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Scythe Of The Abyss


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#1 Jools64

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:54 PM

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By Jools64 aka Epihaumut

Description

In Scythe of the Abyss you play as the angel of death who has been tasked to defeat the king of the land. You must run, jump and fight your way through the kingdom, defeating holy guards and reaping souls to regain strength.

 

I created this game because I wanted to take a little break from a main project of mine. It was supposed to be for Halloween so I gave it a pretty dark setting. All the sprites and tiles use the NES palette and limitations. The music and sounds should be fairly authentic to the NES.

 

Download

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http://sandbox.yoyog...he-of-the-abyss

 

Game Jolt:

http://gamejolt.com/...he-abyss/18877/

 

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Reviews

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Screenshots

 

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Edited by Jools64, 08 December 2013 - 09:58 PM.

  • 5

For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#2 Carnivac

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 08:00 PM

Not quite all the NES limitations but it looks very nice and I will download and play it in a lil while. :)


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#3 Jools64

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 08:03 PM

Not quite all the NES limitations but it looks very nice and I will download and play it in a lil while. :)

 

Thanks. :)

Yeah, no sprite limit and the drawing is not at all NES style with rotation and high res, etc. It's really just the sprites and tiles.

Each 8x8 tile/sprite only has 4 colors max including transparency and follows the NES palette.

I've updated the description now to be a bit more specific.


Edited by Jools64, 05 November 2013 - 08:07 PM.

  • 2

For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#4 Carnivac

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 08:39 PM

Ok just had a play.  Really good game.  I died loads yet kept playing (until a bit late into level 2 where I think I had to do a dash jump which I was just useless at).

 

Moves well and there's a satisfying effect and sound when you kill things which is always good.  My 'NES purist mind' was bugged by some things but that's just cos that part of me is extremely fussy, but yeah I had fun playing this.  It certainly has the NES feel of gameplay.  Perhaps if it was running on some NES cart that had a whole host of extra chips for sprites and other things (though the widescreen would probably be pushing that a bit :P )

 

One thing I felt could be improved was that I would like to see a different sprite for moving than just using the same one as standing still.  A more dynamic moving sprite with him sorta hunched over  brandishing his scythe with both hands would look a lot more intimidating and feel cooler.  I might pixel what I mean just for fun of it (and if you don't want to use it then you could just consider it your first piece of 'fan art' for the game :P ).  Overall though sprites and tiles are very well defined and appealing. 

 

Yeah.  I like it. :)


Edited by Carnivac, 05 November 2013 - 08:39 PM.

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#5 deathzero021

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 08:50 PM

I'm gonna try this when i can but i'm having internet troubles. Bookmarked.


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#6 Jools64

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 08:53 PM

Ok just had a play.  Really good game.  I died loads yet kept playing (until a bit late into level 2 where I think I had to do a dash jump which I was just useless at).

 

Moves well and there's a satisfying effect and sound when you kill things which is always good.  My 'NES purist mind' was bugged by some things but that's just cos that part of me is extremely fussy, but yeah I had fun playing this.  It certainly has the NES feel of gameplay.  Perhaps if it was running on some NES cart that had a whole host of extra chips for sprites and other things (though the widescreen would probably be pushing that a bit :P )

 

One thing I felt could be improved was that I would like to see a different sprite for moving than just using the same one as standing still.  A more dynamic moving sprite with him sorta hunched over  brandishing his scythe with both hands would look a lot more intimidating and feel cooler.  I might pixel what I mean just for fun of it (and if you don't want to use it then you could just consider it your first piece of 'fan art' for the game :P ).  Overall though sprites and tiles are very well defined and appealing. 

 

Yeah.  I like it. :)

 

Thanks very much!

Yeah, I did think about bringing it closer to NES but it didn't seem like something very easily done in Game Maker. If I was to do it I'd go the whole way and program in the limitations and flicker, etc.
 

I did think about putting in a movement sprite, If you made one I would definitely put it in and give you credit for it. :)


  • 1

For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#7 deathzero021

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:21 PM

Played it and i agree with most of what Carnivac said. The pixel art is pretty good but the complete lack of animation is a bit of an eyesore.

