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April 12, 2021, 07:04:23 AM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingAirborne Motocross - explore, race, loot and puzzle
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Author Topic: Airborne Motocross - explore, race, loot and puzzle  (Read 721 times)
geo
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« on: December 24, 2020, 08:09:59 AM »

Happy holidays everyone,

my game is a 2.5D explorative motocross racing game with loot and physics puzzles.



If you want to see it moving here is a gif (heavily compressed, more below):


Direct download link for Windows (a zip with and .exe inside, ~35 MByte):
https://airborne.kamgam.com/build-files/current-pc.zip

Android (.apk file for manual install, ~ 45 MByte):
https://airborne.kamgam.com/build-files/current.apk
If you need help with the installation then here is a guide: https://airborne.kamgam.com/how-to-install-apk

Android (Google Play Shared App)
https://play.google.com/apps/test/RQEm1xJ3ZGU/ahAAt2tXInCZo3MR1B5-oSrYYPnk9nnhbsXLehuTG3o9_P2SRBKdJE5gzsTYKS6kyaNQiHK9KLQ-sElOE73gnWZPzj
If you need help with the installation then here is a guide: https://airborne.kamgam.com/how-to-use-internal-app-sharing



You can also get the builds and some more info here: https://airborne.kamgam.com/



It's currently in early/mid stage of its development (pre alpha).
I want it to become a mix of exploration, racing and some optional puzzles along the way.
In the tutorial you will get a glider. So you will be airborne quite often (I hope).

I will link the other gifs (better quality) to save bandwidth.
Cave https://sbr2.kamgam.com/perma/gifs/tutorial-cave.gif
Glider https://sbr2.kamgam.com/perma/gifs/glider.gif

Obviously I am looking for feedback, especially on the controls (do they feel "right").
Controls are taught in the tutorial and are also available in the menu (can be changed). Please let me know if you change them (and why/how) Smiley

There is a short (5 questions) feedback form in the game. I would be delighted if you could fill it out once you are done. Playtime should be around 5-10 Minutes.

Thank you for reading it all.
Looking forward to your replies Gomez
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 08:40:02 AM by geo » Logged

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buto
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2021, 01:02:00 AM »

Just wanted to say that the game looks really cool - both regarding graphics and bike physics!
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geo
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2021, 03:00:58 AM »

Thank you for your kind comment Smiley
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mobilelast
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 03:56:58 PM »

Great visuals: lots of variety and nice little touches such as falling leaves and dirt. Camera movement, zoom and physics are also very well done. The glider was specially funny idea. Can't wait until I get to try this with sound.

About issues: sometimes the speed makes it impossible to see far ahead, so levels are more or less about remembering. Perhaps there could be some slower phases in order to add variety to pacing. And I wasn't able find keyboard controls anywhere, only tablet ones.
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geo
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2021, 07:39:00 AM »

Thank you for your feedback Smiley

I can only take partial credit for the nice art. Most of the spring and winter assets were done by Manu and Yury from TidalFlask. They are lovely (both their assets and they themselves). I am very happy you like those details, took me ages to make them "right" (still a lot of polishing left to do).

... sometimes the speed makes it impossible to see far ahead, so levels are more or less about remembering.

Yes, that's a good observation. It's always a tradeoff between how far I let the camera zoom out and how much the player can see. I admit I have been going back and forth on this one. There even is a camera offset in the debug settings which you can play around with. I use it whenever I am doing a live test with a player (sadly not too often at the moment).



If have once tried to make the camera rotate sideways while racing fast to reveal more. Yet, this causes some problems because, well, actually the level looks like this :D



... And I wasn't able find keyboard controls anywhere, only tablet ones.

Oh, thanks for letting me know. Did you maybe play on a detachable? Did your device have a mouse connected? The game should recognize if a mouse or keyboard is connected and show the keyboard settings. If you can then please let me know which device you have been using. It would help me to track down the error. Here is how the two different control menus should look like.



Thanks again for playing Smiley
All and every feedback is welcome.


« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 08:24:30 AM by geo » Logged

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mobilelast
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2021, 11:47:59 AM »

I found the cause. It seems that if either of my game controllers (Xbox One For Windows and a cheap F310) is attached, the "Controls" button won't be visible. I'm using Windows 10 in a casual gaming computer with no special components installed.
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geo
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2021, 12:33:33 PM »

Thank you very much for checking Smiley

Thanks to you I've found the culprit. Controller support is planned but not yet finished and as default fallback I have set touch controls. Therefore if a controller is connected it will show the settings for touch. I admit, I have not tested that.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 03:04:10 PM by geo » Logged

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geo
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2021, 08:39:32 AM »

I have just release a new version.

1) A new demo level (clouds) is now included.
2) It fixes a lot of errors people had if a controller (xbox controller, ps4 controller) was connect. If you have been suffering from this then the new version will fix it. Controllers are still not supported yet. Now they simply don't wreak havoc on the game any more.

Windows Pc (a zip with and .exe inside):
https://airborne.kamgam.com/build-files/current-pc.zip

Android (.apk file for manual install):
https://airborne.kamgam.com/build-files/current.apk
If you need help with the installation then here is a guide: https://airborne.kamgam.com/how-to-install-apk

Android (Google Play Shared App)
https://play.google.com/apps/test/RQEm1xJ3ZGU/ahAAt2tXInCZo3MR1B5-oSrYYPnk9nnhbsXLehuTG3o9_P2SRBKdJE5gzsTYKS6kyaNQiHK9KLQ-sElOE73gnWZPzj

Here is how the clouds level looks like:


Thank you
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jbarrios
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2021, 08:50:48 AM »

Hi Geo,

I played your game and recorded my thoughts



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geo
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2021, 02:47:05 AM »

Hi jbarrios or Justin (not sure which you prefer, please let me know),

I have followed some of your other review videos in the past and you always give feedback in such a positive and constructive way. Getting feedback like this from a person who tries to take a nice objective look at your game is a rare gift. Thank you very VERY much for your video reviews, they are truly heart-warming and helpful!

