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July 29, 2014, 02:43:11 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingHack, Slash, Loot, Beta
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Author Topic: Hack, Slash, Loot, Beta  (Read 5392 times)
Oddball
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« on: May 03, 2011, 03:52:36 PM »

I would very much appreciate if you would try the Hack, Slash, Loot, Beta and provide feedback. Details and downloads can be found here, but I've also included some details below. Thank you.

Downloads
Windows | Mac(Intel) | Linux

Feedback
Below are some feedback questions that I would like completing and returning. Feel free to include screen captures or video of any bugs or glitches you may find. Pressing F4 will save a screenshot.

  • Did it run? This one is pretty important
  • System specs Including OS, and desktop resolution.
  • Usability How easy was the game to understand and learn how to play? What needs explaining better or didn't you understand?
  • Performance The game is not fully optimised yet but I'd like to get an idea of how it performs on different systems. Note any points where the game pauses or slows down. One key area is the procedurally generated sound, does the game pause when a sound effect is played.
  • Balancing Again the game isn't fully balanced yet, but I'd like to get feedback on what is currently overpowered or too weak. This includes items, monsters, and the player' characters as well as level layout and item/monster frequency.
  • Key controls This one's for those that play roguelikes regularly. Do the keyboard controls conform to accepted roguelike standards?
  • Anything else Did you like the games mechanics? Are the graphics readable? What price range would a game of this nature fit into? Also please add any other comments you feel appropriate.

Screenshots
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 04:41:17 PM by Oddball » Logged

Dragonmaw
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 04:08:54 PM »

Reserving this post for thoughts. Currently playing it. Liking it.

First thoughts are of TinyCrawl, and how everything in that game is semi-permanent. Drinking drafts that increase defense seem to do it permanently, which gives you a big incentive to explore more. I like this system a lot, and it's pretty cool.

Some sort of "held" inventory would be nice. Nothing major, just something like three inventory slots where you can put items you want to save for later, like potions that give you health or alternate weapons. I think a full inventory system would be awful, but something to let players pick and choose a few items to drag along.

Add right clicking on a spot to move-replace/use (for inventory items). Alternatively, add a box below the character portrait that shows all items on the ground or something. As is, the ground items interface is pretty terrible, and doesn't really give a lot of feedback to the players. This is actually the biggest issue with your current interface: there's not a lot of detail on the various stats, resistances, etc. Some sort of in-game character sheet would be nice to help people understand both the numbers and interface more.

The main menu interface is absolutely horrendous, and needs a complete overhaul.

Disable the log by default. You already have floating battle text, you don't need a log in the background. Put it in a separate screen. Disabling the log at the moment still has last turn's text, and it's a bit distracting up there at the top. The option to have it on is nice, but I feel like it just adds more confusion to an already cluttered interface. This is especially important as this is a coffee-break rogue-like. Accessibility is key, and this is still too in the realm of "bad interface."

Due to the scarcity of health items, melee characters seem to be at a bit of a disadvantage. I got quite far with the archer on my first playthrough, and my first go with the saracen I got halfway through the first floor before losing. Suggestions are to buff the Saracen's health or make health items when playing as a melee character a bit more available.

There's also a lot of flavor items that I want to interact with in some way, but can't For example, the goblin skulls would be nice to take to the shrines as offerings, for example. Or maybe sitting in a chair for a few turns heals you a few hit points. Some minor things like that to get some use out of the decor. Nothing super-involved, but just a one-use thing that makes it feel as though the player isn't searching the rooms for the bit of non-fluff to click on.

The mechanics are fun and responsive, the visuals are quite pleasing (as to be expected by you using your own fantastic sprites) and it's overall a great rogue-like. Most of the issues reside within the interface and controls, not mechanics.

It ran great on my machine. W7, Intel Quad Core 2.4, 9800GTX. No freezing, errors, or crashes.

