Please Beta Test Omega!

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Post » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:33 pm

[QUOTE=Pixel perfick] Silver...I am feeling this game!..which I think is what you want the player to do?...there is an instant sense of excited adventure portrayed in the character your art and your animation...all good...I really want to love this game,as it's apparent the effort that has been poured into it.

But,and it's a big but,this sense of wild enthusiasm is stifled by awkward platforming,that detracts rather than enhances...good news!,it's fixable...

Let me elaborate,I'm a seasoned gamer and struggled on certain sections,due to wobbly transitions and iffy collision detection on the angled branches...I can almost forgive.

On the other hand my girlfriend,who I think would be nearer to your target audience,instantly fell for the look of the game and wanted to play...15 mins later,She could not get beyond the first few branches!!

Only my opinion but I would add some freedom and pace,I'm having more fun just running though trees,using my wolflike speed and guile to avoid hazards.rather than bouncing on their heads!

I don't want to sound critical,far from it I want your game to be as brilliant as your imagination...changes I'd advise...

Straight branches keep the pace up (zig zag up to prolong level)

Have more enemies to avoid rather than kill (more natural for a wolf)

A sneak function that would open a new tier of gameplay and avoid bounding off where it's not needed.(creep past that angry boar unnoticed)

Just to add,the game ran flawlessly at 1024x765 on my amd athlon 2.8MHZ
with 256 meg video card...no bugs noticed.

Better go now,My girlfriend wants another go....lol.

As I said there is a great game in here,just waiting to be released![/QUOTE]

Thanks for playing PixelPerfick and PixelPerfick's girlfriend! Her suffering will not be in vain!

I love running through the trees too! Though I'm not sure why you're getting detection issues... could you elaborate please? I'm worried it's to do with the resolution (I'm assuming you used 1024x768?) because although I supported it for being a common resolution on older monitors, I never actually tested that one myself - only went down to 1280x720. Of course, it could also be that the collision and angle detection just kinda sucks, and I'm so used to it I no longer notice If you could elaborate that would be awesome.

I think you're right about adding pace. I'm tempted to speed the game up a bit, because when you move up in resolution especially the game appears to move slower as a result of seeing more screen space around the wolf. As for the branches, I built them sloping because a) it looked a little more natural than straight, and b) it works as a compromise to taking the more direct, but more obstacle and enemy-littered, low path.

As for avoiding enemies, keep it up! There's a medal for getting through the game with a big point bonus for not killing any enemies. I'm a little worried medals aren't prolific enough, since no-one has mentioned them. I may add a load more for smaller rewards (maybe such as killing no more than three enemies, for a smaller point bonus than the Pacifist Medal awarded for not killing any at all). The idea of the medal and high score system was to place an emphasis on points instead of time - encouraging that freedom you're after. So although there are medals for fast times, you can easily take your time exploring and experimenting with the elements, earning medal rewards for loads of other actions. I'll definitely add more medals to encourage exploration though

A sneak function is actually a really cool idea. I may build that in as a Wind or Water ability, temporarily cloaking the wolf in mists so he can sneak past enemies undetected at the cost of reduced movement speed. Great idea!

Thanks again for your feedback, Pixel! If you have the time, please read on below where I'll make a post about suggested improvements. I'd love to get your thoughts on them -Silver-2012-12-11 22:37:12
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Post » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:18 pm

Ideas for Improvements

Thanks for all the detailed feedback so far! I'll make a summary of the improvements you guys have recommended, and thoughts I have for tweaking the game further, and I'd love to hear back from you on them. Also, go ahead and make more suggestions of your own if you have them!

Background/Colour:

Here you go:



Looking better? I'll add a gif at the bottom of this post switching between the old and the new I boosted the foreground contrast a little, and lowered the contrast of the backgrounds while pushing them further towards a blue hue. Is there anything else I should do to tweak the colours? I'm also thinking of blurring the mountains a little, but as Crowtongue mentioned the detail probably helps them - especially the big mountain. So I'm not sure about that.

Environmental Life

Clearly, the issue with having a detailed wolf is that everything else looks stark in comparison. I have swaying ferns in the version you're playing, but I've now added back in (I removed it for potential performance boosts) swaying thorns. I'm now thinking of adding more life and movement to the scene through:

1) Flocks of birds - should be easy to do, flying across the backgrounds

2) More mists - rolling across the forest in the distance, not just along the base of the mountains.

3) More leaves - blowing through the air, like in the above screenshot. I can have these at various places in the level, it's easy to do, so it's a no-brainer really.

4) Critters in the forest - I could have birds flitting through the trees, squirrels scurrying up trunks, and fish in the pools. I'm not sure how much work these will be, since foreground work requires a lot more detail, and animations are by FAR the most time-consuming aspect of this game. Please let me know which ideas you like most, and if you have suggestions of your own for adding more environmental life. Perhaps plant life? That could add to the colour variety as well.

