#1 Edited by BaconUK (14 posts) -

Hey Guys!

I've been making games most of my adult life but never really finished anything as I get far too ambitious, you know how it goes! But anyway after three months coding, animating and level design I finally finished something that hopefully if any of you fine gentlemen are looking for some classic retro styled hardcore platforming action you might enjoy. I worked on the project every hour I wasn't at work and it's the first game I've every released publicly. I'm incredibly nervous but proud at the same time and pretty pleased with how it came out else I wouldn't be posting this message! hehe

So anyway enough of that, here are some screenshots and the download link. GL and HF!

http://www.indiedb.com/games/summer-gauntlet

http://www.create-games.com/download.asp?id=8744

#2 Posted by laserbolts (5365 posts) -

Ha that first sentence was funny. I'll check it out.

#3 Posted by L44 (573 posts) -

Initially it plays well and seems cool. Will return soon with a much more informed opinion.

#4 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -

Thanks L44, any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated! :D

Hope you enjoy laserbolts!

#5 Posted by kidman (474 posts) -

Will check it out!

#6 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -

Thanks Kidman I appreciate it! :D

#7 Edited by Xymox (2115 posts) -

Nice introduction. Smiles are good. My personal complaints would be nitpicky control annoyances that I'm not sure anyone else thinks is anoying, so not necessary something you need to change but might as well give my first impressions on it.

First off you can't use mouse to the stuff in the menu which always annoys me on PC games, retro-style or not.

And in-game you pause with C but can't hit "continue" with enter. My second guess was pressing C again, which was also wrong.

Escape doesn't return you to the first menu when you hit Z for new game thingy so you get locked in. (Also, again, I need my enter.)

Other than that, it seems cool. I'll play it for a bit.

PS: cool music

#8 Edited by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -

Reading your post I was expecting terribleness but this actually looks really cool, will definitely check it out.

#9 Posted by Willza92 (272 posts) -

Just from the screens I can tell you put a lot of effort into this, it looks really nice. Can't wait to play it! I'll let you know what I think :)

#10 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -

Thanks for the feedback Xymox! Yeah the game has been designed with an xbox controller in mind. Keyboard control was added yesterday just before upload so unfortunately didn't get the attention it deserves :( I hope you enjoy it regardless however!

#11 Posted by Xymox (2115 posts) -

@BaconUK said:

Thanks for the feedback Xymox! Yeah the game has been designed with an xbox controller in mind. Keyboard control was added yesterday just before upload so unfortunately didn't get the attention it deserves :( I hope you enjoy it regardless however!

yes, I do. :) I've finished one quadrant now. Check-pointing is generous (which is nice) but there's also some trickier parts, but they don't demand too much (it's more like "okay yeah, I can do that" instead of frustrating).

I really like the red spinny things. :)

#12 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -

hahaha, glad you like the spinny things!! I've just implemented mouse support to the menus and a back button so you can use the mouse to go backwards as well. I've fixed the bug with the pause menu as well so it works like it should! Thanks for pointing these issues out, I'll be uploading a new version later next week. :D

#13 Posted by L44 (573 posts) -

A good, fun and quite well designed game. It's an impressive piece of work. My only nitpick is that the charcter design isnt quite consistent with the rest of the world; that's probably just my opinion though (not enough straight lines and corners).

#14 Posted by SpartanHoplite (388 posts) -

would be fun to know how to code..

#15 Edited by BaconUK (14 posts) -

Hi L44!

When starting a project I tend to focus on gameplay, 70% of the three month development schedule, Summer Gauntlet looked a lot like these other projects I'm working on. The bare basics in order to play test the hell out of it until either the concept simply doesn't work or you've created something that's hopefully fun to play!

