GMC Jam Discussion The Zesty GMC Jam 37 Discussion Topic

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Mercerenies

Member
Peculiar that the minigame affected the date so much. I'm not sure if I was supposed to fail the entire time and the game just made it seem like there was a choice. (Like it was just a visual novel following a script.)
@Poizen You can win the date minigame. It requires a score of 24/40 for a positive ending to the date (30/40 for the "top" ending). But I have since heard from several reviewers that I made that minigame waaaaaaaay too hard, so I don't fault you at all for thinking it's failure-only. Thanks for playing! :p
 

Relic

Member
Gaaah, @Relic, could you please explain what happens at the end of your entry? I already collected all items (I even got all orbs, because I'm such a collector) but
I got softlocked in the bottom-right section of the dark room after collecting the Sacred Vessel and Noble Crown, but without Veil of Elegance
and I really don't feel like replaying the entire game to find out. Though I'm sorta disappointed - if I'm not mistaken about the part of the ending I didn't get - that the ending wasn't
the robot revealing it was all ploy to get the alien to collect the trash. That would mark one of few instances where the AI just wants to dispose of garbage and that garbage isn't humans for a change.
The ending is
The AI was testing you. You had to get out of your suit (our intention was to let the player think you were non-human until this point) revealing you are a child of the "ancients". After collecting the keys again it's a bit lack lustre sorry - The AI congratulates you for passing the final test and the door to the vault (Blockbuster) opens. What's inside? What's the secret? Fade to black......
Also, your game is way too prone to restarts. Apparently once the player gets defeated, there's no automatic nor manual way to restart the level, so basically you have to start over. I wanted to try the easy jam version, but it didn't feel significantly different compared to regular version (both in terms of moving around and how difficult it is to take down enemies).
Yep, poor final QA testing. There WAS an automatic level restart that broke when I added the Easy Jame Mode - which makes it so the player can't die but everything else is the same.

Where I can find the basic background music specifically? I take that it's taken from freesound.org (if credits don't deceive me), but there's a lot to search around there.
 

deepfry3

Member
Finished my reviews, great work on all your games everyone!

And as I've mentioned a few times, I've never participated in a game jam before, so seeing the community not just making and playing games, but talking about them with each other, and making awesome additional artwork in this thread is really cool.


@deepfry3 thanks for the review! As far as the AI funny enough there isn't much in regards to pathfinding. Basically I duplicated the players code and set up in the begin step event to trigger a 'key_jump' or 'key_shield' variable and used a ton of if statements and then just reset all of the key press variables to 0 In the end step. It pretty much just checks if there's is ground below it / the player and jumps accordingly and if the player is off of the map it just sets a destination x to the center of the room. If food is near and its health is above a certain percentage then it just uses a 'key_grab'. It was actually probably one of the easier ai I have ever set up just because instead of programming any kind of pathfinding I just used the kind of logic someone actually pressing buttons might go through (using tons of checks) and making the key variables true. Forgot to put checks for if it's stuck in say a hole that the only way to get out is to jump. Thanks again! :D
No worries! This is the kind of thing that's much more interesting (to me at least) that it would seem on the surface. Deliberate or not, doing it this way rather than the pathfinding I'd assumed it was makes it feel like a player, because it's just virtually pressing buttons so it's impossible for it to move in a way the player cannot.
I thought it was impressive how fluid the pathfinding was and how the game remained performant while running it, but in fact it was just the same movement code as the player that made it so fluid and simple.

In terms of 'technical info' that I mentioned in my reviews a few people were missing from their devlogs, this is exactly the kinda stuff I love to read. Though, I'm admittetly light on it in my own.
 

Toque

Member
Finished my reviews, great work on all your games everyone!

And as I've mentioned a few times, I've never participated in a game jam before, so seeing the community not just making and playing games, but talking about them with each other, and making awesome additional artwork in this thread is really cool.



No worries! This is the kind of thing that's much more interesting (to me at least) that it would seem on the surface. Deliberate or not, doing it this way rather than the pathfinding I'd assumed it was makes it feel like a player, because it's just virtually pressing buttons so it's impossible for it to move in a way the player cannot.
I thought it was impressive how fluid the pathfinding was and how the game remained performant while running it, but in fact it was just the same movement code as the player that made it so fluid and simple.

In terms of 'technical info' that I mentioned in my reviews a few people were missing from their devlogs, this is exactly the kinda stuff I love to read. Though, I'm admittetly light on it in my own.

