Author Topic: Valley 2 - Feedback and Suggestions (Sorry, wall of text.)  (Read 1292 times)

Offline Xanirus

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Valley 2 - Feedback and Suggestions (Sorry, wall of text.)
« on: March 06, 2013, 05:39:19 AM »
(I know Mantis is there for suggestions/bug reports, but because I'm being a bit broad, I feel having to open multiple entries seems a bit monotonous.  Plus, I'm curious as to what others would think.  Also, sorry for the wall of text.)

I can honestly say that I've never enjoyed a platformer/shooter like Valley 2 in such, such a long time.  While I do wish there was some more in-depth RPG elements into it, from playing the game I understand that wasn't the goal of this game and doing so might make the game too easy.  I guess I only feel that way because the enjoyment I got out of Valley 2 was so much better than Valley 1 it just made me wish the first game was just as good in it's own strengths.  I've been a long time player of Valley 1, playing in the game's beta ever since it first appeared on Steam, being a sucker for randomly generated worlds.  I enjoyed it even more when the major game-progression changes were made, and I still pick it up every now and then, even if I'm among-st the only one of my friends who enjoys it.   :( 

What caught me by surprise was that the opening track on the main menu had vocals to go with it.  But the static scrolling background just doesn't seem to do it justice.  When I listen to the song, I'm imagining the opening to an epic fantasy movie or something, a bunch of travelers embarking on a journey, or <insert random fantasy anime series opening here.>  If perhaps there were some people walking around doing things, with maybe scrolling pictures of the various character artwork, I think it would be a nice touch.

Also, I find that a lot of games tend to play a vocal version of a theme song that a player has heard a lot in the game, and a lot of the time it gives it more meaning, and the game can become pretty much identified from that song alone.  For AVWW, I think that song is the one that plays in the intro and world map in Valley 1, and the day-time visits to grassy tiles in Valley 2.  (Sorry, don't know the name, if it has one.)  I've never heard such an addicting theme in a while that wasn't typical dramatic war music or heavy metal.  (Not that I don't like those, but still.)  I know that this might be a large request, but I think that it would complement that song (not to mention totally awesome) if a vocal version was made, and to have it played at the game's end credits as closure.

The Strategic Game

All in all, the strategic part of the game feels perfect...once I got the hang of it.  There are a few things I think that I should mention:

*Make it possible to switch two resistance member positions.  (Providing they are of sufficient distance.)  If both members can theoretically be in each other's previous tile, it seems strange that you can only have one move there since one has to move out of the way to begin with.

*When choosing which building to build, the message "Cannot build, no resistance member is here" is displayed.  This is fine, but only this message is displayed, not the description or function of the building.  For first timers it would be nice to know what buildings will do in the first place without having to use a turn getting a resistance member prepped to build it, only to find out it's not what you thought it would do.

*Citadel descriptions should be reworded, as I had trouble with knocking them down.  "Go on foot and smash the panel" should actually be changed to just "purifying" the area, since there is no actual citadel building in the actual area.  (Maybe that's how it was, and the description was left unchanged?)  Also, after so many instances of using a resistance members to attack impasses from adjacent tiles, (making it so you can purify and pass it) I did the same thing with the citadels, only to find out that for this building they actually have to stand on that tile instead.  This should be mentioned somewhere in the game.

The Action/Platforming Game

*Quick bug - If the player holds the "down" direction as they walk of a ledge (walk off, not jump off) they can peform a jump in mid-air as they fall, even if they don't have any advanced jumping feats yet.

*Suggestion to make an optional toggle to use "down + jump" to jump down through a platform instead of just pushing "down."  This would help aiming at enemies below you instead of having to jump up all the time.

The platforming bits is probably the best part of the game.  I almost feel like I'm playing a never ending Mario game.  The generation and layout of the levels are much better.  The interiors are shorter, sometimes mandatory to go through, and mostly having an actual end, instead of having a long line of endless buildings to explore where you "might" find something good.

