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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingChain Of Heroes [Action RPG] [Snake] [Browser Game]
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Author Topic: Chain Of Heroes [Action RPG] [Snake] [Browser Game]  (Read 2684 times)
tieTYT
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« on: June 25, 2014, 10:42:12 am »

Chain Of Heroes [Action RPG] [Snake] [Browser Game]













About The Game

Chain of Heroes combines Snake with Action RPG elements!

Play as a group of fugitives trying to find your way off a hostile planet.

Carefully navigate your heroes between enemy hordes to attack but avoid running into them, yourselves or the walls!



At this point, I think I've got the major system features in place, but there are a lot little sub features I still plan to implement. As an example, the foundation around skill gems are in place: You can collect them, equip them, sell them, etc. But, there are many more kinds of skill gems I want to add to the game.

I appreciate any and all feedback. How can I make the game more fun?

Major TODOs

  • More skill gems and weapons
  • A World Map ala Super Meat Boy
  • Better graphics
  • Sound and music
  • A concept of elements. That is, bad guys who are weak against fire but strong against ice. Then you'll equip skill gems to change the element of your attacks. I've decided against this feature.  I think it would be irritating to have to swap your skill gems to change your elements.
  • More effort on game balance

Story

The graphics give no indication of the game's theme (yet), but here's my idea for the story:

You're serving time in a futuristic prison in space. Without warning, a meteorite smashes into the prison's electric grid, allowing you to raid the armory as you escape. The only catch is you're shackled to a bunch of other people so you have to work as a team to survive on the hostile planet.

About Me

I've been working on this game for over a year as a hobby project for at least 30 minutes a day. As you can see, I'm not much of an artist and I haven't added any sound or music yet. I've never finished a game before. This is my second attempt! All the assets are placeholder art and you can find the licenses in the HTML source of the game.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 09:26:31 pm by tieTYT » Logged

Quicksand-S
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 11:37:27 am »

That's a really cool idea. I'm actually surprised I haven't seen it before.

-I wish the items snapped to the grid. It felt weird trying to line up with things that I couldn't actually line up with.
-I like that the menus can be used with the keyboard. Nice work.
-I wish it would give me just a little more time after completing a level to pick up some of the items that were dropped. The time seems random. Sometimes I get two or three seconds and other times I just get one.
-The shooting range is so incredibly short. I guess it makes sense, but it never stopped irritating me.
-The enemy animation speed is a bit too high for some of their actual movement speeds.
-When my characters died and were brought back, the experience bars at the end of the level didn't all fill up completely (makes sense) but the numbers claimed that the characters had gained equal amounts of experience.
-The homing nuke never seemed to work. Not once did I see it move toward the enemy. It was almost like the ones I was firing were the same as the enemies' so they attacked me too.
-I like that the weapons are actually sorted.
-I often felt like my characters died without warning. I don't know if there are projectile collision issues or if it's just the lack of sound that's throwing me off.
-Does the shield affect every character? Visually, it looks like it only protects the person at the front of the snake.

It's a good start and a pretty cool concept. I played until the fifth dungeon.
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tieTYT
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 12:40:41 pm »

Great feedback as always, Quicksand-S.  I appreciate it.

That's a really cool idea. I'm actually surprised I haven't seen it before.

Actually I know of at least 2 games that are similar, the part I'm adding is the Action RPG element.

Quote
-I wish the items snapped to the grid. It felt weird trying to line up with things that I couldn't actually line up with.

If they did, wouldn't that only make a difference if the heroes also snapped to grid?

What problem did you run into that makes you suggest this.  Did you have trouble picking up items?  Or is it just a, "this doesn't look right" situation?

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-I like that the menus can be used with the keyboard. Nice work.

Thanks, I think it still needs some work.  EG: If you're trying to equip weapons and you move to the 3rd column, when you press up or down, it'll move you to the 1st column.  I think it should keep you on the 3rd (if it can).  But thanks again for your comment.  It reminded me to put that in my issue tracker. 