I liked your game. I love these paper style games. I might play with some paper stuff this summer.
 

FrostyCat

Member
I didn't have enough time to finish my reviews this time, but I did finish the GMC Jam Templater that I've been wanting to do for almost 2 years.

If you like how your review post panned out this time, just copy its BBCode, swap everything entry-specific for template directives, and you can easily replicate it next time. And if you use score-based reviews, you can also specify additional scoring variables and a formula for the final score, then have the entries sorted by that for you.

I'm also collecting BBCode templates to put on the Wiki. If you are NOT using the default from the Jam Player and OK with others adopting your style, please PM me with a link to your review post (can be for any Jam session after the last GMC migration). Your post will be linked and fully credited from the Wiki entry once it goes up.
 

KPJ

Member
Murder At Lansbury by KPJ

Good idea for the theme, and seems made pretty well. Is the name a reference to Angela Lansbury? Haha.
I had Ashley pegged as the murderer from the start haha. I feel like the ending would have been better if you let me choose the wrong person and have a separate ending for that too.
Lack of fullscreen was a pain since the bottom of the screen was cut so I almost missed the magnifying glass icon.
The art was consistent but there seemed to be some pixel distortion which was not great.
You got it! I did base the name off of Angela Lansbury, since she was the actor of Jessica Fletcher, from the TV show Murder, She Wrote. Thanks for the review as well!
 
Hello! Thanks for all who played my game!

Also, just curious, did you guys noticed the fast-forward text feature in my game (pressing space completes the typewriting text animation)? I feel like those who liked my game did not use it often and those who didn't like my game did use it but probably were too distracted not liking my game to realize 😅

Anyways, I hope you guys had fun this Game Jam! I enjoyed being part of this community! All of you guys are awesome!
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
Also, just curious, did you guys noticed the fast-forward text feature in my game (pressing space completes the typewriting text animation)? I feel like those who liked my game did not use it often and those who didn't like my game did use it but probably were too distracted not liking my game to realize 😅
I think the reason people didn't point it out is because it's something that can be reasonably expected in a visual novel. Having no fast-forward would be pretty odd in a professional game, and even in Jam game it's so relatively simple to implement (compared to the rest of the dialogue system, let alone actually writing that dialogue) that people are more likely to criticise lack of such a feature than to praise that it's there. *Especially* if they need to replay it for whatever reason (in my case, it was seeing what happened at the end exactly because I missed it on my first go)

(on that note, FAZIL doesn't have fast-forward for its intro, and I noticed it very much when I tried to replay it)
 
I think the reason people didn't point it out is because it's something that can be reasonably expected in a visual novel.
That's what I guessed. I'm just curious if it's something people notice or if it's something so expected, people don't even realized it was there. It actually took about an hour implementing it. Most of it was just me being dumb.
 

Toque

Member
You got it! I did base the name off of Angela Lansbury, since she was the actor of Jessica Fletcher, from the TV show Murder, She Wrote. Thanks for the review as well!
I think the fun of a murder mystery is a twist in the outcome. I guess there was a bit of confusion is this a game or a story? Thinking from the perspective of a game.

But its interesting. Fits the theme. Good job.
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
My votes are finished and I am likewise finished.
The depth and quality of the reviews varies. Towards the end I just wanted to get all these games over with, especially with all. These. Overly. Drawn out/Difficult. Platformers. They stalled me good.
(Overdue stalled me the most, because it softlocked a lot and at the same time I really wanted to see the ending where it turns out the robot wanted the alient to collect the trash all along but I got another softlock instead :mad:)

Please, for the sake of future reviewers, reconsider. Maybe another level with dozens of spikes and adding no variety whatsoever isn't necessary. Maybe this monster doesn't need to be so intimidating and impossible to get past. Maybe ditch that lives system - which was a great way to prolong the games during those times when hardware limitations didn't allowed much content - in favour of just restarting the level however many times the player needs. Maybe add that skip button or cheat code that you mention in the afterword. Maybe the 2-weeks period isn't the best time to complete 50 games of Getting Over It with Bennett Fody caliber (alright, I might be exaggerating with this one).

Sorry, it's just that there were unusually many entries to go through this time, and they seemed to take more time to explore as well. And usually the most time was spent on platformer-likes and other skill-based games. It's crucial to remember that, as a developer, you had hours of experience practicing your gameplay and the full knowledge of inner mechanics; reviewers usually don't have this much time to spend on your entry. This especially applies to dexterity and timing based games, since it's not something people can replicate just by following walkthroughs.
 
