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Play test for me, and I will return the favor. (Forums : Development Banter : Play test for me, and I will return the favor.) Post Reply
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Nov 28 2013, 3:42am Anchor

@Jester: I could see the rest, I only took a screenshot of the buggy part, I couldn't see any of the bars/text/numbers so whenever I played I didn't know my health, or how much power I had for example.

Nov 28 2013, 10:15am Anchor
Sora_ wrote:Well, it's the same for me, I think it's harder for the developers to test their own games because they know (nearly) every parts of their game, what is possible/impossible in the game, which strategies to use, etc. 

So true. 

Sora_ wrote:Even if the aliens' difficulty is random, in my opinion it'd be a good idea to limit their strength according to the different difficulties. I think there should be some hint that if you die you can restart the game against the same enemies. At first I didn't realize it (my attention was focused on surviving) and I didn't modify the ship with the thought that I'll be fighting against the same aliens.

That's a great point. I will make an effort to make the strategy of the game obvious. I mention the idea on my website, but it doesn't appear in the game at all. For the next demo, I will make the instructions and goal very clear within the program. It won't be pretty, yet, but it will be there.

Sora_ wrote:I think putting the power meter across the entire bottom would look good on an iPhone but on a pc, I'm not sure. On pcs maybe you can make it as an information panel which displays all the essential information.

I am hesitant to put things on the limited screen space, but for now, power will go across the bottom .

Thanks for your thoughts.

colonycapture wrote:@Jester: I could see the rest, I only took a screenshot of the buggy part, I couldn't see any of the bars/text/numbers so whenever I played I didn't know my health, or how much power I had for example.

I see. I will modify the power meter, and I have already been working on displaying ship damage as sparks; the more sparks you see coming off of the ship, the more damaged it is. Again, I'm trying hard not to add extra things to the screen.

BTW, I have to keep my word. I tried Colony Capture briefly, and will try it more after my holiday is over. Although I saw the tutorial option, I thought it might be a good test to just dive in without playing it:

I stumbled on the goal and interface for perhaps 2 minutes, but eventually figured it out. That's a great sign.

I love the concept of special pieces at the expense of points.

The pick up and placement method for pieces seems a little off to me.

The AI seems good enough to hurt my feelings. ;)

More later!

Thanks!

Nov 29 2013, 3:09am Anchor

@Grim_Jester: Oh my, that was the simplest AI we could code (Looked only one move into the future). Thanks for trying it out, feel free to support the Kickstarter or spread the word if you think the idea is good. And of course if you need help with AI, we're trying to open source the one you said hurt your feelings =).

Will play your game as soon as you put out another build! (If our KS fails by then, I'll do it on my personal account =)

Dec 1 2013, 2:27pm Anchor

Demo 10* is up at my site:

Misterdonovan.com

I have addressed some suggestions made in this forum. If I did not implement your suggestion in this demo, it does not mean that it was ignored. I may not have had time to make the change, or I'm waiting for more feedback to match yours.

As always, your feedback is valued, and the favor will be returned!

*NOTE: Unfortunately, version 10 had to be updated to 10b. The game was accessing pictures from my computer, and therefore, not showing up elsewhere. Sorry! It should work now.

Edited by: Grim_Jester

Dec 5 2013, 3:09am Anchor

I think the game is too hard to begin with - you've got to lure the audience in, by giving them a bit of candy, then make it harder as you go.

Dec 5 2013, 4:00pm Anchor
andreasng wrote:I think the game is too hard to begin with - you've got to lure the audience in, by giving them a bit of candy, then make it harder as you go.

Thanks. I've heard this several times, so I will make an effort to modify the game. For now, I think your first encounter will only have one wave. The next encounter will have two waves. This progression will continue until wave 10, where it will stabilize.

I don't know if you're aware of this, but you have a few ways to make the game easier:

Retreat and redesign your ship.

