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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingSpelunky v1.1 (and Source)!
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Author Topic: Spelunky v1.1 (and Source)!  (Read 1414888 times)
Valter
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« Reply #120 on: December 22, 2008, 04:19:45 PM »

I really like Melly's suggestion of having the ghost come sooner with each level. It would really have you running through the last few levels, and increase the already-present chaos.

I love tossing the damsel around. It's just satisfying. Of course, 9 times out of 10 she ends up gutted on spikes or crushed by a boulder. But still.

My usual method of stealing from shopkeepers is grabbing the thing I want and then running as fast as I can. If you jump while you leave the shop, his shotgun blast will miss you.
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Bennett
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« Reply #121 on: December 22, 2008, 04:27:06 PM »

I think frustration gets a really bad rap. Games with too little frustration are just boring to me - and I thought this was a really sad aspect to Mario Galaxy (not nearly so bad in the two preceding games, either). Satoru Iwata put it best when he said about Zelda: the best thing is when you solve a puzzle and go 'wow, I'm really smart' or really skilled or whatever. The worst thing is when you get through it and go 'wow, a four-year-old could have done that'. Part of this is the objective difficulty level, and part of it is your perception of how you solved the puzzle.

It's particularly important with roguelikes and games like Spelunky, where a lot of the hook is the exploration. If the game reveals everything to you in bubble help, you get no reward for experimenting and exploring. This is why La-Mulana is a fun game, and why Nethack is a fun game - the latter you can't hope to win without a 100-page spoiler guide, and the former you can't even save your game until you've progressed 30 minutes into it. These games are intriguing though, and it's an intrigue and a sense of curiosity that drives you on.

One of the counterpoints to the gradually decreasing difficulty in commercial games is that secrets are disappearing as well. This was the worst thing about Mario Galaxy! Sunshine had cool secrets - especially that enigmatic underwater book. But Galaxy gives you every secret area on a platter. It's like they decided that if 99% of players won't see something, you shouldn't waste money developing it. I think that's just profoundly sad. Part of the reason I enjoy games is that they make me feel like I can be the 1%.

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Powergloved Andy
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« Reply #122 on: December 22, 2008, 04:30:27 PM »

Yes, no more arguing over who's opinion is right!  Andy, your feedback is great and is welcomed - I think if you had just left off the "C+" grade no one would have said anything.  Personally, if I had ever brought home a C+ in school, I would have had my nuts fed to me for dinner.  But maybe that's just because I'm Chinese - grades are really important and nuts are a delicacy (I kid).

Anyway, C+ to me means barely passing, and it's fine if you feel that way about it.  But reading your feedback, I'll take it as a B-. Wink

Oh Derek Yu, How do I love thee, let me count the ways  :D

Yeah maybe the C+ comment was a little harsh. I apologize. But it was mostly fueled by control frustration of falling from cliffs, and not being able to grab the rope fast enough! Sometimes I just fall straight through the rope.... Although I did find the option to turn off walk+down. So this makes my experience a little more happier!

I really like Melly's suggestion of having the ghost come sooner with each level. It would really have you running through the last few levels, and increase the already-present chaos.

I agree. Frantically trying to grab ledges and make it to the end gives a pretty good rush! :D

I would love to have joystick control for this, too. I guess I'll just have to use joy-to-key in the meantime!

Also, I feel the text does not stay on the screen long enough for some comments the adventurer makes... is anybody else getting this?
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Derek
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« Reply #123 on: December 22, 2008, 04:38:12 PM »

Part of the reason I enjoy games is that they make me feel like I can be the 1%.

i.e. "The Guy" Wink

I really like Melly's suggestion of having the ghost come sooner with each level. It would really have you running through the last few levels, and increase the already-present chaos.

I love tossing the damsel around. It's just satisfying. Of course, 9 times out of 10 she ends up gutted on spikes or crushed by a boulder. But still.

My usual method of stealing from shopkeepers is grabbing the thing I want and then running as fast as I can. If you jump while you leave the shop, his shotgun blast will miss you.

That might be good, although that might also confuse people as to when the Ghost will appear.  I'll probably not have the Ghost come in level 1, where people who are struggling with the game will spend the most time.

