Windows Rabbit's Quest [Metroidvania Shoot Em Up] (FREE during Summer Sale)

Discussion in 'Made with GameMaker' started by DirectShift, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Hello people! I'm writing this because I need your help and your opinion!

    The game is going well, I'm working hard to make it fun and pleasant for you.

    I have one problem however... maybe it's not a problem and it's just my perspective.

    To define the problem with two words I would use: Difficulty Balancing

    Let me tell you about it:

    In this game, you have the possibility of buying life by killing enemies. The system works like this: You complete rooms, you get points... you trade those points for life (it increases your max hp).

    This game is a metroidvania, so you have relative freedom to explore. Until you reach the third boss of the game you don't have complete freedom, and the difficulty is somewhat "fixed"... by fixed I mean... you could complete all the rooms you want at this point and it still would be somewhat hard.

    But here's the thing... once you kill the third boss... the world opens up entirely. Here's the problem... from this point, you can:

    1) go and do the "normal route" and then go for the final boss... (maybe pick up a powerup or two, maybe increasing your life)

    2) or you can go the "alternative route" and try to get all the powerups and max hp... and then continue the "normal route"... with a very powerful character.

    If you do 1), then getting to the final boss is going to be somewhat hard and challenging...

    But if you do 2), which is also hard by itself... then getting to the final boss will be easy... and maybe it won't be fun because you are going to do the last areas without too much difficulty and it won't be challenging...



    Of course, you still have the BIG secret and you need to be maxed to do it whatever route you take (and it's challenging) but that's another topic.

    ---

    Should I adjust this difficulty problem? is it even a problem?

    I don't know what to think about it...
     
  2. Bluetail7

    Bluetail7 Member

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    how about an extreme difficult final stage, with no health recovers till the pre boss room, where you can save your progress and idk, get a legendary item/powerup?
     
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  3. CMAllen

    CMAllen Member

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    The answer lies in the games that inspired this genre -- the final bosses end up being something of a pushover if you spend all that time powering up your character. Or, more accurately, the final boss isn't hair-wrenching, controller-hurling difficult to beat.
     
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  4. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Well... that was fast lol.

    I think I found a solution to this problem. I read on the internet a bit and it's a common problem with metroidvanias (exploration and difficulty curve).

    My solution (which has to be tested yet) works like this:

    - Don't make this choice explicit, don't tell the player where he can find these powerups, that way he could try to get to the final areas thinking that maybe... the powerups are there!

    - Limit the number of powerups he can get before the final boss... this means that once he kills the final boss, he will get a special ability that gives him the ability to access the rest of the secret and powerups.

    That would be the super secret =P, you literally need to get all powerups and hp to access the secret area.

    Yes, after some investigation I found this is a common problem. =)

    ---

    Thanks!

    Be sure to stick around here because I plan to give the game for beta testing very soon!!!
     
  5. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Oooohh man!! These weeks have been very productive.

    My goal was to get to 88% this month... and I already completed it and I still have some days left!!

    That means I went from 85% to 88% in just a couple weeks.

    that 3% stands for a bit more than 90 features and bug fixes of varied complexity... amazing!

    - The final secret area is finished (still have to do the boss)
    - I did some secret work that you are going to see in a couple weeks =D
    - I changed the initial plot of the game (screenplay)
    - Fixed A LOT of bugs and added LOTS of features
    - Improved the bosses deaths
    - Fixed the difficulty of the game (the problem I explained in the last post)
    - Added a couple of new enemies =D
    - Improved the dash graphic, it was very boring in the past... now it looks super cool

    And more...

    Goal for November? Get to 92% (or more)

    So... let me show you a small image.

    This would be the first room of the game, can you guess what happened?

    Captura.PNG
     
  6. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Wow, I just played the demo. Wanted to just try it for a bit but played through the boss.
    The enemies are really diverse and have nice rhythm.
    I also found the difficulty was very balanced, not to easy and not to hard.
    Would love to play it with a controller. I saw that you bought one and assume that you will use it :)
     
  7. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Heeyy thanks for playing!!

    Yes! you will be able to play it with a gameplad.

    I saw you are creating a metrodvania too, amazing!
     
  8. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Just uploaded the official trailer for the game!

    IT HAS NEW AND COLORIZED GRAPHICS FOR THE ENEMIES!!!

     
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  9. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Hello everyone!
    This month I managed to add another 2% to the game and right now stands at 90%.

    Progress has slowed down, I'm having a bit of motivation problem working on it. I'm also having problems working on the last 2 songs of the game.

    But I'm not worried, eventually I'm going to overcome this obstacle.

    On another note... in a couple days this project is going to turn 1 year! That's amazing, I never worked on a game so long and productive.

    Eventually I'm going to need beta testers, tell me if you are interested!
     
  10. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Hi there,
    your game will be great (the demo is already cool), so please work, work, work :)
    When the time comes, I would be up for some testing.
     
