SLINX The Cat. Demo available

pixeltroid

Member
I love it. The controls look smooth. I like the character design and the way it moves. The way the broken planks fly towards the camera is also cool. Although it might block vision especially if it occurs during combat. Keep us posted as and when you make progress!
 
I attempted to try and create Ai for the first time by making a camera and a guard type enemy (art not final) really struggled with this and the Ai seems dumb at parts.

heres a playthrough of a demo.

 

Crimson

Member
It definitely looks like it could be fun; the movement looks good, and you can't go wrong with cats.
The only thing I'd really say at this point would be about the sound (and the box break animation) - having a couple variations can go a long way to reduce how repetitive something is.
Also, at the end, with that grenade explosion, I'm guessing each individual ground block makes its own sound - that can work if there are only a few blocks breaking at once, but when you get 10 or 20, the volume gets stupidly loud, and you might try to find a way to limit the number of identical sound effects played at once.

But it looks like it could be fun; I hope to see more!
 
It definitely looks like it could be fun; the movement looks good, and you can't go wrong with cats.
The only thing I'd really say at this point would be about the sound (and the box break animation) - having a couple variations can go a long way to reduce how repetitive something is.
Also, at the end, with that grenade explosion, I'm guessing each individual ground block makes its own sound - that can work if there are only a few blocks breaking at once, but when you get 10 or 20, the volume gets stupidly loud, and you might try to find a way to limit the number of identical sound effects played at once.

But it looks like it could be fun; I hope to see more!
thank you very much. there is variations in the box breaking animation already but its set to random so maybe the videos didnt show that variation enough. in terms of sound, the exact things you mentioned are the things im struggling with. out of all the projects i have done i have never once used emitters and listeners and im unsure how to even do that. at the moment like you said each object creates its own sound and the audio part of this is something im looking forward to working on. but as ive never done audio before im not even sure how to start going about that.
 

Crimson

Member
thank you very much. there is variations in the box breaking animation already but its set to random so maybe the videos didnt show that variation enough. in terms of sound, the exact things you mentioned are the things im struggling with. out of all the projects i have done i have never once used emitters and listeners and im unsure how to even do that. at the moment like you said each object creates its own sound and the audio part of this is something im looking forward to working on. but as ive never done audio before im not even sure how to start going about that.
So, how I did it, was:
Every object that wants to make sounds sets a variable in my jukebox to a sound:
obj_jukebox.enviro_fx = snd_big_heart_get

And inside obj_jukebox, if enviro_fx is set, it will see if another sound is already playing (set, using enviro_fx_a)
If enviro_fx_a is 0, then it will play the sound sent in to enviro_fx, and get the length of the sound clip, and apply the sfx volume modifier (set in the options menu.)
At the end of the step, it decrements enviro_fx_len by 1, and when it gets to 0, it sets enviro_fx_a to 0, so that another object can send in a sound.
GML:
if enviro_fx
{   
    if !enviro_fx_a
    {
        enviro_fx_len = audio_sound_length(enviro_fx);
        enviro_fx_a = audio_play_sound(enviro_fx,80,0);
        audio_sound_gain(enviro_fx_a, global.sfx, 0);
    }
}

if enviro_fx_len
{
    enviro_fx_len--;
}else
{
    enviro_fx = 0;
    enviro_fx_a = 0;
}
I hope this helps, and is understandable enough.
 
So, how I did it, was:
Every object that wants to make sounds sets a variable in my jukebox to a sound:
obj_jukebox.enviro_fx = snd_big_heart_get

And inside obj_jukebox, if enviro_fx is set, it will see if another sound is already playing (set, using enviro_fx_a)
If enviro_fx_a is 0, then it will play the sound sent in to enviro_fx, and get the length of the sound clip, and apply the sfx volume modifier (set in the options menu.)
At the end of the step, it decrements enviro_fx_len by 1, and when it gets to 0, it sets enviro_fx_a to 0, so that another object can send in a sound.
GML:
if enviro_fx
{  
    if !enviro_fx_a
    {
        enviro_fx_len = audio_sound_length(enviro_fx);
        enviro_fx_a = audio_play_sound(enviro_fx,80,0);
        audio_sound_gain(enviro_fx_a, global.sfx, 0);
    }
}

if enviro_fx_len
{
    enviro_fx_len--;
}else
{
    enviro_fx = 0;
    enviro_fx_a = 0;
}
I hope this helps, and is understandable enough.
thank you very much ive been playing with audio today and have managed to find a way that works. if i run into trouble i may just try your way. i will upload an audio vodeo later
 
Heres an updated video showing improved sounds and a few of the mechanics.


ive also created the first enemy for the game as can be seen below


added enemy death.

 
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looks cool. Would have loved to try it. But I don't have a controller.
Good news i have just added keyboard controls. would be happy to hear your feedback.

a quick run down of the keys. (not final)

arrows = select game mode.
enter = starts game mode/returns to menu
W,A,S,D = movement
space = jump/swim, hold to hover and wall climb.
1,2,3,4 = select weapon
arrow keys aim weapons/ aim grenade
E = shoot weapon
tab = throw grenade
Q = grapple hook
shift = run

Demo can be found here
 

pixeltroid

Member
Hi. I downloaded it. But when the firs level started it just froze my computer and I had to hard reset it. :/ I didn't get to play it.

Also, some feedback on the key placements: using Q and E to grapple hook and shoot would feel weird. I'd just be using my left hand to play the game. I think it would be better if you map the action buttons on the right side of the keyboard...maybe use O or K or L.
 
Hi. I downloaded it. But when the firs level started it just froze my computer and I had to hard reset it. :/ I didn't get to play it.

Also, some feedback on the key placements: using Q and E to grapple hook and shoot would feel weird. I'd just be using my left hand to play the game. I think it would be better if you map the action buttons on the right side of the keyboard...maybe use O or K or L.
froze your pc? that doesnt sound good. did you try it a second time? i hope its not a major problem.

can anyone else please verify this?
 
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pixeltroid

Member
froze your pc? that doesnt sound good. did you try it a second time? i hope its not a major problem.

can anyone else please verify this?
Actually, even the previous build froze my PC. But after I saw that it required a controller to play, I assumed I experienced that problem because I was trying to run the game without a controller.

I downloaded the new build after you said you added keyboard inputs, but it still froze my PC.

It could be an issue with my PC, but it's better to wait and see if others also experience the same issue.
 
Actually, even the previous build froze my PC. But after I saw that it required a controller to play, I assumed I experienced that problem because I was trying to run the game without a controller.

I downloaded the new build after you said you added keyboard inputs, but it still froze my PC.

It could be an issue with my PC, but it's better to wait and see if others also experience the same issue.
Can I ask what your specs are (not that it matters) and also did you try the other modes such as keepy ups.
 

pixeltroid

Member
Can I ask what your specs are (not that it matters) and also did you try the other modes such as keepy ups.
- intel core i5-4440 cpu @ 3.10ghz
- 4GB RAM

I didn't notice that there was any other mode in the game. I just pressed space (or enter) to get to the game.
The title screen and the controller screen worked fine, but when the helicopter sound started in the first room, it froze.
 
- intel core i5-4440 cpu @ 3.10ghz
- 4GB RAM

I didn't notice that there was any other mode in the game. I just pressed space (or enter) to get to the game.
The title screen and the controller screen worked fine, but when the helicopter sound started in the first room, it froze.
ive just loaded it up on the wifes laptop and it works fine. although she has a pretty decent laptop. ( i5, gtx 1060ti)
 

O.Stogden

Member
My specs for reference, incase it helps work out why the game froze for Pixeltroid.

CPU: Ryzen 5 2600
GPU: AMD R9 290X
RAM: 16GB DDR4

I didn't notice any abnormal CPU or RAM usage when running the game. The 4GB that pixeltroid has is low, but it should still have been enough to run the game.

There was like a 1 second pause when the level first loaded, I presume when it was loading the music/sounds for the level. I'm not sure why your game is >100MB, you might be using overly large sound files for your game or something. I have about 15 minutes worth of music in my game, and combined they come to about 20MB. So you shouldn't really be having more than 2MB per minute of music.
 
My specs for reference, incase it helps work out why the game froze for Pixeltroid.

CPU: Ryzen 5 2600
GPU: AMD R9 290X
RAM: 16GB DDR4

I didn't notice any abnormal CPU or RAM usage when running the game. The 4GB that pixeltroid has is low, but it should still have been enough to run the game.

