Author Topic: Kitsune's Curse (Development)  (Read 2112 times)

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Offline reidrac

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Re: Kitsune's Curse (Development)
« Reply #20 on: 17:39, 07 October 17 »
In regards to exposition to the controls through gameplay, I'm a big proponent of that. but the game may have been too difficult too quickly. There is no room to breathe, even in the first screens: in the first screen the skull traverse the whole area horizontally, the player has to be on edge to avoid it any time he's staying on that screen; the second screen have another skull storming right at the player with barely enough time to react (even less when it's the first playthrough ever). Falling down (is it a hole? is it a bridge) shouldn't be optional that early in the game if you want to educate the player that falling down isn't bad: it probably would have been better to have the screen on the right to be a dead end to force further exploration. In the first screen underground, you are very likely to fall directly on a monster, and there is a barely a place to breathe (I'm starting to see a pattern here). Only on the screen on the left of it, the dead end with a pool of water on the right, do you have time to actually hone your skills. And the one jump that matter ends up in the water if you do it wrong. This is unnecessarily harsh. You have plenty of time to implement trick jumps and delicate situations in later screens.

I'm sorry if I sound antagonising, I know it's not fun to receive criticism, especially on a finished product. I really like what you have done so far and I couldn't dream of doing anything remotely similar. I just believe you have the talent to make it "just a little bit better".

It's OK, I like feedback; even if it is criticism. Thank you very much!

You can crouch, all the screens have a places were you can be out of the way of enemies (even with the bats that follow you, they have limited sight!).

In my opinion the game only has one screen that is quite unfair when a Kappa jumps from the water without warning (previously there was a warning sign); but in general I don't think it is as bad as you say specially when early in the game it means you may lose 2-3 screens of progress before starting again. Even if you die further on, it is a short game that can be finished in less than 20 minutes when you know the map and how to play.

Golden Tail is a hard game (is it unfair? not convinced, but it could be), and I thought a lot about it.

I don't like 80s-hard games in 2016 (when this one was released), but I've tried the other approach (not too hard) and people play it for an afternoon and the game is forgotten. There's too much competition, too many good games to play!

If you think of the time I put on making Golden Tail, is fair to say that I want you to play it for few days; if you like it. If you don't, because it is too hard, that's fine. There are more games that you can play anyway, just don't waste a minute with this one.

I got very good feedback from people that found it a bit hard but manageable; and to be honest, I liked that they enjoyed the game a lot, even if that means for more casual gamers it'll be a missed opportunity. This is a game for an Amstrad CPC anyway! Have you played Rick Dangerous? :D

Does this make any sense? :)
« Last Edit: 17:42, 07 October 17 by reidrac »
Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail and Magica for the CPC.

Online khaz

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Re: Kitsune's Curse (Development)
« Reply #21 on: 17:54, 07 October 17 »
An example I like to give for gameplay and difficulty progression is Super Meat Boy. You can't argue that it isn't a difficult game, but it's also an incredibly accessible game, with how it starts extremely easy in the first few screens, progressively adding the difficulty elements until it becomes incredibly difficult. It's also a totally fair game where you can only blame yourself for the mistakes, as there is almost no surprise difficulty. You know what's coming for you.

Offline reidrac

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Re: Kitsune's Curse (Development)
« Reply #22 on: 17:57, 07 October 17 »
An example I like to give for gameplay and difficulty progression is Super Meat Boy. You can't argue that it isn't a difficult game, but it's also an incredibly accessible game, with how it starts extremely easy in the first few screens, progressively adding the difficulty elements until it becomes incredibly difficult. It's also a totally fair game where you can only blame yourself for the mistakes, as there is almost no surprise difficulty. You know what's coming for you.

Yes, that's a good example.

I like to think I didn't do it that bad for a CPC game, considering that it was really hard to include 4 songs, 6 different enemies and 30 40 screens; in a 64k game.

I'll try to do it better with this one, specially now that I'm going to have a bit more memory!

EDIT: Golden Tail has 40 screens and not 30!
« Last Edit: 19:49, 07 October 17 by reidrac »
Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail and Magica for the CPC.

Online khaz

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Re: Kitsune's Curse (Development)
« Reply #23 on: 17:59, 07 October 17 »
You can crouch, all the screens have a places were you can be out of the way of enemies (even with the bats that follow you, they have limited sight!).

Crouching isn't relaxing though, you're clamping your controller and you know you'll be in danger as soon as you let go. I truly think an extra safe ledge on the right of the first screen would have been interesting. You're not removing any difficulty and add a resting place for the person who is playing for the very first time and don't know what to expect.

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Re: Kitsune's Curse (Development)
« Reply #24 on: 18:01, 07 October 17 »
Yes, that's a good example.

I like to think I didn't do it that bad for a CPC game, considering that it was really hard to include 4 songs, 6 different enemies and 30 screens; in a 64k game.

I'll try to do it better with this one, specially now that I'm going to have a bit more memory!

