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#1 Edited by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -

Hey duders I am a second year student at university in England studying game development and I just finished my very first complete, and IMO good, game. 
 
I made the entire thing myself, the music, the gameplay, the art, everything. It is a platformer based around the concept that the world is covered in ice, and so it is slippy.  
 
I'd greatly appreciate any feedback and plays of the game. I am currently trying to get it on various flash gaming websites so until it is then you can play/download it here - 
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23158716/Ice.swf 
 
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy yourself.

#2 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

What sorta game is it?

#3 Posted by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -

A pretty simple platformer, you run, jump. that's it really

#4 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I'd be into this way more if the controls were just arrow keys, I greatly prefer up to jump in PC 2D platformers. But it's super basic so whatever.

Couple real criticisms: better to oversell an obstacle than to undersell it: the hitbox for the spikes is significantly larger than the spikes appear to be. That can get a little annoying. More than a little on the longer tougher bits when you should have been clear but then have to make it back up to that point again. Seriously, I'm about to just stop because this jump over three spikes in a row keeps ending with me way off from the spikes and somehow hitting them.

And I always thought variable jump height in platformers, especially ones that didn't make use of it for gameplay in a real way, to be obnoxious as all hell. I don't want to have to hold a button just for the sake of it, I want to jump. That's it.

And a lot of the levels start out with you just rolling off of an edge immediately, which gets in the way of the atmosphere when half of the levels start with you just promptly plunging to your death.

Maybe not so much with the just doing the same jump 5 times, than doing that again two more times just to make a level artificially hard?

Beyond that, the music is really good. I like the way it builds and it does a good job at setting a tone for the game, which would otherwise seem pretty whimsical rather than foreboding. The text does a good job of that too, and I liked that it was lain out throughout the levels. I had a bit of fun with it, but got so frustrated with an overly repetitive level with an obnoxious jump over spikes at the very end that I don't think I'll finish it. Good work though, a billion times better than anything I could ever make.

#5 Posted by stonepawfox (236 posts) -

It's a fun little game and unfortunately I'm at work and can't hear the music, but I played the entire thing. I'll give you some constructive feedback; as someone who has taken a fair amount of CS and made half hearted attempts at programming games I wouldn't take me too seriously though :)

It's cool that you made everything yourself, and since it's a basic game with a basic premise I think the graphics are fine, when you're working with the theme of "ice" it's tough to avoid having a buncha blue blocks but you varied it up enough. The narrative is trying to create this sort of mysterious tone, I feel bad saying it but it's like an indie game story template of wondering why we're doing what we're doing. I know that the character is weakened without the sun, so I guess I am interested to see his relation to the sun and why the ice covers everything. I thought the text on the background was used fairly well, liked how as you progressed up some jumps you'd see more words.

Anyhow, gameplay: This game is really easy, which isn't a bad thing really, it's more a testament to the fact that I really like your character movement and air control. The problem is the air control makes the game wicked easy, to the point where the ice prettymuch never affected my movement and I forgot it was there. I just ran and jumped without letting off the buttons nearly the whole way through, so didn't slip much. As it is the core of your theme, I would like to see the ice physics center stage, with some creative ways to make players integrate slipping or combat slipping in their gameplay. I thought when the story said the sun was melting the ice we'd get some interesting watery mechanics as well as ice, so that would have been cool to see.

Overall it was a fun little game, I would definitely say this is like a tutorial set of levels, if you were to expand on this game, like if you wanted to continue it, you could start with this part and then ramp it up from there. I wasn't sure if you were trying to make it more focused on the story or focused on platforming action, but it could easily become a story driven and visually interesting game or maybe more of a hardcore platformer. Maybe both if you had a challenge mode or something. I'd love to see both aspects fleshed out.