 

I quit the game around the same place as Carnivac as well. Later section of Level 2 although before the dash jumping i suppose. I tried many times and just go frustrated with it. There are way too many enemies that require too many hits. Also it feels minimal with just the bare basics of an action game. you only get one short range attack and that's it? There's not much depth to the game play here.

 

Overall I have to say I don't like the design at all. The game is challenging but not in a good way, in a frustrating and annoying way. The dash barely helps at all, it usually leads to getting hit more so this game comes down to a massive grind with checkpoints that have no visible "point" and are spread far apart.

 

The enemies that follow you around are the worst, the bigger ones take 3 hits and in that area in Level 2 it gets really bad, having just two or three of those enemies is a nightmare. since they can stand inside your sprite, it makes hitting them impossible you simply watch your character die. This is very difficult to avoid when two of these guys are running at you. The delay between attacks will almost ensure that one of them ends up inside of you. Enemies in this game are just too generic, simple and only challenging due to the high amount of life that some of them have.

 

Level design is awkward too with way too many pitfalls just for the hell of it. Level 1 barely has any solid ground, there's a lot of thin platforms that look strange and don't add anything to the challenge either.

 

My final thoughts on this game is that it certainly has somethings going for it but it's frustrating and very very traditional design limits it's fan base dramatically. Only hardcore NES fans would probably find this experience enjoyable but most modern games are probably going to quit pretty early. There isn't much to keep us fighting through the repetitive and simple design, no new or interesting mechanics are brought to the classic formula. It ultimately feels like a generic NES action-platformer that doesn't compete with the classics at all.

 

I hate being such a downer here but that's my opinion. I really wanted to like this, I love retro platformers, especially those with dark Castlevania-like themes but the design isn't impressing me much.


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#8 Carnivac

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:26 PM

reaper.png

 

Tried to stick to your style but making him a bit more dynamic looking.  Also tried to give him a little bit of a suggested skull-face too. :P  Feel free to edit it, or just dispose of it if you don't like it.  As I said bit of fan-art if nothing else. :)  Could animate the lower bit of his cloak to 'ripple' a bit in 2 frames to give some basic animation.

 

Was playing the game some more.  I really do enjoy it.  It just has that satisfying feel to it that so many Game Maker games (and most indie games) severely lack.  I still can't do that blasted dash-jump though. :P  Other that one of the most purely enjoyable games I've downloaded off this forum in some time (oddly the other games I consider in that class all seem to be NES-inspired too)


Edited by Carnivac, 05 November 2013 - 10:30 PM.

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#9 Jools64

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 11:47 PM

Played it and i agree with most of what Carnivac said. The pixel art is pretty good but the complete lack of animation is a bit of an eyesore.

 

I quit the game around the same place as Carnivac as well. Later section of Level 2 although before the dash jumping i suppose. I tried many times and just go frustrated with it. There are way too many enemies that require too many hits. Also it feels minimal with just the bare basics of an action game. you only get one short range attack and that's it? There's not much depth to the game play here.

 

Overall I have to say I don't like the design at all. The game is challenging but not in a good way, in a frustrating and annoying way. The dash barely helps at all, it usually leads to getting hit more so this game comes down to a massive grind with checkpoints that have no visible "point" and are spread far apart.

 

The enemies that follow you around are the worst, the bigger ones take 3 hits and in that area in Level 2 it gets really bad, having just two or three of those enemies is a nightmare. since they can stand inside your sprite, it makes hitting them impossible you simply watch your character die. This is very difficult to avoid when two of these guys are running at you. The delay between attacks will almost ensure that one of them ends up inside of you. Enemies in this game are just too generic, simple and only challenging due to the high amount of life that some of them have.

 

Level design is awkward too with way too many pitfalls just for the hell of it. Level 1 barely has any solid ground, there's a lot of thin platforms that look strange and don't add anything to the challenge either.

 

My final thoughts on this game is that it certainly has somethings going for it but it's frustrating and very very traditional design limits it's fan base dramatically. Only hardcore NES fans would probably find this experience enjoyable but most modern games are probably going to quit pretty early. There isn't much to keep us fighting through the repetitive and simple design, no new or interesting mechanics are brought to the classic formula. It ultimately feels like a generic NES action-platformer that doesn't compete with the classics at all.

 

I hate being such a downer here but that's my opinion. I really wanted to like this, I love retro platformers, especially those with dark Castlevania-like themes but the design isn't impressing me much.

