Sidescroller [concept] - The Jade Figurines

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Mattias Gustavsson, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Mattias Gustavsson

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recently took part in one of these "make-a-little-game-in-48-hours-competition", and I'm considering continue working on my entry, and make it into a full game. I thought I'd get some feedback on this early on - and I know this is very early on, so it's really feedback on the concept I'm after at this point. I'm especially interested in feedback on commercial aspects, but I appreciate any kind of feedback.

    The game is basically a sidescrolling action game, where you move right or left through a number of levels, fighting enemies, finding power-ups etc. It is set in a (at the moment) quite generic fantasy world, and it is intended to be heavily story-driven.

    There's a crude prototype (what I managed to hack together over the compo weekend) for windows, to be downloaded here:

    >>> The Jade Figurines <<<

    Controls A, Z, X, and CURSOR KEYS. SPACE to skip dialogs, ESC to exit.

    There's only one short level and the beginnings of the next one, but at least it gives an idea of what the general idea of the game is.

    There's no sound, no health bar and you can't die, and if some things look very crude, it is because the whole thing was rushed - but feel free to comment on those things anyway: I want feedback on everything :p

    There's also a youtube video of the prototype here:
    [​IMG]

    And a couple of screenshots here:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks.
     
  2. JGOware

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,578
    Likes Received:
    0
    "and if some things look very crude, it is because the whole thing was rushed "

    Who did those crude graphics if I may ask? ;) Obviously I don't think they are crude.
     
  3. Mattias Gustavsson

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, thanks :D It's just done by me in Poser - all pre-made 3d models I've just rendered out, so I can't take all the credit for it :p I can't animate well though, so that's probably the bit that looks the worst...
     
  4. Nexic

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,437
    Likes Received:
    0
    I love Poser, with a bit of practice you can save literally $1000s on your art costs by using sites like renderosity and daz. Used it for some of DF and really pleased with the results.

    The game looks really nice, I think you should definitely finish it. My main concern with this prototype is that your player only seems to have one attack. If possible I'd get a more proficient poser animator to add some additional attacks.
     
    #4 Nexic, Aug 31, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  5. manunderground

    manunderground New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    You have these neat comic book style pop up messages which communicate the story and the dialogue is all pretty humorous and light, yet your art style is semi realistic and totally lacking in humor. If you pursue this idea I would completely change directions with the art and go with a cell shaded or hand drawn, humorous look to match the speech bubbles and dialogue. That would also help the game stand out more since the category is pretty crowded.

    At this point judging from the video and what you've told us I can't really say whether it's worth continuing to invest in the idea. All you've told us is that it's a platformer with a story and power ups, so it's just another platformer in that case. How will you out compete the hordes of flash developers? I would make sure you have some sort of gimmick that will make people take notice immediately before going through with the game since:

    1) Platformers are pretty content heavy
    a) You need to create many types of monsters each requring art, AI, etc
    b) You need to create dozens of levels each requiring more art, some set pieces, and careful balancing
    2) Story driven games are content heavy by definition

    So it's going to require a big investment upfront. Obviously you might be inclined to believe that you're story will be incredibly engaging or that you can polish your way to the top but that strikes me as being a very risky assumption. If you are so inclined I would try bouncing your narrative off some people and see how they react, would they be willing to play, let alone pay, to hear the rest?

    All of that cynicism aside, I think this is a stellar start for such a short period of time! I hope you'll continue to explore the idea, even if you decide ultimately not to make a finished game from it.
     
  6. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    I dont think the lightheartedness of it is too off-putting.

    I think what you need, is more fluid animations for the attacks and some blood particles for when you hit.

    There was an old game called Barbarian that had far worse graphics than this and it still felt nice, because you got some good hit response feedback and occasionally could decapitate things with your sword if you swung it at the right hight.

    You should definitely have someone look at doing more animations for your attacks. Does poser work with mocap? there are a few sword combat mocap libraries out there you might use.

    Overall it looks pretty damn neat. Although I'm not sure the size of those sprites will allow for fluid enough animation. Interesting idea though.
     
  7. Nexic

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,437
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't agree with manunderground, I think the art style is fine and still goes well with the comic book feel. There are a lot of comics out there with more realistic imagery.
     
  8. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    5,130
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it looks very cool too. Add some RPG (stats, weapons, spells) and more attack moves and finish it, could be a neat game :)
     
  9. defanual

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    612
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep, I like Poser and I like the look of this thus far :)
     
  10. electronicStar

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,068
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looks very nice already.
     
  11. Cevo70

    Cevo70 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's very Conan (which is cool by me).

    I think the main character needs to be more jacked.

    I agree that the stills look quite nice and the models and background are pretty high end. When it sets into motion and you see the combat it gets a bit stiff, but I think some variety and focus on combat mechanics could really help.

    Jumping over dogs and exchanging blows with a guy who bops you on the head with a stick probably won't cut it for very long, so maybe you have some other means to spicing up the action?

    Since it doesn't look like Beefcake will be doing much in the way of platforming (based on his jumping ability), I'd imagine that combat would need to be more intricate (i.e. blocking, jabbing, timing elements, etc) and questing would need some puzzle elements to keep things fresh. That would be my advice anyhow.

    It's got a fun look though.
     
  12. Mattias Gustavsson

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the great feedback and all the encouragement. :)

    There's a lot of nice ideas there, I will certainly make use of a lot of them. I'll definitely have multiple types of attacks - I was hoping to get something similar to the old Barbarian 2-player fighting game. Adding RPG elements is something I'll try to do as well.

