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 Post subject: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:30 pm 
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VAN DAMMAGE
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So yeah tried it before aand posted about it then but it ended up being a colossal failure

ROUND 2 SON

So I've been working on a game with some dudes, and we have relaunched out kickstarter, which is less of a mess and has an actual good video and EVEN A DEMO

try it out, spread the word, maybe even donate some dollars:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/625331699/schoolyard-snodown-0

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:32 am 
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why is it the same game? have you considered that might have had something to do with it?

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:33 am 
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I'm not sure you'll care for my opinion, but I played the demo and... it wasn't very fun. At best it felt like exactly what it appeared, a random flash game on the Internet that someone sent me and I played for 10 minutes. However, since I know you want this to be an actual game, I thought about it critically from a design standpoint and there's some pretty glaring flaws in your design. Firstly, is the entire concept of ammo. It turns the entire game into a sludge fest. Clear screen, crouch till ammo refills, move on. Beat-em ups are supposed to be fast paced and have you constantly doing something whether it's attacking an enemy or platforming. I understand that the snowballs are kind of crux to your entire game, but perhaps a different method of creating them is in store because it leads to problems like this: I made it a couple of screens into the score attack level and as soon as I wiped the screen several more baddies spawned. I took care of them... and even more spawned. You can't expect the player to assume that suddenly the screen is static and that baddies will spawn instantly instead of scrolling a bit before the next wave, and therefore, they need to keep the last guy alive and dodge his snowballs (which is broken as well, but I'll get to that in a second) to refill for the next encounter. You have to keep in mind the amount of snowballs the player could possibly have in his inventory vs how many consecutive snowballs they could potentially throw to clear any given area. It's better when a player thinks, "Oh shit I should've stocked up before coming into this area," rather than, "Fuck this horseshit I had max snowballs."

Speaking to the "dodge" mechanic, I actually died in the tutorial from fucking around before it was mentioned, so IF it was mentioned I didn't see it to realize that double tapping a direction caused me to dodge. However, the main problem is that the throwing animation has WAY too much precedence over the others. If I've launched a snowball I should immediately be able to roll or block or move. Instead, I'm met with a frozen character that eats damage. It would be like if Mega Man couldn't jump or slide directly after firing a shot or during firing a shot. Granted, I do understand that this is just a demo and things need to be fixed, but this just seems like a really glaring issue and something that might should have been polished before re-launching the KS. Also, there's several frames that won't allow you any movement when you're powering up your snowball attack that I'm not sure if is purposeful or not. I will say that going from crouch to block worked pretty well.

Something else that caught my eye about the screen with multiple spawns is that I got stun locked by two dudes firing on either side of me. You have to be careful with your enemy placement when projectiles are concerned. Nothing is less satisfying than just sitting there being unable to do anything and watching your health get whittled away. (Not saying that this particular encounter was completely inescapable, but it caught me for a few good hits.)

Now, other than any inherent disdain you might have for my opinions, also take them with another grain of salt as I am most assuredly not a beat-em up veteran and I'm actually not very good at those style games. I tend to eat damage like a mother fucker and in your game that seems like it's even more punishable because of the range mechanic. All in all, I can see this having a modicum of promise, but for me, it fell completely flat on a lot of the most basic levels.

Edit: Also, as an aside, I misread the title as "Snowdon" and coming from you I was excited for some like crazy ass spy whistleblower hipster game. :awesome:

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:01 am 
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Page looks really nice, goal looks very attainable, game is interesting. Good luck on tracking down to the finish line in over the next few weeks.

Have you guys considered making some of those Kickstarter avatar imagines? kind of like

Image

Also, don't forget to shout it out on Reddit (r/Gamedev or r/indiegame or r/kickstarter) as well as possibly do an AMA on Reddit for it. Possibly throw out to some of the people who do video game stuff that use this site? (Snifit, Jesse) and maybe podcast an episode with them? Give them a handy to write a preview on their site for it?

Possibly offer up a dumb reward or two? Like "When we achieve our goal we'll throw a pie in X worker face." Pre-listing "Hey, we have stretch goals planned" with big ????? makes people usually jump and check something out a lot quicker too. Gets that whole "we're close to this stretch goal" fever started before the project hits.

Also, have you considered at the $5 level *or maybe a $10 level* that says "You get a copy of the game AND get to throw a snowball at (insert a few designers names) at (insert convention or something) *must provide own travel to event*" then at one of the bigger tiers have "participate in a snowball fight against the developers. *must provide travel to event*"

The $5 level also states that you'll get the "digital download or Ouya"

Now, nice demo. Very nice price. I could easily see it getting a backing at it's goal.

edit: don't forget the local promotion. Go to game stores or comic stores with fliers about it and little pull-tabs for the URL. Flier the town up.

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Played the demo, it seems to have merit. Some constructive criticism (as I'm sure the game is still under development).

The game has a "River City Ransom" type feel to it, which I like, but the controls need a bit of work. I like the crouch / make combination and the charge up ability, but the movement seems a little halt-ish, almost like there was a little bit of lag, except that there wasn't lag in the animation, just my controls. Might need some tweaking, but then again, it might be my computer.

