Looking for feedback on my game

You can talk about almost anything that you want to on this board.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Marscaleb
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:39 am
Contact:

Looking for feedback on my game

Post by Marscaleb » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:44 am

Hello fine people, I was hoping I might get some feedback on on a game I've been working on. I know its not a NES game, but it's still retro-inspired, so I'm sure people here would be interested.

Image

DOWNLOAD LINK: https://eightballgaming.com/sandwich-isles-demo/

It's still a WIP, so of course what you see in this demo isn't finished. But you know, its better to get feedback early on when it is still easy to make big changes to the project.

I have three finished levels (plus an intro level.)

I am particularly looking for feedback on the following:
-General gameplay and design, balancing, etc
-Game controls, mechanics, gameplay "feel", etc
-Level design/layout/encounters/etc
-Art design (of finished assets)

Please tell me what you think.

User avatar
dougeff
Posts: 2778
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 7:17 pm
Location: DIGDUG
Contact:

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by dougeff » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:56 am

So, is this character a German barmaid? St. Pauli Girl?
nesdoug.com -- blog/tutorial on programming for the NES

User avatar
Marscaleb
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:39 am
Contact:

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by Marscaleb » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:32 am

UPDATE: version 0.1.1
I migrated to Unity's new input system, so it should have better support for controllers. However, please inform me if this is not the case for you.

Image

Download link: https://eightballgaming.com/sandwich-isles-demo/

rox_midge
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:51 am

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by rox_midge » Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:48 pm

I got to the point where Elise joined up, and couldn't get out of the water. The controls seemed decent - I couldn't get my gamepad to work, but it only works in about half the games I try it in, so I don't hold that against you.

It's hard to tell which of the art assets are actually finished and which are just placeholders. I assume the knight animation is all placeholder, and the cutscenes are placeholders, but are the static character poses and backgrounds finished?

User avatar
Marscaleb
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:39 am
Contact:

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by Marscaleb » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:54 pm

Hold up while jumping to get out of the water. (I thought this was pretty common, but good to see if people are having trouble with it.)
If your controller controller isn't working, could you try the other version and tell me if it is working with that version? Also, what kind of controller is it?
rox_midge wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:48 pm
It's hard to tell which of the art assets are actually finished and which are just placeholders. I assume the knight animation is all placeholder, and the cutscenes are placeholders, but are the static character poses and backgrounds finished?
Yes that's correct; also there is a read-me file included in the zip that goes over the specifics of what is and is not a placeholder if you wanted to check anything particular.

User avatar
Dwedit
Posts: 4367
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 7:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by Dwedit » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:02 pm

I'm wondering why you'd ever want to pick Elise, seems like she's just worse than Marcus in every way. She just has a shorter range boomerang instead of a longer range shot attack.

Also, I'd get rid of Spacebar to dismiss signs.
Here come the fortune cookies! Here come the fortune cookies! They're wearing paper hats!

User avatar
Marscaleb
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:39 am
Contact:

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by Marscaleb » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:23 pm

Dwedit wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:02 pm
I'm wondering why you'd ever want to pick Elise, seems like she's just worse than Marcus in every way. She just has a shorter range boomerang instead of a longer range shot attack.
I really appreciate comments like that; it gives me a good insight as to what people are looking for.
If you time it right, you can hit an enemy multiple times with the same attack. Also, the boomerangs will briefly stun most enemies. This is a big advantage on certain foes.
Apart from that, there's also just player preference. The boomerangs are a little more unique and the hope is that some people might find that more fun.
Dwedit wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:02 pm
Also, I'd get rid of Spacebar to dismiss signs.
Okay, what's wrong with using the spacebar for that?

User avatar
Dwedit
Posts: 4367
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 7:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by Dwedit » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:41 am

It's just that you'd expect to be able to close the box by hitting Up, Jump or Shoot, forcing Space makes it inconvenient. You have to move your fingers off the Shift, Z, X keys.

Let's see, what else...
I'd consider adding double tap Left/Right as another way to dash.

