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December 05, 2022, 12:21:22 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingFeedback wanted for Grin Grove, a precision platformer about making the sad glad
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Author Topic: Feedback wanted for Grin Grove, a precision platformer about making the sad glad  (Read 943 times)
LinsonLime
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« on: May 26, 2022, 02:12:39 PM »


Grin Grove is a short precision platformer with the gimmick being a gun that you use to propel yourself around. As is likely evident from the screenshots, this is my first game. As such it's not very good!

The art is ugly!

The audio is grating!

The code is shoddy!

While a lot of its negative qualities are known, they aren't properly understood. That's why I hope to get feedback on it! Anything you didn't like, anything you think could be improved, I'd love to hear.

As of now it only includes about 50% of the planned content and, depending on your experience with platformers, will take about 10 - 25 minutes to complete. Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2022, 11:30:35 AM by LinsonLime » Logged
DarkGran
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2022, 04:30:59 PM »

Hey, congratz on your first game. :)

I think the gameplay is nice (cool idea), although it might be a bit too hard for me (as I don't play this kind of platformers much). I admit I ended my run in maybe the 4th room (the first time you meet the disappearing floor), but I did spend at least 15 minutes on it overall. xD :p

You ask for notes, so:
  • Code - Don't know how shoddy it actually is, as everything seemed to work fine. So, just wanted to say good job. ;)
  • Audio - Music-wise, really liked the sync with "pull the trigger" in the beginning. But I would look into the high notes that come in the song afterwards. While the melody is ok, it's "pulling the ear" a little bit too much - the trick is to take the different instruments playing in different "heights" and set them to different volumes, in the end the sounds will blend more nicely. You might also want to pick less "aggresive" synths, although I get that you probably wanted to go "retro". As for the sound-effects, I actually barely noticed them, which means they're probably good enough for now. ;)
  • Art - I agree the art needs lotsa work but I've seen worse too. I think there are 2 biggest issues right now: resolutions and colors. You should always plan your images bigger when making them, even if you know in advance for sure how big the images need to be for all the planned game-resolutions. First it will force you to learn to make better images in general, second it will save you when your indie plans go wild. :p Right now all the images are too small for common resolutions, and also there's a difference in resolution/quality between images in game (eg. background vs avatar), so I'd look into that. As for the colors, I really don't like the cyan walls, they're waaaay too saturated for a friendly thing, meanwhile the dangerous thing has almost the same hue but less saturation (which is also confusing for the player). You want to look into saturation of the colors in general (looking at the screenshot, the purple is probably too much too). By the way, the space-background looks interesting, shame it's practically hidden. ;)
    (One tip comes to mind - balancing colors from inside the game, or simply one picture at a time, is hard: After I make some game art and put it in a game, I take a screenshot and put that screenshot in an image editor and I balance the colors there, that way it's much easier to make em all fit together)
  • Gameplay - Said most in the beginning, I just want to add that you could probably make the bullets go faster. ;) Also the opening scene takes a bit too long (the part between shooting and the other guy shaking, there's a strangely long wait).

I hope these help a bit. Keep up the good job. :)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2022, 04:39:47 PM by DarkGran » Logged
jbarrios
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2022, 01:23:54 PM »

Hey LinsonLime,

I played your game:





Also.  You really shouldn't talk badly about your game.  I totally understand that it's your first game.  Putting your game out for criticism makes you feel very vulnerable.  You managed to complete a game!  That's an accomplishment not many people can claim.  You should feel proud of that.
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LinsonLime
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2022, 11:27:32 AM »

Hey! Thanks for taking the time to try out and critique the game. Sorry about the estimate being inaccurate! The friends I had playtest had lots of experience playing difficult platformers, so the estimate was lowered past the time it might take a sane person to finish the game.

  • Code - Don't know how shoddy it actually is, as everything seemed to work fine. So, just wanted to say good job. Wink

It seems most people's experiences have been bug-free, which is a huge relief!

  • Audio - Music-wise, really liked the sync with "pull the trigger" in the beginning. But I would look into the high notes that come in the song afterwards. While the melody is ok, it's "pulling the ear" a little bit too much - the trick is to take the different instruments playing in different "heights" and set them to different volumes, in the end the sounds will blend more nicely. You might also want to pick less "aggresive" synths, although I get that you probably wanted to go "retro". As for the sound-effects, I actually barely noticed them, which means they're probably good enough for now. Wink

I can see what you're getting at. Nearly all notes in the song play at the same volume, so I'll try and adjust them to make them blend together a bit better.