Destroy the first three waves which makes the remaining waves retreat (providing a bonus).

Use a nuke to destroy all waves and force the aliens to re-design 30% of their traits.

Thanks for your feedback. Can I give you feedback on a project?

Dec 6 2013, 11:24am Anchor

Yeah there are different strategies I see. I'll give it a go again, when you upd. 

And thanks, maybe one day. :moddb:

Dec 6 2013, 2:49pm Anchor

As a space geek there are many things I love about this game:

1) The way the ship moves using retrorockets feels much more realistic than most space based games.
2) The power management system reminds me of some of my favorite space games, 1994's Tie Fighter.  Interplay's Star Trek: 25th Anniversary.  Both had power management you had to share between engines, shields, weapons... and in both individual components could break and need repair.
3) I really like the clean pane, portrait orientation on PC.  For this genre it is perfect.  I don't know if that was a conscious decision, but I like it.
4) I can see there is some real AI logic going on in the background, but haven't played enough to understand how it works.

What I don't love about the game, but I'm sure you'll improve on:

1) The game feels too "laid back".  I'm sure with more levels, and powerups, it will become more fast paced.  However, I feel like it could be a little snappier, fast-paced without sacrificing the retrorocket aspect.
2) The powermanagement and repair system would benefit from a HUD ala Tie Fighter.  So you can see where your sheilds are out, overall power pool, weapons power, etc.
3) It isn't clear to me why your ship obeys the laws of physics in space, but the alien ships still behave like "space invaders" craft.
4) The "r" key is a bit of a stretch on the left hand from the "ctrl" key.  I like games that employ a WASD or ESDF input set for movement, and a d-pad input set for action (or via versa).
5) I hope you have some creative attacks coming in, something more that just the direct fire fodder.  Indirect fire?  Targeting?  Different behavior?

Thanks for letting me play, I'm a big fan of scrolling shooter arcade games!  Twin Cobra and Raiden are among my favorites.

Do you have a mailing list?  If so you can add me if you like: stephen@curtismode.com - I'll test the next version when it is ready.

Dec 8 2013, 12:55pm Anchor
nibel-heim wrote:As a space geek there are many things I love about this game:

1) The way the ship moves using retrorockets feels much more realistic than most space based games.
2) The power management system reminds me of some of my favorite space games, 1994's Tie Fighter.  Interplay's Star Trek: 25th Anniversary.  Both had power management you had to share between engines, shields, weapons... and in both individual components could break and need repair.
3) I really like the clean pane, portrait orientation on PC.  For this genre it is perfect.  I don't know if that was a conscious decision, but I like it.
4) I can see there is some real AI logic going on in the background, but haven't played enough to understand how it works.

1. Thanks. It took a lot of work, and it could use a little more work. People hated it at first.
2. Again, I'm glad that you like it; many people don't. It's for this reason that I'm now advertising my game as a strategic shoot'em up, because the term "shoot'em up", brings up other concepts. I'm trying to tinker with the power structure a little bit more. Adding energy priorities might be the way to go.
3. The orientation is designed to fit the iPhone.
4. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, and you won't see it all until you play it more. For example, there are five different variables that have to be checked off before an alien will fire. These variables change depending on the mutation of the alien. In the final game, these hidden mutations will manifest visually in the design of the ship; I don't know if I, or anyone else, will be able to visually analyze a ship to "read" its schematics.

nibel-heim wrote:What I don't love about the game, but I'm sure you'll improve on:

1) The game feels too "laid back".  I'm sure with more levels, and powerups, it will become more fast paced.  However, I feel like it could be a little snappier, fast-paced without sacrificing the retrorocket aspect.
2) The powermanagement and repair system would benefit from a HUD ala Tie Fighter.  So you can see where your sheilds are out, overall power pool, weapons power, etc.
3) It isn't clear to me why your ship obeys the laws of physics in space, but the alien ships still behave like "space invaders" craft.
4) The "r" key is a bit of a stretch on the left hand from the "ctrl" key.  I like games that employ a WASD or ESDF input set for movement, and a d-pad input set for action (or via versa).
5) I hope you have some creative attacks coming in, something more that just the direct fire fodder.  Indirect fire?  Targeting?  Different behavior?

