...)