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1055719 Posts in 42872 Topics- by 34801 Members - Latest Member: sambirdgames

October 21, 2014, 08:49:37 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingSpelunky v1.1 (and Source)!
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Author Topic: Spelunky v1.1 (and Source)!  (Read 1210940 times)
Alex May
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« Reply #60 on: December 22, 2008, 07:31:58 AM »

I think down/run should be off by default or better just removed completely. As Andy pointed out on IRC the ledge hang from crouch is (semantically) directly opposed to it but shares the same controls.

The shop is totally confusing and unintuitive for me, too. At first I couldn't even tell what it was I was buying - what are these hands about? Some were green, one was brown. Then I realised the item I wanted was in the air. OK, how much is it... can't work it out, I'll try to buy it anyway. So it's in the air... how do I get it... must be up and X right? it's not on the floor after all... ok... Oh, I've attacked the shopkeeper and he has killed me. Sorry to harp on about the controls, man... but I think the shop could do with a better system here, or put one in the totoreal area.

I'm also told "buy" is 'P' - how come? Not that it matters really, but it should be in the readme at least.

I think it's not a crime to have more buttons if you're going to have all these different actions. Like at the moment I'd like to have a specific key for carrying - holding it would pick up the next thing you come into contact with, pressing it while carrying would throw the item (or drop) just like now. I realise that e.g. the whip wouldn't work while carrying then, but that's not a crime. At least I know what button to press to make something happen instead of mentally going through the list of possibilities caused by pressing a key with conflated meanings attached to it.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 07:35:31 AM by haowan » Logged

Valter
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« Reply #61 on: December 22, 2008, 07:44:22 AM »

I'd rather picking items continued to require you ducking. It makes sense to me that you would have to stop or at least slow down to grab things on the ground.

I found the shop interface to be fine, but I agree that the items all need to be given better descriptions. Some of it is easy to understand, like pitcher gloves- make you throw things farther, and shotguns- let you shoot stuff. However, some of it's more obscure, like the cape, and the webslinger.
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Alex May
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« Reply #62 on: December 22, 2008, 07:52:42 AM »

The window's close button doesn't work - I like the quit animation but do you really want me to exit to the main menu and climb the rope to exit your game? If so, find a way to grey out that close button (and you'll still get complaints like this one from people who just want to quit - I had the same problem with Desert Bridge in which I had to discover the main menu item in my inventory, use it, then select quit game, and then click OK in answer to "are you sure you wish to close the portal?" - yeah. just let me close the window. they had even disabled alt-f4 and removed the close button from the window bar.)
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Caio
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« Reply #63 on: December 22, 2008, 08:01:50 AM »

You can just press Esc then F10 to quit, hao Smiley
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Alex May
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« Reply #64 on: December 22, 2008, 08:02:52 AM »

That's easier than pressing the close button? Come on dude Smiley But yeah, didn't know about the escape menu. Thanks!
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nanotie
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« Reply #65 on: December 22, 2008, 08:06:20 AM »

I love the graphics.

The first thing I did was searching for enjoyable pixel-art details hidden here and there. Every little thing was just awsome, a very good job indeed.

I felt disapointed with the music : It's good music but I see no point in having 8-bits modules converted into ogg files, thus making it 90% of the game's size. Small things should'nt be big : 11Mb is too much I think for this game.


I overall felt uneasy with the controls :

- There is an apparently deliberate delay in the left and right controls, something like a quarter second before you start to move. That's very disturbing, I can't get used to it.

- There is a lot of inertia when jumping. If I'm jumping towards the right and stop pressing right, the avatar goes on anyway, and I land on spikes instead of the platform I was headed for. I would like perfectly precise controls, just like in "10800 zombies". Then the "pulling up from a ledge grab" problem wouldn't be a problem anymore. The controls shouldn't be part of the difficulty here, which is very high to begin with.

Also the fact that after climbing a ladder you must jump to get out of it and go on is unintuitive, you feel stuck although there is no reason for it.

I used Xpadder to play with a gamepad and the controls where better that way. Any good platformer should have gamepad support.
 