  11. Kapser

    Kapser Member

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    I was so inspired by hero core when I first played it. Looking foward to play Rabbit's Quest!
     
  12. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Thanks! I'm having a hard time writing the "end credits" song. Right now i'm on the 6th iteration!

    After playing Hero Core I decided "I MUST DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS"
     
  13. AlexDerFerri

    AlexDerFerri Member

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    Hi dude! Nice game, the old style graphics and music took me back to my childhood.
    It looks and feels like a classic Nes game.
    That would be great if I could play it with an actual Nes controller ahahah. I really enjoyed playing it, anyway!
    Keep it up!
     
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  14. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Yes!!! there already support for controllers in the last version =)

    ---


    On other hand, I have good news, I finally managed to progress on the "end credits" song, currently on the 6th iteration... it took a while but damn, it's sounding good!
     
  15. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Hello everyone!! great news! Game is at 95%... it's very very close to release!

    These last months I worked on...

    + bug fixing
    + completed the secret final boss
    + completed the credit roll and music
    + completed the screenplay for the normal ending
    + composed the secret final boss music

    This is basically the last grunt work I had to do... what's next??

    + screenplay for the second ending (takes 2-3 days max)
    + add missing sounds (takes 5 days max)
    + add missing explosions and enemies deaths (takes 5 days max)
    + final details and final testing (around 1 week of work)
    + build the site on itch.io and add payment options... (2-3 days)

    The good thing is that these tasks are easy, I already did a lot of testing on the last... well... around the entire time I 've been working on this game! which is ~14 months! a lot of time!

    Goal for this month? bring the game progress to 99%...!

    See you in a couple weeks!
     
  16. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Hello everyone, just a little update!

    I spent this weekend playing the game and getting to 100%. I haven't beaten the secret final boss (I lose a lot when I'm tired making stupid mistakes) but I will try again tomorrow.

    What can I say? You are going to love it! it's full of details and it's a lot of fun.

    Let me tell you a couple things:

    + I played the entire game so I could catch and fix small details, I found a ton of them but they super easy to fix, things like texts, centering graphics, avatars, etc

    + I decided to redraw one of the mini bosses. The first version was black and white, the second version with colors was black, with gray claws and teeth and yellow eyes, but the truth is that I don't think it fits the style of the level plus the drawing is cool but it's too static... it doesn't have any animation. I think a small flying machine will fit better

    + It took me around 8hs to get to the secret final boss (almost finishing the game, think 99%).

    Think about that... seriously... 8 hours! That's a lot! keep in mind that I know my game VERY WELL, I know it's tricks, I can play it without taking any damage and I can do it VERY FAST.... but still... 8hs!

    That means a new player will take maybe 12-16hs to get to the basic ending? That's around 70%... I don't know... but I think this is good news right? It means the game is BIG... it has a lot of content... :D

    + One of the most fun features I did this week is different kind of explosions. So instead of an enemy just dying with a simple explosions... now you can have an enemy dying in different kind of styles.

    For example:

    [​IMG]

    (sorry for the mess, first time doing video to gif)

    There are a couple of effects, but you will have to play the game to see them :)

    Anyways!!! Now I have to fix everything I found, add missing sounds and keep testing it!

    See ya!!!
     
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  17. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Heyy!

    Getting closer and closer! game is already at 97.8% !!!

    I already finished fixing all the new bugs I found, except for a couple ones (3-4).
    btw, I highly recommend using old versions of gm like 5.3a to do fast prototypes and testing, it was super useful to me when I wanted to try some AI, do some sketches and the likes. For example, right now I have a problem with a small enemy, so I will copy its AI to gm5.3a and try to understand why the hell it doesn't work!! lol

    What's next? I still need to add some missing sounds, this takes 1-2 days. And finally, perform 2 more full tests which I'm confident will throw only a small handful of aesthetic minor bugs.

    I want to record my time playing it, I'm still in doubt that the game takes 8hs~ to finish... it's a lot of time, I'm sure it takes a lot less...

    See you in a couple days! I have a lot of work to do (not related to the game) but it's hard to concentrate when I'm so close to finish thiiiisss aaaaaahhhgggg
     
  18. pixeltroid

    pixeltroid Member

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    looks awesome op!
     
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  19. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Hello again!

    I just did a speedrun of the game (only the normal ending) and it took me 02:39 (02hs 39m).

    That's doing the basic path, without grabbing any optional items (it's very hard). The good news is that the difficulty curve is OK, doesn't need more adjustments.

    The bad news is that I found around 20 new bugs :confused:

    Anyways! I heard you like gifs so I made these two for you! ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. nacho_chicken

    nacho_chicken Member

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    Hahaha, that's game development for you. Although, it is good to find the bugs before release instead of afterwards. Bugfixing and patching after you thought you were done is never fun.
     
  21. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Ooooh tell me all about it!

    I can't believe I still find small details to fix, I'm like "how come I haven't seen this before?!?!?".

