Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

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Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:49 pm

Getting stuff organized on Google Docs and my other technologies, unpacked and plugged in my computer this morning. Writing design docs and other useful documents.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:47 pm

I've done some design doc stuff. http://bit.ly/1qzGiKL

I'm now looking at overall goals and populating To Do lists using Trello.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby HanClinto » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:17 pm

It's not exactly what you want, but we tried to shoot for a similar visual style with Roger Robot back in Pyweek 6.

Image

A lot of it was just simple sprites to use as particle effects and whatnot -- the graphics are all freely available, and you'd be more than welcome to use them in your current game -- whether for the final game, or even just as placeholders until you get something better in place.

Our development drop folder was here:
http://hanclinto.com/dav/ccn/pyweek6/

And all of the source code can be downloaded from here:
https://pyweek.org/e/4_Deemed_Red/


What you've got looks good so far -- I look forward to playing your game!
""

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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:57 pm

Sweet. Thanks so much!
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:11 pm

Hit make game button. This game came out and I suddenly felt extraordinarily sleepy.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/328 ... Flight.zip
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby b-o » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:41 pm

the game has good sound.. the background tile is not seamless. you could probably fix that pretty easily.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:03 pm

Normally that would be a fairly straightforward fix, but with the way the deadlines interact with our work schedules. That will have to stay as is. Thanks for the feedback though.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby brandav » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:23 pm

I read the readme. Indeed, your game is very difficult. At this point in time, I am unable to complete it. However, I really enjoyed listening to the music and watching the spaceships blow up :)
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:29 am

In the interest of helping others to enjoy the game. I'm providing you the option of watching me beat the game. I edited out the ending, so you still have some reason to execute it yourself.

This is about the 10th try for me, but I don't have it memorized or anything. http://youtu.be/tAGW0dlYBGg
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby brandav » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:48 pm

I didn't expect that this was how the game was supposed to be played at all! If you give me a weapon in a game, intuitively I'm going to try to use it on the first thing that moves. The instructions were misleading too! I was always confused why I couldn't win at the end after blowing up all the ships...
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:12 pm

(SPOILERS) I tried to make it really easy to hit the "fail" screen. The idea is you're supposed to die, then fail, then figure out from the failure screen that maybe you're doing it wrong. The planned cartoons might have been a bit clearer, but we ran out of time. The instructions were a little misleading on purpose, but they only warned to beware the enemies, not to shoot them.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:12 pm

(SPOILERS) I tried to make it really easy to hit the "fail" screen. The idea is you're supposed to die, then fail, then figure out from the failure screen that maybe you're doing it wrong. The planned cartoons might have been a bit clearer, but we ran out of time. The instructions were a little misleading on purpose, but they only warned to beware the enemies, not to shoot them.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby RobinH » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:21 pm

I tried playing the Mac build, and it runs okay, but when I try to shoot (by holding down the left mouse button) the shots just go to the right (east). Pretty weird; am I missing something?
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:34 pm

RobinH, that's a bug. I have no idea what's happening.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby RobinH » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:12 pm

Mene-Mene wrote:RobinH, that's a bug. I have no idea what's happening.

Weird - so it's not just me? Has anyone else seen that?

Also, we've been wondering if your game is called "Boundless Flight" or "Bloodless Flight". There are references to both in the game.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:42 pm

It's Bloodless Flight, I just wrote some mistakes in writing it out.

You're the only one I've seen with that bug. Bugala has been having trouble running the Windows version with some sort of error message, but idk why.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby bugala » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:39 am

Played this game with my wifes computer now, 64-bit win7, worked fine there.

I am sure I woudl review this game much more positively, had it been done by someone else but you. You can blame yourself from setting the bar so high with your previous games. To put it very short. You are my favorite Speedgame developer, hence regardless how much you try to tell you are going to this time only make a multiple choice text game, my expectations are extremely high.

And yeah, although I dont think you were very succesful this time when compared to previous years, your brilliance can regardless be seen throughout the game.

I dont think you realised this yourself, but I think that music at title screen is part of Wagners Sigmunds Funeral March. Not part of that specific song, but part of the same opera where that Sigmunds Funeral March is part of, and by the sounds of it, it is perhaps the next song after that one or something, hence Sigmund would still be completely dead at beginning of song at least. By this my point is, what a proper song to use for a game where you are supposed to bury your old ways to complete the game. Not to mention that Wagners music are anyway often times like praising the greatness of dieing and feel of flying free after the death or towards death. What a proper choice again for a flight game.

I also liked how classical piece of music was used for a speedgame. Actually strange others havent used them yet, they always make such an effect to games and movies.

