AuthorTopic: Pixel Heresy  (Read 11578 times)

Offline NickZA

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Re: Pixel Heresy

Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 03:29:23 pm
Re FlashGameLicense, my bad, I wasn't thinking... at a certain stage I was looking at that sort of thing but at the moment my mind is a bit closer to shareware distribution of a desktop game, and/or publishing via Facebook if possible.
So yeah -- I know exactly what you're talking about -- my bad.

Don't complain too much about losing hours of your free time -- from what I read on your site you're currently employed full-time. It is MUCH worse when you're in the position I am -- sink or swim. But for some of us that's the only way to put pressure on to really make the push and succeed in such a competitive field.

EDIT: And not only that, but also to have the freedom of mind to work be able to really work efficiently on game design and visual design, both of which need a lot of focus.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 03:31:07 pm by NickZA »

Offline lithander

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Re: Pixel Heresy

Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 06:03:02 pm
The free time in parantheses wasn't meant as a complaint. Quite the opposite: I could afford to spend hours searching for an artist because it was my free time. The only reason I'm actually doing game development in my spare time is what you mentioned in your post: the context of the activity makes a huge difference in how satisfying it is. I buy the freedom to work on my own project at my own pace by having a full time job paying my bills. I might not have much time and energy left to focus on my game that way but I can do things that are not comercially profitable.

Offline NickZA

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Re: Pixel Heresy

Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 07:47:04 pm
I hope I didn't come across as know-it-all, there. You are fortunate if your work still leaves you at least *some* peace of mind to work on your things, either way, as it clearly does. It's interesting to hear how different people go about things. So often we think our own way is the only way, eg. one might for example put all indie developers in a box. But there are as many ways as there are individual developers, of course. Or artists :)

Offline lithander

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Re: Pixel Heresy

Reply #13 on: September 28, 2010, 10:13:40 pm

Offline NickZA

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Re: Pixel Heresy

Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 10:23:52 am
I'm playing it during breaks! :) Nice work Lith!

Offline SwapBrain

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Re: Pixel Heresy

Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 10:47:31 am
I like the design of the game overall and it was fun, but it was a bit more than my poor laptop could handle.

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: Pixel Heresy

Reply #16 on: October 01, 2010, 01:17:29 pm
I really like the game, so I'm going to express my love in my own special way;
HARSH CRITICISM!


The pixel art is good! Everything is nice and pretty. The AA is really nice!
The crystals don't really look glow-y. :S (The fungi do though!)
EDIT: An odd thing I just noticed... in the thumbnail his cloak is red, but in the game it's white... ?
However, some of the art looks off to me... simply because it's shaded.
Some sprites, like the main character, are shaded even though light sources are dynamic, which can look really odd.

 
Speaking of which, the dynamic lighting blew me away- it's really cool! I loved how the lights changed when doors closed and stuff, it was entertaining to just mess with that for a while! :D


The music is good! The sound effects really add a lot to the game and I feel a little on edge all of the time because of it.
I feel that in the beginning of the game there isn't reason to really be afraid of the cave other than it being creepy, and that the music should reflect that.
It would also be really cool to have a much more forboding and creepy music play when you approach the bat things... reactive music, you know?


I don't really like the gameplay though. :(
There isn't a driving mechanic to make me want to play more... if I stand still nothing will happen.
I think it needs to be a bit more active, and have a driving force so you're always moving and doing things.


Spoilers --*
The father's death seems like it should have been a bit more dramatic/traumatic...
There were five seconds of "OH NO HE'S DEAD" *sob* and nothing more really came out of it. :S

Maybe while you're returning to him you should hear him scream?
Being just a bit too late to save your father is much more moving than just finding him dead.

I think perhaps the boy should have had a bit more hatred for the bats? They killed his father, after all.
I'm not saying it's unreasonable to just make the boy scared of them, but it seems like that shouldn't be the only emotion.

The father seemed like a charming fellow, and you did a nice job on that!
I feel (mildly) attached to the father- which is good! You don't know how many games completely fail at character development!
... but perhaps you should have given the player more time to know the father. It's sort of odd to not really care about the father and then have the boy sob about his death... it would help the player feel the boy's pain.
*--


Despite the flaws I still like it. :)
Favorited!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 02:20:45 pm by CrazyMLC »

Offline lithander

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Re: Pixel Heresy

Reply #17 on: October 03, 2010, 10:27:13 am
Thanks for the indepth review! :)

The crystals don't really look glow-y. :S (The fungi do though!)
I couldn't be bothered to redo all my earlier sprites. I learned a lot along the go. Stuff like the lava chasm and the alter look a lot better (to me) then the early stuff so I guess I improved! :)

EDIT: An odd thing I just noticed... in the thumbnail his cloak is red, but in the game it's white... ?
The thumnail is a comissioned artwork and I felt it would be really picky to critisize things like that. On the other hand a dark cloak just doesn't work ingame. So there is this oddity! :)

However, some of the art looks off to me... simply because it's shaded.
One of my lessons learned: the less colors the better. But the dynamic shading does not reflect direction so some kind of shading is always needed to hint at the shape.
 
