6.8 (15 votes)
    November 09, 2014
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Nopy's Demo
S4D14 Demo, totally didn't complete it in time. :D There are bugs and weird things, no real gameplay, but it would feel wrong not to upload anything, so here it is.

The original design was something between Metroid, Strider and Super Meat Boy, where you as a sci-fi magician fight lots of macabre enemies and bosses.

But, it didn't get further than an engine really. This evening i just tied together a few random levels and wrote a small intro, just to have something to show. I'll write more about it somewhere else.

Includes an OST-folder. Most songs were written from scratch for this project, not many are used. If you need some last minute tracks for your S4D, go ahead and steal. :)

Target platforms:

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Awesome style and feels great to play, I would love to see more from this :D
Posted by Ferret November 09, 2014 18:07 - 2.5 years ago
| [#01]

Thank you Ferret! :D
Posted by Nopykon November 09, 2014 18:19 - 2.5 years ago
| [#02]

Yeah, like Ferret said. It looks and feels great! And it transformed my flat screen into an old TV. Great! The good thing is that it became a flat screen again when I closed your game :) If you ever make a full game out of this I would love to play it!

Oh, and great music!
Posted by thehood November 10, 2014 10:37 - 2.5 years ago
| [#03]

I also would really like to see this become a full game. The sword mechanics and the rolling are awesome.
Posted by nap November 10, 2014 13:02 - 2.5 years ago
| [#04]

I'm going to make a full game like this at some point. It's going to take many manhours to get it to the quality I'm going for, especially animating the sprites. Right now I'm little bit too pressed for time and money but hopefully not too far away. :)
Posted by Nopykon November 10, 2014 13:33 - 2.5 years ago
| [#05]

Graphics are just epic :o
Want more :)
Posted by armaldio November 10, 2014 17:43 - 2.5 years ago
| [#06]

wow this is a very pretty game. the strange thing is that my game was almost the same idea and we wrote them in the same language. we should have teamed up, too late now i guess. what library did you use for rendering?
Posted by blaze157 November 10, 2014 17:47 - 2.5 years ago
| [#07]

@armaldio tnx! :=>
I used openGL. Aside from rendering, glfw3 for windowing/input and irrklang for audio. :) Edit: Ah, you're the one who made that game. Very cool.
Posted by Nopykon November 10, 2014 17:54 - 2.5 years ago
| [#08]

I used openGL too but i used sdl for input and window.
Posted by blaze157 November 10, 2014 18:28 - 2.5 years ago
| [#09]

That art style is just incredible!
Posted by Kasmilus November 11, 2014 14:18 - 2.5 years ago
| [#10]

A very good job, great control of the character, a formidable setting, can be a great game when you finish.
Posted by Mataguiris November 11, 2014 18:53 - 2.5 years ago
| [#11]

I just love the CRT style view. I really hope that you will finish this and make it into a full game.
Posted by frankie November 11, 2014 22:21 - 2.5 years ago
| [#12]

The crt effect was really cool, felt like I was playing on an arcade machine. The movement seemed a little too skatey for me to handle. I just wish it had gameplay and less of the tech demo feel.
Posted by pizzadude223 November 14, 2014 17:53 - 2.5 years ago
| [#13]

Wow. The look and feel of this is amazing. The gameplay reminded me a lot of Super Metroid. I wish that this was a little more complete, and had more content, but I seems pretty good so far. Nice work.
Posted by Jawchewa November 14, 2014 23:03 - 2.5 years ago
| [#14]

I love the CRT view. Not overdone but nostolgic. I think this game has a lot of potential. The lighting seemed like it was a bit much and could have been let up on, but its a great start. Music was also really nice to listen to.
Posted by Alert Games November 16, 2014 10:21 - 2.5 years ago
| [#15]

Thank you Alert, Jawchewa,pizzadude,frankie,Mata and Kasmilus for trying the game and for your opinions.

@Alert I know in Crab food, which uses the same filter, it's almost impossible to see what's going on sometimes when there's a lot of bright stuff on the same spot. I'll definitely think about that if I'm to make a full blooded game.

I'd love some raw criticism on the tracks. It's tricky because I have no idea how it sounds to other people. Surely mixing, drums, tempo, structure, notes, instruments and such could be improved. Could you see it work in a proper indie game with a little polish? Whats the worst things about it right now?

I was thinking about learning fast tracker just to rewrite a bunch of songs to chip in order avoid wasting time on mixing and finding instruments. Horrible idea?
Posted by Nopykon November 16, 2014 13:43 - 2.4 years ago
| [#16]

I'd love some raw criticism on the tracks. It's tricky because I have no idea how it sounds to other people. Surely mixing, drums, tempo, structure, notes, instruments and such could be improved. Could you see it work in a proper indie game with a little polish? Whats the worst things about it right now?

