Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1364828 Posts in 63862 Topics- by 55746 Members - Latest Member: Lacky

August 25, 2019, 12:59:07 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingHell is other Demons - Feedback please!
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Hell is other Demons - Feedback please!  (Read 5762 times)
kebabskal
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« on: January 26, 2017, 02:52:03 AM »

Hey folks!

Closing in on posting my game to greenlight. Though I'd stop by here for some feedback first.

Hell is other Demons is a challenging, fast paced action platformer about shooting and jumping on demons.
It started as a gbjam project but I kinda strayed from some of the restrictions. Still just 4 colors tho.

Slay your way through increasingly massive waves of demons.
Buy weapons and upgrades from the gems that spew from your fallen foes.

The main campaign mode consist of devious handmade levels.
Within in the campaign mode there is a procedural mode with online leaderboards.


Here is a gameplay video:




I'm interested in hearing what you think about the game:
* Difficulty level (assume I will make some tutorial levels to ease you in before the current levels)
* How does it feel?
* Decent FPS?
* How do you like the level progression?
* The game has very little strategy right now. Mostly twitch. How do you feel about that? Want more involved enemy designs?
* How does the economy feel? Reasonable awards/prices in the shop?
* Favorite / Least favorite upgrades, weapons, ultimates?
* What is confusing?

Any ideas, for upgrades, weapons, ultimates, whatever are welcome!

You can play an online version of the game here: https://hannesrahm.com/demons/
(Please use chrome, no other browsers tested)
(I'd love it if you whitelist the address in your ad-blocker so I can get analytics!)

Builds:
<BUILDS REMOVED>
Reach out to me on http://twitter.com/kebabskal if you want steam beta-keys for the game!

Thanks for your time!
/Hannes
« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 11:27:29 PM by kebabskal » Logged

kebabskal
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 10:10:58 AM »

The game is now up on Greenlight.
I opted against putting up demo links.
Too much hassle.

Greenlight trailer:




Greenlight page:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=854097917

Please give it a Yes! if you like it.
Logged

Eendhoorn
Level 6
*

Quak


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 02:05:43 PM »

Played the game for about 30 min, great fun!

Here's my feedback;

  • I had to use joyToKey as I refuse to play these types of games with a keyboard. It was kind of awkward because up/jump both had to me mapped to the A button, super weird for menu navigation. But I'm guessing native gamepad support is in the works.
  • My very first instinct while playing the game was that I wanted to strafe
  • I often lose sight of my characters and other enemies in the explosions/smoke
  • The tiles with spikes that pop out of the ground blend in too much with the other environment. I suggest adding white as I noticed I associated that color with damage.
  • Bullets with all 3 colors (black/white/red) are too similar to the gems and in the heat of action I had trouble differentiating between them
  • the smallest possible jump I could make was still too high, there was often no way to get in between a swarm of bullets because of this.
  • I missed having some sort of ability that grants me more aerial control, to avoid said bullet swarms
  • The layout of the level selection is a little odd and caused me to start playing difficult levels too early

Still enjoyed the game heaps though, totally my type of game! I felt motivated to keep playing so I could unlock new weapons and attributes for my character.

Edit: Voted yes on greenlight btw!
Logged

th3shark
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 03:21:50 PM »

First thing I gotta say is the presentation is striking and awesome.  More than enough to give the game a try.

Here are my thoughts:
- Boy do I want to shoot upwards.  I'm guessing this is intentional.
- Control is alright, could be better.  Can it be a bit tighter, keep the same top speed but higher acceleration?
- Really wasn't a fan of shooting knocking me backwards a bit.  I kept falling into spikes when I didn't mean to.
- Also avoiding spikes isn't very fun.
- If I hold Space, then Left/Right, I can't press Up to jump anymore.  I think it's one of those wonky key combinations that don't work on some keyboards.  I see there's a way to change it but the default key layout could be better.
- Is there a way to pause?  Pressing escape quit the match and brought me to the overworld, which was disappointing.
- Bouncing on heads to attack is neat, didn't expect that.  Although some projectiles I can't bounce on and it's hard to tell which is which.
- This game needs music
- It took me many tries and buying an upgrade to beat Boneyard 3.  The amount of health the player has seems fair but the sheer number of shots needed to defeat the waves of enemies seemed too much for the beginning of the game.  I think I'd enjoy it more if enemies had lower health.