Speaking of which, the dynamic lighting blew me away- it's really cool! I loved how the lights changed when doors closed and stuff, it was entertaining to just mess with that for a while! :D

It all started with the thought "what if you combined oldschool pixel graphics with dynamich light and shadow?". Glad you liked the result. The dynamic lighting is really quite powerfull to make decent art look a lot better and technically it's not even hard to do. The shadow-caster stuff gave me more problems. AS3 and math don't play well (e.g. fast!) together.

It would also be really cool to have a much more forboding and creepy music play when you approach the bat things... reactive music, you know?

I searched for a DRM free sound fitting the mood. The stuff you have in mind would really add to the game but would probably mean investing $$$ into getting custom music and SFX made for the game. But if I get to make another game I'l consider it.

I don't really like the gameplay though. :(

I had this childhood memory of being lost in the caves of "The Legend of Kyrandia". My friend and me were drawing maps on paper and just refused to give up. And getting out again felt so great because it was really just our perseverance that made us live through. I modelled the game after it. It's probably not a good idea to get good ratings but I think it plays a important part in the atmosphere the game creates. Might be wrong, though! ;)

There were five seconds of "OH NO HE'S DEAD" *sob* and nothing more really came out of it. :S

Yeah, I just couldn't immagine how someone would react in such a situation (other then being sobbing and crying a lot _longer_ which would probably anoy players!) and how to express it in english. I'll probably not do any story driven game anytime soon. :P

Maybe while you're returning to him you should hear him scream?
Being just a bit too late to save your father is much more moving than just finding him dead.

True. Good idea. And the fire should have went out. We all know that darkspawn don't attack people in the light.

I think perhaps the boy should have had a bit more hatred for the bats? They killed his father, after all.

The eyes in the dark are supposed to be a personification of darkness nothing personal you could hate. More or less a placeholder of unknown danger. I failed at conveying that.

... but perhaps you should have given the player more time to know the father.

A lot of peole didn't like the beginning too much before the tradgedy happened. I'm not sure if for them the game had improved if I had build more of a father-son relationship here.

All in all thanks a lot for your constructive feedback. It feels great to see people care about my creation and thinking about how it could be improved! :) With most of it I agree but it's damn hard to make the perfect game! I'll try to do it better next time! :)
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 10:30:30 am by lithander »

Offline SwapBrain

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Re: Pixel Heresy

Reply #18 on: October 03, 2010, 02:36:42 pm
Quote
A lot of people didn't like the beginning too much before the tragedy happened. I'm not sure if for them the game had improved if I had build more of a father-son relationship here.

I have seen games handle this in s couple of ways I can think of off the top of my head.

You could start play as the father for the first coupla easy missons

Alternatively you could have the father with the son for a number of early 'missions' as a sort of walk-through/easy/training mode. (comes along with a torch/lantern for parts of the early missions, or something)This effectively builds a low level of dependency. (Gotta go back and check something at camp *ACK* I am dead.)

You could also have the player complete tasks for the father (let's say retrieving the runes and bringing them back), and then put them in a position that forces them to fail. As you bring the runes back he can provide back-story. Once that is sufficiently developed then you put them in a situation that is timed, or that required a number of runes, or both (oh noes, I am poisoned and require a certain number of runes to cure myself.) The son could get back in time to hear/see the father die, but too late to save him.

Anyway, like I said: these are just off the top of my head. I am sure that other people can think of more and better examples.

Also: have him turn into a red-eye-monster as a possibility.

Also: some Lovecraft might help here: this: http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/cs.asp, or this: http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/mb.asp, but really any of his writings might give you ideas for how to convey the flavor (out of space) of your story.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 02:49:55 pm by SwapBrain »

Offline lithander

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Re: Pixel Heresy

Reply #19 on: October 03, 2010, 09:28:49 pm
Swap Brain!

Cool discussion. Pitty Rune Hunt is over. But maybe there'll be a Rune Hunt 2 some day? (If someone wants to make it I'll supply the tech)

I like your ideas. I really do. But most of them mean a lot more effort then the current introduction, too. The father sprite at the moment doesn't even have walking animations. :o)

I love games like "Uncharted 2" which is a prime example for successful storytelling and characterbuilding in a game. I think I even read a book on story-telling in games of one of the writers. But most of his tricks don't work at all in a solo project that you do in your spare time. :(

Lovecraft! :) I started reading his short stories a couple of weeks ago. I love the way he uses sober language to create intense atmosphere. But in a game you can't rely on words so much. And to be honest the dialogue in the stories I've written so far is not very good. Shadow over Insmouth for example. Characters hold endless monolugues that are cool in a book but won't work for a game at all.