Calm Before the Storm


There are only 10 days left until our final class and only 3 left until you need to have something to show some progress. As per usual, please put your prototype into the comments section below before class starts on Nov. 29. Along with your prototype please put a bit of description about the things you are working on and at least one thing you would like feedback on.

I will be handing out a rubric dealing with how I will grade your prototypes during class so please be there so you can get one and ask questions.

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60 Responses to Calm Before the Storm

  1. Andrew says:

    Hey guys, here’s what I have so far for my final:

    A/D moves and W jumps. The goal is to stay alive as long as possible while gathering gems on the way down the rabbit hole. The song playing in the background will say “Alice” several times. When this happens, the platforms will warn you by changing purple, and then quickly change red. If you are standing on a platform when this happens, you lose.

    Not a lot of change is noticeable on the outside, as I’ve spent my time converting most all of the logic in the game from drag-and-drop events to code. The big fix that took a while was getting the platforming logic to work correctly. Alice shouldn’t get stuck in moving platforms or be unable to move anymore, which was a major issue (she occasionally bounces though).

    Aside from rewriting the game in code to make things work better and faster, I added a small bonus item. Every few seconds, a gem will fly past you, and grabbing the gem will earn you extra points. It’s basic, but it does give the player something to do while waiting to avoid the flashing platforms whenever the song lyrics say “Alice”.

    I would like some advice on how that feels, whether or not it’s not enough, if it’s too predictable, or if there are more things that should be added. I envisioned that there could be enemies that fly up to avoid, as well as other items that could (for instance) grant you immunity from the platforms for a short amount of time, or falling at a slower pace.

    For this week though, my major focus was getting the engine coding down. Now that it’s done, I can work on the fun stuff, such as adding in more items and changing the sprites.

    • Carrie Sullivan says:

      More jewels would be nice. They’re very difficult to get, since they’re also moving upwards. It is a lot more fun with the addition of the jewels.

    • AJ Paradowski says:

      The game was fine enough, only real problem I had was when Alice would just keep jumping while standing on a platform, made navigation a bit difficult. Also at one point I was unable to move off of one platform due to another one being next to me above head height, so I guess check your hit box to see how it matches up to her actual size? Other than that the game works as intended! The addition of more items and sprites will definitely help

      • Kenneth Marshall says:

        Also a visible score during the game would be nice. I don’t know if the gems are worth it if it means a leap of faith if I don’t know how many points I’m getting vs just staying alive.

    • hikari18 says:

      I had a hard time getting jewels, seemed like they where moving to fast for me to get them.

    • My biggest issue was every once in a while the game glitches when you land on a platform and you can’t jump. This isn’t an issue at first, but later on when “alice” is said multiple times, it’s impossible to move to another platform instead of jumping. In my opinion, fixing your mechanics should be priority #1. I also found that because you can’t jump across the screen, the gems were more disappointing than helpful as I couldn’t reach most of them if I saw it flying by on the right side of the screen while I was on a platform to the left. Finally I found that around 45 seconds into the game, a lot of the platforms spawned more than halfway into the right side wall. I’m not sure if this was on purpose or not, but it left few options other than dropping multiple times, which becomes boring.

    • Jacob Naasz says:

      I would say it needs a bit more. In it’s current state there isn’t a whole lot that grabs my attention or makes me want to come back. The gem added something so think more along the lines of that stuff.

      I would also take another look at the scene where Alice is falling down the hole and use that as inspiration to add to what you have. What could you make your platforms besides just blocks? Could you do other things like turn out the lights?

    • I agree that the gems are a nice touch. Adding a couple more things to avoid and/or try to pick up might be fun, as well, as long as you don’t get too carried away with them.

    • azninvader says:

      Currently this game doesn’t have a lot to it. The Alice mechanic is an interesting twist, but there’s not much to do besides jumping on platforms. Some player feedback on the gems would be nice as well, because if I just start playing the game I have no clue as to what the gems do.

