[Super Awesome!] a retro 2-D adventure

  • <img src="http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w89/Popowigeon/titlescreen01.png" border="0">

    WORK-IN-PROGRESS

    This is the prototype tech demo of a 2-D action/adventure game I have been working on. It will blend heavy storytelling with classic exploratory platforming (like Metroid or Symphony of the Night) and point-and-click adventure games (Monkey Island or Grim Fandago).

    TRY IT HERE!

    The story follows a cynical freelance adventurer named Rad Spencer and his goofy sidekick Goo as they unravel the mystery behind the myth of the Wish-Granter.

    The most unique gameplay feature will be Goo. His body can morph into multiple shapes. He can morph into a hammer to attack enemies and hit switches, a parachute to let Rad fall slowly, a block to weigh down objects, and more!

    As it stands, the tech demo only has one short area to explore, the dialog system is missing, and Goo can only turn into a hammer. I'm already at the max 100 events for the free edition, but once I get my hands on a full version, it won't take long to add the rest.

    Also, the kickstarter page for donations hasn't gone live yet, so the link will only take you to the temporary one.

    Give it a go and let me know what you think.

  • RandomFellow

    I love it... like the Goo feature.. love Rad' character and how he keeps his hands in his pockets the animations are great.. and the art style is really good..

  • Awesome! <img src="smileys/smiley2.gif" border="0" align="middle" /> Will you be able to duck or avoid anything? I more than once got hit while waiting for the hammer to hit the target because it ran out of power. Then again, it may be just my skills..

  • Thanks, Mineet! I'm really trying to give it a unique look.

    Will you be able to duck or avoid anything? I more than once got hit while waiting for the hammer to hit the target because it ran out of power.

    Oh yeah, that's definitely on the books. I was running short on events so I had to cut a few things out. I was looking at Hazneleil's Platformer+ Enhanced plug-in to fix this.

    Though I think you're right. I added a few too many Quiller enemies and they shoot rather frequently. I might have to cut out a few or lengthen the time between shots. What do you think?

  • Just had a few minutes to play this. Here are some random things I picked up on:

    • I really dig the visuals. They're crisp and clean and definitely oldschool, without feeling like cop-out "programmer graphics".
    • The animations for the coin pickup and monster splats are slick. Also very clean - nicely done there.
    • In the beginning, when jumping on the snowy roofs, I found that I was expecting to land a little higher up on them. Having some snow behind Rad doesn't make visual sense.
    • The power meter seems pointless at this stage. Since so many enemies require the hammer to be used to kill them, I found myself quickly getting irritated because I couldn't use what screams to me as the primary weapon. I suggest offering players perhaps a weaker weapon with unlimited usage, and then switching to the hammer as a stronger, more resource-intensive weapon.
    • The Goo lags behind too far when I'm walking quickly (eg: after clearing an area), and I can't see what's in front of Rad. I get that you want the camera to follow the Goo, but I highly recommend that you reconsider to make it follow Rad instead, or perhaps change it based on how far Rad is to the edge of the screen.
    • I'm falling through some platforms and getting stuck on others. You should check that the collision polygons are lining up properly.
    • Sometimes a slime monster was on top of Rad's head. I think it was because I jumped up underneath it.
    • It's not always obvious what I can jump on. Most games of these sort use visual cues to help the player - eg: lighter objects can be jumped on, darker objects are to be considered "in the background" and can't be jumped on.
    • I find that there are times when I'd expect that I'd be able to jump on a monster, but instead I take damage. I think it's just the hitboxes that need more testing.
    • More of a game design thing: why can Rad kill slime monsters by jumping on him? Does he have magical shoes that protect him from harm?

    I'm looking forward to the point-and-click stuff. To be honest it was the mention of that feature that pushed me to actually try out this demo, and not seeing it was kind of disappointing. I'd be very wary of going the Kickstarter route with even the mention of Monkey Island without first proving to potential backers that you're going to deliver just that. Gamers are a fickle bunch.

    Stick with it - you're off to a great start!

  • Very well made, good graphics!

    However, game fighting mechanics needs more KA-POW!

  • Really awesome as the title of the game says. Nice gameplay and great graphics. Congratulations! <img src="smileys/smiley32.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • Absolutely love the art style! Lookin good!

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  • Nice :D

    Reminds me a little of "A Boy and his Blob" on the NES :D

    ~Sol

  • Thanks for all the kind words, guys!

    That's a lot of useful info I hadn't thought about, GeometriX! I'm pretty sure it's the ramps that are making players fall through platforms. I'll play around with their position and see if I can fix it.

    My first intention with the power meter was to persuade players to jump on the majority of enemies (slimes and such) and save the hammer for ones like the quiller. I didn't implement that very well. I might make it so that the hammer just knocks back squishy enemies like the slime, so you have to jump on them. Oh, and I always pictured jumped on enemies is like jumping on a bug with both feet. SPLAT!

    To be honest it was the mention of that feature that pushed me to actually try out this demo, and not seeing it was kind of disappointing. I'd be very wary of going the Kickstarter route with even the mention of Monkey Island without first proving to potential backers that you're going to deliver just that. Gamers are a fickle bunch.