1. That's interesting. Most people find the game extremely difficult. Perhaps I'm not understanding what you mean by laid back? The ship, and the aliens can be configured to move quickly.
2. I've heard this several times, so clearly I need to do something. I have tried to incorporate shield strength, energy and weapon status on the ship itself. The power bar is to the left of it. The weapon ready light is at the nose, and the shield strength is shown as an outline with variable transparency settings. Do you think a visual help screen would be enough for players to notice, or do I have to go with a HUD? Since this game is meant for the iPhone, I am trying not to take up space on the tiny screen.
3. Because they're freaky aliens with unearthly technologies! If it's any consolation to you, they do have an energy supply, and it can affect whether or not they move at full speed or can fire. This needs to be tweaked. I'm also considering that their weapons diminish in strength just like the player.
4. Got it. Done. I moved it to the Shift key, which is right above the default Ctrl key. All keys can be reassigned by the user with CTRL+Y for now. Since this is meant for the iPhone, I didn't care too much that repairs were hard, but I have a plan to make repair with the keyboard a little easier.
5. There are already guided blasts, shield piercing blasts and explosive blasts. I was considering turreted blasts which would always shoot at the player, but it may be too unfair. I am also considering a "sticky" blast which slows the player, and energy draining blasts. As far as behaviors go, aliens have 6 different movement patterns, and the ability to dodge if it's their special ability.

Thank you for your detailed feedback. It was very helpful. I will create a mailing list and add you to it.

Dec 9 2013, 12:51am Anchor
Dec 16 2013, 12:38am Anchor

Demo 11 of my strategic shoot'em up, It Never Ends, is available for download:

Misterdonovan.com

The same deal as before applies. I will give you feedback on your project if you provide me with a link. In return, I would like feedback for my game.

I apologize for not doing anything about the HUD situation. My task list for this game is daunting.

Aside from any other comments that you may have, I would appreciate answers to the following two questions:

  1. Should I release one demo a month instead of two? I'm afraid that there isn't enough new content to keep people interested.
  2. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the hardest, how difficult is this version of the game?

Thanks!

Dec 21 2013, 1:02am Anchor

I playtested your game and I made a video of it. Currently it's processing right now so be patient a bit. A little warning though, my aim was to be courteous but honest but I ended up blurting my thoughts while I played so it may not be the most positive.

Dec 21 2013, 3:23pm Anchor

Thank you. I always learn from feedback, regardless of tone. I'm kind of sorry that you did a video of this version though. I intend to respond to earlier feedback, and fix the power issues that most people hated. It should be done in eight days.

Allow me to return the favor and review a game for you.

Dec 21 2013, 3:27pm Anchor

Well, if you are not to sensitive to criticism, then here is the video:

Youtube.com

At the moment, the only game that needs playtesting is on XBLIG, so unless you have an APP HUB membership or at the very minimum XNA game studio installed on a XBox 360, then I don't have any game for you to playtest.

Dec 22 2013, 1:03am Anchor

Toolkitz, I'm sorry, but I don't have the necessary tools to test your game. I took a look at the text, screen shots, and video so far though. I don't have an opinion on it yet except for this: The Wild West setting isn't used much, so I consider that a plus. The game play reminds me a tiny bit of an old C64 game called Forbidden Forest, which I enjoyed.

Thanks for your video review. As I expected, it was very informative.

I will answer a few questions from the video:

You were running out of power because you didn't increase the generator and battery stats. This is not your fault though, and most people found this extremely frustrating. In the next demo, your ship will be fully powered until it is damaged.

