- Parts of some sprites seem messed up on the edges. My guess is that you're drawing the sprites on decimal positions. If you're using the draw event for the player character's sprite, consider rounding the x/y positions.
Yeah. This happens with decimal positions. That's kinda annoying. Sadly, I'm not using the draw event with the sprites (player and enemies, at least).
- That one room in, I guess, 3-2, where you fall down while trying to dodge obstacles, is poorly designed. The character falls too fast, and the view doesn't shift downward enough. It seems impossible to get through without taking a hit unless the person playing is lucky or has the stage memorized. In fact I didn't really like that level at all, especially the part where the spinning spike thing chases you and you're supposed to jump, because the change in block type is so subtle that you won't immediately know that you can jump through it.
In both the falling room and the room before that, coins means "you're safe". In the part where the spinning blade chases you, I knew that just having different blocks wasn't really helpful, so I've placed the coins in the "safe spot" (assuming that the player didn't remember that mushroom-like floor is a jump-through block/platform). But I guess you're right once again since other people didn't like that level (and that must mean something). : )
- I think health should regenerate after leaving or finishing a stage...
That would be make the game a bit too easy, I think (there are hearts right at the start of (almost) every level: unless your health is full; in that case, you'll have an evil lemon-thing that chases you coming out from the block where the heart was supposed to be).
Health does regenerate, however, after finishing a world.
- The strange slot machine at the end of each world seems unpolished. Pressing the confirmation button instantly stops it, and proceeds to the next room. There is no animation here, it's completely static. As it is now, it's excessive and should be removed, unless you polish it (and potentially give it an additional purpose beyond extra lives, such as filling the boomerang's bar or giving the wing power-up).
I'll definitely going to add more bonuses on the slot machine. I don't know why is it strange though. Like everything in Ambrea, even this little bonus is coming from a Mario game (even the music - the first Super Mario for Game Boy, though that bonus game, albeit similar, was indeed a bit more complex).
- I don't have a specific thing to say on this point, but I really hope you try improving your level designs. Right now, almost all of the levels seem to run together. Even with unique gimmicks, they're still not interesting. Every room is designed as a corridor, a line or path that you go through, without much twisting or exploration or alternative paths. Even in the original Super Mario Brothers, there were still multiple ways to progress through the game (due to the normal pipes, and the warp pipes).
- Elaborating a bit on the point of comparison between this game and Super Mario Brothers, I do think you should rethink your strategy of having a map system in the game. Without any sort of alternative routes through the world map, it seems pointless. You could have gotten away with a Yoshi's Island style map interface and there would have been no functional difference. If you're going to do what Super Mario Brothers 3 and Super Mario Land 2 and Super Mario World all did, why do you present the levels and their designs in such a linear fashion?
Well, I didn't add any alternative path mostly because that would be a bit too complex for me, but I know that's not a good excuse / reason. I'll probably add some secret levels in the colored version (those levels were actually supposed to appear in the black and white version). Or even simply switch to a Kirby's Adventure's (NES) or Yoshi's Island's (SNES) style of maps (both of these were terrific games btw. The latter is quite underrated imho, just saying...).
- A very big note I want to make here is that you seem to have split this game between "2d platformer" and "collectathon platformer". There is a big difference. The early GameBoy titles that you are trying to make an homage to were not collectathons (unlike, say, Yoshi's Island on the SNES). When they had secrets, they hid them in interesting ways, and the result was never a token item with only a vague purpose (if any --- I only played up to 4-1, I'm not sure what these collectibles even do?). I made a point to get the token items until around 2-3 or so, at which point I gave up trying. There's simply no purpose, no reward, it doesn't make me have more fun to collect these things. Especially not when they're given out in annoying ways (like the plant where you have to throw things into, but you have limited chances and the throwing arc isn't easy to guess).
Well, if you collect all of the treasure chests (which is a sprite ripped from SMB3, btw), a small, secret area will appear on the main map: a small level filled with lives and bonuses. Not very rewarding, but I thought that was... ok, for my standards I guess. lol
But I know that's not exactly the point. I tried to hide the treasures chests in more complex and interesting ways, like the first Wario Land (GB), but I didn't know how to do more interesting / hidden paths or areas in the same levels without scr*wing up the views and other things. I'll try to do a better job in the colored version (which is basically becoming Ambrea 4).
But, it just seems like you're limiting yourself in specific ways. And in doing so, you make the game less fun than it could be. The reasoning that you're trying to keep it as a "homage" or whatever is kinda arbitrary.
As a specific example, you keep the palette four-color when clearly the second image in your bump looks better. Those kinds of restrictions seriously don't make sense when the game itself doesn't really adhere to GameBoy specifications anyway. There's too much onscreen, the framerate is too high, the amount of sounds/music going on at once wouldn't be possible on a GameBoy, etc., so it's not even somewhat authentic. Why limit the colors like that?
Well, since I knew that the framerate and the music are not very Game Boy-ish, I tried to make the graphics as nostalgic as possible (including the yellow filter).
Also, the music are MIDIs because I'm not a composer (not even with FamiTracker, unless we're talking about simple sounds), sadly. : /
I'm also not sure why you claim the graphics are almost 100% original, when there is actually a lot of things that can be pointed out as having been ripped from earlier commercial games. And while you do mention some backgrounds and tilesets being ripped, you don't mention sprites --- and there are plenty of those that are ripped.
Well, a few sprites (like the treasure chests) are indeed ripped from other games, but I'm not trying to claim (for example) a sprite well-known as the pirhana plant, which is clearly from SMB3, as "mine".
Overall, ripped sprites (not counting tile sets and backgrounds) are:
-> Pirhana Plants (Super Mario Bros. 3 | NES)
-> Treasure Chests (Super Mario Bros. 3 | NES)
-> A Fish enemy (Super Mario Land 2 | GB)
-> Spiny (Super Mario Bros. | NES)
-> Fire-breathing, statue-like Pirhana plants (Super Mario Land 2 | GB)
You also say that most of the sounds were created using FamiTracker, but I'd claim the opposite, that most sounds were ripped too. I guess it doesn't matter much, I mean, if you can't make those resources yourself and can't find anyone to do so. But you could at least slightly edit some of the stuff you're ripping, and use a sound-creating program like sfxr instead of FamiTracker... the latter of which is either outputting unoriginal sounds, or you've neglected to mention that you've also ripped sounds for the game.
Well, if FamiTracker is outputting unoriginal sounds, that would me by fault. lol
It is actually a very good and powerful software (if you know what you're doing) for people who want to create original 8-bit songs (it even has a set of instruments for creating Sega Genesis sounds if I remember correctly).
Original sounds are the "boomerang sound", the "enemy dies sound" and even the "player jump sound", though the latter is maybe a bit too Mario-like.
Sounds were ripped mostly from Zelda games for the Game Boy (Link's Awakening, for example).
That's no secret and I wasn't trying to claim sounds from other games as mine: I would never do that.
Anyway, I've kind of rambled on. I hope you keep going. Blak, you have the power to make great games... my scanners sensed it. Just bring it out.
Don't even worry about that. Your long post / criticism was very appreciated. Thank you very much for your time, actually.
I hope to make better games in the future, of course.
Thanks for playing anyway.
Edited by blak, 04 May 2012 - 04:13 PM.