GMC Jam Discussion The Festive GMC Jam 35 - Discussion Topic

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Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
@trg601 Thanks for playing my entry. When making the game I was kinda worried how the mechanics work out and if they won't be too trivial, but I was pleasantly surprised that with relative ease I could whip up a pretty challenging level (to the point where editing the level was shorter than actually solving it).
Glad you appreciated the level editor, too. I'm probably going to try out yours once I get to your entry. ;)

@dadio Thanks for the review, though it's too bad you don't like the genre. ^^'
It does at least seem like you checked out the AFTERWORD, otherwise I guess you wouldn't get to see "lots of nice level designs/puzzles" (that, or you are better at puzzles than you think).

By the way, is it just me or the average quality of Jam entries is higher in general, especially in terms of overall completeness and polish, but also the scope?
I think the extra day may be paying off here. I know for a fact that I wouldn't attempt a game so ambitious in terms of mechanics and UI if I started on Friday.

Speaking of ambition in mechanics and UI, I longed for the new GML features so much when developing my entry. Be it multiple functions in one file, anonymous and non-anonymous functions or lightweight objects, they would have made the development so much easier and smoother.
 
@Micah_DS I can so relate haha. Since I did all the art and programming by myself I onlyhad enough time to write one music track for my game, and it was such a rush job...
Looking forward to getting to yours and Hayman's entry.
 

dadio

Potato Overlord
Forum Staff
Moderator
Next time I’d really like to team up with a Coder with me just doing Art. That’d be great!
 

Misu

The forum's immigrant
Next time I’d really like to team up with a Coder with me just doing Art. That’d be great!
hmmm Ill be aware of that...

Overall I definitely believe 4 days actually work best. I can do some great art works with great shader effects, and my programming skills is good too (very unorganized sometimes but still very functional). What I cant ever do is music because I am horrible at it. Also the one thing I still have trouble (which is reflected in every entry Ive ever done) is adding the proper elements and design to make the game really fun. Im trying as hard as I can to get that one part right. Hoping that this would be something to improve thoughout 2020.

BTW, I think I might not be able to do the voting phase unfortunately. My brother did not paid the internet since last month and thia morning they cut off the service. Since he is moving out this week I dont think he will do anything about it since I imagine he is broke due to the moving. So for now I guess Ill just sit back and relax with my phone data.
 

Bearman_18

Member
@Alice, the quality of the games really surprised me too. Perhaps I underestimated the members of this forum!
@Catastrophe I had the same problem when playing The House. To fix it, go into your settings, go to display, and set "Scale and Layout" to 100%. Assuming you're using Windows 10.
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Ah, something as simple as knowing zombies move only horizontally helps a lot. The game is ridiculously hard if you don't know the patterns, maybe would be nice inclcuding that in the jam entry page.
I felt like half the fun was figuring out the patterns and how to deal with them, but since this has been a pretty uniform complaint (including dadio's review) I guess I could add a help screen that lists all the block types and what they do (like in those old arcade games).

Also: Ghoooooooostriiiis
Good job, I've not actually been able to pull one of those off myself (after adding in blocks moving around, at least) :p

Edit: never mind, it was 36200 so I've still some way to go.
You're cutting it awfully close in a really short time for not knowing the game inside out like I do... maybe I'm just really bad at my own games x'3
 

ghandpivot

Member
@Yal
Interesting game. I like how it changes up the formula a bit. Once you've dropped a piece with moving parts you'll quickly have to work to isolate it, even if it means putting pieces that would fit better in other places on top of it.
Took 5 infuriating tries to beat you :p

Also, absolutely should not list how the pieces move, then there's no reason to play again. It was fun learning to block purples upward, build falling stacks on top of green ones ready to score high combos etc etc.
 
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dadio

Potato Overlord
Forum Staff
Moderator
@Yal: I think it depends on context/target.
For a *Jam* like this where people typically might only give each entry 2-5 mins play before giving up or moving on to the next, I think Ghostris needed an explainer at the start for the block types. (I suspect your entry will rank low because people play it for just a minute and think "Pfft! this is randomly annoying - NEXT!")
For a proper game release/itchio whatever, leave it as is and let people discover the types themselves.

@Alice and Bearman_18: You think? I hafta confess to largely missing out on the last few Jams so I don't have a strong basis of comparison... but I can say that the games this time covered a lot of genres - a lot of different game types on display - and I was happy to see that! On the other hand, I was sad to see so few of the old guard joining in (no Mercerenies, Nocturne, NAL, TheSnidr, TehPilot etc.) and the turnout was quite small. I hope next Jam can see improvements across the board, more Hype and more entrants.

