for one, consider reducing the speed slightly when the player walks?
Hello folks. Agreed with @26. Well, there are some sounds that are not so obvious, specially when you walk next to a wall, I couldn't say for sure if it is the character brushing against the wall, or if it is climbing a ledge of sorts.
Best regards, Haramir.
#28 (edited by amerikranian 2020-05-13 21:52:06)
Right. My feedback.
I like the concept here, and don't even think that the player needs to be slowed down. However, I do feel like there is a huge struggle in communicating the information about the current environment to the listener. Interestingly enough, it's not the sounds, those can be reduced in my opinion. The problem was that I spent a good amount of time running and smashing myself head first into walls. If there is a sonar I sure didn't here it, or didn't realize that it was, in fact, a sonar. I didn't even get to see the enemies. All I heard was a persistent hum and some fire noises in the corners of the grid.
This brings me to my next point. Rather than fill up the environment with sounds, space things out. Place general ambiance on important regions to confirm that the player is on the right track, but don't clutter up our field of "vision". I personally feel like what you're doing right now is akin to you seeing a room with the labels on each four corners stating that this is, in fact, a insert direction here corner. Is it helpful? To some, maybe. I find it incredibly obtrusive, particularly because the environment is so tiny.
Continuing on my point from earlier, if you add a sonar, perhaps add a tutorial for it as well? Manamon II did this if you want to take a look, though it was quite useless because people have already figured out how Aaron does his navigation. You don't even need to buy the game, the option is right in the main menu.
I hope this was helpful and do let me know what I am missing here if there are enemies to be found.
Edit: Found the weapon and turning. Not much to say on the weapon, but I do think that turning needs to be improved. It took me three or so swipes on my laptop's touchpad to turn to the next direction. Unless this gets sped up, like, a lot (one full swipe turns you by 90 degrees) I will stick to 45 degree turns because they are a lot faster.
@26 hey moaddye, I made the starting room bigger, since playing space and movement speed are heavily linked.
But I'm gonna take a look at walk speed again later and see if it needs to be adjusted; the game is a little claustrophobic in some areas.
@27 Thanks for the feedback Haramir. My dream is to have the character's hand brush up against the wall, but all the sounds I've used previously ended up being very "sharp" and annoying, so I toned it down and used a more muted version. Gonna keep searching for something more appropriate, since the vibe you're getting is really not what we're going for.
@28 amerikranian: Thanks for that in-depth response! We currently don't have a proper functioning sonar, but we do have sounds that attempt to place things in space, but obviously that didn't work in this case.
Our current model is like this:
Doors have torches next to them. Doors make sound when something causes them to open.
Destructible Crystals make a humming sound.
Hallways make a swooshing sound when close by.
Enemies Gurgle and moan.
We found the issue with the torches; In the room you start in, there are 2 torches. But due to a bug, all torches had a sound range of 25 meters, compared to everything else in the game which has a sound range of about 8 meters. So you were hearing torches and things in rooms far away as if they were immediately close by. I'm sorry for the audio assault. Big mistake on our part.
We made the starting room a lot bigger, so that the player can get a little used to movement, as well as putting space between the torches and the humming crystal.
We made changes to the audio feedback for hitting walls with the sword:
It's a lot more clear if your sword get's "blocked" by something now; It makes a distinct metallic "clank" if it hits a wall, versus when you hit something destructible. This wasn't part of your feedback, but something that we noticed needed fixing.
So just to be clear; Hit the humming crystal in the first room to progress the game.
I'm sorry that the mouse sensitivity was so low. We've been playtesting with mice since we don't use laptops for development.
I'm putting in a Hotfix for you; Pressing I. on the keyboard increases the mouse sensitivity, and pressing L. lowers it.
Default sensitivity is now 10, pressing I increases it by 0.5 for every press.
I just pushed this update to the game. The link is in my signature for quick reference. This is version 0.6
If you have the itch App, you can download the update, otherwise the game needs to be downloaded again.
For anyone who sends us play-data, we greatly appreciate it! Please wait a couple of seconds on the final screen before closing the game so that the data gets sent completely. Again, this is opt-in.
#30 (edited by amerikranian 2020-05-14 19:21:01)
Right. Will check it out shortly.
