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June 20, 2018, 05:18:45 AM

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« Reply #560 on: June 02, 2018, 03:08:53 PM »

Wow, this is still looking amazing. I was worried it had died, but the improvements you've made here are great.

Thanks Smiley

Here's my screenshot saturday:



Just showing off some slightly tidied up graphics
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« Reply #561 on: June 03, 2018, 03:45:52 AM »

This is medusa form at the moment:


I think it seems kind of pointless? It's effectively the same as Spider Form, except that the enemies become platforms instead of being killed. Spider form also has the sword stick into the geometry of the level and you can use it like a grabbling hook.

Maybe this should be an AOE attack where the enemies turn into platforms for a short while? Like a smart bomb, freezes everything on screen, but only for a little while.

If anyone has any thoughts, please dump them below!
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« Reply #562 on: June 04, 2018, 11:29:03 AM »

Ok so I updated the medusa form:


Do you think this works better? It's an area of effect attack that freezes everyone on screen.

Maybe they should only stay stone for a short while?

Maybe they should shatter as you land on them?

Maybe both?
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« Reply #563 on: June 04, 2018, 11:44:52 AM »

The parallax really is lovely.  I like the look of the game overall.  Looking forward to trying it out.
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« Reply #564 on: June 04, 2018, 12:41:46 PM »

The parallax really is lovely.  I like the look of the game overall.  Looking forward to trying it out.

Thanks Mochnany Smiley

This is the state of the medusa form now:



They only stay platforms for a short while (need to test how long they should wait).

Also I reversed the shockwave effect when they turn back. Think it needs any more visual effects to sell it?
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« Reply #565 on: June 06, 2018, 01:08:23 PM »

Centre aligned or left aligned (one example of each in the GIF below)?

I've fixed the words breaking while typing that you saw on the previous page:

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« Reply #566 on: June 06, 2018, 09:09:15 PM »

I vote for left aligned, it's easier to read while it's typing in. Have you considered a smaller font?

Medusa form is neat but is freezing enemies into platforms even useful with all of the mobility options in the other forms?
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« Reply #567 on: June 06, 2018, 09:57:05 PM »

I love the colour draining mechanic.
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« Reply #568 on: June 07, 2018, 01:18:28 AM »

I vote for left aligned, it's easier to read while it's typing in. Have you considered a smaller font?

Medusa form is neat but is freezing enemies into platforms even useful with all of the mobility options in the other forms?

I think you're right about the left alignment. I was kind of disgusted by it initially, but I think that's just because I'd gotten so used to the central text.

I did used to have smaller text too, but it was really difficult to read because of the resolution. I've not tried different fonts though, but I expect some will be readable at tiny font sizes.

Regarding medusa form, it's a bit of a departure from the other forms I've added so far. Things like spider form and fairy form  have specific uses, but are more directly combat/movement focused. It's the only AoE attack I have at the minute, so it gives you a bit of a breather if you're getting swamped in one of the more combat heavy areas.

There's some secret areas that you need to use it to access, and some of the no-ground areas are easier with it (you can do it with fairy, as your magic recharges when you kill an enemy, but it can be tricky). It also gives you more options in some of the more puzzly areas, although these are really hard to design so I've kind of pushed them off the main path and hidden some of the more revealing bits of story behind them.
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« Reply #569 on: June 07, 2018, 01:22:53 AM »

I love the colour draining mechanic.

Thanks Smiley

It works quite differently in the full game now. If you're particularly murderous then you're more likely to trigger 'collapse' events, where the colour starts to drain and the level starts to collapse around you. Depending on how far in you are, there are certain unfriendly creatures who are drawn to the area that's collapsing too.

None of this works properly yet, but it will do! At the minute you can kind of end up with no ground to land on, so I need to work on how it determines which bits of ground to make collapse.
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« Reply #570 on: June 07, 2018, 11:24:00 AM »

I think you're right about the left alignment. I was kind of disgusted by it initially, but I think that's just because I'd gotten so used to the central text.

I did used to have smaller text too, but it was really difficult to read because of the resolution. I've not tried different fonts though, but I expect some will be readable at tiny font sizes.

I feel like centered text usually looks better until you actually try to read it. Smiley

Probably doesn't need to be tiny, and looking closer now I think my main issue with that font is it's uneven thickness -- look at the 'k' or the 'o' -- and the kerning between 'ev' in 'everything' and 'y' letters.

It may look more natural in a wider textbox, too - see Owlboy:



Which is of course at a higher resolution, but it flows more smoothly with less line breaks. You might try making the box itself a bit wider. Or maybe using colors with a bit less contrast like Owlboy, although I like the NES throwback vibe of the white on black with a white border.

So maybe I'm just picky about fonts, but the font is a big part of your game's voice.

