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Windows Animal Quest - Action Strategy

Discussion in 'Work in Progress' started by Alivesoft, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Alivesoft

    Alivesoft Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Posts:
    18
    Name: Animal Quest - Forest Survival
    Genre: Action Strategy Simulation
    Platform: Windows PC and HTML5
    Current State: Alpha Version 0.910
    Release Target Date: October 2019
    Publisher: Alivesoft
    Game Design: Bill Dedes


    Download latest Windows executable (zipped)

    Play the HTML5 demo
    [​IMG]




    Hi there fellow game makers. I released Animal Quest as a shareware DOS game in 1991. It was a simple turn-based game with animals hunting or be hunted but surprisingly it became popular and it was quickly picked up by low cost retail publishers and sold through stores like Target and KMart in the US. You can see the old version by searching Animal Quest Game in YouTube.
    Development of the new version started in 2017 using GMS 1.4.

    [​IMG]

    Design elements of the new Animal Quest:
    The new version is similar in spirit with the original game but it has a ton of improvements and new design elements.
    Hunt your prey, evade your predators, outsmart your competitors.
    Monitor your Health, food and hydration stats and act accordingly.
    Discover and manipulate power-ups when in trouble.
    A wild nature survival game with strong simulation and RPG characteristics.
    A bird’s eye view is used. A rich world with over 100 different animals and plants.

    The core mechanics of the game is done. It just needs an art/animation overhaul with the final graphics and
    several map Levels. Most levels are auto-generated but the hand-crafted ones are always best.

    [​IMG]

    Animal Selection:
    You start out with an animal selection:
    Select one of 13 animals. Each one has unique mechanics, strength and weaknesses just as in real life.
    The animals populate a world that is diverse and unpredictable.

    Levels:

    Several levels will be included.
    Each time you play the level geography, the animal types, the animal positions will be different.

    [​IMG]
    Simple interface:
    Click on empty space to go there.
    Click on an animal to attack it.
    Click on an item, such as a power-up to collect it. Once collected it goes into inventory. Then just click on it to use it.
    Click on the exit sign to exit the level etc…

    [​IMG]
    Food-web

    Scalability:
    You can select three modes: Easy, Normal and Expert to adapt to casual or hard core gaming.
    The Game speed is adjustable, there are Normal and Fast speed options.

    Auto-play mode:
    There is an optional experimental auto-play (idle) mode, let’s see how this evolves. When auto-play is on and If you do not click the mouse for about 15 seconds the selected animal will try to avoid enemies and chase prey on its own, of course you may intervene at any time.

    I would love to get some feed-back on this game.

    Download Windows executable (Zipped)

    Play Animal Quest broweser HTML5 demo.

    Also play through FaceBook Animal Quest page (Don't forget to press Like to keep updated)

    thanks

    ~Bill at Alivesoft
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
    pixeltroid likes this.
  2. FlameRooster

    FlameRooster Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Posts:
    138
    I looked up your old animal quest game on youtube and I tried your new version of the game just now and gave it a good shot at it.

    Here is my feedback:

    -Art and animation needs to be better so that it has a possible chance of going mainstream, but you said it is going to get an overhaul so that's good.
    -The game felt like a chore because of the repetition of clicking on things and doing the same thing over and over again, and also that getting 1,000 stars is a lot of work. The most stars I got was like 300-500 before dying on Normal mode. Dying and having your stars reset will make players frustrated and give up, lol.
    -The movement feels clunky.
    -Mouse clicking for movement might not be the best way to go. My finger was getting restless.
    -The combat is too simple that it makes the game boring. Maybe have the movement be WASD or have it be the arrow keys on the keyboard, and have a few buttons to push, for example, attack, hard attack, dodge, sprint, feed/drink, all with directional animations. (I think it would be more fun if the game was more like an arcade beat em up sort of game)
    -Normal mode is pretty hard, at least for me. I kept dying and couldn't get beyond it.
    -There is nothing to look forward to from what I gather, no new skills/abilities, no leveling up, no progression other than stage progression.


    I would change the game to a beat em up sort of game or change it to more of an animal life RPG where you start out as a lone animal, you scavenge for food, you make a den, you level up, you get skills, you possibly talk to other animals, you have multiple potential mates each with unique dialogue/personality, you have children and grow a pack, you hunt with your family pack, and etc. The animal life RPG would need to be a lot less crowded as well.

