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Week of Awesome III - Servant's reviews of all games

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Servant of the Lord

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Congratulations on reaching the end of the Week of Awesome!
My feedback is in the form of critical reviews of your games, so don't be discouraged if it feels like I'm highlighting the negatives!

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[Death is Useful by Orymus3]



Gameplay: 12/25

This game was a fun diversion, reminding me a little of the hectic multiplayer arena combat of Chameleon Twist.

Many times I'd get flung high in the air, and I had virtually no chance to land back on the platform, since my shadow wasn't visible from that height. I had nothing with which to visually gauge whether or not I was over the platform.

It was hard to predict the behavior of the avatar and the enemies in response to the actions I took - they'd often fly off at unpredictable angles, or at unpredictable distances - sometimes I'd dash them and they'd only move a foot, and then I'd dash them with a little more force, and they'd fly ten feet. I do realize different boxes had different "weights" to them.

My top score was 214. [linky]

Key to victory here seems to be killing the first few boxes as soon as possible, so they don't shrink the platform at the front end of the battle.

Graphics: 7/20
The enemies were just basic textures cubes, and the textures weren't all that fantastic. The texture on the platform you're standing on was particularily garish.

There wasn't any background (except solid black); even a simple gradient would've been an improvement (though you could've gone well beyond a gradient).

Theme: 3/20
"Killing" boxes helped expand the platform, and when you die it helps reveal a message.
The actual message itself is either an intentional joke, or else not worth revealing.

By killing boxes to expand the platform - that's okay-ish as a mechanic, but not particularily innovative or really exploring the idea of using death to your advantage.

Audio: 4/10
The sound effects were synced decently to the interactions in-game, but often
There was no music.

First time user experience: 6/10

The game doesn't have a main menu, but it does have a decent README.
Short of losing window focus, there's no way to pause.

At several points, I got flung high in the air, and fell of the edge, and got stuck without dying, and the score continued counting up until I restarted the application. This happened more than once. Each time this happened, the only way forward was to restart the application, which also reset the message being revealed. When this occurs, the background changes color from black to a different fillcolor.

In the bottom-right corner of the screen is a button that says, "I give up". It doesn't work.

You also have the arrow-keys implemented... but up and down is inverted. =P

Judge's Discretion: 1/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
Congratulations on completing a playable game in less than a week! That's an impressive accomplishment.
Understandably, because of the short-timeframe, there's not much here in the game. I'm having a hard time of seeing where it could be taken or expanded upon if you were to try and release it eventually as a paid app or somesuch. It'd definitely need to be visually improved, and the controls tightened up, with the physics reactions more predictable.

The game was fun, for a moment, but there's not much oppurtunity for real-world skill progression - dropped in the game, you quickly learn the controls, and spent some effort improving your survival times, and incredibly rapidly hit a practically exponential curve of diminishing returns on your invested effort. There's no place you can really go from there, except investing another hour or two to merely add a few more seconds to your average surival length. There's nowhere to go, skill-wise, except up a near vertically wall of increasing difficulty, and nothing else to do apart from that. Not every game needs to be an AAA console game - there is definitely room for finely-crafted casual games - but as a casual game, this game doesn't yet offer much to do, and that could be improved on.

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[Powerthief]



Gameplay: 17/25
Powerthief had a great atmosphere, and had solid gameplay, but is in need of tweaking and refining to make things more enjoyable, IMO. Specifically, I found it really hard to avoid enemy fire; and after playing for over an hour, I couldn't progress beyond the first four rooms. This game was difficult! =)

It was especially hard to dodge the firebird skill when the enemy was using my weapon of choice against me.
I also found it hard to switch skills in the heat of battle.

It was nice to be able to roughly gauge an enemy's remaining health, by how red he turned. That was useful.
Many times the abilities that'd be offered to you were ones you already had. Sometimes the same ability would appear twice in your choice of three abilities.

On one of my attempts, in the third randomly generated room, there was two enemies in it, and I killed them both, but the door didn't open, making it impossible to progress or do anything. I noticed sometimes the jumping creatures jump out of the room, and visually can't be seen. Perhaps one of them did that and refused to jump back?

It would've been great to be able to bind a permanent ability to right-click, but still use the scroll wheel for the left-click skill.

Graphics: 14/20

The menu buttons were nice, though the menu had no background and the title-text wasn't dressed up visually.
In-game, the spell effects looked really good, but the walls around the edges of the room noticably tile badly when going vertically.

The enemies also look nice, but the main character is too dark, like he's constantly in shadows.

In the very first room, I didn't realize that those two objects were skills you could pick up. I thought they were lamps on the floor for decor. Making them more animated and sparkly would help indicate that they are pickups.

At one point, a firebird effect (I think it was one of the enemy's shots) got visually stuck in the room, and just stopped there without disapearing. It continued to persist there, even after transitioning rooms several times.

Theme: 8/20
Each time you die, your skills get more likely to be added to the list of skills that the enemies use. This, in theory, makes death "useful" to the enemies. In practice, it just meant enemies constantly use Firebird on me, which made the game harder. So instead of "death is useful" this game became "restarting the executable is useful".

I think it was a good idea to explore how death might be useful to your enemies but, at least in the several rooms I got to, didn't really change the way the game was played. Had the enemies been given randomly chosen magic, I feel like it'd've played out the exact same way. It felt inconsequential to the game.

Audio: 7/10
The menu buttons didn't have any sounds.
Once you start the game, there is a loud 'ding'. I'm not sure what it means, but it's a much louder volume than the rest of the game.

The sound when an enemy dies, though subtle, was very important gameplay-wise. That helped me a great deal.
The sounds for the different magic skills were decent, and thankfully most of them were subdued.

I enjoyed the background music, because it helped set the mood, but also was a tad... underwhelming.

First time user experience: 8/10

The instructions on the floor of the first room were clear and easy to understand.
For the lines of flame, at first I didn't realize that the farther away you click (up to a certain limit), the longer the line of flame was.

Hitting "Esc" puts you into the main menu, which is expected, and hitting it a second time returns to the game - but that's not clear. The main menu doesn't look like you can 'return' to anything. This would have been clearer if the main menu was transparent, letting you see the paused game underneath it or adding having a 'resume' menu button.

Judge's Discretion: 4/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
I really enjoyed the ambience. I feel like this game would've benefited from free-roaming exploration within the manor, some kind of player progression, and leveling up your skills by choosing the same skill more than once. I'd've loved for getting the same ability twice to have "upgraded it" in some manner, even if it was just reduced reload time.
There's definately room to expand and improve the game content-wise and mechanic-wise. The game, while being incomplete, felt "complete" because it seemed so natural to assume there was more to be had just a little further in. Maybe I just didn't get far enough to find it.

