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SH*TRAIN

  • Hi there,

    here's a Action/RPG (think Zelda or Castlevania ..) I started to create,

    there's now, I think, 1 hour game to beat the game. No proper ending for now, but when you beat the "Spider Supermodels", you've reach the end.

    I warn you : if the gameplay is somehow classic, the shape of it is quite "experimental" and, I think, disturbing.

    But I think it's pretty hard to do for some reasons :

    • Graphics are quite experimental (some will say UGLY <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";-)" title="Wink" />) , mostly made from collage, and it's voluntary dirty to create some mental disturbance
    • Developpement has been focused on atmosphere, and music, so the "tutorial" is quite minimalist - almost inexistant - so its not that simple to handle, I think. But once you got it, it's working well.
    • A full character must have : a heart, a head, a sword and some wings. You can find all these before beating the first big monster.
    • When you fly, your heart bleed, and when your heart is empty, you fall
    • While flying, use mouse wheel to rotate the character: That's very important !
    • Space bar opens a menu : you can equip any skull, weapon, wings and SPECIAL POWER
    • Use right click to use a special power. It's consuming your mana. The mana is shown with the color of your man : when the guy is RED, it has mana, when it's black, mana is empty.

    I really wanted to keep it secret until a proper beta version. But this is so much work I started to feel lost in my project, so now it's in standby. There's some game to play though, so I decided to share it with you Construct users, maybe you'll have some feedback and ideas on how I should polish all that stuff. Because I already know a regular player will feel completly lost in this mess. I'm trying to find a balance between something mysterious and something easy to handle.

    There's a quick video so you can see a bit how it's meant to be played.

    Last thing : mostly because of music, the game is something like 200mo, takes a few minutes to load.

    So for those who aren't afraid : good luck <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":-)" title="Smile" />

    webmecano.com/shitrain

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  • It's very... seperate... from the usual games in almost every way.

    Such a thing is very hard to "polish" as you say because any touch has the risk of damaging what the game is built on: surreality. It is the bridge that player builds in their minds to connect the games abstract presentation into an unorthodox yet comprehensible story and/or achievement.

    My initial thought was that more animations were needed on the player character. But later, everything that we interact were so stiff that animating just the player would make it worse. Adding animations to everything else is not a better choice either. Besides, due the "experimental" nature of the graphics representing entities, animating them would be difficult and the game would get even larger.

    Then I though maybe you should add some text, helping the player understand what is going on but when I was defeated by the blood crying golden egypt figure, I defeated the idea as well. I found myself wondering "what the hell was that? I couldn't do anything? Maybe I should have gone to somewhere else first? To find a weapon or sth? Hitting it sure didn't help..." And I liked the thought process. I would normally get frustrated in this situation but in the context of this game, it was a better result.

    I think, you should find a way to make players "not give up" on the game whether because they died to something they couldn't understand or they found the game too abstract. This is the only thing between the probable final version and this one I think. I will be watching this game, it's out of the ordinary in every aspect; but don't expect very high praise. Gamers are generally a practical lot with lots of learned habits and subconscious preferences. It will be a challenge for you. But I think you know all this very well.

    Hope you find the perfect imbalance.

  • Thanks so much for your feedback. It's really benefic for me, especially because I was quite "alone in the dark" while doing this by my side for 2 month or something. Your reply is completely accurate on every point; so it's freaking rewarding and usefull for me.

    To try to stick the most to my former idea, "no words", I'll try to make a better "tutorial", with a corridor until you get all basic weapons, so the player can't think he did something wrong or went to the wrong place until he gets the basics , getting him slowly into the cold water before letting him in the "open world".

    I'll keep you informed on this post, I guess it will take a couple of month before a new release.

    Once again thanks for the time you took to play and reply and for the support.

    Charles

  • You are welcome sir. Please share the updates as well, I really would like to see where this one goes.

  • well I can honestly say I haven't seen anything like it. I love your follow through... you obviously have a vision and are going with it.

    The game overall is pretty intuitive, I only got stuck in one area, but I figured it out. The collage style is very original and I really liked the contrasting images. The overall artsy feel and look is great, and many times I wanted to stop and check out the artist vision of the collage. The music is great, but the pacing of it makes it feel like I have to get through the game fast. I think with it's artistic style some slower paced music would maybe help.. maybe just in some places. In some ways I wish it were less a "game-game" and more like an exploration game so I could just go through and experience the collages which seem really interesting. I really liked how there was some models and a "sexy" element to it, as well as a darkness that's kind of hard to explain.

