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1034533 Posts in 41732 Topics- by 33331 Members - Latest Member: ruben8963

August 21, 2014, 06:04:21 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingInto the Underdusk - Exploration Platformer. Need testers.
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Author Topic: Into the Underdusk - Exploration Platformer. Need testers.  (Read 2958 times)
almightyzentaco
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« on: December 25, 2013, 01:05:40 PM »

Into the Underdusk is an action, exploration based platformer game for the windows PC. It is currently in beta and I would love to get some feedback!




Introduction and Gameplay footage.

http://youtu.be/1qYr11xJNQc
http://youtu.be/KEWRsmIW8QM

You can grab the latest version of the game Here: http://bit.ly/JdygUw

Thanks guys! Have a great day and a wonderful holiday season.



« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 03:32:58 AM by almightyzentaco » Logged
joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2013, 03:56:02 PM »

Do you have a webplayer version?
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almightyzentaco
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2013, 04:56:03 PM »

Unfortunately, no. As soon as I get enough money I will be buying the HTML5 exporter for CF2.5 (which is how I made this) and I will make it a web version too. I know people aren't too keen on playing .exe versions of games, but for now this is all I got.
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nexus
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 01:08:39 PM »

I made a 5 minute gameplay video. It's just the start of the game, but i thought it was really good!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w4kL6UACYU
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IndiePendant
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 05:32:12 PM »

The jumping sound is a little annoying, but other than that good job! Hand Thumbs Up Right
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2013, 06:58:36 PM »

I made a 5 minute gameplay video. It's just the start of the game, but i thought it was really good!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w4kL6UACYU

Awesome! Thanks for checking it out and making a video. Your feedback is appreciated. Let me know if you find the game too difficult or frustrating, or if anything prevents you from enjoying yourself.

The jumping sound is a little annoying, but other than that good job! Hand Thumbs Up Right

Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to add an option to mute the jump sound, as well as see if I can make it a little less annoying. You do jump a lot, so having an irritating sound associated with it probably not great.

Thanks for playing guys.
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nexus
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 03:45:18 AM »

I made a 5 minute gameplay video. It's just the start of the game, but i thought it was really good!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w4kL6UACYU

Awesome! Thanks for checking it out and making a video. Your feedback is appreciated. Let me know if you find the game too difficult or frustrating, or if anything prevents you from enjoying yourself.

It is a really cool game though Smiley
The jumping sound is a little annoying, but other than that good job! Hand Thumbs Up Right

Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to add an option to mute the jump sound, as well as see if I can make it a little less annoying. You do jump a lot, so having an irritating sound associated with it probably not great.

Thanks for playing guys.



The point at which I ended the video was where it got frustrating because a) I died and couldn't just restart the room i was in b) the reaper guy seemed to throw those scythes so randomly I couldn't judge what to do.
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almightyzentaco
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 04:32:23 AM »

Noted. I've added and moved some saves to make it less frustrating. He does throw the scythes randomly, but he has some dead zones which are safe to stand in.
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handCraftedRadio
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 09:32:08 PM »

Great game! I played through the whole game and it was awesome! This is my favorite freeware game I've played in a long time. Here are some of my thoughts on it:

-The beginning movement was painfully slow. I know it's part of the game to get that speed upgrade, but it was so slow it almost made me want to quit. I didn't think there would be an upgrade for your speed so I thought I was going to have to play the whole game at that pace.

-The fireballs that came out of the lava were too random for me. I couldn't find any recognizable pattern and just had to hope a fireball didn't appear when I jumped over. It felt very unfair and confusing. Complete randomness seems to be a thing that keeps popping up over and over and really made the game frustrating at times (in a bad way) when it didn't have to be. This leads me to my next point:

-That freaking face mask. Oh man this thing made me mad. I really wish I could have recorded my playthrough along with my physical reaction to this guy. Definitely the most frustrating, annoying, and unfair part of the game. The path of this guy seemed almost completely random, I couldn't figure out any strategy to be able to beat him. It felt like I had to play it over and over and over again until I got lucky enough to get to the next save point. There was no way to determine if he was going to come in front, directly at me, or behind me. Sometimes he seeked me perfectly, sometimes he went flying off the screen. He could cut corners so tight that you couldn't even react to his movements some of the time. Also, he would come into the screen behind you so you could get hit without even having a prayer of reacting. I like a difficult game, but this face mask guy should be more predictable so that it doesn't seem completely unfair. You can't develop a strategy to overcome this obstacle since it is so random. Even whenever I beat that part it wasn't really satisfying because I felt like I got lucky enough for it to even be possible. I am actually pretty curious to know how this guy is really programmed.

-This one is just a small thing. I thought that the ledge by the first savepoint should be accessible by the double jump. I like coming back to previous areas with new powers and being able to traverse them quicker and easier. I thought that part would be faster to get to the other areas and it would be a nice reward for getting the double jump if I was able to skip right up there.

-There was a room with nothing in it that I thought was weird. The one that is to the left of the ghost place. Maybe I just missed a secret or something, but I came back to it multiple times expecting to find something, but nothing was ever there.

-I'd like to have a map on the pause screen or something. But I was able to navigate well enough without it so it didn't feel completely necessary.

-I played the whole thing through without closing the game so I'm not sure if it saves, but it definitely should. I think a lot of people may not play it in one sitting.

-The escape button opens a menu but doesn't seem to pause the game. I only tried to pause once (when I was on the face mask guy) and the dude kept moving. That escape button should definitely pause the game.