The high difficulty turned me off before I could experience more of the game, unfortunately.  If movement was a bit tighter and enemies went down faster I could see this game being really addicting for me.  Kinda like Super Crate Box but with more level and enemy variety.
Logged
kebabskal
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2017, 12:24:50 AM »

...

Huge Thanks for upvote and the solid feedback!
* Native Controller support is in the pipeline. To avoid the UP == Jump problem, you can rebind the keys in the options menu. I think I'm the only one who enjoys up for jump, so might switch defaults to LR XC SPACE or something.
* Strafe as in shoot in the opposite direction of moving?
* There are some readability problems, mostly due to being limited to 4 colors. I'm looking for ways reducing the problem. Might need to tune down the mayhem a bit.
* Aerial control: There is Nimble, Glide and AirJump upgrades, and you can press the dive key (down default)
* Maybe I should have different icons for optional and "main path" levels on the map screen or something.

...

Thank you!

* No shooting upwards is intentional. The player is strong in all other directions.
* I'm pretty happy with the feel, but I'll give it some thought. It's a taste thing in the end.
* I've been going back and fort (no pun intended... ok a little) on the recoil/pushback mechanic. It kinda gives you a reason to stop shooting, raising the skill ceiling a bit.
* There is an issue with older/cheaper keyboards, you can't press multiple keys at the same time. I don't think there is anything I can do about it :/ Try changing the controls, some combinations might work better for some keyboards.
* Pause menu will be on esc soon. It's a bit evil that it just throws you out to the map. Sorry!
* You can't bounce on any projectiles actually. I'll try to make that more apparent.
* Yes, music is needed! It's coming.
* Difficulty tuning is hard. The levels you are playing now are probably not going to be the first ones in the game. Some gamedev legend said to make the first level last. I'm going at it that way.


« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 12:35:15 AM by kebabskal » Logged

Eendhoorn
Level 6
*

Quak


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 10:16:39 AM »

...

Huge Thanks for upvote and the solid feedback!
* Native Controller support is in the pipeline. To avoid the UP == Jump problem, you can rebind the keys in the options menu. I think I'm the only one who enjoys up for jump, so might switch defaults to LR XC SPACE or something.
* Strafe as in shoot in the opposite direction of moving?
* There are some readability problems, mostly due to being limited to 4 colors. I'm looking for ways reducing the problem. Might need to tune down the mayhem a bit.
* Aerial control: There is Nimble, Glide and AirJump upgrades, and you can press the dive key (down default)
* Maybe I should have different icons for optional and "main path" levels on the map screen or something.
Strafe as in, keep facing forward when moving backwards.
I unlocked the glide after playing a second time, exactly what I was looking for Smiley
Logged

Alec S.
Level 10
*****


Formerly Malec2b


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 12:14:15 AM »

This game is really cool so far.  The visual style is excellent, and it's pretty fun to play.

- Sounds could use a fair amount of work.  Some of them are too quiet, while others are too loud, and some things that should have sound effects don't.  For too quiet: killing the small enemies, as well as the shooting sound effect.  Meanwhile most of the sound effects from those flying eyeball enemies are too loud.  And there should be a sound when you pick up a health item.  
- Difficulty could be ramped up a bit more gradually.
- Controls and jumping feel great, although I do agree with Eendhoorn in that you should have some more control over your jump height.  A lot of platformers will have a window at the start of the jump in which if you hold down the jump button for longer, you'll jump higher, and if you just tap it, you'll just do a small hop.
- I would avoid starting the player out right on top of the spike traps, especially in a level that has a good chance of being their first time seeing the spike traps.  Feels like a cheap trick.
- Could use some more feedback effects, which would also help the game communicate better with the player.  Things like a small screen-shake when you kill an enemy, or a couple frames of screen-freeze when you take damage.  Or play off the type of stuff you have and have the background light up white and pink around the player when they take a hit.  

Anyway, all in all this game is looking really great so far.  Voted on Greenlight!  Coffee
Logged

th3shark
Level 0
**



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 03:15:35 PM »

...

* Difficulty tuning is hard. The levels you are playing now are probably not going to be the first ones in the game. Some gamedev legend said to make the first level last. I'm going at it that way.


Sure, I can imagine a game like this will be very hard to balance.  I haven't heard about making the first level last before, but that sounds like great advice!  Good luck.
Logged
Velgus
Level 0
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 01:52:21 PM »

Great work overall! Excellent aesthetics and engaging core gameplay loop.