    I do feel more work should go into the player character, just something more complex and special since it's not just "another game asset" it's supposed to be the character I'm playing.

    The blatant Shutter Stock watermarks are kind of hilarious...

    Overall it's great and I hope you finish it!

  • Thanks for this enlighted review jobel ! I think you understood very well the point , I'm really glad ..

    To tell the whole story, the game has been made around the music and not the opposite , then I feel what you mean about the pace. I may try to slow down some tunes (add some reverb and stuff..) to see if it fits better. You know like me how difficult it is to find the balance after so many hours watching the same scenes

    And I also agree about the exploration. I was feeling that in some ways I went too much into action gameplay and not enough atmosphere. I'm thinking about having more atmosphere / story levels. It may help to feel more complexity about the character. Yeah there's a story behind it but the prototype just scratch the surface for now ...

    Then I must say your words are already helping

    By the way I'm curious about little things, if ever you guys can tell :

    did you get to the end ? (the bugs with "lady" level)

    did you find the forest and the monkey mask ?

    did you find it difficult ?

    how long did you play ?

    ++

  • The video got me tripping,....

    Phew need some time in my zen center now

    My compliments to u sir.

  • Can you give me a downloadable .exe version? I can't start the game because it starts to lag instantly down to less than 1 FPS.

  • You shown this to your therapist , right??? LOL

    Awesome work , well done.

  • fassFlash : I've uploaded the win32 standalone here : webmecano.com/shitrain/01_prototype/003win32.rar

    Curious about it, because on my computer I experience some micro-freeze (annoying) in some scene with the standalone version.

    Only Chrome run it perfect until now

    Michaelb : that would be a good idea yeah - the end boss would be my mother or something

  • ahahahhahhaa , just saw the reply comment , LOL you are the BOSS

  • Hi Everyone. I guess it's been more than one year, and I've published an major updated alpha version of the game.

    A lot of things have been enhanced, new levels, new story elements, new weapons etc. It's almost a beta version since I think there's enough content for a first episode, and it would mostly require some gameplay balance & stuff,

    But I still want to add a last major update with a time factor related to the flood, inviting the player to find a way to finish the game the quickiest possible. Then, the 2 last bosses aren't finished as well (especially the final boss that doesn't look like my mother enough), and it lacks an ending animation.

    Since I can't work all year long on this, I'm doing another break so I can get some feedback to use for my next and hopefully last work session on it. !

    Thanks for those who try it <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";-)" title="Wink" />

    "Teaser"

    vimeo.com/118346421

    DOWNLOAD (190mo) : webmecano.com/shitrain/beta1

  • I've set up a browser version here : webmecano.com/shitrain/alpha_web

  • So In the end, I've put the "alpha" on Gamejolt to get some feedback - didn't find any, though - but THEN I got my brother, who is a dedicated gamer, who did it. (for some reason it's been like impossible to get some feedbacks from the internet .. maybe the GFX are too weird, maybe it's too heavy to load, maybe a combination of that, anyway I figured out many flaws to work on)

    gamejolt.com/games/adventure/shitrain/47906

    Feedbacks

    It appears that I've made many content, but since the tutorial / game design / gameplay aren't fine, players use to see 5% of content (before being blocked)

    Besides that, the GFX are really strange and collages may look "it's not serious it's just garbage" but it's not the point, so it would require some really fine polishing to make it a bit more accessible. But since my brother now work with me, we'll upgrade the GFX in general.

    Anyway, most important we noticed what could be wrong with the gameplay :

    • Path aren't clear. People may not understand where to go after the 1st boss ... Levels are too open, I should close some ways, put some directions ...
    • Gameplay is too slow. The "sword slash" / "dash" attacks should be quick and reactive. My strange angle thing with the sword is confusing, it should work in another way. The Flying rotation with mouse wheel : nobody understands that at first. Maybe I should change that.

    But he thinks there's good potential, and that the atmosphere is great.

    So it seems that I've built an alpha from a "wrong" prototype, then I have to work again on prototype, then adapt the content to it.

    But I'm not afraid, this is also a learning project, so I will do. Let's meet again in 1 year ...

    What I've learned

    Don't put content in your game since your prototype isn't good, not just for you (unless your judgment is really accurate but is it only possible to be objective ?), but for third-party testers

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