 

It's pretty disappointing to hear that you disliked the game so much but I do appreciate the feedback. Thanks for letting me know. As usual I think I've gotten too good at playing the game while testing it and not realised how slow and difficult it is. I guess it's a skill I have to work on.

 

reaper.png

 

Tried to stick to your style but making him a bit more dynamic looking.  Also tried to give him a little bit of a suggested skull-face too. :P  Feel free to edit it, or just dispose of it if you don't like it.  As I said bit of fan-art if nothing else. :)  Could animate the lower bit of his cloak to 'ripple' a bit in 2 frames to give some basic animation.

 

Was playing the game some more.  I really do enjoy it.  It just has that satisfying feel to it that so many Game Maker games (and most indie games) severely lack.  I still can't do that blasted dash-jump though. :P  Other that one of the most purely enjoyable games I've downloaded off this forum in some time (oddly the other games I consider in that class all seem to be NES-inspired too)

 

Thanks very much! I really glad you enjoyed it. :)

I've put your sprite in the game. (I modified it just a tad to make the transition a little more smooth.)


Edited by Jools64, 05 November 2013 - 11:48 PM.

  • 1

For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#10 Carnivac

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 12:21 AM

That's fine.  You made it look a lot better (I hardly every stick with the first version of a sprite anyways, I'm always modifying it as I go).

 

And it certainly feels a lot better now.  He looks more determined, rushing about. :)


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#11 Braffolk

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 02:33 PM

Graphics are awesome :)

played it and the engine seems really solid...

Reminds me of some good old NES games...


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#12 Jools64

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 01:32 PM

Graphics are awesome :)

played it and the engine seems really solid...

Reminds me of some good old NES games...

 

Thanks very much!

Nice, I was going for a kinda classic Castlevania type look so hopefully it came through.


  • 0

For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#13 Boysano

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 08:02 PM

this is the same comment I left on gameJolt:

 

Excellent game, I think you should keep improving it and make it even more animated please!
 
Very challenging, maybe allow player to set key bindings plz

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#14 SideEffect59

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 05:10 AM

I finally finished the game. I made it to the final boss once before when I first downloaded the game, but I could never defeat it. I tried again today, and after a long time of trying, I finally won. I like the overall difficulty, even though it took me forever to get passed the last fight. I'd much rather have an actual challenge, rather than play a game that almost anyone could beat just by going through the motions.

I did want to ask about the music. It sounds a lot like some of the music from 'Robin Hood' for the NES. Have you ever played it?


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#15 Jools64

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 08:10 PM

 

this is the same comment I left on gameJolt:

 

Excellent game, I think you should keep improving it and make it even more animated please!
 
Very challenging, maybe allow player to set key bindings plz

 

Thanks very much, I will try to make an update at some point with both further animation to the player and custom keys bindings. :)

 

I finally finished the game. I made it to the final boss once before when I first downloaded the game, but I could never defeat it. I tried again today, and after a long time of trying, I finally won. I like the overall difficulty, even though it took me forever to get passed the last fight. I'd much rather have an actual challenge, rather than play a game that almost anyone could beat just by going through the motions.

I did want to ask about the music. It sounds a lot like some of the music from 'Robin Hood' for the NES. Have you ever played it?

Ah, that's really cool to hear. I was worried no one would bother to complete it because of the difficulty, so I'm glad you managed to do so. :)

I have not played that game but I gave a listen to some of the music and I see what you mean. Something sounds quite similar between them. Maybe the rhythms and chord progressions or something.


  • 0

For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#16 Boysano

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:02 PM

Em, I stopped playing it because in platformers I do not like difficulty in terrain, but in other challenges and enemies, etc.


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#17 Quecken

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:28 AM

Very cool game! I like the style and feel of it a lot. Good job!

 

One small note: The game crashed in the beginning of  the second level. Other than that, it's running great. :)


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#18 slayer 64

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:34 PM

this is a really fun game. i think the difficulty is about right. it's nice to grab a few souls and regain health. the boss is impressive and i gave up trying to beat it, the dashing is really useful for him. by reading the comments, i suppose there aren't any more levels after =/ real nice game. good graphics and sounds too.
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#19 Jools64

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 03:39 PM

Very cool game! I like the style and feel of it a lot. Good job!