While I understand the levels are designed for you to just "get to the end" the thing is a lot of the levels seem to have branching paths.  This is all well and good, but there's no point to them.  Sometime I'll go down a cave and there's nothing but enemies in there, and I'm already at full health, so there's no point in me going there.  This is where the random equipment chests come in, but I can't help but feel I wish there was more......"stuff" to collect.

What "stuff" though, I couldn't tell ya.  A lot of things come to mind, mostly powerups from other 8/16-bit games.  The perk system makes your character pretty customize-able, and we have a least one "armor" slot that can give random properties.  Those are static bonuses, so I guess what I'm looking for are items that pop-up once in a while that can give "temporary" bonuses, (anything more static that we can add to our own character might just break the design/difficulty and might linger towards the first game) such as a 30-second duration or until the end of the stage.  Invincibility power-ups, a full-life powerup, additional weapons (although that'd be hard considering the variety of spells you have) anything to add spice to the side-scrolling bits.  (Or even mercenary coins, as the rate you get them are rather slow, I've only ever got to use them once.)  These items could be objects to collect that you randomly find, and/or from enemies, giving a reason to engage them other than just to collect health.

And then...there's....score.  I might be in a minority here.....but I actually like score.  Yes, I know score in today's games is useless, but I can't really be the only one that is getting a Contra drive from playing this game, and Valley 2 is really a harken back to platformers back then, wouldn't anyone agree?  Any time I see a group of enemies bunched up, I feel like Pac Man who just ate a power pellet, and it's time to nom nom.  Still, I'm trying to see what good score would do in a game like this, and what possible rewards the player could get for acheveing a certain point value.  Points could also be added to building structures, purifying tiles, recruiting new members, etc.  Then, at the end of the game, there could be a displayed report of everything you did with a final score at the end.

Going back to the Contra thing, I didn't mention killing enemies for points because being able to repeat levels to infinity and racking that score up could be pointless.  In this case, maybe a separate Arcade game mode could be made for this purpose?  The level work is pretty much done, so I think adding bosses every few levels, and probably tweak the way the player gains levels/perks and there you go.  (I know this was mentioned in on Mantis, but I can't seem to find it anymore.)

And finally, my last bit for the night, I had a question about the ending....so....

SPOILER START

I feel like I missed out on the ending.  When I went to examine Demonanica's body, for some reason I kept hearing a noise as I was reading.  It was my character being hit.  Demonanica's body just happened to of fallen right next to a shooting statue, and apparently the text was just an overlay and the "game" was still active.  So this sound kept repeating over and over and finally I heard the big death sound but the text still continued.  The last words I saw were "...just because you can't see me, doesn't mean I'm not here."  (Which is kinda strange since I had just seen Elder walking around the world map prior to my last visit to the keep.)  Then the screen turns back to the game, I respawn in the training area......and that's it.  No congratulations from resistance members, or anything like that.  Did the game skip it?  Did that glitch skip the credits or the remaining cutscene?  Was there a post-end game goal not explained to me?  (There doesn't seem to be anything to do at this point.) 

SPOILER END





Wow, ok, sorry for the wall of text, I'm hoping at least someone will read.

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Valley 2 - Feedback and Suggestions (Sorry, wall of text.)
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 08:42:40 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to write all that. We really do appreciate the feedback.

We aren't really doing a whole lot with Valley 2 at the moment, but there is some good stuff in here that we should probably consider if/when we do start working on it more.

At the moment, in case you aren't aware, we're focusing most of our time on our new game, Shattered Haven, which will be out.... well... soon. :)

Incidentally, that one, while it's not a platformer, DOES have a score. :)

Also, no problem on the long post, x4000, the boss around here, does that all the time. :)

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Valley 2 - Feedback and Suggestions (Sorry, wall of text.)
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 05:55:45 PM »
My God, I love scoring systems. I want a scoring system in every game ever, but there's not really a good place to shoehorn a great one in. For reference of one that I feel is truly great, check out some pro runs of Xotic. But like, Shattered Haven having a scoring system makes me want it pretty badly.

