Rate this game idea and its art

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
I made a multiplayer flappy bird parody that uses non-randomized level-based gameplay, with a tight camera view port allowing for very little to be seen in the game world simultaneously, and leaving the player with a lot of lives, creating a challenging memory and skill based gameplay mechanic. Designed with mobile in mind, both players share holding the phone half and half in landscape mode, while player one may press and hold on the left view port screen to reverse flip direction of their bird, and player two may do the same with their own bird by pressing the view port on the right side of the screen.

On desktop the controls are WASD for player one and arrow keys for player two. Each level is a large maze and both players are in the same maze but start at opposite side of it vertically. The levels are parallel vertically and mirror each other so that it's completely fair for both players to have a chance to win. You win by collecting the most chunks of gold, while completely avoiding everything else around you. One touch to a wall or pipe will cost you a life and waste a lot of time as you go back to where you began in the maze. When both players run out of lives or no more gold is left to be found you are then taken to a score comparison screen and after that to the next level. Right now there are only 9 levels but I intend to make hundreds, and all of the current levels are rather large, the ones I am going to make will be the same size or bigger.

The only obstacle that moves currently are red spikeballs shot slowly out of the red pipes, so don't confuse those with gold as they use the same artwork but a different draw color, and if you are color blind stay away from only the moving spike balls.

Kinda why I made the gold chunks shaped the same was to make the players question whether or not that is something good or bad to touch as the how to play screen tells them to collect gold points - it's intentional, I wanted them to kinda find out "by accident".

You can navigate your bird by pressing the screen temporarily and then releasing - going back and forth between the two and adjusting how long and when you hold down to navigate the best you can. Does all of this sound like a decent idea for a game?

There are a lot more moving obstacles I plan to add and this game is actually a really old project of mine I never really finished so I decided to work on it again for a while.







Rate 1 to 5, graphics and concept/gameplay separately. with complete honesty. Don't be afraid to be a critic. ;) I want to know what people think and more importantly if you rate low let me know what I could do to make it better as that's the whole reason I am posting this.The game is on gamejolt but the version on there is outdated, feel free to look it up on there if you want to play it with older graphics.
 
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pixeltroid

Member
The first picture looks.... intriguing. The tree-stump hand in the middle looks creepy.

The other pics below which appear to be screenshots from the game look too jarring. I can't really tell what's going on. 🧐

Overall, they look cool in a psychedelic abstract kind of way, but IMO there are too many textures and bright colors.
 

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
The first picture looks.... intriguing. The tree-stump hand in the middle looks creepy.

The other pics below which appear to be screenshots from the game look too jarring. I can't really tell what's going on. 🧐

Overall, they look cool in a psychedelic abstract kind of way, but IMO there are too many textures and bright colors.
I have a bit of a fetish for high contrast and colors that pop, but that's also part of the intended art style is to be psychedelic, when you run out of lives there is a game over screen with flashing bright colors (so anyone who gets seizures easily probably shouldn't play it).

Do you find it universally bad how it looks or would you say it's more a matter of your personal taste? It's easier to decipher objects on the foreground vs the background, and so forth, when you play the actual game because it adds a level of depth that can't as easily be seen static like in the screenshots.

I'll release an executable soon so you can see get a better look at it if it interests you. :)

I'm really torn because it looks fantastic to me, but I also want it to look that good to the people who will actually play it. It would be pointless if I was the only one who likes it as much as I do lel

Maybe I could make that bright yellow used in the background a bit darker so the foreground stands out more? You also mentioned too much texture. If I reduced contrast a tiny bit would that also help, or would I need more than just a little?
 
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Repix

Member
I definitely think it's personal preference, cause that looks sweet as hell! Not sure if it's the stuff I'm smoking, but that looks very surreal and interesting.. and almost like it's expressing something special.

The 2 first pictures are by far the best.. the only thing I would change would be the font however. (Darker backgrounds works best here imo and a sharper font)
 

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
Oh sorry, definitely the second digital watch font.
Yeah I really like the uniqueness of the logo because that font isn't commonly used. That makes me feel better hehe. Is there a font you had in mind or you just want me to use one that is thicker so it's more legible?
 

Repix

Member
Yeah the first looks just fine, any other font you like would definitely work I'm sure.
That one just doesn't seem to fit in my personal opinion. (I even feel like it's making everything less noticeable for me.)
 

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
Ok, I haven't changed the font yet, I'm still trying to decide what font looks the best with it.

The demo has 9 levels. The final game will have hopefully a couple hundred. But the game only lasts 9 levels which will be randomly selected from those hundreds of levels, to give it some replay value.

 
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pixeltroid

Member
I have a bit of a fetish for high contrast and colors that pop, but that's also part of the intended art style is to be psychedelic, when you run out of lives there is a game over screen with flashing bright colors (so anyone who gets seizures easily probably shouldn't play it).

Do you find it universally bad how it looks or would you say it's more a matter of your personal taste? It's easier to decipher objects on the foreground vs the background, and so forth, when you play the actual game because it adds a level of depth that can't as easily be seen static like in the screenshots.

