6.9 (13 votes)
    November 02, 2014
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Project Spooky
(You can play browser-based version here: .)

(Another note: this project IS NOT written in C++, but for some reason Html5 doesn't exist in 'language' box when you modify your game...)

Project Spooky is my entry for Scary4Digits 2014. It's a simple action-platformer with a procedurally generated map and simple character-growth system. If you die, you will lose all your bonuses (but not the permanent abilities) and the map will be regenerated.

That's it. Have fun.

If you want to see the source code, download desktop version and open package.nw with any zip program (the file is a normal .zip file with different extension).

Target platforms:

This is really cool, nice work!
Posted by Ferret November 02, 2014 1:41 - 2.4 years ago
| [#01]

Good game, fun and simple. Great job.
Posted by Mataguiris November 03, 2014 9:51 - 2.4 years ago
| [#02]

played this in my browser and had lots of fun getting overwhelmed by enemies!
we should really consider html5 support here.
Posted by Gordy November 04, 2014 14:25 - 2.4 years ago
| [#03]

The music is cozy, the play is fun and feels great. If I'd had something like this on Gameboy Advance back in the day, I would have played it all day.
Posted by Nopykon November 04, 2014 15:00 - 2.4 years ago
| [#04]

This is really good. Parts could use a bit polish though, for instance when you swing your sword to one side you can't attack to the other side immediately which got me harmed several times.
I don't like how spikes harm you from the side either. They're almost impossible to avoid. And the enemies fall down through the floor and harm you when you have to go down yourself.
So improve the AI and the rest and I'd enjoy this game even more.
Also I loved how the spelling error in the intro called me the player stupid (or was that intentional) :)
Posted by SpectreNectar November 06, 2014 4:57 - 2.4 years ago
| [#05]

This is really good. Parts could use a bit polish though, for instance when you swing your sword to one side you can't attack to the other side immediately which got me harmed several times.
I don't like how spikes harm you from the side either. They're almost impossible to avoid. And the enemies fall down through the floor and harm you when you have to go down yourself.
So improve the AI and the rest and I'd enjoy this game even more.
Also I loved how the spelling error in the intro called me the player stupid (or was that intentional) :)

Well, that sword thing... I know the fighting is a bit awkward. Changing the behaviour wouldn't be too hard, but I don't know how well would it work.
About the spikes, their hitboxes are too big indeed, I was supposed to fix them on the same day I added them... but I postponed that and the result was I forgot.
And about those falling enemies, I tried to figure out a good way to prevent the situation you described. I could make the player invincible for a short moment when he or she goes to another room, but I don't think that's the best solution...
Posted by Jani_Nykanen November 06, 2014 9:50 - 2.4 years ago
| [#06]

Can you give me some tips on killing the boss? I didn't do a lick of damage to him and I'm in 4th place on GameJolt. It's quite fun though! I like getting rewarded regularly and having persistent gains. Good ole RPG stuff. Fighting is indeed a little awkward, but the awkwardness is balanced by your stats quickly. Once your hp is high enough the spikes are no longer a death sentence but more of a constant drain on your health, requiring you to pick up another heart. Edit: nevermind about that boss guy, turns out I forgot I could kirby jump. I guess the art style change was too jarring for me :P funny ending, I still would've eaten it
Posted by Zac1790 November 06, 2014 22:38 - 2.4 years ago
| [#07]

Okay, I updated the game a bit (current version is 1.00). Now you can move while fighting and when you change the room you become invincible (I hate that word) for a short period. I also decreased the size of spikes' hitboxes.