    I actually never thought of that... I can't add anything more to this demo, but it might be a good idea to make another one with all the fat trimmed and just make it about the puzzles. What do you think?

    Thanks again for all the suggestions!

  • To be perfectly honest, I think you should spend a bit of cash and buy the personal version to crank out a demo that's an accurate representation of the final product. There are so many games (and so many promises) on Kickstarter right now. Coming along as a "nobody" with little more than hopes and dreams won't pay the bills. You need to prove to the public that you're able to deliver on your promises, and nothing boosts confidence like a fully playable demo, or at least a gameplay video showing a solid playthrough of the main features.

    As it stands, I'd say your demo is a touch on the short side, but workable, so I definitely wouldn't recommend cutting out anything. Kickstarters that haven't even reached the alpha phase (i.e.: a vertical slice of your game - at least a glimpse of every main feature) almost never reach funding.

  • I know this trees from somewhere, but didn't remember where =]

    Nice graphics, do you plan any story behind the scenes?

  • The sad thing is that's all I'm really wanting from the kickstarter donations. I'm not looking for thousands of dollars, just enough to cover the basic program. Something close to $200 is really all I needed, but I see exactly where you're coming from. The last thing I want to come off as is a beggar who doesn't know how big the hole he's digging is getting. It just feels like a catch 22 situation, not having the cash to buy it myself but needing it to get it off the ground. I was planning on adding another area to the plaforming demo though, once I was sure it played well end.

    I know this trees from somewhere, but didn't remember where =]

    I hope not! All the art was made from scratch. XD

    (By the way, your game's art style makes me wanna quit out of jealousy)

    Nice graphics, do you plan any story behind the scenes?

    I've got most of the plot down in stone. Most of the game takes place on Galloway (the Bandit Isle) where it's said a bandit queen hid an underground lake filled with gold and a machine she created that could grant anyone's wish. Rad and Goo "accidently" come across a mechanical compass that's magnetically attracted to gold so what do they do? Why, race a military megalomaniac, three dimwitted wizards, and a sky pirate to the treasure. But along the way, they discover the machine may not be what everyone thinks... (dramatic paaaaaause!)

    Well, that's the jist of it, but it's pretty satirical. It'll make fun of most of the cliche' I end up using.

  • So I've been thinking about this and, even though it's kind of impractical, you could probably get away with using the free version of C2 to make your video, considering your financial restraints.

    See, my thinking was that starting a Kickstarter without actually having made at least the core of all the components of your game that you're promising is kind of unethical, or at the very least asking for trouble. But if you take the time to make, say, a few different demos, each showing different components of the game - stringing them together into one "gameplay" video is a good balance between getting the core work done and showing people what they need to see to become backers.

    That way you've actually made the bits that you're promising - you know that you can do it, and you're able to prove so - and when it comes to building your full game you would have the core/engine work done already. Moving events and objects between projects is cumbersome but doable, and while it'll ultimately make for more work for you, if you manage to get the funding you need then it'll work out in the end.

    The only issue is releasing a playable demo, but you can get away with not having one if your gameplay video is compelling enough. If you can show that you can deliver, then most people will be satisfied.

    With regards to your Kickstarter, I'd suggest definitely aim on the lowish side, but not so low that people don't take you seriously. Bear in mind that most "low-end" Kickstarters seldom go far into stretch goals, so don't budget for it. Something between the $1000-2000 mark should cover your basic software licences (not sure what image editing software you're using, but even something cheap like Graphics Gale will work for your project), outsourcing music and sound effects (although you can generate 8/16-bit SFX for free yourself), and maybe paying for any additional programming or artwork you may need.

    When you do launch your campaign, don't forget to hit up every single gaming/indie site you can find. Any bit of coverage will go a long way - this is one of the biggest mistakes I've seen small groups make.

    Phew, sorry for the lecture, but I like the look of your game and, if you can really pull off what you're aiming for, I think it could be successful.

  • As much useful advice you're throwing my way, you're damn near a co-creator of this game! I appreciate all the help, so don't worry about that lecturing feeling.

    The video is actually a pretty good idea. It'll let me try out a few ideas before I implement them and avoid giving the audience the wrong impression of playing a section of the game that doesn't appear in the final product (Yeah, I'm looking at you, Halo 2).

    On the downside, I'll have to design more set pieces before I launch the funding campaign to give the game more variety. In the end, it won't really matter though. Get the art assets done sooner than later.

    As far as the resources I'll need, I'm wary of asking for as much as $1000 all together. I see a lot of ambitious groups asking for that much and missing their goals by a few hundred dollars. I really only need[\b] the personal license for Construct2. I already own a copy of Photoshop and SAI I use for image editing, and use a free sound editing program called Audacity for foley work and voice recording. Anything else would probably go towards an original soundtrack (as I'm terrible with music) and, eventually, voice actors for most major conversations. Though, I see what you mean. Asking for a low amount gives the impression I'm not really serious about it or I don't have high expectations.

    I've already gotten a head-start on some more levels and puzzle/inventory system. I should have something more to show in the next few weeks.

    Thanks again, GeometriX!

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