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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingJack B. Nimble
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SeanNoonan
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« on: January 15, 2014, 12:06:19 AM »

Jack B. Nimble

Jump and dash across spooky hilltops, whipping candles as you go. Take control of Jack B. Nimble and become master of the whip in this Game Boy styled autorunner.

Hello everyone, I hope you're having a great 2014 so far Smiley

A little background
A couple of months ago, there was a Game Boy game jam and Jack B. Nimble was my entry. I originally made it just shy of a week with audio support from my pal, Barry "Epoch" Topping. Since then I've fixed a couple of bugs, added trophy/leaderboard support via GameJolt and now I'm looking for feedback.

The latest version
Available here: http://gamejolt.com/games/platformer/jack-b-nimble/20923/

Requested feedback
I'd like feedback/advice/comments on anything really; art, audio, GameJolt implementation, controls... anything. At this stage I'm a bit of a sponge  Grin

Thanks in advance, and I hope you enjoy the game!

Future plans
I plan to bring a slightly tuned and updated version to iOS, Android and Windows mobile (whatever that is). Additional features will include 16:9 aspect ratio, tweaks to balance and some visual fixes here and there.

Progress
Devlog here: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=42322

Other links
Jack B. Nimble Facebook
Jack B. Nimble Press Kit
Jack B. Nimble IndieDB page
Jack B. Nimble Soundtrack
Jack B. Nimble original game jam version
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 01:49:02 PM by SeanNoonan » Logged

frik
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014, 09:34:00 AM »

It reminds me of old Gameboy games, nice graphics and music.

Are the levels random generated? Every time I died I saw a new level. One passage was very hard, looked almost impossible to time the jumps correctly (very short blocks to stand).

How does the score works? I traveled 823 meter in one stint and got a low score. I had "x0" already before the good last stint.

(I played the "offline" version.)
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gregmax17
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2014, 12:57:43 PM »

I really like this. This would have been a really fun infinite runner game on the gameboy back in the day. I really like the music.

I can't stand the controls though! I am using the mouse's left and right click. I click it once to jump and again while in the air to the whip? Maybe just make left for whip and right for jump or vice versa?
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SeanNoonan
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 05:12:43 PM »

It reminds me of old Gameboy games, nice graphics and music.
That's great - exactly what I was aiming for.
Quote
Are the levels random generated? Every time I died I saw a new level. One passage was very hard, looked almost impossible to time the jumps correctly (very short blocks to stand).
Yeah, it's randomly generated (though it will be generated so that jumps will always be possible provided they are well timed). The difficulty isn't so much in the design of the levels, but in the decreasing window of opportunity the player has to react to gaps. It starts to get very difficult at around 750 Meters and anything after 1000 is purely twitch - getting candles at this point is extremely unlikely, the aim at that point is just to rake up that higher base score and retain your accuracy.
Quote
How does the score works? I traveled 823 meter in one stint and got a low score. I had "x0" already before the good last stint.
It's a relatively straight forward but intentionally hidden score system (though that may be a mistake judging by feedback I've been getting). Basically your base score is your distance and that is multiplied by the number of candles you extinguish - on top of that your final accuracy determines how much of that score you will bank and place on the scoreboard.

I really like this. This would have been a really fun infinite runner game on the gameboy back in the day. I really like the music.
Yeah, it's kinda funny to think this kinda thing really didn't exist back then (I'm sure there are cases, but probably super rare).
Quote
I can't stand the controls though! I am using the mouse's left and right click. I click it once to jump and again while in the air to the whip? Maybe just make left for whip and right for jump or vice versa?
Oh, that's a real shame. The idea was to create an auto runner with more than just jumping as a mechanic but not have multiple on screen buttons - bear in mind this was designed to be a touch screen game, so I really didn't want to have any on screen controls. It just so happens I quite liked how it felt in keyboard or mouse, though I am obviously biased and designed for my own ridiculous double clicking/tapping skills :D I might review this for the standalone version though - it shouldn't be too difficult to do.

Thanks for playing!
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2014, 06:12:12 PM »

Really nice Sean. The main sprite seems to be a little bit off, though. I don't quite know how to explain it, but it seems to me that he doesn't completely fit in the game style. Just my opinion.
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SeanNoonan
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2014, 08:09:25 PM »

Really nice Sean. The main sprite seems to be a little bit off, though. I don't quite know how to explain it, but it seems to me that he doesn't completely fit in the game style. Just my opinion.
Totally valid point, it's because I started out making a cutesy autorunner that slowly got a bit darker as I developed it/added parallax. The main problem is that the character palette is just flat shaded whereas the backdrops are generally dithered - mixing the two doesn't seem to work.
I think the main problem is actually the clouds, mountains and trees.
My problem was that I liked the gnarly angular trees, and the only way to make them visible with 4 shades was to dither, and that basically made the rest of the art follow suit. If anyone had any references or examples of how to better match the backdrop to the character I am all ears Smiley

I made an attempt by changing the clouds, but it just illustrated how much the mountains and trees don't suit the style of the rest...
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 09:49:37 AM »

Pretty nice!

The art is just amazing! I really liked everything about it! Music and sounds were very decent too, although I would appreciate a mute button so that I could listen to other music while playing Smiley.

Not much to say about the gameplay, its entertaining, but I can't see myself playing this more than 10 minutes or so. I only realized that I had to get the candles after I saw the tip, which wasn't my first playthrough, maybe you should tell it earlier.
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SeanNoonan
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2014, 12:50:50 AM »

Pretty nice!

The art is just amazing! I really liked everything about it! Music and sounds were very decent too, although I would appreciate a mute button so that I could listen to other music while playing Smiley.

