[Feedback]Vaporized

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Gilzu, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Gilzu

    Moderator Original Member

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    Download: http://gilzu.fileburst.com/vaporized.exe
    Screenshot: http://gilzu.fileburst.com/screenshot1.jpg

    This is the first episode of the current game i'm working on.
    5 levels, or an episode if you'd like.

    arrow keys / mouse to move
    z key or left click to fire
    music want yet included, but both sfx and music originate from indiesfx.co.uk (Mark Sheeky)

    I've used SDL with MinGW, I'm also trying out Molebox's software with this tryout.

    What i really need is some honest feedback about:
    1. What did you like
    2. what you absolutly didn't
    3. hows the gameplay
    4. graphics (as its my own programmer's art)
    5. (and most importantly) its potential as a shareware.

    I certainly don't consider this as a demo/beta/alpha since there are a lot of loose ends.

    My main concern is the potential of the game, see if the idea is good enough to make it.

    I wouldn't have released it now unless I was in a pretty bad shape - I have a month or two to spend in a hospital (no worries, i'll be ok), what you see here is the result of tying a programmer to a bed with a laptop :) - I just wanted some reassurances that the time isn't spent for nothing.

    I presume that mouse control is buggy, I only have a laptop at my disposal.
     
  2. Gilzu

    Moderator Original Member

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    [bump]

    anyone?

    really, i'd really appreciate any kind of feedback
     
  3. RohoMech

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    To be honest, the game needs a lot of improvement, the artwork is pretty simple, I'm not sure how many people it'll apeal to. The controls are okay, I had to use the keyboard since in a window the mouse has a tendency to move outside the window and click on something else, thus backgrounding the game. The game also really really needs music, and a lot more sound effects. Also, the ones you have in are just so-so, I'd look into reworking them as well. The UI is also strange, I didn't like how the lower-left part of the screen was covered by the health, it made me feel like I couldn't fly there (which I could)

    Gameplay wise, its okay nothing specail compared to the other shooter games out there, the homing shots from the player and from the enemy ships don't really hit their targets often and the player's shots are pretty weak (I never liked common enemies taking multiple shots to kill, but that's common in U.S. shooters).

    So, as it stands, it needs quite a bit of work, but there might be some good ideas in there which will really stand out if you can get all the polish you need.
     
  4. lakibuk

    Indie Author

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    Z to shoot, X for special weapon is bad on my german QWERTZ keyboard layout. Quite a few programs have this problem.
    What do you want to achieve with this game?
    It looks and feels amateurish when compared to shooters like Platypus or Ultra Assault.
     
  5. Gilzu

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    My goal is to practice finishing a game instead of just making one.

    Idea is to choose a genre which has some pretty common game concept/mechanics and try to get it to a level in which its a sellable game (And not just "whoa, you did that?" instead of your friends).

    If the game and concept were good enough, i'd consider hiring a gfx artist again. But my main concern is that I probably need a couple more iterations of finishing a game before i'd go and fully invest in gfx, publicity, formalizing a business entity ect.

    Amature or not, I'm still going to present a finished game, which is more than you can say about other would-be MMORPG builder wannabies. it would probably go freeware or 5$-10$ just to brush up my skills and know-how in the area of game producing and publishing.

    I'd probably won't make it in this first iteration, but i'll have much more steady base for the next one and the next few iterations. gotta start somewhere.
     
  6. lakibuk

    Indie Author

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    Ok,i see. Learning by doing is a good thing.
     
  7. RohoMech

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    Gilzu, there's a shump dev contest coming up, the theme hasn't been picked yet, but you could try competing in that. You'll get feedback from people who play shumps (though, they're more hardcore then casual players...) and it'll give you a good timeline for the game (4 months I hear).

    Good luck on finishing the game, though, now that you mention it, I think it'd work better as a MMORPGSHUMP :p
     
  8. Gilzu

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    ROFL... 10x!
     
  9. David De Candia

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    I couldn't get it to run?

    The dynamic link library 'SDL.dll' could not be found.

    I copied this across from another game but still no joy as it must have been the wrong version.
     
  10. Gilzu

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    thats weird... the right version of SDL.dll is packed along the self extract exe and should be extracted to the same directory.

    did you extract it all to the same directory?

    also, did anyone else experienced this?

    Thanks for the input
     
  11. David De Candia

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    :eek: Turns out I chose the wrong option in winrar. Still, I guess that shows the value of an installer...

    Here's my feedback after the first 10 mins of play. Given that your goal is to finish the game:

    1. Think no more about the sfx and art. Neither are production quality. Insert boxes and blips as placeholders. I wouldn't sink any more time into these whatsoever. At the game end you can always hire someone to fill in the blanks.

    2. The controls weren't quite responsive enough for me. Esp with the mouse.

    3. The overall layout (intro/GUI score life presentation) was fine

    4. I REALLY don't like multihit kills so early in the game. Throw more aliens at me and let me revel in the carnage of 1 hit kills.

    5. Given that z is autofire, why not just fire automatically with no button press?

    6. The secondary weapon fire (x) didn't seem responsive enough. I could tap it multiple times in windowed mode without firing.

    7. I'd concentrate on fast alien attack formations, powerups and novelty zones (subgames bonus waves etc). Let's get some chaos onscreen!

    8. Be wary of the one-more-feature-will-make-it-great trap. Don't let a learning experience like this consume too much time.