    The big choice I'm facing now is if I should try and make a full commercial game out of this, or just make it a small freeware game. In any case, I'd like to take it a bit further than where it's at now. I can definitely see how I would struggle to market the game, how to stand out from other sidescrollers, so that's some food for thought (thanks for that feedback, I much appreciate it).

    Btw, I've started making some new characters for the game - I think I'm going to need quite a few for this game :D

    (and on a side note, I'll shortly be releasing (public domain) the source code of what I have so far (using C++ and my Pixie Game Engine), if anyone is interested or have a use for it).
     
  13. xelanoimis

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looking good.

    I know it's just a prototype but here are some things I'd like in the final version.

    I would insist on the fighting animations. If possible made the hits more "responsive",
    meaning the characters will react depending on them. This is specific to fighting games (see MortalKombat or so), but since the characters in your game are quite big and beautifully detailed it doesn't look too good to have the sword falling all the way down, like in old (or new) strategy games with miniature soldiers (a la warcraft). Swords should stop at hit point (like head or chest or block) and the character taking the hit should react accordingly. If a wolf/dog comes and bite you, make it look so, not just passing through you.

    Definitely have more attacks with weapons, but also including if possible grips and trowings, kick. It's not necessarily to have hard keyboard combos like in fighting games, though it would be nice to have something different than just hit and block buttons.

    You have to decide if you go to a more RPG style, where fighting techique really counts (not just take greater damage with a bigger level sword). Or if you go more to an ARCADE style (which I would prefer) and just grab whatever weapon you find (or pick from a dead soldier) - with minimal weapon categories, based on form of usage (spear, sword, hammer would have different animated atacks).

    The mentioned Barbarian has exactly the style of fighting you need. Again your characters are big enough for these fighting details to count. And as I saw, you're not fighting with hordes of enemies.

    Another interesting fighting game you may want to have a look is "Invincible Tiger" bi Blitz Games - a modern arcade scroller (using 3D tech).

    As I said characters look really great, but you could work more on the backgrounds, perhaps on the color palette, lighting, atmosphere. Have night levels too.

    Good luck with the game - and yes it does worth making. It can be a really nice one.
    Alex
     
  14. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,637
    Likes Received:
    0
    I played Barbarian on the Amiga day-in day-out for years. Maybe that's why this looks awesome to me :)

    Go commercial. It might gameplay-wise just be a plain old side scroller, but visually it looks unique. I say that because there aren't a lot of comic styled games around which don't completely fall back to extreme toon stylings. For want of a better term, the game looks entertaining. Plus, the flash/freeware market is flooded with crappy 2D side scrollers these days. I'm hanging out to pay some good money for a 2D Barbarian style scroller like this... and I'm sure others would too.

    EDIT: I forgot to add- I'm not sold on the name, despite how cool it looks :)
     
  15. AnthemAudio

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some quality VO would help sell the humor I would think. I'd take a look at The Tick and try to use some of the superhero parody and translate it into Conan the Barbarian parody.
     
  16. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,256
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think if you're going to make a commercial action/fighting/RPG sidescroller a success, you're going to need: a) hype, and b) some unique gimmicks.

    Why not come up with a plot that provides the possibility for a short prologue, followed by a longer main story? Then you can make a small freeware game for the prologue, in order to a) create hype, and b) test out and get feedback on your unique gimmicks. Then make a commercial title out of the main story, applying what you learned from the freeware version, and building on its (hopeful) popularity to have a customer base ready before the game is even released.

    And more pessimistically, of course, if the freeware version bombs, you avoided wasting a bunch of time and money on the commercial version.
     
  17. lakibuk

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    961
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sword of Sodan! (Amiga)
    This memory immediately sprung to my mind on seeing the screenshots.
     
  18. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,637
    Likes Received:
    0
    Such a funny game, that one :)

    How does a freeware game bomb? ;) The free game before the commercial one is a great idea, though.
     
  19. PlasticOstrich

    PlasticOstrich New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great graphics -- not crude!

    The freeware angle can work. You build up a fan base. If nothing else, you also get a lot of foot traffic and back-links to a site that way.

    I agree about toughening up the name, and the superhero parody stuff.
     
  20. Mattias Gustavsson

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks :)

    Yeah, I didn't really want a cartoon look (not that I could pull it off even if I wanted to :eek:) - I guess you could say I'm aiming more for a "graphic novel" kind of look, if that makes sense. I'm considering adding some light outlines to the art, if I can make it look good.

    Making a freeware game first definitely makes sense. I guess I could either make the freeware game with a standalone story, and then, if I go commercial, make a new game using the same (and additional) characters and environments, sort of continuing with a new (and longer) adventure where the freeware one left off, or I could make the free one the first part of one story, and leave off with a cliffhanger. Maybe even divide the game into episodes... Lots to think about there, but I'll have my hands full with making the free one before I have to decide where to go next :p

    I quite liked the Tick (though it's been some time since I watched it now), and I'd definitely like to have more of that type of cheesy parody - I think that would help to break up what could otherwise just be plain sidescrolling fighting action...

    The name... yeah, I'd be quite open to suggestions there :rolleyes: The whole process for "designing" this game (with the time pressure of the compo) went like: ok, what to do... collect stuff? yeah, how many? three sounds about right. But what? Rings? Goblets? Figurines maybe? yeah, but what kind? gold? ruby? jade! yes, The Jade Figurines :D

    So, any ideas of a good, distinct name for this will be greatly appreciated.


    Also, how big should the game be? How many levels, how many types of environments, how many types of opponents? I've really no idea what to go for here... Any thoughts?
     

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer