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1056389 Posts in 42899 Topics- by 34851 Members - Latest Member: akinglives

October 23, 2014, 05:03:35 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsLevel Up! [1.0.4] FINISHED
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Author Topic: Level Up! [1.0.4] FINISHED  (Read 27987 times)
Titch
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« on: July 29, 2009, 04:53:46 PM »



Every day a girl runs out to collect magical gems, she learns from her actions and grows stronger with every step. Every night she has a reoccurring nightmare and forgets everything. The only way to escape a slow spiral to insanity seems to be in the mysterious power of 'Leveling' and the amnesiac boy that crashed in her garden.

WATCH THE TRAILER
PLAY THE GAME
(Last update 24th of October, 1am GMT)

Every action. Moving, Jumping, Taking Damage, even just standing there doing nothing is rewarded with Exp. Do a certain action enough and you automatically get better at it. There are five types of exp. RUN, JUMP, COLLECT, FORTITUDE and HEALING. Mastering each ability unlocks the potential for a special skills that you will never forget. Every night your mastery of these skills will be tested and if found lacking you will be punished.

Controls : ARROW KEYS to move. X to Jump, Confirm and Recover when taking damage. DOWN to talk and interact. C to open the menu and cancel.

FINISHED DONE DUSTED.
Will be on Newgrounds for a week and viral after that. Apologies for the ads, but a guys gotta eat.





I'm built it on the wonderful Flixel engine. Aiming to finish the project by end of October the at the latest.  

« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 02:59:09 AM by Titch » Logged

Inanimate
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2009, 05:01:10 PM »

Real interesting idea! It's like Achievement Unlocked, but with actual depth.
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Aquin
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2009, 05:01:56 PM »

Woah, cool beans.  It is time for me to bathe in this pixely goodness and emerge fresh and reborn.  Well, hello there!

Oh noes!  Page not found!?  But...but I need to slack off. Sad

Back to work I guess.  Facepalm
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 05:05:08 PM by Aquin » Logged

I'd write a devlog about my current game, but I'm too busy making it.
Titch
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2009, 05:10:37 PM »

Real interesting idea! It's like Achievement Unlocked, but with actual depth.

It was acctaully partially inspired by Upgrade Complete, which was inspired by Achievement Unlocked. I like to think I've found a whole new arbitrary reward mechanic to make fun of though.

@Aquin

FIXED. Thanks.
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mark
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2009, 05:37:04 PM »

I got frustrated with it Sad couldn't get to the last once Sad
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2009, 05:45:57 PM »

Cute, I like it.

Does it end? I had 199 gems and couldn't seem to upgrade any of my stats anymore. There was a secret-ish room to the left of the start I couldn't get into 'cos I couldn't seem to upgrade my jump any more. That wasn't the point of the game, was it?
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Inanimate
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2009, 05:54:27 PM »

You need double jump, which takes a LOT of grinding.
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Montoli
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2009, 06:18:56 PM »

Entertaining!  I like where this is going!

It's absurd what a good draw occasional timed rewards are.  "You got better at x!  Just for playing!  Yay!"  (Also, nice use of the mario effect - large numbers of items to gleefully run through and collect, and they vanish with a sparkle and a pleasing noise.)  Even as I know I'm being crassly manipulated, I still can't pull myself away, as long as there are gems left uncollected.

One nitpick:  High level collection (it started showing up around level 3, and continued to get worse) has annoying problems on some gems.  Since they seem to a) have momentum, and b) only move if you are within a radius based on your level, it is VERY possible to get near one, have it fling itself towards you, and miss (because you're falling fast or something) and shoot past you, and back out of your "collection radius".  So sometimes high collections just serves to make gems throw themselves into hard to reach places.  It is annoying when it happens.  May I suggest making the gems just have a flag, and when they start homing in on you, never stop until they reach you, no matter what their distance is?

Also:  Random unsolicited suggestion.  Depending on how tongue-in-cheek you're being with this, it would be fun to have a "patience" level/xp.  Which you gain by... sitting still and doing nothing.  And it accumulates fairly slowly.

Either way though, very cool so far!  I like it!
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Gainsworthy
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2009, 07:42:31 PM »

Why is leveling up silly? Why is it any more crass than high scores, or getting items in a metroidvania? Why do I have a bad feeling that once I beat the game, I'm going to be faced with an ARTIST STATEMENT screen insulting me? What's with all the looking down upon one's audience, anyway? Not all games are high art.

I mean, as much as you'd like this to be silly, it isn't. It's fun, it's like, 5 minutes long, and hell - I even think it could work as a Real Mechanic in a larger game.