I have a mouse, and I can give it a go with the mouse, that’s what I will probably do after redownloading.
I'm impressed. This is shaping out to be quite a neat experience. There are still some minor problems, though, so let me address those.
First, the hallways. They work, but I sometimes have a difficult time slipping through them if they're at an angle. I think the unity 3d engine is at fault here, though. Still, a major improvement.
Second, and I will touch on this a bit more in my next point, but I struggle to hit things with my sword. Half the time I swing I hit a wall. This isn't really a problem for the crystals, but it literally hurts for enemies.
I got to try combat and here are my thoughts.
First, the weapon range isn't really communicated well. I struggle to kill the enemies not because they're tough, but because half the time I'm swinging at walls and waste my time hammering my left mouse button and hope the enemies would be in range. You can see how games like Shadow Rine got around this by using a radar for monsters, though with some areas where reverb is a big thing it may become an issue. You also have to keep in mind that the sound has to be easily distinguishable yet not so obtrusive that it drowns out the gameplay.
Second, your health. It would be really nice to be able to check this value.
Overall, quite a nice improvement. Thank you for the sensitivity fix. Would it be possible to be able to check it's current value just in case I forget what it is?
Final note: I strongly, strongly recommend either a tutorial which shows off the navigation and combat at the beginning of the game or some sort of a sound reference. I am getting used to the sounds, but you still had to give me the clarification as to the crystals.
#32 (edited by moaddye 2020-05-15 21:56:19)
to be honest, after I destroyed the first humming crystal, I ran around like a headless chicken in the second corridor, looking for a humming crystal. I could hear one at the opening in the 3 north a bit east corner of the map after you go all s and then d and do the 3 w d thing. (might not be here but anyway) I could hear the humming crystal and I tried to hit it for about 10 minutes, but I always hit the wall. then I moved into the second corridor and couldn't find anything. all north and east, I heard a monster, but couldn't get to it because there was a wall. I heard a humming crystal, but couldn't find it. I even ran near every wall, but couldn't find it. is there a third corridor or not?
a couple suggestions.
maybe a radar you could turn on and off to alert you of humming crystals, walls, incoming monsters and close doors, closed or open?
Monsters will actively try to pursue you. If they are blocked by wall, their sounds will be muffled, and they will try to find a way to get into the corridor, or place, you are in. If they're in your area they start moving to your position when you're like 15 coords away from them?
Thanks for the amazing feedback @31 amerikranian and @32 moaddye!
I didn't reply when I saw them, but your comments have heavily driven the direction of this update.
The Update is now live and available in the link in my signature.
I'll try to address your points in the order they were made.
@31 I agree that the swordplay right now is lacking, and doesn't communicate range. We want the player to make decisions in combat, and currently there's not many decisions to be made. Currently the sword swings with a wide arc on the right side exclusively.
What we want to do is have the weapon swing at an arc from right to left or left to right, depending on what mouse button the player clicks. So if there is a wall on the right side, the player would swing left to right. If the enemy wields a shield in one hand, the player would swing the other direction. The pipe dream is to have different weapons, like spears or throwing knives. Spears are super effective in tight hallways, because you cant swing a giant sword in that tight space, etc.
BUT to facilitate that, the player has to have a good clue where the heck they are, and where the heck the enemy is.
@32 You make good points about understanding space, and that the game currently doesn't facilitate it well enough. I'm really sorry that the crystal was being such a shitty obstacle. I've moved all crystals further away from walls so that this shouldn't happen. That's our temporary fix, but the true issue is the sword and how it works.
You both mention Radar, and I agree that it's about time that we implemented something with that type of functionality. Spacial awareness is Key, so lets get to it.
So with this Update, we've added Sonar and Radar.
Our Sonar is heavily lifted from the system Swamp uses. We use Directional arrows to send a sonar pulses in a certain direction. One sound for "Nothing in the space", and one sound for "hit a wall". The sound increases in pitch the closer the player is to the wall. Currently the Sonar doesn't detect enemies, crystals or doors, but we're working on it. So its not super functional for combat yet but works with walls.
The range of the sonar is 3 World units/meters.
The sonar is activated with Arrow keys, and deactivated with the same keys. You can also press R to send a Radial sonar that continuously rotates around the player.