The main character was designed very early on in development and the rest was layered in much much later once I'd established a look for the game that was both workable time wise and looked half decent hehe. Yeah, probably why the main character looks a bit out of place! Anyway I thought you might find that interesting! :D

Thanks L44 for your valuable feedback! With so many free games out there I appreciate you spent the time to give it a go and let me know what you think :D

#16 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -
#17 Posted by Bollard (5833 posts) -

@BaconUK said:

@SpartanHoplite: You should check out the software I used to make this game! Its super intuitive and easy to use :D

http://www.clickteam.com/website/world/

I was just about to ask what you wrote this in. Also was the art work your own work? I recently finished a project and I swear I spent as much time making art as I did actually programming the damn thing, and I suck at art anyway.

#18 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -

@Chavtheworld: Yeah, art is always a pain! It really isn't my thing either. I need an ARTIST! hehe. Yes, it was all my own work. I tiled the whole project using just the tiles you can see in the grey area below the actual level layout! It took me approximately one day to foreground tile and one day to background tile each of the four sections once I got into the swing of things :D (The Giantbombcast kept me sane through 12 hours straight tiling per day XD ) I palette swapped the same tiles to create the other three sections of the gauntlet. With enough time I would have loved to create some more unique art assets for the different areas but as mentioned earlier, I'm no artist! hehe

#19 Posted by Bollard (5833 posts) -

@BaconUK: Wow that's pretty cool, thanks for sharing your tileset. I'm thinking of using a tileset with my next project which will hopefully be a Metroidvania style game, but working in Python and writing from the ground up means I need to get my head around creating subsurfaces of surfaces to "cut the tiles out" so to speak. Also I hope there's a way to palette swap in Pygame cause I wanna have to make as few art assets as possible

#20 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -

@Chavtheworld: Yes, I've also experimented with complicated and detailed worlds. This one section of footage on an abandoned project I worked on last year took at least three times the amount of time it took to finish the whole of Summer Gauntlet! My advice would be to keep it simple at first, you can always expand on what you have later :D

#21 Edited by Xymox (2115 posts) -

Sweet! Thanks for taking your time to look over the keyboard controls. I'm two quadrants in now. edit: 'Cause in my dreams, it's always there, the evil face that twists my mind and brings me to despair.

#22 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -

Hey no problem dude, Just having some feedback is really great!! :D

#23 Edited by BaconUK (14 posts) -

Hey Guys!

I don't if anyone is still playing this but I just finished uploading a trailer and I now have a page over at indiedb! Seems to be going pretty well so far!

http://www.indiedb.com/games/summer-gauntlet

I'll stop harassing you guys now hehe. And a huge thank you to everybody who gave valuable feedback and played the game! :D

#24 Posted by Danteveli (1203 posts) -

I'm really interested in this project. It looks neat.

#25 Posted by joemarch (25 posts) -

Just wondering what language and or engine you used to make this (brilliant, by the way) game, did you make the engine in house or is it something like unity?

P.S.

great soundtrack

#26 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -

@joemarch: Hey joemarch, thanks for the feedback! The game was built with Multimedia Fusion 2 http://www.clickteam.com/website/world/

I love the in-game music, I hunted around newgrounds.com for hours trying to find some banging chip tune tracks! hehe. There's some really talented producers over there. :D

#27 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -

@Bolt3: Hi Bolt3. Multimedia Fusion 2 is event driven. Cause and effect so no coding is required, right up your alley! For more technical designs you do need a solid understanding of the software but that will come in time. I've been using the software for years and love how fast you can mock up game concepts. Head over to Clickteam's website, there's a free demo you can experiment with if you like :D http://www.clickteam.com/website/world/multimedia-fusion-2

Good Luck!!

#28 Edited by robododo (6 posts) -

I've just played the game for a bit and thought I'd share some thoughts. I've just finished getting the second lot of diamond square button thingies, the blue ones. Overall, really nice work. The following is thoughts being spilled into the keyboard, faily unfiltered, just so you're aware.