Great first effort for a game dude! Keep on making them, I really did like this and can see you have the ability to do more.

as a side note, I was thinking while playing it - has there ever been a game mechanic where you are on icy terrain and you get a score multiplier/bonus based on how little you hold the arrow keys and how much you let the natural slippiness of the ice propel you forward, only jumping and moving when necessary? It's like a least input score attack thing. Maybe it's been done before but I thought that would have been interesting

#6 Edited by CptBedlam (4453 posts) -

Played through it ... there was nothing at the end. -_-

I like the controls, could've done without the slightly pretentious indiegame messages. You're trying too hard to be Limbo. :P

#7 Posted by James_Giant_Peach (751 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

And I always thought variable jump height in platformers, especially ones that didn't make use of it for gameplay in a real way, to be obnoxious as all hell. I don't want to have to hold a button just for the sake of it, I want to jump. That's it.

So you find almost every platformer ever made to be obnoxious as hell?

#8 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

I'll try this out when I get home from work.

#9 Posted by Humanity (9373 posts) -

I also completed it.

At first the super fast sliding of the ice annoyed me but then I got used to it.

As it was mentioned, the spike hit box is huge and sometimes I'd die from just walking near it.

Theres nearly three seperate places where you're "almost there" only to be faced with another ardous climb.

Fuck single block jumps with super slippery movement.

At times it really reminded me of "The Impossible Game" for the rythmic jumping onto blocks.

Not giving the game any sort of ending is really really shitty, at least give a block of txt saying he found happiness in the sun or whatever.

If possible it would be really neat if you could add a Megaman type of wall slide - you know you press towards the wall or block and you'll slowly slide down the side and can jump in the opposite direction?

Also it would be cool if you could add some scrolling background art with a forest or ice mountains, whatever, sometimes it's just white.

Neat little game, certainly tons better than other sophmore debuts I've seen.

#10 Posted by Yummylee (21748 posts) -

I didn't complete it. I got up to what I think was the final stage, but it went on for far too long, and it was maddeningly frustrating because of all the small single block jumps you had to make. I've never liked using arrow keys for platformers, so there was little chance I wouldn't of found it frustrating frankly. Music was eerie and foreboding, and it's still impressive that you done it all yourself... but by the end I was shouting out expletives after every failed jump or accidental slide into the spikes so I decided to quit.

Good on ya all the same... even if I was cursing you indirectly a few minutes ago ;P

Online
#11 Posted by matthias2437 (985 posts) -

I really dug this, very good job for your first game.

I do agree though that the hit box on the spikes is a little ridiculous, but outside of that I loved the atmosphere, your characters thoughts in the sky, controlls. Awesome job.

P.S. I am making a side scrolling platformer as well right now, it is harder than I think most people actually think it is. To make a good one at least.

#12 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

One thing I forgot to mention, I think the game would be significantly improved if you could make it one big scrolling level, with checkpoints rather than entirely new screens. Just because the levels seem to be built to fit together.

@James_Giant_Peach said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

And I always thought variable jump height in platformers, especially ones that didn't make use of it for gameplay in a real way, to be obnoxious as all hell. I don't want to have to hold a button just for the sake of it, I want to jump. That's it.

So you find almost every platformer ever made to be obnoxious as hell?

Pretty much. I just don't get why it's in there. Why am I holding a button when every time I jump I want to jump full height anyway? I don't mind it when games use it like super meat boy though, where you absolutely have to jump less because you'll get splattered to pieces. In this game especially when 90% of jumps seem to require more than the tap jump and there was a pretty big gap between the lowest and highest jumps.

#13 Posted by duggshammer (158 posts) -

I liked it, played it through. I think it would be interesting to have the background change throughout the game to show your progress up the slopes.

#14 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

I gave up at the point you have to do the consecutive single block jumps. Your game is super buggy, to the detriment of playability. Suggestion: don't scale the game to the user's window, because that eats up a lot of resources.

#15 Posted by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -

Thanks for the feedback so far, the spikes seem to be a constant problem for me, the hitbox is a bitch to get correct. As for the people giving up, what is it that made you give up? was it too hard or just more unfair? I'm genuinely interested because I found it hard to strike the right balance between providing a challenge and letting you experience the plot and atmosphere.  
 
Again, thanks for the feedback and comments, it's nice to see it's not completely terrible!