The OTHER usability feature is the Radar. We call it radar because it basically sends a signal to the closest "radio" and that radio then announces itself with a sound.
Basically, the 1, 2, 3, and 4 keys will force the closest Crystal, Door, Hallway, and Enemy to make a sound, as well as announce their distance in meters.
Some notes: Sometimes the closest object in Distance MIGHT be behind a wall, and in actuality much further away.
Both of these features are in the First round of iteration, and they can both use a lot of improvement.
With that said; Radar is currently very Un-optimised. Don't press the 1 to 4 keys repeatedly more that once per second, or it might slow down the game. It's functional, but in theory not spammable.
Oh, and as a last minute addition we added a Health check to the H key.
Most enemies do 2 damage, and the player starts with 5. So pressing H should tell you your HP.
If anyone is curious, the game has
Any and all feedback is appreciated!
#34 (edited by amerikranian 2020-05-20 00:57:15)
Oh man, I'm afraid this is going to be quite a negative feedback post...
First, the sonar. I believe that it is quite intrusive. I wouldn't use this in combat, it's too distracting. I like the effort, I just think that the sounds could have been chosen a bit better. You may also consider allowing for long range sonar like swamp, where if you press shift with an arrow key you send out a much more longer pulse outwards, therefore gaining more perspective as to what is ahead of you. Naturally, such mode only scans ahead in a strait line. To be honest, when I play Swamp this is my go to mode. Granted I know the maps like the back of my hand, but I just feel like the short range sonar is not quick enough for when I'm running from swarms of zombies. Increasing the distance for the short ranged sonar wouldn't really help here, nor would an increase in sonar scan speed. I said that the sonar was quite intrusive and I mean it. The sounds grab your attention and I have to almost tune them out in order to navigate.
As for the radar, again, the idea works, but only in theory. One of the limitations was that the key couldn't be pressed more than once a second. With the current combat mechanics that's an eternity. It also does not solve the issue of you not knowing if you're within range of your sword (see my earlier statement about slow key presses). Furthermore, that kind of defeats the point of the game for me. If you look at A Hero's Call, unfortunately no demo but you can find some streams of it on Youtube, you will notice that the game gives you beacons to 99% of the locations. That kind of killed the game for me by mostly eliminating the exploration factor. This doesn't quite do this, seeing as I have no directions to the nearest object, but you can sort of make this a cheat command of sorts to find hidden rooms, doors, and enemies.
I would like to point out that this is MY opinion and thus should be considered with great care. I am known for enjoying and making content with a high curve required to play it fully through.
So, I'm sure you're wondering how to proceed by now. I am too, to be honest. Navigation works for me for the most part (I feel like crystals opening up some section of a big map later on could become a hassle), but here are some suggestions to consider.
Change the sonar to an implementation I suggested earlier on in this topic (Around post 6 maybe)? This will lower the intrusiveness of the sonar by a lot and cut down on it's feedback since you won't constantly hear clicks. If you like swamp style navigation that's cool as well, but I would add the ability to do long scans (Shift and an arrow key in swamp to start and space to stop if you want to try it out for yourself). The second option would definitely be easier to code (if I remember right when I implemented a sonar I made it take a list of directions and a distance in which to scan so all it took was a slight parameter adjustment).
Considering limiting the range of the radar? This is up in the air as that would detract from the radar's intended purpose, but it will give you the ability to create secret areas and such which the player would still have to look for. It would also probably reduce your map range scan, but I am not sure as to how much of a noticeable difference the end goal would yield. I stopped trying to optimize quite a bit ago since the compilers usually do that job and it shouldn't be a concern until this becomes a problem.
As for combat, I am honestly not too sure. I do fine until I enter the room with the waterfall and kill two enemies, then I always just die afterwards because the zombie with chains, I'm unsure if that is what you were trying to portray, kills me. Part of the problem is me not having a good idea of how far he can reach and still hit me, but I also still feel like I am not sure as to the extent of my weapon. I keep trying to swing at him and hit nothing but walls and he seems to have a longer reach than me. By the time I retreat and come back he's already ready for another swing. I will update this with more thoughts as I pick my brain as to how to represent combat awareness, but besides pointing you at trying Shadow Rine I have nothing right now. I know the game is in Japanese, but I have some recordings of it laying around somewhere. I'll try and find those and cut out the heavy combat portion to give you an idea of what I'm proposing.
