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April 24, 2014, 05:14:05 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingA Night In-Between [Stealth Action-Adventure game]
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Pandara_RA!
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 12:02:40 AM »

Polish:
Add volume controls in the menu + in game

Glitches/weird things:
1. The starting cutscene of you being summoned doesn't play at the start.
2. Dying in the first room causes a cutscene of me being summoned to play.
3. EDIT: Dying again repeats this EDIT EDIT: Dying anywhere in ONLY the first area makes me watch the cutscene. (all rooms before the first water pool)

3. I felt much more at risk of dying than before, though it was still possible to kite the gaurds...though when I was kiting it did -not- seem like a for sure thing without practice, and I was on the edge of my seat some fights hoping I didn't have to see the glitched cutscene! hehe so good job here! though more problems are made from this explained below...

4. I now really like the dial puzzle, I understand what it wants from me, and am rewarded with back story

5. The guards when startled by your foot prints act confused. they seem to get alarmed but don't actually investigate...then you stop moving and they act like nothing happened, pretty clear in the room after the first water pool with the two covered up guards in the courtyard.

6. If guards chase me and I get far enough and hit sneak they act like nothing happened, and don't investigate

7. If you die versus the guards past the smoke trap/ink room you re spawn at the water pool, it's only annoying because you have to wait for the ink/smoke switches to turn off multiple time before trying against the guards again.

8. From the dye room, past the room of two gaurds circling there is text on the map that says "flagger" screenshot below

9. I found the poison and instantly b-lined for the giant dish to examine...and seeing the syringe and the guy talking about poison before in the first cutscene, then the follow up of fruit being removed from the plate + the message was PERFECT, nailed it.

10. If you get two to three guards to chase you at once the audio quality drops out and becomes an awful crackle it's caused (by the question mark audio?), which then broke the audio, which now permanently cuts in and out till you die

EDIT: experimenting with this leads me to think it may only happen in the room through the first keylocked door, (this may be due to the wind sounds? there idk, maybe it's a mix of the ? mark sound plus this?)

11. I swear I got hit once and then 1/4 a second after he hit me before I swiped...resulting in him dying and me being alive. Check to see if the animation is in sync with the actual hit.

12. I feel like blood detection just feels weird now compared to the aped up sound detection, I have stage 1 blood, and it's actually better to sneak 5 feet from a guard with lvl 1 blood on my face, then get in the water up to 40 feet away from the guards, because they instantly find me from the splash effect. I like that the game feels harder from the new detection... I just I felt disconnected from the game, blood detection should be amped up a little as well maybe. To keep it balanced.

13. Picking up the blue key causes the water sound effect from stepping in water to no longer work

14. Pressing the switch hidden in the giant censor, then going back to the previous room causes the game no clip you while turning you invisible breaking the game.

15. overall guards never enter Huh? mode except ironically after killing me

The game froze here for me and I'll of course play through again when I wake up tomorrow, but it's past my own self given bed time =].  Panda
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2012, 04:59:20 AM »

Quote
Add volume controls in the menu + in game
It's listed to do this week (with the possibility of being implemented first on the main menu and then on he pause menu).

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1. The starting cutscene of you being summoned doesn't play at the start.
2. Dying in the first room causes a cutscene of me being summoned to play.
3. EDIT: Dying again repeats this EDIT EDIT: Dying anywhere in ONLY the first area makes me watch the cutscene. (all rooms before the first water pool)
This cutscene has been suspended because it was confusing and long and etc. So as the content designer and artist prepares a whole new one (with probably you being able to walk in hell before coming to Earth) this one was disabled. Seeing it is a bug and we fixed it by destroying an activator that used to destroy the save point on the introduction room (up there where you used to start), which was a mend to another bug that does not exist anymore =)
I think it should be alright now!

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3. I felt much more at risk of dying than before, though it was still possible to kite the gaurds...though when I was kiting it did -not- seem like a for sure thing without practice, and I was on the edge of my seat some fights hoping I didn't have to see the glitched cutscene! hehe so good job here! though more problems are made from this explained below...
Nice! I (hope) think it would be easier to solve the new problems.

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4. I now really like the dial puzzle, I understand what it wants from me, and am rewarded with back story
That's good =)
There will be some trivia, or flavor, or some different prop on the room with the civilian that goes to the small room after you open the gate. (We thought about putting a poison charger there, as you suggested, but it would cause other problems so we kept the first charger at the place it was before)

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5. The guards when startled by your foot prints act confused. they seem to get alarmed but don't actually investigate...then you stop moving and they act like nothing happened, pretty clear in the room after the first water pool with the two covered up guards in the courtyard.

6. If guards chase me and I get far enough and hit sneak they act like nothing happened, and don't investigate

15. overall guards never enter Huh? mode except ironically after killing me
This seems to be the same problem with the guard. I'll check on it today.

Quote
7. If you die versus the guards past the smoke trap/ink room you re spawn at the water pool, it's only annoying because you have to wait for the ink/smoke switches to turn off multiple time before trying against the guards again.
That's a quite annoying bug we still don't know how to solve =/

Quote
8. From the dye room, past the room of two gaurds circling there is text on the map that says "flagger" screenshot below
The save points only check when you leave some doors (usually every door on the rooms with save points), but I removed the one on the top door so that if someone fall to the traps the game wouldn't save right after it.
Anyways I've put another save point between the bottom door and the first trap.