Difficulty: The game is quite difficult, (I only made it to Boneyard 5 after about an hour) but it feels fair and challenging. Don't make the game easy, as the challenge is enjoyable and the player doesn't suffer like they do in Binding of Issac or Speleunky where their whole game resets, which can turn off less hardcore players like myself. However, do ease the player in a little more with a few easier levels first, and make some things a little more clear. For example, I didn't know I could press down to dive downwards until I read it in this forum.

Overworld/Level Progression: This is confusing. It is unclear if there is a set path I should follow or when beating a level which paths will open. I'm having trouble understanding the goal of it, and I personally don't like it. I think either having a more traditional limited overworld layout like Super Mario World/Shovel Knight or a layout where a certain number of levels must be beaten or a certain combined score must be reached before progressing would be beneficial. However I do like the option of selecting from more than one level at times to add interest and if I get frustrated on one.

Gameplay: From what I experienced the game is mostly twitch, which is fine. There is still some thought to defeat certain enemies, adapt to level layouts, and which upgrades to bring to a fight. As long as there is variety throughout the game with these, I think that works well. In fact, because of the fast pace and arena-style level layouts there isn't really time to implement a high level of strategy. I'd love to see (which may already be in game) themed worlds, numerous enemy types, and boss fights.

Economy: I can't comment much on the economy since I didn't make it far into the game. My initial impressions that the awards/prices in the shop were reasonable. The awards were all seem interesting, though I tried very few, and I liked that they almost all changed gameplay rather than just boring stat upgrades. I was a bit unclear if the economy was the same as my score, or if there even as a score in game other than the endless levels.

Ultimate Use: I'm not a fan of the ultimate recharge rate decaying passively. It seems difficult enough to get it charged without the decay, and I feel punished for using my attention to avoid enemies and not spamming my weapon shots in hopes of hitting something by chance. Just the core concept of losing something I worked towards isn't as fun. Even when it is charged, I'm still waiting for a good opportunity to use it, so I'm unlikely to use it more than a few times in a level anyway. Two ideas all subject to balance: 1) Charge rate only goes up by hitting enemies, never decays, and even has a slight passive increase overtime. Easy to understand and helpful to less hardcore players. Skillful play could rewarded in other ways, such as how quick a level is cleared, skillful use of when to use ultimate, how few hits the player took, and maybe a combo counter/score multiplier. 2) Ultimate only decays when shots are missed. Less intuitive, but encourages player to aim shots more carefully and more skillful play overall. Personally I like idea 1 best.

Sound Design: The music from the trailer and sound effects in game sound like they will work great together to establish a strong engaging feel. Only suggestion is tweak some of the volume of the effects, which I know is being worked on still.

Future Content: Far future I know, but having a level editor would be amazing for the longevity and community of this game. Additionally or instead, maybe a weekly endless challenge players can compete for high scores on that could either be an existing modified level or new level with set upgrades.


BUG:
version: 2017-02-14 0.0.6 downloadable build from alphabetagamer.com

Summary: Ultimate ability does not activate after options cleared.

Actual Result: I went to Options and activated Clear Everything. Upon resuming gameplay my ultimate beam ability behaved the same as before (charging, decaying, reaching full charge with audio cue played). Upon activating the beam ultimate ability the gauge rapidly decayed to empty, yet did not use the ultimate ability (no damage, visual, or audio cue). Restarting the game resolved the issue, and allowed me to use my beam ultimate ability identically to before activating Clear Everything.

Expected Result: That beam ultimate ability would behave identically to before using Clear Everything, and that restarting the game to do so would not be required.

Steps To Replicate: Go to Options and activate Clear Everything. Observe ultimate beam ability not working. Confirmed multiple times while I only had the beam ultimate ability unlocked. I did not test with unlocking other ultimates.

Severity: D (A most severe, D least severe). The amount of players that use Clear Everything are expected to be few, and resetting the game is likely the first thing players with an issue will attempt. Since players that reset the whole game progress start again on level 1 and will likely identify the issue immediately on level 1, it won't really hinder progress and will only be a frustration. The biggest risk is first time players that don't understand how an ultimate ability works and may be turned off by the bug enough not to continue playing the game.

Logged

You best start believing in success stories, you're in one!
kebabskal
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2017, 12:55:55 AM »

Thanks for the extensive and insightful writeup. I'll PM you with a beta-key on steam shortly!