I like your music. I haven't played the game thoroughly, so I've only listened to most of them out of the context of the game itself:

ancient tower flute
In terms of timbre, the flutes sound very dull. I don't really like them, but it probably fits with the late 80s/early 90s aesthetic of the game. You do a very good job with the archaic modes and the archaic harmonic treatment.

I do like this track. I dislike how over-reverberated it is. It's dripping wet. Turn down the mix knob in your reverb plugin.

I think the music would benefit at 0:09 with an extra voice to make the harmony sing more. I think this is the part where the music lands after the introductory bit, and ensuring that the harmony is fully clarified would give a much stronger sense of "Yes, we're here!". You could take the third voice out again at 0:21, and bring it back in at 0:28. You might try a deep drone in the bass would work starting at either 0:40 or 0:47, just to emphasize how gritty and earthy the music is becoming when it goes down into that lower register.

Also, have you considered using separate instruments for the two voices? I'm not sure if it would better realize your intentions, or sound better, but it might be worth experimenting with.

I don't like this track. Hate the timbre of the piano you used. I don't think it fits.

I think it suffers from poor voice-leading in the harmony (this is evident to varying extents in all of the tracks, so I'd look into taking some lessons), and any hint of melody just feels repetitive and bland. Sorry.

I'm not going to mention the voice-leading/harmony thing any more, but it's noticeable in all of your tracks. Think of it as being analogous to poor spelling or grammar, in that you can still get your intentions across, but the lack of "transparency" obscures them. I'm happy to point you towards resources to improve this.

feels forgotten foreverererer
Another problem with a lot of your tracks is that they sound like they're being muffled by a pillow to some extent. There's no sparkle or shimmer to their sound, and it ends up sounding a little boring (in other words, there isn't much information in the high frequencies, which may be related either to how heavily you've encoded the tracks (I suspect this is a big contributor), or it could be something to do with the mix)

Apart from disappointments with the quality of the voice leading and harmony, it's a nice little track.

:). Cute little melody. I question the track's emptiness at 0:22 to 0:32, I think it's suitable in the introduction as an ambiguous attention grabber, but it just seems to ruin the momentum of the track this far through. I think you could make it work better if you supplemented it with "answers" in a different instrument (I'd do a tambourine or a woodblocks there, personally) after the questions (think of the G-D-A-B motif as a question), just to change things up after the intro.

I also question doing it at the very end. Assuming you're looping the track, the loop will go back to another sparse section at the beginning. It doesn't really work, I think.

Sounds great. Very hellish. Maybe a tad repetitive, but it still works quite well.

Maybe a tad repetitive, but it still works quite well.

1:33 to 1:40, could you not have varied that rhythm up a little more? If you're going to expose something like that and give it a solo, I really think you need to give it more content and be a little more inventive.

I like it. Great music to give the sense of time passing/waiting.

I like this one. It had me tapping my foot.

Nice, but felt a little empty with just the piano (I'm not sure if that necessarily means you need more instruments, it could be just an issue with the way the piano is mixed (too dull sounding), or the way the harmony is done on the piano).

I was thinking about learning fast tracker just to rewrite a bunch of songs to chip in order avoid wasting time on mixing and finding instruments. Horrible idea?

Lazy idea. Composers from the 80s and 90s would have killed for the control we have over our music today. Honor them. You can do chiptunes with poor quality samples if you really want to or have an aesthetic reason to do so, but please don't just do it out of laziness, you're too talented a composer to stoop to that level.
Posted by StevenOBrien November 16, 2014 15:00 - 2.4 years ago
| [#17]

Whoops, embarrassed to notice a duplicate song in the folder. Sorry.

This is so valuable. Thank you! :D Don't worry about playing the game, there isn't one, and only three songs are loaded by the executable. I'm happy you liked some of the songs. It means I'm not completely crazy.^^

I had to read up on a few things, including "voice leading" and "archaic harmonic treatment", in order to follow and I still have much to read.

The data compression contributes a tiny bit, mostly it's my poor mixing and effects that gives it a muffled or uneven sound. I have had a problem with making things loud and clear without high-frequency-killing my ears with screechy noises, and I guess I muffle it too hard.

The piano songs are indeed lazy and uninspired when it comes to choice of instrument. One of them uses three pianos and nothing more. Well, filters. :/

Lazy idea.