Quote
10. If you get two to three guards to chase you at once the audio quality drops out and becomes an awful crackle it's caused (by the question mark audio?), which then broke the audio, which now permanently cuts in and out till you die
EDIT: experimenting with this leads me to think it may only happen in the room through the first keylocked door, (this may be due to the wind sounds? there idk, maybe it's a mix of the ? mark sound plus this?)
This might have something to do with the reverb zones... You don't know how many times I've told our sound designer (back then when we took sound design classes together) not to use so many and strong reverbs... I hope we can have the help of a friend that is an outstanding professional sound designer to do the mastering of everything in the game.
Anyway, I know this problem exists, butcould you record it happening? We tried reproducing it but it never happened as you said.

Quote
11. I swear I got hit once and then 1/4 a second after he hit me before I swiped...resulting in him dying and me being alive. Check to see if the animation is in sync with the actual hit.
Since we changed the speeds we haven't remebered to resync the guard attack animation. Should be done soon.

Quote
12. I feel like blood detection just feels weird now compared to the aped up sound detection, I have stage 1 blood, and it's actually better to sneak 5 feet from a guard with lvl 1 blood on my face, then get in the water up to 40 feet away from the guards, because they instantly find me from the splash effect. I like that the game feels harder from the new detection... I just I felt disconnected from the game, blood detection should be amped up a little as well maybe. To keep it balanced.
That's right, we'll increase a little bit the vision range and decrease a little the water sound radius. (so many things were left behind after the change of speeds)

Quote
13. Picking up the blue key causes the water sound effect from stepping in water to no longer work
Could you try reproducing and recording it too? We're trying and it never happens...

Quote
14. Pressing the switch hidden in the giant censor, then going back to the previous room causes the game no clip you while turning you invisible breaking the game.
Might be some level design problem. I'll check on it.

Thanks! =)
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Pandara_RA!
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2012, 12:33:36 PM »

Quote
13. Picking up the blue key causes the water sound effect from stepping in water to no longer work
I actually tried to recreate it, and failed...but this leads me to think of something different...you'll see in the video the cracking happens 1. when the guards are following me and 2. even with no guards around stepping through the water in that location also causes the problems.

Maybe this and that problem are connected? like it's trying to play both the water stepping sound and/or the floor stepping sound? breaking the sound? anyways the video is uploading it's only 5:30 long so should be up quickly!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCI88fc5H6U&feature=youtu.be

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« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2012, 09:35:07 PM »

Since the room with the final target is still bugged I didn't manage to trigger any of the endings. I get the feeling that the intent is you get a boring ending if you just kill the three and don't do any optional stuff in the blue rooms and mysterious gardens -- at least that is the impression I got from the protagonist's extra monologue after the first kill. If that's the case, I do hope your story writer does implement the "until dawn" suggestion I recommended. The thing about having such different endings is that after a while you simply have no reason not to go for the best one on subsequent playthroughs. (When was the last time you didn't do a Ballos Run in a Cave Story?) Making doing anything optional in the game risky to other goals would help to offset this.

I did, however, try to mess around a little bit more and I managed to make a bug after warping into a Blue Room I'm not sure I was supposed to get to. It was a room with around six guards in it. Since I was 100% visible, I tried rushing it and I almost made it. However, I was killed at the exact same moment the warping was in effect, when I respawned I could no longer move, and that's what ended my first playthrough on this version.

Now that I think I understand some of the intrigue behind the blue rooms, they don't bother me as much even through the glitches. But I still kind of think they are just more boring in comparison to the rest of the palace. Even the confused mess that is the Warp Zone is just more interesting to play when compared to a series of warp-pad hallways where nothing of note happens and all you do is get lost. The place having no guards or enemies really takes away from the amount of fun those areas offer.

I'll report on more on my next few playthroughs.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 09:45:06 PM by MW » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2012, 08:37:01 AM »

Quote
I did, however, try to mess around a little bit more and I managed to make a bug after warping into a Blue Room I'm not sure I was supposed to get to. It was a room with around six guards in it. Since I was 100% visible, I tried rushing it and I almost made it. However, I was killed at the exact same moment the warping was in effect, when I respawned I could no longer move, and that's what ended my first playthrough on this version.
Hm... we have to see about it. I think we had seen it happen once loong ago. Seems like it was a forgotten bug that has to be fixed.
Edit: Seems like this bug is fixed. Now when the game freezes your character right before the teleport occrurs you also become invincible.

Quote
Since the room with the final target is still bugged I didn't manage to trigger any of the endings. I get the feeling that the intent is you get a boring ending if you just kill the three and don't do any optional stuff in the blue rooms and mysterious gardens -- at least that is the impression I got from the protagonist's extra monologue after the first kill. If that's the case, I do hope your story writer does implement the "until dawn" suggestion I recommended. The thing about having such different endings is that after a while you simply have no reason not to go for the best one on subsequent playthroughs. (When was the last time you didn't do a Ballos Run in a Cave Story?) Making doing anything optional in the game risky to other goals would help to offset this.