Also I think this was the most difficult Jam EVOR to decide on Ranking order!
In all honesty, I felt like my top 5 could have been in any order. There was very little between them in worthiness in my mind. And then my 6-16 could have been in any order too. Even ones I didn't place but tagged Yellow - were actually "ok". There were only a handful of "duds".
Hope no-one feels too put out by me comments/ rankings. Especially any new people.
@Any noobs: hang in there, the more you participate in these kind of events and the more games you make, the better you'll get!
 
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@The M and @ghandpivot Your game looks interesting but I can't play it. The game window goes off screen and I can't move it back. First I had one room where the top was cut out so I couldn't read any text. I muddled through that but then I opened a door and walked into a room where 90% of the room was outside the side of my screen.
 

dadio

Potato Overlord
Forum Staff
Moderator
That's the danger of getting creative with views/surfaces like that... it's cool, but incompatible with different set-ups.
That effect was neat and worked for me, but even for me it was a bit "jiggly"

Did you try Bearman_18's suggestion?
"To fix it, go into your settings, go to display, and set "Scale and Layout" to 100%. Assuming you're using Windows 10."
 
Already set to 100%, my only other option is to increase the scale which I assume would make the problem worse.
The issue is likely they didn't account for my 1366x768 resolution. Which is a bit of a common problem with a lot of jam games for me but worse here because of their gimmick.
A few games every jam will have windowed height set to 720 or larger, and when you take into account the taskbar and window bar, parts of those games get cut off on my screen too... So it drives me insane when these games don't have a fullscreen option at the very least...
 

dadio

Potato Overlord
Forum Staff
Moderator
Surprised there aren't more reviews/ranking up yet...
hafta say I'm more than a little curious to see how others feel about the games this time and how they rank them.
 

Relic

Member
It's only been 3 days of 14 for the reviews - and no weekend days mind you. I'm making slow, but steady progress.
 

The M

Member
@Siolfor the Jackal That's a shame. We knew there'd be problems if you had too low screen resolution but tried to work around it. I keep the window mostly around the middle if the screen (the window will almost never move more than one step left/right/up/down from the center) but I didn't have time to test it with different resolutions. I thought 1366×760 would be ok but I guess not. :( Had I had more time I'd have worked out a system to keep the window within the screen boundaries but sadly that feature had to be cut.

@dadio the "jiggling" was an unfortunate side effect of resizing the window. I think it might be some issue with the application surface being updated asynchronously but that's just me guessing. I've wanted to make something like this before (I think it'd be cool to incorporate it in a boss battle) but the stutter kept me from doing it. This time I thought it fit the theme of having a "haunted game window" so I didn't mind as much. :)
 
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Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Too late, I already published a post-jam update that adds a help screen :p Ah well, I gotta learn to be lazier... I'm pretty sure I'm bipolar and currently on a hype period, I've been doing a lot of stuff super intensely and without too much thought lately.

Gonna try to play and review some jam games right now, was gonna do it commuting today but the whole "bounce around in a vehicle" thing made it too hard to focus properly.



EDIT: Played everything except like 5 entries (7 if you counts games crashing within the first 5 seconds). It's 2AM and I'm kinda burned out, but I'll try to finish the job once I can think again.
 
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@Yal Thanks for the fair feedback for Paranormal. Believe it or not, that's the easy mode ^^'
Last minute I made the player attack hitboxes twice as thick and reduced the damage all the enemies do(and the amount of them, and the damage you do to the boss) by a lot.
I was worried it was too easy!
I tried having the dash multi-directional but it didn't feel right to me, made everything way too easy. But maybe I'll try putting it back in a post-jam version if anyone is interested?
Yeah, so the boss has two attacks, one is a ground pound which is short range, and the other attack is a long range sweep, like a force push. I was hoping it would be obvious enough from his animation gesturing because I was unable to make an effect in time to make it more obvious! Sorry!
I'm not sure what you meant about not being locked into the area, you *can* dash offscreen but you get push back.
And you're totally right with the end, when you beat the boss, all you get is a crappy "you win" message.

Maybe I need to team up with someone just so they can playtest haha.

Frustratingly, my circle of people have all become to busy and unreliable to playtest my stuff, which is a real bummer.
 

