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1402038 Posts in 68026 Topics- by 61610 Members - Latest Member: Devine_Universe

August 10, 2022, 11:54:49 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingDeeper
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Author Topic: Deeper  (Read 759 times)
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« on: April 03, 2022, 10:17:40 PM »

Hello! Our game is Deeper, a 2D action-survival-adventure game where players are tasked with drilling into a dangerous dig site in search of a valuable diamond. Many dangers lurk below -- extraterrestrial life seems to have invaded underground. Drill strategically, buy items and upgrades, and don't run out of light. Discover what awaits when you go deeper.

Alpha Release:

What’s New?
Added new "Corrupted drill" enemy, which can mine through blocks like the player and will pursue the player.
Enabled mouse control in shop menus and for items with any aiming component
Added a summary screen when dying, explaining what killed the player and how much money is lost before respawning
Changed interaction key from "P" to "F"
Changed names of several items/upgrades to make more sense
Revamped the shop UI so players better understand the difference between consumables, upgrades, and utilities
Adjusted text scaling so text doesn't look blurry at higher resolutions
Map size has been doubled and many more obstacles have been added
Level has been re-worked to be more forgiving to the player and allow more exploration
Particle and sound effects added to drilling
The player notification system is used much more extensively in order to convey game state
Gradually reveal UI elements as they are needed so the player is not confused by useless UI elements at the start of the game
Many, many sound effects added
Many minor bug fixes

Almost all of these changes were motivated by player feedback. The majority of feedback revolved around the lack of guidance in our game and the high level of difficulty/frustration. Many players found themselves confused in several regards. Players were often unsure of what effects shop items would have, and were thus uninterested in purchasing them. Often, once an item was purchased, they were used once and then forgotten. On this iteration, we focused heavily on improving player guidance and making sure the players understood the game state and were not as confused. This should help greatly with the perceived difficulty of the level without us needing to do too much balancing.

What’s Next?
For our beta release, we are planning on creating a greater variety of enemies and expanding the tutorial so we can offer even more guidance to the player. We will also look at re-balancing the game and working very closely on level design. We will of course address any concerns found from the alpha release as well.

Link to Windows and Mac build: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1vGwbNqHi1Wn-ovBhFj1cTKxoH_olCKi9?usp=sharing
« Last Edit: April 03, 2022, 10:22:43 PM by tyschnei » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2022, 12:40:45 AM »

Beta release:

What's New?

In order to address UI concerns from playtesters last week, we have overhauled the item UI. Now, acquired items will fill up the five slots on the left of the screen and can be switched to with hotkeys.

We have added a new mine obstacle to force the player to make more interesting decisions in their search to go deeper. We also added a shield upgrade to address feedback that the one-hit kill mechanic is a little too harsh. This upgrade will now provide a one-hit shield every life once bought. We have made the corrupted miners slightly slower to address concerns that they were too difficult. We added a stun gun weapon as well, which replaced a light upgrade that saw very little use. This should make enemy encounters easier to handle and addresses suggestions for some sort of way to combat enemies. Finally, we have added a mining laser which stuns enemies and mines in a direction determined by the player's cursor. We have made many minor balancing changes (for example, all batteries now heal to full light) and bug fixes.

What's coming?

For our next (and final) release, we plan mostly on perfecting the balance and tweaking level design to facilitate interesting decision-making. We also plan on overhauling our tutorial system to give the player clear and focused guidance exactly when they need it. This will be done through popup screens that pause the game underneath them until an item is used, button is pressed, etc. We are also developing a light-stealing enemy that may be added next week.

Windows and Mac Builds:

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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2022, 05:30:52 AM »

Trailer for Beta release:

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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2022, 10:26:01 AM »

Hey tyschnei,

I played your game:

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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2022, 01:01:38 PM »

Deeper Full Release:

This is the final gold release of Deeper! Our final devblog and relevant links are below:

What's new and why?
For our final release, we focused primarily on adding planned content and perfecting the balance and pace of gameplay. The game has been optimized and balanced to have a playtime of about 15 minutes, with players being able to experience most of the game within that time. A summary of additions and changes is below:

-Alternate paths have been added downwards towards the diamond, to give players more freedom in their pathmaking and provide less opportunities to get lost in the dark
-Most utilities and upgrades have been buffed significantly in order to encourage their purchasing and use
-Added a cash drop upon player death -- a respawned player can collect this drop and recover all lost money
-Level design now includes more batteries which fully heal the player's light and respawn on player death in order to encourage exploration and let the player explore
-Level design includes fewer hazards so player's survive longer on average
-Pricing has in general been reduced to reduce the impact of losing money on death and allow more players to experience these features
-A consistent, complete lore and story is now fully present
-Added a final boss when the player reaches the deepest depths
-Audio has been rebalanced -- certain sounds are no longer significantly louder/quieter than others
-Scene transitions have been added to add professional polish
-Redesigned utility UI -- now, players activate their purchased utilities by pressing the hotkey on that utility's corresponding UI slot
-Several bug fixes

Link to builds:

Damian Jankowski
Kobe Shi
Patrick McKeever
Tyler Schneider
Faraaz Iqbal
With music by: Dylan Abramowitz
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2022, 02:37:26 PM »

Is this a metroidvania? It looks intriguing.
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2022, 03:27:14 PM »

I tried out your game and thought it was pretty cool! I loved the idea of delving into a hostile alien cavern - and thought the atmosphere was really well done. There are a couple of issues I had though, my biggest being the controls. There's a second of delay between when you stop pressing a movement key and actually stop moving, which makes the game feel imprecise to control.

While I thought the areas were overall interesting and cool looking (especially the second one!), I don't think the game started with its best foot forward as the first area felt a bit bland looking.

I made it all the way to the end, but couldn't for the life of me figure out how to defeat the boss. The game seems to want me to drop mines onto its head, but when I played it just hugged the leftmost side of the arena and I was only able to drop a maximum of two bombs on it.
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