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BlueSweatshirt
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« on: March 19, 2012, 12:01:45 am »


(screenshot pictured above is of the unreleased build, currently in progress)





Play latest release build(March 30 2012)
Download latest source(March 30 2012)

You're a cute little lizard boy in a scary ass swamp and just about everything is trying to kill you. Sounds fun!

I'll be making this for fun in my spare time. Builds and source will be made available constantly. Overall progress may or may not come regularly though.

Now, where's CEDE?  Smiley
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 11:07:36 pm by Jack Sanders » Logged

Ashkin
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 12:05:37 am »

Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
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RayJack
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2012, 02:01:12 am »

I played about 8 or 9 lives worth. I had a Strength stat of 5 at one point, but no matter how strong I was the enemies still took 2 hits to kill. Does the level-up feature work yet? The enemies are difficult to hit but it's very easy for them to hit me and since there's not health pickups right now I found that most of the time I would rather run from them than try to kill them and gain useless flies.

Graphics are superb and animation is very fluid and believable. The flying bug enemies look very scary and mean.
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BlueSweatshirt
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 03:06:00 am »

You kill them in one hit at about level 9 strength for now. Flies are not useless.

I'm glad you enjoyed (some of) my game.  Smiley

Also: difficulty intended. It probably won't get any easier.
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RayJack
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 03:47:35 am »

Not saying I didn't enjoy it, just pointing out my experiences. I didn't know whether or not my experiences lined up with what you intended the player to feel at those points.

I felt like the flies were useless because I kept putting them into Strength but it wasn't giving me any feedback that let me know I was doing something worthwhile. I've got a few suggestions for what might fix that:

- Show me a number when I hit the enemies. I usually think showing numbers where none are needed is annoying but in the case it might be useful. If I can see that my attacks are doing more damage the more points I put into Strength, it would make me feel that I am getting stronger even though mechanically I still need two hits to kill things. But you have a pretty clean design right now so I'm betting you don't want a bunch of numbers on the screen.

- Make the flies drop after every 9 enemies killed and increase the effectiveness of each level. This way when I put a fly into Strength I know that it makes a big difference. This would be my preferred method but there are obviously a few drawbacks. I don't know how many flies it takes for the other stats to be useful so I don't know if a fly every 9 enemies would make sense for Toughness and the others. Also, I already feel like I don't want to fight the enemies because they are difficult and the threat outweighs the reward, but I want to risk it because I know that they always drop flies. If you went with this method I don't know if I would ever kill another enemy ever again.

You said that you want the difficulty in there, and in your original post you used the word "scary" to describe the environment. Based on these and the way the character moves (he's fairly nimble and he can drop very high but he is terrible at fighting the enemies) I get the impression that escaping the enemies is just as viable a solution, and could actually feel more rewarding for the player. So here are my suggestions:

- Increase the effectiveness of levelling up a stat a little bit (so say it takes 3 flies to kill those enemies in one hit instead of 9) and make it random whether or not an enemy drops a fly. Let's say a fly drops 33% of the time. On average, it will still take 9 enemy kills to level up my Strength a significant amount but if I'm lucky it will only take 3 enemy kills. Finding 3 flies that sometimes drop feels like a more attainable goal than finding 9 flies that always drop, so I feel more willing to engage in combat instead of running. Also, since I'll be taking damage a lot if I keep fighting monsters, if I'm UNlucky and it takes more than 9 enemy kills, I'm going to be very tense. Each successive enemy after the 9th will be more and more scary because I will have less and less health each time.

- Put some flies out in the open as rewards for tricky platforming segments. Not many, just a few. If you tweak it so that I feel like the flies are valuable, seeing a fly out in the open will make me feel great. I would prioritize getting the fly over fighting the enemies. If a fly was valuable enough, I would dodge all the enemies and grab the fly, then open up my stats menu to make myself stronger before engaging them in combat. That would let me use my character's natural advantage (nimbleness) to overcome his natural disadvantage (combat) and I think that would be very fun and rewarding.

These are all subjective opinions, of course. I'm just stating my opinion. I still think it's a cool-looking game and whether or not you use my ideas I'll be following it's progress. =]
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RayJack
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 03:50:26 am »

Oh, one other thing, could you make different animations for when I get hit and when I hit an enemy? Sometimes it is confusing.
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BlueSweatshirt
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 03:33:43 pm »

Right, so I'll use your points as an opportunity to shed light on the kind of direction I'm going in with this game. Smiley

- Show me a number when I hit the enemies. I usually think showing numbers where none are needed is annoying but in the case it might be useful. If I can see that my attacks are doing more damage the more points I put into Strength, it would make me feel that I am getting stronger even though mechanically I still need two hits to kill things. But you have a pretty clean design right now so I'm betting you don't want a bunch of numbers on the screen.
This is not a game about raising numbers. When numbers are displayed in such a manner they become much more significant, and I do not want them to be significant. Yes it's good for the player to know they're getting stronger, but after someone has been at the game for a while they'll certainly know that raising strength has an effect. And yes, I also simply do not wish to clutter up the screen with that kind of noise. I'm going for more environment, less interface fat.