Also, I died pretty quickly during the demo and it just kinda said "Thanks for playing" instead of helping you on. Game seems a little difficult in the tutorial, and that might scare some potential backers away.

That being said, I just signed up as a backer. Seems like it will be at least $5 worth of entertainment, so why not :coookieesssss:

Hmm... looking at the kickstarter and the bigger rewards for pledging..... Say I won the lottery tomorrow and could burn $250 like it was nothing, instead of my statue in the game and naming the school after me, I would want to the school be Dunwich Middle School and have the statue out front be Cthulhu.

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:50 pm 
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it feels the way it does because of what it's developed in.
https://www.scirra.com/construct2

basically; the same thing as:
http://www.yoyogames.com/studio

bottom line is: these types of programs are for programmers who are afraid of programming and want a solution they think will be easier than just writing what they need themselves. or importing libraries that will be useful.

in actuality: these programs are a lot more fucking around than they are worth. that and they don't handle certain things like array's very well. you're left writing workarounds for a lot of things that already exist for the exact purpose you need in java or C. you'll find yourself writing a lot more one-shot solutions than you'd otherwise have to.

the only real difference is that you have to know how to package your files (ie: look at a template for 5 minutes) and import libraries(ie:google it). but above all: root languages are way better documented and have way more comprehensive examples floating around. they're actually easier in the long run. just need a pair of balls to jump right in.


if this project flies what is the goal? do you continue making games in construct?

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:20 pm 
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I'm pretty sure, could be misremembering, but Bats is an art guy on it?

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:30 am 
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Bogey wrote:
I'm pretty sure, could be misremembering, but Bats is an art guy on it?

writer. that's got nothing to do with what i'm getting at.

i think his programmer is is being lazy and that's holding the output back.

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:14 am 
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S1eepy wrote:
Bogey wrote:
I'm pretty sure, could be misremembering, but Bats is an art guy on it?

writer. that's got nothing to do with what i'm getting at.

i think his programmer is is being lazy and that's holding the output back.


I wasn't sure what "Construct 2" was and didn't feel like looking it up. But reading your other post, a lot of what I see in the game makes sense now.

@Bats: You guys should drop that shit like a dead baby and if you want to use something akin to that but way more versatile and programmer friendly get Unity or something.

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:04 pm 
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We're trying again because A) we want to finish it regardless and B) last time we didn't do/messed up a lot of basic things w/r/t kickstarter itself

We had a coder at the beginning but he got some job that didn't allow him to work on anything else

The dude in charge switched to construct because nobody had any programming ability and he's been learning this in his spare time

I'm just the writer, yeah, so I can't really comment on much there :coookieesssss:

Good feedback tho, will pass on

Also Locrian thx for yr contribution, have my doubts about it actually being taken from you but we'll see

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:09 pm 
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S1eepy wrote:
if this project flies what is the goal? do you continue making games in construct?


No idea :coookieesssss:

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:19 pm 
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TheBatman wrote:
S1eepy wrote:
if this project flies what is the goal? do you continue making games in construct?


No idea :coookieesssss:


i'd be willing to talk to your guy a little bit about programming. maybe dispel some fears and give pointers on where to find resources.
it really isn't that difficult. you just have to be okay with trying to do things you don't know how to do yet, and learning along the way.

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:52 am 
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Codecadamy.com is also a great place to knock on some doors and learn a few languages. You'd have to check out other resources afterward, but damn if it isn't a good starting space.

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:15 am 
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I don't think there's anything inherently bad about doing a first project in something like Construct. If you've already started in Construct you should go ahead and finish in it. Then for the next game, try a lower-level engine, like Unity or something.

Making a computer do what you mean is pretty frustrating at first. You don't want a programmer to go off and rage-quit because of the steep learning curve.

This is coming from a guy who's done everything all the way from assembler through C, Java, Python, perl, vbscript, JavaScript, all the major databases and weird-o AS/400 programming. I've used all kinds of IDEs (and non-IDEs), and written compilers and shit. Making something that actually works is pretty hard to do at first.

Use something that makes it easy to generate an actual product you can play. Once you've gotten something playable, and you like it, pick another engine/product/whatever and re-do your game in that (or maybe make a sequel or something). You'll get to ease into it that way and only learn a few concepts at a time, instead of a billion at once.

Using Java as an example, you're going to be looking at learning:

Object-oriented programming (this is huge)
Static data types
Exception Handling
Using and linking external libraries
Packaging namespace-y things
File access stuff (like loading graphics/textures/sounds)
Generating Sound
Putting images on the screen
Event/Input handling
Optimization crap
Collision detection

There's libraries/engines/whatever that can make all these things easier, sure. But if you're coming from a background of knowing almost nothing about programming, holy shit. You'll drown! And I could easily see a newbie programmer doing crap in O(n^2) time and getting frustrated when his game runs like balls.

So, do it in something that handles all these things for you and learn things step-by-step.

