Author Topic: Basic Feedback  (Read 2269 times)

Offline Pepisolo

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Basic Feedback
« on: March 13, 2013, 08:34:25 PM »
Just throwing out some basic feedback as I try to play fully through the game for the first time.

One thing I find strange is the whole border thing. Using my default resolution of 1600 x 900 the actual in-game window is pretty small, with the border being giant. The characters are tiny. It can be a little tricky to see, especially for my dodgy eyes. Changing the resolution to 1366x768 helps improve things. Shouldn't the game scale the image or something to max out the size? Almost certainly too late to do anything about this, but I also don't really like the HUD stuff being on the border. If the HUD was overlayed onto the gaming screen you could increase the size of the game window a bit, too.

The ZZZ of your father sleeping should really be animated.

Maybe there should be two main dialogue scroll tones in this game, one for adults and one for kids. The default tone just seems too low pitched for children.

Tiny nitpick, but when you open the game and those grays turn up, Lela seems to hide behind a tree whereas the boy just stands in the open. Maybe he should move behind a bush or something to create the illusion of him hiding.

Oh, a bug as well. You seem to be able to activate the second cutscene "Mary and I are leaving the compound" by going back and forth from the Forsaken Home area and the main puzzle hub (where that beast appears for the first time).

I'm liking the four inventory mappings. Much better than when it was just two.

Offline x4000

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 08:38:16 PM »
One thing I find strange is the whole border thing. Using my default resolution of 1600 x 900 the actual in-game window is pretty small, with the border being giant. The characters are tiny. It can be a little tricky to see, especially for my dodgy eyes. Changing the resolution to 1366x768 helps improve things. Shouldn't the game scale the image or something to max out the size? Almost certainly too late to do anything about this, but I also don't really like the HUD stuff being on the border. If the HUD was overlayed onto the gaming screen you could increase the size of the game window a bit, too.

You'll want to play on a small resolution, then.  For more info: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,12601.0.html

As for the HUD being overlaid on the screen, that in no way would work because the game doesn't have a scrolling viewport.  Parts of the playable area would be permanently obscured.

Oh, a bug as well. You seem to be able to activate the second cutscene "Mary and I are leaving the compound" by going back and forth from the Forsaken Home area and the main puzzle hub (where that beast appears for the first time).

Yep, that's fixed in the next version. :)
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 09:25:35 PM »
Quote
You'll want to play on a small resolution, then.  For more info: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,12601.0.html

Cool, I'll test the different resolutions. I will say one thing, though, this is probably the first game that I can remember that I've needed to switch to to a non-native resolution in order to get a comfortably playable set-up aside from those titles that I've needed to reduce the resolution due to FPS issues. Can't the image scale up so that the border is at a minimum or something. I don't know, it's not a huge deal, but having to mess around with the resolutions just seems odd.

Quote
As for the HUD being overlaid on the screen, that in no way would work because the game doesn't have a scrolling viewport.  Parts of the playable
area would be permanently obscured.

Hmmm, can't think of a better solution at the moment, so yeah not much you can do then. It might be possible, though, as most of the current HUD stuff seems a little unnecessary to me. Most of it is taken up by mouse control buttons, and those could just pop up when your pointer touches the bottom of the screen. But, yeah, probably not worth the extra effort, although I'm sure you could come up with something if you had more time.

Offline x4000

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 09:31:34 PM »
Quote
You'll want to play on a small resolution, then.  For more info: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,12601.0.html

Cool, I'll test the different resolutions. I will say one thing, though, this is probably the first game that I can remember that I've needed to switch to to a non-native resolution in order to get a comfortably playable set-up aside from those titles that I've needed to reduce the resolution due to FPS issues. Can't the image scale up so that the border is at a minimum or something. I don't know, it's not a huge deal, but having to mess around with the resolutions just seems odd.

Please see the linked thread for full explanations.  Also, you'll find that a great many 2D games need you to use a different resolution.  To The Moon, for instance, only runs in one resolution period.  So does Lone Survivor, and so does Cave Story.  I believe Braid does as well, but I can't remember for certain.  Most of those don't even let you choose your resolution at all, so it may not be apparent it's locking you in to 640x480 or whatever smaller resolution.  Those are just the examples off the top of my head, it's extremely common with 2D.

Quote
As for the HUD being overlaid on the screen, that in no way would work because the game doesn't have a scrolling viewport.  Parts of the playable
area would be permanently obscured.

Hmmm, can't think of a better solution at the moment, so yeah not much you can do then. It might be possible, though, as most of the current HUD stuff seems a little unnecessary to me. Most of it is taken up by mouse control buttons, and those could just pop up when your pointer touches the bottom of the screen. But, yeah, probably not worth the extra effort, although I'm sure you could come up with something if you had more time.

