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The Moldy Crow

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  1. I just recently got hired to market a game that, thank god, actually contains some original thinking.    tl;dr is in bold   The roadblock I've hit is that it's a unique puzzle platformer. The genre has exploded recently and you can do so many different things with it that, to me, the words are almost meaningless.   So my question is twofold.    First, what is your gut reaction when you read puzzle-platformer in a game's promotional copy, there are no wrong answers.    Second, and assuming you had to pick, when reading an elevator pitch, is brevity and engaging language more likely to get you to read on, or are you okay with a few more words that accurately describe what the hell you'll be playing?   The thing to remember is that this isn't what you like to see on principle. I'm asking which, historically, has attracted your attention more. 
  2. The Moldy Crow

    Does puzzle/platformer mean anything to you anymore?

      I don't think this is just you. The big battle for me is that I have about a sentence or two of automatic attention from someone when promoting my game.    In that space I have to use language that's engaging and attractive, give and actual impression of what my game is about, and not turn them off with coming off too overcomposed.   It's definitely an uphill battle. Reducing any game that has a hope of being original to the space of two 15 word sentences is very tough.   If there'e anyone in here with experience marketing games that are completely off the wall mechanically, I'd love to know how you did it.
  3. The Moldy Crow

    Looking for feedback on UI components (Video)

    Multiple weapon bars I think could be solved by having them oriented vertically underneath the health bar. Make them as tall as say two bars, and the width would depend on how many weapons are on a given ship. Since they're charging and firing much quicker than the health tends to change, having them take up the exact same amount of space isn't really necessary. To distinguish weapons from each other, you could use sprites or icons that fill vertically instead of just bars
  4. The Moldy Crow

    Does puzzle/platformer mean anything to you anymore?

    @ambershee et al. Okay so it seems that it can at least catch the eye in laundry list of different genres. What's the next thing you want to know then after reading puzzle platformer? What's the first question you want an answer to?
  5. The Moldy Crow

    non combat ships

    Resource gathering/mining would be the obvious system to add, the question you have to figure out is whether these civi ships travel with the military ships. I think you should have them travel together, it would add some cool BSG elements to the combat and you could include ships like: Food production ship - your military vessels perform better if their crews are well fed. On long expeditionary trips you need to make sure your stores are big enough, or bring a food production ship, which you then need to protect during combat. Colony ship - optional, you can settle new planets without, but if you bring one along, they get off to a better start. Recreational ship - well rested crews perform better and work better together. Maybe response time to commands is quicker if you have one of these, think corporate team building exercise ship If this is destroyed, the negative effect on your fleet is comparatively quicker than the food ship.
  6. The Moldy Crow

    Does puzzle/platformer mean anything to you anymore?

    Do you guys find it sufficiently descriptive? Like you would need another sentence or two before getting excited about the game?
  7. With the indie boom in full swing, puzzle/platformers are becoming increasingly more common. The problem is there's been so much innovation in the genre that the term, much like rogue-like(-like-like-like), is starting to lose meaning. So much of an indie game's success depends on it's elevator pitch, and a genre is a very smart thing to include in that pitch. **So plain and simple, what's your gut reaction when you read puzzle/platformer in a description?** Does it entice you to learn more? Repel you because the market is so flooded with them? Has it lost all meaning entirely? How does it make you feel? There are no wrong answers.
  8. The problem I always saw with those kinds of systems, the ones where you're preventing bad things in stead of working towards good things, is that players tend to have goals that involve growth. To be clear, I mean the player themselves will usually have those, whether or not the systems involve it. Whether it's power, strength, resources, there's something you want to acquire, to add to yourself, and when you're trying to organize or manage discontent, it's more an obstacle on your way towards that goal. So successfully getting your ducks in a row and getting your country/party/whatever on side just feels like getting back to the status quo. It's not impossible, but making that fun inherently is an uphill battle.
  9. The Moldy Crow

    Taking almost ALL the credit?