The thing I feel is that you're comparing your rather complicated game (which shares many qualities with games with dozens of controls) with old console games games that have relatively few actions (necessitated by the controller) which the character can perform. Your game is a lot more complicated and has many more outcomes in a shorter space of time. It doesn't necessarily need a simple control system - or if it must have one, the control system should make sense in the world (i.e. make things simple to interact with).

Yeah, the latter is what I was going for!  Few buttons, simple interaction, but a fair amount of complexity in what you can do and how you can interact with the world.  And that part, I'm realizing from reading the feedback, is not as intuitive as it should be, so I'll try to make it better.

My "old-school vs. new-school" thing was more addressing the comments that the game was not rewarding enough/too hard.  But maybe those were also control issues that I misinterpreted.
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Alex May
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« Reply #124 on: December 22, 2008, 05:15:59 PM »

I think frustration gets a really bad rap. Games with too little frustration are just boring to me - and I thought this was a really sad aspect to Mario Galaxy (not nearly so bad in the two preceding games, either). Satoru Iwata put it best when he said about Zelda: the best thing is when you solve a puzzle and go 'wow, I'm really smart' or really skilled or whatever. The worst thing is when you get through it and go 'wow, a four-year-old could have done that'. Part of this is the objective difficulty level, and part of it is your perception of how you solved the puzzle.

It's particularly important with roguelikes and games like Spelunky, where a lot of the hook is the exploration. If the game reveals everything to you in bubble help, you get no reward for experimenting and exploring. This is why La-Mulana is a fun game, and why Nethack is a fun game - the latter you can't hope to win without a 100-page spoiler guide, and the former you can't even save your game until you've progressed 30 minutes into it. These games are intriguing though, and it's an intrigue and a sense of curiosity that drives you on.

One of the counterpoints to the gradually decreasing difficulty in commercial games is that secrets are disappearing as well. This was the worst thing about Mario Galaxy! Sunshine had cool secrets - especially that enigmatic underwater book. But Galaxy gives you every secret area on a platter. It's like they decided that if 99% of players won't see something, you shouldn't waste money developing it. I think that's just profoundly sad. Part of the reason I enjoy games is that they make me feel like I can be the 1%.

I think it is worth examining frustration as a concept. The concept to me is when you know what you want to do and this is ostensibly within the game's rule set, but you are not allowed to achieve it or otherwise inhibited from doing so. It is a negative emotion, and a very instinctive and natural one. It can occur when you do not understand something or have lost patience and are not willing to take the time to dig deeper into a game's rule sets. This can be due to the game's rules not being explained properly, despite its design being acceptable or even good or great. Frustration can also occur when a game is badly designed from the outset, that is that the game's fundamental design is poor.

It's important to know as a game designer when the player's frustration is due to their own inability to move beyond their natural boundaries of patience, and when the player is of a skill or intelligence level acceptable to your own opinion of who should be allowed to enjoy the game, but you simply haven't explained enough about the game to them or have designed the game badly.

The player could be frustrated because you screwed up, or because they are impatient, and it's a multifaceted and many-dimensional spectrum - you've got players who have different skills, understanding and intelligence, and on top of that expectations about how they'd like to be challenged, and you've also got your own game and how you've explained the rules to the player and how you've designed the game in terms of how easy it is to play (again dependent on the players' skills etc). On top of that you've also got players who were turned off because you made it too easy for them. So in a sense you're damned if you do and damned if you don't - there will always be people who find your game too easy, too hard, too friendly or too obtuse. Just find the crossroads where it works for you and do that I guess - or base it on feedback and go for the game that includes the most people.

I'm drunk.
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Alex May
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« Reply #125 on: December 22, 2008, 05:18:28 PM »

Yeah, the latter is what I was going for!  Few buttons, simple interaction, but a fair amount of complexity in what you can do and how you can interact with the world.  And that part, I'm realizing from reading the feedback, is not as intuitive as it should be, so I'll try to make it better.
I think it's a very difficult task, but since you've got a whole bunch of people here who've had no problem with it, you've got to consider that you're actually doing a bloody good job with it. And of course the more I play it the easier it gets... I just wish that that difficulty curve was easier to climb, or had a stairway or something Smiley
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Valter
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« Reply #126 on: December 22, 2008, 05:21:55 PM »

Ah! You have reminded me of something, Haowan! We need curved slopes in this game!It would fit right in!
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Farbs
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« Reply #127 on: December 22, 2008, 06:02:26 PM »

Have you given more thought to persisting some game state between sessions? I'd really like to feel that each time I play I'm contributing towards beating the game, but at the moment I feel like when I die by making one or two silly mistakes all my time is lost.

