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Closed test session, could need some helping hands !

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I want to start a new closed test only available to a small, dedicated group of testers. If someone has interest in helping me out, send me a PM and I will give you the download link biggrin.png

Gnoblins is a dungeon building game, similar to Dungeon Keeper and to some extend to Dwarf Fortress. You can play a single level (~1-2 hours playtime). There's no dedicated tutorial, but I tried to make the game accessible and a little in-game guide. There should be no crashes or hard bugs, but you will encounter some glitches for sure biggrin.png

Requirements:
Best to have atleast a duo core CPU, windows Vista or above, a dedicated GPU. Thought it runs on an Intel HD 4000, it is really slow on such a GPU. I've tested it on NVidia/AMD/Intel GPUs on Vista/Win7.

Timeinvestment:
As long as you find it interesting :)

If you want to help out, I would really love to get some feedback. Here would be a list of feedback from top to lowest priority:
1. Do you have any issues installing/starting the game ?
2. A brutal honest answer: Do you like it ? (Please, don't be nice, just honest !)
3. There's no dedicated tutorial, so, do you have a lot of issues getting into the game ?
4. More detailed: What do you like most ? What do you dislike most ?
5. What do you think need most work ?
6. What do you think would improve the game experience ?
7. Is the game to hard/easy ?
8. Is the game to slow/fast ?

Intersted ? Then send me a PM pleased biggrin.png

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Valiantly my Gnoblins defeated the goblin lord!......and then they went berserk and killed each other.

 

Hmmm... maybe I should add some kind of reversing your recent victory :D

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There should be some method to control the camera with WASD or up down left right arrow keys. The mouse option is seriously.... annoying! tongue.png

 

The UI has a lot going on. I realize why this is but some organization of this could help. I plan to show you a mockup of what I am thinking.

 

Some method to cycle through your minions should be in place. Could already be there but I just couldnt find it.

 

Art style is great! Seriously good job there. I was looking at all the models in detail and was very satisfied.

 

Start needs some kind of basic tutorial. (probably already planned this, but if not here is my suggestions) The tutorial should show you the basics of camera movement and how to manipulate your people.

 

When you pickup the people they come super close to the camera, it is hard to place them down again. If you could imagine a system like "Black and White" where you pick somebody and drop them... that might be really fun. Left click to hold and when you release the left click it drops them, but with the force of the mouse. So, if you throw your mouse really far it would throw the minion.

 

Just my thoughts so far, will have more time with this after the game today. GO BRONCOS!! (now for your answers)

 

1. Do you have any issues installing/starting the game ?

was simple. I am on win10 and was able to change where it installs to. Looks like a desktop app so you are using a fairly new installer. Good Job! :)

2. A brutal honest answer: Do you like it ? (Please, don't be nice, just honest !)

I was a fan of the origainl dungeon series. So when I saw you working on this I was excited. The concept is exciting, but to really get into the game I would need a more serious guide for the start. As of right now the minions just run off and start doing random shit. Im looking at my screen and wondering why they went everywhere. After that they find some fighting mobs and then I get this noise that freaks me out. I click the combat icon and it takes me to it. I was happy to see that, but at the same time wanted to avoid the fight but did not know how.

3. There's no dedicated tutorial, so, do you have a lot of issues getting into the game ?

Yes, I did. I consider myself a harsh judge of games and honestly if the game doesnt capture my attention in the first 10 min I dont play it. I have 450 games on steam and have only played through 100 because of this. I wanted to like your game and stick it through, but honestly I was so confused and I had other things to do around the house. This means your game did not rack on my priority list of things to do. A good game would take you away from such things and entice you to stay longer. This is what you need to get into the game. The first 10 min is crucial. BTW, I played longer than 10m because I am helping you test this game and I feel it has HUGE potential. Just being honest and want you to really think of that "hook" concept.

4. More detailed: What do you like most ? What do you dislike most ?

I like the idea of running around and making my minions doing work. What I liked most about the original dungeon series was being able to take control of specific units in a first person view. Would be cool if you had that as well. My biggest gripe is the learning curve. For a common gamer it is fairly steep and needs work. The UI didnt help either.

5. What do you think need most work ?

Player integration within the world. You have lots of features and the game is already functioning... just need to grab the player and make them care about it.

6. What do you think would improve the game experience ?

A solid tutorial with a nice eased entry. The tutorial can be quick and simple, and you can even have tooltips pop up as new things happen in the world. YOU MUST let the player skip the tutorial if they want, but let it bet here in case they need it. Use the tutorial to hook the player so they stay longer than the normal attention span is.

7. Is the game to hard/easy ?

I played the easiest setting and honestly I thought it was easy... so I will try the other settings and give you a more clear idea of this.

8. Is the game to slow/fast ?

Cant say, didnt put enough time into it. I would suggest slow to start since I barley got anywhere before I had to stop.

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Thx for the feedback Riuthamus. I've send you an email commenting your feedback.

The missing tutorial is a weak point. Up to now I don't have an idea about how to add a satisfying tutorial within the boundaries of very low budget project.

There are three major issues:
1. A tutorial needs a lot of hand coded work to place the already implemented flow of the game.
2. A tutorial needs to be adjusted almost everytime the game mechanism are modified.
3. People don't like to read, so a voice actor + studio environment would be the way to go, and everytime you need to adjust the tutorial, you need to get the same voice actor. This is a lot of $$$ for a very low budget project ;-)

If anyone has a good example of a PC indie game, which delivers a good tutorial without using lot of text or an voice actor, tell me please :D

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Tutorial options can be simple. In fact you already have the art, so you just have to code the small bits in. When it starts make a tooltip and center it on your guys. The tips says something like:

 

Do this to make your guys work

Once finished, do this to make them do this

 

You just pan through the tool tips and zoom the camera to key trigger points.This gives the player a quick look at what they can do and how they can do it and should be minimal in cost to you. No need for voice actors and other crazy things. You need to spend time focusing on the key things that make your game tick. That is how you avoid lengthy text stuff. Often as a designer we want to describe EVERYTHING so that the player knows what we know, but they dont need to. They just need to know the bare bones to get going and figure the rest out. That is part of what makes the game fun to the player is learning how to master the system and exploit the rules of the game. I will, however, look out for some good tutorial concepts for ya.

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Ok, you have won riuthamus, I will look into adding a tutorial level :D . Currently I'm experimenting with short in-game videos (~5-8 seconds) showing what you need to do.

I plan on adding a dedicated tutorial level where you need to progress through several sections of the level by executing a certain task. Each section will be skipable and will include one or more little videos.

I still need to test out the video framework and workflow.

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Could i suggest all tutorials can be skipped with a single click or would the training be a separate option to playing? The only reason i suggest this is i have played a game recently and it made me go through the tutorial when i restarted it as much as it was a fun little tutorial i didn't wish to do it a second time and the game forcing me to was annoying

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The current build contains a contextual video tutorial, so no dedicated tutorial section like first planned. When you play, little videos pop-up, showing you what to do. The game tries to detect, if you already know something and will skip the according video. There will be an option to skip the entire tutorial too.

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