Saturday, June 14, 2008

XeO3: First bits of feedback.

The biggest agreed one was that it you need a sound when being hit, or when you hit a wall, the next is people think its just too hard. After that it gets a little more generic with no real consensis. Being thrown back to the start of the level seems to be an issue and there also appears to be the need to move a little quicker. So lets address some of these...

You now get a sound when being hit, or when hitting a wall. I have to use sound effects sparingly as the TED sound system is fragile, this means I cant go overboard on different sounds for various events..

I'll tweak the harder baddies and see if that helps

I'm not a big fan of restart points, and if you did I would have to punish you more for diying. Currently you dont lose all you weapons, I think if you restarted, you should. I don't really like that. I could just bring the player back on screen at the same point, but again, you'd have to lose all your weapons or it would just be too easy.

Speed... This is a tricky one. Because we're software sprites in MCM, I have to double the speed of the ship (not just move it a little), and that might mean you miss bullets. But we can certainly look at it - possibly as a power up.

Remember there are 2 coin sizes. Small ones fall from individual baddies, and larger ones from groups of baddies. This means shooting a whole wave will sometimes drop a large coin and you get more of the coin bar filled at once! Currently I think theres too many falling early on, but we'll see how that works out...

2 bullets at the start should be fine, particually as you can power up really quickly.

Folk are finding it tricky to pick up coins. This is a bit of a surprise, but I'll look to make the arc bigger to give you more time.

Also remember that in the final game theres lots of different baddie types, and these will dictate how hard it is to kill. This means it'll be easier to spot those harder aliens. But for now, I'll change the animations a little to make them more obvious.

The rasters are fine on the real machine... if it wobbles, its the emulator your running on! :)

Keep the feedback coming please, if you have nothing to say about it - then say that! We need to know that too! We'll do updates to the demo until its playing better, then we can progress to the real game again.

I'm also very interested in hearing from people that are playing with the scripting language and how your finding it.


Luca said...

Of course, about coins arc: the new one has to fall in the same time, to free sprite's slots. Moreover, the pickups will be sprites too! (Idea: if we shall implement randomly appearing pickups, we might force this event to stop when we set a cascade of coins...).

T.M.R said...

i've just realised why i'm having problems grabbing coins; when they appear they're actually moving right relative to the scrolling (since their X position doesn't change) so they're always getting left behind the remaining nasties in a wave.

Any chance they could drift left at the same speed as the landscape at all?

Luca said...

Hey Jason is right, I've never realized that before :O

Luca said...

Just compiled with DRIFT -1 for both falling coins, it looks way better, Jason was really right about! Of course, initially there's no scrolling, hence the relative explosion moves to the left.

Iain Stannard said...

First of all - great work!

I agree that as things stand it's a little too hard, but I quite like the balance of gameplay at the moment - going for the coins is a genuine risk and, while this could benefit from being made a little easier, the difficulty does make you really think about where the attack waves are coming from and how to best position your ship to shoot and then scoop up the loot. I like the fact that when your weapon is just going out of the green, you have to risk losing some energy in a desperate attempt to gather the coins. In many ways I'd be quite happy for there not to be weapon upgrades that simply demolish everything on the screen with multi-way bullets spewing everywhere, as this will affect the fine balance of play that XeO3 currently has.

As far as the restart points are concerned, I wasn't too gutted at going back to the start. With an energy meter, it isn't a case of one hit and you're right back to the beginning - it actually increases your concentration and sense of urgency when you're energy's running low. Perhaps energy could be replenished somehow, too?

It would be nice if the craft moved faster, but twice as fast would probably be too much.

Luca said...

@Iain Stannard: yes, you can read from the official site that 3 brand new weapons (though different by very simple features), and useful pickups are on the way ;)

simon said...

Cool game! I'm liking it a lot so far. I agree that the coins could be a little easier to collect, so it's nice to see you're taking a look at that.

But I can't say I'm too crazy about having to go back to the very start of the level when you die. I can see that being a PITA, to be honest.

simon said...

...also the player ship could stand to move a bit quicker.

Erky said...

Been playing the first version for a week now, and had a few goes at the second version. Comparing them side by side, I find them equally difficult in different ways - requiring slightly different tactics. The second version I guess is slightly easier since I make it a little further into the level.

The game is certainly challenging but far from "throw your hands up in the air frustrating". Addictive enough to make you want to keep playing - that special touch of "just one more go"-ness that is so elusive in games these days.

From a technical point of view, I'm very impressed at how so much has been achieved. I'm very interested to see how the Spectrum version is progressing - any updates, Mister Russell?

About the only criticism I have is the same I have with most games of this type - that the attack patterns are too linear. The same alien attacks you in the same location and is dispatched in the same fashion. After a little while, the game becomes more about pattern recognition and memorising.

Well done to both of you. Take a well earned bow.

Mike said...

Russell and his wife have a new baby, so he doesn't have much time just now. However he is still interested and will pick it up later again.