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Feedback Decks of Dexterity [Bullet Hell Action Card Game] (GMC Jam #8 Winner)

Discussion in 'Work in Progress' started by Coded Games, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    [​IMG]


    — Introduction —
    Decks of Dexterity is a bullet hell action card game. Navigate through the Void, a world full of anything and everything. Along your journey you will find unique characters, exchanges to trade cards, hidden treasures, and powerful enemies.


    [​IMG]


    — Gameplay —
    Decks of Dexterity fuses bullet hell dodging with a turn based deck building card game. Each run you collect cards and treasures to add new abilities and increase your power during battle. Collecting safe bullets starts your turn. You can choose to play cards, burn them, or fuse them together to make your deck even more powerful. Enemies have turns where they fight back with cards of their own.


    The game has permanent death. Each run you attempt to make it further and further into the Void. As you advance, enemies become more powerful and you gain access to more powerful cards.


    [​IMG]


    — Story and World —
    Your goal is to fight against the corruption, a mysterious force that infects everything. It consumes something and leaves nothing but raw energy, spreading further across the Void.

    You are a deckweilder, one of the few beings that can harness the power of the cards. Your deck holds all the abilities and skills that you can use in battle. Card abilities can take the form of guns, swords, magical powers, shields and more. With over 200 cards, treasures, and legendaries to collect, there are billions of ways to customize the way you fight.

    Across the Void you'll meet dozens of characters. These range from talking ducks who judge you by the size of your deck, to dying robots in need of repair. With the help of Atlas, the cartographer of the Void, you can discover the source of the corruption and the ultimate end to everything within the Void.


    [​IMG]


    — GMC Jam Origin —
    The game was originally my entry into the GMC Jam #8, called {Insert Game Title Here}. The game ended up winning best concept and first place in the Jam. Since then, the game has been reworked in many different ways. The vast majority of the original cards have been removed, and lots of new content has been added.


    — Join our Discord to Play: DecksOfDexterity.com
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019 at 12:56 AM
  2. YanBG

    YanBG Member

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    How did you made the skill icons, drawn by hand?
     
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  3. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Yes all of the card artwork is drawn in either Photoshop or Affinity Designer.
     
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  4. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Over the last couple days I've added the new card exchanges where you will be able to trade to get different cards. Along with that I've added new room transitions: https://gyazo.com/75995e0ea50e6334d7a1aadbaeba98be

    Besides those two things, I've also setup a Discord server specifically for this game! If you are interested in following the development of this game I would really appreciate it if you joined:
    https://discord.gg/3fMnhwP
     
  5. Siolfor the Jackal

    Siolfor the Jackal Member

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    Totally missed the topic!
    1. It was fine for the jam, it still works and looks good. Very consistent at least, but I'd prefer a more interesting looking player character.
    2. Yeah, think I voted it number one.
    3. Doesn't need it exactly, the gameplay itself is enough, but it would be cool. Some context.
    4. Yeah, Decks of Dexterity is nice, I like the alliteration.
    5. Decks works better for me because of the alliteration.
    Look forward to seeing you complete this, good luck, man.
     
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  6. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Hmm it seems we have reached a draw. Some people have said they like Deck better than Decks.

    The problem I’ve found is that decks of dexterity is quite the tongue twister.
     
  7. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    Decks of Decksterity is somehow a hundred times easier to say than "Decks of Dexterity" to me, even though they're pronounced exactly the same. Weird brain glitch that turns it into a tongue twister, I think; it's actually really easy to say because of the alliteration if you don't think about the spelling.

    I prefer the s, too.
     
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  8. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    The first public alpha is finally here! There are so many new things in this version that I honestly can’t keep track of them all.

    Here are some of the most notable changes:
    • New over world map to explore! Find enemies, chests and card exchanges! More things will be added later.
    • New cards! There is now a total of 37 playable cards and 17 rare treasures.
    • New draw mechanics. Instead of discarding your whole hand, cards you don’t play are placed back on top of your deck. This allows you to save cards that combo and fuse together.
    • New resources! Energy: a resource that depletes over time. Used to power up cards. Burns: a resource that is mostly used to discard and redraw cards every turn, but can be used by some cards.
    • New enemy mechanics and phases.