Oh you did incredibly well! Again, I don't dream doing a tenth of what you achieved.

I'm just the ghost of what could have been.

Online khaz

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Re: Kitsune's Curse (Development)
« Reply #25 on: 18:03, 07 October 17 »
To get back to that jumping thing:

Do you think it would be better if you can jump invisible? How would you be able to control that? Golden Tail doesn't even force you to make the highest possible jump to progress (there's always a platform nearby to make thing easier); but if you learn to control that jump, the game is more fun as is a bit harder.

If jump is restricted to the start of the magic you can calculate where you want to jump. It takes practice, of course. Also the magic not only allows you to jump higher, it makes you fall slower. And you get that with practice.


I believe it would be easier, more predictable. the "magic" button becomes a teleport button: if you implement an acceleration after a visible jump, you give the player a higher jump without removing their visual clue to time the jump right. it would even allow for even higher jumps, giving you one more gameplay trick, for example like using the magic at the apex of a jump to reach even further than a simultaneous jump+magic.

Or as something closer than what you already done, where the magic is fast-tracking invisibility: momentum obtained before the magic is kept but not accelerated, only the momentum built in magic invisible mode is faster. But in that case, you can't limit jumping to exactly when magic start. If you can start moving left and right after having pressed the button, you should be able to jump. No matter how dangerous it is for the player.

Jumping while invisible would be just something the player would have to learn to avoid (which is easier when jump is FIRE2 and not UP), or would want to learn to master, like if a monster is next to a ledge, they would want to use the magic  just a moment before jumping, to try to reach the ledge before vaulting. and if they miss, too bad, they fall down. To the ground where they can then climb up and try again to get the timing right, or try differently.

As of now, it makes for a gameplay that is more static: the player instinctively stops before a long jump to time the inputs correctly, instead of doing a more natural run and jump.

Offline reidrac

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Re: Kitsune's Curse (Development)
« Reply #26 on: 18:04, 07 October 17 »
Oh you did incredibly well! Again, I don't dream doing a tenth of what you achieved.

I'm just the ghost of what could have been.

Thank you again for your comments. This is gold!

(I'll try to not disappoint too much with Kitsune's Curse)
Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail and Magica for the CPC.

Offline reidrac

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Re: Kitsune's Curse (Development)
« Reply #27 on: 18:07, 07 October 17 »
To get back to that jumping thing:

I believe it would be easier, more predictable. the "magic" button becomes a teleport button: if you implement an acceleration after a visible jump, you give the player a higher jump without removing their visual clue to time the jump right. it would even allow for even higher jumps, giving you one more gameplay trick, for example like using the magic at the apex of a jump to reach even further than a simultaneous jump+magic.

Or as something closer than what you already done, where the magic is fast-tracking invisibility: momentum obtained before the magic is kept but not accelerated, only the momentum built in magic invisible mode is faster. But in that case, you can't limit jumping to exactly when magic start. If you can start moving left and right after having pressed the button, you should be able to jump. No matter how dangerous it is for the player.

Jumping while invisible would be just something the player would have to learn to avoid (which is easier when jump is FIRE2 and not UP), or would want to learn to master, like if a monster is next to a ledge, they would want to use the magic  just a moment before jumping, to try to reach the ledge before vaulting. and if they miss, too bad, they fall down. To the ground where they can then climb up and try again to get the timing right, or try differently.

As of now, it makes for a gameplay that is more static: the player instinctively stops before a long jump to time the inputs correctly, instead of doing a more natural run and jump.

It doesn't have inertia; if you stop pushing, it won't move. You have full air-control.

I can try that approach, but I experimented a lot when I was working on Golden Tail and what I got at the end is what I though it was working best (even if is not too logic or 100% consistent; perhaps the problem here is that the instructions suck).

There's a speed run by Metr8 in YouTube that can show you how fluid Golden Tail can be after some practice. Needless to say I don't play like that, I'm more "careful" and I avoid those extreme jumps he performs.
« Last Edit: 18:09, 07 October 17 by reidrac »
Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail and Magica for the CPC.

Online khaz

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Re: Kitsune's Curse (Development)
« Reply #28 on: 18:16, 07 October 17 »
Oh, and for something entirely different (I'm playing it as I post):

You can't pick up stuff right after being hit! the interactions are deactivated for everything, not just the enemies, while blinking.

It's probably not worth mentioning, it's just something I noticed lol.

Offline reidrac

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Re: Kitsune's Curse (Development)
« Reply #29 on: 18:19, 07 October 17 »
Oh, and for something entirely different (I'm playing it as I post):

You can't pick up stuff right after being hit! the interactions are deactivated for everything, not just the enemies, while blinking.

It's probably not worth mentioning, it's just something I noticed lol.

Yes; because when you're hit you jump back a bit and I found confusing when you touched a piece of the Golden Tail or a potion and you picked it up without noticing.

After being hit you're invulnerable and you can't interact with things until you're back to normal.
Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail and Magica for the CPC.