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1383476 Posts in 66144 Topics- by 58569 Members - Latest Member: RunReadySoftware

October 20, 2020, 09:36:10 AM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingPolychoron - A 6-degrees-of-freedom shooter in open alpha testing
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Author Topic: Polychoron - A 6-degrees-of-freedom shooter in open alpha testing  (Read 295 times)
fractilegames
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« on: September 13, 2020, 01:35:06 AM »





Polychoron is a simple but challenging zero-gravity 3D shoot'em up in endless series of unique mazes. Designed for hassle-free short game sessions. Available on Windows, Linux, Android and Web.

Navigate your way through mazes filled with hostile drones and deadly machinery. Survive longer, take out more hostiles and collect more score than others to get your name on the global high score table.

Website: https://www.fractilegames.com/polychoron/

Downloads on Itch.io: https://fractilegames.itch.io/polychoron

Web version on GotM.io: https://gotm.io/fractilegames/polychoron (Note: Native versions run and look better)

The game is currently in development and I'm looking for feedback!

Keyboard+mouse controls (not configurable yet, sorry):

W/A/S/DMove forward/left/backward/right
R/FMove Up/down
Left ShiftSwitch W/A/S/D to up/left/down/right
Q/ERoll left/right
MouseYaw left/right, pitch up/down
Arrow keysYaw left/right, pitch up/down
Left Mouse ButtonShoot
ESCToggle menu

Gamepad controls:

Left stickMove left/right, forward/backward
Square/Cross (X/A)Move Up/down
Left stick buttonSwitch left stick to left/right, up/down
L2/R2 (triggers)Roll left/right
Right stickYaw left/right, pitch up/down
R1 (right bumper)Shoot
Select (back)Toggle menu
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 08:13:25 AM by fractilegames » Logged

marcAKAmarc
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2020, 06:30:55 AM »

Pretty fun game!  I'm new to the 6 degrees of freedom thing, but was able to get the hang of it pretty easily.  I only got up to level 2 at this point, but I was losing interest at that point with the somewhat repetitive gameplay (unless I gave up before gameplay changes occurred).  That said, I think the FPS w/ six degrees of freedom is a solid core gameplay mechanic and this serves as a solid proof of concept Hand Thumbs Up Left.

I also had some difficulty with getting lost.  It may come with the disorientation for someone that is new to the six degrees of freedom thing, but I would suggest having different parts of the level be textured differently so that players can quickly say 'oh I've been here.  I just didn't recognize it cause I'm upside down.'

Some ideas:
Varying spaces - maybe spaces that are more wide open.
Enemies that follow or run away?
Might be cool to have to switch between standard gravitational fps and this free floating style.
Other standard game mechanics - weapons upgrades, hidden rooms, maps, keys for doors, environmental dangers.  I'm pretty much thinking you could apply any mechanic from the original doom to this.
Maybe some challenges where you have to defend a certain area for a certain amount of time, or some fast navigational challenges?  Get from button A to B in less than X seconds to open a door?



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marcAKAmarc
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2020, 06:43:57 AM »

Also, I had a pretty hard time finding a way to kill one of the drones.  It seemed to be hidden in a corridor that was completely shut off by those laser barriers.  In the end, I died because I was standing too close to a laser barrier while it fired at me.  This was level 3.

I found myself playing in manner focused around tactics - I would commonly just poke my head around a corner for a second or two, then take cover again. I think it would be cool if the player had more of a reason to play loose and fast from time to time. 

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fractilegames
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2020, 08:58:29 AM »

First of all, thank you for the feedback!

I also had some difficulty with getting lost.  It may come with the disorientation for someone that is new to the six degrees of freedom thing, but I would suggest having different parts of the level be textured differently so that players can quickly say 'oh I've been here.  I just didn't recognize it cause I'm upside down.'

Some ideas:
Varying spaces - maybe spaces that are more wide open.
Enemies that follow or run away?
Might be cool to have to switch between standard gravitational fps and this free floating style.
Other standard game mechanics - weapons upgrades, hidden rooms, maps, keys for doors, environmental dangers.  I'm pretty much thinking you could apply any mechanic from the original doom to this.
Maybe some challenges where you have to defend a certain area for a certain amount of time, or some fast navigational challenges?  Get from button A to B in less than X seconds to open a door?


Getting lost in the maze is a common complaint. I initially planned to have differently colored areas in the maze to help navigation but I never managed to make it look good enough so I dropped it. When I later decided to go with fixed small maze size (5x5x5, compared to varying size up to 8x8x8), I thought navigation would be easy enough. I will give that color coding another try.

Another thing I hear a lot is that the game is too repetitive. I'm planning to add some more enemies and visual level variation but I'm somewhat limited in this regard. This is basically a high score shooter with (intentionally) relative short gameplay runs, so if the levels get too different between runs, the final score depends more on "luck" in level generation than player skill. I can, however,  add variation between levels (add new levels/puzzles in higher levels) but that doesn't help with first levels of the game always looking quite similar.

Quote from: marcAKAmarc
Also, I had a pretty hard time finding a way to kill one of the drones.  It seemed to be hidden in a corridor that was completely shut off by those laser barriers.  In the end, I died because I was standing too close to a laser barrier while it fired at me.  This was level 3.
The level generation may create sections completely blocked by laser screens but at least one of the screens should always have its "power boxes" outside the area so that it can be disabled. Could be a bug.

Quote from: marcAKAmarc
I found myself playing in manner focused around tactics - I would commonly just poke my head around a corner for a second or two, then take cover again. I think it would be cool if the player had more of a reason to play loose and fast from time to time.

This makes my happy. Often players just rush into action, die quickly and give up. I've been trying to find ways to direct players towards more careful and tactical play style.

I would like to make the "run and gun" approach more usable but I don't want to force it on player. I'm aiming for somewhat "stress-free" gameplay where player can stop and catch breath behind corners and not have to worry about getting ambushed (no freely moving enemies, for example). I know this is a bit contradictory with players expectations for a shooter game. I'm not entirely sure this is a good idea Facepalm

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jbarrios
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 01:22:41 PM »

Hi fractilegames,

I played your game and recorded my thoughts:



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fractilegames
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 07:55:48 AM »

Hi fractilegames,

I played your game and recorded my thoughts:





Thank you! It is invaluable seeing people actually play the game and struggle with it Smiley

One thing has become clear to me with this current alpha version: The game needs to be much more intuitive and better communicate how things work and what the objectives are. It should be clear to the player that this is primarily a high score shooter and you're supposed to collect as many of those green things as possible (the X is a multiplier). I could add a tutorial level but I've been hoping to avoid that..

There will be a controls help screen after I have implemented configurable controls. Currently the controls are only documented in readme.txt -file that no-one reads (can't blame them). By the way, the pitch direction can be inverted in settings menu.

The game intentionally encourages more careful and tactical approach than traditional 6DOF games. I'm trying to make the "zipping though" approach more practical but currently it usually gets you killed quickly.

I have never seen the keyboard delay you experienced. I really hope it's not a bug in the game because that would make it practically unplayable Shocked
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