Quote
- Make the flies drop after every 9 enemies killed and increase the effectiveness of each level. This way when I put a fly into Strength I know that it makes a big difference. This would be my preferred method but there are obviously a few drawbacks. I don't know how many flies it takes for the other stats to be useful so I don't know if a fly every 9 enemies would make sense for Toughness and the others. Also, I already feel like I don't want to fight the enemies because they are difficult and the threat outweighs the reward, but I want to risk it because I know that they always drop flies. If you went with this method I don't know if I would ever kill another enemy ever again.
I'd rather keep leveling up via small increments. For one, the wasp is not the only enemy that will ever be in the game. There will be more all which come with varying health values. I also want to keep the levelup system relatively low risk. This encourages the player to experiment and try leveling up new things, or at least makes it a much less costly decision. This will be more important once more things the level up are introduced. One point in agility for the hell of it? Eh sure why not. Making flies abundant ensures this. Furthermore the consistency of killing something and getting an immediate levelup reward is intended. For killing something you are directly rewarded every time.

Quote
You said that you want the difficulty in there, and in your original post you used the word "scary" to describe the environment. Based on these and the way the character moves (he's fairly nimble and he can drop very high but he is terrible at fighting the enemies) I get the impression that escaping the enemies is just as viable a solution, and could actually feel more rewarding for the player. So here are my suggestions:
My use of "scary" was mostly referring to the theme/environment, but fair enough if the wasps scare you too. Yes, escaping is viable. However, as I start adding an ever-increasing difficulty curve as you go through levels it will not be such a simple decision. You get by the enemies, yes, but at the cost of losing potential levelups, which you might need to survive the greater challenges ahead.

Quote
- Increase the effectiveness of levelling up a stat a little bit (so say it takes 3 flies to kill those enemies in one hit instead of 9) and make it random whether or not an enemy drops a fly. Let's say a fly drops 33% of the time. On average, it will still take 9 enemy kills to level up my Strength a significant amount but if I'm lucky it will only take 3 enemy kills. Finding 3 flies that sometimes drop feels like a more attainable goal than finding 9 flies that always drop, so I feel more willing to engage in combat instead of running. Also, since I'll be taking damage a lot if I keep fighting monsters, if I'm UNlucky and it takes more than 9 enemy kills, I'm going to be very tense. Each successive enemy after the 9th will be more and more scary because I will have less and less health each time.
I want the tension to emerge from facing the player with a direct, difficult challenge; enemies. That's what the game is about, going through the levels and fighting enemies. Leveling up is secondary, it serves to provide a means of improvement(of which there will be difficult choices to be made), but improvement only to facilitate the fighting of enemies further and increase the depth and complexity of engagements. Hinging the player's growth upon probability is inscrupulous, such a thing only leads to frustration and unfair deaths.(deaths caused by the system failing, not by the player failing)

Quote
- Put some flies out in the open as rewards for tricky platforming segments. Not many, just a few. If you tweak it so that I feel like the flies are valuable, seeing a fly out in the open will make me feel great. I would prioritize getting the fly over fighting the enemies. If a fly was valuable enough, I would dodge all the enemies and grab the fly, then open up my stats menu to make myself stronger before engaging them in combat. That would let me use my character's natural advantage (nimbleness) to overcome his natural disadvantage (combat) and I think that would be very fun and rewarding.
Here's a good place to state that the lizard has no disadvantage in combat, you just suck at playing as him. Also, more combat maneuvers will be added in the future, so don't think the current dynamics of combat are locked in.
This game isn't about platforming. It's about engaging enemies. Rewarding the player for menial things like making a pixel-precise jump only dilutes the game from its focus and distracts from the overall goal.

Quote
These are all subjective opinions, of course. I'm just stating my opinion. I still think it's a cool-looking game and whether or not you use my ideas I'll be following it's progress. =]

Cool! I'm really glad you're interested in my game, and I hope you'll enjoy it even more in the future.(as, you know, it becomes something more tangible)
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Theophilus
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 04:03:25 pm »

This is not a game about raising numbers. When numbers are displayed in such a manner they become much more significant, and I do not want them to be significant. Yes it's good for the player to know they're getting stronger, but after someone has been at the game for a while they'll certainly know that raising strength has an effect. And yes, I also simply do not wish to clutter up the screen with that kind of noise. I'm going for more environment, less interface fat.


Please put in some feedback to the player, if not numbers... Sound effects would be good.
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CEDE
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 04:09:08 pm »

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BlueSweatshirt
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2012, 04:23:48 pm »

@CEDE

 Kiss Kiss Kiss!
I love how much that lizardman resembles the sprite, you preserved the likeness really well!
Should I PM you my mailing address?


@Shelby

Sound effects to let the player know they're getting stronger... To communicate such? Or just a hit effect in general? If the latter then yes it will be added in soon enough.
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Theophilus
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2012, 04:27:30 pm »

a hit effect that sounds more groady the stronger you get, for instance, at level 1 strength, it's mild. At 20, it'd be a guttural groan.
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CEDE
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2012, 04:59:51 pm »

Should I PM you my mailing address?
 