I'd really like to see this game expanded - but the best thing that could happen is it first getting balanced.

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[Orc party]



Gameplay: 13/25
Chests don't disapear after they are gathered, and the camera not following you is rather annoying.

The game was enjoyable; but at the same time, I had to play it mostly by trial-and-error rather than puzzle-solving, because of some of the non-intuitive ideas like. It wasn't very clear that trapdoors can be walked over safely, after they've been triggered once.

It was rather short, though fun. I would've liked to see more levels, but making use of clever level design now that the player already knows about the different game objects, so he can be challenged to solve the puzzles of the level, rather than discover (through experimentation) the hazards.

I liked that you had two different types of units to send out - that was a good idea.

Graphics: 8/20
The graphics were nice, though they could've been greatly improved on. Sometimes it was a little hard for me to discern what was what. The doors for example, were hard to tell when they were open or closed. It was also hard to discern between trapdoors and switches, and between yourself, orcs, and rogues.

Theme: 12/20
The theme 'Death is useful' was present by using your minions to gather chests for you, and sacraficing them to navigate the dungeons. Because the game was so short, and the mechanics of the map so few, there wasn't much room for you as a developer to figure out all the different ways death could've be useful while exploring a dungeon. I think if you had more time, there'd be alot more mechanics related to this that in the current state of your game is left untouched.

I liked that you are rewarded by having fewer of your minions make it out alive (and with a very reasonable in-game story explanation for it).

Audio: 0/10
There wasn't any music or sound.

First time user experience: 7/10
The README was exceptionally helpful.
Using "New game" instead some kind of 'restart level' key is not very intuitive.

The game also crashed while I was playing it, on the third level, when running into the south-most fireball while an orc was racing me towards it.

Judge's Discretion: 2/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)

I think the game is enjoyable, and should be expanded upon. With some better art, more map hazards and interactivity, and perhaps 3 different unit types instead of 2 (you don't want too many, but 3 is a good number), this would make a fun diversion to enjoy. Contrary to the usual nature of this genre, where there's only "one true solution", I'd focus on choice and consequences by providing the player with tools (perhaps carried over every set of ten levels, so he has to conserve them or use them within those ten), and letting the player choose how to overcome the challenges presented by the levels. Things like bombs that blow up any interior wall, or generic keys that can be used for any locked door, a weight that weighs down switches, an extra orc or rogue, etc...
Perhaps at the beginning of each set of 10 levels, you spend the money you've previously looted at a store to equip yourself before entering the next 10-floor 'dungeon'. Just thinking aloud.

Other notes:
I laughed at the victory dialogue, about achieving what the humans failed to do.
Nice use of Excel for level design. =)

The README was in .txt, .pdf, and .docx - lol, covered your bases, did ya?
I have to deduct points though, because you didn't render it to a .png, print it out, and mail physical copies to the judges using carrier pidgeons or Saint Benards.

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[Vault Stone]



Gameplay: 12/25

Because there was no sound effect on "sword impacting with enemy", and no enemy reaction (by flashing, knockback, or 'damaged' animation), it made it hard to tell whether I was even hurting them. Likewise, when they attacked me, I couldn't visually see anything, and the only notification was my character's grunting.

Sometimes I'd recover some health, though I'm not sure why. At first I thought I was regenerating overtime, but that wasn't the case. I guess I get some health back each time I kill an enemy?

I wasn't sure what my goals were or what to do - I just killed alot of humans and walked around. Eventually I found a stairway that led up to a large door. I tried to open the door, but didn't collide with it and just walked right through, where I proceeded to fall infinitely.
Since I didn't die, I had no way of returing to the main menu, so I had to manually close the executable and restart it.

I never figured out what to do, or how to get the second spell. I eventually accumulated 460 souls, mass-spammed a bunch of skeletons (when casting, if you click the key rapidly, you can summon more skeletons (still costing souls) without having to wait for the casting animation to finish) which faded away fairly quickly.

I did manage to advance high enough in the forbidden arts to get my pet pig to levitate over my left shoulder, so that's a plus.

Graphics: 16/20
The mainmenu's visuals looked nice, but ingame there were graphical errors that flickered over specific areas. [screenshot]

The blood had a contrasting style relative to the rest of the game's graphics, seeming out of place.

I liked the art style, and also the grass and that the grass moved, though the grass all moved in unison with each other, giving it an artificial look. In real life, at least in my own experience, different blades of grass simultaneously move in the wind's direction and against the wind.

The [Escape] help-menu GUI visuals also looked nice.

Once I ran out of health while moving and attacking (probably in the middle of a sword swing animation?), and my character didn't fall over in the death animation - he just froze there in place and nothing seemed to occur... until the game restarted.

Many of the trees were pitch-black, as if they were visually unlit. [screenshot]

Even despite the lighting issue, this game looked pleasing.

Theme: 4/20
When death is technically useful, because killing enemies gives you 'souls' for casting, and (possibly) heals some health, this is nothing that most other games in general already do. Killing enemies in games typically give you experience, mana, health, gold. There wasn't any real innovation here, experimenting beyond what is typical in games.

Audio: 6/10
The background music is peaceful and nice, and the soundeffects integrated decently into the game, when present. Some soundeffects were missing (such as "sword impacting with enemy").

The voice acting was decent, for things like the out-of-mana voiceover.

First time user experience: 7/10
The default resolution in Windowed mode clipped the official splashscreen. [screenshot]
Hitting "Play" took a long time before it actually began. ~15-20 seconds, during which the window went briefly into "Not responding".

I couldn't figure out how to use my spells, at first. I was trying to click on the HUD. There was no in-game text or README, until I found out by accident (when trying to pause) that ESC brings up the help. (ESC didn't actually pause the game, btw).

When casting the first spell, there was briefly some text that appeared on screen - it disapeared too fast for me to read it.

Judge's Discretion: 3/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
I like what's here, *visually*, but gameplay-wise, it leaves alot to be desired. Visuals is obviously a strength here, so I'd recommend figuring out the gameplay, and giving it that perfect "Nintendo-quality" polish, focusing on smooth controls, great mechanics that gave the player choices in combat and in interacting with the world, and in the game flow of the combat interactions between the player and the enemies. Another thing that would be key if translating this to a full game, would be adding a feeling of livelyhood and lore to the world - that is, make the world lived-in presently, and indications of it having been lived-in in the past. That, coupled with heavy creativity in creating in-game areas (whether dungeons or terrain or towns), and I'd be all over it as a (very finicky) consumer.

