Information

Author:
    Kasmilus
Rating:
    6.0 (6 votes)
Type:
    Game
Genre:
    S4D14
Language:
    Unity
Reviews:
    None
Submitted:
    November 09, 2014
Dev - DB/form (refering to updated - check code)
Download:
    DOWNLOAD (607)
Dev - make AJAX
Screenshots (0)
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Formindden
Short horror adventure game with puzzle elements. There are few minor bugs but I hope these shouldn't affect game experience.


As you all know - poland cannot into space and i cannot into graphics. So graphics are all made of real photos. I think it looks almost good :D

I also thought that it may be good idea to put some voice acting into it. Why? BECAUSE WHY NOT. So there it is :)

I learnt much while making that game so I want to thank you for making that jam! :)

Have fun playing it. Finally I can check out what you've made...

Themes:
-Machines
-Grotesque
-Forbidden


Target platforms:



Pretty weird game we've got here. Lost lots of interest when it went scooby doo door guessing game. Then I got stuck in a chair between a box and a lawn mower, it was strange.
Posted by Ferret November 09, 2014 17:51 - 2.3 years ago
| [#01]

There are some problems with the collision and it would be nice to make the camera fades skippable. Or maybe don't lock the controls during the fades.

I really like the art style, the voice acting, the puzzles, the overall atmosphere. Great work!
Posted by thehood November 10, 2014 10:02 - 2.3 years ago
| [#02]

Good concept :)
Posted by armaldio November 10, 2014 17:35 - 2.3 years ago
| [#03]

Ferret: That level with doors is the one I'm most proud of! I thought it's good puzzle, maybe even too easy to find out which door you should take...
Posted by Kasmilus November 11, 2014 15:15 - 2.3 years ago
| [#04]

It certainly looks and sounds good. I'm impressed with all the artwork in the game.
Posted by Nopykon November 12, 2014 11:45 - 2.3 years ago
| [#05]

I thought the control scheme and art style were cool, but I wasn't very impressed with the gameplay. I thought the door part was a little frustrating as well, I kinda expected the paintings to correspond with which door to take and it would reveal some story detail but it turned out to be more just guessing.
Posted by pizzadude223 November 14, 2014 17:41 - 2.3 years ago
| [#06]

It's a total shame to see such a great idea foiled by such a shaky execution. If I were rating only based on the gameplay, you'd be in the running for a perfect 10. My only complaint in that department is that you teach how to beat each level by letting the player get killed over and over again to figure out what to do. There's no way for a player of any intellect or patience to clear even one of your rooms without dying. That said, a lot of games employ this very effectively; there's no accounting for taste, really. The puzzle and exploration elements are great, right from room one.

Now, let's talk about the execution.

Resolution

First and foremost, as a rule of thumb, don't set my resolution. You might think it's a good idea to set my resolution. It isn't. Don't. I've never used a platform that handles whimsical resolution changes well. Even when the hardware keeps up, the software does stuff like reorganize my desktop to fit comfortably inside your under-sized game window (Windows) or create a viewport inside my enormous monitor to accommodate your game in a way that my monitor can display it (Linux/X11), which remains even when the resolution is restored to full. Not to mention, if you don't provide a way to quit your game gracefully, or if your game crashes, my resolution WON'T be restored, and then I'll be all kinds of pissed off.

I'm not deducting any points for that, because it's an honest mistake that happens all too frequently.

Presentation

Your paintings and dialogs are cute and intriguing, and many of them really add to the overall mood. Or at least they would, if I could tolerate the incredible wait time required to interact with them. I couldn't bring myself to inspect a third painting, because the four seconds it takes to read the caption of the painting were excruciating. I don't understand how you made it through the debugging phase with your sanity intact. Maybe that's where all the "you died" insanity quips came from?

