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Hack'n'Slash Platformer Playable Prototype -- Feedback Wanted!

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Hi everyone,


I've been working on a prototype for an as-of-yet untitled hack-and-slash platformer. Although my background is in programming, I've been using GameMaker for its quick iteration ability.


So far, I've only got a few example levels put together. I've been focusing on getting really solid core combat mechanics, which consist primarily of attacking, dodging, and blocking enemy attacks. I'm looking for some feedback on the core mechanics -- movement, attacks, etc., but really any feedback or ideas are appreciated, harsh commentary included, and even welcomed. I'm trying to decide where to move next with this prototype and really take it to the next step, pushing forward the parts that work and moving past the ones that don't.


Keep in mind this is a very early stage prototype, not a full playable game -- meant to be more of a solid, working demo of core combat mechanics and general ideas. I certainly have ideas about how I want to further develop this game, but I'd prefer not to mention those here because I'm afraid they might "pollute" responses I get. I want fresh commentary since I've been tunnel visioning this thing for long enough to start losing perspective! So with that said, here are some visuals, an older video of gameplay (apologize for poor quality), and a download link to the current playable build:


Some placeholder vector art I'm using to get an idea of the style I'm going for:

The player reflecting a fireball back at a ranged enemy with a well-timed attack:


An older video showing one of the playable levels included in the prototype. Keep in mind the playable version below has changed quite a bit since this video was taken:




New video!! (do 1080p if possible, otherwise it looks pretty crap):
And a bonus video of WIZARD MODE:


https://www.dropbox.com/s/b4y140c6cmmricw/Casey-HackJumpSlash-Final.exe (Windows only, standalone executable)



  • WAD to move and jump
  • ENTER to attack
  • E to block
  • F to toggle fullscreen
  • ESC to pause
  • F5 to restart from main menu


Other things to keep in mind:

  • Starts up straight into playable game, no "menu"
  • Jump on enemy heads to stun them briefly
  • Blocking an enemy attack with 'E' with precise timing will also stun an enemy
  • Longpress jump for a full jump, tap to hop
  • Projectiles from ranged enemies can either be simply blocked with 'E' or reflected back with a well-timed attack
Edited by cmc5788

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Made some updates with a new build, available for download here:

Summary of changes:

* Attacks add a "knockback" effect to give better feedback on hit

* All attacks have been sped up significantly (speeds still vary by weapon type, though)

* Added another control scheme for user-friendliness: can now use arrow keys/X/Z to move/attack/block, respectively
* Separated "outfit" graphic from base creature graphic, so now helmet/cloak/etc can be worn by any creature dynamically. Move right towards "instructions" arrow to choose an outfit (or cheat and use the wizard's staff for overpowered-ness)
* Added new graphics for a bunch of outfits
* Currently outfits/helmets are purely visual, but will have gameplay effects soon
* Added new weapons, axe and mace. Maces are super-effective against skeletons, but fairly slow. Axes are just really good all-around, maybe too good.
* Added facial animations for taking damage, blinking, getting stunned, etc.
* Attacks no longer slow your movement speed if you're in midair, which makes "leaping" attacks extremely powerful

Things coming soon:
* enemy AI overhaul
* more platforming elements (environmental hazards, moving blocks, and more)
* inventory & belt system for picking up usable items, swapping weapons and outfits, etc
* More interesting, procedural levels


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I think I'm finished with the enemy AI overhaul for now. Enemies are... really, really deadly now. I've played this game more times than I can count and am really familiar with the controls, but I still have a really tough time with this latest build.

The better AI just makes the game a LOT more challenging. I'll probably have to tweak player HP or rate of health pickup drops to balance it out at some point, but at this point I'm just really proud of how the AI works. It does a lot of stuff like leap attacks, jump-dodges, etc., that make it a lot more interesting.

Here's the new build: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b4y140c6cmmricw/Casey-HackJumpSlash-Final.exe

And here's a video of it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPqlZts7uzw (do 1080p if possible, otherwise it looks pretty crap)

Next I'll probably work on the dash/sprint system while it's fresh in my mind. But seriously, if anyone can beat this latest build with any weapon other than the wizard staff (which is technically "cheating") I'll be seriously impressed. It's tough.


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