Quote
-I wish it would give me just a little more time after completing a level to pick up some of the items that were dropped. The time seems random. Sometimes I get two or three seconds and other times I just get one.

The way it actually works is it'll go to the next level when all the bad guys are killed and all the items are gone.  You're absolutely right, I should give you more time after that because it often appears like, "damn, I didn't get that last item" when the reality is the level ended because that's exactly what you did. 

Also, if you kill the last guy of a level and you pick up his loot at the same time the level will seem to end suddenly, which can't leave a good impression. 

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-The shooting range is so incredibly short. I guess it makes sense, but it never stopped irritating me.

OK I'll increase that.  I wonder if I should increase the enemy range with the hero range, or just the heroes..

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-The enemy animation speed is a bit too high for some of their actual movement speeds.

Nice, that's gotta be true.  Out of curiosity did you feel that way for everyone, or just certain ones?  I'm guessing the guys that move slower need this fix but in general it's ok?

Quote
-When my characters died and were brought back, the experience bars at the end of the level didn't all fill up completely (makes sense) but the numbers claimed that the characters had gained equal amounts of experience.

I think what happened is unrelated to your character dying.  The way the game works (now?) is everyone gets equal XP at the end, even if a hero was dead.  The reason that hero's bar didn't fill up completely is probably because you bought him after the others so he had a lower total XP from the guys you started with. 

Let me me know if you think something else is going on.  Either way this seems like a confusing issue to the player.  I can go multiple ways.  1) I can keep it as it is, 2) I can make it so you get 0 xp if you're dead at the end of the level, 3) I can make it so only that one hero gets XP for hitting a bad guy 4) I can make it so only that one hero gets XP for killing a bad guy.

The problem with 4) is it'd dissuade you from equipping skill gems that make you do 0 damage.

Quote
-The homing nuke never seemed to work. Not once did I see it move toward the enemy. It was almost like the ones I was firing were the same as the enemies' so they attacked me too.

That's odd.. when I tested them after you said this, they seem to work fine.  Their rate of fire is very, very low.  I think I'll change the colors of the projectiles depending on if they come from good or bad guys, that way I can better get to the bottom of this and never have confusion over, "are those my projectiles or theirs?" again.

Quote
-I like that the weapons are actually sorted.

Nice, glad to hear.  It's just sorting by DPS.

Quote
-I often felt like my characters died without warning. I don't know if there are projectile collision issues or if it's just the lack of sound that's throwing me off.

Hrm, that sucks to hear.  Well if an enemy collides with you, it does a lot more damage than usual.  Do you think that could be the cause?  It may be surprising that it does so much relative to projectiles and seem like he died unexpectedly.  The reason I have it working this way is that I want to dissuade players from trying to use their characters as a battering ram, just running into bad guys as a way to win.

Quote
-Does the shield affect every character? Visually, it looks like it only protects the person at the front of the snake.

Right now it's only the front character.  I was thinking of adding an upgrade to make it effect more but now I'm kind of thinking of getting rid of that "upgrades" tab all together and replacing those features with skill gems. 

Quote
It's a good start and a pretty cool concept. I played until the fifth dungeon.

Thanks a lot.  I'll try to make these changes ASAP.  BTW, you didn't mention skill gems at all.  Did you use any?
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 12:59:17 pm »

If they did, wouldn't that only make a difference if the heroes also snapped to grid?

What problem did you run into that makes you suggest this.  Did you have trouble picking up items?  Or is it just a, "this doesn't look right" situation?

Wait a second...The player characters don't snap to the grid? lol. Wow. I guess I just had it in my head that Snake games work on a grid, so I didn't even notice. Anyway, yes, it's just a perception thing. I didn't have any trouble actually picking things up.

Quote
-The enemy animation speed is a bit too high for some of their actual movement speeds.

Nice, that's gotta be true.  Out of curiosity did you feel that way for everyone, or just certain ones?  I'm guessing the guys that move slower need this fix but in general it's ok?