 

One small note: The game crashed in the beginning of  the second level. Other than that, it's running great. :)

 

Ah, that's strange that it crashed. It might have failed to load the music if no other error was displayed, I'll give it a look.

Thanks for the feedback! :)

 

this is a really fun game. i think the difficulty is about right. it's nice to grab a few souls and regain health. the boss is impressive and i gave up trying to beat it, the dashing is really useful for him. by reading the comments, i suppose there aren't any more levels after =/ real nice game. good graphics and sounds too.

 

Thanks!

Yeah, it's pretty short because I just wanted to make something quick for halloween.

edit: Just noticed you put a link to the game in your signature, Thanks for that. :)


Edited by Jools64, 21 November 2013 - 03:41 PM.

  • 0

For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#20 NazGhuL

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 07:03 PM

A good game! I felt like I was playing a good old NES game. (Except the dash movement.)

I didn't finished it yet, I'll go through it this W-E.

Graphic are nice and music is good. I realy like the way the checkpoint works. Tips are displayed too fast on the start.

I also realy like the 'death' sequence. Sound/graphic/fast_respawn.

 

Good job.

 

8/10 :thumbsup:


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#21 Jools64

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 03:13 PM

A good game! I felt like I was playing a good old NES game. (Except the dash movement.)

I didn't finished it yet, I'll go through it this W-E.

Graphic are nice and music is good. I realy like the way the checkpoint works. Tips are displayed too fast on the start.

I also realy like the 'death' sequence. Sound/graphic/fast_respawn.

 

Good job.

 

8/10 :thumbsup:

 

Thanks very much!

Yeah, I would have liked to add a proper tutorial instead of those quick tips but I didn't have time in the end.


  • 0

For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#22 Carnivac

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 03:22 PM

Yeah, I would have liked to add a proper tutorial instead of those quick tips but I didn't have time in the end.

 

 

 

I preferred the quick tips.  I kinda loathe tutorials.  Quick tips feels much more authentic to the era you're simulating here.  Back when we didn't need every single frickin' tiny little thing explained to us...


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#23 Jools64

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 09:51 PM

 

Yeah, I would have liked to add a proper tutorial instead of those quick tips but I didn't have time in the end.

 

 

 

I preferred the quick tips.  I kinda loathe tutorials.  Quick tips feels much more authentic to the era you're simulating here.  Back when we didn't need every single frickin' tiny little thing explained to us...

 

 

Actually yeah, I agree. I guess when I say tutorial it would have been more like level design that required you figure out the mechanics early on. Something like a spike wall that can only be passed by utilising the dash, teaching the player what dashing is used for.


  • 0

For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#24 DarkFalzX

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:02 AM

Oh, damn! How did I miss this?! This is actually an excellent GM game!

Unlike many people here I had little problem with the dash-jump... until you made me do it on teeny-tiny dropping platforms, wile the flying enemies home in on you... at which point I fell into a pit and the game froze and had to be killed out of Task manager (it was close to 120 meg in memory!)

 

One of the things I would criticize is that most enemies use the same or at least very similar and highly annoying AI. As I have learned over the years - sometimes it's okay to have dumb enemies that just walk into your attacks and don't try to chase you when you move away. I know it doesn't make for a thrilling showdown, but not every encounter has to be.

 

Another thing, and I know it's probably too broad a complain - I almost lament the fact you used the NES palette and 2-bit sprite restrictions, as I imagine the game could look even more bad-ass with higher color art of SNES or at least Genesis/MD. You seem to be plenty talented as an artist and could probably pull this off without an issue. There have been plenty of platforms with iconic looking visuals, but the NES gets a lion's share of tributes.


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#25 Jools64

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 11:00 PM

Oh, whoops! That was pretty dumb of me. I was re-loading the music every time a level loaded. I'll upload a fix as soon as I can.

 

Thanks for the advice, I think that would have definitely improved the pacing and made the game a bit more enjoyable. Noted for the next game. ;)
 

I would actually would have been all for making more snes era looking graphics but I chose the NES palette for speed. If I do ever make a sequel to this game though, (possibly for next Halloween), I'll use a less restrictive palette.
 

Thanks very much!


Edited by Jools64, 30 December 2013 - 11:01 PM.

