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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsProcedural GenerationRescue: The Beagles [FINISHED-BETA]
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Author Topic: Rescue: The Beagles [FINISHED-BETA]  (Read 124906 times)
nenad
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« Reply #140 on: June 19, 2008, 10:43:30 AM »

I was getting seriously frustrated with the convention-breaking gameplay to start with, and nearly gave up, but I pushed on and man was it worth it.

I'm glad you persisted. If by 'convention-breaking' you mean dying from falls then yes, it feels a bit frustrating at first.

I'm not much of a platformer fan to begin with. I fully agree that death-falls are extremely annoying in games that are predominantly about jumping. They are rightfully considered ~deprecated~ in that context.

This is, however, not a typical platformer. I don't even consider it to be one at all. Great deal of the gameplay is concentrated around pathfinding and learning to read the terrain. Not really a canonical platformer mechanic.

Early on I decided I wanted the game to be about choosing the optimal path in time-critical situations. The whole mechanic kind of evolved from there. So in order to make that work with the concept of layered terrain I needed to make switching layers harder/impossible as the height difference gets larger. For going up, it's easy, just limit the jump height. For going down, however, the only seemingly natural choice was penalizing by death. Having some kind of "harmless barrier" would just seem awkvard in the case of descending. More so because we're dealing with a figurative representation of the outdoor scene.

If the high falls were allowed, as some people were suggesting, then the whole movement scheme would go seriously out of the balance because it'd make descends a lot easier to do then climbs. Then, naturally, the high jumps should be added to counterbalance. Now we're closer to the regular platformer movement scheme (to which most people are accustomed to) but the path-weighting aspect would be completely lost, making the game lose a good deal of it's juice. Same goes for the infinite number of parachutes and ropes. I think the way the game works now, there's much more depth to the gameplay, even though you need to overcome some initial bits of frustration. But this frustration is coming from nowhere else but the expectations of stereotypical platformer movement. As soon as you realize the game is not about that at all everything starts to fall into place. At least I hope so Smiley
« Last Edit: June 19, 2008, 10:50:05 AM by nenad » Logged
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« Reply #141 on: June 19, 2008, 11:05:58 AM »

Concerning falls, the thing I kept thinking about was "My First Skydiving" and the broken bones as a measure of hitting things and eventual death. Might have been slightly different if you got injured from falls (the higher the fall, the more injured), but it may have been a bit subtle for some. Regardless, I found it enjoyable despite my constants splats. Smiley
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nenad
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« Reply #142 on: June 19, 2008, 02:13:37 PM »

Something about the animation, or the behaviour, or the sound- whatever it is, he oozes menace. I only killed one yesterday. Reminds me of when I was little, and was genuinely scared of the occasional boss or enemy. Final boss of Jazz Jackrabbit comes to mind. And Knuckles' final boss in Sonic 3.

You know, I'm so glad you pointed this out because that was exactly what I was aiming for with Primarius - and hopefully succeed to some extent - when you see him to go - Crap! Primarius! Ruun!

This type of genuinely deep fear of particular enemy is pretty hard to rationalize but I'm sure anyone who considers themself a gamer knows that feeling and - however weird this may sound - love it.

For me, one of the enemies I was deeply afraid of was the Shambler from Quake. In fact, it was kind of an inspiration point for the Primarius. If you stretch it far enough, you'll be able to see the similarities in looks (despite the different visual style) and in brutal manners between the two of them.
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nenad
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« Reply #143 on: June 20, 2008, 03:52:06 AM »

You have it up as "beta" yet I really don't know how you could improve it.  I usually like to give ideas for homebrew games but I honestly can't think of any without possibly ruining the perfect gameplay you've created. great job nenad

Thanks. I tagged it "beta" because the whole development process was rushed and there was literally zero testing time left. I wasn't really sure how the whole thing would work gameplay wise. Although it seemed fine to me you can't ever be sure without giving it to a lot of different people to try it out.

I'm pretty sure now I will not alter the gameplay any further. Still some cosmetic features are missing and there's a dozen of known bugs in there, like the one Rich was mentioning. Nothing really crucial but I'd like the final version to be wrapped up nicely.
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nenad
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« Reply #144 on: June 20, 2008, 04:11:41 AM »

Concerning falls, the thing I kept thinking about was "My First Skydiving" and the broken bones as a measure of hitting things and eventual death. Might have been slightly different if you got injured from falls (the higher the fall, the more injured), but it may have been a bit subtle for some. Regardless, I found it enjoyable despite my constants splats. Smiley

Well if you look at the mechanics on the strict abstract level, the parachutes are sort of an equivalent of a health bar. A bit more discrete and you need to activate them explicitly but it works pretty much the same - you have a resource that's gradually taken away from you as you make fatal falls.

I wanted the game not to be too forgiving. The death punishment is actually a good motivator for the player to keep pushing. Especially if the game "feels" fair as somebody already pointed out.

Slightly related - one thing that really makes me giggle is how the overall atmosphere, graphics, title etc. can at first mislead you into believing this is a cutesy casual game. The truth is quite opposite - it's a dead hardcore thing underneath. That is, of course, if casual-core dichotomy is still a matter of some relevance Smiley
« Last Edit: June 20, 2008, 04:29:21 AM by nenad » Logged
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« Reply #145 on: June 20, 2008, 05:44:56 AM »

Reminds me of when I was little, and was genuinely scared of the occasional boss or enemy.

i remember, and miss those days ;-;.. they were a long time ago...

