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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsDungeon Squeaker, puzzle adventure game. [demo inside]
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Author Topic: Dungeon Squeaker, puzzle adventure game. [demo inside]  (Read 7271 times)
michelmohr
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« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2018, 10:07:07 AM »

More reintroductions from the old prototype, slippery tiles!
 


This one was pretty complex. Doing this involved writing a runtime script executor.
Which in this case gets the line "#move =player $playerlastmovedelta" from the ice entity.
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2018, 11:45:34 AM »

Definitely love the new connected tiles!
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flex$
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« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2018, 03:37:04 AM »

Thank you for the kind words flex$, when I get negative feedback its one of those moments where I am stuck between 'I am out of touch' and 'No, its the children who are wrong'. Am I deluding myself that I can fix the issues by providing the proper flow, nuance and context? But with the improvements I made to the levels I feel like I could do this.

Can I ask, about the connected tiles. Which do you think is best? Connected water, connected walls or both connected?

So the merchant serves two purposes. It gives a point to gold besides a narrative tool, and allows players to exchange items they do not use for more fun items. (Like the eye.) Good players sell their potions for fun stuff.

yeah, continuing to fine tune the levels (as well as the level progression) will help guide players along and teach them the game, i think that would be time well spent. you've already set up a few interesting baits and terrain scenarios to do just that, i would keep going in that direction. obviously a big part of the game is the level editor and the fact that many different campaigns can be created, but for the starter campaign that you want new players to jump into, it has to be pretty heavily guided.

re: connected tiles, after reconsidering i actually think walls should probably stay segmented---if they're connected, in my opinion, this suggests that they cannot be manipulated/interacted with. perhaps this is your intent, and if that is the case, then every wall should share that same visual connectedness. personally i think leaving them segmented gives you more options, design wise. everything else, like the fog of war, water, that's all perfect.

YES i think adding more neat and fun and rare items (going along with the merchant) will interject a ton of life into the core game, for a ton of different reasons. if in the editor you could select which items the merchant has to offer, that'd also be sick and would add kewl design possibilities.

also, i think idle animations (even just simple breathing) would help bring Kacper's already super cute and clean work to life in-game even further. just a little extra bit of visual interest while ruminating on your next move.

btw the slippy tiles are neat
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michelmohr
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« Reply #43 on: March 24, 2018, 11:12:14 AM »

This week I've implemented connected tiles!
It's not entirely correct yet for some corners but I'll figure that out soon!
I've also re-introduced lava and flame vents.
Flame vents are basically the same as switch spikes, they alternate on/off, but they also have some particle effects.
Here's a little mock up level.


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michelmohr
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« Reply #44 on: March 24, 2018, 01:40:06 PM »

I had this idea of putting bats over liquid, as they fly. When testing this, they player could step onto the bat, defeat it and stand on water.
So... what if bats can be single use stepping stones?
From bug to feature, here to bring you gameplay depth, BAT SKATING!

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michelmohr
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« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2018, 07:33:16 AM »

So I thought it was finally time for that little cross in the topright to not just exit to the main menu..!
Introducing an actual pause screen!



I'm very happy with the closing effect and the particles. I'm just not entirely sure of the blue background before it closes. It feels unpolished. I was thinking of a bunch of cogs and other mechanical affairs moving, symbolizing the inner workings of the game, a look behind the scenes as it were.
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michelmohr
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« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2018, 03:55:36 AM »

Time to finally use that move counter!
Dungeon Squeaker now has 3 possible game modes for each level.



Here's a preview of the limited time mode.
The gold counter flips around and becomes a timer, with a little toast sliding in to highlight the need for urgency.
Currently the timer starts immediately, but I'm going to hook it up to the first move complete event instead.


Next up is limited moves, which gave me the idea of having an item that teleports the player. Since I had the tile selection tool in place from the revealing eye I could have it select a visible tile instead of a non visible tile and give a runtime script saying to teleport the player to the selected position.
Once I get that all finished I'll post a gif!

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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2018, 04:54:37 AM »

All of these tweaks you've been making are great improvements! They will really expand the gameplay and game mode options.  Beer!
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Pixel Noise - professional composition/sound design studio.
 https://soundcloud.com/pixel-noise
 https://twitter.com/PixelNoiseMusic
 https://pixelnoisemusic.bandcamp.com/

Recently completed the ReallyGoodBattle OST!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=vgf-4DjU5q
michelmohr
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« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2018, 08:07:22 AM »

All of these tweaks you've been making are great improvements! They will really expand the gameplay and game mode options.  Beer!

Cheers Pixel Noise!

So here's a fun idea for the limited moves mode. An item that allows you to teleport to a location!


Looking at the bats to much has made me aware they really need to be flapping their wings, so it's time for some character animations.



Also, I updated the web build, and moved a bunch of levels from custom to the main level sequence.


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michelmohr
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« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2018, 11:30:26 AM »

I've been working on a design for the merchant UI.
Honestly, I'm still unsure if a merchant is right for the game, but soon I'll be ready to test it!



Tomorrow I'll be showing the game at the Dutch game garden again! Hopefully resulting in a lot of bugs found and lots of feedback.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 04:17:31 PM by michelmohr » Logged

michelmohr
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« Reply #50 on: May 03, 2018, 04:15:48 PM »

The Network lunch in Utrecht went great! I got many playtest notes, a few bugs found and most quality of life / polish adjustments. I didn't have a moment where there wasn't someone interested in the game, which is very motivational!