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[Death Jam]



Gameplay: 2/25
For some reason, I keep on falling upside down and still move around walking on my head.
On the third level, I got the swords stuck against one of the steps, with no way for me to get behind it to push it out.
The game doesn't really have any challenge - there's barely any gameplay here yet.

Graphics: 2/20
The main menu isn't particularily appealing. It's just a solid color, with no title, and a few buttons.
The in-game graphics are equally bland. Graphics can always wait until the core gameplay is implemented though.

Theme: 0/20
I'm not seeing the theme here at all. There's skulls, but those are only symbolic of death; and dying, either as a plot or gameplay element, isn't present.

Audio: 3/10
There isn't any sound effects, and the music starts of rather annoying. It gets more interesting later.

First time user experience: 3/10
On encountering the main menu, the first thing I encounter is:
"Desc: push/combine things together into the green area"
What's 'desc'? And I don't see any green area at all! Only once I get into the game do these instructions make any sense.

Other than that, there were no real problems. But that's mainly because there wasn't much content to introduce, or mechanics to teach.

Judge's Discretion: 0/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
There's nothing yet in the game, so I can't really hypothesis about the future potential of this game.
I can look at a blank sheet of paper, but I can't imagine the art on the blank sheet of paper being "better" if there isn't yet any art on it.

Other notes:
I think the most appealing thing about this game was when on the third level, I went up to the platform above, and some crazy large thing appeared and moved offscreen rapidly, and then the music happenstancely got more dramatic. For half a second, my interest was piqued. But nothing came of that.

Game development is hard; I appreciate that. And making a playable and enjoyable game in under a week is even harder. While this game isn't yet "playable" or "enjoyable", it's good to keep on stretching yourself by attempting contests like these in addition to larger (month or year-long) non-contest projects, to grow the skills necessary to eventually make great games.

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[Bunny hop]



Gameplay: 20/25
The controls were smooth, but it was difficult to jump onto visually 2D objects (your own corpses, or even the 3D moving platforms) from that camera angle.
The camera angle was visually great, but was a hinderence to the gameplay (rather, the pairing of the camera angle *paired with* 2D billboards you are jumping onto, was a gameplay hinderence. Either on its own would've been fine).

Using your own corpses to get across spike pits was a great idea.

When I saw the large pit that you first need to use the fire to get across, the solution instantly came to mind, but I was very pleased with that mechanic - when I first encountered fire in the level before (and didn't realize I could've probably used it to jump the spikes), I thought it was enjoyable, but not of real gameplay note. I actually thought to myself that it was a wasted mechanic that'd be hard for the level designers of the game to leverage into actual purpose, but I'm delighted to say you instantly and thoroughly proved me wrong.

The level design as a whole was great - you introduced mechanics rapidly, but in controlled environments for them to be easily introduced and played with, before making use of them in real puzzles.

The moving platforms got old pretty quickly, which you seemed to recognize by naming one of the levels, "Last time, promise!". If you recognized they were getting old, why not just cut a level?

The move to indoor environments was satisfactory.

The amount of lives I'd have on levels sometimes felt arbitray. On one level, I only had 5 (which seemed the default), when 7-10 would've been more suitable, and on another I had 15(!) when I don't think there was even anything that could kill you on that level.

The part with the arrow where you had to get shot by the arrow and fly in the opposite direction the arrow was flying at, turning into a round bouncing ball, and land on a switch... made zero intuitive sense at all. I had to guess the developer's intention, rather than solve a puzzle.

Overall the game was enjoyable, particularily because of the excellent level design.

Graphics: 8/20
There was occasional flickering seams between the ground tiles.
The rabbit looked great, though more than two frames of movement animation would've been very welcome.

Alot of the art lacked quality and detail. The moving platforms were basically untextured, the grass was bland, the spikes were okay but could've used alot more work. Your sprites were nice, the rabbit was nice, most of the 2D art was nice, but the 3D textured objects barely were "textured" at all. The brickwork was a step in the right direction, by comparison, but also could've used alot more work.

Some of the sprites had ugly black outlines. The fire, especially, was visually marred by the black outlines.
I understand this was used to help create contrast with the ground (especially with the flowers), but other methods could've been used that would have resulted in a more pleasing appearance. The rabbit, looked just fine without the black outlines, and the fire would've also. The flowers could've just used darker/lighter shade of green than the ground.

The perspective scaling of the sprites was nice, though!

Theme: 12/20
The theme was definitely present in leveraging your death as an advantage in navigating the terrain. Sometimes multiple levels would go by before it was used, however, making it feel like you forgot that mechanic existed. It didn't feel 'central' to the game. Also, your only use of it was as a platform to stand on, and as a weight to weigh down switches. Oh, as burning to speed you up to get across gaps - but that didn't really feel like death.
I feel like the mechanic of using your deaths as an advantage, wasn't really explored more than ankle deep.

Audio: 4/10
The music was decent, but the mainmenu sound-effect was annoying. Some of the other sound-effects were acceptable, but not a perfect fit for the game. They felt out-of-place and not a natural extension of the world.
The music also, just repeating for level after level after level, quickly got old. It's one of those things that, while at first seems fine, probably is used by the CIA in their blacksites to "interrogate" prisoners by slowing driving them mad. Some variation would've been... sanity-preserving. =)

First time user experience: 9/10
The in-game ability to set your own controls and even adjust the volume of the music and sounds is a pleasant surprise.

Everything was clearly explained in-game, and easy to figure out. Having a persistent location on the HUD to give instructions isn't the best way to explain things, as it's easy to miss - a center-screen message does a better job of capturing the user's attention. Statusbars in desktop applications, for example, aren't all that useful at communicating important information to users, unless the user already knows to look there.

Judge's Discretion: 2/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
There is a great lack of 3D platformers in the world and, if greatly refined, this one would be a great addition to the genre. You already have the basic ideas in place, and now what's needed is a dozen iterations of playing with mechanics, polishing the controls to perfection, coming up with a good story (and better art), and then using that as a sandbox to let your level designs really shine.

Other notes:
The gore was amusing, and the fire was enjoyable. Burning rabbits = for the win. The poor rabbit only has one ear!

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[Death and Flowers]



Gameplay: 15/25
I enjoyed the core gameplay mechanic alot, despite it not being the first time I've seen it (some flash games have done the same thing).