Now that I think I understand some of the intrigue behind the blue rooms, they don't bother me as much even through the glitches. But I still kind of think they are just more boring in comparison to the rest of the palace. Even the confused mess that is the Warp Zone is just more interesting to play when compared to a series of warp-pad hallways where nothing of note happens and all you do is get lost. The place having no guards or enemies really takes away from the amount of fun those areas offer.
You're right about the regular ending over the best one, which involves the blue rooms and the central garden.

I told our artist (since he's the one that's used to configure the lights properly) and he really liked the idea of changing the lights of the game according to events, probably after each target is killed, so that the game goes until dawn if you go for the best ending and almost dawn if not. I think narrative can adapt to this concept too.

The blue room with the guards is connect to the room before, with the prisoners (it hasn't been made clear by the content yet). It's like if their souls was connected (if you execute one of the prisoners the corresponding guard on the next room will die too).
Also we'll have more narrative bits (that first cutscene, for instance, shows like the ghosts of the past... that whole are is something about a place that got stuck in time back on the time the sorcerer took over the palace) going on there and lots of special props (and we're thinking that since the rooms that change are like the same place in a different plane, each version would have different content).

Do you think that adding a bit of action would improve the general feel of that areas?
Could you think of a (game) example of a game that manages to avoid the best ending paradigm? Right now I can't think of anything that would improve this feel, so that either way would make an interesting gameplay...

Quote
I actually tried to recreate it, and failed...but this leads me to think of something different...you'll see in the video the cracking happens 1. when the guards are following me and 2. even with no guards around stepping through the water in that location also causes the problems.

Maybe this and that problem are connected? like it's trying to play both the water stepping sound and/or the floor stepping sound? breaking the sound? anyways the video is uploading it's only 5:30 long so should be up quickly!
I fixed this problem with the door leading you to nowhere in the previous room. There were two doors with the same id on the previous room. It's fine now.

Our sound designer is aware of the audio issue. Hope Unity has some easy way to make a cap on the reverbs (we're using Unity's dynamic sound effects instead of designing every variation).
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beto
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« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2012, 01:40:26 PM »

I've been off for a while because we were focused on releasing a new build with lots of changes (and I had to take care of the new trailer and the live action-funny-video-mega64-like and they're getting awesome!)...

Here is the link (PC version):
www.qasir.adugestudio.com/builds/beta/QasirBeta120214.rar

Some important things that changed since the last version:
- The guard's behavior was improved, now they will start touching you and trying to attack you after they listen you running for a while.
- Lots of bug fixes
- New props and content were added
- New menu screens
- New pause menu *splash* with more maps!!! *splash* =D
- The first dial puzzle is now fully functional (I hope heh)

Seems like a few things but they were tough work haha

I really really thank you all for all the help you've been providing! o/
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Pandara_RA!
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2012, 08:43:37 PM »

I've been off for a while because we were focused on releasing a new build with lots of changes (and I had to take care of the new trailer and the live action-funny-video-mega64-like and they're getting awesome!)...

Here is the link (PC version):
www.qasir.adugestudio.com/builds/beta/QasirBeta120214.rar

Some important things that changed since the last version:
- The guard's behavior was improved, now they will start touching you and trying to attack you after they listen you running for a while.
- Lots of bug fixes
- New props and content were added
- New menu screens
- New pause menu *splash* with more maps!!! *splash* =D
- The first dial puzzle is now fully functional (I hope heh)

Seems like a few things but they were tough work haha

I really really thank you all for all the help you've been providing! o/

Menu is vastly improved, many puzzles now work correctly
New animation on white guards is really cool, too bad they are half broken on spawn still
The props added add a lot of style to the game, makes rooms feel less samey.

Many many bugs I have reported on are fixed, still found the sound glitch with he water =]though.

Keeps getting better and better, keep polishing it up!
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« Reply #22 on: February 29, 2012, 06:51:05 AM »

Menu is vastly improved, many puzzles now work correctly
New animation on white guards is really cool, too bad they are half broken on spawn still
The props added add a lot of style to the game, makes rooms feel less samey.

Many many bugs I have reported on are fixed, still found the sound glitch with he water =]though.

Keeps getting better and better, keep polishing it up!

You mean the smoke explosion? They won't be like that, they're just placeholders (pallet swap of the guards from the former art direction). That's why they don't have walk/run animations.
They're part of a door. We might bring them to be something like a guard as they are now mixed with Mokujin. =)

We'll keep adding new props. Now we have almost all the assets of the alchemic puzzle and it's quite done with programming. As soon as it's set up I'll prepare a separate build with the puzzles (including the dials, since only the first one is done).

I thought the sound issue with the water was fixed but seems like it wasn't... We'll keep on looking for ways to fix it.

Thank you! =)
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« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2012, 05:47:00 AM »

I've been playing the "120214" version.

Overall I'm really, really impressed by the game.  The art, sound, writing, character, story and gameplay all come together to make one of the most intriguing game-worlds I've visited in some time.  Reaching the garden and entering the blue rooms for the first time are both "wow" moments when I realised that the game is much bigger than I'd expected.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how the story ends.  Unfortunately I've hit a show-stopping bug that means the game freezes whenever I try to solve one of the "dial rotation" puzzles.  (I can send you the MySavedGame file if that's any help in debugging.)  I'll play the game again from the start, but it probably makes sense for me to wait until there's a new version to test.