Really, though, I dreaded accidentally clicking "inspect" on anything, because that means four seconds of being able to do absolutely nothing. It takes on the order of 300 milliseconds for me to read the text you spent four seconds presenting to me. With an image, it's very different; there are thousands of details in an image for me to process while I'm waiting, assuming I even got the jist of the image's content in that period of time. For text, not so much! After the first three messages I had your font memorized, and there was no more amusement to be had in watching the text creeeep oooon toooo theeeee paaaage, and then creep away. For text, consider using an overlay. Or making space skip the animation.

Also, don't use voiceovers as an important game element without including text. I didn't have my volume up high enough to hear what you were saying at the elevator, and it took me a while to realize it wasn't a bug, but a quiet voiceover on a black screen.

Interface

The above problem is exacerbated by your menu system. The system is undeniably buggy; especially with ladders, sometimes the menu either doesn't deploy (making it impossible to interface with an item), or remains deployed (making it so no other menu can display, and pressing W will climb a ladder). Ladders also have frequent troubles with forgetting whether you're climbing up or climbing back down, meaning I have to use it twice to get where I'm going (once to remind it where I am, and once to actually use it).

These are intermittent and do not interfere with gameplay in general, until you add a time limit [see "time limit" section].

The real problem with the menu is that the controls are completely unintuitive. Even though you explained them first thing in the game, the implications of that didn't really settle in. I never became used to these controls. Most games deal with this in one of the following ways:
  • By moving all control focus to the OSD, so that you are controlling it rather than your player. This works based on the assumption that your player probably can't control both at once, anyway. This is especially true for your game, as controlling the menu took all of my concentration.
  • By offering only one interaction key, leaving only one action per item. Facing facts, I didn't really need the "cry" menu item, though I found it amusing, and I didn't really want to hang myself, and the menu otherwise leaves little room for innovation.
  • By using one button to cycle the menu ("select"), and one to confirm (this works best when the controller has them centralized)
  • By having dedicated buttons for fixed actions


Your best shot is probably the first point: lose the QE + W in favor of WASD+Space. QE + W is just too unconventional to get used to without a special controller.

You might find the complaint silly, but most of the confusion results from the nonlinear display of the menu items. It would also have made the learning curve a whole lot smoother if you used a much, much larger paper shred for the caption than for the menu items. It looked like a confusing menu item I just couldn't get to. This was happening at a subconscious level; pressing E seemed unattractive because there was this sense that it would highlight the caption, which might then make it difficult to highlight the option I actually wanted. Then when that was done, the fact that it's still the "up" key (W) to select the item was still confusing. This was made even worse by, eg, the lawnmower, which has four options and a caption arranged in a pentagon.

Collisions

Your game seemed to be built on top of a physics engine. This is fine, except if you aren't strictly controlling the forces that can affect objects, you introduce room for bugs. It's very easy to lose the box you are supposed to chuck at the fan, simply because they both end up stuck in the corner. I have a lot of experience with oddly placed physics, so I was able to force both of them out of the corner. Otherwise, I'd be stuck, with no way to restart the level!

The collisions were completely accurate, but the handling was very poor. It favored one axis over the other, so it was easy to get stuck by running into a wall. This is a very common mistake for novice engine developers to make, and it makes the game frustrating or difficult to play. Fortunately, being built atop an actual physics engine, the game didn't have any breaking collision sticks (except potentially the case mentioned above) or collision whoopsies which send objects flying offscreen.

Time Limit

Time limits are a pretty fundamental way of adding challenge to a game. They're also a great way of making all the little problems in a game compound into one unworkable nightmare.

The menu problem wasn't major, until I only have ten seconds to successfully complete three menu transactions. Then it's frustrating.

The bad collisions aren't really an issue, until you're being chased down by a haunted (or just windy?) fan. You seemed to try to incorporate the platforming into the game at that point, as well as the lawnmower point, which normally is a great idea. My advice is not to require successful use of broken pieces of the engine in a time-sensitive environment.. It's passable for something to be buggy or imprecise until the game requires it not to be. Then it's frustrating.

