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Review of "Tunnel Jumper" by kiwibonga

Posted by Servant of the Lord, in Community Challenge Reviews 18 May 2011 · 300 views

review
How the scoring works: I score 0 to 5 points on each topic. Each point is equivalent to 0.5 points on the overall scoring. So each topic can contribute a total of 2.5 points to the overall score of 0 - 10.

A 0 in the field means it's not present at all. A 1 means it is present, but very badly done. A 5 means I can't think of a way to make it much better, it's good enough as is.

0 = Not present at all.
1 = Present, but very badly done
2 = Good attempt, but didn't work too well.
3 = Nothing to talk about, either good or bad.
4 = Really good, but a few flaws in execution.
5 = Excellent, there isn't many ways it could be improved.

Note: This is a harsh scoring mechanism, beause I'm doing it as a fellow developer to give critical feedback to help us all improve our craft, and not just say 'It was good' without explaining *why* it is good. Anything 6 or above is quite good!

 
"Tunnel Jumper"

 

"First Time User Experience" - How easy it is for the player to get rolling with your game. Covers installation and communication with the player on how to play the game.

The root folder of the game has alot of resources in it. I had to momentarily hunt for the executable.
The game menu being the first level, and having the instructions on it, was pretty cool.
I had no problems learning how to play.

"First Time User Experience" score: 5

 

"Graphics & Audio" - Pretty straight forward, do the visuals and sound contribute to or detract from the game?

The background music was loosely based on the 'cant touch this theme'. (I think?)
Regardless, the music could've been better, but it did what it was meant to: it was enjoyable without being distracting or annoying.
The sound effects were perfect.

The graphics weren't too great - especially the intro level and level 2.
Level 1 and Level 3 were fine though.

"Graphics and Audio" scoring: 3.5
Graphics get a 2: Very well done, with a few minor complaints.
Audio gets a 5: Very good, but mildly irritating.
So the 'Graphics and Audio' combined field gets a '3.5'.

 

"Theme" - How integral is the contest's theme with the game?

It's definitely 'MC Hammer' themed, but not really 'Can't touch this' themed.
The 'Can't touch this' part was an important part of the theme for contestants, but it wasn't at all in the gameplay of 'Tunnel Jumper'.

"Theme" scoring: 2

 

"Fun Factor" - Is it an enjoyable gaming experience?

One time I was so close to the edge of a platform, that when I died I continually respawned on the edge of the platform and re-died three times before it brought me back to the beginning of the level (that was the first level (excluding the intro level).

Some of the jumps you have to make are through narrow passages, but this was actually fun, and added to the challenge of the game. This game really had the right balance of difficulty. Things were challenging, but not agravating.
I enjoyed the first time I encountered the blue platform. The sideways blue platforms were fun too.

"Fun Factor" scoring: 5

 

Total scoring: 7.75

If the game was made into a full length game, with additional objects to interact with, I'd play it.
Very good, kiwibonga.


Posted Image




Haha, thanks! :)<div><br></div><div>The reason the bug with the restarts happens is because I initially had a life counter. For as long as you had lives left, you'd respawn at the last red platform, but if you had no more, you would start back at the beginning of the level... With the difficulty of some jumps, this effectively made the game impossible (try finishing level 2 or 3 without dying more than 3 times!).</div><div><br></div><div>I saw the deadline approaching, so I decided to make red platforms replenish your life allowance, which basically meant you had infinite lives and never got sent back to the start. The life-depleting code is still there, though, so if you enter a loop (if you respawn above a black pixel that keeps killing you), you get respawned at the start position! You can even enter an infinite loop (hyper-loud, and causes enough debris to choke the framerate) if you respawn in a place where you touch both a black and a red pixel in the same frame...</div><div><br></div><div><div>I also found out that my whole collision code was surrounded by an if block that only runs if the player's speed is less than 16 units/frame, for some reason. There's no else clause, it just jumps over it if your speed is too high. And naturally, the out-of-level-bounds check is inside that block too! So if you manage to go fast enough (with bouncer blocks), the player disappears off screen and the game just remains stuck there!</div></div><div><br></div><div>I'm glad you noticed the song... When I tell people it's supposed to be inspired from the melodies in MC Hammer's song, they tell me I'm tone deaf :(</div><div><br></div><div>I've been frantically trying to improve/debug the game since I recovered, and I'd really like to take it much further... Sadly, I have the whole Pestering Squad thing and I'm supposed to follow through on another (slightly larger) project first, so I might not get to it right away... :P</div><div><br></div><div>I'd like to see a "post-mortem" about your entry (did you already write one that I missed?), because I think it really stood out in this competition. I thought the amount of content you managed to pull out was very impressive, and the gameplay required complex thought and fast reflexes.</div><div><br></div><div>If I had to critique, I would say you created a nice "atmosphere" -- personally, I was very driven to find out if we would be told how the hammer and crystal managed to write stuff on the floor, since they have no arms or eyes and are guided only by destiny!</div><div><br></div><div>I thought the music was professional quality, but maybe a bit too "sober" for the fantasy atmosphere.</div><div><br></div><div>I already saw someone mention this; the instructions at the beginning fade out of sight a bit too quickly.</div><div><br></div><div>And of course, there's level 3 and the flying saucers out of nowhere... :P</div><div><br></div><div>Overall, it was very enjoyable (moreso after I found out about the "attack" command!) and a very interesting interpretation of the theme. On a totally arbitrary scale, I would rate it a 9/10. Take it or leave it!</div>