  • Nice opening cutscene, especially enjoyed the sun effects and the subtle animation like the bouncing glasses. Maybe the humourous little story elements in the beginning could somehow be in the rest of the game too? Robots saying funny things, finding other items or something.
  • Music was great.
  • Really nice artwork, seems very "finished". Except the menu art which is a bit low res/fuzzy?
  • I liked how the first time I used a falling platform it was just to get down and not over lava or spikes. Learning mechanics that way is nice.
  • You introduce a lot of different things very early (fire, spikes, platforms etc). If you wanted a longer game you could easily spread it out a bit - works fine though.
  • Some sections are quite hard, but mostly in an I-can-do-this-just-one-more-time kind of way and not frustrating. Yay.
  • I got a bit confused by the green button things, wasn't always entirely sure where to go. For instance going from green area to blue. Found it though so guess it can't have been too bad.
  • I tried with an Xbox controller hooked up to my PC but it didn't seem to work? Keyboard controls are a bit confusing as has already been pointed out. Maybe add introduction to controls? Can't go back in menu when starting the game?
  • I got stuck "inside" the level once, when I fell through the wall, see first image.
  • Completing the section in the second image below (lots of fast arrows) seemed a bit random and not skill-based. Arrows very fast, couldn't really learn it, just ran.
  • Blue boss fight and run-away section were good fun. Had a nice balance of being hard and seeming doable.

Just to be clear though, amazing work. A smooth (for lack of a better word), fun experience. Thanks for sharing.

#29 Posted by BaconUK (14 posts) -

@robododo: Hey robododo! Wow, thaks for sharing your thoughts on the game!! It's great to get valuable feedback :D

A lot of people have questioned the difficulty. As a one man developer I find myself constantly playtesting sections over and over again whether it's for gameplay or getting the mechanics just right. After hours of game time you naturally get wicked awesome skills! A section may be super easy to me (or a developer) when in fact the endless hours of playtesting has resulted in a standard gamers worst nightmare! hehe. Overal though, the intention was totally to go with the super meat boy kind of hardcore difficulty but never being unfair, I'ts awesome you picked up on that robododo, it's like the project acheived what it set out to be! :)

It would have been great to create a larger game, slowly introducing new mechanics to the player as you mentioned. However the game was built for a competition with a three month development limit, the introduction sequence was a huge amount of work and animation (60 frames per second is no joke!). There's even a line of dialogue in the intro mentioning "..tedious hours of animation" XD. I took a week off work to get the intro done but I'm super happy how it turned out and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I like the length of the game, I think any longer it would overstay it's welcome. There's only so many way's you can organise the same traps whilst keeping it interesting! Creating new traps and more levels would be awesome, but I've moved onto a new project for now ;)

I've never got stuck in the walls before!! There's an algorithm in the code that "pushes" you back out again if certain criteria are met, how did you get there??! Did you simply walk through the wall? I probably missed a collision tile somewhere lol! Sorry to hear about the xbox controller dude :( Did you have it connected before the game started? It's detected on startup and doesn't poll for it again after as it was causing the game to stutter. Keyboard controls do suck :\ I did 90% of testing on an xbox controller and added keyboard control like, a couple of days before the competition so yeah, definate improvements need to be made there!

Great to hear you had fun with Summer Gauntet, it's incredibly motivating and thankyou again for your thoughts :D

#30 Posted by robododo (6 posts) -

You're very welcome. I dabble a bit in game development myself and it's fun to read some of your thoughts because some of it sounds exactly like my own experience. I've had friends and family test some levels that I find quite easy, but have them pulling their hair out, haha. I've never done any cutscene or animation work other than quite simple scripted movement, so that impressed me. Super meat boy definitely popped into my mind a few times while playing, but until now I have found SG slightly more forgiving :)

The wall thing: Yea, seemed like a missing tile. I kept walking left after the crossbows in the first image and just went through. Regarding the length I suppose can't really say too much because I haven't finished it yet :) But yea, I think you're right, it probably shouldn't go on for too long, so introducing a lot of traps quite fast works in this case.

I just tried the controller again and it worked, so I probably just connected it too late the last time, thanks.