Introducing the scythe-wielding is nice, but didn't actually changing the gameplay - you're still moving from point A to point B. It would be better, gameplay-wise, if you had to get the scythe within each level, before using it to break vines that blocked your path.

Worse, the scythe stopped you from moving when you swung it, making it break up the flow as I moved around.

There wasn't any challenge, and there wasn't much to do. The game needs alot more puzzles, alot more levels. I was looking forward to seeing 2x3 and 3x3 grids of maps (and larger), but the game stuck with 2x2.

It was nice in the third/final level where you had two swapping easels set up, but it didn't really change how easy it was to beat.

Graphics: 20/20
Very nice graphics. Beautiful, really.
And you even changed the graphics for each level. If this was even made into a full game, you should stick with the same graphics for each "set" of levels (probably 10 levels to a set), because they are pleasant and I actually didn't have enough time to enjoy them fully before beating a level.

Theme: 3/20
Okay, I get you are playing as Death... but other than that, this game doesn't really incorporate the theme.
Not mechanic-wise, and scarcely plot-wise. You could've been playing as Barney, and it wouldn't have affected the gameplay or anything else.

Audio: 8/10
You had very pleasant music that fit oddly well with the game.
The jumping sound-effect can get annoying, as could the watering sound-effect.

First time user experience: 7/10
It was very easy to figure out what to do and how to do it. Everything worked as expected, and was intuitive and natural.
Partly, it's because there wasn't much mechanics to introduce, so nothing had to be taught.

Judge's Discretion: 4/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
Alot more mechanics would be needed if it was to be made into a full game. This is the kind of game were you'd have to put alot of developer thought in how to design cleverness into your levels to entertain and amuse your players in addition to challenging them.
This would work well on a smartphone, and I'd pay a few bucks for it to enjoy for a few hours on the Nintendo 3DS.
The relaxing atmosphere is key here - the music working with the art in a lighthearted (but not neccesarily humorous) mood.

======================================================================================

[Lazer of Death]



Congratulations at completing a game, when you only had seven days to work.

Gameplay: 12/25
The game was enjoyable; and it was satisfying to destroy enemies and have them burst into coins.

I liked how you bounce off the edges of the map - that was very pleasing to do and well-implemented. It felt smooth and seamless.
I get that it's arcade-like, but there's still not much to do. There's no powerups or other changes that break up the gameplay and add more variation.

You did have multiple different enemy types, which is good, but the game overall felt lacking when it comes to what I, as a player, could choose to do. There also wasn't much in the way of goals or objectives.

Graphics: 9/20
It was nice how the contest splashscreen slides apart to view the main menu, and how the main menu had objects moving around in the background and doing things.

The graphics within the game were okay, but not amazing.
The asteroids didn't fit in with the rest of the art style. Neither did the coins, for that matter.

Theme: 8/20
I'm not really buying the 'death is useful' theme here. Yea, when you get hit, you switch to a bonus area where you can grab bonus coins with the countdown paused, but you also get penalized at the same time.
And even without being penalized, it still feels tacked on and unrelated to the rest of the game's mechanics.

Audio: 7/10
The game had decent sounds and music. Some of the sounds were slightly annoying.

First time user experience: 7/10
The screen says "Press Space to Play", but space wasn't working. The correct key is 'Enter'.
It was nice that you had the controls on the HUD, so it was easy to get into.

Occasionally, two icons would appear at the top of the screen. I've no idea what that meant.

Judge's Discretion: 2/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
As a whole, the game felt like it was a solid base that could be expanded upon to develop a full game, but it'd need alot of thought to differentiate it from other arcade shooters.

======================================================================================

[Death is Awesome]



Gameplay: 17/25
Fun, though a tad repetitive. On the second level, three attempts in a row it said "the rats ate too much", but it was only ~30 seconds into the match. In Level 3, London, this even happened when the screen was pretty much a full field of wheat.
The numbers in the interface aren't all that clear to me, of what means what. It was difficult to tell how much I had left to collect, how much was eaten by the rats, and when I could (or couldn't) cast fire.

Also, frequently the fireball would fly in the wrong direction. I guess it flies in the direction Death is facing, rather than what direction you right-clicked in?

Graphics: 14/20
While unpolished, the graphics mostly fit well together.
You had nice intro/exit animations for splashscreens, and the skeleton portraits worked well-ish.
The HUD could've been improved visually, and the level-selection screen was rather bland, but the in-game art worked well.

Theme: 12/20
The narrative helped a great deal, and I like the reversal of Death trying to save humans because *too much* death is bad, long-term, for their continued reaping of souls because of the lower population and birthrate.
Mechanic-wise, death isn't much present - you kill the rats, and sometimes the humans, and they give you a bit of
experience, but killing enemies and getting experience is pretty commonplace in games.

Audio: 9/10
The music is nice, and the sound effects work well together.

First time user experience: 7/10
Java is not installed on my computer (Win8.1), so I had to go install that.
I also had to run it in fullscreen; I would've preferred windowed mode as an option.
The narrative explained what to do, and the README explained the controls. Would've been extra nice to have the controls-ingame, but they were intuitive enough that it was easy to guess what did what.
As mentioned under 'gameplay', the numbers in the HUD were confusing.

It took me awhile to realize I was leveling up, and that my level and experience carries over from map to map. I saw the "Level 7", "Level 8", and etc... messages, but I thought they were tied to the maps as, for example, waves of enemies.
It confused me when I went to Level 2, and then it told me "Level 7", and then I realized I was gaining experience. Whether the leveling up actually improved my power in any way, I still don't actually know.

Judge's Discretion: 3/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
I can see this being a fun casual game for smartphones and tablets, but it'd need some visual polish and more mechanics or entities gradually introduced to break up the monotony.

======================================================================================

[Try.Die.Repeat]



The intro animation was nice, even though the plot was simple. The victory screen was nice too.

The "please don't go in there, that's the wrong way" seemed weird, considering it was the *only* way.
I didn't realize the potions were suicide potions at first, but it became clear quickly enough.

I like the conflict between the cube and triangle people, and overall the game had the feel of some kind of VVVVVV / Fez crossover.

Gameplay: 18/25
Enjoyable mechanic, but needs more mechanics to make a full game. Introducing the VVVVVV-style reverse gravity mechanic was a very good idea.

I enjoyed the part with the steam obscuring the hazards, and so having to sacrafice people to discover where the hazards were and to be able to get across.

Overall the game was too short (obviously! tongue.png), but has real potential for a full game.