Corpse retrieval would be a nice way to handle this. You'd need to then give the player items that allowed them to better survive mistakes (heart containers, armour etc). You could then spawn corpses for players in the levels in which they'd died, holding these handy items.

A series of games might go like this:

Collect 1 handy item
Die on level 2

Collect 1 handy item
Collect 1 handy item from corpse on level 2 (2 items now)
Die on level 4

Collect 1 handy item
Die on level 2

Collect 1 handy item
Collect 1 handy item from corpse on level 2 (2 items now)
Collect 2 handy items from corpse on level 4 (4 items now)
Die on level 6

etc.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #128 on: December 22, 2008, 06:12:46 PM »

Money paid to the shortcut man does persist; is that communicated clearly within the game?

There are also the stats and the awards/rooms within the stat room.

More persistent aspects would be cool, though.  I like the idea of collectibles like (for example) lore, in the form of ancient texts or diaries of previous explorers, which could persist the stat room.

I think corpse retrieval might be too powerful, though.  Also a bit confusing in the context of random level generation.
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Farbs
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« Reply #129 on: December 22, 2008, 06:28:53 PM »

I am yet to meet the shortcut man.
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Xion
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« Reply #130 on: December 22, 2008, 06:54:14 PM »

I like the idea of having [skeletal] corpses on the levels you previously died on but yeah, taking the items they had as well would make the game way too easy - just steal stuff from the shops and when the shopkeeps kill you all you have to do is look for your corpse next playthrough and get your stuff back without consequence. Maybe the corpses could have useful items like bombs and rope nearby, though, or be used as decoys for enemies, or be trapped when you pick them up like certain chests.
And man I'd love it if shops sold health, rarely and expensively. Or maybe damsels.

And ya Farbs, the shortcut man will be loved by all.
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« Reply #131 on: December 22, 2008, 07:02:36 PM »

It's particularly important with roguelikes and games like Spelunky, where a lot of the hook is the exploration.
That's why I hate the ghost!
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increpare
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« Reply #132 on: December 22, 2008, 07:53:46 PM »

I like the idea of having [skeletal] corpses on the levels you previously died on but yeah, taking the items they had as well would make the game way too easy - just steal stuff from the shops and when the shopkeeps kill you all you have to do is look for your corpse next playthrough and get your stuff back without consequence.
Or else maybe under that circumstance you'd return to find your corpse nailed to a tree outside the shop...
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Loren Schmidt
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« Reply #133 on: December 22, 2008, 08:27:33 PM »

I'm really having fun with this game. Gentleman I've got a few small suggestions- nothing that I think would fall outside of your intentions for the game.

Controls
Ladders and ropes are a little touchy. Sometimes I can easily grab them when jumping, and other times I miss them entirely. Also if a rope / ladder is against a wall, there is a small area between the two in which it is impossible to climb. I also find that for some reason I can't seem to climb down ladders. My character always blithely jumps down instead of climbing, which has hurt me a number of times.

The jumping is a bit twitchy, by which I mean some player actions are too dependent on luck and not dependent enough on skill (my current project seems to have this problem too, by the way Embarrassed). This is not to say that a good player can't perform these actions flawlessly 90% of the time. However beginners and intermediate players will tend to be frustated by the controls rather than feeling responsible for making their own mistakes.

Examples: pulling up from a ledge grab and flying forward two tiles into a spike pit, trying to jump from beneath an overhang, missing a ledge grab that overhangs spikes, falling down and getting hurt due to missing a ladder, etc.