    Nice game though, has a lot of potential if it got changed to a beat em up or an animal life RPG in my opinion.
     
  3. Alivesoft

    Alivesoft Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Posts:
    18
    Hi and thank you for your detailed review.

    - Art/Animation are place holders, as I mentioned in my post, they will be replaced with a more consistent style.
    - The level difficulty I don't worry about too much, it will be tweaked and scaled across 50 levels per animal. Also keep in mind difficulty is a function of which animal you control. Being a rabbit is considerably more challenging than being an eagle flying over and occasionally be challenged by a pack of owls. I think players eventually will select the animal(s) that fit their skill level and personality.
    - If the game felt like a chore because of the repetition of doing the same thing over and over again. Typically you need one click to attack, then it will auto-hunt the prey until it or you is dead.
    - If you got a score of 300 to 500 the first time this is excellent. There many different strategies of play, being conservative and running away from trouble is perhaps the best. Also going after more "meaty" prey pays off better.
    - I think Mouse clicking is OK if you don't try to micromanage the animal motion and the attack too much. The game needs a training guide session.
    - Combat Animation is simplistic at this point and it will improve.
    - If Normal mode is pretty hard, you are thinking too much as a human, this is an anti-hero, anti-game, you need to manage your health resources, when you are weak, you begin slow down and it is game over.

    Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions. I will be posting a game play video in the next few days and hopefully some things will make more sense.

    Cheers!

    Bill
     
  4. FlameRooster

    FlameRooster Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Posts:
    138
    I gave the game another try and found it more fun this time around. There are a couple things that you can do to make the game better:

    -The food web I think needs to be more noticeable that you can click it, because I had no idea that the animal icon was actually a button that brings up the food chain. (I skimmed and didn't look much at the guide that you supplied in the very first post of this thread.) It would have helped a lot knowing the food chain and knowing the colors of which is prey, competitors, and predators.
    -Information on each playable animal's strengths/weaknesses would be really cool. Like, rabbits for example have the ability to hide in holes. If you display this information to the player in the character selection screen for example, they will know that each animal has something unique to them gameplay wise without figuring it out on their own. I actually don't know what the fox's strength/ability is, I am guessing it is speed?
    -Adding a level up progression towards your animal, or more abilities to each animal would make the game a lot more fun. Maybe once you reach a certain level, your animal will unlock more abilities?


    and then just some things that I noticed:

    -Food and Water meters don't seem to ever really go down. It is always in the 90s or it is 100 because you are constantly feeding.
    -I beat the very first level, and then the 2nd level got harder. I wasn't able to beat the 2nd level. Once I beat the first level and went onto the second level, seeing that I needed another 1,000 stars made me feel like the game was a chore again and I was less interested in playing, because rinse and repeating getting 1,000 stars isn't really fun lol.
    -I sometimes get thrashed and overrun by predators. I get into some pretty unlucky situations where I die fast even when I try to constantly run away.

    I noticed that the fox is the only playable animal, will players be able to play whichever animal they want in the full version without unlocking them? Or will players need to unlock them first?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  5. Alivesoft

    Alivesoft Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Posts:
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    Hi FlameRooster,

    -The food web I think needs to be more noticeable that you can click it, because I had no idea that the animal icon was actually a button that brings up the food chain. (I skimmed and didn't look much at the guide that you supplied in the very first post of this thread.) It would have helped a lot knowing the food chain and knowing the colors of which is prey, competitors, and predators.
    Yes, identifying button functionalities will be part of the "first time" player training session.

    -Information on each playable animal's strengths/weaknesses would be really cool. Like, rabbits for example have the ability to hide in holes. If you display this information to the player in the character selection screen for example, they will know that each animal has something unique to them gameplay wise without figuring it out on their own. I actually don't know what the fox's strength/ability is, I am guessing it is speed?
    Yes info such as Strength/Defense/Speed/Intelligence/Aggressiveness/Pack attack ability, etc... on each animal will be available in the food-web. Each unit will actually be a button triggering the related info popup.

    -Adding a level up progression towards your animal, or more abilities to each animal would make the game a lot more fun. Maybe once you reach a certain level, your animal will unlock more abilities?
    Currently using power-ups that have a temporary effect (Health, Food, Hydration) I will be adding Speed, Strength and Defense power-ups that will last for the duration of the current level. The power-ups will be guarded by bosses such as Grizzly bears. I am trying to keep the fantasy aspects of the game to a minimum, no magic spells, no flying rabbits, no deer becoming invisible, this game is primarily a semi-realistic simulation.

    -Food and Water meters don't seem to ever really go down. It is always in the 90s or it is 100 because you are constantly feeding.
    This demo level is a sampler with everything thrown into it. The different game levels will have diverse situations that Food/Water will come into focus in a more meaningful way (in a Desert the water loss rate is faster, in an arctic region the food is more scarce etc... so animals can die from dehydration or hunger if not managed properly)

    -I beat the very first level, and then the 2nd level got harder. I wasn't able to beat the 2nd level. Once I beat the first level and went onto the second level, seeing that I needed another 1,000 stars made me feel like the game was a chore again and I was less interested in playing, because rinse and repeating getting 1,000 stars isn't really fun lol.
    There is no second level. The Alpha demo has only one level. Like I said I am testing the core mechanics of the game. The final game will have 13 animals and each animal 50 levels.

    -I sometimes get thrashed and overrun by predators. I get into some pretty unlucky situations where I die fast even when I try to constantly run away.
    Welcome to the Jungle! Even though the levels will be roughly balanced there is a chance that you may be chased by a pack of wolves. Luck is definitely a factor in this game.

    - I noticed that the fox is the only playable animal, will players be able to play whichever animal they want in the full version without unlocking them? Or will players need to unlock them first?
    I have not decided this one. Currently, in the final commercial version all animals start out unlocked.
    Another option will be to start-out as a rabbit, the lower unit in the selectable Food chain, everything else will be locked initially and if you earn say 3000 points as a rabbit (that is finish the first 3 levels), the next animal will be unlocked. and so on until all are unlocked.
    This will force the user to try all animals quickly without frustrating them.


    Have you tried the Auto-play? (Idle play)

    Thanks again for your input. You definitely earned a free copy of the final game when it comes out in October.

    ~Bill at Alivesoft
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  6. GregFroning

    GregFroning Member

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    Gave the game a try, and I agree on a lot of the points made above in previous posts by other users.

    One point I do want to make again though is while the controls are not bad, I definitely feel there may be a more engaging control scheme, though I am not quite sure what that would be. Maybe the new animations, etc would help make it more engaging. Not sure.

    Overall not bad and definitely will keep checking back on this one.
     
    Alivesoft likes this.
  7. FlameRooster

    FlameRooster Member

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    Feb 14, 2017
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    Thanks for answering everything I said! I am a lot more interested in your game after hearing your answers.

    I browse games on the Gamemaker forums but I rarely ever play or give feedback on them. This game caught my eye because it looks very unique (and the game has a history with the first version being released in 1991, so that interested me further).

    Have you tried the Auto-play? (Idle play)

    I didn't try it until now. The Auto-play plays better than I do, lol.

    I don't usually buy or play many games anymore, but I was honestly going to buy yours without you offering a free copy. xD (I would actually prefer to buy a copy, since that would support you and the game)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    Alivesoft likes this.
  8. Alivesoft

    Alivesoft Member

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    Jul 20, 2016
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    Greg,
    When I started the Animal Quest design, one rule I set was that the interface will be as simple as possible. I feel there is enough complexity and engagement in other parts of the game to keep it interesting. Think of a RTS game interface where you click on empty space to move and click on a unit to attack it or collect it or somehow use it. Nothing else is needed provided that the fighting animations are done well.
     
  9. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    very nice concept for a game.
     
    Alivesoft likes this.
  10. Alivesoft

    Alivesoft Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Posts:
    18
    Hello,
    thanks for your feed-back, this is an Animal Quest development update...

    Download Windows executable (zipped)

    Play in browser using HTML5

    Animal Quest - Alpha 0.900 HTML5 and WIndows executable

    Added Keyboard support:
    • Use arrow keys or WASD to move around.
    • Attack animals or pick-up items by bumping into them.
    • Hold down the <Shift> key if you want to avoid encounters with Prey or picking up items.
    • To consume inventory items press the key corresponding to its position from left to right:1, 2, 3 etc...
    Improved play-ability:
    • Faster recovery after attacks.
    • Shortened the time it takes to finish the level
    • Made EASY level, easier and the EXPERT level harder.
    Refined Health-point system:
    • Moved Health bars to top
    • Subdivided bars in 10 ticks
    • Increased number of lives
    Added New Levels
    • Added more room sub-levels
    • Added Arctic scene
    Windows EXE version (Alpha)
    • Full screen support
    • Added custom cursors
    • Added environmental variations (Rain/Snow/Fog)

    [​IMG]

    Download Windows executable (zipped)

    Play in browser using HTML5

    thanks

    ~Bill At Alivesoft
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  11. FlameRooster

    FlameRooster Member

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    The game is *a lot* easier.