I'll release an executable soon so you can see get a better look at it if it interests you. :)
It's ok to make some things pop, but if everything pops, nothing pops. With graphics and colors, everything is a matter of personal taste. I'm just saying that to my eyes what you've shown is just too jarring visually.

IMO that the best way to get people to notice things is to mute the colors of other things that aren't too important. Not everything has to be noticed at all times.



I'm really torn because it looks fantastic to me, but I also want it to look that good to the people who will actually play it. It would be pointless if I was the only one who likes it as much as I do lel

Maybe I could make that bright yellow used in the background a bit darker so the foreground stands out more? You also mentioned too much texture. If I reduced contrast a tiny bit would that also help, or would I need more than just a little?
You can keep what you have but at the same time, tone things down a little.

For ideas on balancing the backgrounds and foregrounds, refer to the haunted house levels in super mario (SNES version). The backgrounds are heavily textured and detailed but don't seem too loud because of the color choice. If you were to brighten the background colors (of the wood panels) it would simply become too colorful and textury to look at comfortable.

Valley_Ghost_House.png

For the background in your game, it's not just a matter of reducing the contrast. You also have a tiled pattern with big yellow dots. The repetition of that makes it hard on the eyes.
 

FoxyOfJungle

Kazan Games
This is definitely very scary and I won't be able to sleep today...

kidding!
In general it is interesting, I liked the character styles, what I think can improve is that there is more difference between the background of the game and the characters, sometimes it confuses the red color of the background a little with the red color of the bird, I think it worked to understand.
 

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
I'll have to wait until someone is available to play the game with me so I may do a proper recording of the gameplay with OBS Studio, but I think you guys would see a lot more clarity in what is going on if it were animated and you set the video display quality to full HD, it really does make all the difference to see how the game looks when actually playing it. If you guys still feel the same way after the fact, I will be more than happy to do it at that point because then I will be more than convinced it's a real issue my game suffers.

I consider the fact that looking at existing games that usually have faded backgrounds, or in fact pretty much always do, is a real factor, but whether that is because of competing visuals or because the art style at play, I find it a combination of the two, but in my game I'm only skepticle as to whether I should change it just yet because I don't want to take away from the psychedelic atmosphere.

I've always have been plagued with the problem of thinking I know better than my audience, so thanks everyone for bearing with me. lol. I've made up my mind for the font, I'll be using arial black like i do for the winner/loser screen at the end of all 9 levels. I'll update the game to have that before I do the gameplay footage. No one has downloaded the new version of the game, so I can know no one has saw it in-game.
 

Joe Ellis

Member
I think it's a really good idea for a game, I haven't heard of anything exactly like that, and it seems like it'll be very replayable, each time you play will be different, even though the levels might be the same, it'd be really stressful cus of the limited view and it'd take hundreds of hours for someone to get used to each level.
So it'd be really pressuresome for both players, plus it's a competition, so people playing it for the first few times would just be in 100% panic mode, but then it seems like it also has a great allowance for people to get used to it and become more skilled at it.

In terms of the graphics, I think if you make it exactly how you want it will turn out the best.
If you try to do certain things to please other people (or the most amount of people) it will probably look worse to you,
and then other people who like and appreciate it in the same way you do will be disappointed.
Then you'll probably get a load of people who enjoyed it and rate it 5/10,
whereas you could get 30% of the amount of people that play it but they'd rate it 8-9/10.
I guess it's not about ratings though, but I personally would like to please a very certain few people and bring joy to their lives than bring mild enjoyment to thousands of people.

My personal opinion of it is:

When I first saw it, all the colors and sharpness made it hard to look at, but then I realized it's intentional, then your eyes kind of get used to how crazy it is to look at, and then I thought it would probably be really fun to play, or add to the funness of it, and that's quite a powerful thing if the graphics affect the experience of the game drastically.
It would seem like an insane thing to play with your friend if you'd both done acid, not that I've ever done that, but I could see people doing that. And probably a lot of people would like how the graphics are so "eye hurting" to look at cus it's a nice or crazy change to how most games all have calm and smooth graphics.
You could offer constructive critisism about the color choice, and @pixeltroid 's "If everything pops, nothing pops" is a great gem of wisdom, plus the advice after is really good and perfect for most games.
You could obviously take this advice on board if you have been wanting to improve the graphics yourself, but if you want them to look how they do, I'd go with that cus it's pretty original, and I like this for what it is, it feels fresh because 1 in 47000 games look like this :D

I rate the concept and the graphics 4/5. I wouldn't rate anything 5/5 on the first time I've seen it tbh,
maybe when I've played it it'll change, I just downloaded it, I'll give a review on the gameplay in a few days when I've tried it out in several moods haha
 

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
Wow, someone besides me wrote a Great Wall of China! lol! Thank you so much for the in depth pre-review! The font will be Arial Black and the bright yellow will be dimmed down a bit in the next update, I've already made my mind about the former but after reading your response that sees both sides of the equation I think I've decided on the latter as well. (and I don't do acid either and I do NOT encourage anyone else to, but it would still be kinda interesting to read someone's review if they both played it AND wrote their review while on acid. lol!)
 
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