Free Key to Success

Discussion in 'Made with GameMaker' started by Samuel Venable, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    "Key to Success" is free and open source.

    Collect all the keys to succeed in this traditional 2D platformer.

    An Indie Game by Time Killer Games (Samuel Venable).

    Original Soundtrack by HYPERLAMB.

    Works in:
    • GameMaker 7.0 for Mac
    • GameMaker 8.1 for Windows
    • GameMaker Studio 1.4 for Windows, Mac, and Linux
    • GameMaker Studio 2.2 for Windows, Mac, and Linux
    [Download Now]

    Cheers.
    Samuel
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
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  2. Morendral

    Morendral Member

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    Error on that link. I would suggest youtube
     
  3. johnwo

    johnwo Member

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    "URL signature expired"
    As the guy above me mentioned, use YT...
     
  4. renex

    renex Member

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    You can't repost from facebook like that. Either paste a link to the actual post with the video or use a different method.
     
  5. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Sorry about that. I updated the link to youtube:

    Edit: video removed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  6. SmallisBeautiful

    SmallisBeautiful Member

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    Our own games always feel too easy for us and are too hards for others. Does the player die with a single hit? Because that might make it very frustrating to go through most of a level and have to start over for miscalculating a jump.

    I don't like the flashing psychedelic keys. They get annoying fast.
     
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  7. Poddington

    Poddington Member

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    My only concern is the music, when it started playing something clicked in my head and I think I may have ruptured something. Otherwise gameplay looks smooth and the design is simple, but well made. I don't mind the trippiness of it, just the music.
     
  8. gn.fur

    gn.fur Member

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    It looks very boring.
    Also, music is terrible. It's so bad it's better to remove it completely.
     
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  9. McWolke

    McWolke Member

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    It doesn't look hard for me, your game can be easily beaten with a bit of timing and patience.
    your music though reminded me of lavender town from pokemon, which is super creepy.
     
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  10. renex

    renex Member

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    Okay so I'm pretty sure this is unintentional but the music contains a lot of 8KHz+ frequencies and they are painful to listen to.

    Muting the game, I can see that the scrolling background can get distracting on non-integer scaling which makes them flicker a bit. The keys should also either animate slower or use more colors to ease up the transition between them. Adventure for the 2600 also uses this for its trophy item.

    Also, since you're going for Dangerous Dave aesthetics, you probably want your sound design to follow. Here's something nice from old time.

    Gameplay itself looks rather fine to me I'd say, it's more about timing and planning than actual pixel perfect "gamer" reflex skill, which is a good thing. Reminds me heavily of Montezuma's Revenge, where I used to spend hours as a kid.
     
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  11. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Thank you for the feedback guys. The music as stated previously is just a placeholder. I'll make the keys animate slower and hopefully that'll help. :)

    @SmallisBeautiful Yeah that is what I was thinking regarding the difficulty. Yes, a single hit and you have to start over the level, but I'm also thinking about having infinite lives.

    @renex Thanks for the link! I'll try out GMPokey, sounds interesting. Do you think I should get rid of the scrolling background? switching to windowed mode does this, but if you think fullscreen shouldn't have it, I'll consider making it static or removing it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  12. dj_midknight

    dj_midknight Member

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    Consider upping the frame rate a little bit. Games of timing are all well and good, but from the video your game is a bit slow. IMO speeding it up a little bit will keep everything exactly the same but since everything moves a bit quicker it increases the challenge. OFC you could just do that as a difficulty setting and let the player adjust it
     
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  13. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    @dj_midknight Right now the game speed is 30, I'll change it to 60 and see how it goes. :)
     
  14. dj_midknight

    dj_midknight Member

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    You dont have to go full way to 60 either. You can do 40, 45, etc to fine tune it to what you like.
     
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  15. renex

    renex Member

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    It can get a bit distracting at first, but if you plan to have an options screen then just put an option for it.
     
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  16. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Everything I tried past 35 felt too fast to me. I'll see what everyone thinks when I share a new video (using 35).

    Sounds like a plan. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
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  17. Sunfish

    Sunfish Member

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    Keep in mind room speed is much different than a characer's real speed. In my opinion, I think the character moves at a good pace, but the somewhat choppy framerate makes it look sorta slow.

    How about upping the room_speed to 60, and halving the movement speed? It would get rid of the low fps while keeping the character speed the same.
     
