Our 2013.02.20 (MMMM.YY.DD) Beta of MakeChoice!
We still have a lot of work to do. But it's been a while since I released a beta.
So here it is!
If you like it, please comment!
If you hate it, please comment!
I need all the feedback I can get to make this better.
If you have a cool idea and you tell me, it just might make it into the game!
Also, if you really like this game, consider becoming an official tester on NewGrounds.com
a little less intense. Thanks for the feedback!
We shall see what happens in the next few months.
We ran into the level 0 bug so much while play testing in person. Made me want to rage quit at the very beginning after a while.
We will be fixing it. But first on our list is lighting edits for clarity.
Honestly, you are being nice with the sound. I would personally give it a 1/10 at best.
We are expecting at least 10 quality tracks from our musician.
I feel like most of the lag is actually being caused by the SFX.
However, the lighting is pretty intense as well. But there are a few things in place that make the lighting renderer halt if it takes up too much time in a fame.
If you have not done this before for me, try this and report back here with the results:
1. Find level that lags.
Play it in 4 different combinations:
1. Lighting System Active and SFX(Sound) active.
2. ONLY Lighting system active. SFX deactivated.
3. ONLY SFX active. Lighting de-activated.
4. BOTH SFX OFF and Lighting System de-activated.
Report your results on lag.
This is because shattering a light fixture causes lighting-map re-rendering.
The other possibility is that maybe there is something different about your GPU rendering and the changing of blend modes
when a bomb creates the full-screen flash. Is the culprit.
Is there any level full of lots of bombs that does not shatter any lights you could test it out on?
I feel like one of JoshicusLD's levels from the Default level set would be good to test this theory out on.
...... GOT IT!
Please get back to me with the same tests on:
LevelMap05 and LevelMap07 (From the Default Level Set)
They have no light fixtures to be broken in them. (But still keep the lighting system activated.)
If these levels lag, I will have to conclude that it is either a blend mode problem, or still possibly a SFX problem.
Either way, I plan on optimizing SFX because I personally have noticed SFX is what slows down my computer.
Anyways, thanks for the help!!!
lagged on her computer. Amanda's crappy desktop machine also lags on MakeChoice. However, Amanda's machine cannot handle any
games at all. In fact, it seems that bogged down desktop machines run flash worse than my 1.5 year old netbook.
Easier for me to keep a track of who is who, haha. c:
Sorry if I am ignoring you on newgrounds. My inbox there is piling up
and I know half the reviews are going to mention "I can't see the skulls because of the lighting"
So I really want to fix this before I reply to everyone!
Glad to know it was a problem with God Mode.
It's very intuitive when it comes to moving around, doesn't hold your hand nor does it need to.
I played about 3 levels to get a feel for it, level 10 which led me to another level where a 90* brick falls tetris style
and I had to find the exit, then I figured out I could click the "D" button and the lil flare destroyed the boxes ( had killed myself in that regard before ) but thiis made things easier to clear the skull bricks and go on to the EXIT!
also I like teh fact it didnt lag, it loaded up fast, movement was smooth, no problem timing my jumps ( and I suck at platformers but being the masochist I am I play anyway)
I dunno if you guys have seen the live action japanese movie called GANTZ where players are cynically insulted
as they win or fail. I dig that! even if I died like 67 times in the three levels, it made me want to continue playing.
I like the retro graphics and particle effects too. if you worry about instructions here is my foreseeable predictions!
judging your basic newgrounder the main complainst would be something like this
"insert some random complaint about no info available cuz I like to have things digested for me" and
( sorry went off tangent but I see these a lot!) encourage the sense of gamesploring!
I also think youtuber Markiplier should take a look at this game, he has asked indie game developers to send him games to test or try out, and he is very likely ( if he likes it enough, or has an open schedule he might do a review which = more players more bonus fun for you guys, for love of the game or for profit etc it's always good imho butting in)
graphics: i dig retro
replayability: 3.5 stars
OF COURSE! I don't let an AI talk to me that way and get away with it!
though I might veer off to another game hen return to it
music? in due time I am listening to the one in *cosmic clicks which blended with this game
arrows to move "d" to activate the explody powers "r"to restart very intuitive.
unlike the game I played by Luis about Pico where the jump button is the "S" and its next to the fire button,
it was coded for left handed people, I always like it when they let you choose the WASD or Arrow keys options
in this game I am pleased cuz I like arrow keys ( no danger of hitting shift etc )
Lets try to get that re-playability up to 5/5 shall we?
I'd like to have something to keep my level designer busy after we ship the game and I start programming a new project.
AKA: There is the possibility JoshicusLD could continue to make new levels AFTER release while I work on programming up the
prototype for the next game.
So we are making whatever the hell we feel like. Once we are done making whatever the hell we feel like, we will
have to sort those levels into a finalized difficulty order.