Some general comments:

- At the risk of sounding xenophobic, I don't think "Qasir al-Wasat" is a good title for a game.  I don't know what it means, I don't know how to pronounce it, if someone asks me if I've played any good games recently I can't give a sensible answer, and most importantly it doesn't give me any sense of what the gameplay is going to be like.  On the other hand I do like "A Night in-Between" as a title.  It immediately makes me think "atmospheric indie adventure game".  I'm not suggesting changing the game's title, but it may be worth making the English part more prominent in any marketing material.

- I think I spotted a few typos in the game's text.  Nothing major, just things like "its" instead of "it's" during the intro text, but I'm afraid I wasn't taking notes.  (If there's a file with all the game text in, I can give it a proper look through if you're short of proof-readers.)

- I was going to say that the game really needs a map, but reading this thread I discovered it already has one!  Even knowing that I had a lot of difficulty finding it (the "Esc" key does nothing for me, I have to use "Enter" instead, and even then I almost missed the map screen).  At some point in the game, you really need to make the existence of the map clear to the player.

- Cleaning powder/blood off your character is surprisingly difficult.  If I hadn't read that you can wash it off I probably wouldn't have guessed.  You have to walk through the water for a very long time to get clean -- I would've expected it to be almost instantaneous.  It might also be worth letting the character get clean slowly just by walking around.  If you get enough blood on your character it becomes very difficult to get through some rooms, which isn't much fun if there isn't a water pool nearby.

- I found the text boxes (speech bubbles) seemed to stay on the screen too long.  They could probably disappear after a second if you start walking.  A few times I found myself running away from guards with the text "A censer. It smells good" still on the screen.

- The examine hints ("..."/"?") seemed quite slow to appear and disappear.  Sometimes I didn't know which object they referred to.  Also, it might be better if you could only examine objects that are important to the game or the story.  Being able to examine objects that are just scenery (censers, plants, pots) is distracting, especially when they just repeat the same text over and over.

- It's not something I'm suggesting you should change at this stage, but having one button for "activate" and another button for "investigate" seems like one button too many.  It took me a while to learn which button to press to open doors!

- As I've said, I eventually got stuck because of a bug.  After killing the first target, the game overall started to get very glitchy.  I wasn't sure whether I was solving puzzles accidentally, discovering bugs, or simply playing part of the game that's not finished yet.  I don't envy the amount of QA work you've got ahead of you...

We were talking before about puzzle design, so in case it's any help I'll try to throw out a few random thoughts about puzzles that might work in the game.  (As I've said, I haven't played the whole game yet, so I might be making suggestions here for things you've already used.)

The way I see it, there are several different types of puzzles that could fit into the game:

- Logic puzzles.  These are things that work as puzzles even when taken out of the context of the game, and they could even be traditional puzzles that are transplanted into the game.  For example, the "dial rotation" puzzle, the block-pushing (Sokoban) puzzles in Zelda games, or something like completing a jigsaw or a Rubik's cube or moving Tetris-style pieces into place or following a convoluted maze.  The "dial rotation" puzzle takes the player out of the game to some degree, but puzzles like block-pushing in Zelda are built around the central game mechanics.

- Pattern puzzles.  In these cases the player realises that something is un-symmetric or out-of-place, or that the appearance of the room is a clue to a puzzle that needs solving.  For example, four torches in a room but only one of them is lit (so blow it out or light the other three); boxes that are almost arranged in a pattern (the last one needs pushing into place); coloured pictures on one wall and coloured switches on another (the switches need to match the colours of the pictures); a room that's almost perfectly symmetric except for a gap along one wall (a hidden door); a trail of footprints on the floor (follow them to avoid setting off a trap); numbers "3", "1" and "2" written next to three switches (hit the switches in that order).

- Clues and riddles.  These are puzzles you're unlikely to solve by accident, but someone's helpfully written down a clue nearby.  For example, a note that reads "Run around the tree clockwise five times" (the only other things in the room are a tree and a locked door), or a sign "The emerald fire leads the way" (a flame keeps changing colour; the switch to open the door only works when the flame is green).  Pictures can be clues instead of text (as can sounds).

Of course you don't want to start adding new items or mechanisms to the game at this stage, so I think the trick is to repurpose existing game mechanics to make new puzzles.  Some of the things currently in the game that could be used to make puzzles:

- Standing still.  For example, you might have to stand motionless at a certain spot for five seconds to solve a puzzle; or you have to stand on the coloured tiles in the order shown by a coloured flame.

- Walking.  For example, follow a special path marked on the floor; or maybe the floor tiles change colours as you walk on them and you need to colour them so they make a certain pattern.

- Sounds.  For example, a hidden item that you can hear but not see; or a different sound to your footsteps that tells you you are walking along a secret path.

- Censers.  Different colours of smoke could provide clues to puzzles.  Maybe you could hit the censers to change their colours, or to turn them on or off.  Maybe the smoke from special censers could have an effect on the guards.

