Cracked Crusaders - out now :D

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  • Yo, this is finished :)

    Cracked Crusaders, A SNES-inspired platformer designed specifically for mobile play. You are a hero attempting to free the land of evil. Delve into a hundred different dungeons across multiple environments as you search for the origin of the critters overrunning the land.

    With over 100 levels and a dozen bosses, you'll need to make the most of the weapon and item upgrades available for purchase between levels. Earn extra stars by beating dungeons quickly or by clearing out all the baddies in a level so that you can buy the best gear and increase your chances of survival.

    With multiple endings, can you beat all the dungeons and unlock the true dungeon master?

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  • I gave it a good play, here is some of my feedback :

    - 3 stars seems impossible to achieve, time limit + all critters must be killed?

    - If time limit is important to 3 star achievement it should probably be shown during gameplay

    - Bats are too overpowered, plus they move very slowly and follow you through the whole level meaning you have to wait for them. They should really follow you only to a certain range in the level or you feel you must wait to kill them or run through the dungeon being chased by them. Also what makes them more overpowered is the control scheme can be clunky and slow at times, turning in the right direction can be difficult whilst the jump cannot be predicted very well making them difficult to hit, the button response might need some improvement too or perhaps they need to be bigger

    - As above, control scheme seems fine but the response was a bit off for me

    - I upgraded my weapon but it didnt do anything other than act as a blocker for progressing through the level, that didnt feel great. It doesnt do any more damage but rather acts as a metroidvania type game, where i dont have the choice to upgrade but its a necessity and when i have upgraded it, the weapon has no real difference

    - The levels are too difficult, even with a refillable potion I feel like it's way too hard and it doesnt feel fun but I think this is because of the star rating looming in the background

    - All items are hidden so I dont feel like I want to progress to unlock any of them, if i could see what they were but they are locked it might entice me more

    - I was shown how to use a ladder in the tutorial but then didnt see one after that

    - There is a focus on moving the camera with your finger to look around the dungeon first but that seems counter-intuitive when there is also a focus on time limit

    Summary : maybe that's all going to sound quite negative but that was my feedback of the experience. It's got some potential but it needs some balancing. I think to resolve a bunch of these problems you should remove the time limit and star rating completely from the game, it isn't fun and doesnt work with other gameplay features you've added. Because of the difficulty in the game it would work better as just discovering and strolling through the dungeon, battling through it and given time to use the signposts, move the camera around, talk to NPCs, that seems fine on its own; the rating, time limit and enemy count, putting an emphasis on mad rushing through these dungeons just seems wrong for this particular game, but only my opinion.

  • I gave your game a test run, its cool I like it. Youve got some funny characters happening, and a little story. I like how the hero is a bit of a loser that the villagers got stuck with coz the real heros were off doing more important things. I think quirky / fun aspects of a game can boost its chances of being featured. So keep focusing on that Id say. You've obviously put a lot of hours in. Here's some feedback.

    -I think it deserves better music. You might consider putting some money down to get a composer to make some nicer 8 bit tunes for it.

    -I think the collision areas for your controls need to be a bit bigger. I kept missing the jump and attack buttons at critical times, causing me to lose hp. But it could be fixed easily by just expanding the collision area around the buttons.

    -I agree with plinkie that the timer needs to be visible in-game. You need to be able to easily see if you are within your best time or already blown it. I dont think you should remove the timer altogether because I think there are communities of gamers who are really into speed running games. They make twitch videos showing their speed runs etc. So its actually a good feature, you can target that niche. But it definitely changes the game from being an exploring type game to a speed runner. One way to to deal with it could be to provide a toggle in settings to turn speed run on and off. Initially people might play it as an exploring game, searching each level thoroughly to kill the enemies / search for secrets / power ups etc. Then later once they've played the game through, there is the option to toggle on speed run mode, and get crazy trying to shave fractions of a second off their best times for each level etc.

    Or that might be completely different to what you were trying to achieve. Just thoughts.

  • Hi

    Thanks for the feedback.

    The whole speedrun/clearing out levels was meant as a way to go back and replay the levels and earn extra stars. It's not actually possible to speedrun a level plus clear it out in the same run, nor can you speedrun a level until you know how to beat it as you wouldn't know where to go. Once you get a star for a level, it gets saved and you can't lose it. I can see how this might be confusing when a lot of mobile games require certain conditions to be met in a single run before handing out 3 stars. Clearly, I need to emphasize this more, I will add something in the tutorial about this, plus something in the first couple of levels. My intention with this style was always to encourage the player to take their time on the first run, then come back later if they want to really challenge themselves.

