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October 22, 2014, 07:22:05 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingMAX - action rts/boss rush [New Build!]
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Author Topic: MAX - action rts/boss rush [New Build!]  (Read 2768 times)
todd
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« on: June 24, 2012, 04:38:22 PM »

MAX v.95
*click image for video*


v.95 uploaded 7-2-2012!


Summary
Max is a bite sized action rts/boss rush game where you play a collective mind of souls that dukes it out with another, more sinister looking, collective.
-5 bosses
-"deeds" or trophies
-2 player co-op

Game Status
The game is pretty much done save more music that I want to add, and gameplay tweeks suggested by everyone's feedback.

Feedback
-I don't plan on adding anymore features or mechanics, but what can I do design/gameplay wise to make the experience more fun and intuitive?

I'd appreciate any feedback/suggestions/critique.

Enjoy dudes!

« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 08:03:24 PM by Seasons » Logged

Kramlack
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 05:01:00 PM »

YES! YES! YES! Finally!
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Pemanent
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 05:44:36 PM »

This really feels like it needs to be on a touch screen Wink Just sayin.
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DustyDrake
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 05:45:40 PM »

Download isn't working for me on chrome, it says it can't find the website.
I'll try again on IE

Edit: Hm. nope.
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todd
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 06:34:14 PM »

Download isn't working for me on chrome, it says it can't find the website.
I'll try again on IE

Edit: Hm. nope.
Hmm it seems to be working on my end. Here is an alternate download link. Ill update the first post also. Someone else might have the same trouble, so thanks for catching that!

edit: I also added more to the summary of the game in the first post to give everyone a better idea of what this is about.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 06:42:18 PM by Seasons » Logged

Sean Hogan (seagaia)
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 07:11:03 PM »

i'l try playing with amouse instead of my trakcpad in a bit.

got my ass handed to me by the pyramid, but it felt like a fair ass-handing from me sucking. i enjoy the aesthetics.

i don't really play RTS games so i can't say much about how the upgrades tie into strategy. i only bought the topaz attack power thing and then got destroyed Tongue maybe some starcraft pro can give some advice in that area.
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todd
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 02:00:02 PM »

@seagaia-Please let me know how it goes with the mouse! One thing I'm interested in is if the difficulty ramps up nicely. Do you feel like the upgrades are a bit pricey?

@everyone-I updated the first post with some feedback questions you can keep in mind while playing.
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whale
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 07:24:20 PM »

The idea is neat, I must applaud you for it. The art and sfx mesh very well so good job  Smiley

I have to say I also agree that this seems very well suited for an touch device.

As far as the controls with mouse I did find them a bit unwieldy, I never came close to the dodging seen in your gif above. I was unable to go from identifying the path of an incoming to clicking on one of my crystals and moving it in time.

I was thinking that you might be able to accomplish shortening the needed reaction time either having the monster draw a path of its attack before it does, or perhaps even better make it so that when you click it activates and moves the closest crystal to your mouse click rather than having to click as precisely and drag them away- or maybe have it that nearby crystals move towards your click so you can move more than one at a time. I would also think about trying a system like battle heart where you set the path and then while they are pathing you can set another.

I hope that was at all useful Smiley

Also this is my first post even though I've been lurking here for a year so, hey there tigsource.
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todd
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 07:41:31 PM »

Welcome to the forums whale, and thanks for the great feedback!  Smiley

This really feels like it needs to be on a touch screen Wink Just sayin.
I have to say I also agree that this seems very well suited for an touch device.
It would be cool to get this on a touch device but I don't own one or possess the know how to port it...

I was thinking that you might be able to accomplish shortening the needed reaction time either having the monster draw a path of its attack before it does
This is good advice. I'll definitely work on improving the warning signs before an enemy attacks to give them a bit of predictability and give the player more time to react.

Regarding the dragging, you don't have to click on the crystal you want to move. It automatically targets the one closest to the mouse when you click and hold.

Time to get cracking!
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Franklins Ghost
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 08:15:38 AM »

Just gave it a go and completed it. Was a fun playthough and think with the added trophies and achievements it will really help with the replayability. Thought the difficulty was at a good level for the amount of souls you gave the player but do think it would help if as people have said that there was a bigger gap for reaction time. Especially for the first few bosses when the player is still learning how to strategise. Can definitely shorten the reaction time on later bosses though cause don't want it too easy.

Music suits the game really well and the visual aesthetics are great.

Did also notice that to get to deeds you only need to roll over which is nice in one way but also doesn't make as much sense as a click because later on for every other interaction you need to click to forward text and start game.