Current price I'd suggest is between donationware to $5.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 06:42:26 PM by Dragonmaw » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 06:16:51 PM »

-ran okay here; win xp 10 year old pc, 1440x900 resolution
-it was easy to follow and i guess the biggest problem comes when you are trying to equip/use an item since the interface is a bit awkward in that aspect
-graphics are good, the game feels very interesting with all the different weapons/items you can get, and i would really like to play more but... i'm really, really bad at it. i wish there was a way to heal hp/save game but this is a roguelike after all.
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2011, 06:39:12 PM »

Yay sound!
The game seems a bit more survivable now, I'm finding more healing items than in the previous beta, maybe more useful stuff in general.
Sometimes enemy archers are getting off shots from positions where they're not targetable.
Love the previews of the items. Love the little descriptions of things.
OSX 10.6.7, 1920x1200
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 09:26:23 PM »

Ran fine for me, Slackware Linux 13.37, 1600x1200 desktop.

You should probably save the user's settings to their home directory, rather than the data directory alongside the game.  Somewhere like ~/.hackslashloot would be customary.
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 11:19:02 PM »

Wicked! Runs great on my OSX 10.6.6. Played for a few minutes before posting this, so will get back with more substantial feedback after a few evenings of unwinding... Looks and sounds great!
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 11:38:52 PM »

Ran with no problems on Win7. I think usability is the strongest point, the interface is really nice & the tooltips work great (except that vulnerabilities are cut off at the bottom of the screen). I never felt there was information that I needed but couldn't get.  It looks and sounds good, too.

I didn't find the gameplay very deep, or it didn't show its depth within 3 levels (in which case I would say the pace is too slow for me). I was intrigued at first but after a while it seemed like there were only a few fairly simple things I could do to optimize combat, and past that it was all dice rolls and inevitably increasing stats. I never found any way to apply the defense / vulnerability types.

Anyway, there's countless ways you could make it more complicated and more skill-based if you want to, don't need me to tell you.
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2011, 11:46:28 PM »

I've been playing for a while on my iMac, Mac OS X 10.6.7, 3.06 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3, ATI Radeon HD 4670 (there you are, specifications) and it works great.

However, I feel the game is a little bit on the slow side. Some fights take forever to be solved, thought that may only happen when you are a weakling on the first level and I didn't really feel I was achieving anything. I mean, I was just exploring, but I couldn't find the exit of the first level. Apart from some new item that improved my stats (a new sword, new boots and those things) I didn't feel like improving my character. It could be related to pace, I guess (finding better items more often, leveling up or something like that)

How on hell do you heal your wounds? :D

I'll play a little bit more X)
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 02:28:52 AM »

Some excellent feedback so far. I don't want to influence future feedback, but do want to comment on a couple of points.

You should probably save the user's settings to their home directory, rather than the data directory alongside the game.  Somewhere like ~/.hackslashloot would be customary.
This will happen in the final version. I didn't want to clutter up peoples data directories with the beta version so kept it self contained.

How on hell do you heal your wounds? :D
Potions, scrolls, and altars are the most common ways to gain health. There are other methods but I'll leave you to discover them.

@Those finding it too difficult: Playing as the Archer, Amazon, or Knight will make the game easier, especially the Amazon as she starts with a divine weapon. The characters are purposely unbalanced as different dungeons/quests will suit different characters in the final game.
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2011, 04:24:03 AM »

It ran without any trouble. :>
I'm using windows 7, 3GHz intel core 2 duo, 4GB RAM, nvidia 9800GTX. 1680*1050
I'm always keen to play a neatly presented roguelike, and so far this is very nice.

I found the game very easy to understand. Well done!


Interface/readability: Also noticed the vulnerabilities being off-screen. The perspective is pleasing, but sometimes a little confusing. Adding a simple tile pattern to the floor might remedy this (or might just make it more cluttered).
Either way, it should be very easy to see if that bad guy around the corner is 1 or 2 steps away and sometimes I still make that mistake due to the perspective.
The game log is important as it's really telling you everything that is happening, but I don't think overlaying it over the main screen is the right solution. It is cluttering an otherwise very pretty game. I want to leave it on, but also want to get it out of the way!

Maybe rename attack to accuracy?

Controls: No comments, other than I prefer numpad5 to also be skip a turn. I'm not sure if this is the RL standard or not.