    I did have a timer there for a bit, but removed it for the sake of having less clutter on the screen. I may consider an option that toggles it on or off.

    I hear you on the bats, they were actually more powerful before :D I'm thinking I'll take them out of the first bunch of levels until players get a better feel for the controls. Will replace them with one of the easier first world enemies such as the skeletons. I also plan to add a variable jump control which will hopefully address your point on the jumps being hard to control - so basically a quick tap for small jump, long press for larger one.

    I'm still playing around with the best way to represent the shop. I like the idea of having some items available to look at right away, so I think this is a good idea. Regarding the whole Metroidvania thing you mention, the first purchase was designed to teach players how to use the shop, so progress is only blocked for as long as the player doesn't go into the shop and buy the first sword. Once you get that first weapon there are no more blockers, meaning you can beat the rest of the game with just the iron sword (not recommended). Still, I hear you, and will look at opening up some more purchases early on.

    Can I ask what you're background is when it comes to these types of games and what type of device you're playing on?


  • Hi Artpunk

    You posted as I was typing a reply to Plinkie, so I missed this at first. Thanks for the feedback.

    Some of the music is pretty bad, I agree with you there. The songs are a bit placeholderish until I can get something better in there.

    Plinkie also mentioned the collision boxes for the buttons so clearly I need to get back and see about this. The collision boxes are currently bigger than the buttons, but now I'm wondering if they're too close to each other which is causing the wrong button to accidentally be pressed (the pitfalls of making a platformer on a touch device I guess). I'll look into it.

    I mentioned the timer as being an option in the other post, looks like this'll happen. Now that I think about it, I like the idea of not showing the timer unless the level has been completed at least once. This way the player won't feel rushed on the first play of a level while on a replay they'll have the timer there. Still have an option to turn it on or off as well.

    Can I ask what type of device you're on, your experience with these types of games and how you found the difficulty?


  • Added a timer. Currently set to off by default.

    Also had another look at the jump/attack button collision boxes. Turns out they were overlapping by a couple of pixels, which may have caused the wrong button to be tapped if it was right in that zone. Have separated them a bit further so hopefully that will help.


  • I didnt find it too difficult. It seems to have a pretty good balance of being challenging without being mercilessly hard or something.

    Im using a Pixel2 and the game plays very smoothly. I haven't noticed any janks or jerkiness at all.

    Can I ask what process you're using to build your apk?

  • sure,

    I'm using the C3 runtime with the stable channel.

    I'm exporting through Cordova using the C3 export options. All export options off, hide status bar on, and min version +5.0 (Lollipop) which is by default, though I don't get good performance on old phones using that OS so will probably restrict to newer OSes before proper release.

    Using signed APK which is a requirement of the Play Store, though prior to that was getting the same performance with debug APKs.

    I mainly just followed the guide on the Construct main page for building mobile APKs.

  • My experience with those games, well I like rogue-like dungeon crawlers, platformers and RPG and adventure games, and I have tried to make my own rogue dungeon crawler but the scope was too large in the end :) I am on an android pretty old Samsung S5.

    Yes with the stars that wasn't obvious maybe you could change it to ticks so it looks more like a task list.

  • Checklist idea sounds good. I'll have a think on how to best incorporate it.

    How did you find the performance on the s5? I tried it on my son's s4 and the performance was pretty bad in terms of framerate.

  • How do you feel about a strikethrough text effect as a visual indicator for a checklist?

  • It was a little sluggish on the S5 but nothing too crazy, it made it difficult to play against the bats and maybe the response felt a little delayed, probs framerate issue. I didn't mention anything about performance really because I know I'm on an S5 with probably minimum supported OS so no need to highlight it.

  • I just Signed up to test it, but I will test it tomorrow.

  • Couple of updates...

    Replaced the Bat King boss from world 1 with this dragon:

    Added a zoom function, mainly for testing, but good to see how the game plays at a wider zoom.

  • aaaaand... serious question. What do people think if I replaced the player character with a duck and renamed the game to something like 'Quacked Crusaders'?

    Kind of a pain to do at this point, but it would be pretty funny.

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