Difficulty: The game is quite difficult, (I only made it to Boneyard 5 after about an hour) but it feels fair and challenging. Don't make the game easy, as the challenge is enjoyable and the player doesn't suffer like they do in Binding of Issac or Speleunky where their whole game resets, which can turn off less hardcore players like myself. However, do ease the player in a little more with a few easier levels first, and make some things a little more clear. For example, I didn't know I could press down to dive downwards until I read it in this forum.
Yes, I will have an easier set of levels before the ones you are playing now.

Overworld/Level Progression: This is confusing. It is unclear if there is a set path I should follow or when beating a level which paths will open. I'm having trouble understanding the goal of it, and I personally don't like it. I think either having a more traditional limited overworld layout like Super Mario World/Shovel Knight or a layout where a certain number of levels must be beaten or a certain combined score must be reached before progressing would be beneficial. However I do like the option of selecting from more than one level at times to add interest and if I get frustrated on one.
I think the majority of confusion on the campaign screen is due to lack of visual cues and layout mess. What I'll probably do is to make it clear where the chokes (bosses) are with icons and have clear space between the different areas. Maybe even make the layout fully grid like or have the intended main path marked out from the outset. It's a little bit tricky with just 4 colors (in reality just two), but should be doable.

Gameplay: From what I experienced the game is mostly twitch, which is fine. There is still some thought to defeat certain enemies, adapt to level layouts, and which upgrades to bring to a fight. As long as there is variety throughout the game with these, I think that works well. In fact, because of the fast pace and arena-style level layouts there isn't really time to implement a high level of strategy. I'd love to see (which may already be in game) themed worlds, numerous enemy types, and boss fights.
Strategy: I'm doing tests with taller levels for the second area where parts of the level will get overrun if you leave them alone for too long. There are also some enemies planned that require slight tactics, like invulnerability phases and explode on death etc.

Economy: I can't comment much on the economy since I didn't make it far into the game. My initial impressions that the awards/prices in the shop were reasonable. The awards were all seem interesting, though I tried very few, and I liked that they almost all changed gameplay rather than just boring stat upgrades. I was a bit unclear if the economy was the same as my score, or if there even as a score in game other than the endless levels.
Cool. There is more coming in the same vein. Might do weapons level 2 etc purchasable in later areas, but not sure yet. I like that they are rather unique.

Ultimate Use: I'm not a fan of the ultimate recharge rate decaying passively. It seems difficult enough to get it charged without the decay, and I feel punished for using my attention to avoid enemies and not spamming my weapon shots in hopes of hitting something by chance. Just the core concept of losing something I worked towards isn't as fun. Even when it is charged, I'm still waiting for a good opportunity to use it, so I'm unlikely to use it more than a few times in a level anyway. Two ideas all subject to balance: 1) Charge rate only goes up by hitting enemies, never decays, and even has a slight passive increase overtime. Easy to understand and helpful to less hardcore players. Skillful play could rewarded in other ways, such as how quick a level is cleared, skillful use of when to use ultimate, how few hits the player took, and maybe a combo counter/score multiplier. 2) Ultimate only decays when shots are missed. Less intuitive, but encourages player to aim shots more carefully and more skillful play overall. Personally I like idea 1 best.
Ultimate decay is gone in my dev branch. Actually the whole system is revamped. You can now have multiple charges of for example the big laser. It looks like this:

Lower bar is charges.

Sound Design: The music from the trailer and sound effects in game sound like they will work great together to establish a strong engaging feel. Only suggestion is tweak some of the volume of the effects, which I know is being worked on still.
There is a lot of work yet to be done on sound, but I think we'll get there eventually.

Future Content: Far future I know, but having a level editor would be amazing for the longevity and community of this game. Additionally or instead, maybe a weekly endless challenge players can compete for high scores on that could either be an existing modified level or new level with set upgrades.
I have actually used "Tiled" for level layouts since the start. The enemy spawns were defined in code tho, but as of yesterday you can also use Tiled to design enemy spawns as well. Not sure if I'll tackle user levels, but might be a fun thing for the future.

BUG:
version: 2017-02-14 0.0.6 downloadable build from alphabetagamer.com

Summary: Ultimate ability does not activate after options cleared.

Actual Result: I went to Options and activated Clear Everything. Upon resuming gameplay my ultimate beam ability behaved the same as before (charging, decaying, reaching full charge with audio cue played). Upon activating the beam ultimate ability the gauge rapidly decayed to empty, yet did not use the ultimate ability (no damage, visual, or audio cue). Restarting the game resolved the issue, and allowed me to use my beam ultimate ability identically to before activating Clear Everything.