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  18. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    I think the frame rate is choppy because of what I used to record it (Bandicam). When I'm not recording it runs a smooth rate. With the room_speed set to 60 it was unplayable because of how hard it was, and that was without making the character slower. Making the character move slower would just make it more difficult (or even impossible).

    Here's a video of the keys animating slower and the game speed set to 35. Let me know if this looks any better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  19. Sunfish

    Sunfish Member

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    Oh, I guess that's much better :O

    Also, my description on room_speed was a bit awkward, so let me rephrase. As of current, all your rooms are set to 30, meaning all of your objects would be running their step/alarm events 30 frames a second, which is what we see now. If you increased it to say, 60, it would cause it to speed up, since it means you would be running everything at double the speed. When I suggested to halve the character speed, I also implied to halve every timer-based event for your other objects as well.

    By doubling the room_speed, it would make it look super smooth, and halving every timer-based event would make it run with the same "speed" as of now. However, now that I see the game play with the last video you posted, I think it looks totally fine.

    Good luck with your game!
     
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  20. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Oh, I see what you're saying. That's a lot to change, but I'll consider it. Thanks for everything! :D
     
  21. SnoutUp

    SnoutUp Member

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    It's hard on ears. An a bit on eyes, because of that scrolling background (zooming in video helped, but I still don't see the benefit of moving it). As for gameplay, it looks slow & floaty (low gravity, slow movement). Usually, for these kind of games a tight & precise movement is expected to give player more control.
     
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  22. RichHopelessComposer

    RichHopelessComposer Member

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    I personally love the music. It's good in that "oh God make it stop" kind of way. X'D
    I wouldn't use it for the whole game, but it'd be great for one of the middle areas of the game. It's good to abuse your players once in awhile! >;D

    I have to agree with a few people that the game doesn't look very difficult, though. It looks more like it requires a lot of patience, which is a good thing in small doses (to up the stress and frustration of difficult portions), but can quickly turn bad and burn out a player. I'd think of ways to make your game more legitimately challenging. Think up situations that will require quick reflexes or planning from your player. Look at old games like Castlevania or Megaman for difficult platforming - those games never made you wait around, but were legitimately difficult.
     
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  23. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    I'm a little confused as to why this thread was moved by a moderator out of the Work In Progress forum.

    @RichHopelessComposer

    While I do think doing that with the music would be funny on my end of things, I think it would result in bad reviews as I've already seen how much it isn't liked. Thanks for the idea tho lol

    Yeah the earlier levels make you wait around a little more than the latter. I'll post some more footage when I get the chance (of the later levels). Thanks for the suggestions for inspiration.

    @SnoutUp

    I actually added the scrolling background and kept it because I thought it looked nice, and gave more "life" and subtle animation to the screen. I'm surprised you don't like it (apart from the fact it can be a little distracting). With this much negative feedback about the background I'm a little torn between whether I should keep it and give the option to turn it off, make it static, or just make outside the game area black in fullscreen mode. I might just make it static. But I'm not entirely sure. I'm opened to alternative ideas.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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  24. GM029

    GM029 Member

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    I'll go against the grain and say I actually like the music too. Somehow it fits really well with the aesthetic of the game for me. Looks really cool!
     
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  25. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    To me this kind of game should run at 60fps. Seriously. The base of your game will be timing and reaction. Reflexes. You need the game to give the best response time possible.
    I strongly suggest you make the room speed 60 and ajust your object's speed.
     
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  26. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    I updated the video to include more levels to preview.

    @SnoutUp I think I misread your post. Yeah, playing the video embedded without making it fullscreen, the scrolling background looks not as nice, as when in fullscreen. Fortunately, this is not an issue with the actual game, because when running the game, it is fullscreen by default, and the scrolling background's GUI layer scales to the size of the display, meaning it will always draw as the same size across different devices and displays. The game can be run in windowed mode via pressing F11, and in windowed mode it doesn't include the scrolling background, showing only the level contents, cropped at 960x540.

    @GM029 Thank you, I'm glad you like the way it looks (and sounds). However, I know someone who is much better at composing music than I, so it's looking like he'll be the one making the music I'll use. I do appreciate your kind words though. :D

    @RangerX As stated previously, I'll consider it. My goal is to complete this game a lot quicker than another project I'm currently working on, but we'll see what happens. I'm not certain how much it'll improve the gameplay to change it to 60, but I'm opened to trying it. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  27. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Bump. Updated the video. Changed the music. I'm very close to releasing it.

