Little Gods Demo -- New and improved!

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by tentons, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. tentons

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    This is the "draft" version of the system, but it's already quite an improvement, I think.

    There is now a simple in-game help pop-up that will explain the main goal for each round that the "tutorial" is active. Basically you start with nothing but bricks and balls, then a new feature is added each round. That builds up to having them all going at once by your 3rd match (about 6 rounds).

    I need new players to try it since these improvements are intended for people who have never played the game before. But I'm sure some of you that tried the first demo will get something out of it, too. :)

    Please, please try it!!

    http://www.griminventions.com/littlegods/LittleGodsDemo.exe (8.7MB)

    Thanks for taking the time.
     
    #1 tentons, Aug 23, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2005
  2. Kaos

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    ran fine with music disabled, game was glitchy with sound enabled.

    this the 1st version I tried.

    Game is installed to my external hd, not that it makes a difference, as I play games that are well over 1 gb in size from that HD.
     
    #2 Kaos, Aug 23, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2005
  3. Martoon

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    That's a definite improvement.

    The help screen that comes up before each level is still overwhelming (it's still trying to tell me everything at once).

    I still don't understand the progress through the tournaments, and wins/losses etc. I've played a couple times. I click the big "Play" button, then there doesn't seem to be much I can do except click the big "Play Challenge" button (everything else seems to be disabled). I love the idea of unlockables (I think it makes a game much more compelling), but I don't quite follow how it works in this game. Every time I click "Play Challenge", I'm playing in a different area, and I win. When I come back to the main screen, it has my name and still says "0 wins, 0 losses".

    It seems to be a very cool game that has some depth to it, and you're heading in the right direction. I don't think there's anything wrong with complexity in a game, as long as the game is structured in a way that it can be introduced gradually. If a game throws a whole lot of elements at a player right up front, it's a liability. If it unlocks the elements one at a time, it's a reward system. :)

    A couple other minor niggles:
    I'd love to play the game fullscreen, but 60Hz makes me twitch and start hearing BeeGees tunes. I'm guessing this is a Torque 2D issue, but if there's a way you can support higher refresh rates in fullscreen, it would make the game more appealing to me. As it is, I always play in a window.

    When playing single player against the computer (which is always how you start out playing a game), I think the natural inclination is to choose the player on the left. But with the default controls, this means you end up playing left-handed (since you're sitting by yourself, centered in front of the keyboard). I don't know if there's some way you could encourage a player to select the right side when first creating a profile.
     
  4. tentons

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    @Kaos: Did it run ok with the other demo? Or did you only play this one.

    That's true. I was going for a "handy reference card" type thing, but with that much info it's a "handy reference small book" I guess. :) *think think think* Ah I have an idea.

    The wins/losses only count if you play vs a human. I may turn off that info unless you're playing another human. The reasoning is that it's much easier to beat the computer, so you could become #1 in the family without really being #1.

     
    #4 tentons, Aug 23, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2005
  5. tolik

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    I spent some time playing Ninja release today. I'll repeat the same thing as Martoon - help screen is overwhelming.

    After 2 rounds I understood controls & aiming and all of the future cpu games ended with a score of 90:-2. When I got 50 mana (or was it Karma?) I still wasn't able to select new opponents that require just 50 mana. And hey, why ONLY ONE OPENED IS UNLOCKED? That's not fair, I would need to spend an hour(?) trying to earn enough mana to unlock it.

    Back to Mr. Drilller.
     
  6. Ciperl

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    Yes, Torque 2D can go above 60hz. A game made with Torque 2D can either go at max frame rate, at a fixed frame rate, or lock itself up to whatever your monitor refreshes at. Its up to prefs and the T2D config settings.
     
  7. tentons

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    I'm replacing it with contextual pop-ups.

    Not sure what you mean here? There are 2 characters in the demo, the rest are in the full version.

    If you collect the Totems, you can earn up to 50 or 60 Karma in a single match (depends on which Totems are handed out during the rounds).

    Thanks for playing despite your frustration. I really appreciate you taking the time and giving your feedback. :)
     
  8. MrCranky

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    Well, the demo worked fine on my box - no glitches, no problems (aside from a little weirdness when I Alt-Tabbed out and back and had the Windows taskbar over the game).

