Help me debug/alpha test this game! - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


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sfried
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"Help me debug test this game!" , posted Thu 11 Nov 03:40:post reply

Hey guys, do you want to help test out an engine for an adventure platform game?
Link!

This is not mine, by the way. This is by some guy who goes under the name of Marty. He usually posts on this blog about the development status of his game called "The Island", which I have been checking out for almost 2 years now.

Now I'm not one to usually the one to plug in small developer games because there are ton of them out there, but this one looks to be the most promising so far, in terms of level design and art style.

You can always post at his blog or the TIGforums for feedback with the controls and how everything responds so far. I thought I might count on some of MMCafe's expertise (he already knows about the whole enemies not stopping while text is on screen problem), since I know there are so many small details in a platformer to make the experience right. I just want to know what you guys think...

Edit: This is just a debug/tech demo, not the full game.





[this message was edited by sfried on Thu 11 Nov 03:56]

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HAYATO
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"Re(1):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Thu 11 Nov 04:13post reply

What a nice little project!! It has a certain Doukutsu Monogatari vibe to it, which is a good thing, I suppose...

According to the author, the tech demo is pretty much what one can see in the video, so I think I'll leave beta testing for the more enthusiast ones...

Anyways, a project to follow closely. Thanks for bringing it up here!





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"Re(2):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Thu 11 Nov 04:19post reply

quote:
What a nice little project!! It has a certain Doukutsu Monogatari vibe to it, which is a good thing, I suppose...

According to the author, the tech demo is pretty much what one can see in the video, so I think I'll leave beta testing for the more enthusiast ones...

Anyways, a project to follow closely. Thanks for bringing it up here!



Looks pretty solid!

Even if there are a ton of indie games out there being made, I don't mind hearing about projects like this... maybe this could turn into a general indie thread?





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KTallguy
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"Re(1):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Thu 11 Nov 10:35post reply

Other than the text speed being a bit slow, its a nice tech demo. I hesitate to comment on jumping mechanics and running speed because it's just my personal preference, but I would prefer a little more acceleration when you start the run (right now it seems very binary). But if he's designing the levels around that then it's already too late.

There is some other common sense stuff, like don't put enemies that can hurt you in the same area as powerups that prevent you from moving around while you view description text.

Also maybe in the air C can do the stomp down maneuver, as some people have trouble double tapping.

Just off the top of my head.





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"Re(2):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Thu 11 Nov 13:41post reply

Very nice!

From the text, I'm assuming the issue with music only coming out of one speaker is known, and you say the issue with text not freezing the game's state is also known, so I'm ignoring those.

Aside from that, I'm not noticing any glaring issues. When Ralph dies he doesn't respawn or restart the level so I have to quit, but it's no big deal for a demo. And when you walk off the map to the left you just fall infinitely offscreen until you quit the level, but I'd never grade level design on a test map.

My only real criticism is that with the text, the way the words appear on one line and then teleport on to the next when the word wraps is distracting and a bit annoying. It'd be better if the word wrap case was handled before each word was rendered.

Other than that, the rest of these are just nit-picking:

-Since you have to double-tap to do the diving move, it's a little hard to control when it comes out, and if there's an interactive object beneath, you end up interacting with it. If the velocity and gravity of jumping isn't going to change, it might be better to assign the move to a single press, like KTallguy suggested.

-I noticed by tapping the attack button at the same time as the opposite direction Ralph is facing, you can make him attack while moving backwards, which is pretty cool. If this was intentional I'd prefer a more consistent method, though.

-The swimming feels good, but right now there's really not much of a visual cue to sell that he's underwater so it looks no different from dry land. Like a translucent effect, or bubble particles rising.

-A minor thing with health in general and the air gauge, it's always nice to have a little warning signal when it's getting low. Just a little beep or something.

None of this is all that bad, though. It's a solid and fun little engine. I'm interested in seeing what comes of it.





sfried
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"Re(3):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Thu 11 Nov 14:19:post reply

Thanks for the help so far!

Hot of the presses: Latest build, guys! Now with more scarf physics!

quote:
Notes:

* The Scarf is meant to turn off during special animations, but I haven't put in that switch yet. (It sticks around during his death animation).
* Wanted to make the text go even faster when holding down the X button, but the speech sounds became really obnoxious. Thinking of a solution for that.
* You can interact with the sign on the left side of the screen to "reset" the room.
* The A and S buttons switch between menus in the Pause Menu. Tried making the game show which buttons will do this (as well as showing the button for speaking) but the methods I've tried shows the key's value instead of the key itself. Crazy Thinking about that one too.
* Not really noticeable, but I put in the framework for starting some extra sword attacks. Hopefully I can get an air attack move in so he does something different while in the air.


I also think he had only began to read the problems you guys addressed here, which I reposted in TIGSource Forums for the sake of convenience, so this latest build might not have the stomp button assignment yet.

Edit: Marty just heard your comments:
quote:
About the stomping- Double Tapping the down button feels fine to me. If some people are having trouble doing it, would increasing the window of time for pressing the button a second time help?






[this message was edited by sfried on Thu 11 Nov 16:00]

KTallguy
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"Re(4):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Thu 11 Nov 20:03post reply

I don't think double tapping is hard, it's more of an accessibility thing. Some people find double tapping hard. It's OK if it's double press down though.





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"Re(4):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Thu 11 Nov 23:33:post reply

It's not that the motion itself is hard, but the motion combined with the gravity of jumping.

For example, if you're standing right next to an enemy you want to stomp, doing a forward jump and immediate stomp on it is a bit laboring because it takes three button presses (one long hold to position him above the enemy and two quick presses to get him to stomp), and by then you're past the peak of the jump so you'll probably end up hitting or bouncing off the enemy before it comes out. IMHO a move like that is only ideal if you can do it without too much effort at the peak of the jump, at least.