      • azninvader says:

        It’d be really cool if some of your platforms had some sort of reaction to them (i.e. a bed that bounces you up if you land on it).

  2. Here’s my progress: I’m slowly turning it into a tower defense game, if you’re not able to tell from this.

    Up until now, I’ve mostly been working on getting the basic defense to function properly after adding health and damage to everything. I ended up with a lot of bugs to iron out, but think I have a good groundwork set up for adding additional defense and enemy types. The current level is a bit lame, to be honest with myself, but considering the trouble I was having, I’m still kinda excited about it. Next up is enemies who power over/through this barricade, as well as a couple different defenses to keep these new guys from overpowering you. The brunt of the challenge should be from adjusting all the numbers so I can set up scenarios it’s actually possible to win. And then art, of course.

    One thing I’d like feedback on is how navigating the play field feels. Is the cursor awkward to use? Is it too faint? I know the UI is outdated now, but is it easy to read? Stuff like that would be great, as I’ve stared at it for so long that I don’t notice such things anymore.

    • AJ Paradowski says:

      As far as navigating the field goes I didn’t have any trouble. It was easy to move the mouse and get my cursor where I wanted it to go so I think you have that down just fine. The UI was easy to read, the only additional things I would like to see is, if you want, an enemy countdown to let you know how many enemies are left to defend against and maybe a way to see how much health the barricades have while in combat. If you plan on adding that with art later then disregard that last comment! Other than that the only gameplay tweak I would suggest is maybe not getting more barricades when you stop somebody? I think I finished with 7+ barricades so that made the test level a not as intense. But then again, it is a test level… All in all I think you have everything down how it should be. The minor tweaks you plan on doing should take care of my comments!

    • The cursor feels fine, as for gameplay, I feel like I was given too many barriers and never had to worry about if something wasn’t walled off. I would personally cut down the time it takes to get a new barrier by half. The UI is easy read.

    • hikari18 says:

      Cursor wasn’t awkward at all for me. It wasn’t too faint either. It was pretty easy, but I just assumed that was because it was the first level/stage.

    • Carrie Sullivan says:

      I think navigation of the playing field/the UI are both very good. The game is fun, although once I figured out you could place more barricades after the game started, it became way too easy…it sounds like you have some good ideas on how you can make it more challenging, though (you might want to decrease the number of barricades you can place, too, though).

    • Kenneth Marshall says:

      Navigating the field feels fine, but I feel like I’m not doing it enough. I know you said you are going to add more barriers and soldiers, but currently the game is just too easy. I have no idea how the navigation feels under stress and if it will become the difference of me winning the game and swearing like a sailor because the cursor wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

    • Jacob Naasz says:

      Your barriers need damage states. I can’t tell when I’m about to lose one unless I’m watching it very closely.

      Do you plan on having any indication of when the battle has been prevented? If you had one in the game I didn’t notice it and it needs to be more recognizable.

      I don’t want to change the game on you at the last minute but it would be cool if there were guys pathing from both sides instead of just one that you had to worry about rather than keeping everyone from the same area. I think it would allow for some interesting things to occur especially if barriers pushed the fighters or altered their course. Again though, just a thought that would be fun.

      • Jacob Naasz says:

        Also, you mouse stuff does feel a bit clunky but it might be solved if you had the square highlight update a it faster or have it be a little more loose.

    • azninvader says:

      The biggest complaint I have is the lack of feedback. I don’t know when the game is ending and I don’t know when the barricades are going to break. I also did not realize that I received more barricades later in the game.

    • Roman Hunt says:

      The UI’s fine. The biggest issues with the game are that having your barricade count regenerate over time makes it far too easy and that chokepoints make it obvious where the best spots are to place barricades. Rework your level layout and adjust the barrier count system.

      Looks good, otherwise.

  3. azninvader says:

    Here is my game,

    Same thing with having multiple people to play, and I deliberately did not tel the player the controls.

    It’s mostly the same thing as the previous version. The only things I did differently was that it has a random room choice now and the controls are semi-random (excluding the joust game).