The interface problems stem largely from the game's target format (iPhone). So, I set up the game for use with the keyboard, and allowed the controls to be modified with MMF2's default CTRL+Y. Unfortunately, the repair function must make use of the mouse. On the iPhone, I want the user to select the part to repair by shaking the device and then simply tapping it. Hmmm, now that I think about it, I could switch all controls to the mouse....

I see that you were frustrated by reading the instructions. At some point, I'm going to have to add in game instructions to allow for your approach to gaming. This is the most important thing that I learned from your video. Unfortunately, it will have to wait a few weeks since I have more things on my list that need to be done first.

Thanks again.

Dec 22 2013, 2:05am Anchor
Grim_Jester wrote:Toolkitz, I'm sorry, but I don't have the necessary tools to test your game. I took a look at the text, screen shots, and video so far though. I don't have an opinion on it yet except for this: The Wild West setting isn't used much, so I consider that a plus. The game play reminds me a tiny bit of an old C64 game called Forbidden Forest, which I enjoyed.

Hold on there, that's a different game. The game I'm referring to has nothing to do with that one. Though thank you for the kind words about it.

As for the topic at hand, I guess I should've read the post before. I didn't know it was going to be for an iPhone. Had I known that, I guess my position on the game would've changed. Besides that, I'm glad the video helped you out. And yes, please change the way to instruct the player. I hate it when I have to read a wall of text, as many others.

Dec 26 2013, 5:30am Anchor

I've tried the new version, and I have to tell that these modification really improved the game. This was the first time when I felt like I'm really playing a game and having fun, not just testing it.

I think introducing special abilities was a good idea, and made the game easier and more playable. I don't know if you've modified the hints (when upgrading the ship) or it was only the black background, but it seemed clearer and more helpful.

This was also the first time when I could observe the aliens, because I wasn't paying all my attention to survive, and they seemed pretty interesting.

In my opinion you should make the two starting screens (and maybe the upgrading screen) a bit more user-friendly. I know graphics isn't your priority, but as the game reached the point where it's really fun to play, I think these screens are what may discourage people playing it.

Dec 26 2013, 12:14pm Anchor

Thanks, Sora. Your review is both comforting and worrisome. I've just finished changing the game to meet the demands of feedback. Since most people didn't like power management, I removed it. Besides removing the generator and battery, I also simplified shields. I'm currently making sure that damage locations and repairs work correctly to reflect the new changes. I have very mixed feelings about doing this, because it's breaking from my original vision of the game, but I am determined to be successful, so I'm listening to the majority of play testers and changing the game to suit them.

I'm glad that you've noticed how the aliens act. A large part of the game is meant to be devoted to "alien analysis," where the player figures out what the current set of aliens can do, how they move, and how they react to the player. I intend to add more options to the aliens once the main framework of the game is set.

I will make the text heavy screens clearer at the very least. I also plan to add in-game hints for people who don't want to read the instructions, but that's a long way off.

Thanks for the review!

Demo 12 is now available. Although there were many changes listed on my site, the biggest change is the removal of the energy system. People hated energy management, so it's gone. The end result has made the game easier.
 
So, naturally, I had to give the aliens a boost.

Naturally, this most likely means that I ruined whatever game balance I had worked on before.

Help? I need to know how difficult the game is. Remember your special ability choices. Worse comes to worse, you can use a nuke to wipe them all out and force them to mutate. The other specials have been modified as well.... oh, and there's a repair bot now too.

Misterdonovan.com

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to clean up the text screens. I tried, but the resolution is making things difficult. I tried using in game text, and graphics, but it all looks the same: horrible. Remember, this is meant for the iPhone, so I hope that explains my problem.

Thanks for reading, and remember, if you're looking for someone to test your game, just let me know.

Edited by: Grim_Jester

Dec 29 2013, 5:30pm Anchor

Sounds cool but ExE's aren't compatible with macs so I can't play it :(

Maybe you could host it on a free wordpress site or something?

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