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Hello, I'd like some feedback about a game i'm working on. It'll be a sort of Solomon's Key clone with bigger maps and more action. Thank you. ___________________________________ Title: Hexzwerg Type: platformer, with puzzle and shooter's elements. Presentation: in Hexzwerg, you control a dwarf in many levels, where you have to collect an amount of gold, find the key and the exit, within a limited time, and avoiding (or destroying) the monsters and traps. The particularity is the possibility to create or destroy blocks in order to reach higher or lower places or protect from missiles and monsters. Gameplay: - the engine is similar of the old "solomon's key": some blocks can be destroyed, the main ability of the dwarf is to create or destroy these blocks, but with bigger maps (scroller), - to increase your gold you can collect gems or plunder the monsters you destroy, - as in SK, some items can be hidden (you have to destroy a block, or create then destroy a block, to reveal the item), - items can be gems or jewels (gold), spells (weapons), or special artefact (grant special bonus, as speed, more time, possibility to see hidden items...), - there is a time limit (should be a few minutes) to complete the level, or you must try the level again, - the dwarf has no weapon (spell) at the begining of a level, hee has to find one (when there is one in the level), - when the dwarf find a spell (like magic missile or fireball), he can use it during the entire level, but some spells have very slow regeneration's time, - blocks can be created/destroyed left or right of the dwarf (to make a stairway for example), or left/down or right/down while ducking to make a bridge, - the dwarf can destroy a block up to him by jumping twice, - there's a door in each level, and the key which opens it, - to open the door, the key and a required amount of gold is required, - entering the door unlocks the next level, but it's possible to play past levels for better scores, also three different "victory" - as bronze, silver, gold - for replayability, - monsters AI will be close to the one in SK, - some monsters will be invulnerable to some type of spell, - some monsters can die while falling (a strategy will bw to destroy the block under the monster), - monsters generators will provide new monsters after a delay (as in SK), - there will be boss levels too. Controls: - arrows to move, duck and jump, - [action 1] to create or destroy a wall, - [action 2] to cast a spell (magic missile...). Display: - the game itself (tiles + sprites), - amount of gold / required amount of gold, - time, - spell and recharge bar, - some texts (to help the player). Save: - the level completed, unlocked, locked, and the score for each level will be saved, - each unlocked level can be played again.

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(( i apologize spelling is not my best skill thats why i love spell check so please forgive the spelling or grammer errors if you have any questions about what i mean on anything you can ask.))

Ok first of all lets look at what your goal is. You want something simular to solomans key but with more action and bigger maps. So something that you might want to consider is how those two elements will drasticly change the way you design this game.

Ok so lets get started. More action usally means that the player is going to be drawn in by the need and use of doing things that cause action. For example building destroying blocks and or monsters. Because of this you might want to give the player some sort of begining fighting ability. And concentrate on how finding other weapons or spells will help inhance the ease of moving through a level but not be required to pass the level. So his base weapon might take 20 hits to clear something while another ability might only take one time to kill the monster. The reason i say this is because you want more action. And unless the player is going to have to be hoping around like a mad man around monsters untill he can find a weapon to use. I think it might be a good idea to give something basic to the player. Not all powerful weapon. But something.

I used to play solomens key. I can tell you at sometimes it could get quite frustrating when I could spend hours tryin to figure out how to get to a key and get to a door to pass the level. So another item you might want to consider offering a object or items that give clues on how to complete a puzzle you place.

(( I know this is just personal preferance but that name i cant even pronounce i would say Find something that is alot simplier to say and or pronounce by looking at it for example it is a dwarf. So dwarfs speak usally like russians. Very deep and husky. So think of very concenant sounding words. Like Grathnar or Throk.))

Ok so something else I am seeing with the information is there is no one stratigy. There are weapons and the ability to make and make boxes disappear. I think you might want to sit down and rethink how adding bigger maps and more action will really change the game. You are adding two major features.

Another thing to think about is how the player has to use his skills/abilitys in conjunction to the base ability of the block minipulation to win a map. How do they effect the puzzle.

Ok gold and a key to pass a level. I think you might want to look at this mechanic agian. So the player has to figure out how to acheive a certain amount of gold AND has to find the key AND figure out a way to the door while killing monsters and destroying boxes. You have a really good idea with the medal system. It might be prudent to base those medals on how much gold they can aquire and how quickly they can complete the level to gain medals. So if they take the easy way out they will get a lower medal. But if they figure out the whole level and then pass it they get a high medal.

What do the medals give the player ???? Self satisfication or can it unlock other stuff or other minigames??? Something to consider is that though self satisfication is good motivator. Most times I think its not enough. You might want to add a little extra insentive. Like offering alternative modes or giving the player something.

Why is their a duck feature? Is it used to dodge something? What is its functionality?

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Thank you FadedPhoenix, you've made a good analyse.

Well, with addition of bigger maps to solomon's key:
- there will be more spaces to escape monsters, so there shall be more monsters, or they'll have to be more "dangerous",
- there will be more places to hide items, so there shall be hints about the location of hidden objects (trying each tile won't be fun),
- because of the scrolling, the visibility is reduced, it'll be important too.

I'd have some levels which are more action-oriented, with many monsters to kill, where the player will be able to find firepower near his starting location, and other levels where the focus will be avoiding the traps, it's why i've thought it'll be better to start without a weapon.

Why gold and key ? Well, i've enjoyed playing SK, but often i was just looking for the key and the door without caring of the level and the bonus... SK was an arcade game, with limited lives and no saves, so the levels were "short", get the key and go to the door (the player had to play all the levels each time he wanted to play). Gold will force the player to play in the entire zone.

There will not be a single path to win the level, block ability will make possible to reach higher or lower places, by building or destroying the blocks, but to protect from danger (monsters will be able to destroy blocks too), or to isolate a monster.

Yes, the medals will be based on acquired gold during the medal. What will it give ? I haven't thought about it yet. Maybe bonus levels and/or caracter customization.

Ducking is very important, not to dodging but to create/remove blocks below (right or left) the player. Maybe you remember how it was in SK.

Screenshot of my current engine:
hexzwerg screenshot

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