    But oh well, the game will get better thanks to this.

    HOWEVER, you can be damn sure this game will be released this month!
     
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  22. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Howdy dowdy do!!! What's up folks, hope yer ready because the game is very close to release!!!!!!!!!

    We are already at 99%!!!

    What's missing?

    + perform two exhaustive final tests (and fix whatever I found, hope it's not too much)
    + finish itch.io site, release trailer, all things related to selling the game.

    And then that's all!

    See you very soon!
     
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  23. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Hey everyone, just a short short update.
    Just finished full testing number 3... I didn't expect to find anything but...

    I ended up finding 35 very small bugs and improvements to make.
    I will fix them and after that will start working on the "release things".

    Once I have everything, last step will be playing it again, but on my laptop, with a big screen, and with a joystick. Without really finding bugs, just trying to enjoy it.

    Oh btw...

    @nacho_chicken
    @Micah_DS

    I put you on credits, because the advice you gave me early in development was very useful...!

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Hello! Just finished full testing n4 which is the final testing.
    To my surprise... I found another 25 small bugs to fix. Their severity is very very low, it's just graphical adjustments and difficulty balancing.

    The release trailer is already done, along with the webpage. There's not much left to do! just fix those things and the game will be out!

    I don't plan to do another full testing, I think for now it's enough!

    Game will be out in a couple days! maybe friday or weekend!!! (oh god, that feels so good to say hehe)

    See ya!
     
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  25. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    I said I won't perform another full testing, but here I am. Just because I wanted to be sure I didn't break anything with the last bug fixing...

    And I discovered that some of the things I believed were fixed... are not! They are very innocent though. Haven't finished this final testing, but I already found 6 small bugs.

    Oh well, but I promise that after fixing these... game is out. I guess... next week?

    Is there an ideal day for launching a game? Anyways, I know it won't sell a lot. It wasn't the plan initially.

    My initial idea was to make a very very very simple and short game, with this concept. But it had to take me 3 months. And I had to make it free. Just for the sake of completing a game with graphics and music....

    And then?... well... I ended up making something bigger... which took five times the planned amount! So that's why I decided to put a price on it. At least I can make a little bit of money.

    See you in a couple days!
     
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  26. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Looking forward to your game release! I am super hyped following along on the development. :)
    Please take all your time to fix every bug you find, because eventually there will be some bugs you will not find and you will need to fix after release.
    I don't know about a good release date, but recently I saw some games first come out on itch.io and then on steam. I think it is an interesting approach, because you can get a feeling about your audience, might be fix some things that come up and then make the "big" release on steam afterwards. If you set the same price, you have an option to give a steam key for every purchase on itch.io so players can pay once and play on both platforms.
    I think your game is really cool and you will get a lot of players :):):)
     
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  27. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Thanks for your kind words markfe! Yes, that's the good thing about itch.io, I can update the game and give away keys.

    Guess what? GAME IS ALREADY FINISHED!!!

    Link is on the first post!

    Hope you have a lot of fun with it
     
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  28. nacho_chicken

    nacho_chicken Member

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    Wow, that's excellent! I'm so happy for you! I'm hoping to get started on playing it soon.
     
  29. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Guess what? I'm already playing!
    Awesome to see that you finished it so quickly!!!
    Love the feel of the game and the immersive music!
    The new menu and map are cool and the keyboard setup works well. I did not manage to get my controller to work (tried D and X input) I can navigate, but not select or shoot. But might be I am missing something?
    Aside from that everything is perfect.
     
  30. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Thanks nacho, enjoy!

    excellent!

    Did you went to the configure joystick area on main menu? if you press a button it should assign it (the number is going to change).
    If that doesn't work (which is weird), the last resourse is using joytokey.

    Tell me if that works.
     

    Attached Files:

  31. markfe

    markfe Member

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    That worked, thank you. It was my bad. I panicked to early. I was confused, because on startup it asked for keys only and the controller seemed to work, but only the joystick. All perfect now!
     
  32. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Glad that it worked! I will make mental notes about these little problems so in the next update I will include them on readme.
     
  33. markfe

    markfe Member

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    I figured out, why I did not find the menu with the controller setup at first:
    When you are closed to a savepoint and you press start you will go directly to the map (for teleportation), but when you are in some distance of the savepoint and press start you will see more menu options. It was confusing, because the same button gives different results. But for teleportation its awesome this way.
    Another tiny detail I found: the full screen option does not get saved. It has to be set every time after launching the game.
     
  34. nacho_chicken

    nacho_chicken Member

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    I started playing earlier today. Just beat the boss in the Magic Tower. I think that's about the halfway point of the game.

    I'm writing down a list of things I found great, interesting, or annoying as I play. Here are my thoughts so far:
    WARNING: Spoilers up to 3rd boss
    - I died against the first boss after I killed it. I was trapped in the corner and it killed me as it moved off the screen when it died. It annoyed me a little, but it's kind of funny.