-I really liked all the nice touches throughout the game. There were so many of them. Usually on a game like this you get a lot of the same looking environments, but there was a lot of variation and cool little things to make the areas unique. I really liked the spitting dragon thing, the hidden blob town, and the ghosts chomping their teeth. The game was packed with great stuff like this.

-The atmosphere was so great. I thought the intro story was well written and did a good job setting up the world and atmosphere. All the sounds and music fit perfectly. Well, actually The "pop goes the weasel" thing was a little weird and kind of took me out of the game. But it was a sort of creepy version of it so it was ok.

I forgot to write down notes as I was playing this, so I may have forgot something. If I think of anything else I'll be sure to post it here.

Again, great game. I really enjoyed this a lot. Have you made any other games? You didn't post a website or anything (which I'd like to see if you have one.) If this is your first game I would be very very impressed. Great job!  Wizard Hand Thumbs Up Right
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almightyzentaco
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2013, 09:40:06 PM »

First of all, thank you for playing and for your feedback. I agree with most of what you said as well. I have trouble making a game challenging without making it too difficult, and this is something I'm going to keep working on in this game till I get it just right. I watched my brother play the game today, and I thought he was going to have a minor mental breakdown. While this is not my first game, I have trouble finishing projects so most of them are laying around half finished.

I will take what you said into consideration and try to make everything more fair and less frustrating. I agree with the idea about making the first orb reachable by double jump as well. And yes, saves do work.

I probably won't add maps for this version of the game, but after I the windows version where it feels right I'm making another for the Ouya, which will actually be an entirely different game based in the same world with a similar feel.

I've been tweaking the face mask to make him feel more fair, but without allowing him to become completely impotent. The trouble I'm having with him is the only thing preventing him from gunning you down instantly is the randomness to his movement. I might add some safe spot areas that make him go away. I'm not sure. I'll tweak his movement some more and maybe it won't feel so cheap.

And, as for the room with nothing in it, that was an oversight. It was supposed to be a room with some doodads and flavor set pieces, but I spazed out and totally forgot about it. I'll add that before I patch the game.

Thanks for playing. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself despite the flaws. It's always great to get feedback. Have a great holiday season!
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 10:34:52 PM by almightyzentaco » Logged
Kolba
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2013, 10:12:39 AM »

Hello. I enjoyed this a lot, perhaps most for its atmosphere. The way the game is introduced is nice, with the ambient panorama intro before the title screen, and the intro to the game proper having that long lost quality, drawn as it is on a scroll - were you influenced by Wind Waker for this part, by any chance?

The atmosphere in game itself was great, kind of downbeat, with the dark palette and subdued music (at least in the start area). Nice little graphical effects, like the pixel flies, to keep scenes alive. Overall the art has a good aesthetic, and I liked the sprite of the main character, which is always vital.

The first thing that needs to go is that death screen. It's too jarring, visually and aurally. I understand this may be what you were shooting for, but it made me want to keep a distance from the game, which I'm sure you weren't shooting for. With an atmosphere like this one, I want to put my headphones on and let it envelop me. But there's no chance those headphones are going to get anywhere near my head when my ear drums are under the constant threat of sudden lo-fi trauma should I slip off a ledge.

The death screen has another negative effect on the game too. It makes death a chore. This is quite a punishing game, and I died lots. But that's okay! Have you played VVVVVV? It's harder than your game, and I loved it. Why? When you die in VVVVVV you reappear INSTANTLY at the last checkpoint. In your game each time I die I have to wait a couple of seconds until it puts me back in the game.

For these two reasons, the death screen made me quit after collecting about 5/18 collectables.

For an exploration platformer you really need a map screen, because my memory ain't that good. Especially when reaching new areas sometimes requires a leap of faith. There's a scene near the start where there are several places to drop down, and you can land on either spikes, water or land, and it amounts to guesswork. At least with a map I'd only have to make that guess once (which I'd probably be happy to do).

It's a bit of a shame you've no plans to develop this further, but if you're making something else with a similar atmosphere I'll definitely follow it!
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almightyzentaco
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2013, 07:48:38 PM »

Thanks for the feedback. And thanks for playing. I actually am actually currently making a different version of this game for the Ouya. It's longer and fuller featured, but stylistically the same.

I didn't realize the death scene was so jarring. I feel it's necessary thematically, but I can definitely smooth it out and shorten it. I certainly don't want people to be put off and annoyed by any aspect of the game.

Well, thanks again for playing. I'm glad you enjoyed what parts you played.

Cheers!
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Kolba
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« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2013, 06:50:29 AM »

That's great, looking forward to hearing about it!

You know I was thinking more about that death scene, and what about allowing the player to explore a little the 'negative' world upon death? It just seems there are two ways you can go with that death screen, one is to shorten it, and the other to lengthen it.
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handCraftedRadio
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« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2013, 07:35:19 AM »

I really liked the death screen. It was much better than just a simple respawn imo.
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almightyzentaco
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2014, 06:02:58 AM »

New version up.

I did a big haul of bug-fixing this round. Lots of little things
that were plaguing some players.
Tweaked a bunch of game-play as well. Moved and added saves, and worked on the Mask movement
parameters. People said he was ridiculous and unfair, so I tried to make him more predictable.

Also I added an options menu for easier screen re-sizing. The original version didn't have the sizes optimized so you would get some double pixels. Special thanks to Nim over at create-games.com for helping me sort that one out.

Thanks to everyone for playing this! As soon as this is officially released I'm making an OUYA version of the game, which is going to be longer and more full featured.

Have a great day!
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