#16 Posted by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -
@HaltIamReptar: What bugs did you find? 
#17 Posted by Danteveli (1187 posts) -

Not bad game nut maybe it tries too hard to be like Limbo. I enjoyed all that jumping .

#18 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

@Tamaster92: If I jumped and hit a corner of a block, sometimes the dude would be stuck in the jump animation for about ten seconds. Also, as I said before, the huge huge screen eats up an unnecessary amount of resources. I have a midrange gaming PC and I was getting 5-10fps most of the time.

#19 Posted by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -
@HaltIamReptar: OK thanks, I hadn't seen that bug before so I'll have to go have a look, as for the 'huge huge screen' I'm not sure I understand, it should only ever be the size of the browser screen unless you download it and force it to a higher resolution.
#20 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

@Tamaster92: What I'm saying is, it might be a better idea to have a set resolution rather than a scaled resolution, because then it would run more optimized.

Also, why I gave up: the controls were a tad too slippery for me, making the game very difficult. I'm not really saying that as a critique because I feel that may be a taste thing.

#21 Posted by Jimbo (9819 posts) -

Up arrow should be jump, imo.

And change the name to Mega Mega White Thing.

#22 Posted by myketuna (1709 posts) -

I played through. Too much use of words in the background. I think a "less is more" approach would help that out. Use the words sparingly. The whole ice thing makes it difficult to read since I was concentrating on not falling during most of the game. Not to say the words should be limited to the intermission sections, but during a "level" one sentence in the back I could read quickly would be better than a bunch. Other than that, I remember why I hate ice so much. That's not a detriment to the game (the name is ICE after all), but dealing with the slippery stuff takes some getting used to.

#23 Posted by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -
@HaltIamReptar I see exactly what you mean by scaling now thanks, I never thought if that but it's a simple fix, I'll get right on it
#24 Posted by stonepawfox (236 posts) -

am I the only one who found it really easy? the amount of midair control you get is sufficient to overshoot the jump by a mile and still have time to hold back and land on your destination block. the single block jumps weren't bad at all because of it. the game was like 5 minutes long, i didn't have any challenging parts at all....maybe it's just because i am used to using arrow keys for platformers though. weird, i thought it was not frustrating at all for being all ice gameplay.

#25 Edited by themangalist (1737 posts) -

Yup played it. Congrats for making your first game!

That being said, here's my thoughts.

1. Not expecting this to be the next portal or super meat boy, so if the premise here is being slippery, it's fine. But the climbing levels are tedious and no checkpoints is kinda bad. I'm not great at platformers, but it frustrates me especially when controls are not precise. Now you can understand why no one really hit it big with a platformer that sells itself being a "slippery platformer". People would just blame you for bad controls.

2. You probably played Tower of Heaven, and that shit's not easy. But despite it being hell I went through it to see the story/narrative. ICE has ummm... too many lines of text on screen, without reaching any kind of conclusion whatsoever. It's more like random thoughts as you go along. Not a great narrative.

3. The story doesn't have make sense if the mood is set well. I think your music is fantastic. Too bad the art needs to be more consistent, at least have a background to give a sense of world. No matter how shitty the game is, as long as it looks pretty, I don't mind having to go through the game.

4. Reminds me of Knytt. My favourite indie game of all time. That's a huge plus. But as I said in 3, i had to put in a lot of imagination to make myself enjoy ICE.

But good start. Hope you will make more awesome games in the future!

#26 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

For a completely positive note, I would also like to add to the chorus of praise for your music. Well done!

#27 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Tamaster92 said:

Thanks for the feedback so far, the spikes seem to be a constant problem for me, the hitbox is a bitch to get correct. As for the people giving up, what is it that made you give up? was it too hard or just more unfair? I'm genuinely interested because I found it hard to strike the right balance between providing a challenge and letting you experience the plot and atmosphere. Again, thanks for the feedback and comments, it's nice to see it's not completely terrible!

Hitboxes seem to be a big issue for a lot of people, I wonder why that is.