    I’m planning to add some extra games and cleaning up the games I have now (the joust game comes to mind). Adding nicer art and sound is also on the menu. Also a start screen and some instructions would probably be a plus.

    I would like some feedback on the entertainment value of scrambling to find your keys. It’s hard to be impartial when you know the sets of keys. Also, some recommendations for some types of multiplayer games would be nice. Also, knowing if the key sets seem fair/fun would be nice as well.

    • I think that the changing of keys would be very entertaining and chaotic which is what you seem to be going for. An idea would be to have the keys random so that players couldn’t learn the patterns no matter how many games they played. Great idea and I’m looking forward to playing the finished version.

      • Carrie Sullivan says:

        Honestly, this game frustrates me. I can’t figure out any of the controls. But I’m probably not your target audience, so I wouldn’t worry about my opinion too much ^_^;;

      • Kenneth Marshall says:

        A few problem with the idea of not telling the player the keys is that:

        1. With the short amount of time the player has to find the keys can lead to frustration at the game instead of entertainment (The Pong one for example)
        2. (I’m guessing since I’m playing alone) Having to fight over the keyboard can make you just a tiny bit furious with the person your playing with.
        3. After the player learns the controls, the gimmick is gone.

        I would suggest a fix to these problems as

        1. Not have the game start until at least one of the keys used in the game is pressed. Though this would make it luck based and the first person to find his keys would most likely win.
        2. Always have the keys that the player would use on their side of the keyboard. Have a split down the “IKM” part of the keyboard. (Cont. in next post of mine)

    • I think it’d be awesome to randomly choose your keys. I’m still unsure on what the games other than the jousting game are supposed to accomplish, I’d like a little explanation (like wario ware) where you get the gist of what you’re supposed to do, but not giving the players the answer.

    • hikari18 says:

      I liked the idea of not knowing the keys. I think it would be fun to watch two people fighting over the keyboard to figure out how to move their own player and not the other person’s. (this is just me, but I kept pressing so many that when something did move, I still didn’t know the keys lol).

    • azninvader says:

      My game freaked out when I uploaded it. i will resend it to the server after I fix it. If you would spend the time later to provide feedback I would really appreciate it.

    • Jacob Naasz says:

      I had a hard time finding the keys so some kind of hint might be nice, especially for the games where time is a factor (like Pong).

      I want more lives! If I only play until someone wins 3 games that’s LAAAAAME. Give me something like 10 so I can get a chance to beat the guy who beat me back.

    • Kenneth Marshall says:

      (Cont) Player one uses all the the keys on the left side of the keyboard while player two uses the right side/num pad.

      3. If there is anyway to randomize the keys for the same room, it would keep the same appeal. If there isn’t, and since you have random room generator on apperently, you could make multiple copies of the same room, but each of the copied rooms have a different key binding then all the rest.

  4. Lindsay says:

    I didn’t Do ANY Coding over my sleeping holiday. But I did change some of the art but I can’t put it inside of the game yet, because it would be all wonky. So I’ll post the images, and the old game. Art inspired by tap hero. I didn’t make the silhouettes in the background.

    New Background:
    Background of the new icons:

    Game I am redoing (haven’t change anything in the coding… though i think “most” of mine is changing art and adding more levels, instead of actual new code)

    • hikari18 says:

      asldjslad This didn’t show up earlier so I posted another post later (which is after i read the entire post). So Please ignore this one and go read the one below. ^-^

    • AJ Paradowski says:

      As simple as this game is, I really enjoyed it! Even without sound it was entertaining, especially with the ABC level screwing up the flow one the keys (ie arrows and numbers were all lined up next to each other). Not much else to say here!

    • I would make the levels faster paced. the arrows more so slow it’s boring. The keys are also very confusing. I’m not sure if that was intended or not, but finding the keys, then finding out what key shot what confused me and was the reason I lost, getting keys ntv and not saying which color n t and v belonged to is an issue. At first when it was “shoot everything” it wasn’t a problem, I could just press them all a few times and I’d be fine, but once it got to 1 wrong shot and you lose, it’s aggravating to lose because I don’t know the controls.

