Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:02 PM
This shows some good initial ideas (reminds me of scribblenauts....) but it feels like you didn't think through some things.
Example if not thinking through: in one professionally made, Xbox 360 game, every single time the player died, you had to watch an angle slowly descend from heaven and lift you into the sky. The mini cutscene took forever and you had to watch it every time you died, which was frequent. Nobody wants to die, let alone watch a dumb cutscene as punishment every time. Somebody didn't think that through: your game could use similar iteration and thought.
I know it's early in development, but there are many very simple things that could be done to improve the game instantly:
- Clear, in-game instructions. People don't want to read a manual before the can play: many games achieve this by having characters tell them how to play (Legend of Zelda) or by including in game objects that give instructions (Dead Space) Sort of like a tutorial section of the game. Anything that explains the gameplay: if you just leave it up to the players to figure out how to play, people will get bored and quit before they discover all of the hard work you put into it.
- Higher framerate. This is a personal taste one for me. Right now your game feels sluggish, and my computer is running it just fine. I think it's just that your frame rate is set WAY too low. 60 I think is a good MINIMUM, but I prefer working at 100. Everything feels smooth and it makes the player feel more in control. It also just increases visual appeal.
- No cheesey dialogue. One thing that bothers me about almost every single GM game ever made is that they all have bad writing. I think many people have an idea of what they want to write, and then just make up words as they input it into the game. Bad writing is an IMMEDIATE turn-off for me. It may feel funny, witty, and original to you, but most of the time it comes across as childish. A game like Portal has funny, witty, and original writing, but the people who wrote that probably took a fair amount of time planning out the script, revising, and rewriting the lines time and time again before it was actually used in game. If you want people to take your game seriously, I would suggest doing the same. (I don't mean seriously as in the game must be serious, but if you want anyone to invest any time in your game, you have to convince them that it's worth their time. Cheap writing will convince them otherwise very quickly.)
- More involved combat. Right now you just press a button and stuff happens... the enemies aren't very interesting and there is no underlying "strategy" behind it, per se. For example, Trine 2 has a strategy in that each of the three heroes have their own unique way of fighting which changes how you respond and approach enemies. Even in a game as simple as Mario there is strategy: Jump on the koopa and you get a shell. Should you use it to kill the other enemy? You could, but it might bounce back at you, but that might be useful; or you can kill a dry bone, but it will come back to life, so you have to get past it quickly after killing it, or maybe not kill it at all and just run on by. (Simple strategy, but the player still has to make these decisions, even if subconsciously.)
- DON'T SEND THE PLAYER BACK TO THE MENU WHEN THEY DIE! Nobody wants to watch that angle slowly lift the corpse to heaven, and nobody wants to watch your logo every time they die. Fact. Just don't do it. Save points, beginning of the level, I don't care. But right now, your method seems like cruel and unusual punishment.
Don't take anything I've said too harshly: I usually don't even look in the WIP forum any more, much less download a game, and almost never reply to a topic, so I'm only writing this because I actually thought your game was decent. The art style is fine, and the character animation was decent. So just make sure you think through somethings in the game. I mean, we all play professional games and we think, "Well that was really dumb and annoying of them to put that in the game!" We're all pretty good at finding the problems with other people's games. I would be very critical of your own work: you be the harsh reviewer looking for the lousy parts, and then fix them. That's how great games are made.
Good job, and good luck!