Catastrophe

Member
@ yal, for demon santa you can double jump, that is probably why you never made any successful jumps. I assumed people would try it out, but I guess this wasn't the kind of game people would try more than once xD I was actually considering borrowing the infinite jump bug from cheetahmen but decided against it.

Regarding the music, I didn't think anyone would recognize any of the bad Action 52 themes >.>
 
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Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
Actually, unless the game specifies/implies otherwise, I basically never assume the game has a double jump (I mean, Mario hasn't, Canabalt hasn't... it really is not an implicit standard).
Only when I encounter a particularly tall or faraway obstacle I might think to actually try the double jump out.

(still no my game on Yal's reviewed list... the suspense...)
 

The M

Member
@Yal Ah, the cheese conundrum strikes again. Looks like it was trickier than I thought. I'll refer to this post if you want to know how to quickly get to and solve that part. It's really the final puzzle before the climax and (dare I say brilliant?) end so give it a shot if you feel you have the time.
 

trg601

Member
@Yal thanks for the review! You make some good points. I screwed up timing things and didn't start until hours before the end to make all the levels, so they weren't great quality and there were not enough of them. I think managing time and being more realistic are definitely things I'll have to do better next time :p. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

@dadio thanks for the review! I agree that the gameplay is a bit too simple, I must confess I'm not very good with making fun gameplay it seems, but I'm glad you liked it otherwise!
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
By the way, about Yal's remark on HayManMarc and Micah's entry:
props for something supernatural that isn't also halloween-themed.
When I first saw the theme, I kinda wondered about something ghost/spirit themed, for example a game where you're in a setting where everyone keeps denying ghost's existence, but also everyone actually knows the ghosts are real.
Then I saw Game Topic posts and all these ghost themed entries, and I'm like "nope, no ghosts".

Eventually, I opted for vague psychic/esper Mob Psycho 100 inspirations instead.
 

GameDevDan

The Jam Host
Moderator
GMC Elder
I feel like the player that goes first has a HUGE disadvantage, the player that's second can quit once they're ahead instead of taking risks. This cuts down on strategy a ton and makes the game feel watered down. Maybe players could take turns rerolling / sticking
With you on 100% of the other feedback. The Kevin McLeod music, the game would be better with drawn characters and proper dice animations. That all comes down to time constraints really - did this entry in 6 hours but if I'd had the same ~24hrs free I usually do to put into jam time I would totally have added those things. BUT - the line in green - this is exactly how the game works now... The player who goes first on the first dice roll does second on the next roll, then first again. Who goes first alternates between players even within the same match! :p

6 ghosts essentially doesn't happen xD
The whole game isn't supposed to hinge on you trying to get that - it's an incidental thing that happens once in a blue moon. I hope the rest of your opinion of the game isn't based on trying to get the spooky flush (6x ghosts) cos you can absolutely play and win the whole game without trying to do that :D
 

Catastrophe

Member
Oh yeah, I did win the game: I was just saying, that mechanic felt like it kinda felt flat. But I mean, it could have been neat as an actual mechanic to try and turn the tide, where otherwise you're just flipping 0s and 1s or sticking.
 

Misu

The forum's immigrant
alright I would like to mention that I will be able to activate my internet this weekend so I might do some voting.

another thing, I accidentally forgot to remove some profile restrictions I did since the day I left the gmc but I recently fixed it. People can now PM me in case they gave any qusstions about my entry.
 
@Siolfor the Jackal Sorry for leaving you out in the sticky notes. I did those by scrolling through the games topic, and you posted long after I went to bed.
Here's a note just for you:
Code:
Para-
Normal
Ep. Sio
As for the theme, the original concept was that you were a being summoned from another dimension. If a floating mouse cursor appeared in OUR world, it would certainly be paranormal. But obviously I didn't really manage to put much time, so that concept isn't expressed much at all.
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
EDIT: Oh yeah, first of all I finished playing all jam entries now, updated reviews and votes are available in the voting topic!



@Yal Thanks for the fair feedback for Paranormal. Believe it or not, that's the easy mode ^^'
Last minute I made the player attack hitboxes twice as thick and reduced the damage all the enemies do(and the amount of them, and the damage you do to the boss) by a lot.
I was worried it was too easy!
I tried having the dash multi-directional but it didn't feel right to me, made everything way too easy. But maybe I'll try putting it back in a post-jam version if anyone is interested?
Yeah, so the boss has two attacks, one is a ground pound which is short range, and the other attack is a long range sweep, like a force push. I was hoping it would be obvious enough from his animation gesturing because I was unable to make an effect in time to make it more obvious! Sorry!
I'm not sure what you meant about not being locked into the area, you *can* dash offscreen but you get push back.
And you're totally right with the end, when you beat the boss, all you get is a crappy "you win" message.