The game itself, it is bit hard to even figure out how to actualyl properly review this. I guess I jsut have to say one bit from here another from there.

First of all, I at same time thought it is good, as well as bad, that when you tried shooting way of completing the game, all you had to do was to go from left edge to right edge and back, and keep shooting. Whole game would be completeable that way (although it wasnt of course). This was bad in sense that it was too easy, but on the other hand, it was good in sense, that you had easy way to get to the end monser to try to figure out what you are doing wrong.

It was also very good that you had understood to make this game last only a minute, for after all, whole game was based upon figuring out a trick. If this had lasted 10 minutes (as i somehow had understood), that had been real torture and annoyiance.

But, especially when considering that this game was based upon figuring out a trick, it was simlpy too hard afterwards. I think had you not spoiled the trick in advance (i didnt watch the video, but especially one of the repliers unfortunately didnt put the spoiler mark on their post, and revealed it with that comment), I might have thought to do it that way eventually, especially due to bloodless fight title, but in the end i would have given it up, since at point those 4 enemy ships came at same time, and right after them couple more in middle of them, and that was only perhaps fourth wave only yet - by otherwords at very beginning already - I would have thought that wave was made in such a way to tell you that this is not the way to solve the game.

Since I had already figured the trick from that reply, I however pushed myself to get through there, but even then there came another, and another, and another very, very difficult wave to avoid. That took the fun away from the game. Since you perhaps figure out the trick, then you start happily going for it, and realise you cant even get it done! And perhaps even give up the idea and still wonder what you did wrong with the big boss.

One suggestion for figuring out the trick would be to include couple of slightly stronger enemies that you need to shoot multiple times, and make them so, that every time you shoot them, they flash white to tell they got hit. And as it is now with the big boss, when you shoot at him, nothing happens, making it clear that your weapon is not really working, just like now. It is just that missing that previous tougher enemy to show that white flashing hit, you might think boss not reacting to shots is either decision by programmer or lack of polishing - not a hint.

The message part. Once again we can see your brilliance in the idea behind how to tell the message, although this time I think you failed to get the effect that you have in previous games got.

There is also some contradiction in my opinion. For battle is not against felsh and blood, that i understand why nothing happens when you shoot those bastards away, but on the other hand, isnt the whole battle in spiritual realm already? Hence, why do i have to surrender in this spiritual realm as well to win? When the whole point should be that i do fight, just not in this flesh and blood realm, but in spiritual realm.

Either I am missing your message, or it wasnt very consistent.

In title menu i saw that book, but i wonder was there bug since it would light on and off, and tell nothing else. I did figure out it is probably ingame tutorial on/off, and so it did, but for first game i chose it the wrong way, and hence missed important info for my mission, as right at beginning you are telling how to complete the game. As long as you follow the instructions precisely without adding anything to it.

The game itself played quite well. Only was that it felt bit unnatural moving the ship with mouse, and precise controlling was too difficult, which woudl result in blowing the ship especially on tight spots where you first need to go between two ships, and then right away try to avoid next ship in front of you.

Graphics were great, and feeling too. Explosions made a big difference to the game etc.

All in all, it was fun to play, just that it was so hard that you got frustrated and at that point having already figured out the trick, you just want to see if the trick works, not to die 20 times before seeing it. Hence funness was at that point gone, evne the game itself was otherwise well built for funnes.


To conclude:
Great idea which didnt work out in the end very well, not because the idea wasnt good, but ebcause other things like too hard a game spoiled the fun of discovering it. Graphics look very good, and games basics are fun to play. I would say that game itself is good, just that the level design itself is not very fun. Basically only minus in addition to level design, is the hardness of accurate movement.

Good job again. Just not close to what you have achieved before, which is not to tell that this would be bad in anyway, just that you cant expect Einstein to figure out Theory of relativity each time he thinks something up.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby muadib » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:27 am

Agree with Bugala. I tried not hitting any of the enemies and just couldn't dodge all of them and so never completed the game. I think it's not really a good idea to give the player a weapon and expect them not to use it. If I didn't read the forums here I wouldn't know what was going on. If you are going to give them a weapon then I think you should give them something to use it on. Like those shooting games where you need to distinguish between good and bad guys. Or if you don't give them a weapon then put in something besides enemies. Like angel ships that will keep them from going toward you or occasional blocks to give the player a reprieve.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby Mene-Mene » Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:41 pm

Thanks for your reviews.