If you're playing with mouse control, then mousing over the bottom of the screen is important for being able to play.  So having context-sensitive popups wouldn't really work.  As for the rest of the information that is shown at the bottom, it's shown there because we have the space and nothing really else to do with it.  The life and inventory bars need to be shown, they take up a certain amount of space, and the game board only needs a certain amount of vertical space.  So that leaves dead space that we've filled with useful things rather than just leaving blankness.  It's not something I feel like needs revision in any way, personally.  It's very similar to the organization of a lot of other related games, such as Zelda 1 (which has a fixed screen size like this one), the gameboy Zelda games (same), the Lode Runner games, and so on.  You're basically describing games with a movable viewport (Zelda 3, etc), for which the rules are completely different.
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 10:00:30 PM »
Quote
Please see the linked thread for full explanations.  Also, you'll find that a great many 2D games need you to use a different resolution.  To The Moon, for instance, only runs in one resolution period.  So does Lone Survivor, and so does Cave Story.  I believe Braid does as well, but I can't remember for certain.  Most of those don't even let you choose your resolution at all, so it may not be apparent it's locking you in to 640x480 or whatever smaller resolution.  Those are just the examples off the top of my head, it's extremely common with 2D.

Yes, in a strange way giving the player the choice of resolution in the case of SH seems to create a slight negative first impression whereas it is actually allowing more flexibility. Note, this is not a huge deal, I 'm just giving you my first impression when I set the game to 1600 x 900, which was "huh, why's the game so small....that's weird". Then as a player I have to fiddle with the resolution settings. Again, no enormous deal, just mentioning it. If there's nothing you can do about it, fine, it shouldn't cause too much of a negative reaction to the average player.

Quote
If you're playing with mouse control, then mousing over the bottom of the screen is important for being able to play.  So having context-sensitive popups wouldn't really work.  As for the rest of the information that is shown at the bottom, it's shown there because we have the space and nothing really else to do with it.  The life and inventory bars need to be shown, they take up a certain amount of space, and the game board only needs a certain amount of vertical space.  So that leaves dead space that we've filled with useful things rather than just leaving blankness.  It's not something I feel like needs revision in any way, personally.  It's very similar to the organization of a lot of other related games, such as Zelda 1 (which has a fixed screen size like this one), the gameboy Zelda games (same), the Lode Runner games, and so on.  You're basically describing games with a movable viewport (Zelda 3, etc), for which the rules are completely different.

OK, cool, good point. It's only really a big problem when using 1600 x 900 and having gargantuan borders. Hopefully things will be fine when I fiddle with my resolution settings a bit.

Edit: Switched to 1024 x768 which fills the screen and seems nicer to me. Seems to make the game play better, too, as it's much easier to see what's going on.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 12:23:56 PM by Pepisolo »

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2013, 12:58:09 PM »
More basic feedback as I play the game through.

The FARM -- Straightforward. Good.
Switch Maze -- took longer than it should have. Probably just me being derpy.
Cobble Paradise -- fine. Door on left side of building going into the last gray might trip some up. Not the most visible.
Tribal Mud Flats -- Easy. Not much do do in this one.
Crazed meadow -- Easy. Nice, although the switches could maybe stand out more.
Canoe Trip -- fine. Couldn't get back in the canoe for a few moments. Was clearly standing on it, but wouldn't enter until I moved more to the bottom side. Also, "oh the rocks are gone" popped up, not sure what triggered it. I just put some tacks down.
Lost in Wilderness -- fine.
Deadly Garden -- Easy enough. Just rushed through the first two grays, didn't chop the hedge, but still made it.
The Causeway -- Died twice. For some reason couldn't see the openable gate near the axe. Thought it was just a floor grate or something. Died again getting stuck behind my own animaltrap while trying to push through a crowd of grays while invincible after taking hit. Maybe you should be able to run through traps when a gray is in it?
Swamp Outpost -- Grenades are fun! Died stupidly by falling down my own grenade crater when the level was virtually won.

Shattered windows regenerating after beating a level seemed a bit odd. Accidentally went into Swamp Outpost level and couldn't exit until I completed the level again -- annoying. Favourite music in an Arcen game this piano piece here, though.

I'll save the more buggy stuff for Mantis I think.

Edit: Forgot about the poison pill, exit to overworld feature. Was easy to get out of the level doing that.


« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 01:12:22 PM by Pepisolo »

Offline FroBodine

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2013, 02:01:14 PM »


Canoe Trip -- fine. Couldn't get back in the canoe for a few moments. Was clearly standing on it, but wouldn't enter until I moved more to the bottom side. Also, "oh the rocks are gone" popped up, not sure what triggered it. I just put some tacks down.