Maybe I need to team up with someone just so they can playtest haha.

Frustratingly, my circle of people have all become to busy and unreliable to playtest my stuff, which is a real bummer.
I know the feeling, basically all my friends either actively avoid me or are so busy I don't want to bother them unless it's important.

For multi-directional dash, you could make up/down dashes cover a lower distance (since you move up/down slower). Many old scrolling beat-em-ups had a jump as an evasive manoeuver, maybe you could do something more with the whole ghosts being in the air thing.

I didn't try pushing offstage too much, I just assumed that running too far out there would trigger some marker for the endgame (or worse, more enemies) and headed back into the screen, not realizing I was pushed back as well.

Boss tells were different enough, it just wasn't clear HOW MUCH I needed to get away to avoid being hit (or even the shape of the attacks) when there is no visual feedback at all. Even a 10 second MS paint job (or displaying the hitbox sprite directly) would've done a better job than giving the player no information at all.

@ yal, for demon santa you can double jump, that is probably why you never made any successful jumps. I assumed people would try it out, but I guess this wasn't the kind of game people would try more than once xD I was actually considering borrowing the infinite jump bug from cheetahmen but decided against it.

Regarding the music, I didn't think anyone would recognize any of the bad Action 52 themes >.>
The Cheetahmen game is a bit of a cult classic (not necessarily for the right reasons), it even had its own cartoon ad that supposedly almost was made into an actual cartoon. And more importantly, it didn't fit the game's mood at all... taking a MIDI version of a random christmas song and adding a heavy metal drum beat to it (without making any effort to match the drum beat to the christmas song) would've sounded much better.

@Yal Ah, the cheese conundrum strikes again. Looks like it was trickier than I thought. I'll refer to this post if you want to know how to quickly get to and solve that part. It's really the final puzzle before the climax and (dare I say brilliant?) end so give it a shot if you feel you have the time.
Thanks, managed to beat it now! I actually went around using the cheese on EVERYTHING for quite a while, but I'd gotten so used to doors only being used to move between rooms that I didn't even consider that door part of "everything" (especially since it being open already made me consider it "done"). Coloring the door yellow or something to help associations and also make it stand out as more important would've helped.

@Yal thanks for the review! You make some good points. I screwed up timing things and didn't start until hours before the end to make all the levels, so they weren't great quality and there were not enough of them. I think managing time and being more realistic are definitely things I'll have to do better next time :p. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it!

@dadio thanks for the review! I agree that the gameplay is a bit too simple, I must confess I'm not very good with making fun gameplay it seems, but I'm glad you liked it otherwise!
I guess focusing on advanced physics AND detailed storytelling was too much... pick one or the other next jam, I suppose. It's hard to tell a good story and also have good gameplay (ideally you need the gameplay to be able to tell a story for this) and there's still just a handful of games pulling it off in total - Undertale and Spec Ops: The Line being the two main examples, The Stanley Parable being a third example if you're okay with walking around and pushing the interact button as "gameplay".

With you on 100% of the other feedback. The Kevin McLeod music, the game would be better with drawn characters and proper dice animations. That all comes down to time constraints really - did this entry in 6 hours but if I'd had the same ~24hrs free I usually do to put into jam time I would totally have added those things. BUT - the line in green - this is exactly how the game works now... The player who goes first on the first dice roll does second on the next roll, then first again. Who goes first alternates between players even within the same match! :p



The whole game isn't supposed to hinge on you trying to get that - it's an incidental thing that happens once in a blue moon. I hope the rest of your opinion of the game isn't based on trying to get the spooky flush (6x ghosts) cos you can absolutely play and win the whole game without trying to do that :D
Silhouettes made in MS paint would've been serviceable, but ah well... there's always the post-jam version!

As for the going first thing, I meant that on a per-round basis. If you go last, you know when it's safe to stop and all tension is gone if you can reach an OK score with rerolls to spare. If you alternate each dice toss, tension keeps building until the very end.
 

Bearman_18

Member
Thanks @Yal and @Siolfor the Jackal for the reviews! It seems that the presentation and visuals were unanimously the best part, and the platforming was unanimously the worst.

By the way, if you let the tutorial guy finish at the first screen, he explains that you can shoot in both directions at once.

