EXIT - indie jumpventure game - ALPHA test

Show us your works in progress and request feedback

Post » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:09 pm

Hi there!

As a designer, my original intention was to write a simple game concept for a friend, that he can use to train his skills and learn the adaptation on to different platforms. The game should be controllable, playable and the storyline understandable without any further explanation or reading. A simple to program, easy to learn and use jump and run game combined with adventure-like puzzles, a story line and a unique atmosphere offering a desktop-game-quality experience in your browser, potentially also on smartphones/tablets.

The games I had in mind were Prince of Persia, Flashback, Another world. The retro graphics are saving a lot of size and handling of images, there is little movement, just few (or no enemies in my case) but a continuous game-play development until the end... obviously in a somewhat unique combination.

Well, as it happens, my developer friend gave up after a short while. Since I have done most of the conception and all basic graphics and animations, I ended up desperately looking for someone to finish his part. A friend of mine recommended Construct 2 last Christmas. About a year later, impressed by the quick progress with Construct 2 (of the game as well as of my construct-2-skills) I kept on finishing the game to the full extent of my vision, even adding my own music.

This is the first Chapter with 12 levels, so already a game for itself, but if its worth it, to be continued... in my mind it's all done, and I basically have the engine for the future quests in this game, so it could follow way quicker, if I decide to continue.

Enjoy testing and give me some feedback here or at https://www.facebook.com/exitthegame

If you like the game, and you can support me in Construct 2, you are very welcome to do so. Just write me here or to [email protected]

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EXIT - the game
http://www.exitthegame.eu
(Best to use chrome for playing.)

If you have trouble with the controls, please try the reworked control model below and write me, if you get along better with that version. Thanks!

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!!! PLEASE TEST THIS ASWELL !!!

Movement reworked
http://www.exitthegame.eu/movement/
(For testing MOVEMENT in LEVEL 2 ONLY!)

If you encounter any performance or loading problems, simply press F5 in your browser.

PLEASE NOTE: There is definitely going to be an improved control & movement of the player in order to achieve more fluidity to the game thanks to your feedback. This can be done by adjusting the platform-behavior settings and tweaking some control-triggers or adding new possibilities of movement, like climbing up (edges). Brought up issues and fixes:

- Head-bumping minimized
Since you can not jump as high, as before. Besides jump strength also gravity is lower, to make jumps "slower" thus giving the player more chance to react while jumping.

- Higher Deceleration for a more direct feeling in air and when stopping
The player acts less "slippery" and also while jumping you can choose your landing position more exact

- Turning while running occurs now also at lower running speeds
It should be easier to trigger now. You still have to be quick for the reason described below to trigger that, still it is manageable by changing from the left arrow to the right just quickly.

Concerning the Turning: I don't have a better solution for triggering "RunTurn", since you can only do this, while running in a direction giving feedback, that you actually want to run the other way now (by pressing the other direction). If you release, you want to stop immediately, if you don't want to turn. So if I add a delay, to wait for you, if you want to turn, meaning you tap the other direction with a delay, would mean, your player has to go on running while you are not pressing anything.

I think, it works alright by a quick change from one arrow key to the other. Just a quick left, then right. I can reproduce this endlessly, without having the feeling or focus on pressing both arrows at the same time. What do you think?

_______________________________________


Enjoy & Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by MultipleChoice on Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:48 pm

The design and music is awesome!

Sort of had trouble controlling my character and ended up in the fire a bunch of times before giving up. (Me probably just being terrible at platformers)

I suspect this project of yours can flesh out into something great! I can imagine people speed running this and competing to get the best time. Race against the clock would be awesome and perhaps smoke which you have to avoid breathing.

Keep up the good work and I will be looking forward to your progress
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Post » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:49 pm

Wow. Beautiful presentation, animations and cool overall concept. You should show this around a bit more, it's a really cool game. The controls are a bit problematic (because the animations seem to have priority, which is a bad thing most of the time), but the rest is really nice.
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Post » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:58 pm

Thanks guys!

The race against the clock is a great idea, and I had it too ;). You have to play longer than the first jump though..

I also thought of implementing an arcade mode (besides story mode), where you have to do exactly just what you described including a high score feature. That was actually the original idea of this game, but I added some story to it. Now there are different tasks you need to do - even racing the clock.

@alvarop: Any idea, where it's worth to be presented? Some indie platforms I guess.. do you have any in mind?
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Post » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:11 pm

MOVEMENT & CONTROLS

Intentionally the movement model should be rather similar to "prince of Persia" or "Flashback" than "Mario" or others (in need of faster, more direct controls to avoid quick enemies and bullets). My model ended up far more flexible then those - in those games you had far more sacrifice of movement freedom to achieve seamless animation-transfers. Surely it causes some delay of movement, but once you move, the controls are direct (in the way needed in the levels). Altogether only turning around and stopping is causing some delays of movement, or running against the wall.

