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View Full Version : J Force Games: feedback on our game & website



J Fizzle
02-11-2008, 08:13 PM
We're about to launch our site. I'd like to hear some honest feedback from you guys. I don't care how blunt or harsh it is. The site is jforcegames.com (http://jforcegames.com/). Any feedback about navigation, content, layout, etc. is much appreciated.

I'd also like to get any feedback about our game (http://jforcegames.com/?page=downloads). Here's some early art:

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l146/smoothballer85/LevelArt1copy.png

We're reluctant to post that image on the site because it's so early. But I dunno. What do you think of it?

chanon
02-11-2008, 09:16 PM
You should make the main content area have more contrast between the text and the background. Black text on grey background makes it seem like it isn't important.

Even white background might look good as it will give some nice contrast.

It would be better if the right bar has something more useful than google ads.

AlexWeldon
02-12-2008, 04:37 AM
The game looks like it might be fun... the graphics aren't too hideous, given that it's still far from a finished game. I'd post it on the website, because it does a lot more to make me interested in the game than anything you have up there currently.

Unfortunately, the website itself looks really amateurish. I can tell that it's partially deliberate, but at the same time, there's a difference between indie and amateur. Some specific comments:

1) The biggest text (other than the navigation) is that of the advertisements, which means we notice them before we even get to the content of your page itself. That's a problem.

2) The whole "Yo, dude! This game is going to be wicked cool. Check it out!" tone of the copywriting is a turn-off, for me anyway. Look at, for instance, the equally casual but less annoying text on http://www.crimsonland.com, one of the games you recommend (and which I really liked too, incidentally, back when I still owned a PC). Not that they're going to win any awards for their copywriting either, but at least you can read it and receive the message without being distracted by the "voice."

3) Because your company logo is the same size and at the same height on the page as the navigation images, it's not immediately obvious what company's site we're on.

4) If you're going to use icons for the navigation, they should a) be much simpler and smaller, comparable in size to their labels, and b) be self-explanatory. Having a giant picture is distracting and not very helpful when you still have to read the text below to figure out what it represents. Creating effective icons is a difficult graphic design challenge and not one I recommend that non-designers attempt themselves... I would stick to plain old buttons with text labels for the navigation.

5) Although it's commendable that you're linking to the sites of other games you enjoy, it doesn't say great things about your company that you have "GAMES" first, linking to other companies' games, then "OUR GAME" after, linking just to a little blurb about how the game is still development, but boy is it going to be awesome when it's done. Better to have "GAMES" go to a page about your own games - at this time, just the one - and "LINKS" or something like that further along in the navigation, leading to your page for plugging other people's games.

6) In general, try to keep the visuals clean and simple and the text informative (remember: Show, don't tell. More: "This is what the game is about. Here's where we're at with it." and less: "Man, we're making a game and boy is it going to be awesome. Doesn't that sound great?"). Create some kind of information hierarchy... make sure the most important things are the biggest, and in a prominent place on the page, and that related things are close together.

Sybixsus
02-12-2008, 06:15 AM
RE: Feedback on the game. I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know, but if I don't say it and you don't know, that's no help from me, is it?

It would look much, much better if you processed those photographic texture backgrounds to make them fit with the style of the characters. At the moment, the textures scream at me because they're photographic and your other art is cartoony. I'm not normally someone to recommend just using a Photoshop filter, but in this case, I think it would suffice perfectly. Just one of the artistic filters which make things look like a watercolor or a sketch or whatever. Fool around until you find one ( or a combination of several ) which produces a style which matches the style of the other graphics.

There are occasions where games choose two completely different styles and make them work. There's an adventure around at the moment which uses photos and rough hand-drawn line art or something. I don't think your game is going to be one of those games that works that way. At least, not without change. If you're actually intending to juxtapose two completely different art styles, the photographic background need much more detail. Not just a flat bevel to create depth, but probably rendered 3d levels.

To quote Cosgrove Hall's Hugo, "That's what I think anyway."

J Fizzle
02-12-2008, 10:52 AM
5) Although it's commendable that you're linking to the sites of other games you enjoy, it doesn't say great things about your company that you have "GAMES" first, linking to other companies' games, then "OUR GAME" after, linking just to a little blurb about how the game is still development, but boy is it going to be awesome when it's done. Better to have "GAMES" go to a page about your own games - at this time, just the one - and "LINKS" or something like that further along in the navigation, leading to your page for plugging other people's games.

Actually I'm not linking to their sites. I'm selling those games through the Reflexive affiliate program. But yes that was a concern of mine, having the "games" page not feature our game, so I linked to it in the paragraph above all the games, but I guess that's not really enough. Once we have some more art I will prominently display an image (or boxart) for our game above all those other games, which will link to the "our game" page. It's necessary to have a completely different page solely dedicated to our game, especially once the game is out.

And yeah, you've made me sorta change my mind about the copywriting tone. I'm going to tone that down a bit. I'm sure there are plenty of other people who will be turned-off by that.

Everybody: thanks for all the other suggestions. I will go over them with the team, especially the game art. I do agree the textures would probably look better with a filter over them.