Conclusion

Your game was resource-rich, well thought out, and overall quite fun. In the end, the flaky engine and time sensitivity (of the rooftop level, specifically) caused me to give up in it. At that point, the bugginess of the engine outweighed the fun of the game.

Overall, it's clear a lot of time went into the game (unless you happened to be sitting on all of those resources).

Innovation: 8.5 / 10: The game resembles a number of others, but the elements and execution is novel. The attempt to incorporate platforming into the game, while poorly executed, is novel.
Fun: 9/10: In retrospect, the game was really fun if I just ignore all the engine quirks. If we include the frustration from being stuck, unable to jump over a wall of exactly my jump height while I'm being attacked by a fan, or struggling to finagle a menu while being attacked by a chainsaw-swinging robot, the number would be closer to 3.
Theme: Where are your topics? I can't rate on this right now.
Graphics: 9/10: The photograph graphics were creative and generally well-executed. The animation was a bit wonky, but it was easy to get past that and enjoy the scenery. The "HANG YOURSELF" scene was particularly well-executed in terms of graphics, audio, and mood.
Audio: 8/10: Good audio effects, for the most part. Particularly the bird, and things of that ilk. The door opening sound was a little loud and out of place.
Mood:10/10
Engine: 4/10

Overall – 6.5/10 (7/10): As good as the individual elements were, execution is important. The engine is half of the game (at least). That said, in the scheme of things, there's not a whole lot to fix up to make this into a fantastic game.
Posted by JoshDreamland November 15, 2014 12:15 - 2.3 years ago
| [#07]

@JoshDreamland Wow. Thank you for that comment, couldn't even dream of better criticism. But now I feel like I really fucked that up. Almost all things you mentioned... I've been thinking about them and I completely ignored those - "Ahh, it's not THAT important". Apparently I was wrong, I should have someone to playtest game before release. I only didn't consider that point about interface but apparently you're right. I'm going to make some adventure games in future and your advice would be great help.

I'm grateful that you enjoyed atmosphere, I put much effort into that and it makes me happy when someone appreciates it.

Themes are machines, grotesque and forbidden. I forgot to put that in description.

@ypizzadude223 THEY CORRESPOND. There is 1 interactive object in the room - it matches with painting on the left to the correct door. Have you any idea how should I show that? I thought making those items literally only colored objects (other than doors and paintings) and that there is voice comment for them should be enough. I made something wrong there?
Posted by Kasmilus November 15, 2014 17:13 - 2.3 years ago
| [#08]

Don't be too hard on yourself—you have a great game in the making. One of the hardest parts of game design is seeing each level from the perspective of a player who knows nothing about the game coming in. Sometimes it's striking how oblivious players are to the elements you hide for them to notice. Kind of like pizzaface not noticing that the rooms happen to contain items by the name of exactly one of the doors. In his defense, I didn't get that right away: it wasn't very obvious that the wrong door had brought me back to the initial room. You might consider scratching a number above the entry door to emphasize that.

I should have just checked the thread for your theme names. Anyway, you nailed them.
Posted by JoshDreamland November 15, 2014 22:24 - 2.3 years ago
| [#09]

Another awkward looking game. The backgrounds are decent but the main characters animation is weird as hell. It's ironic that you went far enough to try and capture real motion but it still ends up extremely choppy looking. Lack of jump animation is disappointing as well. Why don't the enemies make any sound? Why does the camera lag so far behind when walking? This leads to running into enemies and "dying" because I can't see ahead and can't hear them despite the fact that they are machines.

The "puzzle" aspects were really easy. The door puzzle was simply match the object with the painting! very challenging stuff. Though the "hang yourself" one had me stumped since everything I did resulted in me dying - with lack of animation. Overall it's poorly executed. 3/10
Posted by death November 21, 2014 23:49 - 2.3 years ago
| [#10]

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