So far I saw people manage to play the game til the end in an afternoon. They had to get used to it, but then it worked out well.

Still the controls should be as smooth, as possible and the controlling object can be tweaked obviously according to the Construct 2 platform behavior.
Any idea, how to improve the jumping or movement behavior without changing the whole concept will be heard.

Thanks in advance!
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Post » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:42 am

I think the controls are good, but the initial level design doesn't complement them well.

If you look at twitch platformers like Super Meat Boy and Mario, that have far more precise controls at the expense of animation, their levels are structured in a similar way to yours. It's about the perfect jump, solid timing, fighting against the level constantly until you get it right.

Whereas PoP, Flashback, and other platformers that tend to be more focused on exploration (returning to areas, scoping out an area before tackling it), like your game, tend to be a bit more forgiving, especially at first, in their level design. I'm not saying that level traversal isn't a challenge in those games, but they ease you into it. Your game seems to have design that implies the game is a twitch platformer, when the animations say otherwise. Like there are two aspects at odds with each other.

That's not to say that it can't work, but one or both aspects will need some tweaking. I'd say definitely speed up some of the animations, as a starting point, and then look at making your level design a bit looser, especially with the head-bumping-on-the-ceiling stuff.

I'd also strongly recommend looking into adding a mantle/pull-up animation. Having to jump or "bounce" onto higher platforms is a gameplay mechanic synonymous with twitch platformers, and doing so here doesn't fit the pace very well.

Also, the change direction animation requires a strange order of keypresses to work properly. I don't think it's right to expect the player to hold in the reverse direction that they're running in. Players will expect to press one direction or the other, not have both keys pressed down at the same time.

Oh, and if you plan on taking this game any further, you might want to reconsider the name.

By the the way, I love that wall-stopping animation.
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Post » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:43 pm

I understand, so basically it is just the head bumping mostly in the first levels (where the ceiling is low). As soon as you get to further, the levels get more space. Surely you need to get the hang out of the controls, like the right jumping spot, but some challenge is required of course for a game - if you expect just to walk through, just can watch a gameplay movie on youtube...

Don't get me wrong, I understand the problem. I just want to separate between the "harder or different than expected so I can't rush through in an hour" opinions meaning "I'm not patient and make the same mistakes again and again, so I get annoyed" vs. the "I get annoyed, since I do everything right, but I can't achieve the right jumps or movement". First is okay, its not intended to be arcade but like a good book lasting a day. Second should be eliminated though.

@ GeometriX: You DO NOT have to press left AND right at the same time. Your player just stops and turns, when pressed the other direction you are facing. I don't know, why you might think you have to press left and right at the same time to do whatever.

Please also tell me, how far you got (which level). That would be quite interesting.
And please give me more feedback about the controlling issue, but be patient, try to play around a bit and get used to it. In the games I play, it takes some time to get confident.
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Post » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:19 pm

I guess it comes down to "I'm doing what I perceive to be right, based on the level design language, but it just doesn't feel right." Sure, I could get used to the controls, but they don't feel correct right off the bat, and that'll alienate a lot of players. You must feel that too, otherwise you wouldn't have asked for input about the controls. You get that it feels a bit off. Losing players early to a game that just doesn't feel quite right is bad - these players won't say "this game sucks", or anything that's even close to helpful for you, they'll simply stop playing it.

That's what happened to me. I got to level two, died in one of the fires, and then felt "eh, I'm done".

With regards to the turnaround animation, I can't get it to fire unless I hold down both buttons at the same time. I don't want a stop and turn, I want a quick turn that feels fluid and doesn't kill all momentum. You have that animation in there, it's like the Prince of Persia animation, but it doesn't trigger when I'd expect it to.
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Post » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:51 pm

GeometriX wrote:With regards to the turnaround animation, I can't get it to fire unless I hold down both buttons at the same time. I don't want a stop and turn, I want a quick turn that feels fluid and doesn't kill all momentum. You have that animation in there, it's like the Prince of Persia animation, but it doesn't trigger when I'd expect it to.


Now I understand, what you mean. The quick-turn issue is, you have to be quick of course, since it only triggers, while running. So if you release e.g. L and pause, then press R, he obviously stops first (then turning while standing). Still, that is a minor issue, I can fix that and make happen easier.

The fluid animations are def. key to the game-feeling. So i don't think, it is off at all, just if it is preventing you from progressing. (Which apparently it does, I got that from the first comments as you can see). So the true concern is only the head-bumping at annoying jumps spots. But that could be eliminated by climbing ladders, or - as suggested - pulling up at ledges.

I will take a look, what can be done...
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Post » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:19 pm

All right, I made a reworked version of the movement. You can find all details in my original post on top, including a link to a test version of Level 2. Pleas try it, to see, if you get along better.

Thanks
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