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A new platformer - Dax Element

desktop platformer action adventure retro

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#1 TetriTek Entertainment

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 07:11 AM

Hey everyone, this is my first post here, so pardon anything I do out of the ordinary.

I'll start off by introducing myself. My name is Joshua Johnson, and I was born and raised in Utah. I'm a 23 year old self taught artist, music producer, and game designer. I've been drawing for about 17 years now, and I've been experimenting with game making since I was about 12. As far as music goes, I've been teaching myself for running on 7 years now, and I exclusively use FL Studio to create my work. My producer alias is TetriTek, and due to my many hobbies I decided to start my own 'brand' or 'company' if you will. 

 

Since the beginning of the year I began a game project on my own. After creating a main character sprite I just started having idea after idea, and things just started rolling. So after a few months of work, I've finally got something to show for it.

 

Keep in mind, I've been doing all of this in my free time, and have been doing all of the work on my own. Not to mention this is my first real game since I started learning how to program.

 

 

The controls are as follows:

WSAD = move around (W also enters doorways, the arrow keys may also be used)

J = shoot (eventually)

K = jump (Space bar may also be used)

 

the reason I have the keys set up the way I do is to sort of make use of the home row keys, people should be relatively comfortable with their hands placed in a basic typing position (although shifted over to rest on WSAD) The amount of keys that can be accessed this way makes for easy adding of controls and features while still hopefully being able to keep the controls easy to use, easy to access, and hopefully easy to understand.

 

In any case, this is my new game, Dax Element. To download a demo, click here.

 

The goal of the game is simple, and this first portion of the game is more of a crash course tutorial. You are supposed to collect the crystal fragments that are scattered about the level. After collecting all of them, they form your first main item, and after that, you're sent straight into the fray. I'd like to be able to get people to learn how to play just by experiencing the game, instead of reading dialog all the time, and over complicated explanations. So I hope this is simple enough to understand for everyone.

 

I'd love to hear what you guys think, and I am fully aware not everything I hear will be words of encouragement, but I'll take what I can get.

 

I hope you enjoy, and I look forward to seeing what people have to say.

 

Here are some screenshots of the game:

12814212_496512140532273_11313674563387710398892_496512150532272_46473325983328510320534_496512163865604_7828722775853691914343_496512167198937_714771430623132210454543_496512220532265_294918781433727941047_496512233865597_798415566302466211917527_496512257198928_961221741115131512821526_496512267198927_35160848754399712187661_496512290532258_42415127616104067137_496512300532257_9163701855111520971917441_496512337198920_6349662022274257941047_496512417198912_1203606628783768812814326_496512447198909_16056860528157212065579_496512453865575_56593529646637412832440_496512483865572_624332359689774


Edited by TetriTek Entertainment, 19 March 2016 - 10:25 PM.

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#2 morendral

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 09:37 PM

Hey, welcome to the community. I would suggest you add some screenshots and a direct download link to your post as per the forum rules. Also, many people will simply skip this without screen shots so it only benefits you.
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#3 TetriTek Entertainment

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 02:29 AM

Thanks for the advice, I was actually thinking about that today. I will get those up as soon as possible.


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#4 SecretMonkey

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 11:01 AM

Hey!

 

I played your game, its really good!

 

you can tell you put a lot of effort into it, the artwork is amazing and the walk and jumpspeed feels just right!

And the music! Did you make that yourself, do i hear some FruityLoops? Awesome.

 

That being said, i do have some feedback if you dont mind.

-You said that you didnt like longwinded tutorials or reading dialog boxes everytime, which i can agree upon. I learned pretty quickly that you move and jump with WASD and space, and that I was supposed to pick up the crystals to make the blue thing complete. One thing i didnt learn was that you had to press J to fire... J... Of all buttons i could press J wasnt the first i tried. I was stuck at the wall you are supposed to shoot. I backtracked the entire level looking for a lever or something to open the wall. Then I pressed escape to see if you had a pause menu where the controls were explained. I didnt see it so i thought "ok ill exit to main menu maybe the controls were there i just read over them"  I selected exit to main menu and pressed enter.... You guessed it, nothing happened. It was by that point i started mashing every key and suddenly it worked. I didnt know what key it was since i mashed them all but i knew there was a key. Having started again i found out it was J... J.... of all buttons J....  After completing the crystal the second time i now pressed J at the wall and hurray i made it.  I think a lot of people in that situation would have given up instead of trying everything like i did, wich would be a shame for such a great game. You dont have to make a big tutorial or anything, just somewhere to mention the controls would be great.