Maybe check out the video about movement in Dead Cells, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtBNffzWhf4 around 2:16, and all the little things it does to subtly assist the player in an unnoticeable way.
Here come the fortune cookies! Here come the fortune cookies! They're wearing paper hats!

User avatar
Marscaleb
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:39 am
Contact:

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by Marscaleb » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:08 am

Dwedit wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:41 am
It's just that you'd expect to be able to close the box by hitting Up, Jump or Shoot, forcing Space makes it inconvenient.
Um, That IS what closes the text box.
*double-checks*
Um, that is what is SUPPOSED TO close the text box. Looks like when I updated the input system I missed the alternate keyboard buttons. Thanks for the catch!
Dwedit wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:41 am
I'd consider adding double tap Left/Right as another way to dash.
That feature is already in there.
Dwedit wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:41 am
ls, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtBNffzWhf4 around 2:16, and all the little things it does to subtly assist the player in an unnoticeable way.
That "just in time jump" he mentions he more commonly called "coyote time."

User avatar
Dwedit
Posts: 4367
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 7:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by Dwedit » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:12 pm

Here's a crazy idea...

Based on the Wavelet Transform, I'll just simplify it here, and here's an idea for an effect with Lighting.
There is some math here.

Image A = Original
Image B = Gaussian Blur 48
Image C = Gaussian Blur 192

"Lighting" = B - C
"Detail" = A - B
Original = C + "Lighting" + "Detail"

Original Image A:
Image

Blurred (48) Image B:
Image

Blurred (192) Image C:
Image

"Lighting" B - C: (For display, Gray 128,128,128 was added to all values, since there are both positive and negative values)
Image

"Detail" A - B: (Gray 128,128,128 added to all values)
Image

Now that we have these layers, we can do effects on the "Lighting" layer and see changes in the image.
For example, you could increase the contrast of the Lighting layer.

Duplicate the Lighting Layer:
Image
We get some kind of colored lighting effect here.

Lighting Layer duplicated, but in Grayscale:
Image
Similar effect without affecting the colors

It's possible to make pixel shaders to do these effects. You can approximate a huge blur filter faster by reducing resolution.



If you want to try this for yourself:
Get Gimp 2
Get Wavelet Decompose plugin
Use Wavelet Decompose plugin (I used 7 layers)
You can clone layers and add effects (contrast, etc) to them.
Here come the fortune cookies! Here come the fortune cookies! They're wearing paper hats!

strat
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by strat » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:15 pm

Bug report:

On the map screen (I just exited Beach World 4) all the level icons and paths were invisible but still interactive. Went back into level and exited, map displayed as normal.

While on the "Forest of Illusion" map, it crashed on me trying to switch characters. It also froze when I beat the stage.

Feedback: Like the idea of a SMW-style map with secret exits and such. Maybe have two exit styles (if you're going to rip it off might as well go the whole hog). Should be some way to recover from knockback instead of dropping dead (like reducing the velocity of it if you're holding the other direction). I mostly played as Elise. The jumping feels good, boomerang needs slightly bigger hitbox, would be nice if you could fire while walking. That's about all I can think of.

rox_midge
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:51 am

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by rox_midge » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:58 am

Marscaleb wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:54 pm
Hold up while jumping to get out of the water. (I thought this was pretty common, but good to see if people are having trouble with it.)
If your controller controller isn't working, could you try the other version and tell me if it is working with that version? Also, what kind of controller is it?
It's a 3rd party Xbox 360 controller by PDP, from their Rock Candy line. It must not have been plugged in or something, because it works fine now in the latest version.

I was able to jump out of the water but it took a lot of button mashing while holding up continuously. If you're going to require it, then it should work every time, not just on certain frames or certain falling states, or whatever it's doing now. If you want it to be discoverable, then you should allow the D-pad to allow the player to move up and down within the water, which will make them naturally press up to rise to the surface, after which if they jump, they'll jump right out of the water.