Game's not bad. Looks nice, glad the music's a placeholder, and Yes: I enjoy exploring and Levelling Up. I didn't bother getting any special powers, though. To hell with grinding. Will play again when finished.

  Hand Any KeyWizardHand Thumbs Up Right
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Loren Schmidt
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2009, 11:28:19 PM »

I think that's a fair question. I wouldn't mind seeing a nice mature discussion of that. So what is appealing about making a cynical satire of a mechanic versus making a game with no commentary in it?

The game looks pretty good, by the way. I'll give it a play in the near future.
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2009, 11:51:31 PM »

Does it end? I had 199 gems and couldn't seem to upgrade any of my stats anymore. There was a secret-ish room to the left of the start I couldn't get into 'cos I couldn't seem to upgrade my jump any more. That wasn't the point of the game, was it?
Adding 'end game state' is on the todo list, in the original post, so I don't think it's finished ...

I like it so far; nice pixels Smiley
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Montoli
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2009, 02:51:53 AM »

Why is leveling up silly? Why is it any more crass than high scores, or getting items in a metroidvania? Why do I have a bad feeling that once I beat the game, I'm going to be faced with an ARTIST STATEMENT screen insulting me? What's with all the looking down upon one's audience, anyway? Not all games are high art.

I mean, as much as you'd like this to be silly, it isn't. It's fun, it's like, 5 minutes long, and hell - I even think it could work as a Real Mechanic in a larger game.

Game's not bad. Looks nice, glad the music's a placeholder, and Yes: I enjoy exploring and Levelling Up. I didn't bother getting any special powers, though. To hell with grinding. Will play again when finished.

  Hand Any KeyWizardHand Thumbs Up Right

Someone sounds like they have a big "I hate art games" chip on their shoulder. Tongue  I think the point the author was trying to make is the same as the point that games like "Achievement Unlocked" and "Upgrade Purchased" are going for.  Namely:  "Here is a mechanic that really adds no gameplay value, but that is an excellent tool for making people play the game for longer than they otherwise would have.  Look how silly it is when we isolate it and point at it."  It's basically a reductio-ad-absurdum argument, manifested as game design.  There is a reason that Jon Blow compares that sort of mechanic to "drugs" and brings up things like WoW.  For some reason as people, if the activity gives us occasional positive feedback, we'll keep playing.

And don't get me wrong.  Just because it seems silly doesn't mean it doesn't work.  It works.  Even as I realize how callously I am being manipulated, when the game says "Yay!  You can collect gems from slightly further away than you could before!"  I still find myself saying "Oh boy!  Even though this has virtually no effect on my gameplay experience and I was starting to get bored, now I want to run around and enjoy being able to vacuum up the gems from slightly further away!"

That being said, in at least one way, I find myself agreeing with Gainsworthy.  Titch, if you're going for that sort of message, you may have made the actual game too fun and engaging.  It's actually fairly satisfying to just run around and play the game.

Or, to put it another way.  If the message is "Hey player, see how hard it is to put it down when I dangle LEVEL UPS in front of you?!?" then the message is diluted somewhat if you provide a game that I'm actually willing to play even without the level ups because it's fun. :D

Man, this is weird.  Never thought I'd be in the dev log forum telling someone that their game might be too fun for what they're trying to do...

-Montoli, who apologizes in advance if he has misread the game's intent.
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Inanimate
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2009, 02:58:57 AM »

Well, I think you guys are being a bit odd about all this. You're assuming it has to be boring? Why can Titch not point out the absurdities of levels in game, WHILE making it fun? Sure, it makes the message a bit runny, but that's not the point. Titch is pointing a finger at leveling up, and showing what it can do to games, and thus gamers. But, Titch is also making the game fun, like most games with levels are! It's weird to assume it should be BORING to show the oddities of levels. It can be enjoyable, and have that message, at the same time.
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Titch
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2009, 04:13:32 AM »

@Farbs

There is no end game state yet. I had been wondering for a while what I was going to do. Originally it was going to be an arcady popup 'you got x gems.' But now I've introduced more RPG-like elements you are now going to have to bring gems to your spikey haired amnesiac 'boyfriend'. It makes your relationship score level up >_> (I'm sorry Bunni, but I HATED this element even though it kept me playing).

@Montoli

This is now on my 'too be fixed' list. I had left it that way because the idea of it being slightly flawed for people who rushed around too much appealed, but I certainly don't want it to be frustrating/annoying. Also the game has Patience XP, it's just titled 'Recovery' XP and you only get if for standing still when you are under max health.