    • Roman Hunt says:

      Additions so far:
      -Upgrade system: Defeating enemies now grants experience points, which can be spent on upgrades in between levels. Available upgrades include Damage Resistance, Health Regeneration, and increased Speed. Each upgrade has three ranks that can be purchased.
      -Basic utility features: Press P to pause the game; press R to revert to the title screen.
      -Objectives: The objective and current progress for each level is now shown.

      Goals for the final version:
      -Tweak difficulty balance.
      -Adjust shape and color of player ship sprite to make it more visible and have a better hitbox.
      -Add one level at the end for each of the two branches. Strongly leaning toward creating a pair of bosses rather than conventional levels. Story slides will also be added.

      • azninvader says:

        So I have a problem with how large the hit area for the ship is. I do not know if you did this on purpose, but it was kinda frustrating to dodge bullets when your ship is as large as it is. Also, the ship feels way too slow for the first boss battle, even with the upgrade. I would like it if the game had a better sense of speed, everything seems to be moving kinda slow. The lasers, the ship, and the meteors move kinda slowly (or at least it feels like they do).

      • tubocass says:

        Is there going to be any upgrade options for weapons? Maybe bombs, or split lasers, that sort of thing.
        The thing I notice in a lot of your games is the big blocks of text. Making those more bite-sized would increase the chance that I actually read it. But I do like the thought put into story.

  5. The game I am making for the final is a mobile version of my Prototype 3:

    On the new version I have added in the correct screen sizes for most mobile devices and have also added in some basic touch features for platform movement. I am working on how to create objects in the game by using the touch features but have been unsuccessful so far. I also want to add in a slider bar at the bottom of the game that will allow the player to manipulate time in some way. I am not sure exactly how to do some of these things yet so my backup plan will be the regular touch platform controls.

    Here is the start of the mobile game:

    The basic touch controls can be used but the player can’t create anything yet to get to the level goals so it is not really a game yet. I thought I would just put the link up so you could see that I have made some progress on making the game mobile.

    • AJ Paradowski says:

      I was hoping you’d pick this one to expand on and it looks like you’re going in the right direction. Have you looked up AngleAt() from the Touch plugin? Depending on how many objects you plan on having you could essentially “trick” the player into drawing something as long as their finger ends at a different angle from where they started every time. If that doesn’t make sense then just ask, I feel like I can explain it better in person…

    • tubocass says:

      Time manipulation would be cool to work in. Creating block that are more than platforms would be another idea.

  6. tubocass says:

    Wasd to move, left and right click for bombs. Guide the green dot to the blue area.
    Right now I’m working on getting the enemies to have some kind of patrol and shoot ai, possibly using a similar consume mechanic. I would also like to have the level set-up with some kind of obvious purpose for the player, including multiple prisoners to free.

  7. Moving abilities increase as you progress, WAS like normal. Level 5 gives you a projectile that doesn’t do anything yet, just a proof of concept

  8. sefonty says:

    I took out limited moves; I’ll be adding a scoring system based on how many seeds the players puts down per level. The fewer seeds placed, the higher the score.

    I mainly worked on getting rid of the major kinks when it came to movement like seeds being placed beyond walls and the hamster not getting to them. Now, the player just bumps against the walls and the seed disappears. The seed can still be placed off the side sometimes, but it doesn’t seem to break the moving mechanic. Just tell me if movement is adequate enough to play through each level without it being too much of a headache.

    I also added some sounds and background music, redesigned the colored panels, and added a grid.

    Next, I’ll be adding narrative elements, in-game instructions/tips, scoring screens, more levels, and a level selection screen.

    Click to move
    1,2,3,4,5: Switch between levels
    R: Restart room

    • I think it’d be interesting if you added in the ability to place multiple seeds to create a path instead of the stop and go it’s at right now.