- Pressure pads (tiles that act as switches when you stand on them).  Maybe you need to activate two pressure pads simultaneously: you can stand on one, but you need to put an item on the other.  Or maybe you need a guard to stand on one.

- Keys.  The keys you pick up could be used for purposes other than unlocking doors.  Maybe a puzzle requires a key to be placed at a certain point on the floor, or you could use a key to hold down a pressure pad (as above).  (I'm assuming that keys are the only items you're able to carry around.)

- Guards/other characters.  A puzzle may require you to lead guards to certain places in the room (for example to stand on pressure pads, as above).  Or perhaps you could be required to kill a guard so that his blood covers a certain tile on the floor (or so that his blood colours the water in a pool red).

- Darts (that are shot out of holes in the wall).  Maybe these could hit things other than you, such as guards or distant switches.

- Powder sprays.  What effect do these have on the guards?  Can they come in different colours?  Maybe for one puzzle you need to be completely covered in powder (or blood).

- Stealth mode.  Am I right that at one point a secret path through some pressure pads only becomes visible when you're walking stealthily?  Maybe other things (clues? a key?) should only become visible when in stealth mode.

That's probably enough typing for one day.  (I can't believe how long this post is...)

TL;DR  I really like the game, and I'm looking forward to playing it again when it's closer to complete.

Cheers,
Simon
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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2012, 09:26:42 AM »

It's ok to write as much as you want!
I read and consider everything people say.
All the testing and opinions about the game are very important to me!
And I thank you, and all the other buddies that helped! =)

Overall I'm really, really impressed by the game.  The art, sound, writing, character, story and gameplay all come together to make one of the most intriguing game-worlds I've visited in some time.  Reaching the garden and entering the blue rooms for the first time are both "wow" moments when I realised that the game is much bigger than I'd expected.
Wow! Thanks! It's very rewarding to hear it!
And I'm glad you got this feel, since this opening feel is what we wanted to convey with the hubs (we consider the central garden as a hub and the blue place has one too).

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I'm really looking forward to seeing how the story ends.  Unfortunately I've hit a show-stopping bug that means the game freezes whenever I try to solve one of the "dial rotation" puzzles.  (I can send you the MySavedGame file if that's any help in debugging.)  I'll play the game again from the start, but it probably makes sense for me to wait until there's a new version to test.
Sorry about that... We have just designed and worked over the first dial puzzle.
The only reason I haven't posted a new build is that in order to complete the alchemic puzzle (another mini-game beside the dial rotation one) we end up with things messed on the way, so I can't make an stable build (and when we have all the puzzles built I'll make a separate build to test them apart from the rest of the game).

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- At the risk of sounding xenophobic, I don't think "Qasir al-Wasat" is a good title for a game.  I don't know what it means, I don't know how to pronounce it, if someone asks me if I've played any good games recently I can't give a sensible answer, and most importantly it doesn't give me any sense of what the gameplay is going to be like.  On the other hand I do like "A Night in-Between" as a title.  It immediately makes me think "atmospheric indie adventure game".  I'm not suggesting changing the game's title, but it may be worth making the English part more prominent in any marketing material.
It's ok. We're aware of that.
And this is the reason we came up with "A Night in-Between" (also because it carries poetically some concepts of the game).
From now on we'll try to emphasize more on this title over "Qasir al-Wasat" and hope for the best.

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- I think I spotted a few typos in the game's text.  Nothing major, just things like "its" instead of "it's" during the intro text, but I'm afraid I wasn't taking notes.  (If there's a file with all the game text in, I can give it a proper look through if you're short of proof-readers.)
I told our content designer about this issue.
Also I talked to her about your offer and she said she could send you the source txts on approximately two weeks (that's how long she said it would take to have the most of all texts written).

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- I was going to say that the game really needs a map, but reading this thread I discovered it already has one!  Even knowing that I had a lot of difficulty finding it (the "Esc" key does nothing for me, I have to use "Enter" instead, and even then I almost missed the map screen).  At some point in the game, you really need to make the existence of the map clear to the player.
This was one of the interface problems we faced. Now we considered the "Esc" function only to cancel things (everything can be remapped by the user on the Unity launcher) and the pause is accessed by "Enter". Maybe we could add some text with the main character saying something about his mindmap (the concept behind all the in-game menus is that it's all a mindmap of the relevant things the character pays attention to). Also you'll be able to summon the map by pressing "M" and this will be a toggle funcion and you'll be able to walk with the map on.

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- Cleaning powder/blood off your character is surprisingly difficult.  If I hadn't read that you can wash it off I probably wouldn't have guessed.  You have to walk through the water for a very long time to get clean -- I would've expected it to be almost instantaneous.  It might also be worth letting the character get clean slowly just by walking around.  If you get enough blood on your character it becomes very difficult to get through some rooms, which isn't much fun if there isn't a water pool nearby.
We had it very quick before, then I doubled the time it takes to clean one level.
I think I'll try to discover a midpoint where you don't get cleaned too fast nor too slow, so that it feels balanced (because water is noisy, so it has the drawback of attracting guards) and intuitive. Adding a real slow cleaning by walking on the water is also a possibility...