Let's get to it, you brought up at lot in the video. I will try to "address" it all here. Some sparked new questions in my head which I would be delighted if you (or some other interested reader) could comment on. Brace yourselves, this will be a wall of text.

That little side comment in the beginning "that's a good looking torch". You don't even know how nice it was to hear that :D
In total I can only take partial credit for the nice art. Most of the spring and winter assets were done by Manu and Yury from TidalFlask. They are really lovely (both their assets and they themselves).

1) The final game will have a title screen. I just had no the time to do a proper one for this demo. I try to call it a pre-alpha because there are not even all the features in yet. Still I have made the experience that people will always interpret ones demo as being a full game. No meant to critizise you, you are right to call it out. I just wonder if there is a way to better communicate to people that this is just one build meant to test one thing (the feel of the controls).

QUESTION: The game seemed to drop frames every now and then. Is this due to the recording or does it do this every time you play?

2) You mentioned "Trials" as an example for controls (being able to turn in the air). I'll change the default controls to match that game. Trials is a well known franchise in this genre and therefore I figured racing game players will be familiar with these controls (even researched it quite a while ago). Not sure how I got to using "A" and "D" instead of the arrows.


I try to introduce the controls slowly. I have had good results with people who are not that familiar with video games but on the other hand all the experienced players (like yourself) are disappointed at the start because there is limited control. I think I will change it to show and unlock all the controls from the start for keyboard users. To be honest the slow introduction stems from the mobile version of the game. There you have a much higher chance of random people trying out your game and I don't want to spook them with too complex controls.

3) Thanks to you I have learned that the crashes are not well communicated. It just shows the restart menu. In future versions you will not crash as easily. Right now it crashes the moment you touch anything with your helmet. I am thinking about changing that to "impact only" crashing.

QUESTION: Did you know that you can restart from the last flag pole (checkpoint)? You always restarted from the beginning. I assume that was on purpose.

4) The "turn left" tutorial got skipped unintentionally. I will have to address that. It simply closes as soon as you hit "A".

5) I am happy that knocking the goal post over got your attention. I deliberately put it in there, glad it worked out Smiley If I had more time I would love to add much more details like this (gotta pick my battles though).

6) You are reading more text than any other player I have seen. Usually players just read about 5-7 words and then skip the whole screen.

QUESTION: Do you also read all the text if you play alone or is it something you do only for these test play sessions?

For those interested, here is a nice video by Daniel Cook about how much people actually read (and his is kind of a story heavy game, so for mine it's even worse):




7) The main menu (tab bar at the bottom) seems to confuse many people. I will have to rework how it displays the currently active tab (the map). Almost everyone tries to click the map instantly (which is good) but I does nothing because you already are in the map screen. The little white arrow seems to add to the confusion. It's intended to show where your keyboard/controller focus is (will press the button if you hit enter). Yet for users with a mouse it is interpreted as a "this is where I am", which is confusing.

8 ) You read all the challenges, that's a first :D

9) Display of your place and distance to other players will come in future versions. It's one of the most requested things in the demo.

10) The bike is still turning too much backwards during the race. You said nothing but corrected your rotation multiple times (especially in the air). I think the desire for air control early in the tutorial also stems from that. Will try to address this.

11) The camera. Ah yes, the elephant in the control room. It's fully dynamic right now with points of interest, easing etc. I will increase the "look ahead" so there will be less space to the back of the bike. I initially thought that I want to keeping this low because the player can turn around any time and I want to avoid quick camera swings.



For those interested in camera work, here are some good talks to watch (probably should rewatch them myself):

Vid1:




Vid2 (not sure why this does not turn into an embedded version here):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdvCO97jOQk

Vid3 (primarily about camera shake):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu-Qe66AvtY

12) I think I will have to show the "R" key while flying in the first few levels so players will remember. You are not alone with having trouble with this, which is not your fault.

13) It's funny you mentioned "exploration", "capture the flag" and "collecting things" as game modes you would like to see because these are exactly the modes which are coming in future versions Smiley

Points for stunts are not planned at the moment but making stunts will show a label ("back flip", "wheely") and recharge your booster (reward).

14) What's the USP? You asked in a kinder way but still, that's a very good question.

The original prototype contained a jetpack, a teleporter, a booster, a gravity gun, a shrink ray, cloud-wheels, bouncy-wheels, a time machine, a force-field generator, an "eject" button, a "dash forward" jump, an item magnet and some rockets.

I decided to make the glider, the ability to jump and turn my USPs in terms of mechanic and exploration and items (not yet in the demo) the USP in terms of overall gameplay. I chose the name "Airborne" to strengthen that "let's fly with a bike" appeal. If this will suffice, I am not sure.

Maybe a short history on why I am making this game. I have already made a racing game called "Sunset Bike Racer" in my sparetime. It got some following (~ 4 million downloads across all channels), still ~300 DL/day on Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.kamptner.sunsetracer&hl=en&gl=US). This one is supposed to be a part 2. I want to fix a lot of the problems part one had (poor graphics, little longterm motivation to play, bad controls). I am doing this full time now and it's a bit of a risk. Luckily I live very frugally and have some money saved, thus can afford it Smiley. What I meant to say is that even if the USP is not that very strong my hopes are that the players of part one will appreciate it enough to make it a worthwhile endeavour.

If you have any ideas for USP improvement. I am all ears!

Once again, thank you and kind regards,
Geo(rge)
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 08:00:15 AM by geo » Logged

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