On another note, I would like to say thank you. I know this is difficult and new, and I know that it can be frustrating to constantly have to adjust, but you have made a lot of progress, even if it doesn't seem like much. I can only hope that I or anyone else here won't turn you off by suggestions which require some heavy design changes on your part.
ok. this gonna be a small post.
when you press escape to exit the game, press yes to take the survey, you will enter a dialog with what would you answer to this? You can't press enter or anything, just keeps repeating that.
there should be a way to restore health, perhaps resting?
and good job. thanks for the features
Hi there. For those that don't use a mouse, is there any plans to add a way to just use the keyboard?
#37 (edited by Stealcase_ 2020-05-20 17:07:33)
@34 I can't say thank you enough for the long and thoughtful responses! No need for apologize; there are no egos here. This is gamedev, and we're doing design. So honesty is the most helpful thing we can get; only then can we do better. We go into these things expecting there to be issues.
Immediate point on the docket; Change the audio for sonar. And look into changing how the sonar works currently.
Remove the sound for "void space", it's annoying and loud.
Make the sound for "walls" not so Ear-shattering and annoying. Me and Wiktor are having a meeting to talk about how to change the sonar, and We're reading your post @6 and talking about how shadow rine does it, as well as what we want it to be able to do. As always I will post when we update the game. We're gonna think of sonar as a thing that notifies you of a significant change; constant noise is NOT the way to go.
I appreciate the effort of finding audio clips, but me and Wiktor are playing swamp and shadow rine again for inspiration, so don't worry.
I just separated UI and Sonar sounds from everything else in the Sound Mixer, so hopefully the player will be able to adjust those when needed in the next update.
As for your points on the Radar; your feedback mimics a fear I had, and I completely agree. The mechanic removes most decision making from the navigation process, and makes the game become completely linear and removes exploration IF the player uses it as their main means of navigation. Balancing accessibility and challenge in this case is hard.
Thanks for the description of your play experience!
The attack pattern for the armored zombie with the chains is this:
It Charges towards you, and if it hits you, it does damage.
If it misses, it becomes tired for about 1 second.
The front of the zombie is armored, and the back is vulnerable. you can't damage it when it charges you.
But while it's tired, it doesn't turn to face you until it's ready to attack again.
We don't communicate this well enough. The "weakpoint" of the Armored Zombie has a very Directional Heartbeat sound, but it gets drowned out by everything else. The Sound for hitting the zombie armor is the same as hitting the wall; This is bad and needs to be fixed.
@35 Oh snap, we must have broken our survey in that last build. Gonna hotfix that, thanks for letting me know!
@37 There were no plans, but it can probably be done. Currently you can rotate at 45 degree increments with Shift + A and Shift + D, and move normally. The main problem is the Sword button is set to Left Mouse Click. I can look into optional keypresses for that, and look at what we can do for non-mouse navigation.
I know I'm a broken record stuck on repeat, but I really appreciate the feedback.
Regardless of how this game turns out in the end, I will continue to make accessible games; I've learned a lot and there are so many things I would like to try, and this community is awesome.
Apologies for the Double Post, but We just Pushed an Update! Link as always in my signature.
We have added some things that the player can do!
The player now has a Dash!
Press the space bar to dash in a direction that you are already walking.
Left Mouse, Right Mouse and Middle Mouse now make the Player Character do a Left Sword Swing, Right Sword Swing and Stab respectively. Useful to avoid hitting the wall on either side of the player before hitting the enemy.
The stab takes longer to perform, but is the only attack players can successfully complete in tight hallways.
The sound of the Sword attacks have been adjusted; The sound source is more accurate to the tip of the sword now. I believe the range of the sword is 0.6 meters at the moment.
The player has a Forward Scan! The E Key will announce whatever is in front of the player, as well as the Distance. This is similar to Swamp's Long range forward scan. This can be spammed to your heart's content. It works on Enemies, Doors, Walls, etc.
Hoping this will add some much desired Utility.
Q Announces your closest Cardinal Direction.
We have Reworked the Sonar System to be more in line with suggestions from amerikranian.