Thanks to everyone who gave good feedback for all the jam games, and for mine.
@Alice and @The M Looks like you guys both suffered from bad RNG
I'm sorry about that, I must have only gotten good seeds when testing because I always got a good variety of random, so I never thought to hard code some assurances. Learnt my lesson.
@Alice The mashing game, the button can change up to 3-4 times during the time limit, but I guess not for you ^^'
 

ghandpivot

Member
With the jam coming to an end, I'd like to take this opportunity to look inside the box and present the final highscores for The box of Schrödinger, adjusted for the outcome of your stabbings.
Anyone playing the game after this will not be included into the highscores (unless there are many of you, then I'll update it again).
Thank you all for playing 😋

scores_box_of_schrodinger2.png
 
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Bart

WiseBart
It appears curiosity literally killed the cat for quite a few of us...
If the cat's dead, is it actually because of the knives?
Shouldn't have opened that box, really :p
 

Toque

Member
With the jam coming to an end, I'd like to take this opportunity to look inside the box and present the final highscores for The box of Schrödinger, adjusted for the outcome of your stabbings.
Anyone playing the game after this will not be included into the highscores (unless there are many of you, then I'll update it again).
Thank you all for playing 😋

View attachment 32093
all those cat killers. Shame shame.
Clearly I am a leader.
 

Neo_Kesha

Member
So, first of all - thank you amazing people for a feedback!
All in all, sometimes i felt quite sad because people overlooked and underrated our game, but that was only our fault! So no worries :p
I decided to go through all feedback points and clear up some questions and moments!

Moment: blind jumps
Clarification: we tried to avoid blind jumps and i don't remember any. On branches we tried to set platforms on both ways, and where is no branch, there is only one way to go. But i get what this moment is about

Moment: timestop is earraping
Clarification: my advice to people - always do better management and avoid crunches. SFX itself was rushed as heck, and even more, we overlooked that this sound effect was unbalanced on volume.

Moment: No way of beating enemies/tutorial in pause menu
Clarification: i am so sorry t_t We had no time left to put a simple tutorial message somewhere so i ended up putting it on the pause screen. I knew that people will overlook that so in my entry post (the one with devlog) i put a disclaimer in bold with controls and hint to open pause menu to get more clarification. It was my first JAM so i had no idea that all games end up in a launcher in a big ZIP, with my description lost and i had to put it into README.TXT file. I thought people would download games from entry posts one by one and i was terrified when i realized, that >90% will miss on manual. And at this point that is probably my biggest screw up, so well. Sorry, lol! Will do better next time.

Moment: Beautiful cutscenes, but you'd better put that effort into gameplay
Clarification: No, that wouldn't affect gameplay since i did gameplay, not tengg. I did few sprites, but that wasn't too time consuming as you can see

Moment: Beautiful cutscenes, but you'd better put that effort into overall graphics and details
Clarification: Yes

Moment: There is platform that you fall through
Clarification: By design! I hoped to bait player into jumping onto that platform and not being able to get back, stucking and path of correct ingredient. Yeah, could've at least destroy that platform.

Moment: This is not related to topic of the Jam!
Clarification:
On basic level, hero didn't know that he'd choose almost blindly among 16 combinations of ingredients, which antagonist knew. Also fact that main antagonist would try to eat us was "hidden".
But on the deeper level, it was that you stuck in the time loop, where spider antagonist is your mutated sister, that keeps restarting time in attempts to consume your soul in their dimension. And only way to get out of that loop - get ingredients right. Also at final bossfight boss supposed to drop some phrases clarifying fact, that, for some reason, even tho main hero died a lot, something deep inside won't let them kill him off eternally. But that was scrapped because of time reasons.

Moment: Weird camera
Clarification:
Samurai: hey kesha add camera with inertion
Kesha: ok
*a lot of comments about weird camera*
Kesha: waitwhydididothat

Moment: Jump sucks
Clarification: Yes! It is!

Moment: Was someone on your team was inspired by Ib?
Clarification: I love Ib! Great game. But i think paintings are more "Rogue Legacy" style of. And that was completely unintentional!