Also, I forgot to mention that one of the times I landed on some spikes, they just disappeared, I forget where it was, but that happened.

#28 Posted by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -

Thanks for the praise for my music, it probably stands out because I've been making music for a while so I'm much more practised at that.

Some great feedback so far which will really help with my next game so thank you all very much, I'm glad I could give you even 10 seconds of enjoyment. It what makes me excited about making games

#29 Posted by kermoosh (911 posts) -

i had some friends who made their first games back in high school. your product is great for a first game. other than the spikes hit boxes, you seem to have gotten the code down with the gravity, sliding, etc.

now i didn't finish it cus i had to go to class but the text in the background was a nice touch that separated it from the many other platformers out there

#30 Posted by Indiana_Jenkins (390 posts) -

It's great for your first game.

I have pretty much the same feedback to offer as everyone else. Spike hit boxes need some tuning. Music is great.

But I also found that the game has a difficulty spike on the screen right before you feel empowered by the sun. That may be by design though, because after that the difficulty tapers off a bit and I actually felt powerful going through the next screens.

#31 Posted by JakeLogan (221 posts) -

Looks like we broke it

#32 Edited by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -
@JakeLogan: Indeed, I'm quite proud. between here and Reddit i got over 500 downloads in about 3 hours. I'm in the process of uploading the soundtrack to Bandcamp and will post the link if anyone is interested.
 
Also any suggestions for new hosting?
#33 Posted by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -

Also here's a link to download the soundtrack if you enjoyed it

http://edenmusik.bandcamp.com/album/ice-soundtrack

#34 Edited by h0lgr (908 posts) -
@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Tamaster92 said:

Thanks for the feedback so far, the spikes seem to be a constant problem for me, the hitbox is a bitch to get correct. As for the people giving up, what is it that made you give up? was it too hard or just more unfair? I'm genuinely interested because I found it hard to strike the right balance between providing a challenge and letting you experience the plot and atmosphere. Again, thanks for the feedback and comments, it's nice to see it's not completely terrible!

Hitboxes seem to be a big issue for a lot of people, I wonder why that is.

Also, I forgot to mention that one of the times I landed on some spikes, they just disappeared, I forget where it was, but that happened.

Hitboxes are motherfucking cocksuckers in Flash, because the simplest and best way to track is it to let the code draw squares around your movieclips (objects) which creates problems when you need to use round objects like spheres and dudes who might extend an arm in the middle of an animation and thus sizing up the hitboxing square. It's really fucked up.
 
There are more ways to do it but like he says, they are a bitch to code.
#35 Posted by Still_I_Cry (2494 posts) -

@Tamaster92: Stop generating so much damn traffic you're clogging up the interwebs!

#36 Posted by jozzy (2042 posts) -

@Still_I_Cry said:

@Tamaster92: Stop generating so much damn traffic you're clogging up the interwebs!

Yup, wanted to give it a whirl but couldn't :(

#37 Posted by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -
@jozzy sorry guys! Im currently away from the PC but will update this post tomorrow with a new link to a host that won't stop downloads
#38 Posted by JakeLogan (221 posts) -

*gets a connection through and plays it*

Yah, that's some solid platformer there. Thought I wasn't gonna make it for a while, my jumping has gotten rubbish from atrophy.

Can't much more than what has already been said. A speed/reflex run a la Sonic mighta been neat.

@Indiana_Jenkins said:

But I also found that the game has a difficulty spike on the screen right before you feel empowered by the sun. That may be by design though, because after that the difficulty tapers off a bit and I actually felt powerful going through the next screens.

Yes! That was hot, intentional or otherwise.

#39 Posted by DeathByWaffle (636 posts) -

I finished it and I enjoyed it. Had no issues with the controls, on critique I really have is that it seemed like the hitbox for the spikes was a bit too big.

#40 Edited by Tom1243 (52 posts) -

Really enjoyed it, same feedback really as everyone. Musics was great, and I liked the atmosphere and the world, although there was no pay off at the end. Maybe you have something else planned, but a little pay off after pulling us through with mystery. I did enjoy it though, well done mate!