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For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#26 BruceCollins

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 09:46 PM

A solid game, reminds me of the old NES days just sped up. I quit at the second stage because of the terrain where you needed to make a tight jump. I kept jumping and then hitting the next ledge with the characters head and falling to my death...got frustrated. It's still an interesting game, and I love the concept of consuming souls for hp.


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#27 Jools64

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 03:46 PM

A solid game, reminds me of the old NES days just sped up. I quit at the second stage because of the terrain where you needed to make a tight jump. I kept jumping and then hitting the next ledge with the characters head and falling to my death...got frustrated. It's still an interesting game, and I love the concept of consuming souls for hp.

 

Thanks! Yeah I think I should have made the platforming side a little easier. Seems a lot of people had trouble with it.

If I get time, I'll go back and make a couple of the jumps a bit easier.


  • 0

For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"


#28 theweirdn8

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:16 AM

Any nice DLC coming?
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[My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard]


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#29 Coffee

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:55 AM

Didn't play much but from what I did play i can tell this is pretty nicely made. Music sounded good, the graphics looked great for pixel art, and the gameplay was smooth from the movements to the enemy ai. Good job. 10/10


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#30 stainedofmind

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:31 PM

I really enjoy this game.  I used Joy2key to play with a joystick, so I felt the controls were very smooth, though if I was playing on just the keyboard I could see how it could get difficult.  I haven't finished the game yet, as I haven't found the time to do a full sit through, but I honestly don't feel that it is as difficult as others have said.  There was one point in he second level (coincidentally, the exact spot in the second screenshot in your original post) that I was having a tough time getting passed, but then I figured out that I didn't have to kill EVERYTHING, and I just dashed passed.  Though I liked the pixel work and I know you were trying to stick with NES-like limitations, my only criticism would be that the enemies are too monochrome in color.  The other thing that bothered me (but just a tiny bit!) is that it felt like the attack range was a touch too close for comfort.  I feel like the game would be smoother if it was just a touch farther out.  Looking forward to finding the time to finish this, and I do hope that you create a sequel that is a bit longer in length!


Edited by stainedofmind, 20 February 2014 - 08:33 PM.

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#31 Jools64

Jools64

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 11:47 PM

Any nice DLC coming?

 

I don't think I'll do any DLC / updates but I do plan on doing a sequel at some point this year. I hope to make it a lot more detailed, deeper and a bit longer. :)

 

Didn't play much but from what I did play i can tell this is pretty nicely made. Music sounded good, the graphics looked great for pixel art, and the gameplay was smooth from the movements to the enemy ai. Good job. 10/10

Thanks, I appreciate the kind words. :)

 

I really enjoy this game.  I used Joy2key to play with a joystick, so I felt the controls were very smooth, though if I was playing on just the keyboard I could see how it could get difficult.  I haven't finished the game yet, as I haven't found the time to do a full sit through, but I honestly don't feel that it is as difficult as others have said.  There was one point in he second level (coincidentally, the exact spot in the second screenshot in your original post) that I was having a tough time getting passed, but then I figured out that I didn't have to kill EVERYTHING, and I just dashed passed.  Though I liked the pixel work and I know you were trying to stick with NES-like limitations, my only criticism would be that the enemies are too monochrome in color.  The other thing that bothered me (but just a tiny bit!) is that it felt like the attack range was a touch too close for comfort.  I feel like the game would be smoother if it was just a touch farther out.  Looking forward to finding the time to finish this, and I do hope that you create a sequel that is a bit longer in length!

Thank you very much. :) Yeah, I'd definitely recommend using Joy2key to anyone with a controller. I was going add built in joypad support but I didn't have time. When I make the sequel, I'll make sure to add that feature. I'm also planning on not restricting my palette next time, that should allow enemies to be a lot more varied and interesting. If all goes well, combat will be heavily enhanced too.

 

Thanks for the comments guys.


Edited by Jools64, 23 February 2014 - 11:48 PM.

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For all my other games, art, videos and music go here:

www.epihaumut.com

 

Games that I've made with Game Maker:

Scythe of the Abyss
Isras Wings
Catastrophic Neutralization Rescue

Really Old Stuff

Also known as "Epihaumut"

Formerly forum member "jrgames+"