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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:09 am 
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gauauu wrote:
Yup. I purposely didn't completely explain that, but did hint at it by mentioning that you could steer your jump. Did you feel like it was too hard to figure out, and should have been more explicitly mentioned?


Not being told how to do a maneuver that's necessary to win the game makes the game difficult, but not in an interesting way. If you tell the player about all the controls/maneuvers up front, you have more room to create interesting challenges.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:15 am 
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Zutano wrote:
gauauu wrote:
Yup. I purposely didn't completely explain that, but did hint at it by mentioning that you could steer your jump. Did you feel like it was too hard to figure out, and should have been more explicitly mentioned?


Not being told how to do a maneuver that's necessary to win the game makes the game difficult, but not in an interesting way. If you tell the player about all the controls/maneuvers up front, you have more room to create interesting challenges.


It just comes down to me trying to provide the most minimal set of on-screen instructions that still explain what you need to know. Did you try the game out to see how it works? (If you did, and found it confusing after reading the on-screen instructions and putting them into the context of the game, then I want to know about it)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:30 am 
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Finally found some time to try this out!

It is good. I like that you present a change of texture rather early on as if to tell players that they will achieve change.

But regarding the difficulty, i feel the game is working against me in ways that seem a bit too harsh. It's the roundness of the player character and the triangular shape of the spikes that makes me think i can make a jump - only to get hurt. It seems to me, without knowing the facts, that the hit box is a wee bit too high or broad at the top. But it's just a guess.

Level 3 has a difficulty spike a very short while after getting the powerup. It's like the level presents you an opportunity to use the ability, but you must succeed in order to pass, and you don't have time to play around with the ability and get comfy with it before this gauntlet happens.

Else, i agree that you shouldn't need to figure out basic moves. This skill wouldn't be as mandatory and basic if the player character could scale aswell as slide, but if that's not your cup of tea, i think it needs a bit more explanation.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:02 am 
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gauauu wrote:
Zutano wrote:
gauauu wrote:
Yup. I purposely didn't completely explain that, but did hint at it by mentioning that you could steer your jump. Did you feel like it was too hard to figure out, and should have been more explicitly mentioned?


Not being told how to do a maneuver that's necessary to win the game makes the game difficult, but not in an interesting way. If you tell the player about all the controls/maneuvers up front, you have more room to create interesting challenges.


It just comes down to me trying to provide the most minimal set of on-screen instructions that still explain what you need to know. Did you try the game out to see how it works? (If you did, and found it confusing after reading the on-screen instructions and putting them into the context of the game, then I want to know about it)

I already knew about the upward-jump from reading this thread before trying it out, but I sent the demo to a few friends and they didn't figure it out.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:25 am 
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Fair enough. That means I need to change it. I don't suppose you'd have any suggestions on a single short line of text that would clarify it?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:39 am 
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You could simplify the controls to just the D-pad: Left/Right to jump left/right, Up always jumps up, and Down always slides.
Or at least if Up or Up+Jump had the same effect as steering back to the current wall, it would make the controls more intuitive.

But if you want to keep the controls the way they are, I suppose you could say something like, "Steer jump backwards to jump directly up"

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Last edited by Zutano on Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:40 am 
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Perhaps...

Press B to jump

Press [<] or [>] to
aim at either wall

or

Use [<] or [>] to
aim at either wall

or

Press [*] to aim at either wall

*small d-pad symbol with < and > marked or animated

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:25 pm 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
But regarding the difficulty, i feel the game is working against me in ways that seem a bit too harsh. It's the roundness of the player character and the triangular shape of the spikes that makes me think i can make a jump - only to get hurt. It seems to me, without knowing the facts, that the hit box is a wee bit too high or broad at the top. But it's just a guess.

Funny, I felt like the hit-box at the top was fine, but the feet was where it was too big. Maybe I'll play with shrinking it slightly on both sides.

Quote:
Level 3 has a difficulty spike a very short while after getting the powerup. It's like the level presents you an opportunity to use the ability, but you must succeed in order to pass, and you don't have time to play around with the ability and get comfy with it before this gauntlet happens.


That's a good point. Maybe I'll put a little more friendly space in between getting the item and the difficult place where you have to use it.

Quote:
This skill wouldn't be as mandatory and basic if the player character could scale aswell as slide, but if that's not your cup of tea, i think it needs a bit more explanation.


The 4th level has a powerup that lets you press up to scale walls.

Quote:
But if you want to keep the controls the way they are, I suppose you could say something like, "Steer jump backwards to jump directly up"

I'm leaning towards keeping the controls. Up lets you scale once you get a powerup later, and there are parts in the final level where you have to do more careful and tricky in-air steering, so I don't want to completely change the controls or the explanation of the controls.

I'll keep brainstorming instruction text to try to make it brief but clear.

Thanks for your input!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:27 pm 
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Quote:
Funny, I felt like the hit-box at the top was fine, but the feet was where it was too big. Maybe I'll play with shrinking it slightly on both sides.

Heh.. my draft had a note on that but then i felt greedy. :oops: But yeah basically, if the hitbox can be made to be mostly or wholly within the visible/solid sprite, even at the cost of some visible pixels being outside the box, i think that's preferable in general. Else it feels like the game cheats you, while you're more ready to forgive a game for not registering what seems to be a graze. But it's a balancing act. Too much of either is bad.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:44 pm 
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Here's a new build. Instructions are updated (see below), I've shrunk the hitbox slightly, and tweaked a few of the jumps in the game to make it easier. If you happen to try it again, let me know.

Code:
A to jump.  Down to slide.
  You can steer mid-air.

Hold back while jumping
    to scale upwards.


Attachments:
robo-ninja-climb.nes [48.02 KiB]
Downloaded 28 times

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:58 am 
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Well, I had some friends come try it on my nes and learned one important thing: it's much easier for people on the actual NES than it is on most emulators. The precision of controls needed is just a bit difficult on emulators.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:24 am 
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I know that feeling. I kept thinking test builds of CG-2 were too difficult to control, but it was because I was playing on a phone and things like diagonals and simultaneous button presses just weren't comfortable to do.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:24 pm 
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The latest version feels a lot better, anyway! (will test it on hardware some later time, too). ...do i feel a faint tingle of addiction emerging? :o

One thing bugged out; i'll try to reproduce it next time. Basically, the game never started scrolling. A suicide solved it.

I'm not really sure, but one thing i thought would perhaps help with eye-measurement is if the lowest spike block looked something like this:

>>
>

rather than

>>
>>

(or really, something in-between those two)

so that it can ensure the player that you can get relatively close to it without hitting it (which i think is the point with the climb powerup).

Other things i thought while playing that totally are feature creeps and unsolicited advice :wink: :
-Maybe a health counter could help, + introduce some suspense when you only have 1 health left
-Each level could contain 1 health powerup refilling 1 health; perhaps even even exceeding the initial health, but not accumulative between levels (health resets to ...3?)
--That provides another way to vary your levels. Skip ahead or dare a risky jump to get it?
--make it move so there's a time window and eye coordination challenge to it. Slowly floating downards? Dropping rather quickly? Passing horizontally in a hanging arc and bye bye?
--Pavlovian bells: maybe even a chort "chirp chirp!" sound just right before it appears to alert and psych the player of its appearance.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:31 pm 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
One thing bugged out; i'll try to reproduce it next time. Basically, the game never started scrolling. A suicide solved it.


The current build had a debug feature enabled that causes scrolling to freeze of you press select. I'd guess that's what happened.


Quote:
Other things i thought while playing that totally are feature creeps and unsolicited advice :wink: :
-Maybe a health counter could help, + introduce some suspense when you only have 1 health left


If you're on easy mode, the color of the main character's eyes are the health meter. They go from Green to White. But I guess that's not obvious enough.

Adding a health meter would involve more sprites, but I'm actually almost at the limit on levels with laser beams and multiple power ups.

Quote:
-Each level could contain 1 health powerup refilling 1 health; perhaps even even exceeding the initial health, but not accumulative between levels (health resets to ...3?)
--That provides another way to vary your levels. Skip ahead or dare a risky jump to get it?
--make it move so there's a time window and eye coordination challenge to it. Slowly floating downards? Dropping rather quickly? Passing horizontally in a hanging arc and bye bye?
--Pavlovian bells: maybe even a chort "chirp chirp!" sound just right before it appears to alert and psych the player of its appearance.


I do like the health increase item idea. I'll consider it.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:03 am 
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fun game, good job.


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