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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingThe Ion Adventures Demo
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Author Topic: The Ion Adventures Demo  (Read 6348 times)
madebynewt
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« on: July 24, 2007, 09:29:01 PM »

Hello Everyone,

I have been working on a game for the past year and half called the Ion Adventures. It's an platformer/RPG game where you control a 8 year old boy called Noddy Ion who finds himself stranded in a mysterious world. There he must find courage and strength to defeat his foes, help the new friends to come, and ultimately find his way back home. There is a demo for download, but just keep in mind that this is work in progress and graphic/engine will be tweeked and worked on before final release. Any suggestions, feedback and criticism will be greatly appreciated!  Wink


Download Demo  http://madebynewt.com/ion/TIA_Setup.exe


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handCraftedRadio
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2007, 04:29:42 AM »

The game was pretty cool, smooth graphics and nice music. The graphics are a lot better in game than your screen shots show. I have a few suggestions though.

The button to select something in the main menu should be enter, or at least have something on the screen that tells you it is shift. I had to just start hitting buttons to figure out how to start the game. Also, the tutorial seems way to long for a game that isn't too much different from a regular platformer. I think you should either give the player the choice to skip the tutorial or change it so the information is on signs or something along the way, so the player can stop and read them if they choose.
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Xander
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 04:37:50 AM »

I maybe more critical than you would like me to be, but here goes. I didn't like it that much. In fact, it was rather annoying. Aside from his voice which MUST honsetly change (If Mickey Mouse were an 8 year old boy?), there were a lot of things I didn't lik about it. The attacking for instance feels very very loose at the moment, his first attack being that weird orb thing which aside from being quite weak also lacks the range that the first enemies you face have. I get the idea that it's supposed to be a kind of platformer/rpg mix, and I know we're not going to be touching anything on the level of Super Paper Mario here, but it just doesn't feel much fun. It became impossible to attack the first enemies without them doing damage to me first, unless I waited for them to turn round and attacked them from behind. Also, is it me or are there very few frames to the animation. I had to use the SHIFT attack a few times just so that I knew what the heck it was. Maybe it's just not my style of game, so definitely wait for feedback from other people, but I would definitely recommend getting as many people to playtest it as possible because there are some things in there that personally I would've axed a long time ago. I had a lot of trouble pushing the crate at tutorial, and the way he ran into the side of it if I 'wasnt' pressing C to push it just looked very odd. And also, the voice! The voice! How did that not drive you crazy when making this?

Ahem, and there be my critique. Make of it what you will. Haha, it's a nice effort though, and it's definitely something you should keep working at. Maybe I'm just like this because I can feel a game in there that's worth playing through. Also yes, there needs to be some kind of elaboration in that menu page. It's X to skip through dialogue, but it's SHIFT to access anything in the menu. That'd be fine had we known that either of those keys actually served a function before the tutorial was underway. Other than that it was just guesswork.
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Guert
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 09:22:05 AM »

I'll download it this week, I'll post a little later.
Take care!
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madebynewt
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 12:45:33 PM »

 Smiley Yes, that is the main complaint of the current demo, how you don~t know what to press to go through the conversations, and how to start new game you must hit shift instead of enter. I have fixed that and uploaded a new version that addresses those issues for now. Thank you very much everyone for the feedback, it will definitely help me make the game better for the release!  Wink
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Guert
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2007, 07:33:23 PM »

Just wanna say that i ahven't forgotten about you, I've been very busy but the comments are heading your way in no time.
Later!
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madebynewt
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2007, 01:18:35 AM »

Sounds Good, I have updated the Demo, fixed the issue with the the UI controls and tighten things up a bit more.
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Guert
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2007, 05:40:11 PM »

Alright, I'm finaly here! And about time too! Smiley

I've based my comemnts on your first release. I know you made a second but we'll see if you fixed some issues that I've spotted in the first download.

Let's get down to it...

Controls:
First thing's first, you shoukd always try NOT to use the shift keys constantly in your games. Windows got that sticky thing going on where once you've pushed 5 times the shift key rapidly, it pops up a message box asking you if you want to enable it. Use other keys, like space or Z, to make sure that you don't annoy people with this.

The ENTER key is pretty much the standard in terms of "entering" in menus. Use it in your. This will be the first key the player will try out so might as well us it. You don't need to use it in-game but menu-wise, it's better to use it.

Speaking of the menus, you need to be consistant between your screens. Choose one key to accept (I strongly suggest ENTER) and one key for cancel/back (ESC is a good choice too). And, whatever you do in your game, the player will now which key to press to accept or cancel something.

Moving on to the ESC key... It's always a good idea to allow your user to use the ESC key since it's already the standard in terms of exiting a program. Of course, always ask a confirmation before closing the game, as you never now if the player pressed it intentionaly or not.

If there are no use for cursors in your game, don't put one. You're just telling us to use the mouse but all we need is the keyboard...

In new game, I didn't not have the time to say YES or NO before the game was erased.

Weird bug when trying to push an object when you're too close. You ahve to press the c button down and then move closer. It should be automatic .

The tutorial is very long. Try to make it a bit more simple. A good way of doing so is by using the SNK approach. You create a 30 second animation telling what are the basic moves and that's it. The player will want to toy around with the game a bit. By holding too much his hand, he'll be turned off.

Attacking isn't very tight. The character should be attacking the second we press the button. Right now there's a slight delay before the character attacks and we attack too fast. We should see more of the energy spark. The jumping attack is ok, but the groudn attack needs work.

Also, you need to push back enemies after they got attacked. Right now, enemies stay very close to us and actually kill us before we can't even do something about it. You could also make us bounce back a bit after we're attacked. Just a teensy bit.