There was like a 1 second pause when the level first loaded, I presume when it was loading the music/sounds for the level. I'm not sure why your game is >100MB, you might be using overly large sound files for your game or something. I have about 15 minutes worth of music in my game, and combined they come to about 20MB. So you shouldn't really be having more than 2MB per minute of music.
- intel core i5-4440 cpu @ 3.10ghz
- 4GB RAM

I didn't notice that there was any other mode in the game. I just pressed space (or enter) to get to the game.
The title screen and the controller screen worked fine, but when the helicopter sound started in the first room, it froze.
ive managed to fix the 1 second load at the start of the level. this may have fixed it for you too pixeltroid. unfortunately this means the demo doesnt (look) as good but that can be worked on. this demo is all about the movement.
 
I like the vids, the art style looks really good. I've got the game downloaded, but I haven't had time to play it yet (and I've gotta find my controller cuz it doesn't seem like it has in-game instructions on what the keyboard controls are). The only thing I'd say is maybe make the ball of yarn a little more...cartoony? Yarny? If you didn't tell me it was a ball of yarn I would've thought it was a yoyo. Apart from that, as a cat lover, it looks really good. I love the tail twirling hover effect.
 
I like the vids, the art style looks really good. I've got the game downloaded, but I haven't had time to play it yet (and I've gotta find my controller cuz it doesn't seem like it has in-game instructions on what the keyboard controls are). The only thing I'd say is maybe make the ball of yarn a little more...cartoony? Yarny? If you didn't tell me it was a ball of yarn I would've thought it was a yoyo. Apart from that, as a cat lover, it looks really good. I love the tail twirling hover effect.
ok i have just updated the demo build and included keyboard controls with on screen keyboard display.

latest build is here.
 
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it's looking good. Can you post a full level playthrough video?
hmm heres the strange part. i dont have a single level or anything story related created yet. only this demo of the players movement.

i dont know if im doing this all backwards but my idea was to create my assets and test them all in the (demo) room. and once im satisfied with how many i have and how they work im planning on building the levels using them assets.

im not too sure but i think maybe you can play the demo now as i have fixed a few bugs from the beginning. (although im not sure)
 

pixeltroid

Member
i dont know if im doing this all backwards but my idea was to create my assets and test them all in the (demo) room. and once im satisfied with how many i have and how they work im planning on building the levels using them assets.
From my experience I've found that testing assets and features in actual levels with enemies and hazards is more beneficial than testing them in demo rooms that wont be in the final game. Because with actual levels, you will be able to see how your game mechanics work when facing actual enemies and traps.

You will have to get to level designing and testing levels eventually, so you might as well start creating levels now. Also, finishing levels will help you measure your progress. From my experience, the more levels get done, the more it "feels" like the game is getting finished. Without actual levels, and just creating assets and features, there's the risk of getting stuck in loop polishing features endlessly until you slowly start losing steam.
 
From my experience I've found that testing assets and features in actual levels with enemies and hazards is more beneficial than testing them in demo rooms that wont be in the final game. Because with actual levels, you will be able to see how your game mechanics work when facing actual enemies and traps.

You will have to get to level designing and testing levels eventually, so you might as well start creating levels now. Also, finishing levels will help you measure your progress. From my experience, the more levels get done, the more it "feels" like the game is getting finished. Without actual levels, and just creating assets and features, there's the risk of getting stuck in loop polishing features endlessly until you slowly start losing steam.
Thank you very much for this. It shed light on a few things I was actually questioning in my head.
 
On top of all those great points, there's also the factor that you probably won't be good at designing levels to begin with. You'll have to go through a learning process with exactly how the elements in your game interact and what is fun and what's not. Doing this in parallel with asset creation will shorten the overall amount of time that you spend making the game, as well as giving you more insight into what needs tweaking and what works while you're creating, rather than after you've finished creating, allowing quicker and easier tweaks, thus speeding things up yet again.
 
On top of all those great points, there's also the factor that you probably won't be good at designing levels to begin with. You'll have to go through a learning process with exactly how the elements in your game interact and what is fun and what's not. Doing this in parallel with asset creation will shorten the overall amount of time that you spend making the game, as well as giving you more insight into what needs tweaking and what works while you're creating, rather than after you've finished creating, allowing quicker and easier tweaks, thus speeding things up yet again.
top tips here. thank you so much. im not new to game maker but still very much a beginner (about a year) i do it as a hobby but seeing as im furloghed from work i thought why not give it a real go. so this is my first big project as to speak. everything else ive made has just been very small unfinished prototypes and ideas so thanks alot guys.

another thing im interested to know. i havent implemented a save system for this game yet (or ever). is that something i should be working on now or is that going to be ok left until the end.
 