Moment: damn, plain text in the end of game
Clarification:
*kicks tengg carcass*
Yup, he's dead! Original plan was that i didn't want to create complex cutscene engine for jam game so i asked TenGG to do simply storyboards with quality of draft concepts, looking at how he made few in ten minutes. Tho he made ultra quality storyboards and died internally at the end of jam and i made those text boards so you at least won't get badly drawn bubbles of Russian text with swears.
So, again, thank you people for amazing feedback! We will do better next time.
 

KPJ

Member
I think the fun of a murder mystery is a twist in the outcome. I guess there was a bit of confusion is this a game or a story? Thinking from the perspective of a game.

But its interesting. Fits the theme. Good job.
Yeah, I agree. I was going for more of an interactive visual novel. I was torn between making it easy to understand and simple clues leading to a solid ending, or adding a twist and adding more clues, as well as making the clues a bit more complex. I chose the first one since I wanted it to be a game where everyone could look at the clues and come to a conclusion without having to look all over the place. A twist would definitely have made it interesting as well!

Thanks for your kind words as well!
 

Toque

Member
Yeah, I agree. I was going for more of an interactive visual novel. I was torn between making it easy to understand and simple clues leading to a solid ending, or adding a twist and adding more clues, as well as making the clues a bit more complex. I chose the first one since I wanted it to be a game where everyone could look at the clues and come to a conclusion without having to look all over the place. A twist would definitely have made it interesting as well!

Thanks for your kind words as well!
A couple Canucks should joins forces on one of these jams eh.
 

GreenWyvern

Member
final highscores for The box of Schrödinger
And there we have it, at the #1 spot is my boy Gizmo! (Not to be confused with gizmo199, creator of "Balls To The Wall", a different Gizmo)

I kinda' feel like you shouldn't have shown us the results, and simply left us with the guilt of what we've likely done, and crushing us with the ever-dreadful feeling of It Knows Something You Don't. Still neat, nonetheless, I didn't realize the game actually DID make a die-roll for the cat's survival!
 
I kinda' feel like you shouldn't have shown us the results, and simply left us with the guilt of what we've likely done, and crushing us with the ever-dreadful feeling of It Knows Something You Don't.
Nobody knows who I am in the scoreboard :) I'll probably keep that a secret for all eternity :cool:
 
And now all that's left is to tally the votes and present the results. With these many entries, it's gonna take a while... ^^'
What happens if in the next GMC Jam, there is a google form that voters fill up so it will be easier for you guys trying to tally everything? I'm not sure if such was done last time. This is my first GMC Jam.
 
What happens if in the next GMC Jam, there is a google form that voters fill up so it will be easier for you guys trying to tally everything? I'm not sure if such was done last time. This is my first GMC Jam.
I'm sure Alice could answer better, but I don't think that would work well.

I like seeing reviewer feedback and its relation to how they rank my game. So are we expecting everyone to enter their rankings multiple times?

The requirement for being a GMC member would also mean the user email would need to match the form submission.

I'm more in support of the suggestion in the new jam player thread about parsing the forum voting thread. But unless the person tallying has an issue with the method they already use, what's the issue we're trying to fix?

If/when the new jam player comes out, one could possibly export a ranking file to attach in the voting thread, and those that don't have it could be added manually.
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
No special ranking files should be needed - if we seek to automate the tallying process, the player-exported list should be easy enough to scrape (e.g. as list closely following a "Full ranking" plaintext) and compare with the list of entries. And if the reviewer didn't give player-exported rating, there's a good chance they wouldn't attach a tally-compatible file, either.

Might want to automate it as a part of the Jam Player overhaul. The existing ratings should provide enough of test cases for the scraping mechanism.

(on a side note, I'm re-checking the votes right now; after that, I'll compile the results; this might take about 2 hours or so)
 
By added manually I was referring to the person not attaching a file still being added to the tally. Depending on the changes to the Jam Player I may or may not be using it - just means I'll be adjusting my plaintext export to comply. :)

But I agree that a file export is unnecessary.