The jumping speed is a tad too slow. Try to make it a bit faster. I also feel like the character is floating too much after he reached his jump peak.

I don't think I like how you handle the stopping of a run. I feel like the character should break a lot faster when you just let go the button and you should add a breaking animation when we press the opposite direction. Right now, it feels like we have too little control over the character when we don't use the keyboard and too much when we use it.
 
The walking speed is too slow. I know you have the running technique but I'd still make the character walk faster.

Levels:
I didn't see much of the levels cuz I never got through level 1-2...

When you deisgn your levels, make sure that the pick-able objects are positionned in a fashion that a player can catch them all with one move and not have to come back. If the player misses crystals, he'll try to jump again to catch them all in one shot. You can make it that you have alot of crystals to pick up with many jumps, just make sure that it's placed so that they cna all be grabbed using optimal jumps.

Always make sure the player will see where he's going. The fore ground trees are very nice but they cover the game screen too much. At one point in the first level, I died because I fell off a ledge and didn't see enemies at the bottom.     

Multiple paths are always a must. It promotes exploration. I think you have something like taht but can't remember.

If the character dies at the first level, don't show us the quick tutorial. We already know all off that info.

User interface:
I'd move the lives with all the rest of the information regarding the character. Perhaps add the number of lives on the bottom right corner of the face icon...

If I don't have access to magic, don't show the MP stats... The adding of a new element can be used as an element of discovery for the player.

I think you could try to have a more graphical way to show the HP.

The crystals in the HUD look like a condom with a star... I'd make it more like the one we pick up, with 2 energy lights moving inside...

Graphics and sounds:
Interesting stuff. The graphics are ok, but need a little more finish. I think his feet are a bit too big and I don' feel like the big portraits match the model.
I'd also make the character blink occasionaly Smiley

The textures a bit blurry at some spots and we can see the wrapping limits on some of them, like the background of the big tutorial. The trees in the background have a pixeled outline in the first level. Try anti-aliasing them.

The yellow arrow feels a bit dull compared to the rest

Ladders should always be connected to something...

The winning stance is a bit odd. the character looks straight up and I think he should look at us instead...

The music is catchy and nice. The sounds are a bit off at some place, happening after the actual action. The characters does sound like Mickey Mouse, which is just plain weird at moments.

The woopa sound should be abit more happy

I'd make the heart bonus powerup look more like a heart.

I'd use a slightly bigger font to make sure we can clearly see the numbers.

The butterflies are a nice touch.

Gameplay:
The idea of mixing RPG elements with action isn't a bad one but I don't think you should use numbers to show us teh information. Remove the numbers from the attacks and give us graphical xp gages...

Make sure that we have plenty of things to explore and give us alot of possibilities with powers.

It's hard to tell about our motivation in the game because I can't get very far.

Well, that's pretty much it for right now. See what you can fix and I'll give it another go.

You did a great job so far, don't give up! Keep us noticed of further developments!
Later!
Guert   
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handCraftedRadio
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2007, 09:38:40 PM »

Holy crap Guert! You are a feed-backing machine! You need to start breaking these up into chapters. :D
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Chris Whitman
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2007, 09:51:19 PM »

Guert, you feed-back like a head-on collision between Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2007, 05:10:47 AM »

I'm addicted... :D

Seriously, I must admit that this one is particulary long... Perhaps I should post a couple of times instead of a big post... On the other hand, I like to think that people copy and paste this in a txt file and use it like a list of things to evaluate...

@I like cake: I must admit that i'm a bit confused with this analogy... is it good or not? I like Sonic Youth but... Dinosaur Jr? Not sure I completly get the picture intended Wink Thx anyways Smiley

Later!   
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madebynewt
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2007, 12:05:39 AM »

Wow very awesome Guert!!! Honestly, the best review I could have gotten!!!! I will definetly pay good attention to your advices!! Wow very good!! Thank you very much!

 Grin
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Derek
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2007, 12:07:11 AM »

Wow very awesome Guert!!! Honestly, the best review I could have gotten!!!! I will definetly pay good attention to your advices!! Wow very good!! Thank you very much!

 Grin

Ladies ( Huh? ?) and gentlemen, that's why Guert is the Feedback Mod.  Respekt.
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fish
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2007, 08:16:28 AM »

this forum needs more sonic youth references.

MOAR.
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Chris Whitman
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2007, 08:54:23 AM »

They, uh... both used a lot of guitar feedback?

All right, it wasn't the world's greatest simile.
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Guert
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2007, 09:08:00 AM »

@madebynewt: I'm happy to help you out. I hope it was worth the wait Wink Post a new version when you can!

@Fish: Hey Joni, you're living in a daydream nation...

Anyway, thanks alot! You know, everytime I post a feedback, I'm always wonderin' if people actually read or care about it. I always fear to be more a nuisance than an actual help, even if I got promoted to mod. These posts tell me to keep doing these feedbacks Wink It's always nice to know that your opinion ain't crap :D

Thanks again!
Later!
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fish
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2007, 10:25:01 AM »

has a game ever had some SY on its soundtrack?
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Chris Whitman
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2007, 11:20:03 AM »

Not that I'm aware of.

You know what, though? I'd really like to see more adventurous musical accompaniment to games. It's been ages since I've played a game with a truly excellent soundtrack that didn't sound like either 8-bit noodling, John Williams phoning it in, or some terrible mix of rock and uninspired electronic drumming.

Actually, I don't know that I've ever played a game that didn't feature either one of those things or just vague ambient sounds.
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2007, 12:10:52 PM »

I could've sworn one of the Quake soundtracks had some Sonic Youth on it.
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Alex May
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2007, 12:24:30 PM »

Some of the Orisinal games have beautiful music. But let's take this to a different topic.
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