Save systems are usually best integrated early, otherwise, depending on how your game is setup, it can be a massive pain. Also, try to make sure it's extendable because sometimes you think that only saving data A and B is fine, but later on you realise actually you need data C, D, E, F and G (and perhaps Y as well). So generally try to have it in a form where you can loop through and add/subtract elements without causing pain. Hard to be precise here as most save systems are specific to the game that they are created for, but yeah.
 

Mk.2

Member
"Sandbox design" is a term I've heard used to describe the method of designing and testing all the elements first, then arranging them into levels later, but a quick google search didn't reveal much due to the term "sandbox" being commonly used for something else in gaming.

From Wikipedia:
Sandbox design can also describe a type of game development, where a designer slowly adds features to a minimal game experience, experimenting with each element one at a time.
It's apparently a common way to approach game dev, and it's the method I tend to use too. But I agree that you should also practice building levels, especially if you have little experience in it. It will also help with testing since you'll have demo levels for players to try out.
 
i think im going to spend today trying to craft the first level. i dont want to be a pain but can i get any feedback on the movement? as if thats no good then it definately is back to the old drawing board haha.
 

pixeltroid

Member
Updated the swimming movement and animation. as you can see your characters air is shown by how much water is in the goggles. this drains as he reains oxygen.


i really hope somebody can check out the demo for some real feedback.

https://scrapboxgames.itch.io/cat-astrophy-movement-demo
Hey, I really want to try out your demo but not on my main workstation because I'm scared it might freeze again. :| I'll see if I can borrow an old laptop from someone to rest out your game.

But if you're not getting people to check out your demo, I strongly suggest you present it on gamejolt.com as well. Because itch.io tends to bury games that aren't getting too many downloads. That has been my experience with that site. On the other hand, Gamejolt seems to give newly released demos a little "push" and might even show it on the "hotpage". It happened with my demo.

CS2_gjpage.jpg
It was actually at #3 a few days ago. But since that time, I've gotten a bunch of people to check out my game.

Also consider posting your game at reddit (specifically on a platformer or 2D game subreddit). But I think you need to get a moderator to approve your post or something. They have a pretty complicated process.

Basically, you need to post about your game on as many platforms as possible in order to get more people to play your game.
 

pixeltroid

Member
thank you dude. ust set up a gamejolt now. hopefully this has more luck.

https://gamejolt.com/games/slinx_the_cat/511767
I just saw your page. It looks fine, but I'd advice you to add a lengthier description, even if they are bullet points where you list out your game's features. And use more screenshots, maybe show the forest level from the older version of the demo. Just make it look like there's a lot going on. Take a break from coding and work on creating marketing material for your game.

Promoting a game on sites like gamejolt is a science by itself. I'm still trying to figure it out.
 
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pixeltroid

Member
Also check out https://pitchyagame.com/

There's a contest of sorts going on twitter right now where you need to pitch your game idea in a few lines. It closes in a few hours. It's a great opportunity to get people to notice out your game.

Just tweet out your games description, add the hashtag #pitchyagame, throw in a video or a gif and post a link to your gamejolt page.
 

pixeltroid

Member
thank you dude. ust set up a gamejolt now. hopefully this has more luck.
okay I played your demo.
It played well. Very smooth. No issues at all. But I still feel like I may not have gotten the full experience of it because I didn't play it using a gamepad.

Some feedback:

- Nice character. Although some might find it odd that it doesn't look forward, but instead stares at the player.
- Regarding player movements, you've got it all covered. The cat can hover, jump / slide off walls,swim and swing. All good. But I felt it moved a little slow and didn't jump high enough. Especially since it's a cat, I expected it to be more agile.
- The Keyboard layout was not comfortable. Pressing control and shift for actions felt counter intuitive. IMO, platformers work best with WASD for movement, and action keys on the right side, perhaps K, L or O.
- Pressing enter mid game to refer to the control scheme took me all the way back to the start.

I made it till the spikes a few times but couldn't get past it. Maybe I'll do better with a controller.

I think a more comprehensive tutorial stage with specific instructions would help player get used to the control scheme.

Anyway, good work on the game. Keep us posted on any updates!
 
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