Expected Result: That beam ultimate ability would behave identically to before using Clear Everything, and that restarting the game to do so would not be required.

Steps To Replicate: Go to Options and activate Clear Everything. Observe ultimate beam ability not working. Confirmed multiple times while I only had the beam ultimate ability unlocked. I did not test with unlocking other ultimates.

Severity: D (A most severe, D least severe). The amount of players that use Clear Everything are expected to be few, and resetting the game is likely the first thing players with an issue will attempt. Since players that reset the whole game progress start again on level 1 and will likely identify the issue immediately on level 1, it won't really hinder progress and will only be a frustration. The biggest risk is first time players that don't understand how an ultimate ability works and may be turned off by the bug enough not to continue playing the game.
Thanks for reporting. This is solved in my dev branch.
Logged

cousin_it
Level 0
***


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2017, 03:16:47 PM »

Fantastic game! It's like a drug custom-made for me. The mindless twitchy gameplay is just perfect. Here's a pile of thoughts:

Reached the end of the demo in about an hour, using shotgun and triple jump. Never used ultimates. Tried the two expensive guns but was unimpressed. Wasted a lot of money on artifacts before realizing that only one can be equipped at a time. Still don't understand how the counter works (33/37 etc.) Would love to have some in-game music, like the tune from your trailer. Shop prices are okay, grinding never got tedious. Please don't remove up for jump, it's my favorite control scheme. Rotating in the air after a double jump feels off, because you're still shooting horizontally. The map is OK. The shopkeeper portrait is amazing, I hope other shopkeepers will have different portraits. To add some mystery to the map, you could have shrines that give you challenges to complete (e.g. beat such-and-such zone with such-and-such loadout). Nice to see a game using Node, runs very smoothly on my ancient Mac laptop. It's annoying when enemies fall through the floor and can't be hit, but still throw projectiles at you. Would be nice to have more diverse enemy behavior. Wanna see how this game develops over time.

Edit: played for another hour, and the other artifacts are great! Triple jump no longer feels like obviously best. High jump and high speed are also awesome, and it makes complete sense that you'd be able to choose only one. Also I've learned to use Nova, it makes most levels much easier, it seems like I fought through the game the hard way.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 12:19:40 PM by cousin_it » Logged

mysteriosum
Level 1
*


I just lost the game ;(


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2017, 02:01:38 PM »

Hey there Hannes,

I love the game! It is especially a lot of fun to ride on top of enemies' heads.

A lot of people can give you gameplay feedback so I won't go into that. What I'm interested in is the story. Have you thought about it?

Just off the top of my head, here are some ideas for the "through-line" of the game:

-Young Demon Prince fighting through hordes to prove himself (Disgaea nod)
-A small, feisty demon must eliminate competition for the position of Hell's Primary Torturer
-You enter a deadly battle royale with thousands of other demons. The prize? 1,000,000,000 souls!
-The Demon Lord has changed the torture protocol, making your job impossible. Fight your way to an audience with him.
-After 3 centuries of failed negotiations, the Imp's Union Representative is going to kill the Demon King himself.
-A tiny demon snaps after millennia of abuse from the Demon King's officers, and decides to kill them all.
-The Master of Dungeons needs money for a new shipment of needles. Fight your way to the treasurer's office!
-A progressive demon returns after a 2,000 year mission to find his brother's rule has been overthrown. Kill every demon if that's what it takes to find out what happened!
-A demon investigator has found evidence of angels plotting to instigate civil war. The only option is to confront every demon politician. Fight your way to the truth!
-You are the Demon King's Demon Maid. Someone stole his favourite brand. Find out who it was before he gets home!

Let me know if this is a concern of yours. I am a narrative designer by trade, looking for work as I start my business. I can volunteer some time to help integrate a story into the mechanics and game elements if you are interested.

Keep up the good work,
-Travis
Logged

woodsmoke
Level 3
***



View Profile
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2017, 02:52:01 PM »

The colour palette is such an eye catcher!  Kiss
Logged

Velgus
Level 0
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2017, 11:41:43 AM »

I played version 2017-04-12 12:57 - 0.0.13 and have some additional feedback in case helpful.