  • Art - I agree the art needs lotsa work but I've seen worse too. I think there are 2 biggest issues right now: resolutions and colors. You should always plan your images bigger when making them, even if you know in advance for sure how big the images need to be for all the planned game-resolutions. First it will force you to learn to make better images in general, second it will save you when your indie plans go wild. :p Right now all the images are too small for common resolutions, and also there's a difference in resolution/quality between images in game (eg. background vs avatar), so I'd look into that. As for the colors, I really don't like the cyan walls, they're waaaay too saturated for a friendly thing, meanwhile the dangerous thing has almost the same hue but less saturation (which is also confusing for the player). You want to look into saturation of the colors in general (looking at the screenshot, the purple is probably too much too). By the way, the space-background looks interesting, shame it's practically hidden. Wink
    (One tip comes to mind - balancing colors from inside the game, or simply one picture at a time, is hard: After I make some game art and put it in a game, I take a screenshot and put that screenshot in an image editor and I balance the colors there, that way it's much easier to make em all fit together)

It's always great to get advice on the game's art! I'm very inexperienced at drawing, and tips like these are invaluable. I'll try to take what you said into account, and work on making the game's art more consistent and readable.

  • Gameplay - Said most in the beginning, I just want to add that you could probably make the bullets go faster. Wink Also the opening scene takes a bit too long (the part between shooting and the other guy shaking, there's a strangely long wait).

The reason the length of time between the shooting and the guy shaking is so long is that something is actually happening during that span of time. The reason why you probably didn't notice it is because the thing that happens is tiny, blends in with other colors, and is overall pretty much impossible to see! Oops! I'll try to make it more visible in the future.

Hey LinsonLime,

I played your game:





Also.  You really shouldn't talk badly about your game.  I totally understand that it's your first game.  Putting your game out for criticism makes you feel very vulnerable.  You managed to complete a game!  That's an accomplishment not many people can claim.  You should feel proud of that.

You mention there being a "tint" in the second screen indicating you can use the gun to boost yourself, which is weird because I intentionally didn't add any tutorial for that mechanic.

I liked your advice at the end of the video, I think adding some sort of optional objective would bloat development time past what I want, but the idea of letting the player "give up" a difficult section and return to it later, maybe with a bit more experience, really stuck with me.

I can see how you might get the impression from the way I write about my game that I'm embarrassed or ashamed of it, but that couldn't be farther from the truth; I'm immensely proud of having made it! Despite its shortcomings I've made something I'm very happy with, and excited to share with people.

TLDR:
You're both awesome! Thanks for playing the game, and taking the time to give advice. Have a great day!
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LinsonLime
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2022, 05:32:31 PM »

Hey, the game's finished! The project might have bloated just a liiiiiitle bit, the demo is more like 1/3rd of the game instead of 1/2. Overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

If you would like to skip to where the demo ended, type in "07734" on the title screen and press "Welcome Back". Thanks for reading!

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failbetter
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2022, 06:07:50 PM »

First off congratz on completing your first game, you're beautiful!

Some comments:

Main one: drop jumping, even moving. Make the player move exclusively by firing their weapon. That's the gimmick, those other modes of movement just take away from it.
Throw some fun things like springs, moving platforms, corridors you have to safely fall through and voila.
The spikes or whatever on walls should be much visually clearer. Like a different color entirely.
The music is chipper and fun, nice work. That said I'm not sure it fits with the rest of the art.
I like the sounds when you first start up and get the controls.
It's not fun to have to redo challenges, e.g. I get past some spikes only to be met with more of them. If I fail those I have to do the first challenge over!
Really wasn't expecting wall jumping -- and I can't fire anymore, what?!
Not sure why I have to shot this poor person to continue to the next stage.
You evidently have cool planets and shit in the background, but these bacon slices are preventing me from seeing 'em!
I think corner spikes should be rounded, make it a bit easier to pass through them.


And that's all I got cuz I can't get past that first challenge in the second level -- I suck!
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You may defeat me today but I will return stronger tomorrow.
LinsonLime
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2022, 02:20:34 PM »

Hey, thanks for trying out the game! You're beautiful too!

I totally agree with what you're saying about the spikes. They're supposed to be a prickly bit of bramble. They've probably been redesigned like 5-6 times, and the one in-game definitely could use some extra visibility.

Thanks for calling the background cool! People seem to like the Kirkland Brandâ„¢ Outer Wilds, though I suspect it's mostly because their finer details are obscured by the trees.

You don't suck! All the feedback here was super valuable! Seriously, thanks for taking the time to not only play the game but write this up. You rock!

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