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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingHands of the Killer - Cartoon Horror Sequel
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Author Topic: Hands of the Killer - Cartoon Horror Sequel  (Read 285 times)
garmentdistrict
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« on: December 16, 2020, 12:36:41 PM »

Greetings,

Some people here were nice enough to play the first game so I abuse your hospitality by also posting the second.
This one's called, "Hands of the Killer". Explore a strange apartment block at night and encounter the university of death; try to escape with your life intact, as well as your deposit. A funny horror game with no jumpscares.



The game can be played here:
https://gamejolt.com/games/handsofthekiller/564246

I know last time it was pointed out that some objects don't have collision on, this is intentional as I believe collision is a distraction but I am very grateful for any feedback on general mood, story, whether it's funny or scary, etc. Thank you for reading!
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PseudoFanboy
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2020, 05:00:12 AM »

I really liked this experience, a fun little game with good humour that kept me interested all to the end. I love the 2D-in-3D visual style and the music worked well with the aesthetic to make something quite solid.


A list of issues I encountered or felt to be detrimental:

The first letter you read is at quite a slanted angle, a bit too much to be read comfortably. The text also overlaps the hand sprite.

Going fullscreen cuts off the bottom of the game window, maybe something to look into fixing.

Leaving a cutscene (main offenders are talking to BB's roommate and watching TV downstairs) triggers a strange camera issue it has to slide back from and teleports BB a bit too far away to not be noticable, though it didn't happen every time. For example, the first time I spoke to him I was teleported to the starting position, but the second time I walked in I was taken just outside the door.

Moving up slopes/stairs works fine but moving down them makes for a bouncing situation. Someone else might have solved this physics problem already but I don't know the solution offhand.

Moving in a direction while the camera switches angle is strange since you're holding the same arrow which now points to a different direction with the camera's new angle. For example, when I was about to walk down the stairs the camera moved and I then walked into the wall instead of continuing. It was never game-breaking but it was definitely annoying, which still isn't that good for a game experience.

The eye icons to indicate what can be looked at set a precedent for interacting with things, so doors not having any usage symbol leads them to not always read as something you're able to walk through. We understand that we can, of course, because that's what doors are for, but the knowledge of "doors can be walked through" sort of collides with the game's lesson of "icons indicate what can be used" just enough to be noticable - especially since there are a lot of objects in the world that can't be interacted with.

Walking left/right in an open space lets you walk around the camera just fine, but I could tell the camera was jittering a bit instead of just rotating to face the player. Not sure how that interaction happens (it's possibly moving at the same time and giving a weird result) but it's what I noticed.
Falling at the end still played metallic movement sounds.



Some suggestions:

Put views outside of windows a bit further away from the window instead of being part of the wall for a bit of extra depth and work nicer with the rest of the 3D. This is mainly in regards to the window in the first room.

BB's dialogue staying onscreen even though I've walked away looked to be a bug at first but further in I saw that some sequences don't allow you to stick around after you've started reading something. For most other situations it was a bit distracting to still see BB's bubble about something from a completely different room while I was nowhere near anything interactable. The close-ups of the posters disappeared when you walked away, the effect I'd imagine the dialogue would otherwise show up in, but I know that's not doable for a lot of the later dialogue events.

The roommate cutscene cutting to a page of instructions was quite abrupt and didn't seem to be led into. It explained itself but the initial surprise was strange.

The camera is always framed quite well, but it isn't always clear that there's more room behind the camera. Games have taught us over the years to expect the camera to be somewhere along the edge of whatever area we're exploring (like a corner of the ceiling), unless the player is able to rotate it themselves - not just by moving their character in order to manipulate it. This game sits in a weird place in the middle I've never experienced, and while I did sort of get used to it it might lend to a better feel if it shifted closer to one or the other.
It's especially weird when going around corners, as while the camera does clip through things it gets close to, it doesn't always enough to stop things obstructing BB. This made moving around annoying at times but ESPECIALLY while I was being chased. Not seeing where you're going is a fun scary thing but when you can't see where you're going because the camera hasn't caught up to you doesn't feel tense, it feels like the game isn't working.

Speaking of which, the camera got a bit weird in the hallways - I think it's the turning speed. While BB is far away it moves smoothly, but when you're trying to walk past the camera - especially in tight spaces like the hallway to the Bort doll - the turning speed is relatively slow. Maybe while the player is close to where the camera is, the turning speed increases depending on the distance?

Objects not having bounding boxes alternates between good and bad. For the most part it's refreshing to walk around without having to navigate around boxes in the way, on the other it's a bit weird to walk through the desk when i just wanted to stand near it. A rule of thumb you've mostly adhered to already might be 'things against the wall that contain interactables get collision boxes'.

Not being able to get back to the apartment complex from the laundry was concerning, but it didn't read as a trap since i could just progress. Maybe a door back where you came from isn't a bad idea, though.

The first-person controls in crawlspaces are weird. Going from third-person moving to tank controls feels very restrictive, which makes sense for the physical space but isn't fun to switch to.

I understand that the dialogue, given the gameplay, needs to be in single chunks. It would be much more beneficial, however, to have shorter chunks of text appear instead of large walls. This is a very difficult piece of critique to give, however, since I love the text and your style of humour and would hate to see less of it. If any of the larger walls (more than 3 lines, i want to say) could be condensed without losing what makes it great, or if there was a 'click for next panel' function built into the non-cutscene dialogues that would be objectively better, but your words are a darling I'd hate to see you have to kill.



Overall I genuinely had a good time with this piece, I intend to play the previous chapter of what I hope is a series that continues. I'm interested in the absurd world the characters live in and would love to see the plotline I've seen established here to keep going and even mingle with others.
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jbarrios
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2020, 09:48:30 AM »

Hey garmentdistrict,

I played your game and recorded my thoughts:



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garmentdistrict
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2020, 05:32:25 AM »

Ah, thank you both for all comments!

@PseudoFanboy - thanks for this, definitely the most thorough and detailed feedback I've ever received - I agree with most but found it all useful. (I'd hoped that I could avoid having to mark doors as interactable by having no unusable doors that aren't marked as such with dialogue, being nailed up, etc - but of course I'd totally forgotten about all the one-way doors which undermine that by not letting you go back where you were.)
Camera locations and switches are definitely something where I'm still figuring out what works or not, so your notes on placement, implicit hidden spots behind the viewpoint etc are very helpful. Same with dialogue - I'm definitely trying to hit a sweet spot of length where it's supplementing or playing off the rest of the scene rather than distractingly long, at least for non-cutscene sections. The bugs you mention are useful too, and I'm glad you liked overall!

@jbarrios - really enjoyed watching this playthrough, thank you! It does highlight some issues for me to be more conscious about in future, like the types of rooms that tend not to play well with the camera, or when the writing doesn't work well with the chase sequences, etc.

---------------

For reference - my plan with these games is to make a few more and then try compiling them all into a little anthology. I have another finished one which I will be posting soon, and after that will move onto new ones, so won't be uploading a new build just yet - but I'll keep in mind all advice both for the future games and also for when I go back to adjust these for the compilation version. Beer!
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