User Interface
  • I love the new option to swap color palettes in the options menus, and the default color palette still looks great.
  • During level gameplay, it took me a while to understand the numbers on screen. I think adding the text Wave in front of the Wave number and a gem icon in front of the gems would be beneficial to make things more clear to players.
  • On the level selection screen, I didn't understand the icons in the top left of each image. My guess is that they are the Wave Number I got to for my high score and the ultimate I used. Seeing the loadout I used, especially the ultimate, being useful and fun information. The wave number seems less relevant since waves seem to be randomized, and result in different scores.
  • On the level selection screen, it took me a while to understand how to progress to the next level and series of levels (I actually haven't progressed past The Trident yet). The UI is clear enough, the method and layout is just not intuitive to me. I don't understand why there are different shops on such a small level selection screen, perhaps for later in the game's development. The current layout suggests each set of 3 levels is related in some way rather than they all might just be themed a certain way. I don't understand why the score requirements for each level are different, in particular Pusworks Endless price for 4000+.
  • On the Shop screen, I want to be able to see which abilities/items I have already purchased without needing to select them first.
  • Seeing the loadout of players on the leaderboards would be interesting. Perhaps even displaying the powerup icons on the bottom of the player screen as a quick reminder to the player and for any of those watching a video what is being used.

Gameplay
  • It felt a bit odd to me that abilities were all always equipped, while ultimates, weapons, and artifacts had to be equipped individually. There is also some overlap of design space. Having all the abilities seemed like a lot to have once as well. Perhaps just having the default abilities stomp, double jump, and dive part of the core move set, and making glide, dash, and gem pull their own items.Perhaps even changing the layout system to 3 categories (weapon, ultimate, and two enhancements).
  • I didn't notice any difference equipping the Heavy artifact other than spikes not knocking me up. Perhaps there are enemies or situations where this is useful later or that I didn't notice, but the power seems far less useful than others. I at least expected it to negate my weapon's recoil knockback. The name Heavy is also misleading since I don't think it affects movement, stomping, or other aspects more weight would suggest. I think being modified into a Protective Shoes powers that have spikes/lava cause no knockback and damage would be far more interesting and make the power a more useful alternative. For the Impact artifact, I'm unclear on when it activates, if I have to press down or fall a certain height. Sometimes I land and it doesn't seem to activate. My expectation from the image is I have to dive down to activate such a powerful impact.
  • The double jump is a bit confusing and works differently than every other double jump I've seen in games. The player can jump twice in the air, instead of having to start the first jump on the ground. It isn't bad necessarily, but does make the choice of when to double jump far more lenient which feels a little out of place to me in such a skill based game, and takes a lot of getting used to since it doesn't seem to make sense in the game world (jumping in the air is just as effective as starting on the ground?).
  • Having multiple charges for each ultimate combined with the fast charge rate made their use less strategic. It didn't really feel like an ultimate, more like a secondary weapon, as I was using them more for convenience then really having to decide to use or save. Having different uses for the charge meter, such as multiple charges that can be saved up for an ultimate currently, are interesting and I like them being included, just not as the most common design.
  • This game is difficult, which is good. However, it can get frustrating/boring for a more casual player like me when I can't get past a level and want to see the other levels, or just don't want to spend the time. A benefit of earlier versions of the game was branching paths that allowed me to at least choose from two levels to play from, which is one way to solve this potential issue. Another way might be to have a total score from all levels required to unlock the next world. In this case maybe all three Boneyard levels are unlocked already, and can be played in any order, and to unlock the Pusworks set of levels might require 10,000 points accumulated from all the high scores, and to unlock the Inferno set of levels might require 30,000 points accumulated from all the high scores.
  • Global high scores for each level feel less fair since the waves seem randomized, so how well a player does can be perceived to be significantly luck based, however this is a minor point and perhaps not worth changing as it does add variety and replay value to levels.
  • I don't understand when and how curses are applied to me. It appears to be random, and I don't know how long it lasts or what some of the curses do. Random effects and modifiers seems to make more sense in a different mode or weekly challenge. If keeping curses in regular gameplay, there should be a way to avoid them, like they are applied via an enemy attack or leftover temporary item on screen.
  • Level layout seems more vertical than in an earlier version of the game. I think this is a good adjustment to allow more movement and tactics, though I wouldn't really want the arenas any larger for regular play. Enemies on screen should always be threatening as they are now.
  • Story and boss fights. These are likely coming (or perhaps already in game later). Special levels would be the place to mix things up. Good boss fights are just engaging differences to the regular gameplay (such as climbing a tower, fighting in the dark with limited vision, moving platforms/shifting environment,etc).