But really, I'd expect to just be able to hold right and jump at that point, because I want to go right, and I'm jumping to swim / get out of the water. If I'm holding right, and I'm at the surface of the water, and there's a non-water block to the right, then I should jump out of the water onto the ground.
Marscaleb wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:54 pm
Yes that's correct; also there is a read-me file included in the zip that goes over the specifics of what is and is not a placeholder if you wanted to check anything particular.
I played up into the Basil forest. The art's not my thing, so I'll set that aside; I think it's a combination of the solid black outlines on everything and the simple shading that turns me off.

In the Basil forest, my character and all of the enemies are behind the scenery. I kept hitting spiders that I couldn't see - but maybe that's intended.

Due to the way the powerups were introduced, I thought they were character-specific; I assumed that Marcus's power was fire, and Elise's power was flight, and that I had to choose one or the other based on what powers were needed for a specific level. I also thought the powers were innate, and was surprised to find they were tied to health. When I had the flight power and got hit, I fell into a pit because I couldn't fly anymore.

There are some quirks with the level geometry / physics, too - while trying to jump out of the water I wound up "falling" while attached to the side of the rock face. But other mechanics are really great - I love that I can grab the ladders by jumping onto them.

User avatar
Marscaleb
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:39 am
Contact:

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by Marscaleb » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:31 am

strat wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:15 pm
Like the idea of a SMW-style map with secret exits and such. Maybe have two exit styles (if you're going to rip it off might as well go the whole hog).
I'd like to do that, but I haven't managed to come up with any good ideas on how to do it. I don't want to directly steal SMW's key-and-keyhole idea; I gotta be at least a little different, you know?
Honestly I'm not exactly super-pumped about using these banners as my stage goal, but I just haven't come up with anything better. It's good enough that if I don't come up with anything better, it will suffice. My original plan was to put a picture of the final boss on the banner, (once I finish his design,) and the heroes take down the banner when they reach it; but I've kind-of lost interest in that idea, plus I've been re-writing my ideas for the plot anyway.
Dwedit wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:12 pm
Here's a crazy idea...

Based on the Wavelet Transform, I'll just simplify it here, and here's an idea for an effect with Lighting.
I've got some mixed feelings about how that looks. It's kinda nice, but kinda not... I'll keep it in mind and mess around with it at some point to see if I can find an effect I really like.
rox_midge wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:58 am
It's a 3rd party Xbox 360 controller by PDP, from their Rock Candy line.
Ha! That's exactly what I've been using.


Thank you for taking the time to offer this feedback.
I've got one more update I'm going to try to finish up this week. Does anyone know of any good places I could post about this and get some feedback? I posted it in Unity's WIP forum and a couple discord channels, but I really haven't gotten much feedback from any of those places.

strat
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:08 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by strat » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:38 pm

Come to think of it, SMW might've included the key/lock exit so the player wouldn't rack up too many bonus games by going through the levels twice. When NSMB brought back the concept of hidden exits, they used the regular flagpole.

Also, while most of the time the key was right next to the lock, sometimes there was a puzzle where you had to bring the key over. So maybe you could have a special object that triggers the exit, like a cannon shooting the character in the sky or a portal revealed by blowing up a rock segment. It's hard to top the key/lock thing because it was an ingeniously simple statement of the idea.

User avatar
Marscaleb
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:39 am
Contact:

Re: Looking for feedback on my game

Post by Marscaleb » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:35 pm

strat wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:38 pm
Also, while most of the time the key was right next to the lock, sometimes there was a puzzle where you had to bring the key over. So maybe you could have a special object that triggers the exit, like a cannon shooting the character in the sky or a portal revealed by blowing up a rock segment. It's hard to top the key/lock thing because it was an ingeniously simple statement of the idea.
It was so brilliant but honestly it was horribly under utilized.
Using a key is something I could utilize, it's just the "keyhole floating in space" idea that skirts originality too much. I could have the player take a key to a door, but I'm left wondering how to suggest to the player that it is a level goal and not just an alternate route through the stage. Or for that matter, why not just have a locked door be an alternate route through the stage, possibly leading to the secret exit? Honestly that could be a more interesting mechanic, as it could be used in a wide variety of ways.
Since having multiple routes through a level is already a design I'm using, maybe I'm better off just having the secret exits look like regular exits.

Post Reply