    Tom Francis did something really smart on Gunpoint by using very broad terms. He did generally the same work as you, and was credited like this: Design, Code, Words Tom Francis That tells you everything about the wealth of work he did, but doesn't feel like it because he used intelligently reductive words. And like everyone else is saying, run it by your team unless your power relationship means you don't have to. Even then actually, it'll make them feel valued and included
  10. The Moldy Crow

    Advice needed

    I spent a lot of time working in restaurants in my school days so I feel like I can lend a hand. I'd reduce each recipe to its component parts if the idea is to make complete dishes. Have three slots, one for the dish's protein component (meat, beans, etc.), one for the starch (breads etc.), and one for fruit or veg. These are the categories that most actual recipes are based on, and transfer well into a game. You could have recipes that players can follow, and it also allows them to try out their own ideas. You'd then have to prepare each ingredient, so if it's a sandwich with a small salad, they'd have to toast the bread, slice the cold cuts, and dress the salad. This will teach the younger players the basics of meal preparation, without overcomplicating the gameplay
  11. The Moldy Crow

    Need Feedback on Potential Combat System

    I like the idea that positions play a big role, and for my part I think stance would be a more intuitive word for it. I think you'd get a really cool difficulty curve going, where fights between low level players would look slow and clumsy, as with real fighters, and the more experienced people would know their styles better and have tricks worked out that they find trip up other players. It's simple enough to understand since it's basically multi dimensional Rock Paper Scissors, and the skills are actually player experience, not stat boosts. Only downside i see is animations. T make that combat system look fluid would be a reeeeal bitch, since you'd have to make every move possible from the conclusion of every other attack.
  12. The Moldy Crow

    Retro Hacker Game

    Quadrilateral Cowboy has done something similar, but it's more spacial than what you describe.    It's similar to a 3D Gunpoint, but the hacking is done by a DOS like program instead of the Crosslink click and drag method.
  13. The Moldy Crow

    Procedural Rhetoric in Game Design

      Oh my god this. That was really insightful, what was said earlier about keeping you guessing by doing the ridiculously improbable. I think what you're describing is a good antithesis to that.    It's what I really like about games like Dishonoured where you know that there are two or three "styles" of play, and the mechanics cater to you adhering to those styles.   The only problem with this is that the player is railroaded onto one of a few paths, as opposed to having actual mechanical freedom.   It's a tricky issue. On the one hand you can enhance the experiences you know that most people are going to have, or spend the time fleshing out a system that allows for more outcomes, but fewer tools.   More directly to OP's point, The Witcher has always rewarded if not required planning. It also does a really good job of not allowing you to predict encounters based on metagame elements, i.e. they're giving me lots of loot, so there's probably a tough fight coming up. I think you could put it simply like this: I'd rather be given the capacity to prepare myself, than be prepared by the game. 
  14. The Moldy Crow

    How should I make knifing in my game?

    It depends a lot on the pace of your game, and how special you want knife kills to feel. If you want your combat to be quick and heart pounding, go with the melee instakill option. If you're looking for a more methodical pace, go with the take out slash put away approach. Bear in mind how long it would take to pull off each manoeuvre, that will tell you a lot about where players will feel comfortable using it confidently. Maybe you don't want that, maybe you want them to feel the thrill of risk every time they decide on it. These are things you have to decide on, and then tune into how the knife behaves. And like everyone else is saying, decide first how much damage you want the knife to do. If it instakills, it will feel more special than if it takes a fair few chops, in which case it would feel more like just another part of the arsenal. Finally, when choosing swipe, stab, stab then carve etcetera, again that should be determined by how you want the player to feel when they do it, assuming all three are viable options on the back end. For me, a stab feels more direct and efficient, while a slice is a bit cooler in some ways, and more flashy. The stab then carve is definitely the more brutal that someone might be happy to do to someone who's killed them a lot. The takeaway is that you should be reinforcing how you want the player to feel or not feel with every part of their experience
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