Great job overall, it's a fun game.

Edit: I'm unable to record this game with OBS or Fraps like I can for my other PC games, so possibly something odd going on their though it could be my fault. The combo counter and/or score multiplier is a neat idea, though I think I'd prefer to see it be up on screen the whole time so I know what combo I'm at is and how long I have until the combo ends (if it is time-based). If it affects score, having a score multiplier would be helpful to be clear, such as 1.1x, 1.2x, etc.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 01:21:01 PM by Velgus » Logged

You best start believing in success stories, you're in one!
kebabskal
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2017, 11:24:27 PM »

Hey!
Sorry for not getting back to you guys. I didn't realize people still commented on this page Smiley
The old builds are very outdated. Please reach out to me on twitter, http://twitter.com/kebabskal, if you want steam beta keys. I update those builds regularly.

Fantastic game! It's like a drug custom-made for me. The mindless twitchy gameplay is just perfect. Here's a pile of thoughts:

Thanks! Thats encouraging!  A lot has happened since you last played.


...
A lot of people can give you gameplay feedback so I won't go into that. What I'm interested in is the story. Have you thought about it?
...
You'll probably not get a whole lot out of the game if you're in it for the story Smiley Story won't be prominent in the game.
I havn't heard a whole lot about people asking for any either. But if there are more of you here who'd like more story. Let me know!

The colour palette is such an eye catcher!  Kiss

Thanks! :D Now there are even more eye-catching palettes in the options menu :D (steam builds only)


...

Thanks for the extensive analysis Velgus!
I think you have a lot of points in there.
* The super high difficulty has been quite widely criticised so I have begrudginly started tuning it back a bit for the earlier levels. Mostly lowering thresholds, but also tuning the spawns and over-time-difficulty-increase.
* I might scrap the curses. Some of them (enemy hp+ etc) are run-killers. I think there might be other ways of achieving the same goals. Gotta do some experimenting.
* The weird wave-numbers have been replaced with a neat little progress bar and a big number. It also indicates wether or not you have got hit during the wave (For flawless multiplier)
* The weird wave-numbers have been replaced with a neat little progress bar and a big number. It also indicates wether or not you have got hit during the wave (For flawless multiplier)
* Recording the game with OBS/Fraps. You are not the only one having those problems. Looks like it's a problem with NW.js or Chromium. Looking for solutions, but none yet.


Thanks everyone for the feedback!
/Hannes
Logged

kebabskal
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2017, 11:28:56 PM »

By the way, if you are interested in the development of the game, or just want to hang out, I stream gamedev Tuesdays-Fridays, swedish office hours.
https://www.twitch.tv/kebabskal/
Logged

rarelikeaunicorn
Level 0
**

Just keep walking.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2017, 10:02:36 AM »

Hey kebab!

I'll do a writeup now and another one after more playtime. I was on the current Steam beta build for about an hour yesterday and stopped at Absent Floor, as you saw. We already talked about some things like the controller button mapping and whatnot, so I'll focus on things I mentioned in passing or have thought of since.