For swapping towers it would be nice to also have keyboard button such as spacebar or something because I've got a trackpad and annoying to change with two fingers because it scrolls through to fast to be precise.

Great game though and looking forward to next update Smiley
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Sean Hogan (seagaia)
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 02:23:06 PM »

Warnings yeah would be nice. I managed to complete the game with a mouse, I only had enough souls for two quartz upgrades and the "takes two to damage" one.  That feels like a decent amount of upgrades, I could probably get one more if I was better.

Music cuts off when you beat a stage I think, but my guess was the music/sfx for that aren't made yet?
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todd
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2012, 04:31:43 PM »

@Franklins Ghost-Glad you enjoyed it! I will definitely keep trackpad users in mind and implement a key on the keyboard for switching up crystals. I hope the deeds add more replayability like you said. There will be 3 rankings for each deed: bronze, silver, and gold. Which one you get will depend on the number of souls you had to use.

@seagaia-Thanks for giving it another playthrough. Knowing how many upgrades you got is very helpful. I'm considering lowering the prices a bit now. I think the sweet spot would be 20/40/60 instead of the current 20/50/80. The music should only cut off after the boss dies, then start again at the upgrade screen. I did a playthrough and it worked fine on my end so maybe I'm misunderstanding. But yes, I hope to give each boss his own theme song.

While driving today, I thought it would be neat to have hotseat co-op where the second player is able to control a crystal with "wasd". You'll be able to work together to beat the game and unlock deeds. It will be super easy to implement which is the cool thing!

Thanks again for the awesome feedback guys. I'm going to release the next build on Sunday. If you have any suggestions before then I'd love to hear them.

EDIT: Here's a preview of the deed screen. There will be 7 of these guys rotating around the center of the screen.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 08:24:01 PM by Seasons » Logged

Angelbait
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 02:48:03 PM »

Dude I just found you MAX game and it looks friggin COOL.  Cant wait to try it and your color palette is making me drool.  What are your future plans for the project?  Bigger meaner bosses?  Symbiotic player towers?  Keep it up!

PS: your 6 posts from 666 posts!  MWAHAHAHA 
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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2012, 05:04:04 AM »



Concerned I was so excited to play this, looks very unique. Think I saw a mock-up of it earlier somewhere.
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todd
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2012, 05:43:44 AM »

@subliminal - Ah! Did you get the error right when you started the game? I haven't encountered this yet, but if you could give me a bit more detail I'll try to fix it asap. Thanks for downloading and also for posting a screenshot of this!

edit: I could be divinding by zero somewhere, it could be an issue with your video card and surfaces, or it could be that you need to run it in windows xp compatibility mode. I'm looking into it.

@Angelbait- Thanks haha  Coffee. This has been really fun to make. As for the scope of the project, the build I'm releasing this Sunday should be where the feature creep stops. I just wanted to go fun, short, and polished with some replayability.

The new build will be released tomorrow around 12pm pst. If you haven't had a chance to play the game yet I encourage you to wait until tomorrow to get the new build. I've done a lot more balancing/tweaking per your guys' suggestions. Also- the trophy system is 100% ready, hotseat co-op is a go, more music/art, better controls for trackpad users, and maybe s'more cool little stuff.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 05:54:25 AM by Seasons » Logged

sublinimal
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2012, 07:10:35 AM »

Yeah, it happens right when I boot it up. The first time I tried to run it from the archive, but the problem persisted after unzipping. I only get to see the "Seasons" logo and the cursor (which is under the error message in that screenshot).

Edit: Running in compatibility mode did nothing.
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Udderdude
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2012, 09:09:29 AM »

Just tried it out

Feedback:

During the tutorial it says to "Summon a quartz crystal", however it doesn't say you have to hold the right mouse button, just use it. 

The enemy in the tutorial shot a very large projectile that blew up all my crystals, with no warning.  It was very close, and I had no time to move my crystals out of the way.  Obviously, this is a bit overkill for a tutorial enemy.

It isn't clear that you don't have to place all your crystals on the big green triangle.  In the tutorial, it even says to move them there.

I was able to trap the second enemy in the top area of the screen, where he could do almost nothing to attack me.

http://rydia.net/udder/!crap/maxTrapped.png

The gameplay feels kind of sloppy.  It's close to impossible to save all your crystals from being destroyed as they need to be so close to the enemy in order to do damage, and the enemy attacks are fast and multi-directional, so the most you can do is save one or two of them when it does a big attack.  This is especially noticeable on enemy 3, when he does that giant bullet spam attack.