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- I found the text boxes (speech bubbles) seemed to stay on the screen too long.  They could probably disappear after a second if you start walking.  A few times I found myself running away from guards with the text "A censer. It smells good" still on the screen.
You mean the main character's speech bubbles? If it's his, all of the main character's text has to be advanced by pressing space, and this is also the way of closing them. This way the player has control over the text of his avatar (this is also why you don't have control over the npc's text, except for the cutscenes).

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- The examine hints ("..."/"?") seemed quite slow to appear and disappear.  Sometimes I didn't know which object they referred to.  Also, it might be better if you could only examine objects that are important to the game or the story.  Being able to examine objects that are just scenery (censers, plants, pots) is distracting, especially when they just repeat the same text over and over.
That's a good point, we have to work on the fade times...
Considering things that have some variation (maybe there could be more) like the white vases, do you still think it's bad?

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- It's not something I'm suggesting you should change at this stage, but having one button for "activate" and another button for "investigate" seems like one button too many.  It took me a while to learn which button to press to open doors!
Perhaps changing the name of the "investigate" (Space) could help identifying its usage and making it more distinct from the "activate" (A) mechanic?
Also we'd like to have a screen in-game that shows the controls (we had it beforte, but since we've got the whole controls remappable we had to remove this screen since we still don't have the code to recognize the changes and display them).

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- As I've said, I eventually got stuck because of a bug.  After killing the first target, the game overall started to get very glitchy.  I wasn't sure whether I was solving puzzles accidentally, discovering bugs, or simply playing part of the game that's not finished yet.  I don't envy the amount of QA work you've got ahead of you...
The game after the first target is still into pieces and I'm afraid of it, considering that it would have to be tested thoroughly and the release deadline is getting closer...

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- Logic puzzles.  These are things that work as puzzles even when taken out of the context of the game, and they could even be traditional puzzles that are transplanted into the game.  For example, the "dial rotation" puzzle, the block-pushing (Sokoban) puzzles in Zelda games, or something like completing a jigsaw or a Rubik's cube or moving Tetris-style pieces into place or following a convoluted maze.  The "dial rotation" puzzle takes the player out of the game to some degree, but puzzles like block-pushing in Zelda are built around the central game mechanics.
We wanted add puzzles more connected to the central mechanics, and looong ago on the original design, we had a push/pull mechanic but we discarded it to simplify programming (we only have one programmer [and five designers]). But later we found some problems on gameplay related to the part more connected to investigation and stuff like this. So we came up with the idea of making puzzles that would help enhancing the investigation aspect of the game, and we thought about the dial rotating and the alchemic puzzle. Unfortunately they work on a mini-game basis and it would be nice to have something more connected to gameplay (even though I believe we can, and are working to achieve it, connect to it by other means like investigating stuff and having to bring items to assemble the puzzles). But... this is something to learn, since it's our very first game to achieve this point of development (also the first that's going to be commercialized), so we won't be able to avoid so many mistakes.

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- Pattern puzzles.  In these cases the player realises that something is un-symmetric or out-of-place, or that the appearance of the room is a clue to a puzzle that needs solving.  For example, four torches in a room but only one of them is lit (so blow it out or light the other three); boxes that are almost arranged in a pattern (the last one needs pushing into place); coloured pictures on one wall and coloured switches on another (the switches need to match the colours of the pictures); a room that's almost perfectly symmetric except for a gap along one wall (a hidden door); a trail of footprints on the floor (follow them to avoid setting off a trap); numbers "3", "1" and "2" written next to three switches (hit the switches in that order).
Good! This gave me the idea of implementing a matching color puzzle on a Warp Zone (WA_3), or maybe in one of the blue rooms. Also, last week, our programmer came up with the idea of a "password switch puzzle" like the 3,1,2 you said. We could also work with that.

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- Clues and riddles.  These are puzzles you're unlikely to solve by accident, but someone's helpfully written down a clue nearby.  For example, a note that reads "Run around the tree clockwise five times" (the only other things in the room are a tree and a locked door), or a sign "The emerald fire leads the way" (a flame keeps changing colour; the switch to open the door only works when the flame is green).  Pictures can be clues instead of text (as can sounds).
We'll have a riddle for each puzzle that opens a passage to the blue rooms.

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- Standing still.  For example, you might have to stand motionless at a certain spot for five seconds to solve a puzzle; or you have to stand on the coloured tiles in the order shown by a coloured flame.
Actually there is a puzzle that's kinda of a standing still puzzle. We're working with the possibility of not killing anyone, so the civilian holding a key before the first target can open the locked door for you if you listen to the whole dialogue (he leaves and opens the door on the previous room). But I could use this idea combined with the color puzzle...

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- Walking.  For example, follow a special path marked on the floor; or maybe the floor tiles change colours as you walk on them and you need to colour them so they make a certain pattern.
This could be interesting, but I think we hardly would be able to implement...

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- Sounds.  For example, a hidden item that you can hear but not see; or a different sound to your footsteps that tells you you are walking along a secret path.
I, personally, would love to have sound related puzzles. But we're still having major mastering problems and other sound issues that I think a sound puzzle would be out of reach for us =/

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- Censers.  Different colours of smoke could provide clues to puzzles.  Maybe you could hit the censers to change their colours, or to turn them on or off.  Maybe the smoke from special censers could have an effect on the guards.
This is the color puzzle I thought about when I read all that you said! =)
It's quite bugged actually, but the last target is supposed to be very high on hash, and there is a censer with tons of smoke, only for the aesthetic feel, though...