    - The dash recharge feels too long. Especially when on some screens you have to dash into 2 layers of blocks to progress. That's an extra few (3?) seconds of waiting just to get past a breakable wall. Perhaps deleting 1 of those layers would make that better.

    - The dash feels great to use! Once I found out it deleted bullets, I was sold. Using it feels like dodging through attacks in a game like Monster Hunter. I only wish I could use it more often. This made my last point a bit disappointing (dash recharge is maybe 1/2 - 1 second too long) because the dash was so fun. The game is hard enough already and using the dash properly requires a high amount of skill; I don't think a slight buff to recharge time would break the game.

    - The game feels way too hard. It feels like I've selected the "Very Hard" difficulty. There are a couple of really difficult sequences of screens one after another with no save points in between. The screens get more difficult in these sections, so I was always either dying at the last screen, or ended up killing myself on purpose because I got hit early on. Screens like this one are what I'm talking about. There are also a couple of screens like this one that are only difficult because of the ridiculous amount of enemy spam. I understand this is supposed to be visited later on in the game, but difficulty in the screens directly before it ramped up slowly so I didn't realize it. It's right in the middle of a major early-game area and I kept banging my head against it until I found out the way I was actually supposed to go.
    A good way of "soft gating" a player with enemies is found in the first Dark Souls, where you CAN go to the Catacombs or New Londo Ruins at the beginning of the game, but it's very obviously not the way to go. New players will get completely destroyed by ghosts and skeletons.

    - On top of that, bosses have far too much health. The first boss felt like barely too much, but the dragon has about 200 HP and spends more than 90% of the fight being turned around or swimming in lava while you wait for him to pop his head up. When he does, you can only do 2 damage at a time or about 6 if you manage to get the dash attack in. It takes too long to get to Anubis' 2nd phase, especially considering his 2nd phase hits like a truck. About 50 damage per hit and the average player has around 180-200 HP at that point. I like the difficulty, but it does feel like I've chosen to play on "Very Hard".

    - The game wouldn't sense my XBox One controller (xinput), so I had to use my GameCube Controller with the USB adapter (directinput). Even then, I couldn't map movement at all. Not to the control stick or the Dpad. I eventually settled on Joy2Key, but I think having no controller support at all would be more professional than what currently exists. Of course, proper controller support is preferred.

    - The .exe is made using GMS1's single exe export. The way GMS1 packages that tends to falsely flag a lot of antivirus software, so I'd recommend doing the .zip export instead. In fact, in GMS2, the single exe export is removed partially because of this.

    - Getting points for clearing rooms of enemies is genius! When I played the demo, I felt it was too easy to just skip all the enemies, but this gives you an excellent reason to fight.

    - There were 2 different NPCs later in the game that talked about visiting the trader, when the trader is almost impossible to miss and is on a path required for progress. More than 1 seemed excessive to me.

    - The music composition is fantastic! I particularly love the flamenco-esque volcano theme. The instrumentation, however, leaves the soundtrack a bit underwhelming.

    - Either the bullet hitboxes or the player hitboxes are too big. This gets annoying fast when enemies start shooting bullet hell patterns at you. When fighting Anubis, his foot spears hit me even though the bullet sprite was not contacting my sprite. The bullet hitboxes should be accurate to what it looks like on the screen, and the player hitbox should be either a small box/circle in the middle of the sprite, or accurate to what it looks like on the screen.

    - FPS is unacceptably low. I was bothered by it in the demo, but it's still running at 20 FPS. Making precise movements such as going through broken blocks in the stomach area, avoiding lava walls in the volcano area, or wading through intense bullet hell segments harder than they should be. I'm dealing with it because I have been looking forward to the game, but if I would've just bought this on Steam I would have returned it.

    And one critique I had that I feel I need to keep out of the spoiler tag for any other potential players:
    - There's a surprising amount of coarse language. Just in the first cutscene, you've got sh*t, d*mn; an NPC later on says "p*ss off". I censored all of that just in case
    I definitely didn't expect that from a cutesy-looking game entitled "Rabbit's Quest", and one that doesn't have anything else in the way of mature content (so far). That kind of language pretty much immediately guarantees an ESRB T or PEGI 12 rating. That's the same ESRB rating range as Batman: Arkham Asylum and Uncharted. The language isn't really doing anything here except limiting your audience, so I would recommend changing it.


    EDIT: Oh, I also went ahead and took screenshots of any grammar errors and added some changes. I'm pretty sure English isn't your first language, so feel free to use these changes to improve your game's script!
    WARNING: Spoilers up to 3rd boss
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  35. nacho_chicken

    nacho_chicken Member

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    I think I'm done playing this game for now until it gets a patch. It gets ludicrously hard quickly. My major problems with it right now are:

    - After the game opens up, there's very little direction. While this is mostly good, not knowing where the gems are located is a huge minus, since they're more than just optional power ups. Some of them seem downright essential, like the one that increases your damage resistance by 90%.

