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Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Chris Evans, Nov 4, 2004.
ugg, race conditions... those are always a blast to debug. Good luck
I downloaded and played this new version, and I think the improvements you made are excellent. The first level was easier, without frogs and perhaps with connecting some platforms that were jumps.
Also, having Mai give advice on the basics really helped a lot. Even after playing through the demo I didn't understand how to use the green gem until she told me, and her telling how to use the items was helpful, too, though I figured it out by then. I think the more help you give that is in-game like this through Mai is good because it keeps the person in the game and they don't have to memorize all the controls.
A few observations:
1. The game starts running slow at the beginning of stage two, almost certainly because those butterflies are flying all around, very close to the camera. Don't get me wrong, i like the butterflies and think they are very cool, but with such detail right in front of the camera I think it slows things down.
2. I noticed a similar phenomena when I was up on the top platforms on stage 2 with the clouds coming toward me and being right up in the camera. Things slow down then. Sometimes when I get a lot of coins this happens, too, perhaps because of all the little particle effects that go off when getting the coins.
3. There were a few physics glitches but overall I feel the play control is good, both the jumping and moving.
I think Pow Pow is a fun game!
Peace to you!
Some impresions after trying the new version:
As for the mid-air control, I still think it's not enough. If you haven't done it yet, I would suggest you take some time and play any of the classic platformers, like Mario. You'll see how their character movement allows for much more control.
I had a problem when turning corners. If I walked into a corner, it would sometimes go back and forth, no matter I was always holding the same key. I think that happens when I walk, but not when I run.
There's too much confirming when saving and loading. Besides, if you want to have a confirmation, the "Yes" option should just be one click away (now you appear on "Cancel" and have to move to "No" and then to "Yes".)
You should make collision area with items much bigger. As it is now, I have to jump too precisely to get the item.
As for speed, it's still slow, but it's a bit better with lower details. It really surprises me how slow this game performs. I mean, it doesn't have that many graphics and I have no problem playing some pretty graphic-intensive games (e.g.: Splinter Cell) on my computer...
I think you could get a speed boost by removing the character shadow (maybe make it optional.)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that you dynamicaly calculate the shadow, like in "real" 3D games (I mean, where characters are 3D too.) IMO doing it that way doesn't look good as it is and just eats up FPS. I would do one of the following:
a) Use a classic circular shadow. Very easy and fast, and I think it would look good taking into account the cartoony look of the game.
b) Use "proper" shadow, but precalculate it. After all, your character animations have a set number of frames. You can generate the appropriate shadow for each frame and then just animate the texture in sync with the character animation.
I like how you made the first level easier. It's better that way.
I don't like having to "use" the extra life item to get a new life. I think it's just wrong. There's a reason to store a medikit or a similar item: you carry it with you, waiting for the right itme to use it. But there's no right time to get an extra life! I always have to use the current item, although I may not need it, just to get the extra life... I don't like it at all, it just leads to frustration.
My system specs:
Pentium III 800 MHz
256 MB RAM
GeForce FX 5200 128 MB
Windows XP Pro (SP1)
Thanks for the feedback Devman and Night Elf!
Actually there is a reason to hold on to the 1up. Mai Mei can give you Gem Stones that are not found in Pow Pow's levels. However, she'll only give you rare Gem Stones if you give her items as well. You can give her health kits, but if you give her more valuable items like 1ups and Gem Stones, she's more likely to give you better items in return. Some of the Gem Stones she gives can be very powerful.
If you pretty much ignore Mai Mei than yeah pressing 'Enter' to use the 1up item can be a little of a nuisance. However, if you even just talk to Mai Mei occasionally and receive an item, then you'll see it's not pointless.
Mmmmh... I see. Well, I was in fact ignoring her... I just don't like the PDA interaction very much. I think it interrupts the action in the game. I mean, I'm running, jumping from platform to platform and killing badies; I don't seem to find an appropriate moment to use de PDA. I think it would be better to have special moments during the game when to use the PDA (like "PDA checkpoints" during the level, or just being able to use the PDA in between levels.) This way the game will guide the player, instead of giving them the freedom of using the PDA anywhere. So much freedom makes me forget about the PDA.
What I see is that gameplay changes a lot when you leave the "platform game mode" to enter the "PDA mode" and viceversa. I don't think that abrupt change of gamplay is a good thing to have repeated too often during the game. By restricting the PDA usage to certain moments, you can control when that gameplay change can occur.