    Other important information:
    • Use F4 to toggle fullscreen.
    • If you have never played before I would suggest starting with the “Guns” deck as it is the simplest.
    • I suggest turning down the game’s audio when you start. It could be loud.
    • Play music! The game doesn’t have music, but I highly recommend playing something in the background.
    Here are some of my music recommendations:
    Decks of Dexterity Discord:

    I recently made a Discord server dedicated to Decks of Dexterity. If you want to see more frequent updates please join! https://discord.gg/3fMnhwP

     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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  9. woodsmoke

    woodsmoke Member

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    It's not the size of the deck that is important, it's about how you use it.
     
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  10. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    That is very true. One of the hardest challenges I’ve faced is balancing the starting decks. They are small and have a fair number of average cards that work well together. Because of this, I’m worried that they may be too good.
     
  11. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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    Took me a sec to figure it out, but when I did, it was fast paced and fun! Definitely the sort of game I enjoy, at least! I would only suggest a little more variety in the enemies. Also, I love the art and style of the game!
     
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  12. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    I'm glad that you liked the game! Shortly after releasing Alpha 3 I made the realization that I toned the difficult down way too much and made it take far too long for enemies to add new mechanics.

    Because of this, the next release will focus almost entirely on new enemy mechanics and improving the overall difficulty curve. Here are a couple screenshots showing the new stuff:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. JacobV

    JacobV Member

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    I gave it a play, I really enjoyed it! My main suggestion would be placing a time limit on how long it takes the player to choose and use their abilities; it would give the fight a whole lot more intensity and add to the pace. I also think the enemy patterns could be made to be a bit more interesting, and require some more effort from the player to dodge. (That said, I only fought the first boss, so they might get more complex and engaging later on.) Really promising; I can see why you won the jam!
     
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  14. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Thanks for playing! The game definitely gets more difficult as you defeat more bosses and more mechanics get introduced along the way. Although it is a bit slow in this version of the game and I plan on improving that. Since you only beat the first boss, you definitely missed out on a lot of stuff in the game!

    As for adding time limits, I've been kind of against this because I want the player to have as much time as they need to make good decisions. I want this game to be as much a tactical/puzzle/card game as it is an action game. I've considered adding elements of the game that are not affected by the time freezes but I haven't figured out a way yet that wouldn't feel unfair or annoying. I'm definitely welcome to suggestions though!
     
  15. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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    One bug:
    Fired shot.
    Got hit.
    Enemy hit by shot.
    Enemy dies.
    I have to waste a card...

    Also, the boss in the screen shot looks awesome.
     
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  16. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Thanks! Instead of having all the bosses be randomly generated, there will now be a number of preset bosses with a few randomized/scaling variables (Health, Attack Pattern, etc). This makes it so that there is much more boss variety.

    As for that bug, yes it is known and I haven't gotten around to fixing it because it really doesn't make any difference at all. I will fix it eventually though!
     
  17. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    It's been nearly a month since the last post here. Alpha 4 should be around the corner soon. With that aside, here are a bunch of new screenshots if you miss my status updates!

    Imgur Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/L63AM6D
     
  18. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Decks of Dexterity Alpha 4 is finally here! If you would like to try it, you can download it and I would really appreciate any feedback you have about the game. I'm trying to make it as good as I can.

    Here are some screenshots of it: https://imgur.com/a/L63AM6D

    ----- Major changes in Alpha 4: -----

    • New Enemy Types! Instead of all the enemies being randomly generated, there are now a set number of enemies with their own specific mechanics and attacks. This change was to make it so that new mechanics are introduced faster and to add more variety to battles. Currently there are 17 different enemies.
    • New Cards and Treasures! There are now a total of 56 collectable cards and 22 rare treasures. These new cards feature plenty of new mechanics including effects when a card is drawn or burnt, a new Fatigue system, life steal, legendary cards, and whole bunch of other new stuff.
    • Events! Brand new to Alpha 4 is the event system. Along your journey you can now run into special blue nodes on the map that feature characters, treasures, and everything in between. Your choices determine the result of the event.
    • Balance Changes! The new Scanner card allows you to scan and see tips about killing enemies. You can also hold your mouse over a card to get more information about it. The difficult curve as also been adjusted to make the start of the game easier.

    ----- Other important information: -----
    • ESC to open settings.
    • Use F4 to toggle fullscreen.
    • Use F6 to close the game.
    • The game does not have music. I highly recommend playing something in the background.