(and for the record this game is still awesom)

Redeads from Ocarina of Time still scare the shit out of me.
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Alex May
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« Reply #146 on: June 20, 2008, 07:02:30 AM »

The death punishment is actually a good motivator for the player to keep pushing. Especially if the game "feels" fair as somebody already pointed out.

Slightly related - one thing that really makes me giggle is how the overall atmosphere, graphics, title etc. can at first mislead you into believing this is a cutesy casual game. The truth is quite opposite - it's a dead hardcore thing underneath. That is, of course, if casual-core dichotomy is still a matter of some relevance Smiley
Unfortunately I wasn't giggling - I tried the game on two different occasions and found it very unfair and difficult both times. On the second occasion this left such a negative impression on me that I closed the application forever. The death punishment certainly wasn't a motivator for me. It turned me right off. Sorry!
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« Reply #147 on: June 20, 2008, 07:25:49 AM »

Don't the reams of praise from your fellow TIGsters make you want to reconsider that position?
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Alex May
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« Reply #148 on: June 20, 2008, 07:51:37 AM »

Not really - lots of people like hard games that make you die all the time. Doesn't mean I should suddenly start  Smiley

That said, I like my fair share of hard games, this just isn't one of them.
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« Reply #149 on: June 20, 2008, 08:30:41 AM »

Redeads from Ocarina of Time still scare the shit out of me.
I was actually frightened by a game recently. The first time I encountered a wrath, he pulled off his hood and showed off his skeletal head, it startled me.
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« Reply #150 on: June 20, 2008, 08:33:24 AM »



Thank you Annabelle. I needed a new wallpaper.

(i have it in 1280x1024 if anyone wants it)
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« Reply #151 on: June 20, 2008, 03:14:01 PM »

Not really - lots of people like hard games that make you die all the time. Doesn't mean I should suddenly start  Smiley

That said, I like my fair share of hard games, this just isn't one of them.
That's the thing though. I wouldn't call this a "hard" game (I mean, in the beginning), it's just the unconventional gameplay can lead you to think it is at first. I for one think you should give it another go Smiley
« Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 05:51:43 AM by Pip » Logged

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« Reply #152 on: June 24, 2008, 03:01:36 AM »

Very cute art, and I think the concept of switching between the layers of parallax is great. Audio is fantastic too (especially track2 - disasterpeace).

I just wish there was some kind of `safe to jump` indicator. Either an indicator on the player (a glow/icon) or an icon below the player, show its safe to jump. Blind leaps of faith are never fun i find, and they seem to sit at odds with what is otherwise such a good game.
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nenad
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« Reply #153 on: June 24, 2008, 10:30:37 AM »

I just wish there was some kind of `safe to jump` indicator. Either an indicator on the player (a glow/icon) or an icon below the player, show its safe to jump.

Hm, not sure this would actually be clear enough indicator. Player can move during the fall/jump and there's no way for game to "know" where exactly he'd land, except for the straight down falls. However, I think I'll include "auto parachute" option but to encourage the use of manual parachuting the skyline bonus will be increased to a 100% of the level score.
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Terry
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« Reply #154 on: June 24, 2008, 10:44:41 AM »

I like the auto parachute thing Smiley
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Dugan
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« Reply #155 on: June 24, 2008, 01:34:25 PM »

yeah auto-chute sounds very good. I can see though, how it can tricky to find a clean solution to these sorts of things.

for example - I currently play by trying to find `jumps` between the layers which are very close together, anywhere else and I go for parachute regardless (just to be safe).

If this method of play was `as designed` then the use of the parachute could be considered akin to the teleport in defender, an emergency measure in worst case scenarios. All fine and good - but then that might be interpreted as a bit hardcore to some gamers who are more used to peggle and the like.

Which makes me wonder if its best to just make the game for yourself and be done with it  Undecided Beer!

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« Reply #156 on: June 24, 2008, 03:34:11 PM »

I really enjoyed this; nice, pixelly artwork, and the random level generation works really well. I specifically like the variations in colour that distinguish one level from another. Fast, responsive controls too, which I always appreciate. I don't have much trouble guaging the height you can fall, either. Takes a little while to adjust, but you soon get a feel for it.
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nenad
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« Reply #157 on: June 25, 2008, 12:38:26 AM »

If this method of play was `as designed` then the use of the parachute could be considered akin to the teleport in defender, an emergency measure in worst case scenarios. All fine and good - but then that might be interpreted as a bit hardcore to some gamers who are more used to peggle and the like.

Yes, that's pretty much how it was meant to be played "by design". Player is supposed to be finding the best routes to where he want to go and if he estimates that the path is too long/dangerous or just can't find one then he's supposed to use parachute or rope as a kind of a shortcut.


Which makes me wonder if its best to just make the game for yourself and be done with it  Undecided Beer!

Well, you can't make everyone happy Smiley. I try to make games that I'd enjoy to play.  And those are fast action games that can hold you in the state of flow for as much of the play time as possible (beautifull concept btw - the flow). It's always good to hear feedback though but it's very important to learn to filter it. Adhering too much to the "wishes" and "ideas" of your audience can easily make you lose focus and your initial vision (which is a single most propelling thing for me).

That's what, to some degree, happened with Counterclockwise. I took too seriously what my beta testers were telling me. The result was watered-down gameplay. I mean the game was really interesting conceptually, visually etc but the gameplay lacked, and it was just a matter of few simple yet critical decisions.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 12:42:08 AM by nenad » Logged
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« Reply #158 on: June 25, 2008, 05:46:25 PM »

I don't like idea of auto parachute. I like the game as is.
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« Reply #159 on: June 25, 2008, 05:56:02 PM »

Yeah I see no reason for changing anything in the rules. It's perfect as it is.
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