@Everyone saying the game is too fun.

Thanks. Really. I like to think my games are fun more than anything else. I'm not trying to make a massive artistic statement about something. I'm not trying to pin the player down and shove it down their throats. I'm not making an art game here. I'm making a fun game inspired by a slightly cynical attitude to how much levelling is used simply as a carrot in a carrot/stick model.

Inanimate hit the nail on the head pretty much.
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Montoli
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2009, 07:05:00 AM »

Also the game has Patience XP, it's just titled 'Recovery' XP and you only get if for standing still when you are under max health.

If this is the intended behavior, then I'm not sure it's working.  I believe I gained it while damaged just by running around.  (I'm pretty sure I didn't stand still much, but I got recovery up to at least level 3.  Mostly limited by the scarcity of enemies more than anything else.)
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2009, 04:04:25 PM »

Had a bit of a slow development day today, due to an endless stream of interuptions so I only added half the stuff I planned to. Namely the EXP Bar (which I don't really like in it's current form) the health bar, which is using a costly scale operations that annoys me. I changed the name of "HEALTH" to "FORTITUDE" because it now works differently. It boosts your maximum health, reduces damage taken and reduces the length of stun time which now happens on EVERY hit. It also levels proportional to damage. When fortitude reaches a certain point you take no damage/stun effects at all, meaning you will be able to use FORTITUDE to reach new areas. This is the encourage players to seek out stronger enemies (when they are added) to be damaged by to raise thier fortitude more per hit than crappy spikers, it also prevents easy grinding on the spikers.

Oh and Fixed the way gem attraction works. Although they sure as hell fly around a lot now. I think I might need to limit the max speed.

I did pixel some stuff to save time adding it tommorow.
New NPC designers

Postbox of Love - Checkpoints and how you send gems to your beloved amnesiac.

Slimer/Smiler - Mobile enemy.
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2009, 05:20:33 PM »

I think the joke is on the authors of these mechanic-criticizing games - the author attempts to editorialize on the mechanic being abused, but the mechanic itself still works as intended in making the game fun/addictive. This game is certainly more fun than one would expect.

That doesn't make these games any less interesting or valuable, though, because as I see it, rather than being bitter commentary, they're a starting point for studies or explorations of how far the mechanic can be taken. We probably owe it to ourselves as designers to all engage in such studies from time to time.

With that in mind, some suggestions for more ways to explore the level up concept:
  • "Vision" or "Searching" to uncover secrets
  • "Strength" to break pieces of the environment
  • Inventory items with item level ups
  • Skill trees
  • Experience allocation(favoring one skill over another)
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Montoli
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2009, 09:56:12 PM »

I think the joke is on the authors of these mechanic-criticizing games - the author attempts to editorialize on the mechanic being abused, but the mechanic itself still works as intended in making the game fun/addictive. This game is certainly more fun than one would expect.

Heh. If the players enjoy the game, I don't think that means the joke is on the author... I mean, the entire point of such deconstructions is usually to point out "hey, look at this.  This mechanic is strong enough by itself to get people to play through and enjoy the game, even when we reduce the game down to something really dumb.  Isn't it a little absurd how much this mechanic grabs us and won't let go?"

By metaphor, when you say the joke is on the author, I see it sort of like this-

Author: Check it out, I made a lutefisk sandwich.  And covered it with heroin!  Haha, people will even eat a sandwich made of lutefisk if there is heroin involved!"

Consumer:  Hahaha, the joke is on you mister artist, I still ate it.  And now I want another!  MOAR!!!!


[Disclaimer - I'm talking about deconstruction of game mechanic games in general here, as I see them.  Not pretending to speak for Titch.  The fact that he seems to be trying to make the game actually fun suggests that his focus is slightly different than things like Achievement Unlocked, etc.]
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2009, 10:19:51 PM »

Quote
I mean, the entire point of such deconstructions is usually to point out "hey, look at this.  This mechanic is strong enough by itself to get people to play through and enjoy the game, even when we reduce the game down to something really dumb.  Isn't it a little absurd how much this mechanic grabs us and won't let go?"

That is one interpretation. But I think the motivational narrative may be more like "I don't like seeing this mechanic so much. We shouldn't abuse this mechanic. I'll show everyone why by abusing it."
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Montoli
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« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2009, 10:43:07 PM »

I think we might be saying the same thing, with different words?  (Or maybe just a different focus?)  I certainly agree with what you just said, at least.  Smiley
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