Regarding medusa form, it's a bit of a departure from the other forms I've added so far. Things like spider form and fairy form  have specific uses, but are more directly combat/movement focused. It's the only AoE attack I have at the minute, so it gives you a bit of a breather if you're getting swamped in one of the more combat heavy areas.

There's some secret areas that you need to use it to access, and some of the no-ground areas are easier with it (you can do it with fairy, as your magic recharges when you kill an enemy, but it can be tricky). It also gives you more options in some of the more puzzly areas, although these are really hard to design so I've kind of pushed them off the main path and hidden some of the more revealing bits of story behind them.

This sounds good. I only mentioned it since it seems like the other movement forms are fast and momentum based and look really fun, whereas Medusa is a bit slower. Have you considered making the medusa form more of an ability usable from any form? So she transforms, uses the AoE, and transforms back immediately to whatever you were before?

Not sure if that makes sense with your input setup, but it seems like you're only using the form to use the ability in the gif, and not to jump around.

It works quite differently in the full game now. If you're particularly murderous then you're more likely to trigger 'collapse' events, where the colour starts to drain and the level starts to collapse around you. Depending on how far in you are, there are certain unfriendly creatures who are drawn to the area that's collapsing too.

None of this works properly yet, but it will do! At the minute you can kind of end up with no ground to land on, so I need to work on how it determines which bits of ground to make collapse.

This is cool. So there's an incentive to kill as little as possible? Can you do a 'Pacifist Run'? Are there any reasons you want to make an area collapse? Does the area come back after it collapses?
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« Reply #571 on: June 07, 2018, 11:39:47 PM »

@Tattomoosa - I just checked out your dev blog and it's really cool! You've got to put that up paid so I can do my next game in 2.5d Wink

Saying that, I've not used Unity in about oooh 3 years, so I might be a little rusty...


I feel like centered text usually looks better until you actually try to read it. Smiley

Probably doesn't need to be tiny, and looking closer now I think my main issue with that font is it's uneven thickness -- look at the 'k' or the 'o' -- and the kerning between 'ev' in 'everything' and 'y' letters.

It may look more natural in a wider textbox, too - see Owlboy:



Which is of course at a higher resolution, but it flows more smoothly with less line breaks. You might try making the box itself a bit wider. Or maybe using colors with a bit less contrast like Owlboy, although I like the NES throwback vibe of the white on black with a white border.

So maybe I'm just picky about fonts, but the font is a big part of your game's voice.

The font is just one of the system fonts, I'm not even sure which one. I was originally using Calibri at 8pt and that looked baaaaaaad, so I just went for the first one that felt right. You're 100% about it being the voice of the game though and I'd not really thought of that.

I think wider will work too. I think I was trying to get kind of a comic book vibe, hence the roundness, but I think with the lack of pixel real estate it's not really viable. That's also why I'd kept the speech bubbles relatively simple in appearance.

Thanks for the feedback on that. "Fix the speech bubbles" is something I've kept moving down the Trello board because it seemed kind of trivial? But I think that was just because I'd not taken the time to think about how it impacts the experience of the game.

As a quick aside, because I'm using GameMaker it wasn't really feasible to turn the text white one by one (or from transparent). So, I just wrote a script that takes a string and adds in the line breaks. All it's doing is checking at each space if the string up to that point takes up more pixels than the width that you've specified, then it creates a new line and repeats the check. Then it just returns the separate lines concatenated with the space at the end of each line replaced with a # (which is GameMaker's line break).

I tried to find a script on the GameMaker marketplace that added line breaks, but couldn't find anything and couldn't find anything in the forum. I'm not the best searcher though. Thought I might put it up there for free? What would I even call it though? It's not really a dialogue system...

Anyway!

This sounds good. I only mentioned it since it seems like the other movement forms are fast and momentum based and look really fun, whereas Medusa is a bit slower. Have you considered making the medusa form more of an ability usable from any form? So she transforms, uses the AoE, and transforms back immediately to whatever you were before?

Not sure if that makes sense with your input setup, but it seems like you're only using the form to use the ability in the gif, and not to jump around.

Sort of yeah. I mean, I considered it, but I want to keep how you use the forms as consistent as possible. I was considering adding sword powers, so that you could have specific effects at your fingertips, but decided against it as it's a whole new feature and I'm already 2 years behind schedule Wink

At the moment you transform to Medusa (time pauses while you select forms, it's a wheel select), freeze the enemies, then you're free to change into any other form and do what you want (fly and land on them to climb off the top of the screen or whatever).

I like the idea of changing back automatically, but it's inconsistent with how you use other controls so might be confusing in the heat of the moment. I might see how it plays if I implement a quick change button - you press it and immediately switch to the previous form? A bit like alt-tabbing between your forms haha

This is cool. So there's an incentive to kill as little as possible? Can you do a 'Pacifist Run'? Are there any reasons you want to make an area collapse? Does the area come back after it collapses?