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Valley 2 - Feedback and Suggestions (Sorry, wall of text.)
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 08:51:28 AM »
My God, I love scoring systems. I want a scoring system in every game ever, but there's not really a good place to shoehorn a great one in. For reference of one that I feel is truly great, check out some pro runs of Xotic. But like, Shattered Haven having a scoring system makes me want it pretty badly.

:D Very very soon. Like... well... I really can't say, but, sooner than you think, would be my guess.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Valley 2 - Feedback and Suggestions (Sorry, wall of text.)
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 03:36:20 PM »
Well it's like a few weeks or something so it's fine.
It really also depends on how good the scoring system is. Like, I'm not really a fan of Orcs Must Die's scoring system because of how much is hidden from you. Part of why I love Xotic is because it doesn't rely on obscure scoring mechanics. All of the scoring mechanics and exactly how they work are there, you just need to harness them, and that is where the challenge comes into play. That usually leads to "optimal scores" but I really couldn't care less about that as long as it's clear what I'm doing.
That said, them gold medals are going to entice me no matter what.

Offline Winge

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Re: Valley 2 - Feedback and Suggestions (Sorry, wall of text.)
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 06:31:48 PM »
*When choosing which building to build, the message "Cannot build, no resistance member is here" is displayed.  This is fine, but only this message is displayed, not the description or function of the building.  For first timers it would be nice to know what buildings will do in the first place without having to use a turn getting a resistance member prepped to build it, only to find out it's not what you thought it would do.

I was actually thinking something more like the "Big Honkin' Encyclopedia" from the first game would be nice (especially since it wouldn't be nearly as large, lol).  Information could be added to the help screen instead, if that would be easier/better.  I think that having all of the following would be very nice for newcomers (or mechanic-obsessed people like me 8)):
  • Terrain Types, including biome, danger to player, danger to NPC (modifier), scavenging results, and other strategic game effects.  Would be helpful if you didn't recognize a tile in an area you couldn't yet reach.
  • Resistance Building, including where they can be built, scrap cost, and benefit description.
  • World Map Monsters, including their power and movement
  • Demonica spells, including damage to NPCs,  effects, estimated duration, estimated size, and whether the spell can be auto-cast to protect a Stratospheric Citadel
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Valley 2 - Feedback and Suggestions (Sorry, wall of text.)
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 07:06:52 PM »
A bestiary would be nice as well. It could only include enemies that the player has encountered if it had to, there could be a simulation of how the enemy behaves alone in a room (with an invisible player that it attacks), and a general idea of how strong it is as well as its unique quirks.

Offline madcow

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Re: Valley 2 - Feedback and Suggestions (Sorry, wall of text.)
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 10:03:15 PM »
*When choosing which building to build, the message "Cannot build, no resistance member is here" is displayed.  This is fine, but only this message is displayed, not the description or function of the building.  For first timers it would be nice to know what buildings will do in the first place without having to use a turn getting a resistance member prepped to build it, only to find out it's not what you thought it would do.

I was actually thinking something more like the "Big Honkin' Encyclopedia" from the first game would be nice (especially since it wouldn't be nearly as large, lol).  Information could be added to the help screen instead, if that would be easier/better.  I think that having all of the following would be very nice for newcomers (or mechanic-obsessed people like me 8)):
  • Terrain Types, including biome, danger to player, danger to NPC (modifier), scavenging results, and other strategic game effects.  Would be helpful if you didn't recognize a tile in an area you couldn't yet reach.
  • Resistance Building, including where they can be built, scrap cost, and benefit description.
  • World Map Monsters, including their power and movement
  • Demonica spells, including damage to NPCs,  effects, estimated duration, estimated size, and whether the spell can be auto-cast to protect a Stratospheric Citadel

If somebody was feeling adventurous (or productive at least), could be good stuff for an AVWW2 wiki.

PS.  I am neither.