    - Game is hard on a ridiculous level. Several enemies are ridiculously random. One example you can get to early on are the enemy spawners in Electric City. They constantly spawn enemies from a pool of virtually any enemy in the area, even the difficult ones. If they spawn the weaklings, you're going to be fine. If they spawn one of the larger enemies, you may as well give up. There's one room with three of these spawners. It's supposed to be a hard room, but keeping the spawners to small enemies only would greatly reduce randomness (i.e. bad difficulty) while still being difficult.
    One enemy later in the game this little blue turd right here shoots out huge AOE grenades. They deal around 50 damage each. They're also very random. With ~250 HP that's 1/5 max HP for an attack that might be impossible to avoid because it shoots them out faster than the dash can recharge.
     
  36. Micah_DS

    Micah_DS Member

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    I bought the game a few days ago, but only played a few minutes so far. I keep wanting to wait to play it until I have a good few hours to just sit and play, but whenever that does happen, I end up working on my own game instead. :p
    I knew I probably wouldn't play much during this time, but I still wanted to buy it right away to support.

    I truly am looking forward to playing it and I'll give my thoughts when I do get around to it. :)
     
  37. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Oh yes, but have in mind the controller setup is on the main menu! Not on the in-game menu =P.

    Ah, that tiny detail of fullscreen... I'm going to be sincere, I didn't consider it important! haha, but I will have it in mind for next update.

    Okay, this concerns me... did it literally moved offscreen??? it went outside the room?!?! the whole monster?

    If you position yourself right, you can do 6 damage everytime it jumps (with bullets), and if you dash him correctly you can do more than 10 (but it's not expected to use the dash so early and so good).

    Buy hey, you still managed to beat him! so no worries.

    Anubis has a pattern too, and if you discover it it gets pathetically easy. But still, you managed to beat him so....! you did great!

    Ok, important question... when you go to "config joystick menu", does it detect your joystick?? does it say: "joystick detected: yes" ???

    Didn't know that, considered!

    OK, will take a look at the bullets collision again in next update. Maybe 1-2 I forgot to set as precise.

    When I decided to fix this I was too close to finishing the game... and you are the only one observant enough to catch that 20fps... literally anyone couldn't.
    What kind of machine do you have?? can you tell me it's specs please?

    Oh! maybe people think this is a cute funny game for kids... but it's not LOL haha. I shoudl consider that in marketing. I will probably change that coarse language.

    Thanks for this.

    (first, pat yourself in the back for reaching this far)

    You need to learn his pattern.
    He always shoots 2 bullets at your position.

    1) two fast
    2) two fast again
    3) two slow

    and repeat...

    I believe you when you say he's a little mofo... because when I fighted against him for the first couple times I also got damaged a lot.... UNTIL, I understood how to take him without taking damage.

    do you want to know?

    You have to "dance" with him! first thing: never stop shooting.
    attack n1, you move. attack n2, you move again. attack n3.... DON'T MOVE, wait until he does attack n1 again and then move! this way the affected area with explosions is smaller. and then repeat.

    that's it, with a little practice you will beat his smart ass.

    He's a tough one, that's the idea!

    Yes, this game is hard but it's not impossible. The secret here is that all enemies and areas have their "tricks and patterns". Once you find them... I can assure you can complete the normal ending with only 180hp and no optional powerups.

    I will consider adding an easy mode in the future. but hey! you made it this far... means you can beat it. and very fast also... I didn't expect someone to get there in 2-3 days. Maybe 1 week.

    Maybe this kind of game is not for you?? I won't be mad if you feel the need to return it =).

    As soon as you play it tell me what do you think.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
    nacho_chicken and Micah_DS like this.
  38. nacho_chicken

    nacho_chicken Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Posts:
    322
    Yes, fullscreen is super important with such a small resolution game. 4k displays aren't uncommon, and if your game runs windowed in that resolution, it's so small it's unplayable.

    The bosses explode when they die, but you can still get hurt when they're dying. I had 3 HP left and it killed me as it was dying. It's more funny than it was annoying.

    The problem with the dragon is that its pattern is too simple, yet the fight is too long for such a simple pattern to be enjoyable. The fight is more against your own boredom than the boss. You have to wait... dodge bullet easily... shoot/dash... dodge dragon easily... wait again... etc. Anubis fight was a good fight, just lasted a bit longer than I was comfortable with.

    Yes, it was detected.