Yeah, the guys at the checkpoints really sucked. XD

Oh crap, I didn't consider that the player might no have a mouse. I'll take that into count if I make a post version as well.
 
@Siolfor the Jackal Sorry for leaving you out in the sticky notes. I did those by scrolling through the games topic, and you posted long after I went to bed.
Here's a note just for you:
Code:
Para-
Normal
Ep. Sio
As for the theme, the original concept was that you were a being summoned from another dimension. If a floating mouse cursor appeared in OUR world, it would certainly be paranormal. But obviously I didn't really manage to put much time, so that concept isn't expressed much at all.
Oh I get it, makes sense when explained.
And thanks for the sticky note haha, I was joking because I did realise you went through the games topic, and I didn't post until the last ten minutes.


@Siolfor the Jackal @Catastrophe
Here is a version of The House that should work on any resolution if you're interested. This version prevents the game from going off screen but is otherwise identical to the jam version.
Oh cool, I'm eager to give that a try.


I know the feeling, basically all my friends either actively avoid me or are so busy I don't want to bother them unless it's important.
That really sucks, it can be the worst feeling.
I can't even playtest my own games because I find them too easy(obviously, since I made them) and I know how they work already. I can beat mine without taking damage and it's no problem...
Maybe we need some volunteers from the forum, people who may not have time to jam, but have time to quickly playtest some games, heh.

For multi-directional dash, you could make up/down dashes cover a lower distance (since you move up/down slower). Many old scrolling beat-em-ups had a jump as an evasive manoeuver, maybe you could do something more with the whole ghosts being in the air thing.
You can kind of aim your dash up or down a little, but it's not much. I thought it would be enough to be honest. I'm going to release a post-jam version soon and I'll change the dash back to multi-directional and see how we go!
I thought about having a jump as well, part of the reason I excluded one was I already had two attacks and a dash button, I wanted to keep gameplay as simple as possible. The other reason was a wee bit of laziness, in that I knew adding a jump would mean adding a z-axis and going without would make development much quicker. I wanted to make sure I was able to finish all the basics.
(Fun fact: my game is technically more of a top-down game despite the way it's presented. All the movement and collisions are treated like a top down game with only X and Y. All bounding and hit boxes are modest rectangles. For instance, the salt bullets really collide with the enemy's feet, and are just drawn with a massive y offset for the effect)

I didn't try pushing offstage too much, I just assumed that running too far out there would trigger some marker for the endgame (or worse, more enemies) and headed back into the screen, not realizing I was pushed back as well.
Originally I thought of having some invisible hellhounds chasing you as your motivation forward and to not dilly dally(Makes sense if you have seen the show), but I never got around to it. I just had randomly spawned enemies pushed in from behind you to keep you going and on your toes.
The camera follows you so you can just run back to the start no issue, but due to the way enemies are flung in behind you, it gets messy.

Boss tells were different enough, it just wasn't clear HOW MUCH I needed to get away to avoid being hit (or even the shape of the attacks) when there is no visual feedback at all. Even a 10 second MS paint job (or displaying the hitbox sprite directly) would've done a better job than giving the player no information at all.
Yeah, that really is my bad. The boss was a real rush towards the end, I thought I'd have time to make a quick effect but I didn't prioritise.

Thanks for the review! But I didn't write the music. There actually were credits on the main menu (at the bottom) "music by tebruno99 on opengameart"
Oh I completely missed that! My bad, dude!
 

The M

Member
I wouldn't go as far to call the ending brilliant, but it definitely is a nice twist, and the protagonist's decision make him more likeable somehow. Was it ghandpivot's idea?
Thanks for the review. Of course the ending was his idea. :p We didn't really have an end before he came up with it so when he suggested it I thought it was awesome.

The cheese is funny. I wanted a puzzle to be solved by twisting the screen mechanic, though I admit the solution wasn't really logical. To be fair, Ghand voiced his concern about it being too far fetched but I still went for it. I thought the cheesy "wedge" joke was too good to give up on and I figured since you get the prompt to use the cheese on the door, worst case people would find it by trying the cheese on everything and there aren't that many things to use it on. Clearly, I was wrong and I'll consider it for the future. I think Yal's idea of altering the door's appearance would be a great way to draw attention to it.
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
My votes were cast, too! How bewitching!