Edit: But it could be that I'm just not used to playing games on a keyboard. USB pad support would be nice.





[this message was edited by Gojira on Fri 12 Nov 02:25]

Professor
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"Re(4):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Fri 12 Nov 00:04:post reply

The demo looks good! Nice pixelart. I unfortunately can't run executables on this machine so I can only give impressions from what I'm seeing, so please take my comments without much seriousness.

1- I agree with Gojira about the text wrapping-- it needs to be preprocessed.

2- The screen seems to constantly re-center vertically whereever there's enough stage data to do so. For example, when you're under the Puppetmaster or at the right side of the stage with the pink house, almost half the screen gets filled up with the ground. Also because of that, the screen shakes vertically when you get hit at some areas of the stage, while it doesn't at some others.

For the latter part of #2, there's a few very easy ways to prevent that, like prohibiting vertical scrolling unless the character hops/falls for more than a designated amount of pixels.



Other than that, it's just some aesthetics that needs completion. BTW, love that paddle-ball.



On a side note, aren't stomps in side scrollers usually done with down + attack?





[this message was edited by Professor on Fri 12 Nov 00:34]

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"Re(5):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Fri 12 Nov 01:35post reply

quote:


On a side note, aren't stomps in side scrollers usually done with down + attack?

My good friend Yoshi presses jump and down after having already jumped. It seemed to work well for him, as I recall.





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"Re(5):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Fri 12 Nov 02:44:post reply

quote:

On a side note, aren't stomps in side scrollers usually done with down + attack?



Not in Castlevania (yeah, you saw that coming a mile away, right?)







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sfried
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"Re(6):Now with Bionic Commando action!" , posted Thu 6 Jan 17:50post reply

Marty has released a new version with significant updates. This one includes new usable weapons and items (selectable by hitting Enter and then scrolling with Arrow Keys), such as the Revolver and Grappling Hook. There have also been a few technical graphical issues ironed out as well. Also please check his TIGSource thread for feedback and also for the most up-to-date version in case the one posted above is outdated.

-The Revolver has bullets that bounce off inclined surfaces (think the Laser from Kirby's Adventure) and can be aimed at 5 different directions by holding down C and using arrow keys to aim.
-Mini Bombs which were displayed on the video before are back and can be thrown in 5 different directions much like the Revolver.
-The Grappling Hook needs some work (aiming controls while jumping are wonky) but this is where he needs your help and feedback the most. I feel this could work given the right fixing.
-The world has also been slightly expanded as well. New kind of blocks and obstacles await testing.

Your critisism is vital at this stage. It seems he's really listening to most of the stuff you mentioned earlier, and I'd only want him to be able to create something that feels right as well as playing right.





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"Re(7):Now with Bionic Commando action!" , posted Fri 7 Jan 04:28post reply

I got the newest version out of the thread link, since the grappling hook wasn't working in the version posted above.

It's coming along nicely! I still think the dive move is a bit cumbersome, but no point in going over that again. If he likes it that way, good for him.

The grappling/zip line thing is different. I don't want to say it's bad, because once I figured out what it was doing I managed to get it more consistently. but it definitely takes some getting used to that might interfere with the fun of using it. My first instinct was to try to time the button press so that the line would be fully extended at the peak of the jump, but that resulted in the line extending way lower. Then I realized that all I had to do was press the button right at the peak and it worked fine. It's an interesting take, but I think if he's going to do it that way, the line needs to extend very fast (almost instantly) to avoid looking like it requires any timing.

The underwater air meter is still a bit unnoticable. I drowned because I didn't realize I was in trouble. Turning red is good, but it still needs a danger sound or something to add a bit of urgency. Or maybe have him start taking life damage when air is gone?

It seems you can't hold walk and jump. I could have sworn it worked before, and it would be a bit useful in making short jumps that don't overshoot things (such as that one on the left edge of the stage).

Otherwise, I like a lot of what's going on here. The bullet bouncing is neat; he should consider adding some downward aiming as well.





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"Re(1):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Wed 23 Mar 17:55post reply

New update from yours truly.

quote:
-Part of the game's intro is available. A cutscene isn't finished yet though, so it sort of just stops in the middle of it...

-You can perform a Super Jump by holding down the Shift button and releasing it when Ralph finishes charging up.

-There's a ladder!






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"Re(2):Help me debug test this game!" , posted Wed 23 Mar 18:43:post reply

Ha, I caught this just before I was about to go to bed. Well, I only have a few quick thoughts to leave anyway:

-Maybe he's aware and maybe he isn't, but the sound's mostly mono. The jump sound effect is fine, but things like music, sword swings, and gem pickup noise only come out of the left speaker. When only listening with speakers it's probably not a big deal, but since I wear headphones it's really noticable for me.

-If I'm holding up on a ladder, I don't think I should fall back through it when I reach the top.

Looking good, as always. Good night!





[this message was edited by Gojira on Wed 23 Mar 18:44]

sfried
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"Re(3):New build is out!" , posted Wed 17 Aug 03:56:post reply

I'm happy to say this new build feels more like a demo now (complete with customizable controls and save slots) with around 5-10 min. of gameplay. Relish the wonderful sprite animations of the characters and the somewhat insanely contrived situations...

quote:
Notes:

-The Dungeon is still under construction.
-The dungeon is effectively as far as the pictured boss.
-I'm using several placeholder musics, as I am as musically talented as a wet towel. Try to guess the sources of them all!
-You can still check out the Debug Room by pressed END on the main menu in the title screen.






[this message was edited by sfried on Wed 17 Aug 04:26]