And I uploaded the node-webkit desktop version here. It has better performance than the browser-based version.
Posted by Jani_Nykanen November 07, 2014 10:14 - 2.4 years ago
| [#08]

Looks cute :) And I like the skill system. I would be very angry if somebody would steal my three-years-in-the-making sandwich. The controls feel a little slow to me. Like it's on the moon.
Posted by thehood November 10, 2014 8:36 - 2.4 years ago
| [#09]

Pretty cool, nice and simple gameplay although it could use a little bit more incentive to keep playing. New abilities or something.
I played on gamejolt and I would get a redscreen after I died that wouldn't go away. It saved my progress though so it wasn't that annoying. This was on Firefox.
Overall cool, the controls are super smooth imo and I like the graphics style.
Posted by nap November 10, 2014 12:41 - 2.4 years ago
| [#10]

Cool stuff :)
Posted by armaldio November 10, 2014 17:11 - 2.4 years ago
| [#11]

Great game, great fun, great character design, relaxing BSO and well thought out.
On the downside, the start again when you have much more advanced, and perhaps the arrangement of buttons, something uncomfortable.
In any case, congratulations, I think that is among the best.

Sorry for my English.
Posted by Mataguiris November 11, 2014 3:28 - 2.4 years ago
| [#12]

OK, let's face it - my computer can't handle simple html5 game. Honestly, it's lagging :D

So I can't get true experience of the game but it seems to be nice. It looks good(but hmm... all of your games have the same main character? :), story is cool and I'm not sure about gameplay. It's annoying when you cant get to some place without being hurt(because of spikes placement) and controls are a bit awkward.

I like it! :)
Posted by Kasmilus November 11, 2014 11:41 - 2.4 years ago
| [#13]

While I found the RPG and stat growth systems interesting, I feel like this game is lacking in many of the necessary departments needed to really be fun.

The map generation is interesting and seems to be remotely intelligent, in that it generates a possible path for you each time, but this turns the game into a mess of imbalance and blandness, where there are many cases of a room being impossible to clear without taking damage. Having the rooms re-generate on death while you lose all your progress is also a bit disheartening, and while I understand it's part of the game, there's not much to the game that might keep a player motivated to play in a one-life situation.

The pixel art was alright even if simple, but worsened by stretching. Presentation was otherwise pretty good, very reminiscent of old arcade games.

My greatest concern was that the controls are far too slippery. Not only will friction almost certainly drive you into spikes, but you can't reliably turn to hit an enemy behind you, resulting in you taking a lot of unnecessary damage. On top of that, the game's framerate was strangely unstable, and it seems like you have a low framerate cap, which made that instability even worse.

There's not a lot of variety between screens, which is a huge downside to a simple random generation algorithm. Ultimately, the controls ruined the experience for me, and there wasn't a lot beyond the most basic of platforming that serves to keep the player interested.

Posted by Kilin November 11, 2014 17:32 - 2.4 years ago
| [#14]

Neat little game. I wish the power ups had a sort of magnetic property to them where they would attract to you because I frequently got them stuck in spikes with no way for me to retrieve them.
Posted by pizzadude223 November 14, 2014 16:58 - 2.4 years ago
| [#15]

It actually took me more than one death to realize that the game was procedurally generated; some of the level design seemed quite intelligent. I'm guessing the game has a palette of pre-designed rooms to choose from?

The game had a lot of polish, and overall a nice feeling to it. The music was a bit monotonous, but it worked out fine, and the graphics were endearing. The ending was quite humorous, and while some might be put out by the shallow story, I find it charming. It's one of the many subtle ways in which your style reminds me of Kirby's, of which you may have guessed me to be a fan.

That said, your game suffers in the typical areas that procedurally-generated games suffer. Many places in the game, I'm reduced to button mashing, because there are just so. many. fucking. monsters. After a few deaths, thanks the overly-generous bouncing ball insta-powerup, I had enough defense to wait there until they all died of old age, but then, that wouldn't have made for a very fun experience, so I mashed buttons! That doesn't speak well to the overall engagement of the game. It became a bit monotonous at parts, but you didn't make the mistake of just making the world infinite or preposterously large, so not too big a point hit, there.