As for reviews of my game: Not much to reply to Catastrophe's and Siolfor's reviews, but I do appreciate the feedback. To Siolfor in particular, I'm glad you enjoyed my entry so much. ^^

Now then, when it comes to @Yal 's review
> lots and lots criticism in the review itself
> ranks the game 2nd
I guess you weren't joking with this "Traditionally Needlessly Negative Reviews" part. ;)
Still, I can totally understand - telling "this part is ok" requires much less space than "this part doesn't work and here's why...". ^_^

Addressing the individual pieces of feedback:
1. About the game complexity vs Jam reviewing:
I've already accepted the fact that more mechanically complex are at disadvantage when it comes to voting and reviewing, because often people have no time/motivation to figure out more complex entries. If I come up with a fun yet complex idea, I decide to go with it anyway, because it's more fun for me to make personally.

2. About the menu visual weight:
Having the menu shifted towards the left side wasn't really my intention, but rather a side effect of me haphazardly putting the option buttons somewhere and not having time to dim their colour scheme compared to the core menu buttons. When it comes to the upper illustration, it may appear shifted to the left at the beginning, but if you revisit the menu you should notice it's not so left-aligned anymore.

3. About misleading instructions in tutorial:
I don't know which part you meant specifically, but if it's about the latest part, there's this remark: "It costs 3 points of PSI, so push the remaining opponent to a safe distance." So the game does suggest moving the enemy away, though I admit it could have been more emphasized and phrased more clearly (i.e. you need to move the enemy away so that you can then safely rest and restore enough PSI). Also, there aren't unwinnable situations in this game, at least nothing that cannot be fixed with enough Undo actions. ^^'

4. About the gunners:
Admittedly, with the range they have maybe I could get rid of the diagonal part completely? In the last level there are tanks that have unlimited range but only in 4 directions and I found they work well enough. So for far-range units (more than 3-4 cells) it indeed might be better to stick to 4 directions (2-cells ranged drones or grenadiers can stay 8-directional, I think).

5. About the grid:
Yeah, I should have made the grid cells more emphasized with the tiling, whether with grid borders or some distinct pattern in the middle that only repeats once per cell.

6. About the repeatable tactics:
I kinda see your point, especially in regards to the early levels you have played, but I also feel you might trivialise things a bit much - just because the strategy often boils down to "find a safe spot, attack next enemy, repeat until one is left, overcharge" doesn't mean executing it is that easy. For some levels, move and overload abilities only become relevant during the endgame. For other levels (the last in particular), a viable strategy involves moving or overloading an enemy midway through, especially if the most dangerous enemy doesn't have anyone around to attack. You might be onto something that more looping level layouts (contrasted with dead ends) are more likely to promote use of plain move ability rather than constant attacking.

Other factors that complicate this standard strategy:
- PSI interferences (introduced in level 7)
- enemies with PSI resistance (+1 PSI cost for each ability; effectively introduced in level 10, but I kinda goofed the level design there)
- enemies that are invulnerable to other enemies (introduced in level 12)

Either way, thanks a lot for your feedback and for the vote. Glad you found my entry more enjoyable than most of others, I guess?

--- EDIT ---

Just saw The M's reply. So I was right that the cheese wedge was a pun! Too bad I'm not so familiar with English to easily recognise different meanings of "wedge", which is where my point about non-native speakers comes from. ^^'
 

ghandpivot

Member
Was it ghandpivot's idea? Going by earlier Jam games, it feels like it would be in his style.
Crap, am I getting predictable?

About the ending though
When making the game it felt like we spent the jam building towards some kind of scary finale. The original thought was for you to walk out of the mirror and fade to white, the end (unless we could make a boss). That would most likely leave players feeling tricked, it'd be too anti-climatic. By having the whole thing being a house tour you give a fun and twisted explanation to as why you were there in the first place, and by having the protagonist buy the house you:
a) Make him likeable by not having him hesitate for even a second. It also gives the game a comedic spin by shattering expectations.
b) Tie up the loose ends. The zombie and haunted furnitures go from being random fluff to something that will keep on existing and affect the protagonist.
c) Leave the player with something to ponder. How will life be in the house going forward etc?

It wont be a long ponder and it's nothing you will remember for days to come, but the only satisfying way to abruptly end a project is (in my opinion and apparently also in my style) with humor.
 

Misty

Member
These games are gonna be awful. I am excited and anticipating actually handing out negative number scores, this will be a first. If games like Ghostris by Yal, and Grave Mistake by Tyler, Emily, and Vincent are getting top-3 reviews, imagine how awful the rest of the games must be.
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
Crap, am I getting predictable?
I wouldn't say "predictable", more like "characteristic". Like, I won't tell what your next work would be like, but once it's out, it'll be pretty clear it's yours, I suppose?
Either way, I definitely agree that the ending you settled on neatly wraps the game, especially compared to the trite and unsatisfying alternative you've mentioned.
 