Gameplay: At the moment, I'm finding the Saracen much more difficult to play. Melee combat seems to have no advantage to ranged combat at the moment, but is much more risky. The extra starting HP and armour don't help after the first wee while. Even if I get some lucky drops it's still much easier to play the archer (and then maybe mage, I haven't tried him much yet). I like the simplicity of things, but (particularly with Saracen) it feels like there is not a lot I can do to improve my chances but to ensure that I'm only facing one opponent at a time and cross my fingers that the dice are nice.

My most badass character so far has been an archer, I was getting by with ease (the divine bow I had granting me extra stats occassionally on kills really changed things), on the third level, until I left the game assumming that there was a save on quit (I hope you're planning to implement that?)

Btw, is there any way to tell how to unlock classes? I've got the knight so far but I have no idea how I actually did it! Since it is a nice reward, you might want to give some player feedback on that. (unless I was just blind and missed it)
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2011, 05:21:09 AM »

Overall, I enjoyed the game; thanks for letting me try it! I don't usually enjoy rogue-alikes because although I like retro style, I hate retro interfaces and dislike complexity for its own sake. Still, I think some added complexity is needed here to keep me engaged, but I'm not quite sure what could be added without changing the dynamic of the game too much.

Did it run?
Yes. I played Elf/archer,  Human/Saracen then Human/Wizard through to death (Only the Wizard even got as far as level 2 though).

System specs
Intel Quad2.5MHz / NVidia7800GT / Win7x64 / 1680x1050 (ran in both windowed resolutions and full-screen).

Usability
  • I couldn't find out the names of the resistances/vulnerabilities on items until I'd picked them up, since I couldn't mouse-over the icons when the items they were on were on the ground.
  • In the object-hovering preview, it shows your statistics in orange for values that have changed. It might be nice to have one colour for improvements and another for reductions in values.
The icon for a scabbard looked like a crossbow to me (not a lot, but a lot more than it looked like a scabbard).
  • Items seem to show vulnerabilities in your stat preview, but not in the object description. Perhaps show the difference by having protections inside a circle and vulnerabilities not in a circle on the icon? (I assume you don't show vulnerabilities in the object description because it is hard to show the difference between vulnerabilities and resistances).
  • If I hover over a resistance/vulnerability (or a stat which has a bonus) in my stats, it might be nice to highlight the object(s) that give(s) it to me.
  • Might be nice to have a grid overlay option, since the 8x6 tiles weren't always obvious.

Performance
No issues.

Balancing
Saracen did seem more vulnerable. Archer and wizard seemed about the same.

Key controls
I just used the mouse to play and it was fine.

Anything else
  • Really liked the mini-map and, particularly, that I could auto-run to locations on it.
  • Hopeful that I'll eventually be able to free creatures from the cages I've found to make a pet for myself, even if it isn't very effective.
  • After initial confusion over the way health worked, I was quite happy that I didn't have a maximum. Something that needs clearly explaining though.
  • As others have said, there is nothing really to do other than optimise combat (ensure only one enemy attacks you at a time) and hope your health lasts. Being able to close doors or push objects to block exits or just about anything else would be good to add to the complexity of combat and/or allow you to disengage from a combat you don't think you can win.
  • Wasn't at all sure how to unlock new characters
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2011, 06:59:00 AM »

Hey, I won!
I like the dramatic music that pops up in certain situation, wasn't sure if there was a bug because there is no music on most of the time.
And I like the log in the background. It's a nice homage to Rogue's terminal roots.
Still haven't unlocked any characters beyond Wizard, Saracen and Archer yet.
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 06:44:57 PM »

I gave this four plays.  The first three I failed and the last I won.

Did it run? No problems.

System specs? Q6600, 4 gigs of RAM, WinXP SP3, 1600x1200 desktop (times 2, two monitors).

Usability? I didn't actually read any of the site so I didn't have any idea how to play the first time.  It gave me a wizard and I got murdered pretty quick.  It took me a while before I realized I could mouse over the accuracy/damage for more info.  I played saracen next and figured stuff out pretty easily, except I still have no clue how damage actually works.  The game says it's damage - armor, but there is randomness involved.  Is it [1, max(1, damage - armor)]?  Wizards say they ignore armor, so are they [1, damage]?  Also, an enemy with 1 damage hit me for 2 damage once, I think.  It's also annoying that items have vulnerabilities that you can't see unless you equip them.