Okay, I will not. In honor of the composers of the 80s and all of our predecessors surviving in caves and eating squirrels just so that we can be here today, I will just have to work harder and take your advice to heart. Thanks again for the help!
Posted by Nopykon November 16, 2014 16:49 - 2.4 years ago
| [#18]

Very impressive. The controls feel a little sloppy, but the engine handles really, really well. On a somewhat humorous note, your game shares a weakness with a lot of Game Maker games—when you change rooms, your character class loses track of which buttons are held. I assume your level loader just constructs a new player for each room, so that would explain that. It's a surprisingly grating issue.

A less Game Makerish problem I see a lot is that you have a wall-kick system (I believe this is what you were borrowing from Super Meat Boy?) but you don't have a wall-cling mechanism. A lot of engines give you a brief period of time in which you cling to the wall while holding the controls toward it, then cause you to slide down the wall at constant or increasing rate until you're free-falling. Many of those allow you to point the controller away from the wall for a short period of time to enable you to wallkick in the direction you want. Some of those keep track of your forward momentum into the wall, even as you direct control away from the wall, holding you in place for as long as it takes you to fully decelerate (at off-ground friction coefficients) before you finally lose all momentum and then start moving away from the wall, at which point you can no longer wall-kick. Other engines give a small amount of time directly after the wall-kick during which pointing toward the wall has no effect. I believe this is what Meat Boy does, although it also gives huge amounts of airborne control. Super Metroid does none of this, or does none of this well; it's very difficult to wall-jump effectively in Super Metroid, even in the ideal places they often give you to do so.

That said, it seems your control mechanisms are inherited mostly from Metroid; the somersault side jump mechanism, the almost-morphball ground rolling mechanism, and the terrible wall jumps included. Although, at least in Super Metroid, a failed wall-jump will not send you flying off your current platform.

I actually called the controls sloppy because they're relatively fickle about acceleration; however fast you may be, you cannot tap the left or right button twice without falling off the block you're currently standing on. The player seems to commit to moving a certain speed when you press a directional key, but does not commit to stopping when you tap in the other direction. I'll admit that I expect and rely on a degree of inconsistency in responsiveness, but essentially, I need it to be easier to stop than it is to go.

Your slope handling is good, but the player's horizontal speed remains constant regardless of incline, so the overall speed is quite a bit higher when running up slopes, which is also counterintuitive.

The CRT filter was pretty charming. The edges were a bit rough (I mean that literally), but I'm not sure what to do about that. Possibly just fade it to black?

Overall, I loved the graphics. They were simple, but quite nostalgic. Half of them reminded me of Metroid, and the other half of Cave Story. The third half reminded me of Mega Man, but I think that ended after the intro.

Your strange level loop might actually make a good puzzle element, My first playthrough, I went right first, and I thought there was a platform where the strange circles were in the boxy region in the top-right. I half expected to need to go left and find the space jump boots to get there.

Audio was also good. Not much to say on the topic.
Nice intro; decent start into the macabre and certainly a good start into the underground.
Mood was a little inconsistent; perhaps we went from intro to gameplay too matter-of-factly after a failed suicide attempt.

Overall, great start—a solid 8/10.
Posted by JoshDreamland November 19, 2014 22:43 - 2.4 years ago
| [#19]

I assume your level loader just constructs a new player for each room, so that would explain that.
Actually nope. :) The player keys state is contained in a global 32-bit integer, I'm practically never newing anything in the engine. The cause of the problem is the switching of game-states, each room change is a mini cutscene (for fading and repositioning the cam) , where I just zero the keys in order for the player not to do crazy things. I could easily just keep separate keys for each game/cutscene-state, but I just didn't.

Wall kickin' wall...
I agree, it's awkward. My intentions were not SMeatB's wall kick system (but still a system), because it makes entry momentum somewhat meaningless. I wanted something where jump timing affected the angle and entry velocity affected the force. The directional keys have no play what so ever, but that would probably change if I gave it some more thought. I'd like to slowen the entire game speed a tad too, even if going fast is part of the idea.

Possibly just fade it to black?
Good idea, giving it a soft edge.
Your strange level loop might actually make a good puzzle element,...
Oh god please no more of those! ^_^ Anyways, you make many good points, thanks for taking the time. :)

My own biggest issue with the game is the lack of direction / vision / consistency regarding both play, style and the assets. It's a mess. Basically... eh, lez start and zee where things leads. Things were done with no solid target. Next time; limit the scope, focus in, work fast and stick to the plan.
Posted by Nopykon November 20, 2014 8:15 - 2.4 years ago
| [#20]

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