Personally I feel it might be a little noisy at high speeds... what do you reckon?
I agree that the background platforms, and the background in general, has too much contrast and is generally too strong. On slower speeds it's just about understandable but on high speeds it seems it'd be really easy to mis-judge a jump.
Hasn't been a problem from those I've had test so far, but then they were looking at a much larger version of the image - it might be more of a problem for those playing at a native size. I am starting to get attached to the idea of dithering at least the base of the background platforms, so there's at least some difference between them and the foreground ones... though not as heavy or as spread as in the above gif.
I think you could make the entire background only in two or three shades. Including the mountains and trees. The parallax motion should give the player enough to read what they are.
I think if I were to flat shade the background elements, the aesthetics would suffer too much... perhaps I'm choosing form over function here
Also shouldn't mountains move slower than that? It seems like a painting on a wall rather than distant scenery. Making the clouds match the far, slower speed of the mountains would also give a greater sense of depth I think.
I did a couple of local tests changing this - specifically slowing the mountains and matching the furthest cloud layer. The first few tests gave me insta-motion sickness
- something I've never really felt before outside of the Oculus Rift.
I did a couple more tests and found that I lost the sense of speed - the earlier versions were a lot more like this, but a couple of rounds of tester feedback resulted in what I have now. The worst thing I tried in my tests was placing a cloud layer behind the mountains - it just looked awful.
...while I was messing with it, I did update Jack's death animation. In game, it's one of those blink and you'll miss it things, but just in case he drops onto a platform after death, hear it is...
Also the thorns at the front are really distracting, for me at least. They're very dark and noisy and constantly moving. I see what you're trying to do, and it does give a sense of speed, but they're too big and too strong for my taste.
This is a complaint I've had from about 30% of people. That's high enough for me to include an option to toggle aesthetic foreground elements
Anyway, thanks for the feedback, and glad you like what you see so far :D