 

-One thing i didnt mention was that im a big scrub in games. When im playing a platformer and i see a pit, I know im not supposed to jump in there but i cant help myself and end up in the pit. Same with your game, the first pit i saw i ended up in. If you die after you get a checkpoint, you respawn at the checkpoint. If you die like a scrub before the first checkpoint, the entire game restarts.... getting the player to automatically get the first checkpoint when starting the game would be a solution.

 

-Ok after two negative things i just want to mention how great and simple the movement was. No slipping and sliding of platforms, no tiresome slowass walking pace and some clean animations and sounds to accompany it, awesome!

 

-I hope your spirits are still up because im gonna mention something maybe a bit nitpicky... After finally busting through the figure-out-you-have-to-press-J-wall, i made it to the second level and the cool music was swapped for some other cool music. Thing is, the genre or feel or whatever of the music was completely different, from a slower relaxter style to some some more hardcore style (no problems with that), but the rest of the game stayed the same, same art, no bossfight or something. I know its a bit nitpicky for a game made by a single person, but it felt a bit offputting. Hearing the music i thought oh **** somethings gonna happen, but then it didnt.... Maybe you dont have to change it but keep it in mind for future development.

 

-Being a hero at collecting crystal shards i now focussed my attention on killing slimes and getting them sweet sweet purple orbs. I dont know what the purple orbs were but they seemed to be filling up a bar, and being a gamer i love filling up bars. When the bar was almost full all of a sudden my bullets (which i fire with J ofcourse) changed to laser rays of doom. I know you dont like messages or something, but a little notification or something would be great. My bullets all of a sudden changed, and i thought it was related to the sweet sweet purple orbs, but a little confermation would be great. You know just the bar flashing and a little sound or something would do it 

 

-I now realize im getting more and more nitpicky, so ill stop, ill just have to mention the end. I got to the first boss, the slime dude and stood on a platform firing laser rays of doom towards him and everyting was sweet. When he was about 1/4 dead a slime dude fell on top of me, knocking me back of the platform. At that point the screen froze (music still played) and i had to exit the game. I dont know if thats your game or my potato of a laptops fault. Im planning on playing again to check it out, and because I want to play your great game!

 

 

Ok, that was a buch of words, i hope i didnt bash your dreams or anything.

Remember that its just my feedback, but what do I know about your game

 

SecretMonkey


Edited by SecretMonkey, 19 March 2016 - 11:01 AM.

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#5 SecretMonkey

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 11:26 AM

Hey again!

 

I just played again and i want to let you know something....

 

I FOUND YOUR SECRET!!!!! WHOOP WHOOP SECRET!!!!!

 

so yea I go through life as a red dude now... thats how I roll.....

 

Things that i noticed about my second run:

-the music thing i mentioned before isnt that big of a deal, dont waste your time on changing it

-the entire second level and a bit is all in 1 checkpoint, and ofcourse i decided to jump into pretty much the last pit before the checkpoint. Felt pretty harsh and a lot of 'backtracking' but i dont know if thats intended

-I got to the bossfight again and i noticed that although finding out your little secret you sneaky sneaky.... That the range on the fire attack seems to be a bit limiting and that the fight was much easier with laser rays of doom....

-i got hit much more this time and by the time i was at 1/3 of my hp i got hit and the screen froze again, same thing as last time. Seems to be something when you get hit, maybe just in a bossfight maybe everywhere.... I get the windows thing like thisandthis.exe is not responding.....

 

 

I'm hoping that its just a simple bug, since i want to beat that dude and see the rest of the game!

 

Secret Monkey


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#6 TetriTek Entertainment

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 06:41 PM

I'm glad you had such an opinion on my game, and thank you for playing it. I apologize about the controls, when I originally posted this I had a link to my website that had a description of the game already typed out as well as an explanation on the controls as well. I was told to avoid links that weren't direct so I changed it, and in turn forgot to include another full explanation. I apologize and will get to that right away!

 

As for the music, yes, I did make it myself, and I have quite a selection of songs to choose from and am always coming up with new ones. So no worries on the song part, I do understand it does change the mood, and it was intended, but it was meant to be more subtle, kinda like "Hey, you just got that neat little weapon, but from here on things get dangerous"

 

I'm really glad you found that bug out as well, I actually just recently came across it and I have a feeling it might have something to do with some of the tweaks I made to the code for getting hurt and it's causing it to crash somewhere in there.