Enemies

These tie into environmental life as well, since giving them more animations will not just help make them feel more alive, but give an illusion of better AI as well.

I definitely want to add spiders that shoot web, as Crowtongue suggested, and I'm thinking of making them trap the wolf instead of damage him. Spiders are there as more of a nuisance than a real threat. Being trapped could lead to the player having to mash the movement keys to escape - faster presses lead to a faster escape. And if you don't escape, the spider will walk up to you and bite you! Or a boar or stag will trample you if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time

As for the Stag, he definitely needs some more animations, and I'll try to make him charge you down some more. The issue here is that he takes a lot of work to animate well (I'm still not happy with the current animations for him) so I could easily spend an entire day just adding one more animation to his repertoire. I think it's worth it though. I've been tempted for a long time to give him a harem (group of females) that will run away from the wolf when he approaches. It would look wonderful and add to that environmental life factor, but man... the work involved for something that's essentially just a pleasant visual moment is pretty extreme Let me know what you think though. It might be worth it.

For the boar, I want him to do something when you're on a low ledge and he's right below you. Maybe smash into the ledge and knock you down? I think that can be done, and it's a short and simple animation to introduce.

Gameplay

None of you mentioned the medals, so I'm guessing they aren't prominent enough I really want to make these a centerpiece, since they should place an emphasis on points over time. Those points can be scored for various actions (including fast times, if you want to focus on that) and allow for different playstyles to be rewarded in their own way. So using fire loads will likely award you a medal for killing enemies with fire many times, and a medal for killing one of each enemy. You're also accumulating points for every enemy you kill during gameplay. Conversely, you can get medals for not dying, not taking any damage, and even for not killing any enemies, so evasive playstyles are rewarded just as much. Speed awards time bonus medals, and there are medals for strategic playstyles - rooting three enemies at once, getting one enemy to kill another (try making a boar or stag charge down a spider! To make this easier, I'll allow all spiders to drop down from their ledges) etc.

If you can think of other cool ideas for medal rewards, please let me know! I'm going to add as many as I can. I want it to be fun trying to get a new high score, by experimenting with various elements and playstyles.

PixelPerfick mentioned that he enjoys this game the most when he's zipping around on the branches, so I'm thinking about speeding the game up a bit. I've been worried for a while that the pace feels a little sluggish, but no-one else mentioned it. Do you think faster running, jumping, and falling speeds would be a good idea? Or do you like the current pace?

Gif comparison of background alterations:



If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to fire them away, no matter how scathing they might be! I'm determined to make the best game I possibly can (though being a one-man band who sucks at programming imposes quite a few restrictions there ), and your feedback will only help me evolve Omega into something better.

So far I've altered the background colours and, most importantly, thanks to the help of MrMiller I've implemented the Controls option in the Options menu - so it's now possible to play with the current arrow keys setup, the arrow keys with space as the jump button, or WASD movement with the arrow keys for abilities (my preferred method). I'll wait for some more feedback and make some more improvements before uploading a new version.

Thanks so much for your time

And thanks again to MrMiller for the Controls additions, and most of all to Tulamide: without him, my wolf would have no music to run along to, and I would still be stuck trying to work out how to handle angle detection

THANK YOU, TULAMIDE! (I know you're there!)
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Post » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:12 am

Silver,Good to see your listening to the feedback,some really good points made,I would also agree with the others that have mentioned the contrast,anyway after another "round" of Omega this time adding three teenagers..I'm happy to elaborate further...

When I said detection issues,usually a jump that looks doable but falls short <WTF>,spiders being overlapped so you kill the first and the one behind gets you on landing <Grrr>,and the brambles that seemed to be inert sometimes...And then not...<ouch!>,all annoying!

The medals,were unexpexted to be honest,as there was no indication of any type of trophy at the end of the rainbow,so to speak...Unsure if medals,fit the feel of the game?...Something desirable from the natural world may be better suited?

I really think the sneak,would add a nice layer to the gameplay if used cleverly to maintain the required pace..and smooth out the transition between stopped and running at full speed...

OK,those branches,I agree 100%...angled looks better...but does it play better?...mostly,straight branches disguised with well placed foliage...would eradicate most of the branch related problems.

Overall Omega recieved a good response from the teens!

#1 Teen "Cute wolf,nice graphics"
#2 Teen "Have power and life bar independant",added,"Could be very good game"
#3 Teen "where that stag go?"

I'd just add don't let criticisms,bend your vision too much...It's your game.
As long as I can move left, right and fire, I'm Happy...
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Post » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:39 pm

Cool game, Silver. I like the animation for the wolf and the art style. There are a few suggestions that could be made to improve the game.

- At first I didn't realize that the red bushes would do damage to the wolf. So making them look more dangerous could possibly help.