This level had me stumped too.  As far as I've played, which is about 10 maps, there are no other places where you have to drop tools in order to trigger something and leave a level.  It does not make sense that you have to drop tacks to lower the rocks.  Everything else has made perfect sense so far, but this one has me scratching my head.

Offline mrhanman

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 02:08:04 PM »
How do you still have tacks left over after killing all the grays, anyway?  It took every tack I had just to kill them all.

Offline x4000

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 02:25:18 PM »
If you die and restart, you get to keep the tacks.  That's one thing I still have to fix up, is that level.
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 05:39:58 PM »
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This level had me stumped too.  As far as I've played, which is about 10 maps, there are no other places where you have to drop tools in order to trigger something and leave a level.  It does not make sense that you have to drop tacks to lower the rocks.  Everything else has made perfect sense so far, but this one has me scratching my head.

Is that what you have to do? I was just fighting a gray and dropped the tacks somewhere on the map. Wasn't  paying attention to rocks or anything. I must have got the solution by a fluke.

Offline FroBodine

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 05:51:31 PM »
Yeah.  I killed all the greys, but could not figure out how to exit the map.  I wrote it up in a different thread on the forum, and Chris said to drop the extra tacks. 

I thought it was by design, but now Chris says he's fixing it.  Woohoo!

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 07:05:32 PM »
More basic feedback.

The River's Hedge Maze -- thought this was going to be over quick. Killed all the grays but couldn't get into the portal before that ghost thing killed me. Damn, it was easy, I was trying to cut down the wrong things with the scythe.

One of those blue homing grays latched onto Mary and they both just got stuck in time. It happens when your partner char gets trapped up against a wall by one of them.

The Factory -- Interesting. Solved pretty easily.

Lantern works at all times? Even when not equipped? Seems a bit odd that you don't even need it in your equipped slot. It's a benefit, though, so shouldn't really complain.

Pit Fest -- No music on this level, although you're probably already aware? Interesting level. Managed it first time, although the strong guy run me around a bit.

Mesmerizing Gauntlet -- Cool level. I wasn't sure what I had to do at the end, though. From the description I thought that there would be a gray blocking my
path that needed to be killed, but you just have to kill any 1 with the bomb. Maybe have the objective say 1 gray rather than 0 required to progress?

I want that blue key to go in the mine, now.

Oh that Mesmerizing Gauntlet level has pretty much made my mind up that I think the 360 d-pad should be the default control method. You need perfect precision on that level. Stick and d-pad would be the ultimate solution, though.

Offline x4000

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2013, 09:22:35 PM »
Couple of notes:

1. The thing with the grays locking onto P2 is fixed in the next version.

2. I know the music isn't right on Pit Fest, but thanks.  Basically no levels above 034 have music assigned properly yet; it's on my list.  We had a different soundtrack in the old engine, basically, but a lot of tracks got cut (non-Pablo music) and then Pablo composed new stuff, as well as remastering some of the tracks that are not his.  The levels that used old track names or tracks that no longer are part of the game just don't have music yet.
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 08:50:36 PM »
More basic notes.

Stantonsburg Warehouse Boss -- first go got my arse royally handed to me... on a silver platter. Second go got some good licks in with the sickle then died. Third time died, but think I know what to do now. Died again. Died, fireballs hurt. Completed it but didn't escape! Died. Died lots. Obviously not getting this level. Bah, didn't realise you just had to wait in the center and jump in the portal. Was running around trying to kill everything and find a key or something. Not a great level in my mind. I was too busy dying early running around trying to achieve something that it took me a while to see the portal. Like the disintegrating floor mechanic, though.

Desert Quake -- Died a few times, but pretty cool. Run for your life feel.

Bit weird having to re-enter the combination lock on the door to let yourself out.

Rainy industrial site -- pretty cool. Was a bit tense hunting down the hiding grays while on 1 bar of health.

In deadlands path to the wild wasn't expecting to get smashed by the shadowman, Mary had just said that's where we were supposed to be.

Bit annoying not being able to run past an enemy you've trapped in an animal trap. Might as well just rush through them without wasting it.

Not-so-abandoned town -- cool. Easy enough.

Old house and Barn bit, seemed to be able to farm bullets. Up to 50 anyway.


Offline x4000

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Re: Basic Feedback
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 09:01:35 PM »
* An extra hint regarding the gray spawners has been put in place in the warehouse boss level.

* Improved the cutscene with zombie mom and shadow man in the deadlands such that it's clear that shadow man will kill you if you approach him.
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