Haha, thanks! :)<div><br></div><div>The reason the bug with the restarts happens is because I initially had a life counter. For as long as you had lives left, you'd respawn at the last red platform, but if you had no more, you would start back at the beginning of the level... With the difficulty of some jumps, this effectively made the game impossible (try finishing level 2 or 3 without dying more than 3 times!).</div><div><br></div><div>I saw the deadline approaching, so I decided to make red platforms replenish your life allowance, which basically meant you had infinite lives and never got sent back to the start. The life-depleting code is still there, though, so if you enter a loop (if you respawn above a black pixel that keeps killing you), you get respawned at the start position! You can even enter an infinite loop (hyper-loud, and causes enough debris to choke the framerate) if you respawn in a place where you touch both a black and a red pixel in the same frame...</div><div><br></div><div>I also found out that my whole collision code was surrounded by an if block that only runs if the player's speed is less than 16 units/frame, for some reason. There's no else clause, it just jumps over it if your speed is too high. And naturally, the out-of-level-bounds check is inside that block too! So if you manage to go fast enough (with bouncer blocks), the player disappears off screen and the game just remains stuck there!</div><div><br></div><div>I'm glad you noticed the song... When I tell people it's supposed to be inspired from the melodies in MC Hammer's song, they tell me I'm tone deaf :(</div><div><br></div><div>I've been frantically trying to improve/debug the game since I recovered, and I'd really like to take it much further... Sadly, I have the whole Pestering Squad thing and I'm supposed to follow through on another (slightly larger) project first, so I might not get to it right away... :P</div><div><br></div><div>I'd like to see a "post-mortem" about your entry (did you already write one that I missed?), because I think it really stood out in this competition. I thought the amount of content you managed to pull out was very impressive, and the gameplay required complex thought and fast reflexes.</div><div><br></div><div>If I had to critique, I would say you created a nice "atmosphere" -- personally, I was very driven to find out if we would be told how the hammer and crystal managed to write stuff on the floor, since they have no arms or eyes and are guided only by destiny!</div><div><br></div><div>I thought the music was professional quality, but maybe a bit too "sober" for the fantasy atmosphere.</div><div><br></div><div>I already saw someone mention this; the instructions at the beginning fade out of sight a bit too quickly.</div><div><br></div><div>And of course, there's level 3 and the flying saucers out of nowhere... :P</div><div><br></div><div>Overall, it was very enjoyable (moreso after I found out about the "attack" command!) and a very interesting interpretation of the theme. On a totally arbitrary scale, I would rate it a 9/10. Take it or leave it!



</div><div><br></div><div>Sorry about the HTML garbage... Can't edit posts!</div>
Damn it. I tried to fix it but it did it again.
Thanks! Posted Image

The (background music) song is from Matt McFarland, who makes free (and royalty free) music for video games. Had I had time to finish my 'credits' page, I would've put him there, but instead I just had to leave the license for the song next to the song in the data files.

Because my gameplay was lacking (Gameplay: Dodge stuff as you move continually upward), I decided to make up for it in humour and hope nobody noticed. I never really thought about how the hammer and crystal wrote the comments on the ground.... Posted Image

I do intend to write both a 'review' of my own game, as well as a post-mortem. The AI in the 'flying saucers' (or, um, spikeballs) was completely unintentional. I seriously told them to go in a straight line, but they become self-aware and decided that they'd have a better chance of killing me if they moved about in choreographed patterns, which made the game alot more fun. I figured out later what caused it, and I'll write up what happened in my post-mortem. Posted Image

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