    I'm pretty sure my computer isn't the problem here, haha. Playing on my wife's cheap laptop gives the same results. But here's my specs anyway:
    - Intel Core i7-7700k
    - 16GB DDR4-2666 RAM
    - Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080
    - 1080p 144hz monitor

    Laptop specs:
    - Intel Core i5-6200U
    - 8GB RAM
    - Intel HD Graphics
    Let me give you one example of what I'm talking about:
    Let's say the rabbit moves 4 pixels for every 50milliseconds. You're 3 pixels away from touching a lava wall. At 20 FPS, it's impossible to get any closer without getting hurt because one frame takes 50 milliseconds to process. At 60 FPS, you can get up to 1 pixel away from the wall. I use this specific example because there are several sections in the lava area where you have to make precise movements and it's very hard to do it without overshooting because the game only updates 20 times per second. The game just looks very choppy and the input latency due to updating so infrequently makes the gameplay feel worse.

    Oh, I can beat him no problem. Not getting hit while doing so is the big issue. This is only really so because you placed him right before some really hard areas. He's random with exactly where he shoots his bullets. The fast bullets move faster than the player, so you can't dodge if you're too close and your dash is used up -- which it likely is because he shoots his 2 barrages of fast bullets in about 1 second. The explosion is also square, which makes it even harder to dodge. It's not the actually difficulty that's frustrating, it's the randomness. However, the game does have some frustrating difficulty, which I'll get to in a bit.

    Oh, I believe that. I just beat the game and got the normal ending. The last boss was
    much easier than the last few areas before him. I beat him on my second try. He was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed it. I liked the emphasis on dodging.

    I do have a couple of questions and suggestions, though...
    - Around the world, there are NPCs that exist only to block your progress. Usually they say something like "I can't let you through." Why do you have to
    beat the game to unlock them? The areas past them are too hard to even consider beating before getting your 7000 swag from the Hunter in the first place.
    It felt like artificial gating. This is a pretty small issue, though.
    - The music puzzle will likely be very difficult for a lot of players. The hint for solving it was very vague.
    By "vague" I mean the hint really didn't help at all. I first thought I should go back there later, but I figured it out eventually. Anyone who's deaf or tone-deaf will be unable to solve it. The only reason I had no issues solving it was because I have a electronic keyboard right next to my PC. It may be worth looking into adding some secondary way to indicate which note is being played, like color.
    - This save point is pointless and all it does is trap the player and waste their time by making them redo the whole section again.
    [​IMG]

    I mentioned earlier about the game having frustrating difficulty. I want to emphasize here: The game is very hard. I thought that before I beat the game, but the late-game areas take it to a new level. You have to go through several screens clearing out the enemies - because the exit is blocked otherwise - to get to the minibosses. I thought the minibosses themselves were great and excellently designed. Then I walked into the next area. Another one of the same miniboss, this time with a more difficult arena and a few adds. "OK," I thought. "No big deal. I might be low on health now but now I know how to beat the boss." Then I beat the miniboss and walked into the next area. This was my reaction. Each death sets you back about 10 minutes with a painful runback just to try again - there's no healing in between and no save points any closer. This is the kind of thing I'd expect from a secret, optional, ultra-difficult area (like Path of Pain in Hollow Knight), not from something required for the story. It's very frustrating in a bad way.
    Some of the areas I'm talking about are technically post-game, but they really don't feel like it because
    the normal ending leaves you wanting for the true ending. Not to mention all the areas left unexplored. I'm pretty sure anybody who gets the normal ending will want to keep on exploring.

    The thing you have to consider when tuning the difficulty of your game is that you're going to be the best at it. You know how it works inside and out and your players don't. If your game feels a little bit too easy for you, it's probably perfect. If it feels hard for you, you've overdone it. The difficulty of the later areas will drive people away from the game, I guarantee you. I only came back to it
    because I really enjoyed the game. I think an easier mode would make things significantly better. I don't think the difficulty of the game right now should be the default, though. What you could do is add an easier difficulty, then make the current difficulty a hard mode unlockable by beating the game. Your game will feel like it has more content that way than just making an easier mode and calling it good.

    No, don't worry about it! I've definitely gotten my money's worth out of the game and then some. I'm sorry if I constantly sound so negative. I just find it a lot easier to put into words why I dislike things than why I like things. I really love the map. It's put together very well, and each area is very distinct. The area themes aren't all original, but the way all the enemies are based off them is fantastic, and so few enemies are reused!
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  39. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Posts:
    112
    OH MY GOD.
    maybe I should start the game directly fullscreen?? and save the option for the user?

    Mmhmm, what about making the weak point bigger? (that way you will make more damage to him)

    And... you went to each of the different functions and pressed the buttons but the numbers didn't change??

    He shoots the bullets at your position with a variation of ~30 x and y (maybe a bit more), but it's always at your position.

    If you use my "trick", you can kill him without taking damage and without dashing once. You also must position yourself far away from him of course.

    Because if I let the player go through those areas... he can collect all gems and powerups (with difficulty of course) and the rest of the game (golden castle, toxic cavern, final boss) becomes VERY easy. In fact, this is something I discussed a couple months ago, and I decided to let the player max until certain point before killing the final boss. That way, without powerups, the boss will be hard. WITH the powerups, the last levels are easier but still a challenge.