It's more of an auto balancing thing. If you're being super murderous but dying a lot too and spending ages in an area, it's less likely. I don't want to punish people for taking the violent option, that's what the cult (these are the blokes who resurrected you in the first place) is telling you to do.

There is totally a pacifist option, but you can't just walk from beginning to end and avoid all the fighting. You've got to engage with the story and work out what it's telling you. I thought about all the gameplay conventions I'm using (like, you die but you can keep playing, it hurts when enemies even just touch you etc) and then thought about how those things could actually fit into the lore of the world.

That's the space where I've hidden the main secrets, as in the secrets that offer divergent routes through the game or unlock hidden things (I've hidden co-op mode, but I've talked about that a lot so hopefully people will actually look for it). There's a couple of pacifist ways around the 1st boss for example, and one of those is by understanding that Mable was dead and certain things happened because of that, so what happens when she dies now?

Haha this sound like madness when I try and explain it without explaining it  Roll Eyes

There's a boss about half way through the main path, in the chapel, who gives you a number of MASSIVE hints in case you've missed it up to that point.

There are set places that collapse after certain plot events and they basically become inaccessible. They're usually after one of the more non-linear areas, so I can cut it off and say 'you can stop worry about getting lost for a bit now'. It's a nice change in pressure too, going from explorey to "oh craaaaaap I've got to move FAST!"

I've not 100% decided on whether to just have you die if you fall off screen when the collapse events happen, or whether to have any levels that don't have death at the bottom already (like lava or water) let you fall to another area. I think I'll most likely bring in the latter, as it's more ways to add secrets in and give people things to discover. There might be some areas that I don't want that to happen, so I'll just have to think of something that can appear at the bottom of the screen when the collapse begins that makes it clear you're going to die if you fall.

If you read all of that, I'm sorry for rambling but I hope I covered everything!
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« Reply #572 on: June 08, 2018, 05:31:35 AM »

Just discovering this game, and I love it! The art is beautiful, and there seems to be a fine-tuned collective conscious with the lore. Also, your narration through your updates is fantastic as well.

Can't wait to see more!
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« Reply #573 on: June 08, 2018, 01:05:44 PM »

Just discovering this game, and I love it! The art is beautiful, and there seems to be a fine-tuned collective conscious with the lore. Also, your narration through your updates is fantastic as well.

Can't wait to see more!

Thanks so much! Particularly the bit about the narration. I always worry whether I'm making sense or not haha
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« Reply #574 on: June 08, 2018, 01:18:49 PM »

@Tattomoosa - I just checked out your dev blog and it's really cool! You've got to put that up paid so I can do my next game in 2.5d Wink

Thanks! I responded over there.

Thanks for the feedback on that. "Fix the speech bubbles" is something I've kept moving down the Trello board because it seemed kind of trivial? But I think that was just because I'd not taken the time to think about how it impacts the experience of the game.

That's definitely fair. I've done enough design sort of work that I've become super sensitive to fonts and typography. In the short term, definitely at least swap out the system font for a bitmap font that's built to show up correctly at 'pixelly' sizes. There's some free ones here: https://www.dafont.com/bitmap.php

As a quick aside, because I'm using GameMaker it wasn't really feasible to turn the text white one by one (or from transparent). So, I just wrote a script that takes a string and adds in the line breaks. All it's doing is checking at each space if the string up to that point takes up more pixels than the width that you've specified, then it creates a new line and repeats the check. Then it just returns the separate lines concatenated with the space at the end of each line replaced with a # (which is GameMaker's line break).

I tried to find a script on the GameMaker marketplace that added line breaks, but couldn't find anything and couldn't find anything in the forum. I'm not the best searcher though. Thought I might put it up there for free? What would I even call it though? It's not really a dialogue system...

Text line break calculator? Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue...

Sort of yeah. I mean, I considered it, but I want to keep how you use the forms as consistent as possible. I was considering adding sword powers, so that you could have specific effects at your fingertips, but decided against it as it's a whole new feature and I'm already 2 years behind schedule Wink

At the moment you transform to Medusa (time pauses while you select forms, it's a wheel select), freeze the enemies, then you're free to change into any other form and do what you want (fly and land on them to climb off the top of the screen or whatever).

I like the idea of changing back automatically, but it's inconsistent with how you use other controls so might be confusing in the heat of the moment. I might see how it plays if I implement a quick change button - you press it and immediately switch to the previous form? A bit like alt-tabbing between your forms haha

I'm a sucker for consistency so I do get that, but it seems like in this case it's a little confusing or even a bit tedious. If you have open buttons to do it, I'd seriously consider giving Medusa it's own dedicated button. This could allow for some slick aerial segments - like midair in spider form while freezing new enemies to hook on to.