Performance? I didn't experience any slowdowns or stuttering.  However, whenever I moved, there was a small static pop.  It was pretty annoying.

Balancing? My fourth play, I started an archer and the first room had an enemy with a chestpiece of swiftness.  Getting that cloak meant I was effectively invulnerable to melee enemies.  Enemy archers would still hurt me a little, but it seemed I would find more than enough healing items to offset.  And then I found a necrotic bow, which has a chance on hit to raise accuracy and heal.  I finished the game with over 400 health, about 120 base accuracy, 40 damage, and 28-30 defense.  I suspect I could have dropped my bow and beat the boss to death barehanded.  Since the boss was melee, his necrotic resistance didn't matter at all versus my swiftness.  I didn't come across a single shadeform enemy, but I suspect it wouldn't really have hindered me even if the accuracy penalty were, say, as high as -75 unless the enemy also had swiftness.

Key controls? I tried using the keyboard controls but since you can effectively move faster with the mouse, so I stuck to that.  (If you mash a numpad direction there's a delay between moves, I guess to prevent double taps.) I would have preferred numpad 5 to be wait, as someone else mentioned.  Managing items and ranged attacks was kind of a hassle, but I don't really have a large amount of Rogue-like experience.

I have some other comments.  When using the mouse to move, sometimes I'd give a move order into a large room I couldn't see all of and an enemy would come into view.  This should cancel the move order instead of continuing it, since the player will often get attacked at least once in the situation. I guess it does this and I misclicked?  Dunno.  I also have no clue if there's a second quest or if having bosses in the levels is random (besides the last one).  You unlock knight just by dying a bunch?  Are there more things to unlock?

Gameplay seems a little simple, but hopefully it will improve.  There don't seem to be a huge number of meaningful choices to make.  It's clear in most cases which items are better than others; at best you get an offense/defense tradeoff.  When fighting enemies, it doesn't seem like you can really employ a lot of tactics.  As saracen, you can get out of view behind a door to make them come to you, but as an archer or wizard there's not anything you can do to prevent melee enemies from closing the gap if you miss a bunch.  Enemies with damage types aren't common till level 5, it seems, so vulnerabilities and resistances hardly matter.

Also, for item previews, you should colorcode red/blue or something for up/down instead of just showing changes in orange.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 05:33:55 PM by Fyren » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2011, 08:46:24 PM »

Finally beat it! I've been stubbornly trying to win with Saracen, but decided to give the elf archer another go. (might be some spoilers here)

Ranged attack + swift is pretty over powered. Maybe swift should only apply to attacking, not movement? I reached level 5 without swift (but with a necro-bow), had about 300hp, and was overconfident. The blue oni were hurting me bad, and as I found the final room I was down to about 40hp, and too scared to enter! (and was badly wishing that I hadn't traded my divine-bow I had earlier on) Luckily, while searching for some extra life, I found a swift-granting potion, and narrowly won the game.

I also agree with the comments regarding the preview, adding a green/red indicator would mean I wouldn't have to flick on-and-off the item to see what the changes were (particularly when there is more than one item on a single tile).

Also, I didn't notice it before, but I'm also experiencing the small static pop after steps. Now that I've noticed it, I can't un-notice it.
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2011, 08:58:54 PM »

A few more observations.  It seems to be that sometimes ranged enemies can attack you while you can't hit them back with ranged.  You're not allowed to shoot at them, but if you pass, they will shoot at you.

And you can kind of game the altars by removing all your equipment before praying.  I don't know if the possible effects change if you're not wearing anything, but it would always be better for positive effects to be placed directly on the player instead of items.  If it matters if you're wearing something or not, you can always just choose to dump the effect on the same piece every time.

With swift working how it does now, you always want to go around a corner/open a door with the first of your two turns.  If you don't, you could turn a corner and get whacked in the face.  It's annoying to micromanage that.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 09:07:46 PM by Fyren » Logged
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