There also wasn't much challenge. Since there was no loss condition, you just keep on going respawning just a few feet back; this provides an oppurtunity to increase the challenge (see VVVVVV).

Graphics: 12/20
Nice art style. Not much to say here; simplistic is a nice style, though more detail (even while keeping things simplistic) would be desirable. A simple art style doesn't neccesarily demand a simple world.
The parallax was nice, though I'm not sure why a city was visible if you were inside a sidescraper.

Theme: 16/20
Being able to use the corpses of the other test subjects is a very great use of the theme.

Audio: 8/10
Voice overs were great, plus the audio in general was good.

First time user experience: 7/10
Having an option of windowed mode or fullscreen is a nice option.
Being able to pause (a very important feature) was present.

Judge's Discretion: 4/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
Seems like a great game; I can see it getting made into a full commercial release, if it was greatly expanded.
More mechanics (gradually introduced) that play well with the corpse-using and sacrificing of your dudes, a better story (probably dropping the portal references), and some great level design, and I'd buy it for the Nintendo 3DS or PC (it'd probably work well on smartphones too). I'd suggest even going into a Metroid-vania-esqe openworld/branching-path exploration route, with collectibles and obtainable power-ups.

======================================================================================

[Post of Death]



I dug a hole and slept in it, and appeared in the 'death world'. I wasn't sure what to do, so I looked around while waiting for the timer to tick down so I could wake up - apparently if the timer runs out, it's automatic game over.

Sometimes when moving, you can find spots where it acts like a grave has already been dug. I was able to go to sleep in a grave where there was no actual grave, and enter into the death world.

Sometimes while standing still, the background sound gets all dramatic, and then something hurt me, but when I look around I can't see anything. I'm not sure if it was the game being buggy or if it was intentional. Once it even happened while paused. tongue.png

Gameplay: 5/25
The camera clips through the walls, allowing you to see through them, and it was very hard to get through some of the doorways (very much in need of "door funnelling"). For example, I couldn't even get into the house next to the weeping willow with the red carpet.

I tried to sleep in the bed through the wall of the house (rather than try to get through the door), and it said, "You can't sleep from this position". Very well. The problem is that that text didn't disapear until the next time I died.
Or apparently you can't ever sleep in that bed? No matter what angle I try to sleep in, it says, "Can't sleep in this position".

Also, when you move around and then stop, you'd slide forward some. This is fine when moving forward, but when side-stepping/straffing, it felt like I was moving on ice.

The mouse cursor wouldn't disapear and stay centered, making it hard to do things like turn around.
I also couldn't pause in the death world.
Sprinting is a nice addition.

Overall I couldn't figure out where to go or what to do, and there didn't seem to be much gameplay yet implemented.

Graphics: 17/20
Main menu looks nice - both the background and the UI. In some places, the main menu UI was lacking - the 'New game' and 'Load game' buttons didn't change appearance when hovered, for example, making it inconsistent with the rest of the menu.

In-game, the graphics look very nice, though there are some flaws. The bed in the tent was sunk into the ground, and there was very noticable LoD popping from some objects (primarily the trees). There were also some missing terrain detail textures, which showed an artificial pattern on the grass (at first I thought it was intentional, like some runic stone was half-buried or something). Here's a screenshot.

Even despite that, the graphics looked great.
The grass motion was nice too! Though the motion was too uniform, too unnatural. In real life, when the wind is blowing, some grass is arching in one direction (the direction of the wind) while the rest of the grass is already moving back in the opposite direction.

Theme: 10/20
The idea of sleeping in graves to enter into the death plane is a nice use of 'death is useful'; though death as a mechanic or a story theme could've been explored more.

Audio: 7/10
The menu has some sounds (onclick), but others are missing (onhover), making it feel half-implemented.
And with no music during startup or on the main menu, it felt empty.

Very nice ambient sounds - the birds and the tense atmosphere; I was having flashbacks to 'Tresspasser' and was half-expecting a raptor attack.

First time user experience: 5/10
The startup text describing your missing wife was hard to read (it was too blurry) and disapeared too fast.

It was nice to have a choice between windowed/fullscreen option; except the game doesn't play well in windowed mode, because the mouse leaves the window when you try to look around in-game.

I didn't have any directions or instructions (not even a README), so I had no idea what to do. I explored, and found the house by the weeping willow and the little graveyard with the crypt, but couldn't do anything with either of those locations.

Judge's Discretion: 3/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
The mechanic here of switching dimensions by laying in a grave is a nice idea. I think it would be effective in a game where there is a "A Link to the Past"-style 'shadow realm' that you switch between. Atmosphere and exploration with puzzle mechanics and refined platforming would make a great game paired with this mechanic.

======================================================================================

[Snake snack]



Gameplay: 9/25

Often times I'd seem to pick up a piece of food without actually colliding with it. There seems to be a bug with the collision code, and occasionally a segment of my snake-body would glow bright green - I'm not sure what that meant.

If you're going in one direction (for example, East), and turn around 180 (West), you instantly lose.
When you swap two tiles that makes two seperate match-three's at the same time, only one of them will produce fruit.

I like the idea of mixing both a swap-three and znake together in one game. That's clever - they fit well together.
My score never seemed to increase, and since there was no noticable end-goal, I just stopped after I had a decent-sized snake.

Graphics: 6/20

The graphics are a good start, but need alot of improvement. The snake itself seems to be a different style than the rest of the art - it looks almost claymation.
The tiles of food and the actual food objects floating had a different visual style also.

Theme: 0/20
Unless you're making a super-meta statement about animal death being useful for mankind through experimentation, I didn't notice any presence of the theme 'death is useful' in this game.

Audio: 3/10
The background music was 'ok', and the sound effects were pretty annoying.

First time user experience: 6/10
I had to install the Unity Web Player workaround for Google Chrome - Chrome says it will no longer support an important feature the Unity Web Player relies on in some upcoming version of Chrome. I'm not sure when Unity is updating their web player to support the new features Chrome has in its place.

The in-game instructions were helpful, but I didn't entirely understand them.
There didn't seem to be any goal to work towards, so I wasn't actually sure what, overall, I was supposed to be doing.

Judge's Discretion: 1/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)

Congratulations on finishing a game within just one week!
Because of the short time-frame, the game still needs alot of improvements. Many of things seem to be unfinished, and overall the whole game seems incomplete. I liked that you mixed znake and mouse-interactions together, and it felt like it was working well. It'd be great to see it fully finished.

======================================================================================

[To die is to gain]



After the death screen, I reappeared already laying-down (so I assumed the enemy couldn't hurt me), but the enemy ran over me again. This happened repeatedly. After the death screen, you can't get back up, so you automaticly die (perhaps to teach you the mechanic?).

Many times with the first enemy, I'd start off locked in place waiting for the enemy to die, but he'd jump over me twice and I'd have to wait for him to walk back.

When you get two hearts, you lose the ability to move. This isn't communicated to the player, so it seems like a bug until you reach the first heart pickup on the first level.

It took me forever to reach the monk at the end of the level. I only got past the hill (in one try) by luck, because the enemies are falling (jumping) from offscreen and I couldn't see them coming, since I was traveling uphill and the camera was pointed to low (centered vertically on me). When I reached the second level, I groaned in despair that there was more. Sorry. sad.png

Apparently, with 1 heart in the second level, I now have the ability to jump, but jumping is rather buggy. Often when landing, my character doesn't change appearance, and looks like he continues to fall, without actually falling.

When I got to the bonus heart in the second level, it took away my jump but there was a ledge right in front of me, so I couldn't progress. Also, I slid forward against the ledge, and kept getting the heart. First two hearts (unable to move), then three, and then 'Game over'.

So next time, I jumped over the heart. Then I reached the third bonus heart, and the same thing happened - I lost my ability to move, so I was stuck over the heart, and got three hearts, then death. That's where I stopped playing.

Congratulations on finishing your entry on time! That itself is a note-worthy accomplishment!

Gameplay: 10/25
I didn't really enjoy it. The concept of the mechanics I liked, but overall the gameplay was an aggravating experience. It amounted to me over and over again just waiting for enemies to jump, making a mistake, dying, doing it all over, trying to time their jumps, dying, with nothing else to really do.

Gameplay consists of trying to run under jumping enemies. I would've liked more interactivity than that - mostly it comes down to remembering the timing between each enemy jump (first enemy: ~4 secs, second enemy ~6 secs, etc...)

Graphics: 11/20
The intros were nice, and I liked the character model, but the enemies looked untextured or unlit, and the terrain seemed bland.
The blades of grass in foreground obscuring player and other entities is nice.

The foreground and background were hard to differentiate. Sometimes you can see through the foreground and it makes it look like the path is suspended in air.
Resizing the window left white borders.

Theme: 15/20
I enjoyed the idea that the closer to death you are, the more abilities you have, but it wasn't fully implemented and became a nuisance. Given enough time, I think it could really work well. It didn't help that you start off with one heart, so instead of getting closer to death, you gain power, it felt more like getting farther from death, you lost power.

Audio: 6/10
The music was fine, there wasn't much sound, enemies made no sound, and the one sound there was (the player dying) was almost annoying. Not actually annoying, but borderline.

First time user experience: 4/10

I died instantly. Respawned, used spacebar to try to jump over returning enemy - spacebar didn't work, despite the readme saying I can jump.
Executable ran fine, and I read the README, but the README told me things that weren't actually usable until later, so it seemed for the first 20 minutes of gameplay that the README was just wrong.

The readme also says 'R' restarts the level, but that wasn't working either.
There wasn't any pausing (tried 'p' and 'esc'), and the window losing focus didn't pause either.

Judge's Discretion: 2/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
The game has potential, but the actual gameplay would need to go through multiple rounds of refining and polish to bring out the enjoyability. I'd play it, if it was executed well.

======================================================================================

[Death is Useful - AngeReveur

]



Gameplay: 21/25
Very enjoyable. I loved the MegaMan-esqe feel to the game, and it was somewhat challenging without being aggravating. The jumping felt a little off, so I impaled myself multiple times on the spikes.

It took me awhile to realize I could re-break the (now-empty) icecube and choose a different chest. It would've been clearer if the chests just stayed visible and the icecube was gone.

The most difficult thing is the one-hit KO pitchfork archers, especially when you have that moving wall guy behind me (which I loved). I found that if I held near enough to the moving wall guy, and use the Bronze chest, I can usually mow down the archers before they are in firing range of me, only having to jump one or two shots.

Somehow I got twice stuck in infinite death loops (with +1000 score for each death! - eh, no that was my death counter =P); it was near the icecube after choosing the goldchest, and if I get hurt by the icecube (?!). I had to close program and try again.

Sometimes the archers would be shooting at me from almost offscreen, if I was too close to that side of the screen.

The end-battle was fun.

Graphics: 17/20
The artwork is nice, and I liked the snowflakes falling, and everything looked visually appealing. Death as a character didn't stylistically fit in with everything else, but your character sprite is great.

The graphics felt ambient-ish. The snowflakes especially helped the ambience.

What's with the pony ending? lol.

Theme: 5/20
The chests are nice, but they don't really involve death (other than having to die once to activate them - which feels unneccesary). In a more abstract sense, Death himself is useful, since he gives you the chests. But that's about it.
It feels like dying or Death as an entity isn't actualy relevant to the game.

Audio: 8/10
The sound and music was good, and didn't stand out in any negative sense (which is great!), but also didn't stand out in a positive sense either. After finished playing, I had to stop and think, "Was there even sound in the game?" it made so little impression on me. Which is much better than making a negative impression! But still indicates room for improvement.

First time user experience: 8/10
There was a nice launcher.
Mostly everything went smoothly. Some better explanations of the chest would be nice. I didn't understand why the countdown was going on (silver chest), and when I kept dying, I assumed it was always present. Which means I also didn't understand what the chests did at all, until I tried the other ones. Dialog text with a description of the chest, when standing next to the chest, would've helped a great deal.

I wasn't sure at first what the bar in the upper-right corner means.
I eventually was guessing that red is my death count, and blue is my score, but the numbers just merge together in a big jumble.

Judge's Discretion: 4/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
If you had time to expand the game, and tighten up the movement, it'd be a game I'd enjoy relaxing on a couch and playing on a handheld console like the 3DS for several hours a night.
More enemies, witty dialogue with Death, better movement w/ actual health, and cleverer levels, would make this be a great game.

======================================================================================

[Soulwielder]



Congratulations on submitting an entry within such difficult time constraints! These kinds of contests really put the pressure on developers.

Gameplay: 12/25
The controls are a bit weird, making it difficult to jump-dash at the same time. Reversing the dash and jump buttons would've been more intuitive - at least for me.
It took me forever to get up that high cliff in the second level. And once up that cliff, I fell into that large pit with all the monsters and couldn't get out. I guess you're supposed to do last?