Hard to know since I haven't actually played it though. If it does play well, then of course it's good. But all the consistency in the world isn't worth a less-than-optimal player experience.

There is totally a pacifist option, but you can't just walk from beginning to end and avoid all the fighting. You've got to engage with the story and work out what it's telling you. I thought about all the gameplay conventions I'm using (like, you die but you can keep playing, it hurts when enemies even just touch you etc) and then thought about how those things could actually fit into the lore of the world.

That's the space where I've hidden the main secrets, as in the secrets that offer divergent routes through the game or unlock hidden things (I've hidden co-op mode, but I've talked about that a lot so hopefully people will actually look for it). There's a couple of pacifist ways around the 1st boss for example, and one of those is by understanding that Mable was dead and certain things happened because of that, so what happens when she dies now?

This sounds awesome!

There are set places that collapse after certain plot events and they basically become inaccessible. They're usually after one of the more non-linear areas, so I can cut it off and say 'you can stop worry about getting lost for a bit now'. It's a nice change in pressure too, going from explorey to "oh craaaaaap I've got to move FAST!"

Really neat to play with the pacing like that. Sounds a bit like Ori & The Blind Forest?

I've not 100% decided on whether to just have you die if you fall off screen when the collapse events happen, or whether to have any levels that don't have death at the bottom already (like lava or water) let you fall to another area. I think I'll most likely bring in the latter, as it's more ways to add secrets in and give people things to discover. There might be some areas that I don't want that to happen, so I'll just have to think of something that can appear at the bottom of the screen when the collapse begins that makes it clear you're going to die if you fall.

Putting in a vote for some kind of black void thing, maybe with writhing tendrils, if it fits with the story. Something along the lines of the 'anxiety' effect in Celeste or the 'void tentacles' in Hollow Knight's ancient basin seems like it might be a good fit.
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« Reply #575 on: June 12, 2018, 12:21:23 PM »

Heeeey, so I've messed around a bit with the text and the speech bubbles:



Wider works a lot better, as does left aligned imho. I messed around with a few fonts and, while this one isn't really any smaller, I like it a lot better! Feels more like something I might have seen back in the day Smiley

Focusing on polishing up some of the art because the trailer on my Steam page is over 2 years old and the game looks a lot better than that. Kind of putting it off, because I think it's a decent trailer otherwise and I'm not sure I can pull off a decent trailer again.

After that, I'm experimenting with Medusa form! I do have some spare buttons @Tattomoosa, so I'm definitely going to play around with the idea of having a dedicated button for the medusa form and maybe see if I can come up with any other non-movement based forms that would be easy to add in (I've got 3 spare face buttons right now). This means I'd probably want more movement/attack based forms, but I don't want any in there that are redundant (I have some concerns that a couple of them are kind of redundant already, or are little more than 'keys' for environmental 'locks').

@Tattomoosa - I've never played Ori! I've had it installed on my laptop for at least a year but have never loaded it up. I think it's partly because I don't want it to influence the game too much. I have played Celeste though and know exactly what you mean, I don't think it exactly fits though. Not played Hollow Knight but I've seen what you mean and I think that might be a bit closer Smiley
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« Reply #576 on: June 13, 2018, 07:59:06 AM »

I like the new font!  Grin  Hand Thumbs Up Right

Here is a suggestion for the spacing:



In my eyes, the line height should be around 1.5 times cap height. This prevents descenders from "kicking" ascenders in the next line of text below. The space from the last baseline to the bottom border of the text box should be at least around one cap height. At the top, there can be less vertical whitespace, because of the optical vertical align of the whole text in the text box.

The three dots, indicating following text on the next page, should be treated as a symbol and placed outside of the normal text flow. Color helps to disconnect the symbol from the text.

As a result, the text has a lot more room to breathe (while the text box on the right is even slightly smaller than the one on the left). All this is, of course, just my subjective impression and i'm not a typographer. Smiley



Edit:
Another (more aggressive) option (which i personally don't like that much) for the symbol:

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« Reply #577 on: June 13, 2018, 09:57:41 PM »

@Zorg - hey! Good to see you on here again Smiley

What I can't see is the images in your post though...

As always, you advice is appreciated (or it will be when I can actually see it)

Smiley

p.s - I realised I stopped doing the MEGA UPDATE, so I'll continue that tomorrow!
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« Reply #578 on: June 13, 2018, 11:46:24 PM »

It's unfortunate that you can't see the images (but why? Huh?).
They are needed to illustrate the text, i guess.
One picture says more than...

I reuploaded the images to imgur and relinked them in the post above.
Hopefully you can see them now.  Grin
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« Reply #579 on: June 14, 2018, 12:17:06 AM »

I can see them, thanks!

I think I quite like that more aggressive option...
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