    9. Don't make alien attack weapons too hard too early. That alien homing missile is pretty evil.

    10. The prob with that star background (and this is something I faced over and over with Astariel) is that it obscures alien bullets. Whilst you are coding the game, turn all that off entirely. You can waste heaps of time tweaking those kinds of fx - I know I have. Make it purely about the gameplay. You might find the game becomes fun enough not to need the background at all!

    I think this is a perfect vehicle for getting that first game finished, but I wouldn't pour my heart, time and soul into it, with high expectations of cash and praise. Keep reminding yourself that it is all about learning the full phase of production.

    I hope you take all this as constructive criticism. It's clear you have the skills you need as a game programmer to get a complete game out there. And that's an achievement in itself. It's just a matter now of perseverance and effective time management. Good luck! :)
     
  12. Gilzu

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    Thanks :)

    I'd probably work on in for 3-4 more weeks about several points and then go to the publishing stage. I dont really know in what kind of structure, probably donationware / micropayment.
     
  13. Chris Evans

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    Gil has actually already released a game, Goose Chase which was a 3D platformer, about 2-3 years ago. So he's not a newbie.

    Anyway, Gil I played the game and here is the feedback you requested:

    - I used the keyboard to play. It didn't really feel responsive enough when I tried to shoot with either the Z or X button. I would try ot get this tightened up.

    - My special weapon looked pretty cool (the homing pattern and such). But I wasn't quite sure how to aim with it or judge the range.

    - The gameplay felt very retro. But almost too retro. It's basically an 80s shooter but without any new twist. I think Titan Attack is a good example of giving a retro shooter a new flavor.

    - Graphics aren't really up to snuff but that can always be improved later. If you're interested in doing your own art (which I think is cool), then try to find a style that you feel comfortable with and can get polished within your skillset and tools. For me, I've found that I excel with cartoon styles so I usually focus on that when I do my own art. With my mini-golf game I did the majority of the art and with CityScape Battle I've done all of the art thus far. So it's possible, but you just need to find a style that works for you. It may take some time.

    - In terms of how this will sell as shareware, it's not there yet. Even at a reduced price. You and me jumped into the Indie scene about the same time, so I have a lot of respect for you. But I think you have the wrong focus for this game. You said "Idea is to choose a genre which has some pretty common game concept/mechanics and try to get it to a level in which its a sellable game". Which is fine, but I think you should try completing a game that has a new twist or something unique. People will overlook graphical shortcomings to a degree if the game has a unique concept. The recent beta of Swarm is a perfect example. You can try to do something small and simple, but also unique. Be a little experimental. You can take an existing game concept/mechanic but see how much you can stretch and bend it while keeping it fun.

    Above all, ask yourself the question, "why should someone buy my game above all the other competing products out there". IMO, this is what you should be aiming for instead of just trying to "complete" or "polish" a game in a very common/overcrowded genre. It's so hard to rise above the fold as it is.

    Again, good luck. I hope you don't take this post the wrong way. I also went back to basics last year and I'm still trying to improve my game design chops.
     
  14. Gilzu

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    Well, Goose Chase was taken off the shelves after a year or so, which suffered many of the newbie pitfalls, except great graphics which was made by a top notch artist i hired.

    I only came back for another round after finishing my uni degree not long ago.

    I think its a timing/mechanics problem, controls were and still is an issue that needs to be totaly re-written. Next game will probably have better sync and key-selection/better-mouse-senstivity

    Yeah, i'm a total addict to the old-school games. Making one was the reason in which i started to learn programming. I probably went too much on replicating an 80's game rather than giving it such flavour.

    I did all of the graphic by myself, not bad for a first try. I'd probably go for hiring an artist for a serious game, but i wanted to examine the possibility of making it by myself - its the whole point of experiencing.

    Meantime, like you suggested, I'm going to try out several more styles and see which one works for me best. I'm pretty confident that my graphics skills have gone better after making this game - it might not be of the desired quality, but it got one step closer after this time.

    Hmm... I should take this under heavy consideration before making a decision about the next game. Good point you made there.

    Thanks, I really value every suggestion and comment.
     
  15. oldschool

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    like:
    I just played it and liked the enemy movement alot.
    The art looks good but needs more depth.

    not like
    The only way to play for me was to hold down the z key. The z key didn't always fire when I pressed it.
    The sounds weren't very good, except the sound it make when you pick stuff up.
    At first I confused the starfield with being fired on, I adapted to this though so not really a problem

    bad
    After dying I noticed that just before I appeared the enemy ships would start firing on my posistion. I don't think I took damage until my ship was visible though.

    Good luck
     
  16. David De Candia

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    Ah, my apologies. I think I was thrown by:

    The whole originality issue is an interesting one. Originality will certainly win you points among your game development peers. But to what extent do the game buying public care? I think the whole casual game market provides one answer to that. My feeling is, if you want the game to sell, make it polished and above all make it fun. If it's original, well yes, that's a huge bonus - particularly when it comes to marketing. But is it essential? hmmm..... I'm not sure what to think. You could make good arguments for both sides on that one...
     
  17. Nexic

    Indie Author

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    Well the basics are there, and it is fairly fun to play. The main issue is just that mysterious idol of indie greatness known as polish, you need lots more of it. For a shooter it's lots of nice alpha blended particle effects rather than the standard masked explosion graphics you have at the moment. Mouse control definitely needs fixing up and I think the gameplay as a whole needs a little bit of speeding up.

    Take a quick look at my Desperate Space, these days thats about the minimum amount of polish you'll need to sell.
     

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