Bugala: I'm glad you liked the music. I think what it comes down to is that I tried to make it hard, but doable, and I made it too hard. My goal from the beginning was to make it ridiculously easy to win by shooting the enemies in hopes it would add to player's feeling of, "This can't be right." In that sense, I think that it being way too easy is a good thing. I don't want players to be struggling through the game when they shoot through it. I didn't want you to be able to sleep through it, but I wanted it to be a first try sort of thing. The reason why the difficulty was so difficult to balance was because the actual gameplay was only around 1 minute, so the rest of the game time had to be attempts that nearly succeeded. One of the big things that would have helped is multiple stages, and a progress meter, but time was a big constraint there.

The original plan for the game was to have like comic strips that communicate the story, but we ran out of time. I think those comic strips might have communicated your goal a bit better because I was planning on showcasing the enemy ships that blew up.

Re: contradiction. The enemies in the game are re-colored versions of the player, but the dark lord of the abyss is completely other. This represents that the enemies you fight are either old, failed versions of the player, or other humans like the player. The dark lord, however, is the great spiritual force of evil. So, the dark lord recruits (forcibly) flesh and blood to protect himself. This represents the old adage, "hate the sin, not the sinner." Which is to say that when someone is a force for the promotion of evil, we should fight against their evil, but not against their person. The dark lord represents the evil, and the enemies represent the people that carry the message.

The title menu book was inspired by how P1XL handles instructions in their games. I'm not sure how I could have handled it different to avoid that issue.

I totally get what you're saying about the controls, but I wonder if it isn't so much the controls that are the issue as it is the mismatch between the controls and the difficulty. My ideal control scheme was for something like a tablet or phone, but I thought a mouse was a close approximation.

What I lacked most was testing, I didn't have much of a period to test it or let anyone else play it because of my personal time constraints. I don't think even the artist I was working with had much of a chance to play that game during development at all.

Muadib:
There are two sides to what you're saying. On the one hand, the game lacked variety. I totally agree, and that was mostly because of time constraints. On the other hand, about handing the player a weapon and then telling them not to use it, this is an artsy game. Some games are all about having fun, other games are about having fun and making a point. This is in the latter category. I've heard a lot about Christianity and violent games. I thought this was an interesting commentary on violence in video games and our tendency that in video games to kill everything that moves. This is a trained tendency, yes, and I'm not condemning the player for it, but I wanted to have a platform to have a shooter video game where your goal was to not shoot stuff. This is also playing from discussions with a fellow anon game developer about GTA, and how life isn't about never having the option to do evil, it's about having consequences for evil and choosing not to.

That brings up something else, which is that there clearly was a lot I was trying to say with the game, but I didn't say it as well as I'd have liked. How can we communicate messages like that more effectively? There's a lot you can do with guided experiences, and this is an example of an experience that was not especially well railroaded, but I think, and have for some time, that Christian messages are best told through gameplay and experiences rather than words and story. Sometimes experiences are driven by story, but what makes them powerful isn't the words that are said, but the tales the player tells about his own experience. I try to bring that as best I can to SpeedGame because I think that's one important thing that Christian games can do. I'm also a fan of fatless writing, albeit not so good at implementing it when I'm in a hurry, the idea of saying as much as possible in as few words as possible, so I'd like to bring that same information density to Christian game development.
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Re: Dev Blog | Mene-Mene

Postby bugala » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:46 pm

Ah, that Contradiction part now makes sense.

I think the main problem with the controls was that you basically saw what you wanted to do (slip between two ships), and there was enough space to do it too, but yet you couldnt control the ship well enough to actually be able to do it.

That easy going through blastin, hard going without shooting is pretty difficult balancing.

Basically, as I said in review already too, it was good idea that shooting was easy, so you could figure out your doing something wrong. And now I also understand your idea, that basically, level 1, is to fail the game, and only then the game really starts and you get to level 2, which is to go through without shooting.

Idea itself works out and is solid, but main problem is, that you are not sure if you reached level 2 or not. There would need to be something that would confirm your idea that you are playing level 2 now, especially with this much of difficulty.

One idea that comes to my mind is that there could be a progress bar, and when you keep shooting enemies, the progress bar doesnt go forward, but when you go without shooting, this progress bar advances forward.

That way if you figured out the trick, you could confirm it with that progress bar already, although you would still be dieing. Since even I had pretty much figured out the trick in advance thanks to other peoples replies in here, I still had my doubt quite early in the game, since there came thsoe ships in such a way that I was even thinking that perhaps the whole point Mene-Mene is doing here is double fooling. That you think you are supposed to go through without shooting, and when you start doing that, he have made this impassable place here to make player figure out that that is not actually the way to do it.

Therefore one of my points wasnt so much that it is extremely difficult, but that at that one point, it seemed like it was made impossible by purpose and that could stop player from trying anymore, since he thinks hes idea was wrong.

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