The gameplay basically consists of me falling in pits with enemies, and repeatedly jump-dashing to the other side of the mob, getting off three or four shots, then jump-dashing to the otherside, and repeating thirty or forty times until that mob is dead. There's not yet much here - it's rather tiring, and the challenge comes just from the size of the mob, without much room for player decisions and choices.

The platforming adds some variation, but when you make a mistake (on level 2), you have to repeat the level. I had to repeat the level upwards of 15 times before I made it perfectly.

One trick to dealing with the demons, is killing the demons as fast as possible before they convert the humans. Then you can murder the harmless humans without taking any damage.

Graphics: 10/20
Nice retro art style, but the blank areas could use more detail (for example, below the ground or the sky). Leaving it an solid color just feels bland.
Demons and humans look alot alike, at first glance, making them hard to discern between them.

The final level had some nice level design. I really liked the creativity in that one.

Theme: 4/20
While having an undead/demon theme, there's virtually nothing else that implies "Death is Useful" either mechanic-wise or storywise.

Audio: 0/10
There wasn't any sound or music, as far as I could tell (I checked my volume and etc...).

First time user experience: 7/10
I also didn't realize that 'aiming' affected the dashing, so the first place where jump-dashing was introduced, it took me a minute or so to get up the cliff.

After killing all the demons (and humans), to the far right of the map, nothing happened, so I wasn't sure what to do.
Turns out that the first demon (which I had jumped over), needed to be killed also.

Everything pretty much worked as expected, but that's mostly because there wasn't much there.

Judge's Discretion: 1/5
(I'm treating this as "Future potential" - what the game would be, if you weren't constrained to only a week's time)
With some player progression, a focus on exploration and platforming, and a decent story, I think this would be a pretty fun game. At present, it's rather too limited to see its full potential.


======================================================================================
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Hi Servant, thanks for the review (of Soulwielder).

 

 

 

The controls are a bit weird, making it difficult to jump-dash at the same time.

 

Just curious, what control scheme were you using?  WASD for movement/aiming and J for jumping, or arrow keys for movement and aiming and Z for jumping?

 

This is sort of off-topic, but I designed it with these two control schemes because I figured left-handed people might be more inclined to do the movement with their left hand, and the jumping and shooting with their right, while it might be vice versa for right-handed people.  I'm not really sure if the WASD one feels as good as the arrow-keys one, though.

 

 

 

It took me forever to get up that high cliff in the second level. And once up that cliff, I fell into that large pit with all the monsters and couldn't get out. I guess you're supposed to do last?

 

 

 

when you make a mistake (on level 2), you have to repeat the level.

 

You can get in and out of the 'pit'.  The ground is the same level on the left and right side of the cliff (in the pit and outside the pit, that is).

 

You're supposed to jump-dash up to get onto the big cliff, then fall down and kill those monsters in the pit, then go back up the cliff and jump the platforms to kill the other monsters at the right edge of the level, winning the level.  The ones at the right side were supposed to be a sort of distraction to trick you into letting more demons spawn in the pit...(not a great idea, I'll admit).

 

So it's not necessary to restart the level, but I can definitely see why you'd think that.

That cliff is about the tallest you can jump onto, and it ended up being a lot trickier for others than I thought it would be.

The key is to jump and hold the jump key, then dash up very shortly after jumping.  If you aren't holding the jump key until you start falling instead of going up, then you won't get enough height.  You can hold Z or J down while midair to get extra height so long as you're not falling yet, which I'm now realizing is kind of stupid (as well as unexplained).  Maybe I should limit that to a certain amount of time you can do it after initiating a jump?

 

After seeing how badly the jumps went over, I realize I need to re-design the highest jumps and make performing them a bit less meticulous and obscure.

 

 

 

The gameplay basically consists of me falling in pits with enemies, and repeatedly jump-dashing to the other side of the mob, getting off three or four shots, then jump-dashing to the otherside, and repeating thirty or forty times until that mob is dead. There's not yet much here - it's rather tiring, and the challenge comes just from the size of the mob, without much room for player decisions and choices.

 

 

 

One trick to dealing with the demons, is killing the demons as fast as possible before they convert the humans. Then you can murder the harmless humans without taking any damage.

 

 

The goal was sort of to make it so that you had to clear villages quickly, and possibly have to die a few times while you learned where the demons are and figured out the best way to go about killing them without letting too many spawn in a specific place.

 

I didn't want it to be a decision of "should I grind at killing this horde of demons for 15 minutes, or should I just restart the damn level and try again?", because you were supposed to actually be capable of dying to demons...but since they're so easy to avoid, it's not really the case, so it's not a matter of fighting to the death, it's just giving up and restarting the level.

 

If you're experienced and quickly kill the demons off, you can win all the levels in about a minute and thirty seconds.

 

However, if you're new or aren't operating very fast, the demons amass somewhere off-screen while you're killing other ones, and then you have a 3-minute ordeal just to kill one clump of demons.

Or, in your case, the demons in the pit amass while you struggle to get over the cliff...

 

You're absolutely right about the game needing more variance and player decisions.  I think if I'd gotten those extra enemy types in (there were supposed to be more than just the 'goblins'), it would have ended up making fights more varied and less of a boring grind.

 

 

 

Nice retro art style, but the blank areas could use more detail (for example, below the ground or the sky). Leaving it an solid color just feels bland.

 

Yeah, the background is a very tall, subtle gradient from one bluish color to another...

Background art wasn't in the time budget, unfortunately.  The last level I made was the second level, which I got in at the last hour of the competition.

 

Just a tragic tale of lack of time, unfortunately.

 

 

 

While having an undead/demon theme, there's virtually nothing else that implies "Death is Useful" either mechanic-wise or storywise.

 

I was going for the souls being the main way the mechanic is implemented: they are generated from the death of humans, and they are useful to the player because the player heals from them and can use soul blasts, and they are useful to the demons because they turn into more demons.

 

I suppose it's not very 'thickly' implemented, though.

 

 

Anyway, thanks again for the review and sorry the game turned out such a mess, hah!

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Thanks for the thorough critics! You gave me a bit to ponder as you gave clear reasons what you didn't like and why :)

 

That's probably the most important thing I'll take home from this competition :)

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Hi Servant, thanks for the review (of Soulwielder).

Thanks for making it!
 

 

The controls are a bit weird, making it difficult to jump-dash at the same time.

 
Just curious, what control scheme were you using?  WASD for movement/aiming and J for jumping, or arrow keys for movement and aiming and Z for jumping?