I first noticed it in the fifth dungeon, with some...orc things? I don't know what they are. In my games, I generally tie the speed of the walking animation to the speed of movement, so any changes to a character's speed will automatically make the animation look right. It might be a good idea to do that. The player characters' animation speeds look fine, so maybe everything could be based on them.

Quote
-When my characters died and were brought back, the experience bars at the end of the level didn't all fill up completely (makes sense) but the numbers claimed that the characters had gained equal amounts of experience.

I think what happened is unrelated to your character dying.  The way the game works (now?) is everyone gets equal XP at the end, even if a hero was dead.  The reason that hero's bar didn't fill up completely is probably because you bought him after the others so he had a lower total XP from the guys you started with. 

Let me me know if you think something else is going on.  Either way this seems like a confusing issue to the player.  I can go multiple ways.  1) I can keep it as it is, 2) I can make it so you get 0 xp if you're dead at the end of the level, 3) I can make it so only that one hero gets XP for hitting a bad guy 4) I can make it so only that one hero gets XP for killing a bad guy.

The problem with 4) is it'd dissuade you from equipping skill gems that make you do 0 damage.

The bars always filled up equally, even though I bought two extra characters at different times. The bars always maxed out as well, until that one dungeon where I had characters die and respawn multiple times.

What seemed most likely, when I started playing, was that characters would gain experience for every action taken while they were alive. I think it makes sense for the entire party to gain experience for each kill, but the party members that were alive during that kill should receive it.

Quote
-The homing nuke never seemed to work. Not once did I see it move toward the enemy. It was almost like the ones I was firing were the same as the enemies' so they attacked me too.

That's odd.. when I tested them after you said this, they seem to work fine.  Their rate of fire is very, very low.  I think I'll change the colors of the projectiles depending on if they come from good or bad guys, that way I can better get to the bottom of this and never have confusion over, "are those my projectiles or theirs?" again.

I think the only ones I ever saw either exploded at my characters' feet or chased them.

Quote
-I often felt like my characters died without warning. I don't know if there are projectile collision issues or if it's just the lack of sound that's throwing me off.

Hrm, that sucks to hear.  Well if an enemy collides with you, it does a lot more damage than usual.  Do you think that could be the cause?  It may be surprising that it does so much relative to projectiles and seem like he died unexpectedly.  The reason I have it working this way is that I want to dissuade players from trying to use their characters as a battering ram, just running into bad guys as a way to win.

Maybe that was it. I knew my characters would be damaged from contact, but in a crowd of enemies maybe sometimes the guy at the rear got hit while I was focusing on the guy in front.

BTW, you didn't mention skill gems at all.  Did you use any?

Nope. I tried after beating the first dungeon but didn't have any, and then I completely forgot about them. Maybe the character should start out with one? I don't know. Another option would be to make the after-action report show the "type" of each pickup and make it more noticeable that "Hey! You got some skill gems you should try!"  Then again, maybe I was just not paying enough attention to that stuff. Shrug
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2014, 05:50:20 am »

The graphics are blurry and don't match the theme you are talking about, I hope that's changing soon because it's really weird to be playing a game with fantasy characters using high tech weaponry.
As a general pixel art tip don't try and rescale art to show that it's bigger, it doesn't look right and destroys the consistency.

The weapons needs more variety, there's not really many reasons to change weapons because they all have the same speed and small damage differences.
The

Skill gems seem to be a hindrance more than anything, the freeze gem in particular gives you a short lived ability at the expense of damage.

The health potions aren't very useful either and I shouldn't need to buy upgrades for them to start being useful.
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2014, 02:04:05 am »

The graphics are blurry and don't match the theme you are talking about, I hope that's changing soon because it's really weird to be playing a game with fantasy characters using high tech weaponry.

I wasn't planning on changing it soon, but definitely changing it eventually.  All the art is placeholder art.  I couldn't find anything better that had a lot of characters to choose from and was a consistent art style.

Quote
As a general pixel art tip don't try and rescale art to show that it's bigger, it doesn't look right and destroys the consistency.