Aside from that, some of the game dynamics are a little annoying, but only a couple seem in need of tuning. For instance, what the hell is accuracy? It isn't helping me not ram into spikes while I'm running around at 9,000 MPH. I was happy there was no limit to my defense upgrades, but the speed upgrades definitely need capped. I consider the inability to turn around while swinging your sword to be a dynamic of its own rather than a glitch, and I find it works out well. I wouldn't have you change that. However, the ability to turn around is greatly hampered by the speed powerups. A powerup shouldn't have so steep a drawback, which is why I suggest capping it. I originally thought that "Acc" was acceleration, and collected it to combat the speed. I was wrong, and have no idea what it actually is. I assume it influences the RNG that decides how much damage you deal.

Code-wise, your execution was superb; the collisions were flawless, which is more than I can say for about half of the other participants', and there was no dead-end vulnerability from the world being procedurally generated, which came as a pleasant surprise.

For best results, cap some of the powerups (or maybe even all of them), incorporate speed into acceleration (or at least stopping acceleration), and tone down the enemies in the upper levels. Up the level palette and make more challenging, more interesting rooms instead of upping the enemy count. It would probably help to shrink the world and force more backtracking (downward tracking) in your maze generation (which I only assume exists; you did not provide any code).


Innovation: 8 / 10: Nothing particular new about collecting powerups, or about procedural generation, or even about collecting powerups in a procedural world. Still, the different enemies were relatively creative, and the presentation was nice.
Fun: 9/10: Monotonous or not, it made me want to finish.
Theme: 2/10: Your game contained the word "omniscient" and "spooky" but didn't seem to actually involve either. Sandwich theft isn't a total disaster, and politics are politics, but we'll count it. Nowhere does anything resembling illusion appear. This might cost you in the voting round, but doesn't matter for your overall rating.
Graphics: 9.5/10: End graphics were a bit jokey, but the rest are still endearing.
Audio: 8/10: Music is sort of monotonous, jump sound tends to stack up and generally grates at the onset, but otherwise pleasant.
Mood: N/A
Engine: 10/10

Overall – 8.5/10 [9/10]
Posted by JoshDreamland November 15, 2014 15:23 - 2.4 years ago
| [#16]

This was fun to play, but with the movement seemed a tad difficult to me, but I guess practice would help. I like it.
Posted by Alert Games November 20, 2014 10:29 - 2.4 years ago
| [#17]

I love how you mispelled "sandwich" all 4 times, in 2 different ways! I knew this was going to be a good game right from the start.

Anyway it's not that bad but needs a lot of work. Right now it feels like a pointless mess with primitive enemies and clunky controls. The character doesn't feel very responsive and the level design needs work. Randomly placing blocks and spikes every where and calling it a level is as lazy as it gets. The enemy path-finding is practically nonexistent as all they try to do is match your x-coordinate, so they basically walk back and forth on platforms that you stand under. Also something needs to be done about powerups falling to the spikes, this seems to happen 50% of the time.

I managed to get pretty far, seeing a grand total of 2 enemy types! I probably walked through over 20 rooms, all consisting of mostly the same thing. Eventually I died when dropping downward from a room only to land on spikes in the next room instantly. That's the problem with randomly places spikes like that, no time to react. Overall it's a nice foundation but currently not a well designed game. 5/10

Oh and I should mention, when I died, the screen simply went red and no key did anything after that. Not sure if that is intended or not.
Posted by death November 21, 2014 17:27 - 2.4 years ago
| [#18]

I made a major performance update to the Game Jolt version (I'll update the desktop version I uploaded here later). Now the game should run even on older (read: slower) computers. There might be some new bugs, though.

And I fixed that 'sandwich/sandwhich/sandwitch' typo.

But why I did this now? Why not earlier? Or why at all? Well, I'm going to make a sequel, so of course I want that the original one is in a playable condition!
Posted by Jani_Nykanen March 19, 2015 9:24 - 2 years ago
| [#19]

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