Thanks for doing what you do!
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
@Neo_Kesha Responding to some answers you made:

Moment: This is not related to topic of the Jam!
Clarification:
On basic level, hero didn't know that he'd choose almost blindly among 16 combinations of ingredients, which antagonist knew. Also fact that main antagonist would try to eat us was "hidden".
But on the deeper level, it was that you stuck in the time loop, where spider antagonist is your mutated sister, that keeps restarting time in attempts to consume your soul in their dimension. And only way to get out of that loop - get ingredients right. Also at final bossfight boss supposed to drop some phrases clarifying fact, that, for some reason, even tho main hero died a lot, something deep inside won't let them kill him off eternally. But that was scrapped because of time reasons.
Actually, I had these sorts of thoughts that
There are some time loops at play, and the spider lady actually wants the protagonist to succeed. I didn't yet reconcile it with the idea that she tried to eat the protagonist back then, but then she wasn't acting consistently as a villain, either. These ingredient choices thing might be a little forced by the theme, since it'd be easier to either plant the correct ingredients from the first place - if aiming for recovery - or not give access to them at all - if aiming for devouring. But I suppose with spider lady being internally torn it sort of works.

Also, regarding the time manipulation abilities,
I take that both the protagonist and his sister are from Joestar bloodline and have The World abilities?
I mean, even in the intermission cutscene it looked like spider lady stabbed the protagonist with something, might as well been an arrow.
Not gonna lie, when I used the timestop ability, I was literally whispering/thinking "toki wo tomare" to myself.

--------------------

Moment: Was someone on your team was inspired by Ib?
Clarification: I love Ib! Great game. But i think paintings are more "Rogue Legacy" style of. And that was completely unintentional!
Ah, I haven't seen much Rogue Legacy, so I couldn't have made that connection. The connection to Ib was mostly the fact that it involved spooky supernatural paintings.
I also enjoyed Ib a lot. That's the only game from these well-known Japanese horror games from that era, mostly because:
I knew it has a good ending - even if it has some bittersweet notes - and that ending isn't invalidated by "true" ending.
It's just that when I play a game, I like to know/believe that whatever hardships I go through, I'll be rewarded somehow in the end.

On a side note, for me the actual true ending of Ib is "True Guertena Exhibit".
It has "True" in its name, and after you complete all the other routes you have all main characters safe and sound in the same reality. What else do you need? ^_^

--------------------

Moment: damn, plain text in the end of game
Clarification:
*kicks tengg carcass*
Yup, he's dead! Original plan was that i didn't want to create complex cutscene engine for jam game so i asked TenGG to do simply storyboards with quality of draft concepts, looking at how he made few in ten minutes. Tho he made ultra quality storyboards and died internally at the end of jam and i made those text boards so you at least won't get badly drawn bubbles of Russian text with swears.
Now I'm intrigued what kind of Russian text with swears would that be. I think I could even read what it sounds like, though not necessarily with comprehension.
But yeah, as a person who generally tries to complete most Jam games* I'm particularly pleased when an ending is rewarding, and disappointed when it's lackluster or there's no closure in the first place - even more so when there's lots of gameplay itself which requires some time (glances at System Purge). In this case, at least there was an appropriate conclusion, but I'd prefer if it included matching artwork as well.

If I were to make my entry and actually managed to include some conclusion, I'd focus my cutscene artistic efforts first at the ending, then perhaps at the beginning, and then at intermissions. Note that this approach comes from me, who usually completes Jam games when feasible and also tries to include measures to make completion easier available for reviewers. When appealing to people who don't spend as much time playing and completing games, focusing on first impressions might be more important, changing the priorities to beginning > ending > intermissions. At any rate, I'd recommend getting the setup and the conclusion first if possible, and then add as much content as you have time for.

*Towards the late voting I was skipping more difficult entries because of lack of time; still managed to get a good ending in yours on the third try.
 

Micah_DS

Member
It was a good jam, guys! I'm glad I participated. I read all of your feedback and took note. I'm very grateful for every word. It truly helps me become better at developing games. I hope my feedback did the same for others. Hopefully I wasn't too harsh. I felt like I might have been on a few entries. Hopefully my constructive intent was clear and useful, even in the more harsh comments.

BTW, if anyone is interested in seeing my devlog+retrospect for Know Dungeon, which reveals how a gameplay-focused game became a lame humor storytelling-focused game, here it is:
DAY 01

○ I have work today so I just recorded random gibberish, since the only thing I know I want at this time are "NUTS GONER" characters. ;)
If you don't know, feel free to search for "nuts goner" here on GMC to become just that much more part of the GMC family.​
(After Note: I had no idea that recording these voices would be such a terrible mistake, leading to excessive lame humor, while also not being a mistake, playing a major role in ensuring my game became 'something' in the end, despite the problems I faced that led to major time-sinks which prevented the addition of some real gameplay.)​

DAY 02

○ After a half hour of brainstorming, I decided on the basic concept:
You are stuck in a pitch black dungeon with minimal light sources. Therefore, you need information. So you have your trusty MAGIC CRYSTAL BALL, which knows things you don't. It'll be your guide in the darkness.​
But great information comes at a cost - mana.​
{After Note: The mana mechanic obviously didn't make it in)​
○ UNNECESSARY TIME-SINK 1:
Took an hour to make the player sprite and wall tile… My time management is on point!​
(After Note: I was afraid that using plain shapes would hinder my enthusiasm, which is why I started with some graphics. However, in hindsight, I feel this was a bad idea. Next time, I plan to try doing gameplay first, and graphics second)​
○ I edited some of my gibberish audio from yesterday.
I went back to my audio at this point, mostly with the purpose of trying to see if any of it matched the player character well enough. Some of it did, so I marked those samples to use. I also made a couple SFX from the gibberish, but I'm reserving the bulk of sound design for much later, so I didn't do much here just yet.​
○ I ate a blueberry muffin, like an animal.
You could say, I WOLFED it down. Yes, this is relevant to the development (no, it's not).​
○ Created a sort of roadmap for myself, to help me progress and manage my time better.
○ Began coding.
Going super basic in many regards, since I haven't programmed any games for quite a while.​
○ UNNECESSARY TIME-SINK 2:
Added a viewport and camera, but I struggled a lot in remembering how the camera system worked in GMS2, so I lost a lot of time on this. I definitely should've done a refresh on it before the jam.​
○ Created lights which will be placed sparingly in the dungeons (too much light will ruin the whole concept).
No shader stuff, because I'm a shader noob. The lighting method I used can be learned here:​
A good choice for a game jam or in prototyping, but not something I'd see myself using in a serious/complete game.​
○ Created a background tile, and it tiles pretty well. Nice.
○ Added animation code, and made my character animated.
The character appears very, VERY scared, and cute, surpassing my low self-expectations! Ah, satisfaction.​
○ UNNECESSARY TIME-SINK 3:
I realized I wasted time getting nowhere, partly due to just looking at and laughing at my character animation (ah... satisfaction), but ultimately I wasted time due to having no more roadmap left to follow. Once I realized this was why I was losing so much time, I began planning the next steps. So I'm taking note of this for myself in future jams:​
DON'T LET YOUR ROADMAP RUN OUT - ALWAYS HAVE A NEXT STEP READY.​
○ I added in torches.
Because the light obviously needed to be produced by something. BTW, torches in this dungeon are blueish, because the lighting 'engine' can only do pure white and blue felt like it looked more like it could produce that light, but that blue color doesn't look natural, thus they're "mana torches"! This was one of those exceptionally indie dev moments. A thing being a thing because "limits". Well, that's a jam thing too, but whatever.​
○ I took some time to figure out the story + added a text engine.
Basically, the player character wakes up to find themselves in a dark dungeon. The goal is to escape with your magic ball acquaintance. The end will show them escaping.​
At this point, I've realized I need to make some story play out in a somewhat involved way, so I decided to adapt some text engine code from a previous project of mine. This will be reflected in my credits, of course.​
○ I created a crystal ball sprite which will show with the textbox when the crystal talks.
○ UNNECESSARY TIME-SINK 4:
A lot of time went into trying to make colored text that I wanted to use for when characters think, but my code needed too much reworking (especially in the string parsing code) to make it happen, so I scrapped the idea.​
(After Note: Even though I ended up using a simplified version of this once at the very end, it was a totally worthless thing to add.)​
○ Did a bunch of tweaks to the camera, UI plans, text engine, etc.
Notable things:​
-- 1 -- I had planned to have the play area more square-shaped with its screen port to the left, leaving a strip on the right side to be used as an info feed where the crystal ball reveals things to you. But this felt very 'off', due to the game area not being centered, I guess. On top of that, I was having a lot of trouble figuring out how the mechanics should work and if the info feed would need so much space, or if would even be a thing at all. In the end, I decided to use the entire screen with no part strictly for info. Since things were now centered up, it felt properly focused.​
-- 2 -- The textbox engine needed more juice, so I polished it a bit. For one thing, textboxes immediately appeared and it was jarring, so I added a quick fade in. Additionally, I made the textbox character pic swoop up in the animation. Hard to explain but I like how it looks and feels. TBH, I got the idea from Cave Story's textbox pic animations. I'm sure many games do things like this, but I first noticed it in Cave Story.​
○ SADNESS!
Heard a thunderstorm, but didn't think it was too bad sounding, annnnnd then power went out for a split second, giving my PC a hard reset. Ugh, my poor computer. Hate that. At the very least, I have a high quality power conditioner / surge protector, because storms taking out power has been an issue here in the past as well, so I was as prepared as I could be. Still, it really sucks. Anyway, my computer seems to be okay, and no progress was lost either, so it could've been worse, I guess.​

DAY 03

○ UNAVOIDABLE TIME-SINK 1:
OOF! Life was all like, "Heh, I know something you don't". A lot of disturbances/distractions today. But I'm sure this is how it is for almost every jammer. I guess I'll view it as part of the charm and challenge.​
○ Began writing a lot more on my roadmap.
Just to keep me focused and moving today. Most notably, I've been working out stuff regarding the crystal ball's mechanics, UI, HUD, and how the mechanics will be introduced.​
○ Working on adding the surroundings/sense indicator thing.
Got my basic graphics done for it. Now to program the array of surroundings and to make it cycle through and display the correct icons and positioning.​
○ Got the surroundings indicator coded!
I'm definitely really far behind where I want to be though. I might not get this done.​
○ I finally got the intro tutorial to a good enough place.
Introducing the setting, characters, and mechanics.​

-- HERE COMES THE DECISIVE POINT WHERE ALL MY DREAMS OF ACTUAL GAMEPLAY FOR THIS GAME DIE --

○ UNAVOIDABLE TIME-SINK 2:

OOF, okay, the "sense indicator" is one of those things that didn't work out as I thought it would, and it required a MASSIVE time sink to make it play in a good enough way.​
My initial idea was to have the circle indicator appear centered horizontally, but vertically it'd either be above or below the player (the player is center screen). But this just didn't play well. It felt confusing, it was blocking too much of the space, and it felt cluttered. That's all bad, very bad. So I realized the sense indicator needs to only appear when the player isn't visible in light. After making that change and playing it a bit, it was then that I realized it needs to be centered, where the player is. But even then, it was feeling too jarring when it switched back and forth from sensing in the dark to walking in the light. It just wasn't conveying to the player properly what was going on. But I had to make it work somehow, because this was my core mechanic, and I didn't know what else I could do to replace it.​
Eventually, I realized the main issue was that I needed the sense indicator to have representations of all the content you see in the light, so things don't seem to disappear, thus giving a confusing and jarring disconnect. In explaining, at first, I didn't have a player icon in the center of the sense indicator, so when you went out of the light, it was like the player disappeared. Also, my coloring of things wasn't very close to what you see in the light, for e.g., the walls were white on the indicator, and the flooring needed work as well. Once I realized this, I created a player icon, I also made various other adjustments to the sense indicator's graphics to help the connection between sensing and normal play. FINALLY, it felt good enough, but that was easily the biggest time-sink so far, and now I'm in trouble… the game is so empty. This took the time I was supposed to have to make gameplay elements. It's amazing how many things can come up that you would never think of, especially when trying something a bit unique that other games (to my knowledge) haven't explored.​
(After Note: I didn't log this at the time, but at this point, I took a step back, looked at my remaining time left, tried to measure how much time it'd take to add my puzzles, enemies, etc., and it just wasn't viable to make this game what I had planned - I had to rethink it, based on what my game was currently doing strongly.Seeing that I had a text engine in place, lots of zany/weird voices, etc., I decided it was necessary to change my game's goal of being gameplay-focused to story-focused. And this is why my game became a fairly well-polished joke game.​
I see in the reviews that many of you caught on to what happened though. It's true, I wasn't able to make the game I planned, and the game went a different direction mid-way through, after the main mechanic was in place. You guys caught me on that.​
Of course, I couldn't just leave in meaningless half-finished gameplay. It needed a purpose. So I did my best to play into the theme with it by integrating it with the new focus being story-telling as opposed to the old focus being gameplay, and I was glad to see that some reviewers noted it and liked it. It's as if the game tries to deceive the player into thinking it'll be a real game, only to later reveal it's not. Of course, this was a dangerous decision, because I didn't want it to frustrate anyone, and that's why I made it extra short and easy, allowing the player to get to the joke pretty fast to not feel much investment. I'm happy to see that - based on everyone's feedback - it seems I did well enough in saving the gameplay by re-focusing it in line with the theme.)​

