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Desent - Top down shooter. playable beta available.

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I've been working on a 2D shooter. Every level is a maze that may contain keys and doors. To finish the level find the stairs that will take you to the floor beneath it. The game still has allot of placeholder art.

The current beta version can be played here www.distantmelody.net/desent. Let me know what you think! Use WSAD to move, aim with the mouse and use left mouse to shoot. Use R to reload and ESC to exit the game. There are currently 24 levels.

You will notice 4 player characters even though you only control 1. The game will eventually become 4 player co-up multiplayer. Of course a single player mode will still be available.
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Had a couple of goes, but I found that by the second level I was so easily overwhelmed that it was nearing on impossible. The controls were a little odd and took a play through or two to get used to. There also seems to be a small area of transparency around the character's elbows.

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I like this kind of games. Anyway:

I don't like the controls at all. I think it would just be better to have qwerty(W) "go up", and qwerty(D) "go left" instead of the current forward/strafe methods. Notice that given the fairly fast speed of enemies, it is relatively easy to aim near your character. As the critter moves to you, this might cause the forward vector to be mirrored, causing your character to oscillate around the crosshair, while the enemy gnaws it. This is very confusing to say the least, as movement is in fact a function of mouse pointer.
I can understand your desire for "easy" movement around a point, but I don't think this works at all.

I'd try expanding a bit the field of view and perhaps increasing the amount of damage the hero can take.
And... no sound. Which I suppose to be ok?

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Im with everyone else the controls need a small referb make them more logical, because with an over-the-top view having the controls relative to the players orientation can get quite confusing

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Ah. thnx for the feedback. I will change the default controls and instead add the current control set as an alternitive option. And i will start balancing some of the levels (especialy level 2. It is doable but i understand that it is complete overkill for the second level). As for the no sound I just havent gotten that far yet :D but i probely will within the next week.

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I have added the following to make the beta more playable.

1. different controls as suggested.
2. level 2 is now much easier. I stil need to balance others but with this players can at least see more of the game.
3. When you die instead of exiting the game the current level just restarts.

and some other minor tweaks.

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I like these controls much better and the difficulty was better adjusted. Though I think the game became a bit repetitive too early. Some things I think would improve the game:

- Introduce the keys earlier on.
- Maybe have some story to the game. Data pads or notebooks?
- Add sound.
- Add a health meter or bar.
- A little bit better graphics. The grey and black blocks aren't that esthetic and could easily be improved on. Look at games such as Alien breed 1 and 2.

Good job nevertheless. Keep it up! :)

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