There are two wrong reasons for this game to be hard : controls and randomness of the level design.
You never feel "at home" with the game. I would love to see some rooms where I could have some sort of relief by knowing where I need to go. And then from those rooms go on for more random adventures. Random is great when balanced with non-random. But maybe that's the case later in the game ?
I suffer from a lack of motivation, it needs just a little message or two to give me a goal.


It's a bit difficult to quit the game at first : Esc+F10 is not the usual way (and I get a Windows error report everytime), please add Alt+F4 to end the game.


Thank you for making beautifull games.  Cave Story
« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 08:12:14 AM by nanotie » Logged

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« Reply #66 on: December 22, 2008, 08:07:39 AM »

That's easier than pressing the close button?

Well, yeah, quite possibly. You're already using the keyboard to control the game - I'd bet it's faster to just press Esc-F10 than it is to move your hand to the mouse, move the cursor up to the close button and click.

EDIT:
nanotie, the character in 10800 Zombies seems to be subject to little to no inertia, making him or her seem weightless and basically not compelling. Compare that to Balding's Quest, for example, which features a character that feels very weighty and satisfying, and hopefully you'll see what I'm talking about. That said, jumping can seem a little bit inaccurate at times, but not for the reason you cited (for example, you can be standing in a situation like this:
Pixel 30Pixel 30Pixel 30Pixel 0F
Pixel 30Pixel 0FPixel 0FPixel 0F
Pixel 30Pixel 25Pixel 30Pixel 0F
Pixel 30Pixel 0FPixel 30Pixel 0F
Pixel 30Pixel 30Pixel 30Pixel 0F
and jump to the left before quickly turning right, ending up here:
Pixel 30Pixel 25Pixel 30Pixel 0F
Pixel 30Pixel 0FPixel 0FPixel 0F
Pixel 30Pixel 30Pixel 30Pixel 0F
Pixel 30Pixel 0FPixel 30Pixel 0F
Pixel 30Pixel 30Pixel 30Pixel 0F

So, in other words, rather than letting go of the right key you should be pressing the left key to control your jump and cut it short.)

Also, the whole point is the randomness - each time, you're exploring somewhere new, even if it bears resemblance to places you'd visited before. That's the whole thing.

« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 08:20:45 AM by Corpus » Logged
Alex May
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« Reply #67 on: December 22, 2008, 08:13:48 AM »

That's true. Good point.
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« Reply #68 on: December 22, 2008, 08:25:19 AM »

Yes, get rid of the ghost.
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nanotie
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« Reply #69 on: December 22, 2008, 08:47:45 AM »

Quote
the character in 10800 Zombies seems to be subject to little to no inertia, making him or her seem weightless and basically not compelling
I was compelled very much though  Evil
But I see your point and it's a question of taste.

Quote
rather than letting go of the right key you should be pressing the left key to control your jump and cut it short.
Well I did that of course, but I'm unhappy with it. But that's ok.

Still I can't enjoy the fact that it needs a quarter of a second to start walking left or right, does it react the same way with you ?

Quote
Also, the whole point is the randomness - each time, you're exploring somewhere new, even if it bears resemblance to places you'd visited before. That's the whole thing.
Obviously.
As a game maker I like the idea very much (and once tried it but failed).
As a game player I don't. It feels like topologically unidentified (is that correct ?).

I would rather go with a level editor in which you can add a random function and save the levels.


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« Reply #70 on: December 22, 2008, 08:58:10 AM »

Ooh, bug! I tried to quit, but I only got the background and the moon. Neither the credits nor the camel-riding ensued. Or the quitting for that matter.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #71 on: December 22, 2008, 09:18:56 AM »

Random is great when balanced with non-random. But maybe that's the case later in the game ?
I suffer from a lack of motivation, it needs just a little message or two to give me a goal.
Yes, it's got a non-random progression through the game, and an end and everything.  It's just very hardcore so you'll probably only see the first area until you've played quite a bit.
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Derek
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« Reply #72 on: December 22, 2008, 09:22:30 AM »

Heyo!  Glad you guys it!  Or at least see that the idea has potential.