○ Got the first level finalized, tutorial and all (I mean, it's basically just a tutorial anyway, not a level). Just needing the stairs to progress upward.
○ Staircases implemented. Transitions to next room with a juicy animation, given a little shaking and fading while ascending.
○ Did a lot of various small things.
○ UNNECESSARY TIME-SINK 5: I fell into the trap of polishing fairly meaningless things.
○ The game can be beaten now, complete with an ending that's not just a black screen with text.
○ Feeling both regret and amusement at what my game is becoming… I just added a touch to the ending on a whim. I'm not sure if it's one of the best minimal efforts I've done or one of the lamest things, but right now, I dig it.
(After Note: At the time of writing this, I was thinking I'd post my devlog on my game post, so I tried to be spoiler free. Anyway, the thing I was referring to here was adding myself in as a sort of antagonist in the ending scene)​
○ Got the main final roadmap laid out.
○ Halfway coded some clickable option buttons for audio and closing the game.
○ Gonna try to sleep for just a few hours. Hopefully I don't totally crash.
(After Note: I totally crashed.)

DAY 04

○ Began working on the music.
I ended up taking 4 hours on it because I tried to do things that didn't work out. In the end, I like the music I made, so it's fine. It's a bit of an odd arrangement, not exactly fitting as it should, but it's almost on purpose. I just had to throw in the Zelda reference. I am a simple man: If I can Zelda, I will Zelda.​
○ Began editing the SFX.
Using my music track as reference so I can mix them to play together well. This is the first time I tried doing that.​
(After Note: In hindsight, I should've made them sound good in mono. I was a bit greedy and tried to make the voices as good as possible, so I went stereo with all sounds, which is why my game was a bit over 20 MB. In the future, I'll do that same thing, but I'll make my sounds work with the music as mono sounds. Apologies to your HDD/SSD and internet for my audio quality greed.)​
○ Spent a lot of time editing my day 1 voice recordings.
Because I want to give the crystal ball personality. It'll be worth it. My game is going to be all about him now, honestly, so this is necessary.​
○ Finally completed editing all the sounds. Wow, forgot how tedious that can be!
○ All audio is in the project. Now to put it in the code!
○ All option buttons are now perfect.
You can even close the game (LOL!), and I added a quick smooth fade out in both music and graphics on it. TBH, I focused too much on polish this time, and not enough on content. But I did do something smart after I noticed, but I can't ruin that here.​
(After Note: "but I can't ruin that here" - Well, I could have, as I decided to not post my devlog until after everyone played my game, just to be sure the 'surprises' in the game didn't get ruined for anyone. Anyway, the "something smart" was what I mentioned in my longest 'after note' above, being that I took a step back to re-focus the game based on what my game currently had, playing to its strengths, which was storytelling and humor, not gameplay.)​

THE BIGGEST UNAVOIDABLE ISSUE I HAD DURING THIS JAM:

I didn't want to say this until voting was over, for reasons, but I've been dealing with a fairly extreme health issue. During the jam time, it was bad enough to sap much of my focus and energy and I had to rest a lot. That's why I said I probably wouldn't make anything big. I had no way to measure exactly how much it would hinder me, but I thought I had a general idea og how much time and energy I'd have anyway. Well, it seems I was a bit too optimistic; I struggled more than I thought I would. But hey, life happens, and I'm honestly happy with what I ended up with anyway, because most of you guys had a good time with it, and that's what I always aim for with my games, and I don't always achieve it, so yeah, I'm happy.
And in the interest of avoiding sympathy messages (i.e. my personality type doesn't receive those well, lol), I see no need nor have any desire to go into detail about my health issue, but if anyone is concerned, I would like to put your concerns to rest by saying that I am holding out well enough until I can see a doctor. I'm in a good mental and emotional state. I am on extended leave from work as of last weekend, and things are currently a bunch of unknowns right now, but it probably sounds worse than it is, and nothing good will come from worrying about it anyway. (BTW no, it's not related to COVID-19)

Stay healthy, everyone! :)
 
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I tried PM'ing but keeps saying 'something went wrong', so i have put them all in a zip folder and your have to download it from my itch.io page. :)
Wow, this is really awesome!!! Thank you for taking the time to do all this, and for the VERY generous review of my game, (It Hungers) which bombed horribly due to poor controls. It's people like you that make this whole community on fire for making games. Cheers!
 
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