Feedback Volcanic Bomb - a metroidvania 2D platformer (Demo on itch.io)

Discussion in 'Work in Progress' started by markfe, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Hello Everyone!

    I have made a development demo of my project Volcanic Bomb.

    You can play it here:
    https://mfe.itch.io/volcanic-bomb-demo

    More images about what I'm working on, here on twitter:
    https://twitter.com/volcanicbomb2D



    I's a 2D Platform Game with metroidvania elements.

    The demo has about an hour of gameplay. (if you play through a 100% with all secrets)


    I have started it as family project with my kids about 1 year ago. Now I wanted to try out the process of publishing and presenting it on itch.io to show it to more people and get some opinions on it :)

    I am looking for all feedback that you can think of!!!!!!
    Especially if you find clunky or awkward spots in the control of the player, gameplay or leveldesign.
    Please tell me about everything that you find improvable!

    (The sound is still work in progress and there is no ambient sound or music yet.)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The game can be played with controller or keyboard.
    Both can be customized.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  2. markfe

    markfe Member

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    The games main platforming mechanics are the "Volcanic Bombs" that you can grab and use. There are different types that you can do different things with:
    - explode on contact
    - throw and explode
    - explode and high jump
    - dash forward
    (and I am working on more)
    [​IMG]


    When you catch the jumping bombs in the air you can use them to do multiple jumps:
    [​IMG]
     
    sitebender likes this.
  3. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    Hey!

    + played it without sounds
    + on a first peek... ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE FONT, it reminds me of day of the tentacle...
    + loved the room transitions
    + why is it necessary to press a key to run? why not doing auto??
    + at first didn't understand the level, but then I saw that the pictures where telling the story.. hehe
    + so, they basically use their son to go and get diamonds, that's child labor! it's illegal lol
    + super cute animations
    + nice graphics

    Didn't find any bugs, maybe some translation errors but no biggies.
     
    markfe likes this.
  4. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Thank's a lot for the feedback!!!

    - the font is called Notalot35

    - Great, you liked the transitions! I spent some time to get that right. I wanted to make the rooms feel a bit like one open world.

    - Right away, I made the running constant and tested it...
    its awesome! Makes the controls simpler and the game more playable with keyboard.
    Its coming in the next update, very soon!

    With that changed, the running could now be the first upgrade... So you can jump higher and reach the Second Zone. Might be the first zone will be the parents house... I will do some rearranging there too.

    - The story.... Yes, it could be a family business :) This is my complicated thinking: The father is painting the pictures of what he wants his son to do... But if you really do that, is up to you...
    I wanted to give it a bit of a openworld feeling were you can explore on you own and just find new places...

    But I am thinking to start the game downstairs so you can skip the pictures and start right away or go back and might be find a small upgrade there...

    - I did you play the English version? I will look at the translation.

    Thanks again! I am super happy about the simpler controls!
     
  5. markfe

    markfe Member

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    I have updated the game:
    https://mfe.itch.io/volcanic-bomb-demo

    The controls are simplified.

    The character is now always in run speed.
    This should make the game more playable with keyboard. (You will still jump higher when running than when standing still).

    I also added some reactive background elements:

    [​IMG]

    And a new splash screen:

    [​IMG]

    This one is a bit boring, but looks a lot cleaner than the old one from the itch.io page.
    I want to concentrate on a bit sleeker design inside the game. This is still not great, but I feel it goes in the right direction.

    For the presentation of the game, I still want to use the drawn pictures:

    [​IMG]

    But I will update those in the future and try to fit them a bit more to the world of the game...
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  6. Graeme Hawkins

    Graeme Hawkins Member

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    Hi, I gave it a quick go!

    I like how the character feels, but I found the keyboard controls a bit confusing (I'm not really used to playing with keyboard tho, so maybe it's just me and I'd get used to it)

    Throwing the bombs felt a bit inconsistent - sometimes when I move and throw it will be thrown away from me, but sometimes it just explodes next to the player. Same for when I'm still, not sure if I'm missing some controls.

    I found pressing space to select in the menus a bit strange too, I'd normally expect to press enter.

    My DS4 was't really working - when I pushed a direction I would keep going until I pressed another, also in the menus I could't go back to a previous menu option - it would only cycle around to the first option if I kept pressing down...

    Good stuff tho, keep up the good work! :D
     
    markfe likes this.
  7. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Thank you for playing! This is exactly the feedback I am looking for :)

    - The bombs are different types, that have different functions. I will change the design and give them more distinctive shapes. I saw other people having the same difficulty when playing.

    What do you thank about this change:
    (throwing bomb , jumping bomb)

    old:
    [​IMG]

    new:
    [​IMG]
    Do you think its better? or still to subtile?


    - I will add the enter key to to the menu, that makes sense.

    - I am investigating the controller issue. I am guessing it has to do with Xinput and DirectInput not beeing properly recognized. This feedback is great, because I was not aware there was a problem!

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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  8. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    First time I notice your project. And definetely interested. :)
     
  9. Graeme Hawkins

    Graeme Hawkins Member

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    No worries! I can't see those images tho...


     
  10. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Strange... in chrome I can see the images but in firefox it just says: "IMG"...
    So here they are attached:
    old:
    old_bombs.PNG

    new:
    new_bombs.PNG
     
  11. Graeme Hawkins

    Graeme Hawkins Member

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    Ah, I see, yeah that's definitely more clear, but I would still consider maybe just having one type of bomb that has different effects depending on what the player is doing. So maybe when the player is moving left or right they'll throw it, but if they're still it'll boost them up? That's basically what I was attempting to do already...
     
  12. markfe

    markfe Member

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    That would make the bomb generic, which would simplify the game.
    But in some cases I need to control which bomb type the player can use. This is because he could reach zones that he is not supposed to go to yet... And also I want to have the possibility to invent a lot of different bomb types further along.
    I am still curious to do a quick test with what your suggested... to see how it feels. You never know without testing :)
     
  13. Graeme Hawkins

    Graeme Hawkins Member

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    Ah ok, that makes sense then. Maybe it was also to do with how the different types are introduced as well - I can't remember exactly how it worked, but it didn't register with me as I was playing - might be worth a re-think :)
     
  14. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I have updated the demo on itch: https://mfe.itch.io/volcanic-bomb-demo

    Thank you for all your feedback. I could use almost every single detail to make the gameplay better.
    There is still a lot of feedback left from other channels for the next round (mostly leveldesign and enemies).
    But I am already up for more! So if you are interested in this kind of game, please play and tell me about everything that could be improved!

    I will post the changelog from itch for what I did for version 0.0.31:

    --------- v0.0.31 ------------

    First some known issues:

    - The old savegames will not work with this version. But they will not be deleted and still work, if you go back to v0.0.28.

    - The controller must be plugged in before launching the game to work properly.


    Changes:

    - Controls are a bit simpler

    - You can now also shoot with what was previously the run button

    - Most PS3 and PS4 controller should now work properly. Though with some PS controllers I am still experiencing a button mashup with two ore more buttons...

    - The Parents house is now more pixelated (there were placeholder images before):

    [​IMG]

    Bombs have a new design and some more effects:

    [​IMG]
    also the “jump” bombs now do some downward damage.


    - I have added switches. Here you can spend your diamonds:

    [​IMG]

    - Those small creatures have not been there before:

    [​IMG]


    - The helmets are introduced as upgrades (there are a lot more helmets coming up)!

    - The menu should be a bit more intuitive.

    - When you start a new game you will now see a tiny intro.

    [​IMG]

    ...and a lot of small changes here and there :)

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

    The biggest issue that I still have to address, is to make the backtracking more exciting.

    Thanks again for all the feedback!
    And please keep it rolling!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
    CMAllen, sitebender and ReidDC like this.
  15. DirectShift

    DirectShift Member

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    I think the best part is the intro... playing with dad and mom *sniff* right in the feels.

    I was thinking about the controls, have you thought about replicating super mario world or donkey kong country?

    there's a button that let's you run, dash and pick things.

    in super mario world, you press "Y" and then mario goes into "running mode", but if he stumbles to an object, then he picks that object. If at any moment you release "Y" then you will throw the object depending in the direction you are moving.

    in donkey kong country, you press "Y" and then diddy (there are various chars) performs a barrel roll and goes into running mode, if he stumbles into an object, he will pick it up. Same as mario, if you release "Y", diddy will throw the object depending in the direction you are moving.

    Maybe that system works better for you! I mean, you can make the player walk, and if you press the button, he will run and pick objects. Release it and he will stop running and throw the object.


    BTW, in what other channels are you showing this game? I'm interested =D
     
    markfe likes this.
  16. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Thank you for playing again!

    I will check out the Donkey Kong controls. I remember playing the old one on the Super Nintendo, but that was about 20 years ago...

    I will try your suggestion to have the run/pickup mode combination. It sounds fun, because it could make the player a bit "crazy" and give some dynamic to the gameplay.

    (I am working on a "game modes" function for testing - to be able to switch between different setups of the players behavior with the press of a button. At the moment I am still hard-coding the changes and that is not the best test setup)

    At the moment the player is always in running mode. But when you carry something, you can not use your weapon. So I was also thinking about merging the attacking and the pickup functions into a single thing , but I had the problem, that sometimes you would want to attack without picking up whatever is in front of you...

    My other channels are:

    1. A friend of mine sent the game to a video game association at the university of Compiegne in France.
    And they gave me a ton of feedback, just like that! Super nice.
    This is the feedback that I am currently working on. The biggest thing they criticized was, that the leveldesign does not really work well with the enemy placement and the mostly horizontal weapons. So to address that, it will take some testing and I am trying new weapons, controls and enemies first and when that works well, I will adjust the levels.

    2. I went to a local game dev event here in Germany. It was my first time to meet real life people for that cause.
    I did not know what to expect, but it was awesome! Super nice people all around. It was super fun to chat with everybody about games, have a look at their games, watch people play my game and get feedback.
    I can totally recommend those event now (even though it was my first one :)
     
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  17. Graeme Hawkins

    Graeme Hawkins Member

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    Hi mate, I had another go on the latest build and it's definitely much better, the different bombs are much more obvious now. I'm playing with keyboard controls, and I found them a bit awkward, especially the jump button being on space. Maybe it would work better if up was jump instead?
     
    markfe likes this.
  18. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Hi there, thanks for playing again!
    Nice to hear that I'm not heading in the wrong direction with the changes :)

    I tried the up button as as "jump" and it has some interesting effects:
    Normally you will fly by a ladder while in the air. You need to press up to hold on to the ladder.
    So now you can jump and just hold the jump button to grab a ladder in the air, which I think is really cool!

    On the other hand: up is also for using things like switches or doors and the player will now jump when using a switch... This is a dilemma!

    I might add this as a preset or test the down button for interactions. At the moment I have one presets for W,A,S,D and one for the arrow keys.

    By the way, I am curious if your DS4 controller is working in this version?
    The one I got for testing is working since the last version (though only with either the joystick or the direction buttons).
     
  19. Graeme Hawkins

    Graeme Hawkins Member

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    Maybe it's just my big hands having trouble with the keyboard, not really used to playing with it anyway. I tried again with the DS4, works perfectly and feels really good :D
     
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  20. markfe

    markfe Member

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    I'm happy the controller works! Thanks for letting me know :)
     
  21. steroho

    steroho Member

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    this looks like something I would totally play
     
  22. AndrewTidey

    AndrewTidey Member

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    Loved it, feels nice and polished and responsive
     
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  23. markfe

    markfe Member

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    That is nice to hear :). At the moment I am tweaking the levels for the next update... Its coming soon!!!
     
  24. markfe

    markfe Member

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  25. GarlicGuy

    GarlicGuy Member

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    I really enjoyed the demo! There was a great sense of how large the world was! Opening in the characters home and seeing the story through pictures was neat. The one-eyed squid dude freaked me out at first, but then I realized he was helping me find keys!
     
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  26. markfe

    markfe Member

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    That is so cool and very encouraging! Thank you for playing! Nice to hear that you made it so far in the game to encounter the squid. It was originally just a new helmet with a key symbol on top that would light up when you were close to a key. But it was not helpful enough.
     
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  27. markfe

    markfe Member

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    At the moment I am working on some new mechanics...
    [​IMG]
     
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  28. melerski

    melerski Member

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    That isometric pixel art scene looks amazing •.•
     
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  29. markfe

    markfe Member

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    Thank you! Actually, what might look a bit isometric is just a simple shadow effect against the background. I'm happy that it gave a bit of a 3D impression. :)
     
  30. markfe

    markfe Member

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    I just realized that my last reply didn't make any sense.... I was looking at the gif when reading "isometric". Didn't think about the pixel art. My brain was just not working right :) thanks again!
     
    melerski likes this.

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