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- Pressure pads (tiles that act as switches when you stand on them).  Maybe you need to activate two pressure pads simultaneously: you can stand on one, but you need to put an item on the other.  Or maybe you need a guard to stand on one.
We've done a puzzle like this last friday =)
It's in the room that have two girls and a dude (all civilians) and a door that leads to a teleport pad to the blue rooms. You'll have to make four pressure pads activated altogether on each corner (actually there's one that's not on the corner, but it's "yours" to activate). Also if you want to kill them, the dead bodies still makes the pads pressed.

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- Keys.  The keys you pick up could be used for purposes other than unlocking doors.  Maybe a puzzle requires a key to be placed at a certain point on the floor, or you could use a key to hold down a pressure pad (as above).  (I'm assuming that keys are the only items you're able to carry around.)
Keys are the only items you carry that affect your visibility. We'll have some mini-objects that you carry via menu (like Zelda trading items) to make things available via (automatic) assemblage of the missing parts, and the alchemic puzzles will provide solutions that will open some doors.
And the idea of keys pressing the pads is nice! I still can't see where I could use it, but it's a good food for thought...

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- Guards/other characters.  A puzzle may require you to lead guards to certain places in the room (for example to stand on pressure pads, as above).  Or perhaps you could be required to kill a guard so that his blood covers a certain tile on the floor (or so that his blood colours the water in a pool red).
This gave me the hint of changing a puzzle that involved sacrifice of a civilian to activate a teleporter... It first you were supposed to lead the civilian to a set of spikes (there were one at each corner) and manage to have the guard to step on the pressure pad on the center of the room (where the civilian starts). It was just not good, counter-intuitive and hard (on a bad way) to do. I'll try another approach, like just killing the victim over the teleporter (so it will start pouring red water on the teleporter) and have more guards on the room so it's risky to do the killing.

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- Darts (that are shot out of holes in the wall).  Maybe these could hit things other than you, such as guards or distant switches.
Having a dart to hit a switch could make a puzzle, right after the color one I'm planning to do, much more interesting! I'll see if we'd be able to do it!

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- Powder sprays.  What effect do these have on the guards?  Can they come in different colours?  Maybe for one puzzle you need to be completely covered in powder (or blood).
One of the blue rooms is an eternal prison, and you could free the trapped souls there by killing them and you do so by activating traps. One of them is a green poison gas. This one is more of an aesthetic sensation, but actually affects the next room there...

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- Stealth mode.  Am I right that at one point a secret path through some pressure pads only becomes visible when you're walking stealthily?  Maybe other things (clues? a key?) should only become visible when in stealth mode.
Yeah, there are two rooms where you have a set of traps with some pads that do nothing and can be revealed by stealth mode.
I sure have to use it more often after the first target...

Again, thank you for all of it! =)
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dishmoth
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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2012, 02:07:13 AM »

Also I talked to her about your offer and she said she could send you the source txts on approximately two weeks (that's how long she said it would take to have the most of all texts written).
No problem.  If you think some extra proof-reading is worthwhile then my email address is in my profile.

I'd like to be able to write, but don't have the talent.  Reading is the next-best thing.

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Considering things that have some variation (maybe there could be more) like the white vases, do you still think it's bad?
It's a minor issue, and other people will probably have different opinions, so at this stage I think it makes sense to keep things as they are.

But I found it a little bit odd that after walking around the palace for a couple of hours, my character was still not bored of telling me the contents of every single vase.  It makes sense at the start of the game, but later on I'd expect the character to start ignoring those repeated bits of scenery, or at least to only comment when there's something unusual about them (e.g., "The vases look more expensive in this part of the palace").

Cheers,
Simon
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beto
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« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2012, 10:52:03 AM »

Sorry for taking so long to answer =/

I'd like to be able to write, but don't have the talent.  Reading is the next-best thing.
Is it so? If you already read a lot, maybe if you started writing a lot you could improve as a writer...

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It's a minor issue, and other people will probably have different opinions, so at this stage I think it makes sense to keep things as they are.

But I found it a little bit odd that after walking around the palace for a couple of hours, my character was still not bored of telling me the contents of every single vase.  It makes sense at the start of the game, but later on I'd expect the character to start ignoring those repeated bits of scenery, or at least to only comment when there's something unusual about them (e.g., "The vases look more expensive in this part of the palace").
I agree with you (and it was something I talked to people here looong ago)... Specially for the ones that only have the same text, like the censers and the date palms. If we don't manage to have a nice variety (or some variety at all in some cases), I think it could be better to remove some texts, or make them stop appearing after you read the first.