When the player moves close to a wall, they will hear a "Beep". If they move closer still to that wall, they hear a higher pitched beep.
If the player is in open space, they will not hear the walls.
If the player moves in a room and suddenly there is an opening in an adjacent wall, the player will hear a Whoosh from that direction. Once the player moves past that "opening", the player will hear a Lower-pitch Whoosh sound, indicating that the space is tighter than it was previously.
As a Result, Walking into tight hallways will give you a "whoosh" from both sides, and walking out of hallways will also give you a "whoosh" from both sides, and walking past hallways will give you a "whoosh" on one side.
These Sounds can be intrusive, but you have the option of lowering them.
The whoosh sounds and Wall beeps are on the same Mixer Audio Track. The player can Lower the volume of this track with the 8 Key, and increase the volume with the 9 Key.
The previous functionality of Using 1, 2, 3, 4 keys to send a Radio signal to nearby Objects still works, but we're looking to change it in the near future.
Enemies now Deal Less Damage, and I've done some adjustments to the Armored Zombie (or the ArmorHog as we call him). He has a weakpoint that makes sound, and I've adjusted the length of his "vulnerability state".
He doesn't take many hits if the weapoint is hit, but it's still hard.
I hope that these upgrades increases enjoyment and decreases frustration!
As always let me know what you think.
The Dash makes a sound even when you press space bar and don't move.
Using the Arrow Keys can Activate the Deprecated Sonar system. There is no need to use this.
R key turns on Radial Sonar. Deprecated Feature, not removed yet.
@Stealcase_, I have seen the update and will do my best to give feedback... tomorrow. I forgot my mouse at home, LOL.
My feedback, a bit later than I would have liked.
I like the sonar. I think it's a major improvement over what you made in the last version. I don't really have anything else to say besides proposing a longer demo with the player navigating some sort of maze as a final test of the navigation. Other than that, I think we're finished here.
I have great news on the combat front, I killed the hob! Pretty excited. Essentially I dashed and went into the last room with the crystal. After that it was a matter of dancing around with him until I could successfully target his weakness. I still feel like I struggled to predict how much I need to move in order to be in range, but I believe that now it's a matter of practice more than anything else. The targeting itself was interesting, too. I swear that sometimes I hit the hob where it counted only to hear the cling of the sword against a wall. Again, I suspect that this is just a matter of practice.
My recommendations for moving forward. Change up the map. Make it something new as I believe that I have started to memorize the rooms and the general area. Provide more lengthy combat. This will give me and anyone else who is testing a better feel for the tools and weapons when navigating the unknown.
On a slightly unrelated note: Feels odd to write such a short post, LOL.
Hello folks, @40 practically said everything. I personally think the walking speed is a bit too fast, specially when considering some narrow passages.
Best regards, Haramir.
This is Not a game update, but a status update.
Sorry for going silent for a week. Had a Sidejob as a Social Media Manager for a Digital Game Conference, and during the conference I couldn't spare any time to work on the game. But since Monday we have been working on it!
Thanks for the feedback @40 Amerikranian! Really appreciate you and Haramir taking the time to play this over and over; rest assured our next update is gonna spice up the level layout and content to make it more interesting.
Congrats on killing the Hob! That pig is hard, I honestly struggle with him.
@41 Haramir I'll look into what we can do about the walkspeed. If the issue feels like it is mostly related to narrow hallways, we might just make hallways a little wider; I know this has been mentioned before.
And since we do have a Dash now (mapped to spacebar) there might be some logic in slowing the movespeed down.
As the gamedevs we're cursed to become immune to certain flaws in what I create due to overexposure, so I appreciate you emphasizing the point!
Some things we are currently working on and want to complete before the next Game Update:
Health Drops from enemies
One more enemy Type
Tutorial Level that teaches controls and mechanics through gameplay
Complete Rework of the current map
Control Customization and key remapping
As always we try to fix small bugs and issues on top of the To-Do list, and improve what is already there, but those are the features we're trying to implement
Our Wishlist (things that probably won't make it the next update):
One more Weapon Type
Inspect Function (so the player can get information on objects or enemies in-game, in addition to their location)
Music that plays when enemies are aggressive
We aren't there yet, but I just wanted to chime in and let you know that your feedback has been heard and is being implemented!