- I ran into one glitch after I died that had the wolf hovering above the checkpoint for about 20 seconds.

- While the first level wasn't difficult. The difficulty curve is too high for inexperienced gamers.

- Adding a idle animation to the wolf would bring much more life to the character.

- Adding a life bar or a hurt animation will remind the player how much life they have.

- Adding a hit animation when the player is hit or hurt will help.

- Adding a death animation can also help.

Good luck with your game.
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Post » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:25 am

[QUOTE=TunaUppercut] Cool game, Silver. I like the animation for the wolf and the art style. There are a few suggestions that could be made to improve the game.

- At first I didn't realize that the red bushes would do damage to the wolf. So making them look more dangerous could possibly help.

- I ran into one glitch after I died that had the wolf hovering above the checkpoint for about 20 seconds.

- While the first level wasn't difficult. The difficulty curve is too high for inexperienced gamers.

- Adding a idle animation to the wolf would bring much more life to the character.

- Adding a life bar or a hurt animation will remind the player how much life they have.

- Adding a hit animation when the player is hit or hurt will help.

- Adding a death animation can also help.

Good luck with your game.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, TunaUppercut!

- I'll tweak the thorn bushes some more. Make them more spiky, and more red!

- The floating respawn glitch should now be fixed in the latest version (just uploaded). Thanks for reporting it though

- It is a difficult curve, yes. This is the third level in the game rather than the first. The first will be a tutorial, the second an easy platforming level, and this third level is where the difficulty starts to build up. I realize that's going to cause some issues, so I've decided to build in a quick tutorial level for future updates that will trigger the first time you start a new game - explaining the elements, the basics of platforming in the game.

- I agree, an idle for the wolf would be awesome! It's something I definitely want to add, but I feel there are higher priorities right now. I promise I'll get around to it eventually though

- Regarding life bars - I want to stick to one energy bar for simplicity. I think the issue some people are having is thinking of spending energy as spending "life", which I can understand. But a single hit will deplete your energy to zero no matter what - whilst spending that energy on, say, the Water skill to shield yourself with ice spikes will only cost you 20 out of your 100 energy, and will prevent you from losing more. Energy is really plentiful, and you should rarely ever find yourself without it and desperately searching for more. The idea is to keep the UI simple and streamlined, and to encourage the use of elements by making energy so abundant.

Adding a healthbar would not only lower the importance of the Water skill (or render it almost useless) but I'd then have to add items that boost your health throughout the game as well. I'd rather keep it simple, and just add a tutorial that explains how energy and elements work.

- There should be a hit animation when the player is hurt (more-or-less). He'll flash and be thrown backwards. I definitely want to improve this though, especially in regards to the death animation, which is just a black transition.

Thanks again for the feedback! I'll be using it to improve Omega as soon as I'm back from the Christmas holidays!-Silver-2012-12-23 10:27:12
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Post » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:30 am

New Beta version uploaded! Check the OP for updated download links

Patch Notes:

You can choose which Controls to use! WASD, or two different Arrow Key set ups! Check the Options menu to select them.

The Boar and Stag now have two new animations each. An idle, and a new situational attack.

The Boar will smash against cliffs to knock you (and any unfortunate spiders!) off of them if you are nearby. He also starts off running slower than before, but constantly accelerates until he is moving like a freight train. No more escaping him!

The Stag chases you down much more efficiently now. I've completely re-written his events, and optimized him in the process. He'll charge you down all the way to the cave entrance, and even smash into it if you make a narrow escape!

Spiders no longer overlap each other, and now shoot webbing. The webbing will impede your jumps if they hit you in mid-air, or stick you to the ground if you aren't. When you're stuck, mash the jump button to escape, or use an elemental ability.

Branch detection has been improved, and jumping altered slightly. Hopefully it's a little easier now, but some jumps are deliberately difficult to make (that's what the Wind Dash ability is for!)

Roots now break after 20 seconds for Spiders, 10 seconds for Boars.

Leaves blowing through the air have been added to various different places across the forest.

Swaying vines with flowers have been added all across the map for more movement and colour. Red flowers have been added to the base of the unique tree.

Bug where one of the checkpoints left the Wolf floating in the air has been fixed.

Thorns should now be more accurate with their detection and damage, but I'm pretty sure this is still not quite fixed. It's definitely improved though.

Final Words:

There's a lot more I want to add after Christmas, including animated birds and shadows for the wolf, boar, and stag. I'm also going to work on a tutorial to explain the elemental abilities and how to use them, and I'm going to add a load more medals (close to double what the game already has). Medals are there to reward the player for playing how THEY want to play, and to ensure all playstyles are balanced. If you aren't bothered about High Scores, they probably won't mean much to you, and that's fine too

Thanks for playing, and have a good Christmas!

-Silver-2012-12-23 10:31:26
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