Sure!
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Ben_Hurr
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2012, 07:12:22 pm »

Here's a good place to state that the lizard has no disadvantage in combat, you just suck at playing as him. Also, more combat maneuvers will be added in the future, so don't think the current dynamics of combat are locked in.
This game isn't about platforming. It's about engaging enemies. Rewarding the player for menial things like making a pixel-precise jump only dilutes the game from its focus and distracts from the overall goal.

I'm going to have to disagree with that.  Any particular reason why you made you lizard's swing speed so low that usually you can't get that second swing in or move out of the way of a wasp you're fighting?

It also feels like your guy falls way too fast.

edit:
Wow your attack range is deceiving.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 07:18:34 pm by Ben_Hurr » Logged
BlueSweatshirt
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 09:32:56 pm »

edit:
Wow your attack range is deceiving.


Yeah, definitely need to fix that one, thanks for pointing it out. It's not so much of a big deal for me while working on other things because I'm already well aware of the true range, so thanks for bringing that to my attention. I'll update the attack graphic.


Quote
Any particular reason why you made you lizard's swing speed so low that usually you can't get that second swing in or move out of the way of a wasp you're fighting?

I made it that way because I didn't want sloppy timing to allow the player to two-off the wasps so easily. With good timing you can get two successive hits on them. That's in my experience, at least.
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RayJack
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 11:02:24 pm »

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My use of "scary" was mostly referring to the theme/environment, but fair enough if the wasps scare you too.

Yeah they are definitely spooky. Actually I feel like they are scarier than the environment right now.

Quote
Here's a good place to state that the lizard has no disadvantage in combat, you just suck at playing as him.

Couldn't it be both? There's a weird delay between pushing the SWORD button and when he actually swings the sword that is hard to get used to. Although this might be another misunderstanding. Ben_Hurr said the sword range is deceptive, so I guess he can reach farther than I think he can, so maybe it's not so hard after all.

Quote
This will be more important once more things the level up are introduced. One point in agility for the hell of it? Eh sure why not.

Ah, ok. This would basically fix every complaint I had. Can't wait to see it in action!
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dek
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2012, 03:40:35 am »

Hey!
Here are some things that I noticed:

  • Please dont use Y/Z for any major thing in your game unless you let people reconfigure it (Because of QWERTZ keyboards). I recommend putting jump to the up-arrow key so one hand handles movement and the other handles interaction / fight.
  • If you press jump and spam attack, you can basically hover really, really far. I guess you have a piece of code in your attack function that resets vertical movement to zero?
  • Most platformers have a pretty low capped falling speed (pretty much like a parachute) . Ofcourse that is not natural at all, but it feels better when playing platformers because it makes landing easier.
  • The nose-hole in the head of the lizard seems to be transparent in some frames?
  • Playing it for the first time, I thought it was too hard. This might be because I have to stretch my hand over the whole keyboard to jump / attack Cry

Apart from that, visually, it looks very nice and runs very smooth for most flash games.  
I would embed the game into a page with a dark background to support the atmosphere of the game.
Good Job Coffee
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Ben_Hurr
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2012, 05:42:01 am »

Yeah, I'll take back the timing thing until after you fix the players sprite, it might actually be totally balanced if you take the full length of his sword into account!
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BlueSweatshirt
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2012, 11:19:29 am »

Hey dek! Thanks!

Keyboard:
Right! I'll fix it. I also plan to add keyboard configuration in the future, but I'll also change the default.

Hovering:
This is intended, actually. There's going to be very little by the ways of "platforming" in this game, so I'm not worried about people hovering around and potentially skipping platforming obstacles.(because there won't really be any) Freedom of movement in the air is intended from a combat-perspective. As I add new attacks to the game this should make more sense. Smiley

Falling Speed:
Yeah I might add a cap, but for now it doesn't feel like too big of an issue to me. I'd prefer to not add one if I didn't need to. And like I said, platforming won't ever be much of a big deal, which is why I think it won't be much of an issue.

Nose-Hole:
It's actually a mouth! I should probably address that either way though.

Difficulty:
Yeah, it's intended to be difficult for first timers. However there were a couple non-gameplay related issues(sword graphic and key layout) getting in your way so, like you and Ben_Hurr said, it could have just been that. We'll see!

Game page:
Yeah, I'll do that! I also want to center it on the page so that the game isn't hovering in the top-left corner of your screen. Heh heh.
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BlueSweatshirt
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2012, 06:08:16 pm »

MINOR UPDATE:

  • Changed control scheme from ZX to XC, configurable controls coming soonish
  • Sword graphic now reflects attack range accurately
  • Mouth no longer has a weird transparency
  • SWF is now hosted on a simple HTML page which makes playing a bit more enjoyable
  • Press DOWN+ATTACK to do a downward thrust(midair only)

Play it here
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Franklin's Ghost
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2012, 09:36:46 pm »

Just had a play of the new version and it's playing great, like the little fixes you've done. Lizard guy looks better now.

Also just realised about how you use the pickups to upgrade. Makes alot more sense now. Finished with Strength = 9, Toughness = 34, Agility = 30, Dexterity = 10, Aptitude = 0.
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