Catastrophe

Member
Oh, I think derp is me on necro-more-cy. Didn't realize the game actually uploaded your highscore to the internet. Bask in my superior 1 button spamming.

It's hard to get higher than that because the game crashes seemingly if a level 5 enemy spawns. (obj_boss_parent?) Or maybe it just randomly crashes a whole lot a higher scores

I believe each enemy is worth just their number in attack power, which is why 1s/2s/3s are really the only ones worth taking in the time limit

Edit: heh, sorry for pushin you off alice, had to see if I could break 1300 :3
 
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Relic

Member
If you get a crash, would appreciate the error report. I’ve spawned lvl 5 minions so can’t be ‘just’ that.

Edit; oh enemy lvl 5? That’s the treant which I thought was also fine.
 

Catastrophe

Member
Ah yeah it must not be the treant then, I see a lot of those later on. I was just guessing. It seems to happen mostly when you spam different numbers and are attacking very large groups. There's more than one error that can happen. I'll paste a report the next time I feel like playing it.

Errors:

___________________________________________
############################################################################################
FATAL ERROR in
action number 1
of <Unknown Event>
for object obj_boss_parent:

instance_destroy argument 1 incorrect type (undefined) expecting a Number (YYGI32)
at gml_Object_obj_boss_parent_CleanUp_0
############################################################################################
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
stack frame is
gml_Object_obj_boss_parent_CleanUp_0 (line -1)
called from - gml_Object_obj_controller_enemy_spawner_Alarm_0 (line -1) - <unknown source line>
Happened after I died, so possibly not that useful, but I've seen it happen before death I think


Edit:

While mashing 1 + 2 in a group fight:

___________________________________________
############################################################################################
FATAL ERROR in
action number 1
of Alarm Event for alarm 0
for object obj_controller_attack:

DoAdd :1: undefined value
at gml_Object_obj_controller_attack_Alarm_0
############################################################################################
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
stack frame is
gml_Object_obj_controller_attack_Alarm_0 (line -1)
 
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Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
Just for the record, I released a repository with Telepathway's sources (aka Telepath's Escape)). I didn't really do any version control during the Jam, so it was just one large commit containing the code I made for the Jam (plus a little bugfix and replacing sounds with placeholder silence).

So if you want to gaze into the semi-chaotic codebase that runs my entry, you're free to do so.

(also, once again - things would have been so much easier if we got new GML features already... still waiting for the open beta)
 

Micah_DS

Member
Lab 23 by HayManMarc, Micah_DS

(review #8)

You know, there's that rule "show, don't tell". It's not an absolute rule, but I totally would dig seeing the protagonist walk away triumphantly with exploding facility in the background, instead of reading about it. ^^'

Going back to the beginning, though. When I read about moving items around and tossing them with telekinetic power, I instinctively started thinking about how I would go about that. One of my earliest thoughts was that I definitely wouldn't take the distance between the immediate previous and current object position, because players would likely slow down the mouse motion before actually releasing the mouse. I mean, when you throw a thing, you just need to reach peak speed once and as soon as you slow down, the thing is naturally "released" and keeps going on its own with the momentum you've given.

Instead, I'd try to figure out some mechanics to keep the momentum going despite the actual mouse movement slowing down. Maybe use some kind of an average between recent frames, or maybe use some effect akin to coyote frames (the object would keep some its momentum despite mouse slowing down, much like a platformer character doesn't fall immediately after moving out of the ground). I'm afraid this kind of compensation mechanics wasn't implemented here, because trying to throw things with a basic mouse drag-move-drop often resulted in the object just staying near the mouse position of the drop. Too bad, because telekinesis was the core mechanic here.

Aside from that, the gameplay was pretty functional (though I did manage to get a desk stuck with my telekinesis) and had some basic variety to it. The boss could have about half its health; it's not that it was challenging, but trying to throw stuff at it was a nuisance, mostly because of the tricky telekinesis mechanics. The presentation was good - the graphics worked well together, and music was fitting.