 

As for that little secret, you sneaky little devil, I didn't really intend for anyone to find those quite yet and I'm surprised you did so quickly. That being said the new weapon itself is actually quite unfinished but I wanted to add an extra weapon to work on getting things working as far as changing weapons, and holding multiple of them. 

 

but wait, there's more... That's not the only secret weapon you can find ;) The other one is also a bit unfinished, but they are functional. I'm still trying to decide how to modify the damage ratios, amount of bullets that can be on the screen at a time for each weapon, and balancing things.

 

But now that you've played, and have a general idea of how the game is going, I would like to explain something:

The top left portion of the screen holds 5 stones, a life bar, and an upgrade bar. As you mentioned with those little purple rings, yes they do fill up that bar, and I feel I need to fix the bar because the way I went about doing it is a little strange now that I think about it. But essentially that bar fills up upon collecting enough rings, but can also be lost some if you get hit. What the bar does, is at 10 points of upgrade, your weapon is in upgrade state 2 and has more damage and a new way to fire. Upon collecting 20, you receive the 3rd and final mode for each weapon while retaining that bar. AKA "the laser rays of doom". I would like to make it so when you collect a piece, the bar flashes white as well to indicate where it went, as well as when you reach a new upgrade point, a sound would play, and I think instead of filling the bar up once, you fill the bar up once each time you upgrade, for a total of 3 upgrade bars. 

 

The 5 stone slots consist of the 1 large, and two smaller ones to the top and bottom left of it, are your primary stone slots. These will be your weapon stones that you will be collecting throughout the game (some secret, some essential, some crafted) And the other two stone slots will be for your secondary, utility stones. These will have special powers like switching the players gravity in 180 directions at the press of a button to add crazy new levels with. And a multi jump stone, and anything else I can come up with in the meantime.

 

I do appreciate the input, even though it wasn't all necessarily positive, you were only trying to make my game even better by suggesting things you notices that you thought would help. I respect that, and will take what you said into account. Thanks again for playing it, and I will see if I can fix that bug on the boss battle for you :)

 

(I have 4 weapon stones at the moment) :D


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#7 TetriTek Entertainment

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 07:43 AM

I've made a fairly large update to the game to hopefully fix any known bugs as well as introduce some new things. Here's what I covered:

 

I added standing water to add a little more variety to the game. In water you move and jump less.

 

I modified the levels slightly, mostly to accommodate the newly added water.

 

I modified what happens when the player gets hurt to no longer send him to either side, now you simply bounce up (I would like you to move up and away from the enemy but the way I approached that might have led to the previous mentioned bug that freezes the game). Hopefully that should fix the problem, and in the meantime suffice for what happens when the player is hurt.

 

As of now there are 3 stones that are acquirable in the game, the first is the obvious one. The other two may be found in 'secret' walls if you will. It appears it wasn't very hard to find them, but I honestly only have them there for testing purposes at the moment. Those stones will be found later on in the game and have special functions aside from just being a weapon (flame can burn things, etc.)

 

I've also redone the upgrade bar to introduce a new sound upon reaching a new weapon level (max level of 3) as well as a flashing animation that appears when you acquire an upgrade drop.

 

Hopefully these new changes will enhance the game experience, as well as run smoothly with no errors. I appreciate your help SecretMonkey, and it's good to know that you've had at least some good experiences with my creation :)


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#8 Mike.K

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 08:50 AM

Played through it. I enjoyed what was there.
I didn't see that you could change gravity direction with the L key mentioned anywhere. Did you not intend for people to know you could do that? :P
Btw it was great fun to do that. :)
 

The boss is pretty easy the exploit. Standing right in front of it and spam shoot breaks the flow of the boss fight. Maybe you should remove that edge margin so you can't stand there?

You have a nice starting point for a good platformer. Keep it up!


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#9 TetriTek Entertainment

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Posted 22 March 2016 - 05:21 PM

Thank you I appreciate it. And yes, it seems I forgot to disable the L key. But it's good that you saw that because that's what the secondary stones will be for. That would be the gravity stone, allowing you to flip the gravity. I'm thinking of other ones to add as well, but so far I only have a few ideas.

 

And I do plan on doing a huge rework of the boss level at some point, at the moment I was simply satisfied that there was an actual boss, it could be relatively challenging at points, and you could win. 

 

But I'm glad you liked what you played, and I intend to keep going as long as I can :D


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