I don't think giving gifts to Mai Mei is enough of a reason to have 1UPs behave like that, but if you think it is, you could make life a bit easier for the palyer by providing more than one slot in the inventory. That way the player won't always be forced to just "throw away" an item (use it when it's not needed) just to collect the 1UP...
Now that I think of it, "trowing away" an item may be an interesting solution to the problem. Why not let the payer drop the current item? When you press the drop key, the item would go out of your inventory and appear floating over the player's head. Then the player can grab another item. Then, if they want so, they can use that new item and then get back the old one.
Hey, that's a pretty good idea! I'm definitely going to experiment with that on the next major update. The only challenge would be figuring out what button key to use. Right now, Pow Pow can pretty much be played with one hand if you're not running. I'm trying to keep things simple, so I'm wary of adding too many extraneous keys. Also, I want the game to be playable with at least a 4-5 button gamepad.
As for the interaction with Mai Mei, I purposely made it so you could ignore her if you wanted to. Some people enjoy the aspect of talking and sending/receiving items with Mai Mei, others simply want their platformer action uninterrupted. If you choose to ignore Mai Mei you won't receive rare gem stones and she won't send you health/1ups when you're low on life. But it's not detrimental and you can still get through the game without talking to her much.
How about having him drop the item if he tries to pick up another item?
That would work great, I think.
Just some initial impressions for ya:
1) the intro comes on a bit suddenly - but I assume most folks will be able to follow along (meaning, not much backstory before you get to the exploding jewel)
2) the girlfriend seems to be practially falling out of her shirt -- I'm basically too embarassed to let my kids play this game, even though otherwise it looks like a perfect game for them to try out. Perhaps you could tone down the girl's --- endowments? I think the artwork's fine, but it seems a little out of place with the tone of the rest of the game.
3) UI - I struggled quite a bit with the PDA interface -- it seems kinda clunky..
4) after only going a few minutes into the game it died with some script error when I tried to skip some dialog in the PDA... ugh
5) Shadows -- I immediately noticed that the shadows of the player's character dont meet the feet of the player on the first level.. which give him
the appearance of "floating" over the platform.
Otherwise it seems like a cool and promising game.
Great game, Chris! Make sure you hold on to your artist(s)! I've had no problems at all, and the game ran beautifully on my bog-standard computer at a good speed. Only minor non user-friendly problem I noted so far is the hiscore name entry box with the "Player Name" words that need to be deleted to enter a name. Otherwise, great game - look forward to testing it more!
I was able to play this on my computer at work. It's pretty cool though I didn't get a chance to play it long. I received some script errors.. usually when I would hit ">>" when there was no more text left to scroll to. Also, the PDA seems to ring a lot for no apparent reason. I would answer it, and the girl wouldn't say anything unless I said something - and her response was as though it was I who initiated the contact.
LOL - sounds like real life!
If it sounds like real life, then I want to be able to hit a button to send her to my voicemail. "Pow pow can't answer the PDA right now since he's in the middle of jumping on top of funky creatures. At the sound of the tone, please leave a message. *beep*"
Tomorrow I'm launching www.playpowpow.com , but you can check it out now.
In addition to the PC demo, there's now a Web and Mac demo available. It'd be great if you guys could give the web version a look.
All the demos have the fixes from your latest comments (including the PDA ">>" lock). Thanks again everybody!
I just checked out the site. It looks very cool, and it's definitely the best Shockwave app I've seen in a browser. You can "mouselook" in the web version.. just in case it was a leftover debug thing. The only comment on the site is that it might look strange to have a red X under the column for the bought version of the game (though it refers to the short intro). Other than that, it looks pretty slick.
Ok, more glitches found while playing web version. In third level there's a place with checkpoint and energy between two enemies. I've tried using the powerup where pow pow goes through the enemy and kills it. I was stuck in the middle and suddenly respawned on the last checkpoing in the wrong dimension and died. When I got till the end of level and haven't pushed any buttons, pow pow fall off the carpet and my browser is hanged now while I see time to time fanfare sound.
Thanks Jim, I adjusted the comparison chart.
Also thanks Anatoly, I'll check out that glitch. When you respawned did you use a checkpoint item before?
Great web version! However, I got an error message into the game (just after the first checkpoint when I fell into the gap: "This shockwave movie has errors that have caused playback problems. Please contact the author of this content regarding this problem. Shockwave is unable to continue."