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[KrampusHack 2019] Labyrinth of Lore (not finished) part 2
amarillion
Member #940
January 2001
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Did I already mention that threads lock too soon?

Anyway, following up on the previous thread: I tried out Mark's demo/engine/unfinished game (Using Frank Drebin's binary) and wanted to give some feedback.

First of all, very nice work for such a short time span. Seems like a very solid start to something cool...

Answering your questions

Quote:

1) How much real-estate does the window take up on your screen? It it a 1/2 screen sized window? A mostly all but not quite filling the screen window? A window too large and flows over the desktop?
2) How "dark", aesthetically, does the world screen appear to feel? Do you feel like you're outside at night? Is it too dark? If you have a lot of glare, or there is a beam of sunlight going across your screen are you able to see at all?
3) What did you see/encounter first? Second? Third?
4) Did you try interacting with things? What happened?
5) Where did you go?

1. A mostly all but not quite filling the screen window

2. Not too dark for me, but that's because it's not too frightening yet. I'm used to Minecraft caving and that feels a lot darker, but that might have more to do with the presence of creepers than with the actual light levels. Also, the rendering distance is quite near, so the game could actually be very scary with some enemies.

3-5. First I killed a rat, then picked up a torch (which didn't seem to change much? Can I use it?). Then crossed some water, through a gate and then something called (IIRC) The village of the forgotten, where I got lost.

Movement seems a bit slow, which takes the fun out of exploring a bit IMHO. Good call on the ambient music though, that definitely helps set the mood.

--
Martijn van Iersel | My Blog | Sin & Cos | Tegel tilemap editor | TINS 2017

Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
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Thread does look too soon, no doubt.

I wanted to reply to the other thread, but was still holding onto the idea that I would be able to make and release enough updates in response to the criticisms, but alas, work has taken some time.

I did just pick up a new Windows laptop, and just ran though the whole Windows 10 first-time setup process (they're really pushy with Cortana, Microsoft accounts, adding "not ads" to the start menu and side bars, and sharing usage data :( ). Anyway, I had enough time to past setting it up with mingw and git, and compiled my first c++ binary in git bash. Not to bad.

I've definitely needed to add Windows to my build setup, so that's on its way.

First of all, very nice work for such a short time span. Seems like a very solid start to something cool...

Thank you very much. I think it has a lot of potential. I didn't want to give up on what it could be and come up with something "scoped down" that I wasn't happy with.

Quote:

Not too dark for me, but that's because it's not too frightening yet.

That's good. It should be almost "just bearable" when the torch is not on (which in this version is always the case.) . Your eyes should almost adjust to it, and once you activate the first torch light it should feel like the whole thing got actually really bright.

Quote:

First I killed a rat, then picked up a torch (which didn't seem to change much? Can I use it?).

Yeaup, no items can be used yet. The item is actually added to your inventory, but you have no way to view, select, or activate any inventory items.

Quote:

Movement seems a bit slow, which takes the fun out of exploring a bit IMHO.

Ok, that's good to know. That would make 1/3 reviewers so far indicating moving too slowly and I'm partway on the fence myself. I haven't found just the right gameplay solution to fix that yet, but during my personal playing of the game, sometimes I wanted to go faster, and other times I enjoyed the ambience forced by the slow movement. The solution is going to be somewhere between 1) speeding up the normal walking speed 2) adding a "dash" feature similar to legend of zelda 3) introducing an item, items, or spells, that can be equipped or cast and increases movement speed, or 4) some combination of all of them. I don't want to lose out on ambience, so that might factor in as well.

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First I killed a rat

That's kinda neat. It takes 3 hits and there's no indication that attacking the rat actually does anything until after it dies. What compelled you to keep attacking? SiegeLord said the same thing.

It points me to 3 main "gameplay balancing points" that were unearthed, that I feel I really need to get right for this genre:

1) How much of the gameplay is just pure exploration and toying with interactions freely?
2) How much gameplay should be scoped down to more narrowly-focused sets of objectives?
3) How much gameplay needs to be "apparent" and how much can be tucked behind much more obscure interfaces?

The current plan for the gameplay has distinct required primary objectives, with several areas inaccessible until those objectives are met. On top of that is a layer of open possibilities to interact with the remaining items/elements/characters/etc (that have no substantial affect on core objectives).

For exploring, I wouldn't want to add things so obscure that it makes people paranoid - like having hidden doors that are not visually noticeable, making people go around clicking on every single wall and that would suck.

I think it's also neat that Elias stumbled into the Abandoned Temple 8-). That's a lot of walkin around to run into that by chance. :). The temple door is intended to eventually only be opened after casting a spell, I didn't think anybody would actually fall into it.

One thing I realized, and I think this feedback reinforces it, is that if the ambience is right, just the mood alone can carry gameplay much further than I had originally thought. There's a lot to that :)

amarillion
Member #940
January 2001
avatar

That's kinda neat. It takes 3 hits and there's no indication that attacking the rat actually does anything until after it dies. What compelled you to keep attacking? SiegeLord said the same thing.

Well, that might also have to do with our desire to try out all aspects of the game and some willingness to overlook UI problems, in our role as competition reviewers. I would definitely prefer that the game provides some feedback that the attack succeeded, even if it's just some sound effect.

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How much gameplay needs to be "apparent" and how much can be tucked behind much more obscure interfaces?

But be careful not to make it like those old point & click adventures where you had to hunt for the right pixel to click (like Myst?). As a gameplay mechanic, that is largely discredited by now. It's a fine balance, it's easy to discourage the player with a difficult interface.

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just the mood alone can carry gameplay much further than I had originally thought

I agree wholeheartedly with that. If you can identify the mood that you want to convey, and convey it successfully, that adds an extra dimension to the game.

--
Martijn van Iersel | My Blog | Sin & Cos | Tegel tilemap editor | TINS 2017

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