    It feels nice - looks and sounds good, controls are fun and responsive. The help is a little confusing I must admit. Possibly its because I'm an experienced gamer, but I was thrown by the fact that the game didn't show all its features until several rounds in. So, I can see how to use all the cool things (spells you can unlock and buy and stuff), but I wasn't allowed to collect mana until around 5 or 6 rounds in. And I wasn't sure if the mana was coming out and I just wasn't seeing it or what, because there are quite a few things floating around the screen. Add that to the fact that the splash screen help mentions the mana and that all you have to do is smash bricks (but doesn't say if only some bricks produce it, etc.)

    I'm more used to games where all the features are available from the start and are confusing, you don't know what they are (unless you figure it out off your own back), then the help explains what they are, round by round. As long as you're not punished for not knowing (say, the AI collects mana but never uses it until its been explained to the player what its for), then its not too bad. Its just a little confusing because it doesn't tell you anywhere that you're learning, and that some of the game bits won't appear just yet, no matter what you do.

    Sorry, a really long-winded way of describing a tiny little thing in the game - other than that, I found it really quite a fun little game!
     
  9. tentons

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    Well just this morning I added more information explaining that the game would introduce elements over 3 matches. So hopefully that will reduce confusion on that count. I also shortened the training rounds to make them go more quickly and allow you to get into the game faster. I will add an option to disable help for those that may want to be tossed into the sharky waters without any training. :)

    Thanks for the feedback, and especially thanks for being long-winded. Having detailed descriptions of your thoughts and assumptions is priceless information, so again thanks for taking the time.

    Oh, and I'm glad you like the game!! :)
     
  10. electronicStar

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    I tried the demo yesterday, here are the few things I can remember right now:
    -It's a definitive improvement and you might have a very good game on your hands, I finally managed to play and understand what was going on but there's still some room for improvement:
    -The white help screens before and during game are too intrusive. The problem is that they pop up above the playing area when you are expecting for the match to start and you have to drop the keyboard and take the mouse to make them disappear....mmmmh not good. You should probably display them BEFORE you display any part of the playing field.And the white background is too bland.Maybe you could ask you artist to draw a couple of background for the this screen?.
    As for the big white screen that exposes all the rules I'm not sure it's necessary , anyway it shouldn't appear before each game because it's practically impossible to read and it's just a nuisance ATM.
    -The concept of mini-tutorial and progressive introduction of new features is very good, good work there
    -The help screens (on the main menu) are a good idea, but there is still too much text, the text could and should be simplified.
    -The demo doesn't offer enough, well it didn't captivate me enough to give me the incentive to go further. I don't know if this is the demo you want to offer to the public but you should let them unlock one additional area, that would give them an incentive and create more immersion. If they don't have any progress in the demo they won't have have anything to retain them playing the game.
    -You could add some RPG elements, I mean, enable some of the characteristics to improve with karma points. Notably the mana limit, it takes too much time upping the mana limit to the point where you can stack spells and the match is over before you can do anything interesting with the spells. And there doesn't seem to be a lot of spells to start with, only four?
     
    #10 electronicStar, Aug 24, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2005
  11. tentons

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    Actually you can press any key as well, but *darn it* I should have thought of putting that into the text.

    I think I agree with you, especially after I add some more help popups.

    I trimmed it once already, I'll try to simplify it even more. There are a lot of concepts to present, though. Once I add more popups for specific events during a game this section will hopefully become quite superfluous. :)

    Hmm, maybe I'll add another character. Adding another arena would actually make the demo size pretty large as they each contain a lot of art and sounds.

    I wonder if it was a lack of content or something else, though? Maybe there's something else I need to improve to increase the appeal.

    An interesting idea. Hmm. At one point the number of powers you could stack was limited but you could increase it. I took it out to simplify things, but I'll consider putting it back in and adding what you suggested.

    That's a demo limitation. The other 5 are not in the demo, and now that you mentioned it I'm not sure why they aren't in there and locked like the arenas.

    Thanks so much for your feedback! This is truly helpful, and I really appreciate all the time you took to play the game and comment on it.
     
  12. electronicStar

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    Maybe the player should keep their mana between rounds?
     
  13. drastik

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    The game is look excellent, as ever.

    My apologies for disappearing during the test. It's been.. a strange summer, to say the least :D

    Congrats on a final release though. Can't wait to see what you come up with next.

    William
     

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