I could see the controls being tough for some people, although... I can't think of an alternative that would be better!  Adding another key to pick up items feels more counterintuitive and complex to me than just crouching to pick stuff up and crouching to set them back down.  Likewise, in the shops, the idea is that you pick up an item the way you'd pick up any item and then hit P to buy it.  Set it down if you don't want to buy it.  And when you're holding an item the shopkeeper tells you what it is and how much it costs... at least, that's how I was imagining it.  But I can see that if you're not gelling with the pick up/put down mechanic in the first place then that might be a challenge.

Regarding the Gold Idol/rope: I could make it so that if you're holding an item and there's another item there you swap the item in your hands with the one on the ground.  But I'm not sure if that would cause more confusion.  Is it not clear enough that you're already holding a rope?

Picking stuff up by just standing over it and pressing X is an interesting idea, but that feels limiting to me.

Also, I personally like the Ghost, from both designer and player perspective.  From a design point of view, I don't really want the player to be hanging out too long in each level.  I want to push them forward, and I want them to feel a certain tension about that.  Like, "oh shit, I want to go back and get the damsel, but I'm running out of time... do I go for it?! Oh fuck, I got her but now the ghost's after me!"  From the player's perspective, I want to feel that tension.  But maybe most people don't?  I could be one of the few people who liked the original Spelunker for that.

Now, if you are having trouble with the controls and can't move very quickly in the game, yeah, I could see that that would be a pain in the arse.  But that's a problem that starts with the controls, and not the ghost, imo.  i.e. it's dangerous for me, as a designer to start messing with things down the line (shops, Ghost) that could be attributed to problems higher up in the chain (controls).  So yeah, I'm going to leave the Ghost for now. Tongue

In conclusion, I'll experiment with some alternatives to the controls, and massage them to a point.  Having a key config of some sort would help, or providing more alternatives.  Fixing stuff like letting you drop ropes into floors and walls would help, too.  But I may not be able to escape the fact that as far as platformers go, it's going to remain complex, and perhaps impenetrable to some people.

But yeah, this is a really interesting discussion, and I appreciate all the feedback!  I'll make a list and check it twice.

EDIT: Cheater, you went up the rope and then hit a key immediately as the cutscene started?
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increpare
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« Reply #73 on: December 22, 2008, 09:31:20 AM »

So yeah, I'm going to leave the Ghost for now. Tongue
There's a lot of room for sexing up the ghost more (scary music, screen dimming, maybe animate it a little more...).  I hope to see an extremely sexy ghost at some point in the future.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #74 on: December 22, 2008, 09:39:26 AM »

Perhaps some foreshadowing of the ghost, and of areas to come, would help a lot?  I think perhaps the ghost feels unfair because it takes a while in the first place to realize he's essentially a time limit, and that you were supposed to be going faster.  And it would be motivating for people to know the game does change a lot if you get good at it.

For the ghost -- what if there was a warning ghost, who was possible to defeat?  Or what if the music sped up, mario-style, as the time of the ghost approached?  What if a count-down timer was displayed during play, when only 20-or-so seconds remained?

For the areas to come -- maybe before entering the next door, in the transition between stages, he could pause an pontificate in a hinting way about the number of levels 'till things change?  (something like ... "I could feel the desert chill fading, and the a curious dampness growing.  I felt certain that only a few doors away, an undiscovered world awaited ...")  If you put it in the transition, it's totally skippable but I think most new players would still see it.
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Bennett
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« Reply #75 on: December 22, 2008, 09:45:28 AM »

I actually think, after hours of playing it (including one full 16-hour day  Embarrassed) that down-to-run works pretty well. I still have the occasional mishap, but honestly I think it's better to be using three buttons than four. Also, it enables you to do a cool run-and-steal combo, picking up items on the run. It's nice to be able to turn it off, though. And down-to-run won't work with gamepads.

I also totally agree with you about the ghost. No doubt it bothers novice players, but in the long run it prevents people from exploiting the systems and getting bored with the game. Please don't get rid of it! If you're going to do anything, just increase the time limit. I think Zaphos is right, some warning would be good, maybe if the ghost music came on a bit before the ghost appears? Also, I'm not sure if you already did this or not, but there should be a (difficult) way to repel the ghost.