Not much to say about the gameplay, its entertaining, but I can't see myself playing this more than 10 minutes or so. I only realized that I had to get the candles after I saw the tip, which wasn't my first playthrough, maybe you should tell it earlier.
Thanks for the feedback!

A good point that I should add a mute button (a pause button too).

You are indeed right that the game only provides minutes rather than hours, but sometimes that's okay Smiley

Regarding the candles, I was hoping that my "tutorial" on the main menu would cover that base, but I guess not. My main goal was to teach mechanics without text or any form of message - I guess I was only semi successful Sad
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 04:17:47 AM »

This is wicked fun dude.

I agree with the main sprite feeling out of place, I felt that too. Everything else about the game screams Castlevania to me, so I think my brain is expecting something closer to the realistically proportioned, expressionless Simon Belmont sprite.

I wouldn't change the style of the level graphics at all. I think they're badass. My only feedback would be that it does make the candles pretty hard to see. A dithered white (light spinach?) glow around the candles that covers the dark background might be all you need.

On the tutorial, I tried to do a similar thing for the game I'm making. I tried to do the whole thing without using words, but it was a huge pain to set up a procedural game state in such a way that it naturally taught everything in the order it needed to be taught in. I ended up just resorting to using sentences and that solved every problem instantly.

Other small nitpicks:

- Not sure I like the obfuscated score system either. I do like how things multiply and I do like having a score in a runner game as opposed to just my final distance. But right now I'm just running, hitting every candle I can, and just hoping my score is huge at the end.

- You can quicken the game flow by losing the "be nimble" text in-between games. The text doesn't mean anything really except for the "whip every candlestick", but even that I know I'm supposed to do after a game or two. Every split second you can save between games is awesome.

Can't really think of anything else at the moment. This is an awesome little game. Get it on iOS so I can give you cash money!
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SeanNoonan
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2014, 03:16:25 PM »

This is wicked fun dude.
Thanks!

Quote
I agree with the main sprite feeling out of place, I felt that too. Everything else about the game screams Castlevania to me, so I think my brain is expecting something closer to the realistically proportioned, expressionless Simon Belmont sprite.
I've attempted to better blend all of the art elements in this latest version...
http://gamejolt.com/games/jack-b-nimble/news/jack-b-nimble-2-0-released/12368/
Hopefully that fixes some of the depth confusion, as there's less noise overall.

Quote
Other small nitpicks:
I took this advice on board by changing the quote screens to better explain mechanics and the score system Smiley

Quote
Can't really think of anything else at the moment. This is an awesome little game. Get it on iOS so I can give you cash money!
I wish I could, but I work for a AAA developer/publisher that wouldn't really appreciate me generating another income... Sad
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2014, 03:49:58 PM »

I work for a AAA developer/publisher that wouldn't really appreciate me generating another income... Sad

Seriously? I honestly can't think of any scenario where a company wouldn't want it's employees to have other business outside theirs.
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Deraj
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2014, 08:49:44 PM »

I like how you took something really simple and made a credible game out of it. The art/scrolling are really great! I doubt an actual Gameboy could keep up with multiple levels of parallax scrolling, but who cares? Smiley

Not a knock on your game (really more of a reflection of my lack of precision timing), but I think the timing is too strict for me. I got my highest score by focusing almost entirely on jumping (and ignoring most of the candles) Smiley

Anyway, keep up the great work!
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SeanNoonan
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2014, 08:51:42 PM »

I work for a AAA developer/publisher that wouldn't really appreciate me generating another income... Sad

Seriously? I honestly can't think of any scenario where a company wouldn't want it's employees to have other business outside theirs.

I have excellent news! My employer and I have come to an agreement and I am now bringing Jack B. Nimble to iOS (and Android when I invest in a tablet).

Progress!


And due to the slight change in the window of opportunity brought to the game thanks to widescreen, I will be addressing the difficulty and timings. More soon Smiley!
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2014, 03:55:19 AM »

This is really awesome.  Your main character does weird me out a little bit since, as another commenter said, everything about this screams Castlevania.  Otherwise it's a sweet little game and I'm happy you worked something out with your employer!
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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2014, 10:04:41 AM »

Great Sean! Good luck with this project.
Will "they" publish it?
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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2014, 04:54:16 PM »

My score is 206606. :D
It's pretty addictive game. That game-boy style is nice too. I like it, good work! Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2014, 08:09:36 AM »

Ok, first playthrough died 570m, hitting some candles expecting an enemy to appear but nothing happened.
Music is insane, really good.
Graphics and sound fx are awesome too.

My best score: 212496.

Love how difficulty goes up very smoothly.

Nothing to add o quit, game is awesome as it is, probably put some enemies or coins, maybe some switches to open incoming doors, I dont know, to suggest something.

Your style is pretty impresive, probably pay for it on my phone, really liked it.

Best of luck from here!
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2014, 12:27:04 PM »

Fun, amazing presentation too. 
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SeanNoonan
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2014, 05:29:40 PM »

Great Sean! Good luck with this project.
Will "they" publish it?
No, I'll be self publishing Smiley

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I'm still plugging away at it - hopefully I'll have a video or gif to show of the new widescreen iOS version by the end of the week!

I just realised, I didn't share my post mortem of the game (the first version that is) - it may be interesting to some of you, as I link to the original daily builds...

http://noonansean.blogspot.ca/2013/11/game-boy-game-jam-2-jack-b-nimble.html

« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 10:06:05 PM by SeanNoonan » Logged

SeanNoonan
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2014, 11:26:24 PM »

So the portable widescreen version came along a bit and now I'm close to release.



There's a pretty good chance I'll need testers to pass all the submission stuff - first version will be on on a strange platform...



More on testing and who I'll need for testing soon!
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