Once our "fun to make" levels have been ordered from easiest to hard, with maybe a bit of "dithering the difficulty gradient".
We will then add "simple" intro levels that introduce you easily to each new bomb, tile, and whatever concept we need you to know.
In the end, when you die. It should be your fault. And we will let you know it's your fault. >
However, like I said, putting that off until the lighting fix is in the game.
My other team members should respond to you if you message them. However, expect no more than
once a week from them. I told them I didn't want them to get overly distracted with email because I know it
can take a long time to reply to everything.
I've tried out your game, starting it up on the Default setting.
I'll go with the positives first, so you know what you're doing right and can keep doing it. The game's after-glow effects on things is very neat and give the game a very surreal feel that I feel is positive as it help make your game distinctive from the usual retro game and thus, make it eye-catching. I also find the idea of a keyboard + mouse simultaneously Bomberman/platformer game to be an original and potentially very fun idea.
Gameplay-wise, this makes the game very fluid. The controls are not immediately intuitive ; you pondered the use of signs and I approve of them versus a tutorial ; tutorials tend to be used as excuses for a steep difficulty curve usually. It's much better to introduce mechanics via gameplay. So you get a positive for this idea.
Now for the negatives, for which there is plenty. I will stress that so far, your idea has much potential and the engine appear solid so you're doing well. Likewise, the game is obviously a WIP so there's many things I won't fault you on (like the lack of the signs you planned for or the lack of a plot).
Graphics-wise, the game suffer from being a bit busy and confusing. Maybe it's the small size of objects or simply bad art but it's quite difficult to tell what is what ; the main character is a bit too perfectly blocky, making him look more like a glowing yellow block than an actual character. Although the mines you're meant to destroy are easily visible, the mines you're not meant to touch are dark blue on black, making them very difficult to see and thus, avoid.
I enjoyed some of the details you included, such as the breakable lamps ; small details such as these and furniture/misc items can help make your game world feel more 'genuine' and less like random collections of challenges. It also give a crunchier, more satisfying effect to the act of blowing up stuff.
Audio-wise, the sound effects are pretty good but the music loop is very repetitive, very short, and apparently the only music track, which means it become annoying very quickly. I recommend you have a different music track for the menus and if you're not going to have more than one music track for the game proper, I recommend you pick a long, varied, and if possible catchy (though you could pick a moody/atmospheric one if you want a less arcade-ish feel) one. The players will be hearing this for potentially hours on end so make sure the music track is slow to annoy.
The level design on the first few levels I played seemed to be pretty clever, with an emphasis on thinking before leaping but on keeping going once you do move. I feel it's the right feel for this game ; don't rush ahead but when you do move, move swiftly. The controls do have a bit of a perceived drift to them so keep that into account for later levels ; later stages should be hard through complexity of solutions, not pixel-perfect jumps (though I think that having foes and even bosses could be interesting too ; did not make it far enough to run into foes yet).
The game's restart option is bugged on level 1. Given this is a Bomberman-style game and blowing yourself up as your first action is very likely, it is jarring to be booted back to the main menu if you die on the first level. I'd recommend fixing this.
Likewise, the main menu, although it has an original layout, is not immediately intuitive. The red color of the default difficulty setting does help though. The main problem with the menu lies in the text box's font ; although it looks fancy, I feel it's not exactly super easy to read and could drive off many players (or motivate them to skim the text). Likewise, it is not immediately obvious that the text box can be scrolled or whenever or not you reached its end.
Given I can see the text box being useful for both story bits and/or stage descriptions and hints, I feel you should pick a more easily readable font and make it more obvious that you can scroll the text box.
Stage names are mostly just 'default 1, default 2, default 3' so far but I assume those are placeholder names.
So, overall, I think you're progressing very nicely. I love the afterglow effects and the surreal graphical style. The controls also seem to work pretty well and your gameplay concept is original and well-done. Mostly, what you need to do is fine-tune your game a bit, streamline the menus and early levels, and vary/change the music.
Perhaps if you have time later, go through his albums and let me know which songs of his feel like they could fit this game?
I am in need of giving him more direction to work with. Though we know the style is H.R. Giger and metroid.... We are not totally focused
on the mood yet. :/
BETA TEST REVIEW
Normally i'm not a big fan of these sort of games, but i really enjoyed this. it was a fun game to run around in while at the same time avoiding the explosions, it made it an interesting juggle. probably one of my favourite features, which was refreshing to find in this genre of game, was that in some cases there were multiple ways to get to the exit (i.e. a small hole you could try fitting through or just another path) level 23 was a good example of jump or fall but still get to the exit. i think the art style is a nice choice for this sort of blend of inspirations. coupled with the music and the colour, it sets a nice retro feel. another part i enjoyed was how the explosions interacted and modified the environment, instead of just stopping at the wall. overall, i thought the affects (like the splatter or hitting the skulls to make them smile) were right at home here.
That said, i noticed some things that could be modified. first off, i didn't quite notice all the debugs and found myself accidentally clicking and making bombs which i used a few to get through the level when i was stuck. i did go back later to actually play the level. but i thought that having the ability to place a few bombs in the level (like max 3-5?) made getting to the exit a bit more interesting and could pay more homage to bomberman and allow you to "makechoice" in the level another thing i encountered was that some later levels, like 17, were quite easy or it was just a light show (it all explodes and then you just jump up to the exit). perhaps you could make some of the platforms crumble after you've stepped on them to give it a bit more of a challenge. i thought the fuses with the external switches added a good incentive to race through it (kept me going), and it was a really creative way to execute them.
Overall, i really enjoyed this; it was a good length too. it's already pretty polished and that made it easier to review. i liked seeing the proximity of the explosions, it helped guided my movement better. still, probably my favourite feature is how much everything can interact with the environment to allow multiple approaches to the levels. if i were to rate it now i would probably give it a 5/5 because i really liked the creative approaches to the levels that all had very unique features within the game's framework. kudos!
The switches were actually an afterthought. This game was supposed to be a survival horror side-scroller with a destructable-world element. And it turned into a chain reaction minigame.
What happened was, I found forcing players to touch proximity bombs to blow open walls was a bit slow paced.
Which worked for the horror game I was trying to make.
But when I changed this into a mini-game, I needed a way to make it faster paced.
So I implemented the [Fire Pistons / Ignition Buttons / Pressure Plates].
Fire Piston is my favorite term so far for the switches.
After I started working on it people told me the game was a lot like
"EscapeGoat" and "Spelunky". So I decided to keep my controls simple to set myself apart from those games.
Any recommendations for things you would like to see in the game?
As the game is not finished yet.
If I notice something else while playing, I'll be sure to let you know : )
We want at least 10 full songs from him in exchange for a 20% cut of the profits.
If you have time, please visit his page and tell me which of his current tracks you think best fit the game.
This will help me narrow down the musical direction and mood.
The better I narrow this down, the better instructions I can give Tyler.
The better instructions I give Tyler, the better music I get.
Tyler Wood's BandCamp.com Profile
I listened to a most of his songs while playing the game. Here are songs I feel fit it best:
The ABSOLUTE best songs are "Flatfoot" and "Press Any Key to Boot Awesome" from the album "Beeps Bringer". They have an sassy or cheeky feel to them- like the game does.
The title song from"Beep Boops" and "Dreams" from "Tag: Power of Paint" fit pretty well too. They have a quirky upbeat rhythm, and are pretty relaxing to play to.
"Beep Boops For Dinner" and "Sebastian, the Inflatable Flailing Arm Man" (both from "Beeps Bringer" ) work too, I'm just not as thrilled about them. I just personally think they'd get annoying to play to after a while.
Oh! I also found a few things while playing.
I seem to be able to create a practically infinite number of explosives in each level. Because of this, it feels like I was able to cheat my way through a lot of levels (especially default lvl 11 and 16)
In any case, it makes some levels far too easy to beat.
However, I think it's a really cool feature!
So I would limit the number of explosives the player can create per level. You could also possibly add extra things the players can try to get that would "level up" the max number of explosives they could create
Like a coin that would add one extra bomb after you collect a certain amount. (just an idea)
Also, default lvl 14 appears to be glitched. The explosion sound was looping and I couldn't move the character at all when I entered it.
I really like this game, though. The more I mess around with it, the more fun it becomes : )
Keep up the great work!
I have no clue what is wrong and need as much help as possible to fix it.
I have forwarded your musical critique to Tyler Woods via our private facebook group for our development team.
He will probably read it within the next 2 hours.
Setting bombs is just something I wanted to try out for how fun it is.
I think setting bombs will be a "final power" collected near the end of the game.
Since it is far too overpowered.
Then when you beat the game, you can play the beginning levels with all of the powers you collected on your first play through.
I could actually move this time, and I could beat the level as if nothing was wrong.
The bomb feature is a decent final power. However, if you do that, I would suggest having bonus stages unlock after you beat the game as well. These stages could be designed specifically to account for the added bomb power. Like I said, the bomb power makes the beginning stages too easy. So, giving the player a new feature like that without adding harder puzzles, or some additional challenge would make the game have little replay value. (it would just be boring)
And ok. (to the music thing)
1. Looping Explosion:
I hackishly programmed this. It is doing what it should be doing, but its... Annoying and appears glitchy.
2. Not being able to move at start of level:
I think there is a focus problem I need to fix. You can click on the game
to get it to work again... But why it is losing focus while you are playing I am not sure.
Hence why their is a password lock, the the password is given in the comments.