If I were you, I'd change things around so the crystals can attack from much farther, giving you a chance to save all of them, and give the player more of a reward/incentive for not letting them die besides getting upgrades faster.  Maybe let the crystals move faster, also.

I was able to get past the skull enemy doing nothing more than placing green crystals close and recreating them as soon as they died.  I put nothing but upgrades into green crystals, also.  It completely removes the dodging part of the gameplay.

I think it has potential, but definitely needs some work in the balance and gameplay dept.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 09:44:27 AM by Udderdude » Logged

todd
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2012, 10:18:09 AM »

@sublinimal- I'm 90% sure it's because your video card doesn't support surfaces. If you hang tight until tomorrow, I'll put a script in the new build that disables surfaces for those types of video cards at the start of the game.

@Udderdude-

Man... just, thanks haha. I'm putting all of this in my to-do list before tomorrow.

I'll address your points paragraph by paragraph:

1-Yeah good point. I'll add "hold" to the text.

2-Since the last build I've added more reaction time and warning signs telling which direction the large shots will be fired. I might even slow them down a bunch after reading your experience. If they killed all of your crystals, that means you had them all bunched together which isn't a good idea.

3-Can you edit your post to clarify this please? There is a counter (crystals on altar/crystals you have on the field) so I'm not sure what the confusion is there?

4-Thanks for the screenshot. I'll definitely have to beef up the 2nd enemy.

5 & 6- Good point. I've increased the range that your crystals are able to damage the enemy at. You're right about making them a bit faster too. Some crystals are going to die. What I like to do is have 2 Topaz crystals that are high priority and 3 quartz that are expendable. I put them in a star formation usually around the enemy so I can see them all clearly and dodge when(and if) I'm able to.

7- I guess you could just spam quartz crystals to beat all the enemies, but in the new build you won't be able to get your deeds(trophies) to higher rankings like that. There will be incentive to conserve your little dudes. The ranking will depend on how many souls you have left after you beat the game. For example, one deed is to beat the game in 8 minutes. If you have 0-49 souls left on completion, you get the lowest ranking. Then from 50-99 you get next rank. If you beat the game with 100+ souls left, you get the highest ranking.

If you want to get the basic deed, you can buy as many upgrades as you want and use tons of crystals. If you want to get higher rankings, you'll have to conserve and skip on some upgrades. I hope it's a system that will set the difficulty naturally, depending on what the player wants to achieve. Like you said, it needs some balancing for sure.

Your feedback is going to help me a ton! Thanks bro.
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Udderdude
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2012, 10:34:46 AM »

If they killed all of your crystals, that means you had them all bunched together which isn't a good idea.  Can you edit your post to clarify this please? There is a counter (crystals on altar/crystals you have on the field) so I'm not sure what the confusion is there?

Basically, I thought I had to have all the crystals on top of the altar due to the tutorial text.  So yes, they were all in one place.

Some crystals are going to die.

This is what I mean about sloppy.  It should be entirely possible to beat every enemy in the game without losing a single crystal.  Doing so will show the player's skill at the game, as well as showing how well designed the enemy fights are.  On that note, you should try to tone down on the randomness as much as possible.

Also, another idea would be to add more crystal types.  Ex. slowing crystal, knockback crystal, fast crystal (can be moved faster), etc.

I guess you could just spam quartz crystals to beat all the enemies, but in the new build you won't be able to get your deeds(trophies) to higher rankings like that. There will be incentive to conserve your little dudes. The ranking will depend on how many souls you have left after you beat the game. If you have 0-49 souls left on completion, you get the lowest ranking. Then from 50-99 you get next rank. If you beat the game with 100+ souls left, you get the highest ranking.

This sounds more challenging, I'll be looking forward to the next build with this implemented.
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Alec S.
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« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2012, 10:07:57 AM »

This is a really cool game so far.  The concept is great and I love the visual style. 

I agree with the criticisms so far.  You've got a great idea combining rts with the dodging of a shmup, but you need to tweak the game to make the most of that.  As people have said, enemies should telegraph their attacks a bit more, and should have more predictable bullet patterns.  Especially since all of your characters have to be really close to the enemy to attack, there's very little time to make assessments on attacks and then dodge them.

Another thing to consider would be to allow players to select a crystal and then move it with WASD, which could make dodging a bit easier.

Overall I think this is a concept definitely worth expanding on, and I'd love to see more stages and a larger variety of crystal types
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