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:50 pm 
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Napalm Man wrote:

Object-oriented programming (this is huge)
Static data types
Exception Handling
Using and linking external libraries
Packaging namespace-y things
File access stuff (like loading graphics/textures/sounds)
Generating Sound
Putting images on the screen
Event/Input handling
Optimization crap
Collision detection


that's a pretty comprehensive list for game assembly. though a couple of them take about 5 minutes to learn. like external library use, packaging, and resource loading, and sound you're generally using your own audio files and just setting them to cues. as long as you know where you want them to play/stop/loop/etc it's not very scary.


the syntax for how object oriented programming is handled is the big one. but just like static Vs public data types: once it clicks it clicks. and from then on it's mostly learning libraries.

though one thing i would add to that list: constructors.

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:59 pm 
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Yeah, my goal isn't to make, y'know, the world's most comprehensive list. It's more, you've got a guy that wants to make games and knows nothing about programming. These are concepts he's got to learn if he's gonna start using Java. If he wanted to use C, you'd get into memory management, etc.

I think there's some confusion on what I mean by static data types - I mean needing to declare what type of data your variables are (int, float, chat, etc), along with everything that implies (needing specific ways to cast or convert data types, for one), as opposed to dynamic/duck typing seen in other languages. Not "static" in the sense of static methods/variables/etc.

Constructors fall under Object Oriented Programming, assuming you're talking about object constructors. Also, syntax strictly applies to a language. Perl, Python and Java are all object-oriented, but they've all got wildly different syntaxes.

The main point is though, you've got a kid who knows very little programming that wants to make a game. I don't think going in head-first is the right away at all. Get your feet wet with something easy, then start going deeper.

It's like taking a guy who's never used Linux and saying "Yeah, you'll really know Linux if you do Linux From Scratch" - it's true, you will learn a lot of things doing that. But if the guy isn't aware of what, exactly, an Operating System is, he's gonna have an extremely hard time building up his own and get frustrated when all he sees is kernel panics and "unable to find root device"-type messages.

Going with the Linux From Scratch example, here's concepts you'd have to learn in order to be successful:
Disk Partitioning
Filesystems
Boot Loaders
Chroots
Environment Variables
Compiling packages from source
Configuring said packages
Syslog crap
hostnames/networking/etc
choosing and configuring an init system (THIS IS HUGE)
devices as files
shells
window managers
X-windows
Login managers
udev and devices rules/naming
policykit/logind policy-enforcing things
processor architectures

You never wanna dive into something technical and complicated head-first.

A new programmer on Java gonna see "NullPointerException" and be all "what the fuck why isn't this working?" because he went to an array index that doesn't exist or something. A new programmer on C is gonna see "segfault" because he doesn't understand some functions need values and others need references to values. Both those guys are gonna rage-quit in a fit of frustration, because all they wanna do is make a dude jump on some blocks.

Ease into it, is what I'm saying.

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 Post subject: Re: INDIE GAME PROJECT
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:39 am 
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what i'm getting at: the same set of frustrations exist in middleman suites like construct, gamemaker, unity, and torque. but the resolution of them tends to be inherently fruitless.

like with your linux example: yes, there are a large number of things. but most of them only take a minute of web searching to get a good solution or definition. the hardest part of learning to program is not knowing what something is called. but if there is someone like you or I around that could, say, provide a comprehensive list of of subjects and a few good resource pools: that is really most of the work.

i know with java: if a little searching doesn't turn up an answer: there are a number of places you can ask questions. i've gotten replies to each question i've asked this way in under half an hour with java. going this route with game maker lead to responses mainly by confused students who also didn't really know what they were doing. solutions were rare if you question wasn't basic or solved elsewhere.

which leads to the biggest reason not to bother: the resource pools themselves. a root language has ten fold the quality and availability of assistance compared to a simplified and "easier" method of programming. even if you have to do a whole bunch of bullshit workarounds because the software you're using doesn't support the use of arrays or something else dumb.

these programs do very little service to one trying to learn to program. especially when the only(mostly) people using them are people equally as befuddled about writing code. the people who really know their shit are all using the root languages. people use game maker because it draws them in with promises of "no code required" or "drag and drop programming". then everyone gets all disappointed when they find out they bought something for sounding too good to be true. then they learn it anyway. . . because . . .well, they bought it.

java is free. ogre is free. havok is free. blender is free. gimp is free.

you do your "hello world" program, then you jump into building Jogre. draw your test screen. build up from there.
import havok if you want to use it for physics.

building Jogre is the hardest step in setting up your own environment.
the only extra step is building a level editor if you need one.
but: if you make the UI for it dynamically: you can re-purpose the same UI for the rest of the project. so it's not much more work in the long run.
and placing objects with a mouse is basic.

i agree with a lot of what you put forward, but let me ask you: how did you learn how to program? and how good are you at it now?
i know your skill exceeds mine, but i've also spent less time on it.
some of that time includes dinking around with some of this kind of software. that's where my bias comes in.

when i started learning to program java i said: i want to make a minecraft mod. so i found some source for one, stripped it down to the container, found how to make a new item and assign custom art to it, etc. if you keep focused on the goal it's a lot easier to just figure it out as you go. keep finding bridges to the gaps in your knowledge and eventually you'll be able to start making your own bridges. then you know how to write code. it's not like time and patience aren't requirements already.

*shrugs*

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