    • AJ Paradowski says:

      Only complaint I have is the placing of the seeds seems a bit off at times from where my cursor is. I guess if you made the grid more visible it would be harder to have that happen? Other than that I like the presentation, layouts and introduction of how the powerups work.

    • tubocass says:

      I also think a path generation system would be cool. The different adjustments to speed are a cool way to change up the pace of the game and the way I play.

  9. Brentt Kasmiskie says:

    Here it is, Also I’m not in class because I’m sick. This version is a bit old, the current one has more changes, but isn’t working well enough for me to want show yet. The finished version should be cool though.

  10. Zach Barnes says:

    not too much to show off at the moment, but here’s what I have

    right now all you can do is build soldiers and select/move them. I’d like to know what you think of the layout thus far (think mobile). My path finding isn’t in yet, so troops clumping together will be fixed along with spawning troops on top of each other.

  11. Carrie Sullivan says:

    This is the link. Remember to download & extract.
    Worked up to the last minute again ^_^;; I’ll write a description when I get to class in a few minutes.

    • Carrie Sullivan says:

      You’ll notice that there’s no in game tutorials/instructions for anything, and if you choose “Play in Japanese” there aren’t any translations in the dictionary.

      Oh yeah…this is actually my “consume” game. You’ll notice it’s now an educational game…teaching Japanese…which I’ll be using for my capstone project next semester…

      So mostly, I translated the commands into Japanese.You can still use English commands by selecting English in the beginning of the game, which I highly reccomend at this point.

      I added a minigame and an interaction with a couple of NPC’s in an elevator. You can go directly to either one by selecting this in the table of contents that I added to the beginning of the game. I suggest playing the minigame first. Type in directions to play a DDR type game–in English the commands are left, up, down, right. In Japanese: hidari, ue, shita, migi (if you want to try it, select Japanese when opening the game).

      This needs…a lot of stuff done to it. Some of the commands don’t actually make sense in Japanese. One command doesn’t make sense in either language, which inspired my new working title: Jisho o Taberu (Eat the Dictionary).

      I was also planning on making a room where you could play the minigame, use the yoyo you win as a prize to hit a button which get’s the elevator unstuck, which takes you to the elevator scene…so that it’s actually integrated with the game.

      Feedback: What do you guys think of this as a game to teach a foreign language? What if you could speak the commands instead of typing them? Who do you think my target audience for this type of game should be (I’m thinking high school girls-more specifically anime/Japanese gaming fans-currently…)

      • Carrie Sullivan says:

        Click or press enter to advance diagog boxes. Also, you can skip a room by pressing F2, but try not to do this too much, because in some cases you’ll end up somewhere weird…

      • I think it’s a neat idea, especially if you can get the speaking part working correctly. If you keep the sort of point-and-click adventure/mystery game feel, I’d imagine a lot of people would find it appealing.

      • hikari18 says:

        I would love to play a game like this to learn a foreign language. I remember trying to find games that would help me learn either Japanese or Korean. I think your audience could be anyone learning Japanese, because it would be more interesting then looking at a text book.

      • Carrie Sullivan says:

        Actually, I’d like to know this too: Did you guys get the-2 movie references-in the elevator part of the game? For one of them, you will need the sound on (hint, hint). Seriously, I’d like to know. I kind of expect that these might be a bit old for some people, but they’re classics.

  12. hikari18 says:

    I only have art to show this week, but I’ll only share the background.

    But I’m working on trying to get the rules to change every 30secs in a song, and not play only 30secs of a song. At the end of the song it will display the players score. Instead of having the 30sec stages it is going to be full songs (if I get it to work) so 20 levels is impossible.

    Does the full song and the rules change every 30 secs with a short period during the song so the player can remember the new rules sound better than having 30seconds of a song then going on to the next level.

    Also, going to add a menu where the player can select a level and play it. I’m not sure if I’ll make the menu showing Level X or showing the title of the song. Opinions on this would be very appreciated too.

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