The Ghost
I really like having to budget my time. That little extra bit of resource management makes gameplay more exciting for me. But I could see how this wouldn't work well for all players. It seems like most of the gameplay is very self-paced, which works well for most player types. The ghost, however, only works for people who are playing quickly. If I see the ghost, I know I have made a mistake, and I feel that the game is being fair because I am playing by its rules. Hopefully I am close enough to the exit to save myself anyway. Grin

But imagine someone who isn't very good at games, or an experienced player who simply likes exploring. The game accommodates this kind of gameplay very well, up until the time limit. Then all of a sudden this player sees the ghost without having any idea where the exit is, and it's like hitting a brick wall. I don't know what to suggest- I think the ghost both makes the game more fun, and restricts the variety of play styles that work.
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« Reply #134 on: December 22, 2008, 08:59:27 PM »

Gah... This is a great game. BUT! Once the ghost came in the second (or first?) level, I closed the program! Not because of the challenge, but because I'm a total wimp. Cry
Could the ghost be an option?
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PaleFox
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« Reply #135 on: December 22, 2008, 09:44:10 PM »

Really digging the game, nice job, but I have to ask, does an item found in a locked check do anything? I found an Eye of some sort, couldn't figure out how to use it or anything, and the readme is of no assistance. I'd appreciate the answer.
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« Reply #136 on: December 22, 2008, 09:47:44 PM »

not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but gamepad support is a must with these kind of games (for me)

Otherwise good stuff, love running 3X size. Glad to see I'm not the only one having my ass handed to them by this game tho Smiley
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« Reply #137 on: December 22, 2008, 10:23:02 PM »

It's good, quite good. Enjoyed the style, challenging and entertaining.

Only a couple of comments.

Jumping is awkward, and too often I fell in spikes, specially when hanging on a cliff. Being able to climb or to drop the cliff without jumping, just with up and down, might help.

Is there some kind of advice about the ghost is appearing I didn't realize? I mean, some change in the music or something like that. Telling in the tutorial, not necessarily about the ghost, just that there is some time limit. It was really annoying, in a bad way, when it first appeared.

Also, I reached the exit jumping, while carrying the lady, and this happened.
__________________________________________
ERROR in
action number 1
of End Step Event
for object oPlayer1:


Error in code at line 3:
       holdItemType = holdItem.type;

at position 30: Unknown variable type
__________________________________________

The it went nuts with other errors regarding holdItemType.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #138 on: December 22, 2008, 10:52:04 PM »

I jumped on a spider's head to kill it, a ways away from a shop, and then the shopkeeper shouted 'stop thief' as I killed it and it dropped its goodies ... I think killing the giant spider is what triggered him, anyway?  It was confusing.

Really digging the game, nice job, but I have to ask, does an item found in a locked check do anything? I found an Eye of some sort, couldn't figure out how to use it or anything, and the readme is of no assistance. I'd appreciate the answer.
I like the items to surprise me, so it wouldn't be good to list them in the readme ...

That one lets you see hidden things in the rocks.  Not sure if it does anything else beyond that.
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nanotie
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« Reply #139 on: December 23, 2008, 12:33:05 AM »


I want to go there again.  Cry

Yes, I pushed the reset block but the tutorial did not get back.  Huh?


The fact that
Quote
people who beta-tested are very passionate about this game
is a normal syndrome I think, but obviously future players of the game will be mostly new players.

Derek said :
Quote
there is something special about being rewarded by the challenging gameplay itself, rather than with a cutscene, a new power-up, an achievement, or what have you.
That's right ! Take Umihara Kawase, the control are perfect, very intuitive, very simple and yet very hard to master thus very rewarding. Skills really mean something in this game. But here, having to train myself hours just to pull off a safe jump is simply not a rewarding effort, so for my taste controls don't fit the design of the game very well at the moment.

* I'd like to be able to move the avatar little by little but if I tap right, he just moves his arm and don't walk. And if I press longer, he goes some 20 pixels or so further.

* About down for running : I thought the usual way was double-tap right or left (since golden axe), it could be a solution ?

* I found myself on the top of a ladder with no solution but to jump to get out of it... and then spikes instantly killed me. I'd like to go out of the top of the ladder by pressing left or right (normal way to go).

* I like the ghost but, if I ever beat the game, please let me unlock some unearthly weapon to beat the crap out of him.  Angry


One little thing : to die in a tutorial is a pretty strong message.
"Not for you kid, go play Kirby or something..."
 Cool
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 12:55:10 AM by nanotie » Logged

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