My first adjustment is bringing the dialogue prompts up to the quality of the new hint book design.




I feel visually the weakest link in the game are now the tiles, I'll start reworking those soon.
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michelmohr
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« Reply #51 on: May 25, 2018, 10:05:26 AM »

I'm very happy to show off these new animations by the talented Gabriel Cortabraz!
They're so bouncy, he did an amazing job animating the character sprites by Kacper Wo┼║niak



Next up is implementing lives / defeat / saving / checkpoints. These all tie into each other, it's all designed, all that is left is implementation. 
Every time the player runs out of hearts, they can restart the level with one less starting life. When their starting health would be 0, they can restart at the last checkpoint. Checkpoints are campfires in the levels, which the player can light to save there.
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michelmohr
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« Reply #52 on: June 03, 2018, 11:38:52 AM »

Up until now the failure state has been a loose end, just kind of restarting the level.
So I did some thinking and I believe I found a good way to do it.
There's campfires in the level sequence where you can rest and save. Every time you are defeated, your resolve weakens and you can restart the level with (3 - deaths) hearts. Once this reaches zero, you can only restart from a checkpoint.





Meanwhile I have Kacper working on polishing some of the level tiles, which I'm very excited to bring to a build soon! :D
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flex$
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« Reply #53 on: June 03, 2018, 05:44:19 PM »

animations looking slick dude, i like the idea for the checkpoint system as well.
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michelmohr
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« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2018, 04:31:12 AM »

animations looking slick dude, i like the idea for the checkpoint system as well.

Thanks! :D I intend to have the campfires get lit too as you save, but that requires some rewriting of the entities system so they can transform into other entities.


In preparation for INDIGO, I've done a lot of work already.
Controller support is 90% done, for my own controller at least, so I can show it like that. I will need to redo it for consumer use with something like Rewired though. But for now it works.

Next up, I made a new logo for the game, and had Gabriel Cortabraz animate it!
 

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Sundrop
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« Reply #55 on: June 22, 2018, 06:17:43 AM »

That demo was so much fun! Spectacular work!
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michelmohr
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« Reply #56 on: June 24, 2018, 11:25:19 AM »

That demo was so much fun! Spectacular work!

Thank you! :D

I've updated the build again, and the first post.
There's now a newsletter for the game here: https://mailchi.mp/83c1f6262ce1/newsletter
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michelmohr
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« Reply #57 on: July 02, 2018, 03:59:34 AM »

Last week Friday I presented the game at INDIGO2018 organised by the Dutch Game Garden!



It's been an incredible learning experience.

Main take-aways:
* When you're told not to add features last minute, listen. I added controller support and there were a lot of edge cases breaking the UI.
* Prepare your marketing material long in advance! I only finished the website for the game dungeonsqueaker.com only two weeks before, same as the printed flyers and cards. Which is ok I suppose, but the event itself also had printed folders and flyers, none of which reflect my updated material and new contact info.
* Write down the feedback immediately. I brought a notebook in which I noted down anything that came up. I was so exhausted after the event I would have forgotten everything but the most basic feedback. This feedback is invaluable, they're doing QA for you, with you there to see what is going wrong.
* There's a lot of different types of players. Explorers, sloppy players, analytical players, etc. When playing your own game, you know play the way YOU play games, but there's more types to keep in mind when designing.
* Context matters. I used to present the game on a tablet, or on my phone. The feedback often was: "Nice mobile game. But how will it earn money? On the Switch? I don't think so." But I intentionally presented with a Switch controller this event. I asked what they thought and everyone I asked was positive to the idea of playing it on a Switch. Most actually thought I had a devkit in the cabinet.
* Take time to rest afterwards. Talking to people is exhausting. I'm an introvert, so for me especially. It helps having a purpose to talk to the people and being passionate. Work is work, even if you enjoy it. Rest after work.

Unfortunately I cannot immediately act on the feedback I have gathered as I have a big freelance assignment full-time for the coming month. But perhaps that is better so I can reflect on the feedback and make sure I understand the core of the problem.

Perhaps people have noticed, but the tiles have had an incredible improvement thanks to Kacper, he took the time to do this despite having a very stressful time with other project and I'm very grateful for his work! 



« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 04:07:56 AM by michelmohr » Logged

Pixel Noise
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« Reply #58 on: July 07, 2018, 09:02:23 AM »

Great write up about your experience! Those are some useful tips. Happy for you to get the game out there and get some feedback!

I'm a bit surprised that people thought it wouldn't sell? I could certainly see a lot of parents paying a couple $ to get this on their tablet for their kids, etc.
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Pixel Noise - professional composition/sound design studio.
 https://soundcloud.com/pixel-noise
 https://twitter.com/PixelNoiseMusic
 https://pixelnoisemusic.bandcamp.com/

Recently completed the ReallyGoodBattle OST!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=vgf-4DjU5q
michelmohr
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« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2018, 08:23:49 AM »

It's been a while again, since INDIGO I've had a month of development time on the game in preparation for Gamescom back in August. Lots of stuff that doesn't improve the actual game. Spreadsheets, pitch doc, website...

Dungeon Squeaker now has a website!
http://www.dungeonsqueaker.com

AND a trailer!!


 
 
In regards to changes to the game, there's a few new animations. When the compass or book state changes, there's a light swipe over them. And the compass now changes to red if you're near an enemy.
And the talented RHLPixels created these awesome dialogue portraits!
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