Hrm, that's tough for me.  Ideally, I want this game to be playable on an iPad, PC and phones.  If that's not possible, it'll just be on PC.  But the problem is they all have different dimensions.  My solution (as you can see) was to stretch the screen as far as it can go while keeping the same aspect ratio.  This makes sure no part of the game is clipped regardless of the device.  

But obviously it has the downside you're noticing and is unacceptable in a finished product.  I just don't know how to solve this problem.  Any advice?  I've done some research and haven't found a better solution.

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The weapons needs more variety, there's not really many reasons to change weapons because they all have the same speed and small damage differences.

Great feedback.  To be clear, are you saying, "There's a decent amount of weapon types, but each type needs to be more unique"?

I'll definitely change the speed and the range of the weapon types, but damage seems challenging.  The problem is you get more damaging weapons the higher the level.  This damage is random based on a bell curve.  I could make it so that the Gun is usually weaker than the Three Pronged Attack, but I think a level 50 Gun will always be stronger than a level 1 Three Pronged Attack.  

Perhaps the damage difference between a level 50 gun and a level 50 Three Pronged Attack would be more pronounced, but I can't think of a way to make this evident at the very beginning.  Maybe I'm just not thinking outside of the box

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The Skill gems seem to be a hindrance more than anything, the freeze gem in particular gives you a short lived ability at the expense of damage.

That's true, I guess that needs balance.  My "vision" is that it could be used in multiple ways.  If you equip it on a character with an area of attack spell, it will protect you from enemies that try to collide into you.  And if you put it on a laser weapon it can't ever miss.  Now if you have 2 heroes with that same skill gem and a laser, you could really lock down a boss.  

But, assuming you've got two heroes and you give this skill gem to one of them, you just divided your overall DPS in half.  I can see why that would be a hindrance.

Out of curiosity, did you try any other skill gems?  If not, what I'll probably do in the end is make this freeze gem something you have to get after you get other skill gems first.  That way you don't get the impression that skill gems suck in general.  

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The health potions aren't very useful either and I shouldn't need to buy upgrades for them to start being useful.

Yeah that's a great point.  I think what I'll do is make it so that the upgrades increase the total points the health potions give back, not an ever increasing percentage.  That way it can start very useful but get weaker over time when the bad guys get stronger.  This will make it something worth continuously upgrading instead of something that starts bad and becomes good enough to stop upgrading.



Thanks a lot for the feedback Jono.  It was humbling but I'm glad you didn't sugar coat it.  Do you remember what level you stopped playing at?  What made you stop playing?
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2014, 02:15:04 am »

I wasn't exactly clear with the pixel art thing. What I mean is that objects need to be have the same pixel size but the end resolution that the game is displayed at can be anything as long as the pixels aren't blurred or stretched.

There's a decent amount of weapon types but they don't seem to be any different in their use apart from explosive weapons.

I did apply skill gems when they were useful like the damage and xp increase ones.

Played to about dungeon 5, stopped playing because everyone started dying quickly when they were attacked by bombs.
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2014, 12:19:54 pm »

The blurriness didn't bug me as much as it normally would. I'm not sure why.

Anyway, you should be able to use CSS to get rid of it using "canvasContext.imageSmoothingEnabled = false"

You may also need to do that for webkitSmoothingEnabled and mozSmoothingEnabled. I'm not sure if they still require those prefixes. This should let things scale by enlarging the pixels without blurring them.
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2014, 01:29:02 pm »

Anyway, you should be able to use CSS to get rid of it using "canvasContext.imageSmoothingEnabled = false"

Wow I had no idea this existed.  Thanks a lot for the info.  For others, reading this, here's more details: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/10525107/html5-canvas-image-scaling-issue

Quicksand-S: You also stopped at the 5th level.  Was it for the same reason as Juno?  He said that the Nukers killed most of his party and that made him want to stop.  Here's what I plan to do about that: https://bitbucket.org/tieTYT/chain-of-heroes/issue/67/nukes-should-not-explode-on-collision-but

BTW Quicksand-S, do you have a playtesting post in this forum?
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2014, 02:00:02 pm »

Quicksand-S: You also stopped at the 5th level.  Was it for the same reason as Juno?  He said that the Nukers killed most of his party and that made him want to stop.  Here's what I plan to do about that: https://bitbucket.org/tieTYT/chain-of-heroes/issue/67/nukes-should-not-explode-on-collision-but

That might work. Have you considered playing around with weapon ranges? Maybe each weapon could fire at a different distance. If you want to use the powerful ones you have to get in close, but then you also risk being hit more easily by powerful weapons.

BTW Quicksand-S, do you have a playtesting post in this forum?

Not currently. I've worked on a lot of different projects since releasing my last game, but I haven't been entirely happy with most of them and the ones that I did like got put on hold for other reasons. I'm currently working on two projects I think I'll manage to finish (one free game under the Quicksand label and one that I hope to sell in order to make a little money), but I'm not sure yet if I'll post them here or not.
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2014, 03:08:55 pm »

Have you considered playing around with weapon ranges? Maybe each weapon could fire at a different distance. If you want to use the powerful ones you have to get in close, but then you also risk being hit more easily by powerful weapons.

Yep, that's exactly what I plan to do with them as a reaction to Juno's feedback.  https://bitbucket.org/tieTYT/chain-of-heroes/issue/63/have-more-variety-between-weapon-types

I suppose combined with your feedback, I should make your starting weapon have decent range because you complained its short range was always irritating. 

Quote
Not currently. I've worked on a lot of different projects since releasing my last game, but I haven't been entirely happy with most of them and the ones that I did like got put on hold for other reasons. I'm currently working on two projects I think I'll manage to finish (one free game under the Quicksand label and one that I hope to sell in order to make a little money), but I'm not sure yet if I'll post them here or not.

OK well when you do, make sure to let me know!
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2014, 04:27:13 pm »

I think I'm blind to this blur.  Could someone point out something specific that's blurry to them?  It may have to do with a different between our browsers. 
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2014, 04:38:42 pm »



This is a character's hairline. The top is from your game. The bottom is altered by me. Notice that your game has a ton of "bleed" from the pixels into adjacent pixels as well as some seemingly random shades in some places. When at the normal size, that comes across as blurriness. With high-res art, that sort of thing makes images look smooth. With pixel art, though, it's probably best avoided.

Oh and I'm using Firefox.
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2014, 04:49:52 pm »

Nice, that's very helpful and to me very subtle.  I'll see if I can fix that.  

Edit: None of the suggestions seem to be having any effect.  I think I'll have to look into this later.  

Edit 2: I figured out how to do it.  The stack overflow post was missing the option for firefox.  Still blurry in Chrome though :T
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« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2014, 05:02:47 pm »

This is a very nice game already. I do have some minor problems with the game though. To start off when you start the eighth dungeon part of my team is off the map this has no effect on gameplay but does look a little strange, secondly there seems to be a jump in difficulty when you reach the 7th dungeon this seems to be because of the smaller space this doesn't bother me but it does seem slightly strange, thirdly it's a bit disappointing at the end of a battle to look at your heroes with pride but then notice that they are simply labelled hero0, hero1, etc. Otherwise the game is fun and challenging, keep up the good work!
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« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2014, 05:09:37 pm »

You could try the following CSS:

Code:
image-rendering: -moz-crisp-edges;
image-rendering: -o-crisp-edges;
image-rendering: -webkit-optimize-contrast;
-ms-interpolation-mode: nearest-neighbor;

I'm not sure that works for canvas drawing, though.
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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 09:54:55 pm »

Really nice game. Actually i didn't like RPG's in general, but i played this game till the fourth dungeon. Really nice mechanics you got there, an engaging one. You could polish it up better.
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2014, 10:52:21 am »

Cool game and interesting idea. I would add juicier backgrounds.
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