Feedback request: Zig. It's a game where you shoot stuff.

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by EyeballKid, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. EyeballKid

    Original Member

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    Hi there everyone,

    I was wondering if you'd be kind enough to give my game a quick once-over.
    It's called Zig, and... it's a game where you shoot stuff.
    Which kind of sums it all up really.

    Screenshots: 1,2

    Download link:
    www.itsagamewhereyoushootstuff.com/zigdemo-setup.exe

    Thanks!
    Ben.
     
  2. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    It's a nice little game that does what it does very well. However it doesn't do all that much, and in my opinion not enough to make it a decent seller.

    The main things I would consider changing are:

    Stop the camera from rotating with your ship, gave me a headache in just a couple of minutes of play time. Either make it fixed or have it rotate slowly towards your current angle, rather than being directly attached to it.

    Make it easier.

    Better graphics. I know you are going for a retro feel, but this can be done and still look better than this. In my opinion Princec's (Puppy Games) Ultratron does this style perfectly, take a look at his stuff if you haven't already for ideas. Fighting green, flatshaded triangles just wasn't as fun as killing something that actually looks like it might be hostile.



    Overall I did like it, and had a fair bit of fun playing. Good job.
     
  3. Sharkbait

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    Nice concept. How about adding the ability to strafe with your ship? Might sell better with graphics more complex than untextured polygons.
     
  4. Martoon

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    Just wanted to say, love that domain name! :D
     
  5. Martoon

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    Just tried the game. I like it! But I have to second Nexic's comments. Retro-chic visuals are great, but there's better ways to do them. Like Nexic said, look at Ultratron. Or another direction would be to have everything rendered as vector lines, but with a glow around the lines (kind of like the background you have in the Retro levels).

    Personally, I like the camera rotating with the ship (keeps me oriented to my forward direction), but I know this gives a lot of people vertigo. I would give the player a selectable option: fixed camera (ship rotates on screen), a continuous ease-in to the ship rotation (like Nexic described), or what it currently has (which I like).

    Also, to repeat Nexic yet again, what it has is very good, but it still needs more. I think putting in twice the development time would give you ten times the sales.
     
  6. Ricardo C

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    Fantastic game :) I agree with those who've recommended improving the graphics. I would be inclined to buy it if it had Ultratron's production values.
     
  7. EyeballKid

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    Cool - thanks for the useful feedback!

    The comments here seem to match my own impression of the game pretty well, and confirm the direction I should be moving in.
    Nice to hear that people found it fun!

    Will give the strafing another go. it's something I've resisted in the past, because I thought it might complicate things too much and unbalance the gameplay. And also because I'm lazy. But I'd be stupid to not at least try it out.

    Will think about ways to ease the initial difficulty curve. The difficulty is about right to make it fun for experienced players, but too hard if you're encountering the game for the first time. I could always do the traditional Easy/Medium/Hard settings, but that seems like a copout... I feel there must be a better way.

    And yes, lots of graphical improvements :)
    I need to experiment some more and come up with a unique and distinctive look.

    Thanks,
    Ben.
     
  8. NO9

    NO9
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    lovely oldskool concept :). But could be more shapes of the ring?
     
  9. Martoon

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    Usually, I like strafing, but I think it would really throw off the balance in this game. You'd need to make it into a completely different game.

    Also, as far as difficulty ramping, to me one of the problems seemed to be an unevenness in the ramp. Some levels were much harder than the levels right before and after them, specifically the levels where you started out with several fast moving enemies surrounding you, and moving in quickly. You don't get a chance to get away to the edge, and die immediately.

    Overall, I found the difficulty about right for me, but I play a lot of these kind of games.
     
    #9 Martoon, Sep 16, 2005
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2005
  10. EyeballKid

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    Yep - that was my worry. Still, I think I'll have to try it out for my own peace of mind.

    It's tricky. I ranked them according to the difficulty _I_ perceived. Everyone has slightly different styles of play, so what's right for me is going to feel wrong to others.
    I think I should bite the bullet and put in some comprehensive logging (lives lost, time to complete level etc etc) and get people to send logs to me to analyse. Then I can come up with a difficultly curve averaged for a whole bunch of people rather than just me.

    Cool! I wanted something that would present a good challenge.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    Ben.
     
  11. Anthony Flack

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    Not played it yet, but sticking my oar in based on comments made:

    If you have the play-balance in a happy place for people that are skilled at that sort of thing, I wouldn't mess with it. Just punch in a medium and an easy skill level to go along with it - they're generally easy to make, just take stuff out until it's easier...

    Or if you think that's too much of a copout you could take some kind of algorithmic approach if you have a clever idea for how to make it work. But either way, I think it's most useful to have the "hard" gameplay in place and downgrade from there, rather than the other way around. The hard setting is where the robustness of your game mechanics are really tested, and I think it tends to need more precise adjustments than the easier parts.
     
  12. Martoon

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    I agree with Anthony about getting the balance right for the hard setting, then work down from there. However, to work down from there, I'd simply reduce the overall gameplay speed. I've posted this in other threads, but I'll post it again:
    Speed Kills.
    At first I was a little skeptical of this article, but the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense (when applied to action games).
     
  13. EyeballKid

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    Not sure I totally agree with Mr. Hooks need-for-speed article (at least not in this case). I want my players to feel like they are hard bastards causing mayhem and destruction and pyrotechnics and generally having an exiting time all the time, even on Easy mode. I think I can do this by keeping the bad dude count high, thus lots of explosions (because explosions == fun) but make the majority of them non-aggressive. I might even make some bad dudes which actively avoid the player...
    Anyway, the aim is to pursuade the player to buy the illusion that they are getting somewhere through the appication of their own skill, rather than the game pandering to them.
     
  14. Martoon

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    That's a good point. You may still want to try it, though, since it would take minimal effort to implement (and have a couple players of different skill levels test it). I think you would still get the mayhem effect, because you wouldn't need to slow it down much to back off the difficulty. As he said in the article, a 15% speed adjustment makes a definite difference, and a 25-30% adjustment makes a radical change in difficulty.

    But I'm sure you'll do whatever works best for the game.
     

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