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Nynaeve Min

Can you guys help me figure out what I did wrong?

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Hello all!

 So, I've discovered the rot.js game engine tha lets you make simple games w/o needing to learn how to draw and I tried making a game with it. I thought it might do well on newgrounds or something because, well, I enjoyed it so I thought others would to. Apparently, there are some design flaws that I can't see, mainly b/c people respond with an "eh it's ok", but I feel like I can make a better game that will yield a more positive response.

I want to start another one (since this was just to get my feet wet with the code), but I want to practice better design methods. Can anyone tell me what I did wrong? I really would like some hard hitting constructive criticisms so, even if you don't major in this stuff and just feel like tossing me your two cents; I'd be grateful :D/>

** Also, I've tried catching all the bugs I could and I would have done a beta test or something, but I don't know anyone that can test it. So, if anyone finds bugs, please let me know.

It's called: The Miner

Platform: HTML 5

Premise: You are a miner stuck in a cave. Your job is to mine ore and get stronger weapons and armors so you can venture below and hopefully make your way out.

Line here < [url="http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/650921"]Game[/url]>

Thanks :]

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Aside from various bugs (I got stuck in a menu the first time through), I found it pretty fun :), though kind of share the same feeling as you say the reviewers did.

 

A few personal quibbles:

  • I played for a little while and never found any monsters/enemies. I'm sure they're there eventually, perhaps in lower levels, but maybe throw a few trash enemies at the beginning. Nothing too difficult, as the player is still getting a feel for the commands and such, but something to engage you and hint at further depth/challenge/obstacles.
  • While I'm not opposed to ascii graphics, many are (I would venture this is where much of the tepid response on newgrounds comes from). Perhaps consider investing the time in spriting it up a little :) These days, if it's ascii, I think most people like a ton of depth to the game, ala dwarf fortress, or forgive it if it's an older game.
  • Personally, I'd like to press a key to mine, rather than just run into the ore. I ended up just playing bumper cars with walls to see if I could mine it. It takes a little bit of the immersion out.
  • perhaps throw some easy to craft things at the beginning. Perhaps a recipe or two, to again, hint at further depth.

I think with indie games, you kind of have to play your hand at the beginning of the game, as many people won't spend a large amount of time to discover whether the game eventually becomes fun. Often times games become rewarding later, and begin slow. But, on a venue such as newgrounds, I don't think you'll rope people in with a slow start and ascii graphics. I think the slow, complex route can work, but newgrounds might not be the best platform for it (I always regarded it as more or less quick, humorous fluff games).

 

Anyhow, just thought I'd throw some thoughts out there. I think it has the foundation of a solid game, but could use a bit of polish in terms of gameplay and graphics. But, an impressive start, nonetheless :)

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Yeah, with browser games in particular, there's about a 30-second rule: you've got maybe 30 seconds to grab the player with something before they move on.  That might be interesting graphics, or an unusual premise, or a few times through an addictive core loop; preferably it's all three.  (I don't know how many seconds you have but it's not long.)  Part of it is that the player wants to know what kind of rewards the game offers (whether that's a feeling of power, or scares, or laughs, or art, or story, or creativity, or even just something like the joy of movement), and if the game doesn't deliver early, they'll probably conclude there aren't really going to be rewards after all and move on.

 

One thing that you might not realize is that it's not obvious what are stairs (because unlike books they don't announce themselves, and the look mechanism isn't obvious), or what key is "descend".  The player can wander around quite a bit (as I did and Misantes seems to have done) without ever finding anything.  It ends up appearing to be a game with nothing in it.  Eventually I made my way down the stairs, and immediately got mobbed by three enemies and died.  (Oh, and the F5 to restart didn't work for me.)

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