Overall, a decent entry, but the telekinesis mechanics could have been handled better. Theme is driving the gameplay (telekinetic powers); I appreciate using the theme without spooks.
Thanks for the review! It really made me want to go into some detail about our telekinetic throwing mechanic, so here goes:

My mistake was trying something very new to me (i.e. getting the accurate/intended direction and speed from mouse movement), thinking it couldn't be that hard or involved. In the end, I was wrong (mostly because of walls, since the mechanic plays much nicer in a totally open room) and I wasted too much time on it and had to move on, despite it still being a bit broken.
Of course, knowing the main mechanic would remain wonky, I chose to make levels/rooms very small and to make the game very short, in an attempt to avoid extra frustration from dealing with a broken mechanic for too long. Plus, it's not like I had the content to make too many more levels anyway, with only the lasers, guards, and interactive instances.

Here's Lab 23's Telekinesis "Throwing" Mechanic - The steps it went through:
  1. INITIAL MECHANICS
    Pick up object with LMB, release LMB to drop. While holding object with LMB, press RMB to throw it away from the player (center view) toward the mouse position.
    This actually worked out well mechanically, allowing for aiming and consistent results, but the controls didn't feel good at all. Plus, you couldn't throw harder or softer.

  2. FIRST ITERATION
    LMB picks up, releasing LMB will throw or drop, depending on if the distance between the previous and current mouse positions are far enough. Throw speed was still a constant.
    This felt terrible. It was easy to accidentally throw in an unexpected direction and the constant speed only amplified the issue with slight odd movements when releasing the object.

  3. SECOND ITERATION
    Instead of just using the last and current mouse position, I used an array of past mouse xy positions and got the mean of multiple directions derived from that data.
    I tried using the data in different ways, but none of it worked out well enough. I couldn't really tell any notable improvement from the last iteration.
    I was going to continue further with this, but I realized I'd already spent a lot of time on it and I also wondered if the extra complexity would only introduce more potential bugs, so I instead decided to simplify.

  4. THIRD ITERATION
    HayManMarc gave me a small example project of his which was pretty much the same thing as my FIRST ITERATION, except the main difference was that throw speeds depended on how far the mouse traveled. That made a huge difference. It was certainly still a bit broken, but it was better than all previous iterations, so I stuck with it.
In hindsight, I'd want to do something similar to the SECOND ITERATION if I wanted to fix it, giving more 'weight' to the greater distanced parts of the mouse stroke data, also cutting the smaller values on the ends of the stroke out.
And I'd need it to keep the strokes for a bit even after hitting a wall (or just simply stopping the mouse right before throwing), allowing the player to release the throw as intended, instead of simply losing all momentum.
I'm sure I could accomplish a solid version of the mechanic if I worked on it more, but it just wasn't happening during jam time.
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
By the way, how is voting going for everyone?
I wonder, because there are only 6 rankings posted so far, yet I've seen multiple people planning to vote and the weekend might have been a good opportunity to go through at least several entries. ^^'
 

ghandpivot

Member
By the way, how is voting going for everyone?
I wonder, because there are only 6 rankings posted so far, yet I've seen multiple people planning to vote and the weekend might have been a good opportunity to go through at least several entries. ^^'
I've played and recorded maybe 10-12 games in the 1.5 hours I sat today. Sadly a phone call ruined my recording (I record via the phone as my headset mic has static). When is deadline? 2-3 weeks from the jamming period?
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
The deadline is 17th December 12:00 UTC, i.e. midday of the next Tuesday.

Considering there are 28 games to play in total (I already excluded The House), you'd need about 1.5-2 more recording sessions like this. Hopefully you'll have enough time for these. ^^

(probably the potentially most time-consuming games would be my "Telepath's Escape" and Bearman's "Spectre2023", don't know if you've already played them or not; there's also Ghostris if you wanted to get some crazy hi-score, but I know you already did)
 
Just posted a post-jam version of my game in the WIP section if anyone is interested in checking it out.

Post-jam changes:
  • Fixed some bugs!
  • Fixed gamepad controls(X and Y were backwards)
  • Added missing effects(such as the boss' ranged attack)
  • Implemented a small melee and dash cancel(Meaning it's possible to dash or melee just a little sooner when you are already dashing or performing a melee attack).
  • Made the dash include vertical movement better.
  • You can dash backwards by not holding a direction when dashing.
  • Added a co-op mode!(Just press start on a currently plugged in gamepad not in use, or press Enter if player 1 is using a gamepad already and you don't have another)
  • Added boss music.
  • Remastered and recorded both music tracks(With real guitars!)
  • Improved the win/lose screens a little.
And a link to the new music just in case, I rushed some recording and mixing today and thought it sounded alright:
https://soundcloud.com/siolforthejackal/sets/paranormal
 
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