    One thing I noticed is that you can actually kill predators, at least one of them on hard mode at full health. (Though, it would take most of your health to kill it.)

    Having the option to choose to play with the mouse or with the WSDA or arrow keys is a very nice addition.

    Not sure if this was a bug, but it seemed like it to me. I had 2 stacks of meat in my inventory, I used 1 and it still had 2 stacks still shown, I use another and the whole meat item disappears. It could be a bug or maybe I am not understanding how it works.

    Being able to drink water at a little puddle is really cool. I don't remember if you could do this in the last version.

    I have been playing through level 1 on expert mode and it is pretty easy for a hard mode.


    Overall, the game is getting more fun because the difficulty has been decreased. It might have went too far for the expert mode, not sure. Playing expert mode on my first playthrough in this new version I am able to defeat the first level pretty easily.

    I still feel like there needs to be a few more added features to make the game more interesting. Like, finding another fox in the same level and being able to mate with it to build up a tiny army of foxes or something like that which will help you kill the other animals. Or something like a level up system or getting abilities on level up would be really cool. It would give players a reason to keep playing.

    But yeah, your game is getting better. I hope it gets a few more additional features like what I stated above to make it a bit more interesting. A tiny army of foxes following you would be really awesome.
     
    Alivesoft likes this.
  12. Alivesoft

    Alivesoft Member

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    >> The game is *a lot* easier.
    I will "fix" this in the next version :)

    >> One thing I noticed is that you can actually kill predators, at least one of them on hard mode at full health. (Though, it would take most of your health to kill it.)
    Yeah, why not? if the predator is very weak and your are in very good shape, it is actually preferred to attack and kill it, in order to get a good score and food boost. I agree this needs a bit more tweaking.

    >> Having the option to choose to play with the mouse or with the WSDA or arrow keys is a very nice addition.
    Thanks for suggesting it in your earlier post! You were right, the hunting and fleeing action is much more fun with the keyboard.

    >> Not sure if this was a bug, but it seemed like it to me. I had 2 stacks of meat in my inventory, I used 1 and it still had 2 stacks still shown, I use another and the whole meat item disappears. It could be a bug or maybe I am not understanding how it works.
    This is an understandable confusion, I need to work on it. There 2 numbers: in the upper left corner of the Inventory token is the multiplier e.g.: "2x" for having two items. The number at the bottom, if you are using the keyboard, is the keyboard key number you need to press to activate the power-up eg: 1 for powerup in the far left, 2 for the one on the right etc... Perhaps I need to frame the bottom number inside a box resembling a keyboard key...

    >> I still feel like there needs to be a few more added features to make the game more interesting...
    One key will be adding a variety of Animal bosses.
    Another key is to add more power-up types and also the power-ups should be acquired through struggle and dilemmas rather than just handed to you.
    E.g.: killing a boss-snake will give you a temporary "Venom" power-up that you can use to temporarily freeze your attacked victim.
    Or killing a Grizzly will give you a Strength power-up that temporarily (say for 30 seconds) doubles your strength etc...) You have to decide if attacking a Boss to acquire the power-ups is worth the risk. Resource and Time management Decisions make these kind of games more fun.


    >> A tiny army of foxes following you would be really awesome.
    I thought about adding couple of off-springs following you, then you have the added challenge/goal of fighting predators to bring them to the exit alive. We will see...

    Thanks again for your feedback.
     
  13. Alivesoft

    Alivesoft Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Posts:
    18
    Hello,
    this is another Animal Quest development update...

    Download Windows executable (zipped)

    Play in browser using HTML5

    Animal Quest - Alpha 0.910 HTML5 and WIndows executable
    • Enhanced playability. Also added bonus items worth more score points such as: spotted eggs, bull-frogs, rare lizards etc...

    • Added more Powerups: Attack/Defense/Speed/Venom/Super Strike

    • Balanced Power evenly between animal units

    • Added new interesting sub-levels.
    Any feed-back will be greatly appreciated.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019

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