  • Difficulty/Progression: I'm not the best at this type of game but I enjoyed most of the difficulty ramping. Absent Floor felt like a little bit of a jump, if only because there is very little room for error in landing and I decided I want to practice more offstream before giving it another go. This level structure may want to be moved slightly later in the curve but I'll comment on this again after playing some more.
  • Feel: The gameplay feels awesome. I was surprised at how floaty the jumps feel but it wasn't a bad thing at all. Movement and shooting are both very satisfying.
  • Info/UI: The visual chaos can overwhelm sometimes; it took me a few minutes to realize I could get damaged by the starting ulti if I was too close because I just assumed I got hit by an enemy right before they died. One of the problems for the current build for me was trying to read on-screen info prompts (particularly in the tutorials section) while also keeping sights on everything happening. The info-popups for unlocking new levels and such are nice but should probably be limited to one at a time in the corner of the screen; if you look at Panda's vod he got a super large portion of the screen blocked by these popups when he cleared 4k on Absent Floor. I'm generally happy with the menu UIs except that I wish the shop didn't appear at the beginning of each section unless there's a clear reason for it. You could also consider redoing how the game explains unlocking the next floor just to make it a little simpler for someone first opening the game. I'm picturing that you only see a level's name and the locked symbol on the level select screen until you're highlighting it, at which point the info could expand to say "Score 4000 on {Previous Floor}" or whathaveyou.
  • Framerate: I definitely got slowdown when it went full bullet-hell with dozens of objects on screen by I'm on a 3-year-old stock laptop so it's not surprising. Like we talked about, it almost felt like an unfair advantage at times Wink
  • Strategy vs Reaction: The game is definitely twitch-centric but planning your builds for a given level and knowing the better way to kill certain enemies gives the player enough room for strategy. I was really happy when I realized how effective headstomps were on the bone throwers and the lich woman. Players who want to be strategic will be rewarded but it's not to the detriment of any other game elements.
  • Economy: I was really glad to unlock all the base abilities fairly quickly. Didn't get too far in so my unlocked options were still limited but I didn't feel anything was drastically overpriced or underpriced. More info after next playthrough.
  • Favorites/Least Favorites: Again, more playtime needed, but I loved the gravity ulti. It was a really good "get off me" button and I liked the power of using two in quick succession to do some extended lockdown on difficult enemies. I never wanted to go back to the default ulti after unlocking gravity but hopefully there are levels later in which make me reconsider that.
  • Level Design: I wonder if there are levels later in the progression where I might start closer to the top of the area? Something about starting at the ground level made me want to stay lower but that's actually where the player is weakest/has the least options in many cases. I'm hoping to see some more variety in starting vertical position and maybe also some more horizontal asymmetry as time goes on. If these are already present in later levels, feel free to disregard.
  • Miscellaneous: I love the inclusion of alternate color pallets, although some were either too dark (Blackened) or too harsh to my eyes (CYMK) for me to want to play with. Would like to hear feedback on this from more folks.

Overall I was stoked on the game and will definitely play/stream it more. Hopefully I can improve enough to talk more explicitly about balance/progression/curve!
Logged

0XPgamedev
Level 0
*


Noob makes game in year: read all about it


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2017, 04:26:37 AM »

Hi there, first off I want to say how well polished the game looks and feels at this stage - this is a stunning job.

I played the game across 3 days, playing for about 20 minutes each time, so these are kind of more of first impressions but hope they prove to be useful.

The sound and lighting FX in particular are gorgeous, as is the enemy art and the use of purple in the palette (an underused hue in my view). Am I sensing Downwell inspiration?

More importantly both the jumping and shooting feel good. Shooting feels impactful, and double jumping feels lovely in particular, with the slow rotation of the character sprite. I'm all over that.

An unfortunate side to the visual style, however, is that it sometimes makes the scene difficult to read: I sometimes found myself losing my avatar on-screen as the sprite blends in with the rest of the background of only purple and black. Perhaps something could be done to make the player more visible.

Secondly, I found that, while having both shooting and jumping as attacking options was interesting, I was confused a lot of the time. You don't see many arena type games focused on combat with both jumping and shooting offensive options for that reason; I feel it's because it dilutes the experience. The kind of precision needed for platforming isn't given by the controls, which feel like they're guiding you more towards shooting.

This may actually be due to the enemy volume, and transparency of the scene: with so many identically coloured enemies rushing towards me at once with limited footing, I rarely felt like I was in control of engagements, I felt like I was always being hounded by an unending stream of foes and I felt like it would have been nice to work up to that rather than it being the baseline experience.
I expect that the difficulty of these fights is meant to be a big draw of the game, but as someone who likes this type of game but hasn't played any of them in a while, I was put off by the steep difficulty curve, which had me struggling from the first minute I entered the game. I get the mechanics are simple, but perhaps gradual introduction of enemy types and arena hazards would have made me feel more prepared to face the challenge.

After the first 2 levels, I felt overwhelmed by everything and stopped playing, and this happened every play session.

To summarize:
- great aesthetics
- great game feel
- confusing visuals and overwhelming enemy numbers: greater clarity would lead to a greater experience
- both shooting and jumping for offense feels hectic, maybe make some enemies obviously vulernable to one or another.

Didn't encounter any bugs in my play, so hooray!

Hope you found this helpful and best of luck as the project continues.
Logged
kebabskal
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2017, 09:16:29 PM »

...

Thanks, thats very valuable information! I'm still tweaking the difficulty curve and tutorialization. Prolly not gonna be able to make it fit eveyone, but I'm trying atleast Smiley

Logged

Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic