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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingTOBAFCASS - Thief of Bagdad: a flying carpet Arabian side shooter
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rostok
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« on: August 06, 2015, 12:21:34 pm »



Hello there. I am polishing my new game TOBAFCASS which stands for "Thief of Bagdad: a flying carpet Arabian side shooter". The game is almost ready as I still need to add some SFX and music. However all levels, bosses, intro, midtro and outro are finished. Here's the link:

http://rostok.3e.pl/Thief.Of.Bagdad-preview/

Please let me know what you think, I'd like to get some feedback before the final release. I am particularly interested in gameplay, difficulty and speed of text in dialogboxes. Maybe something about boss fights.

The technology used is nothing fancy I guess: Flashpunk game engine, some parallax scrolling, custom script for event system. As for the visual style I took inspiration from "The thief of Bagdad" a 1924 classic silent adventure movie with Douglas Fairbanks, "Agony" - beautiful yet unforgiving Amiga game and finally "Kunstformen der natur" book by Ernst Hackel.

PS. Cheats are available only in this version and will be removed from the final release of course.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 10:48:25 am by rostok » Logged
chaosmore
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 05:38:41 pm »

- I liked the loading screen
- The game is impossible, given that there's no anticipation of where the enemies come from. This is made worse by how in a game where I'm suppose to be dodging and the my carpet takes up a considerable big part of the screen.
- I found it rather enjoyable to just god-mode and just watch things go on their own, because the visuals are really stunning! There are amount of efforts that put to the graphic to make it looks consistent and spice up the scene. Alas those decisions aren't made for gameplay, the side scrolling shooter style is going against what the graphic is going for. It ruins the opportunity for player to see how all those fishes and bats are designed to move rhythmically. I feel it would be better if the gameplay is like turn-based RPG, where player can soak up as many beautiful graphic without being distracted by game mechanism.
- shielding is programmed in a way that only to "look" like it's shielding. Doesn't really works both in making sense and improving gameplay.

Conclusion: It seems visual is your biggest strength and but in this game your gameplay is trying to intervene. I feel you should either A: improve your designing skill, or B: Design the game in such way that let your visual shine.
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rostok
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 01:33:13 pm »

"Turn-based RPG" sounds like a blasphemy. But putting jokes aside my idea for the game was to have something that is quite difficult. Just like in Agony or any other old-school side shooter there are no save games and player has to learn and remember where enemies will be coming from. I will hold on a little with making game easier, some more feedback would be mostly welcome. But probably I'll end with extra lives for start or some kind of simple achievement system that will allow player to start the game from second or third level.

Thanks for the tip with the shield, I will think of some improvements.
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Quicksand-S
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 02:00:14 pm »

-I hope the font's temporary. It looks so "digital" and doesn't fit the art at all...although maybe that's intentional.

-While I wish the main characters were a little less blurry, for the most part I like the art style a lot.

-The controls feel a bit awkward. Using my ring finger to shoot, while two much-easier-to-repeatedly-tap-with fingers are placed on keys that I don't have to use as often seems weird to me. I'd much rather use C for my main action in a Z,X,C control scheme. Also note that people with other keyboard layouts like AZERTY won't be able to comfortably use those controls.

-The music seemed to fade in and out at random, which I found really annoying. Also note that the page still says that there's no audio at all. I didn't bother turning down my speakers before starting the game and was surprised by the loud music.

-Enemies feel really bullet-spongy, especially for a side-scrolling shooter like this. It made me feel like I should just avoid enemies because there was so little benefit to attacking them. It also just removed one of the best parts of "shmups" for me, which is that feeling of wiping out huge numbers of enemies. There was also not that much impact/feedback from my shots, so I didn't even get that satisfaction.

-The lightning wasn't nearly as powerful as I would've expected it to be.

-I stopped playing after dying to the enemy that tracks vertical movement and getting sent back to the beginning. I died without even seeing its attack, so I'm not sure what it did or if I had any way of predicting it.


Learning and remembering where enemies come from is fine, but I'm a firm believer that a game should at least be possible to beat through skill on the first attempt if a player is good enough. I think I can safely say that this game is not like that. The enemies that came up from the bottom of the screen without warning were the worst.

I know people say this a lot but, "Look at Dark Souls". Everything in that game is telegraphed. Every trap can be spotted. A player with patience, reflexes and decent powers of observation could get through every situation on their first try. Maybe consider things like having the enemies that come from the bottom show only their claws for a second before actually moving onto the screen.

I do think that this game can work without completely changing genre, but it could use some tweaking. Personally, I didn't find it enjoyable at all, but I can see bigger fans of the genre potentially liking it a lot with some adjustments (mainly more rewarding combat and fewer cheap hits).
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 04:48:47 am »

I played through all levels up to the end - although from around middle of second level on god mode. It was getting too hard, but I still wanted to check out further levels, enemies and dialogues, they look so nice.  Good job! Some thoughts:

- Visual style is great. All the elements (arabianesque, faibanks-style silent movie adventure, hackel inspired monsters, sepia toned down colors, melies-like floating skulls etc etc) it works really well together. Deep sea monsters are especially nice idea, they look beautiful and scarry.

- Dialogues are also ok, funny and not too complicated, they don't interfere with the gameplay too much. Animation of carpet is really cool, I love how the feather on the last guy hat is moving high-speed. Music is 10/10, mix of of arabian sounds and harsh glitchy electro works for me like charm.

- I'm not entirely sure about size of the carpet in terms of gameplay. It's really hard, nearly impossible to avoid some of the enemies on further levels. But if you want it uber-hard, then don't change it, because visually speaking it's totally ok.

- Another thing I like here is that during cutscenes you got fast forward option instead of skip. It's great. It gives player option to make it faster, but also be sure that they are not missing anything huge.

- Bosses: I dig them 100%. Funny and challenging, but also not an overkill. Rainbow pegasus boss brings some visual difference at the end - it's also cool idea. Ending itself is funny and satisfactory.

All together, as I see it - there are a lot of pros and almost no cons. Congrats. Easily one of my favorites playtests from recent times.  Toast Right
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paulisere
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2015, 11:31:06 am »

- The game is impossible, given that there's no anticipation of where the enemies come from.

I completely agree with this point.  When the things drop down from the top of the screen it would be good to have a bit of a warning.  Maybe you might show their tail appear on screen coiled, and it could uncoil to straight and once it is straight it drops like an arrow.  Just anything to let me know that it is going to drop.

Also, there aren't many places to hide in this game.  I tried to find various parts of the screen where I might be safe and then something would jump out and we would be off our magic carpet and tumbling to the ground.

Noticed a spelling mistake in the text at the start of the level: "And I am suprised we took off with you on board" - "surprised", not suprised.

This is a pretty cool game.  If it was a bit easier I would definitely give it another go.

When you lose your last life it would be cool if you got swept up and eaten by the sandstorm that you are trying to escape.

Paul
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DustoutGames
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2015, 05:42:35 pm »

Your graphical style is truly beautiful, and visually the game is great. There were two things that troubled me, though. First off, I found it hard to read collisions. Many times, I died from what looked like near misses to me. I think a little bit of tweaking on hitboxes, and possibly some more clearly defined edges on the player graphics would solve this. The other thing that felt off was the size of the play field relative to the player and enemies. For a scrolling shooter, it felt a bit claustrophobic and I found myself unable to dodge effectively against the enemy movement patterns. A zoomed out view with more room to move about could make that feel a lot better. In terms of details and polish, the sounds and music that you have are very nice and fit the theme well. I'd recommend making the fonts and the UI more consistent with the theme, but that's a bit of a nitpick. Overall, a nice game that has the potential to be a unique and enjoyable experience with a little more development.
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rostok
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2015, 02:31:58 pm »

Guys, thanks for the feedback. I dealt with enemies appearing suddenly by slowing them down a little. There's also one more extra life due to concerns about extreme difficulty.

Finally some bonus! A FullHD version of the game (yes, resolution is doubled and gfx is twice crispier)
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