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Player Thoughts - Oh, What a Dungeon
Each week, Player's pass their thoughts on the crazy random games I make, and I go over their comments, commenting on their comments.
It's a Comment-o-Rama!
If you want to join in. Comment!!
Overview: Endless dungeon exploration with huge amount of monsters to kill. All the monsters have escaped from the ''The Dangerous World of Castles''(TDWOC) to inhabit the dungeons.
It wasn't originally going to be a sequel, and I was intending to draw all new monsters for this game, but once I started playing the game, I figured it was so similar, I might as well reuse assets and call it a semi-sequel!!
Gameplay: The starting area has more loots than monsters to get used to the game and its controls. Continuous bullet fire helps in dealing with the huge amount of monsters, strafe key especially very useful (This is the big difference from (TDWOC) game where only one bullet per key press is allowed).
I knew from the start that I was going to have oodles of bullets onscreen, but originally the baddies were going to be firing back, too!
This proved WAY too difficult, though, so I scrapped it pretty soon into development.
Found the behavior of the monsters to be very unique, they all line up one after the other to attack in easy enough patterns to kill them off one by one.
I tried my best to get them to circle around, but I think it probably would've worked better had the doorways been 2-tiles in size, rather than just one.
We'll call that an issue in level design, more than AI, because once you get them into a big empty space, they do tend to sprawl out a fair bit.
The only trouble is when the player is stuck in between the monsters from 2 nearby dungeons. Sometimes the player has to tease them to come out of the dungeon.
I had to jiggle the "enemy sight" numbers quite a bit to get a good balance between the number of enemies that could come at you, the distance they can aim-at you from, and the sheer amouont of AI going on that would slow things down after a while.
I'm sure I could've done better AI if I tried.
Staircase style movement on diagonal directions was not easy for smooth gameplay.
LOL, did you not like that :D
I'm always struggling to decide whether that should happen or not..
It tends to work best when you're in a confined complex maze, like a corridor driven Pacman style maze. The "stairs" is so that you can hold a diagonal, and the character will run along against a wall, until they reach a doorway.
Here, there's a little bit too much open space, so it's obvious that the "stairs" is do-able.
I wonder if, perhaps, a true analogue movement might've worked better.
It'd certainly have helped with targeting, as sometimes I felt like I was shooting in the wrong direction.
Graphics: Good to see familiar monsters in the dungeon.
As the camera was moving only when the player reached certain boundaries in the screen, it was easy to get into a dungeon filled with monsters and was not easy for the eye playing in fullscreen.
When I started this project, the intended effect was that of an oldskool 8-bit dungeon romper. Dandy, or Gauntlet, or something of that era.
That's why the screen scrolls.
I tried it with "Jump" screens, but that was much much worse, so it scrolls, instead!
I struggled for a while with "Back into the previous room". I did actually add a block that would stop you from doing that, so you wouldn't end up quickly running back to the previous room, but in the end that felt a little unfair. ... Especially when you could then get yourself blocks in a smaller area of the dungeon!!
Music: Liked the nice fast techno track. Loot collection sound could have been different.
No extra bonus points for having put my voice into another game :'(
I sat at the laptop going "A Gem!!" .... "A GEM!!"... for about 20 minutes to find the right tone.
(Note : It's pitch-shifted.. I'm not that deep :D )
Overall I would have liked the game more if the camera and player diagonal movement were different.
Yeah, a more traditional "Centered" camera probably would've been better, but the you wouldn't have those occasional jump-scares, where you enter the room and there's a bazillion monsters lying in wait :D
.. Or at the very least, they'd be much harder to achieve.
So, for future revisits.. Proper scrolling, and proper controls!