    Not sure who moved this topic to the subforum it's in, but it really doesn't belong here.

    Can one of you mods please move this to the "work in progress" subforum?

    That's where I had it initially, anyway...

    Thanks!
     
  28. MsTopHat

    MsTopHat Member

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    A small bit of critique. I think the players motion is a little too "floaty". This I believe is because the player is jumping at a perfect parabola, which might be true for the real world, but it doesn't really work in the video game world in my opinion. I would try to make it so that maybe about half way through the jump the player falls a bit faster and more "straight down" shrinking the parabola size. Not by much but just a bit. I know this might come as a pain, but I would play around with this. It can make a world of difference.

    Also the beginning tune is a really common tune. I wouldn't use it in my opinion if you can.
     
  29. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    I intend to apply all critiques to the sequel. Everything in "Key to Success 2" will be much faster paced and much less "floaty".

    As for this game, in its current state, I will call it done, as I'm anxious to start something new.

    Game is now released, (see OP for download page)! :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  30. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Added an HTML5 build so you may now play without needing to download anything, for those of you who may want this.

    Also if anyone finds the game too difficult, I can send a "skip level" cheat in a PM...
     
  31. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    I have recently released the source code for the HTML5 version, since the code is slightly different from that of the original.

    Important note - due to bugs only present in GameMaker Studio 2, the HTML5 port, (if built with GameMaker Studio 2), would not only be more difficult, with less accurate collision hit boxes, it is even impossible to beat at a certain point in the game. These issues are not present in GameMaker: Studio 1.4, thus the HTML5 port and its source code were made exclusively in GameMaker: Studio 1.4. It is recommended if you make your own version, and want to target HTML5, that you use GameMaker: Studio 1.4, and not GameMaker Studio 2.

    Aside from making a sequel, which will take into consideration all the critiques in this thread, I will also be making a closed-source, extended version of the original, featuring its own original soundtrack by LATE WATCH, the same creator as for the original soundtrack of another game I helped contribute to, known as Rodger Dodge.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  32. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Is anyone willing to give some feedback on the difficulty level? Again, all critiques will be taken into account while I develop the sequel...
     
  33. OlderBytes

    OlderBytes Member

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    You need to reset movement when player dies. Dying again on respawn is unnecessarily cruel ;)
     
  34. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    @OlderBytes

    Thanks for the feedback. I figured as much. What do you suggest I do differently? The only thing I can think of is for the game to remember which keys were previously taken when the room restarts, so it's not a total loss. Does this sound like a good idea?
     
  35. OlderBytes

    OlderBytes Member

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    Actually it should forget. When it restarts if you were moving right when you die it keeps moving right when you respawn, which sends you straight into the pit at the bottom left.

    Your first level is very unforgiving. You might consider starting with a very simple level and increasing difficulty to give the player the opportunity to ease into it.

    Also, I had several deaths due to the SPACE BAR not registering. Not sure what more I can tell you to pinpoint it. It might be my fault for being too slow, but I'm pretty sure it either takes too long for the keyboard command to be registered or there are instances where it isn't detected at all.
     
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  36. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    About the issue you mentioned regarding moving right during a respawn, I'll look in to getting that fixed. :)

    I don't have that issue with the spacebar. Interesting. You can also jump with the up arrow key, if that's any better.

    As for easier level design, I'm already planning on doing that for the sequel so when people first start the game there's a steadier difficulty slope. :)

    Thanks for playing, and thanks for the feedback!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
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  37. OlderBytes

    OlderBytes Member

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    Best of luck :)
     
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  38. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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  39. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Added version 2.0 to the original post. This one has twice as many levels. I really recommend giving it a try. So far I've gottten nothing but positive feedback with the few people I shared it with before posting it here.

    2.0 includes a new soundtrack by Jonathan Fobbs a.k.a. HYPERLAMB.

    (Will record a video of 2.0's gameplay when I have the time).
     
  40. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    The colors hurt my eyes. So many needles!
     
  41. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    @sitebender the graphics in the video doesn't really do it justice unless you put it on full quality and full screen. The game scales dynamically relative to your screen resolution, unlike a video which can't do that.