Either way, we should have more props (and these secondary texts were added as fillers for the lack of variation between the rooms)...
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beto
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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2012, 11:04:05 AM »

After a long long time I managed to make a new build! \o/

A lot of things were added and improved.
- Added a Mini-object carrying system (like the trade items from Zelda games)
- Added the whole Alchemic Puzzle mini-game
- Improved the Dial Puzzle with more clear feedbacks
- Added more puzzles to the blue rooms (it's getting a new tileset too, still w.i.p.)
- These were the biggest things, and there are lots of minor things

PC version:
http://www.qasir.adugestudio.com/builds/beta/QasirBeta120326.rar

Mac version:
http://www.qasir.adugestudio.com/builds/beta/QasirBetaMac120326.rar

I've also made a separate build with testing chambers to test the mini-game puzzles specifically it's on this thread http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=25208.0
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beto
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« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2012, 01:18:09 PM »

Hey, the game's got a new build =)

- A whole new intro seqence has been made
- We implemented a sound puzzle for the first riddle (that's possible to solve) you find
- The feedback for the dial rotation puzzle changed a little (now the right pieces are always highlited, so you can be aware of the important position of each dial)
- Minor changes on the level design
- New graphics were added or remade (like some letters you find, the sorcerer, etc)
- The poison refill from the weapon of the second target (and the asset itself) was added
- The guards won't chase you anymore during the fade
- The teleporter controller of the blue rooms hub (SU_HUB) is now working, now each branch you unlock will have its teleporters active (or should have, unless there are more bugs)
- Tons of bugs fixes

PC Version:
www.qasir.adugestudio.com/builds/beta/QasirBeta120411.rar

Mac Version:
www.qasir.adugestudio.com/builds/beta/QasirBetaMac120411.rar

Ps: We were about to make a press release but now we'll hold on a little and I forgot to remove the "end of demo" after you kill the second target. It's alright now.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 07:26:08 AM by beto » Logged

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ElTipejoLoco
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« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2012, 08:34:59 PM »

The game becomes frustratingly difficult (and apparently slightly glitchy) as the player approaches the Twin Riddle area in the game. Similarly, I 'solved' the Twin Riddle entirely by accident, though I imagine there's some sort of way to tell what its solution is meant to be through in-game materials.

I have yet to legitimately make it past that section, and the room after it, in a way that felt rewarding for stealthy, minimum-kills play-style type players.

Other slight glitches started to appear after that, such as an inability to pick-up the ibis symbol drawing or examine the pool near it, so I'm guessing something went wrong somehow, somewhere, in my playthrough, but I'm not sure. It's still pretty dang fun up until that point, though.



Edit: List of things I noticed, I s'ppose.

  • Is the single, floating purple light-source in the new intro-sequence supposed to be of some importance? Being one of the few non-tree and non-glowing-circle-on-the-ground-gateway-things in the area made me curious about it, and I spent a bit of time trying to interact with it. It's somewhere north-east of the initial spawn, a bit south-east of the contract-circle the summoner attempts to call you (whose calls can be a little confusing to follow as beacons due to them spawning in stationary spots along the 'path' in the trees- though the path itself is easy to follow without the summoner's dialogue poppin' up).
  • Entry into the broken fountain room is difficult, but possible without killing the two guards guarding its initial entryway. Not sure if this should be considered a bug, or allowed for those players who would prefer to kill the least amount possible.
  • Examining the oryx shaped censer in the lower-right corner of the broken fountain room is slightly difficult; the "..." or "?" prompt will frequently not appear when attempting to examine it, though it does produce text when examined. It doesn't seem to be too important an object, but since I hadn't seen it in the previous build I played (and didn't find another object like it in any of the rooms), I wanted to mention it.
  • A guard that used to spawn and patrol the hallway north of the lead key's room- he no longer appears. Is this intentional? It does make the first experience in key carrying easier, but it also prevents teaching players about dropping the key and moving away from it in stealth mode to avoid being killed, which might become a problem once players are forced to maneuver around 2 guards with the silver key. Of course, at this point in the game the checkpoints are still very permissive and frequent, so it's not a big issue.
  • Backtracking in the first few rooms is suicide to curious, exploration-oriented players due to guard placement. Consider despawning guards close to doors or changing their walk cycles to allow the player to maneuver out of their path- often the player will simply appear and immediately die due to their spawn position being directly on-top of a guard's spawn position. Again, not a big issue when the checkpoints are generous, and leaving it as-is can push players forward towards progressing the story without them feeling like doors are being locked pointlessly behind them (i.e.- it's not the game's fault I can't backtrack; it's my fault, knowing that those guards are going to be right next to the doors I just went through).
  • Possible Spoiler? Mouse-over. This is only a suggestion, and doesn't really apply if you'd rather the players not care about going through the game with the least kills possible.
  • Possible Spoiler? Mouse-over. Same basis as the above, though I think it'd be interesting to implement. Might be too difficult to do so, however, as it implies modifying the behavior of characters already set to follow programmed paths to walk over to the appropriate door that corresponds to the key they picked up.
  • Definite Spoiler? Mouse-over. This is in regards to difficulty in some areas.
  • There's some miscellaneous glitches elsewhere, but since I got to them via a debug function and many of them seem to be in areas that are still being developed, I decided to not give them too much importance. Please let me know if you'd like me to list them, however. I feel like at least mentioning that I'm not sure how to trigger the invulnerability (O key) debug feature in the latest build. Is it currently disabled, a hold-to-use (like stealth), or a toggle? Are there conditions under the which it won't toggle?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 12:24:02 AM by ElTipejoLoco » Logged


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