    ----- Download Alpha 4 -----
    http://codedgames.com/alphas/DecksOfDexterity.zip

    If you are interested in more frequent updates about the game, join the Decks of Dexterity Discord! https://discord.gg/3fMnhwP
     
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  19. Cloaked Games

    Cloaked Games Member

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    Well, I played that for a long time. The only reason I'm not playing more is that I really need to do my homework...

    Here's a few things I noticed along the way:
    - The scanner card is frustrating to have in the deck. The ability is cool, but since you get another turn when you use it, it make sense to use it every single time it shows up even if you've already scanned that enemy, so you get another card and don't lose anything. But I don't want to watch that animation, an easy fix is to make it cost no burns to burn the scanner card. (Unless I don't remember how it works, I've just been burning it and wasting burns because of that).
    - I think movement needs to be improved. I cannot explain what it is about the bullet-hell moments of this game that irritate me so much, I'll think about it and get back to you. (Maybe the player movement speed needs to be buffed a bit?) There's cool stuff you can do with the force-field thing and the healing spell, not to mention teleport cards. But something still felt off to me.
    - A lot of the combos you can work out are really fun. Particularly was casting dragon fury (or whatever) with 10 burn on a critical hit enemy, and a +5 multi-hit lightning on the arm enemy. I like most of the cards a ton, the golden upgrade cards are really useful and rewarding.
    - Overall there's a lot of good strategy and planning. Obviously in the future more card variety (though since like-cards stack, maybe too much would make that aspect less good).
    - Enemy patterns were surprisingly varied considering what you're working with. But they're still not that varied. More enemies is fine, but also look into more types of bullets (chasing ones?), and most importantly, more spawn patterns for them. Even though there is variety among them, all of them basically come down to spiraling outward from the boss. Maybe some that created lines across the screen, come spiraling from the outside towards the boss... I think this might help with the movement thing I mentioned above. Basically the dodge patterns are identical for every single enemy, except the ones with lasers (which is the best enemy design in this game).
    - Bug happens if the last card you play in a fight is the one that boosts your next played card by +2: the +2 shows up on every card shown for rewards or trading until you start the next battle.
    - My personal favorite deck was the energy one. It was the most interesting, though also the most confusing. It's interesting because it forces you to avoid any bullets for the time to deal damage. It occurs to me that it's not even cost efficient to cast the energy beams immediately after each other since it sets the energy to 3, you should wait till 1 energy to cast the next one to refresh the first one and maximize damage.
     
  20. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    @Cloaked Games Thanks for the feedback!

    Scanner: I definitely will make it so you can burn Scanner for free. I think that's a really good idea. You can also skip the animation by clicking while it's playing but I don't say that anywhere so I don't blame you for not knowing. I probably add that message to the help banner. Scanner is a weird card because its main two purposes are to help new players learn about mechanics and make the starting decks worse. But it also has some interesting interactions with cards like Snake Eyes where you can Scanner into Snake Eyes queue up two full turns at once.

    Movement: I agree, movement feels a little weird and I don't know exactly why. It might be because of the camera, since it positions itself between the player and the enemy. I might add an option to enable a fixed camera that just locks onto the player to see if that helps at all. Other than that, I might experiment with increasing the player's movement speed or adding some other interesting mechanic to help with dodging bullets. A couple ideas I had would be to slow down time a little bit if you are just about to be hit and add a QTE to dodge or something else. I definitely plan on overhauling the player's design so that also might involve updating how movement works.

    Enemy Patterns: I definitely will add more. Currently there are two tiers of enemies. Tier 1 are the basic ones you fight after the first enemy and Tier 2 are the elites. There will likely be 2 more tiers of enemies all of which will have new mechanics and patterns, getting more difficult. One idea that I had was a circle that would pulse from the enemy that swaps the colors of bullets. One downside to the overall design of the game is that I have to have fairly density bullet patterns to give the player things to collect and it turn this makes it more difficult to manually dodge things.

    Other stuff: I find it really interesting that most people like the Energy "class" the most. Personally my favorite is Melee, I like all the movement abilities where as Energy basically has none. But I guess it's good that my game is diverse enough that what I like the most isn't necessarily the best or what other people like.