    - Ok, hint should be clearer
    - Yeah, I thought about deaf people. But let's be honest here... I don't believe this game will reach a point that it will be played by someone who's deaf. At the moment I only sold 5 copies. I did no marketing. I don't plan to do a lot neither, just reaching and publishing on some places every month but that's it. I don't expect a lot of people to play this game because it's TOO niche (metroidvania -> hero core style).

    I agree! I will remove it

    Which area is this? I'm not sure.

    My measuring stick was:

    - If I can do the normal ending with a total of 180hp (for example, when fighting Anubis I just had 140hp) and without grabbing optional powerups (that would be using only dash_1, attack_2, recoil_1, defense_1) AND, only taking 1-2 hits.... then a normal player should be able to complete it without problems.

    - If I can do the secret ending only taking 1-3 hits... then a normal player should be able to complete it too.

    Ok, what this:

    Easy Mode = Use this mode if the other is too hard for you.
    Normal Mode = The way it's supposed to be played, very hard!

    On easy mode, you will only take 50% damage. So you durability will double.

    ---

    Congrats on obtaining the normal ending! I thought you were going to get very very very mad after fighting The Hunter. Specially the "confusing" phase, and the final phase.

    I saw your progress... you only need to obtain the final 4 gems... and you will be ready for the secret area ;).
     
  40. nacho_chicken

    nacho_chicken Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Posts:
    322
    That would be ideal.

    Whatever you think would be best. That does sound like a better idea than just lowering HP.

    No, the buttons changed. I could shoot just fine, but couldn't move with any buttons or analog sticks.

    That's exactly what I meant by random ;)

    In the area I showed in that picture, the space you have is smaller so sometimes you have to move closer to him to dodge. Close enough so that he can shoot at [player.x-30, player.y] and you either have to dash, get hit, or move closer to him -- which makes it even easier for him to hit you. When I fought him in the other area he's in, the zone is larger and I could beat him over and over without taking damage.

    Hmm, I understand. That makes sense. Maybe make it a bit clearer how to unlock the doors by giving a reason for the NPCs to block the path. For example, maybe they're being paid off by the last boss or they're trying to stop the last boss from getting somewhere.

    You'd be surprised how many people have hearing disabilities. Worldwide, about 1% of people aged 15-44 worldwide have severe hearing loss. About 1/25 people worldwide have Congenital Amusia (tone deafness). You've already sold 5 copies in a few days. Even if only 50 people play your game, there's a decent chance one of them will be unable to complete your game.

    Two of them, really. There's the flaming giants in the lava zone, and the giant ice monsters that shoot icicles and summon 3 smaller enemies in the snow zone. Lava zone is definitely the easier of the two by far.

    Seems mostly fair. I guess the biggest issue I had was running all the way back to difficult bosses or areas and having to clear out the rooms in between because the exits were blocked until all enemies were defeated.

    After thinking about it a bit, easy mode isn't really required. Most of the game is balanced well, there's just a few sections that are very, very frustrating -- I've talked at length about most of those :mad:.

    Thank you! It was a very fun boss. The confusion phase was the easiest one. I just turned the controller on its side :p Might've been a bit harder if I was still playing on keyboard.

    Now, speaking of frustrating sections and getting "very very very mad" at bosses, I've got a bone to pick with one of them, and I'm pretty sure you know exactly which one it is. It's huge, very random, and likes to block off giant portions of the room and heal itself. A lot. Some of the other bosses had small issues, but this one. I actually really liked the fight. And then it healed. I would consider it the best fight in the game so far. ...If it didn't heal itself. I made this when I was really mad at it. I already got lucky and beat it, so don't worry about that. Still working on the rest of the game!
     
  41. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Posts:
    112
    Oh, then it's not detecting your gamepads... I thought game maker supported every one

    easy fix: just make that area bigger.

    OK, considered

    Oh I never thought about that, I learned how to avoid all balls using the keyboard haha.

    He's not exactly random.
    There are 5 attacks to do, at the start of a cycle, he randomizes those five attacks like this (3,4,1,2,5)
    when the cycle finishes, he randomizes the cycle again (3,5,1,2,4)

    this means that at most, he will repeat an attack only twice, but never more that 2 times.

    As for blocking the room... I could just make his "shadow" smaller...

    How many tries did it took you to beat him?
     
  42. Lucia

    Lucia Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Posts:
    65
    it remembers me a DOS game...
     
  43. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Posts:
    112
    Hello people! I just upgraded Rabbit's Quest to v1.1

    Some of the changes made are:

    + small visual fixes
    + game starts always on fullscreen
    + boss 2 has a bigger collision box
    + different export (exe to zip)
    + removed coarse language
    + fixed typos
    + little changes to different areas meant to help the player
    + difficulty balancing at a couple rooms (now they are easier)

    I'm going to send some keys to everyone that bought the game!!
     