#41 Edited by Ghostiet (5284 posts) -

I enjoyed it. The music and narration give it a very ominous atmosphere, despite the very basic graphics. I also hope that the difficulty difference right before and after reaching the sun is intentional, because it really flew good with the narration.


However, if every platform is supposed to be slippery, try to make the jumping puzzles rhythm-based. Then it makes sense to build up momentum and it removes the frustration factor when you have to jump on single blocks. And those hitboxes on them spikes need fixin'.

#42 Posted by Koukou (39 posts) -

Cool, I enjoyed it!

#43 Edited by DeeGee (2127 posts) -

For a first game, it's not too bad.

The text on screen is a good way to set the atmosphere and tell a story. It's a shame the story made no sense and came off really pretentious. You can cut about half of the text in this game, since reading the same pointless messages over and over really made me like it less.

The music is pretty good.

Slippery ice + single block jumping sequences + no checkpoints = well shit, guess I better start that all over again for the tenth time.

Not having any background art seems really amateur. You may have done that by design, but it didn't add anything to the game for me. It just detracted, and made me very aware I was playing a flash game.

I really liked the game when I realised the jump noise and animation made it look like he propels himself forward by farting.

Fuck those hitboxes on spikes.

#44 Posted by Brodehouse (9965 posts) -

Pretty cool.

Suggestions from a design standpoint

Instead of having the words hang in the air static, set flags across the levels that make the words fade in when the player crosses an area, and have them travel with the player (a la a thought bubble). Imply a sense that these thoughts are coming to the character as he progresses rather than just there to be found as you progress.

In the 'arduous journey' sequences, make each level longer (without adding more jumps). Make the player travel further on his feet than through the air.

How long in your course did it take you to put this together?

#45 Posted by h0lgr (908 posts) -

You need a slow scrolling background man!
Gameplay feels tight, but you need to invest some time in maknig the visuals look better.
The pixel art is fine, but you need to make the background and environments fit together.
Maybe add a constant snow storm that changes opacity with the mood of the game?
 
Music is pretty darn good. But the text was huge and just felt forced because it was way too common.
Don't worry about the hit detection just yet. Good luck.

#46 Posted by ajamafalous (12007 posts) -

I agree with pretty much everyone else in that the spike hitboxes are pretty fucked. 
 
I do agree with a few other people in that the story makes little sense and comes off as pretentious. 
 
Also, the single block jump sequences are incredibly frustrating. Almost quit several times during the "climb" portions. 
 
 
All said, it's a good first effort.

#47 Posted by Rattle618 (1463 posts) -

Neat game, we need a sequel to find out what the fuck is going on there.

#48 Edited by I_smell (3924 posts) -

That took a long time to load, considering what it was. You should learn about compressing music and bitmaps next.

The stupid poem stuff was so hilarious I thought you were making a parody game, and it generally wasn't very fun. But it wasn't clompletely awful, I did finish it, so congrats! The main thing is that you made everything and you finished it- so that's like miles ahead of most people who wanna make games already.

Now throw this one in the trash and make a different game! If you're next game is something completely different then you'll have TWICE the experience!!!! That's the best way to learn.

#49 Posted by h0lgr (908 posts) -
@I_smell said:

That took a long time to load, considering what it was. You should learn about compressing music and bitmaps next.

The stupid poem stuff was so hilarious I thought you were making a parody game, and it generally wasn't very fun. But it wasn't clompletely awful, I did finish it, so congrats! The main thing is that you made everything and you finished it- so that's like miles ahead of most people who wanna make games already.

Now throw this one in the trash and make a different game! If you're next game is something completely different then you'll have TWICE the experience!!!! That's the best way to learn.

Motherfucker speaks the truth.
#50 Edited by Rebel_Scum (720 posts) -

Good game, awesome music. Found the 'almost there' script to be a bit too early in the piece. Loved how the little mans arms flapped as he fell. But damn that music...atmospheric, tense, and then when it got near the end it picked up a notch.

Would like to have an ending rather than a 'the end' screen.