    Overall, thanks for playing! I'm really glad that you enjoyed it. I don't know if you played the Jam version of this game, but if you did, what do you think of overall evolution of this game during the last 5 months? Since I have to credit you for choosing a theme that just perfectly fit this idea I had of a bullet hell card game that lead to all of this. Here is the first note that created the idea of this game: https://gyazo.com/3f5e16f54be5c4cd10479144bd744259
     
  21. Cloaked Games

    Cloaked Games Member

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    Oooh, this reminds me of something important that I forgot to mention, which is your comment about the camera. The camera could be a big part of why I didn't like the movement too much. Sometimes for example, when I would shoot an attack, the camera wouldn't move back in time for me to see where I needed to move to dodge something (or at least, it was hard to do so while the camera was still panning). Thinking of other bullet hell games I've played (admittedly not many), the camera never moves, you see the entire battle on one screen and can move where you need without the camera distracting you. IDK if that is possible with this game but it's something to note.

    Never got to play the jam version, so no comments on that sadly. The theme was JacobV's idea, I had no part in that, but yeah, that was a really good theme I think.

    Energy starting deck is clearly the best. Melee is the worst, what are you talking about lol?! (Jk, you have good variety, it's awesome).
     
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  22. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Oh definitely this is something that is very high on the things-to-fix list. It should be a really easy fix, I just check to make sure the player is in view before speeding up time but I just haven't gotten around to it. I'm also tweaking the speed at which time goes from paused to full speed. I just slowed it down a little bit and I think it feels a bit better but it's a very minor difference.

    Edit: I'm kind of against zooming the camera out really far so that you can see everything because I just like having that big scale on everything. I like not even being able to fit some enemies on the screen just to make so that they feel really big. Ya, I like making things really big if you haven't noticed.
     
  23. Cloaked Games

    Cloaked Games Member

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    Yeah, I agree with this. You can't zoom all the way out. The zoom speed fixes will help, but it'll be interesting to find a way to make up for the fact that the camera has to move, which I think now is a major part of the issue with the movement.

    Another thing, the player character should definitely be a different color or even different shape than any other dot. I couldn't tell which was which at some points at a glance, especially when the camera was moving around. (The player compared to other white squares).
     
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  24. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Thanks! Do you have any suggestions about what could be improved upon?

    Yes, I plan on giving the player much more life with different animations and changing shapes depending on the cards that you play. The square player definitely has lead to some issues. Especially with some Elite (red) enemies that shoot larger bullets that sometimes can be the exact same size of the player, and if paused at the right time are rotated just like the player. In these scenarios it's basically impossible to tell if something is the player or a bullet. I'm keeping the top down perspective but will likely make the player more fluid-like where it's shape will distort as you move around (won't effect the hit box).
     
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  25. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Oh ok! Give it a try, the screenshots aren’t probably the best representation of the game.
     
  26. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Alpha 5 should be coming somewhat soon. In the last couple weeks I've been experimenting with adding lighting/bloom to some parts of the game. What do you all think?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    [​IMG]

    Merry Christmas!

    Decks of Dexterity Alpha 5 is finally here! School really prevented me from working on the game as much as I would like but I've had a lot of time to work on it over winter break. There has been a quite a few big changes that I would like to get feedback on.

    ----- Here are the major changes in Alpha 5: -----

    Enemy Turns! After dealing some damage, enemies will now be given a turn to play their own cards. Each enemy has their own deck of cards, all with new mechanics and new ways to kill you.

    Saving! You can now quit and reload the game from where you left off. Any options you change will also be saved. It's almost like it's a real game now!

    Polishing Everything! The game is getting close to having all its fundamental systems finished. In this update I spent a lot of time balancing cards, adding new ones, tweaking graphics, and piles of other minor improvements.

    ----- Other Important Stuff: -----
    • ESC to open settings.
    • Use F6 to close the game.
    • The game does not have music. I highly recommend playing something in the background.

    ----- Download Alpha 5 -----
    https://bit.ly/2EN58oa

    If you try the game, make sure to let me know what you think of it! If you like the game, please join our Discord: discord.gg/3fMnhwP
     
  28. Coded Games

    Coded Games Member

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    Almost a year here since my last post! Don't worry the project is definitely not dead, I have been working on it. Anyways, I just wanted to share the I made a much needed update to the main game topic. The game now also has a website (decksofdexterity.com) with links to social media.

    If you want to play the game join the Decks of Dexterity discord: https://discord.gg/5Nbgta5
     
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  29. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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    I'm glad to see that this project is still alive!
     
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