    Micah_DS and markfe like this.
  44. Micah_DS

    Micah_DS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Posts:
    482
    I finally got around to playing version 1.1, but even with whatever difficulty balancing you did, there comes a point where the difficulty just spikes so crazy that I gave up. At least for now.

    Here is where I'm at:
    [​IMG]

    Maybe I haven't tried every route, but each way I've gone, it just feels like there are so many enemies to deal with, or the shots and/or enemy movements are so fast and my positioning is too restricted to have a chance to really maneuver out of the way and sometimes I don't really have any tactical options to try to take out small groups of enemies at a time or something, so it comes down to a bit of luck in that regard.

    It'd also be nice if the cleared rooms (where you got points) were marked on the map. Then I'd know if I missed some.
    I just noticed the menu says you can press right fire to see cleared rooms. But does that mean rooms without enemies also give me a point? Or do non-enemy rooms act differently than enemy rooms? I guess I can just play and test to figure it out.

    I do like how the map screen shows nearby rooms with the dotted outlines, btw. It reveals just enough to give the player some information while still leaving enough mystery for proper exploration.

    I don't want you to think I don't like the game. I'm just a bit saddened and frustrated that I'm having trouble progressing and I'm also running out of free time for the day, so that amplifies those feelings a bit, because I wanted to get further in the game.

    EDIT:
    Alright, this is absolutely as far as I can get.
    [​IMG]
    Both the Electric City routes have too many enemies and shots to deal with properly, and the rooms like that are strung together, so you can't reach a save point. And it's not like you can clear a room and go back to a save point to replenish health, because cleared rooms immediately reset upon leaving, so you must do it all in one go, and there's no way to recover health except at save points - enemies don't drop health. It's just ridiculously hard.
    The spider route in the southeast is also long without a save to reach before I die.
    And it looks like those routes are my only option, so I honestly can't progress any further.

    EDIT x2:
    Finally made it past that third spider, which was the problematic one. I'd still say that room's difficulty needs to be nerfed.
    But those super fast triple shooting blue metroid-like things in the electric city area are definitely too crazy for me to get past, so I'm still stuck.
    Even though you can manipulate their movement for the most part, they're just too fast, they hit too hard, and shoot too much. They definitely need nerfed. Dashing into them is my best option of survival, but you have to hit them with basically all the dash frames to one-shot them, and if you don't, you're screwed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  45. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Posts:
    112
    to @Micah_DS

    Well, you can always try going another way. Like, for example, I don't know... maybe Snowy Mountain?? ;););););)
     
  46. Micah_DS

    Micah_DS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Posts:
    482
    Hmm, I thought I exhausted all routes in the snowy mountain area. I think I'll be able to play a little when I get back from work tonight, so I'll try again. Thanks for the reply. :)
     
  47. Micah_DS

    Micah_DS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Posts:
    482
    Alright, I got around to playing it some more and realized now how I missed a totally obvious open path in the snowy mountain area.

    Somehow it didn't register in my brain that your map works differently than other Metroid-like maps I've seen. I'm used to a screen/room/area showing all outgoing paths to other areas as soon as you enter it, and I totally overlooked the fact that Rabbit's Quest does not do this, but it instead only reveals a path once you've taken it. Even if I reveal two side-by-side screens, a pathway won't appear between them unless I take it ( I'd actually suggest that you change this aspect - making it always reveal pathways when it's between two rooms that you've already visited, if that's possible ).

    So anyway, what happened was that I looked at my map screen and saw all the connections from screen to screen, seeing no outgoing ones, so I overlooked another path that I hadn't taken in the snowy mountains, assuming there was no other route because it wasn't shown via an outgoing path/connection.
    So the oversight is totally on me, but in my defense, I've maybe been a bit overworked and tired lately, and my brain defaulted to what it knew without giving any thought.

    It's kind of weird how it's like I noticed half of what was going on, but not the other half, seeing how nearby rooms show up with dotted outlines, but not realizing pathways didn't show up until you took them.

    Sorry for the misunderstandings. So far, the difficulty is quite fine then, going through the snowy mountain area. I thought I had to get more dynamite beyond the laser thing that one-shots you (after the spiders) or that I had to get passed one of those two routes in the electric city.
     
  48. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Posts:
    112

    Great! keep having fun! Yeah, the mapping works different for that reason, I don't want to reveal secret passages (though they are very easy to find)

    ---

    FOR THOSE INTERESTED, I'm doing a Let's Play on the game here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQ392RyNZPAEBqS-0Tzxo9p7WssZHKGn1

    Full of spoilers obviously, but maybe some of you might like it!
     
    Micah_DS likes this.
  49. GM029

    GM029 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2017
    Posts:
    94
    I picked up a copy of your game on itch.io. I'm still pretty early in the game but it's a lot of fun. I was a little unsure of the shooting mechanics, having dedicated buttons to shoot right and left but I got used to it quickly.

    Good job!
     
  50. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2018
    Posts:
    112
    Thank you!!! And thanks for the tip!

    Have fun!
     

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