Also, please don't give in to requests to allow you to carry more items. I think the strategic choices between guns, picks, idols, women and juggling are really important to the enjoyment of the game. Sometimes I try to get a cape and a gun and play action- style, leaving all other carryables behind.

The suggestion here to make the rope a bit more intelligent is a good one, but make sure that it doesn't screw up some of the more interesting emergent rope strategies. For one, the rope makes a useful impromptu weapon to take out enemies above you. And for two, I like how you can throw a rope straight up while you're on another rope.

Overall I'd give this game a C+ It's pretty decent. But not great. But pretty damn impressive for your first GM game.

You're crazy, Andy.  Smiley This game might not be for everyone, but it's the new Nethack. It has more replay value than anything I've played in a long time. And it's the first game that I've been motivated to play from breakfast until bedtime for about five years.
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« Reply #76 on: December 22, 2008, 09:48:40 AM »

I like the ghost as it is. The lack of warnings makes the game really tense after a while and the ghost even scarier when it appears Gentleman

And Andy: try to play to level five. There's much, much more to this game than it may seem at first.
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Alex May
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« Reply #77 on: December 22, 2008, 10:06:07 AM »

OK, cool - I'm glad it's not just me with the control problems (i'm not mad! awesome!), and to an extent I don't mind getting used to them or whatever. I'm also glad you're happy to look at them a bit.

I could see the controls being tough for some people, although... I can't think of an alternative that would be better!  Adding another key to pick up items feels more counterintuitive and complex to me than just crouching to pick stuff up and crouching to set them back down.  Likewise, in the shops, the idea is that you pick up an item the way you'd pick up any item and then hit P to buy it.  Set it down if you don't want to buy it.  And when you're holding an item the shopkeeper tells you what it is and how much it costs... at least, that's how I was imagining it.  But I can see that if you're not gelling with the pick up/put down mechanic in the first place then that might be a challenge.
With the shop:
  • The item wasn't on the ground? All I could see what a lantern in the air and four hands sticking out of the ground with dollar signs above them. If the brown hand was the item, that wasn't clear due to the green hands.
  • Buying: how about dropping the item in front of the shopkeeper to buy it, or simply walking near the shopkeeper while carrying the item, or paying for it when you leave (although this last one prevents stealing I guess).
  • Price: why not tell my how much it is when standing in front of it? Why should I have to pick it up to find out how much it costs?
Regarding the Gold Idol/rope: I could make it so that if you're holding an item and there's another item there you swap the item in your hands with the one on the ground.  But I'm not sure if that would cause more confusion.  Is it not clear enough that you're already holding a rope?
I guess it's clear enough - it's about as clear as it could get. The problem is that the same key combination does two different things. You could put some AI in to say "okay, the player is in front of an item and can't fire the rope downwards so I'll make them pick up the item" but in the end you've got me going through a train of thought to decipher what the controls will do instead of knowing intuitively what to do.

I think I said this before anyway. I don't want to have to look at the state of my character to determine what will happen when I press down/x. I want to know what will happen based on the sequence of buttons I'm pressing. Maybe I'm being nit-picky, it sounds like it based on the posts of other people.

With the ghost - I still think it's a bit of an obnoxious time limit on the player. At least some foreshadowing like others mentioned would be really helpful ("oh crap, I'd better get a move on - the ghost will get me if I hang around much longer!").

I appreciate what you're doing and I think it is very hard - arcadey gameplay but with roguelike difficulty/replayability. You've got to break through a lot of barriers in terms of accepted rules (things that feel unfair in a modern platformer are almost indispensable in a RL; real-time decision-making is completely counter to most RL design ideas). So far it's pretty good, but I Think you need to compensate one way or another in some ways.
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« Reply #78 on: December 22, 2008, 10:08:36 AM »

I could be one of the few people who liked the original Spelunker for that.

This is intended as a remake of this? Hopefully Sony doesn't mind. Smiley
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« Reply #79 on: December 22, 2008, 10:14:29 AM »

hao, every store has four items. The green gloves and the brown glove (which I've never seen, actually!) were the items, and the lantern was just to, um, light the shop? You can't buy it, anyway.
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