    But yes, you are not the first to say that about my artwork. I don't exactly know what it means though, to say the colors make your eyes hurt. It isn't really that flashy, is it? I've seen worse, at least...

    I've never had a seizure before so what do I know? lol
     
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  42. Nocturne

    Nocturne Friendly Tyrant Forum Staff Admin

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    I actually LIKE the graphics! I don't think they hurt the eyes, they are bright, colourful and coherent. The game itself flashes me back to JetSet Willy et-al... especially colour cycling in the keys and the actual platformer gameplay and level design. Good stuff!
     
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  43. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Thanks @Nocturne! It was inspired by Manic Miner, and similar games of its time such as Blagger. It doesn't surprise you knew about a similar game I never heard of. It's a common platforming goal to collect items and head for the exit, well, semi-common.
     
  44. Timze

    Timze Member

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    Clickbait title without being clickbait. Well done // Doesn't everyone want to know (or in this case) have the key to success? ;)
     
  45. Jafman

    Jafman Member

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    I'm guessing from two songs you must've played Hunt the Wumpus? Was kinda disappointed to see no wumpus but wasn't expecting it either. I agree that higher room speed would really help. One thing I always look for in a game is options which your game has none. This ties into how others mentioned the music, scrolling background, etc.. can be options so everyone can adapt the game a bit to their preference. Overall I liked it. Keep it up!
     
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  46. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    @Jafman I'm currently busy with working on an update for Fridge Runner, but I will add an options menu within the next update most likely.

    I added to the OP versions of the game compiled with GameMaker Studio 1.4 and GameMaker Studio 2. The original download was made with GameMaker 8.1. This allows you to compare and contrast each version based on what they were made with and the source code for each executable is included. The one compiled with GameMaker Studio 2 has the smallest file size and the fastest performance, while the one created with GameMaker 8.1, to no surprise, is the largest in file size and slowest in performance. If anyone would like to know what the fourth executable was made in, send me a PM.
     
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  47. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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  48. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    I gave a few levels a try.
    - An external popup is always bad to see in a game even if its for a password.
    - I still feel the art is a bit too much for my eyes. Personal preference.
    - Game needs a blinking arrow over the player at the start of a new level, because there's just so much going on. Blinking, moving enemies, the art.
    - Having the ladder climb as automatic breaks jumps which has caused my death in the game a few times.
    - Needs a timer so people can see how fast they were. Perhaps a death counter as well.
    - Are the spear and arrow traps random? Because they seem a bit random. Still safe enough to go past them after they spring.
    - A stage select may be beneficial if there's no saving so I can return later to play or is that the password system? If only I remembered there was a password system. At the bottom I assume.

    I say this all because there's a lot of potential here. Its on the verge of being enjoyable and entertaining.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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  49. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    Thanks for playing and the valuable feedback! This stuff will improve the game big time.

    I actually really like pop ups because they are different depending on the browser or in native builds depending on the OS. It perhaps is a bit irrational for me to keep it that way though, most people seem to disagree with me and I need to appeal to a wider audience. So, I'll consider it.

    This is good suggestion and isn't hard to add, there is really no reason why I can have this up in the next build so sounds like a plan! :)

    To solve this, you can also press spacebar to jump, that way you can jump without using a button where climbing would be done instead of jumping. I'll add in game controls after the title screen in the next build possibly.

    I've had several people suggest a death counter, since it is a good feature and has some demand I'll definitely get it in there. I like the timer idea too, I'm surprised I never thought of that.

    There is always enough time to get across if you time it right. It uses a random range between two moments in time before they spring up again.

    The input box has a typo I found last night, this will get fixed along with your other suggestions I accepted.

    I meant to write this:

    'Please enter the password to access HARD mode, or click "Cancel" to start a new game in EASY mode.'

    (I left out the underlined word).

    I was thinking instead of stage select, it could just remember where you left off with an automatic save system, what do you think?
     
  50. Samuel Venable

    Samuel Venable Time Killer

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    I still plan to do the other things I said I would, I just didn't manage to get it all done in one update like I was hoping. Things have been crazy. Anyway, fixed the wording I used for the input box, and I added a death counter. Note: audio seems to not work consistently in Chrome, most of the time it is muted, due to the runtime I used to compile it, (which is the only runtime that the game is actually playable in, or, rather, works well enough to include mostly everything). I recommend playing the browser version in Firefox or Edge Browser. :)
     

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