 


Arrow keys and Z, but I actually tried both when reviewing it, to see if it would help.
I think space being jump, and z being dash would've made it easier - but that's just a guess.
 

 

It took me forever to get up that high cliff in the second level. And once up that cliff, I fell into that large pit with all the monsters and couldn't get out. I guess you're supposed to do last?

...when you make a mistake (on level 2), you have to repeat the level.

You can get in and out of the 'pit'.  The ground is the same level on the left and right side of the cliff (in the pit and outside the pit, that is).

So it's not necessary to restart the level, but I can definitely see why you'd think that.
That cliff is about the tallest you can jump onto, and it ended up being a lot trickier for others than I thought it would be.

 


I should've video-recorded how many tries it took me to get up that cliff. I'm talking 20 or more times before I first achieved it, and at least 10 additional times per death! laugh.png
 
Since I couldn't get out of the bit, and had to do the right-most ones first, many times I tried to jump onto the cliff and fell off the far side, or messed up the platforms over the pit. and so restarted the level. sad.png
 

The key is to jump and hold the jump key, then dash up very shortly after jumping.  If you aren't holding the jump key until you start falling instead of going up, then you won't get enough height.

I was aware of the holding the jump key - I'm think the issue was the timing of when to hit 'dash', and the angle at which I was dashing.
 

 

...the blank areas could use more detail (for example, below the ground or the sky). Leaving it an solid color just feels bland.

 
Yeah, the background is a very tall, subtle gradient from one bluish color to another...

 

I hadn't noticed any gradient. It might be *too* subtle. :wink:
 

Just a tragic tale of lack of time, unfortunately.
....
Anyway, thanks again for the review and sorry the game turned out such a mess, hah!


You designed, built, and released a game within a single week. That's nothing to apologize about!

I was glad for the opportunity to play them and give feedback. On the GD.net forums, when I'm helping newer programmers, I try to be really positive and focus on what they are doing right because my goal is to encourage them. But when asked to review something, I tend to focus on what needs to be improved because my goal is to provide detailed feedback to the developers so they can improve their game (or their skills in general). In the latter case, positive comments don't come naturally to me (because I'm looking for the flaws to give feedback), and I have to remember to insert them so I don't come off looking like a jerk! tongue.png

Lately I've been proof-reading a book for a friend, so I nitpick every piece of grammar, highlight any ambiguity, and question every bit of purple prose, because that's what provides the most value to the author. And this is with a book I absolutely love.

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Thanks for the thorough critics! You gave me a bit to ponder as you gave clear reasons what you didn't like and why smile.png
 
That's probably the most important thing I'll take home from this competition smile.png

 
I'm glad you liked it! I was hoping to create value in the feedback - whether you decide to keep working on the same game, or carry the critique as information on how to improve your future projects.
 
Ofcourse, the easiest way to improve any future project is to have more than one week. laugh.png

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Thanks for the review and feedback for Orc Party! I intend to keep working on it and I have a few questions and some notes if you have the time, no problem if you dont:

 

Chests don't disapear after they are gathered, and the camera not following you is rather annoying.

 

I agree entirely and the camera was supposed to follow, I've never made a game before with my current framework where the camera needs to follow the player and it turns out there was some issues getting this working. It was not pleasant to look at while the camera followed.

 

The game was enjoyable; but at the same time, I had to play it mostly by trial-and-error rather than puzzle-solving, because of some of the non-intuitive ideas like. It wasn't very clear that trapdoors can be walked over safely, after they've been triggered once.

 

It was also hard to discern between trapdoors and switches, and between yourself, orcs, and rogues.

 

I had actually hoped for an amount of trial and error to make it easier/natural to lose Orcs/rogues, I was expecting players to have a tendency to try and save them all and I wanted the opposite. This is why the traps were blended in so much to give a "whoops didnt see that, never mind more money" feel, they were quite well hidden though and I can see that being annoying, it was during testing...

I liked that you had two different types of units to send out - that was a good idea.

Theme: 12/20
The theme 'Death is useful' was present by using your minions to gather chests for you, and sacraficing them to navigate the dungeons. Because the game was so short, and the mechanics of the map so few, there wasn't much room for you as a developer to figure out all the different ways death could've be useful while exploring a dungeon. I think if you had more time, there'd be alot more mechanics related to this that in the current state of your game is left untouched.
 

I liked that you are rewarded by having fewer of your minions make it out alive (and with a very reasonable in-game story explanation for it).

 

I laughed at the victory dialogue, about achieving what the humans failed to do.

 

Glad you liked it and thanks for commenting on the "story"!

 

I think the game is enjoyable, and should be expanded upon. With some better art, more map hazards and interactivity, and perhaps 3 different unit types instead of 2 (you don't want too many, but 3 is a good number), this would make a fun diversion to enjoy. Contrary to the usual nature of this genre, where there's only "one true solution", I'd focus on choice and consequences by providing the player with tools (perhaps carried over every set of ten levels, so he has to conserve them or use them within those ten), and letting the player choose how to overcome the challenges presented by the levels. Things like bombs that blow up any interior wall, or generic keys that can be used for any locked door, a weight that weighs down switches, an extra orc or rogue, etc...
Perhaps at the beginning of each set of 10 levels, you spend the money you've previously looted at a store to equip yourself before entering the next 10-floor 'dungeon'. Just thinking aloud.

 

 

This is really great feedback, I had always intended to create 3 orc types, Warrior, Rogue, Shaman, instead of the Rogue and generic Orc. With some specific capabilities and shortcomings each. I had a few other ideas too, but you've given me a lot of other tips that I might try to implement.

 

Other notes:
I laughed at the victory dialogue, about achieving what the humans failed to do.
Nice use of Excel for level design. =)

The README was in .txt, .pdf, and .docx - lol, covered your bases, did ya?
I have to deduct points though, because you didn't render it to a .png, print it out, and mail physical copies to the judges using carrier pidgeons or Saint Benards.

 

I'm really not sure why I felt the need for so many versions of the readme, I wrote it all out in word and just kept on re-saving it. Maybe I was just trying to compensate/put off creating an in game tutorial....

 

I said I had questions up at the top but it looks like I dont actually have any, your feedback was quite thorough, I will ask though because I dont think you mentioned it, What did you think of the controls and what would you change them too, alot of people had issues with the sending the orcs out on the keypad, which was just comfier for me than J,K,L that I was intending to use but never changed before the release.

 

Thanks again for your feedback, you seemed to enjoy playing.

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