This is the story of Flappy Beard the Alchemist.
He's trying to produce the Philosopher's Stone but for that, he needs the five elemental orbs and the powers they give him.
Kinda Metroidvania Like.
Note: I've had some performance bugs, most of which should be fixed now. I'll look into speeding it up a bit more. Let me know if you experience any slowdown over time or you glitch through walls and floors. Thanks. I hope you like it anyway.
The game was great(great art and good music) until I started lagging out(roughly 4FPS). Around this time I also noticed some weird glitches, such as the rain appearing in the bottom left of my screen, while everywhere else had no rain. I wish I could play more. Let me know if you fix the lag so I can come back and play it again!
The game looks awesome, but the controls for jumping seem super twichy/slippery. At least on keyboard, it's difficult to reliably land on 1 block-wide platofrms.
I think that fireballs aren't getting despawned, which is leading to n^2 collision going haywire? That's a guess anyway.
Still, kudos for getting so much done in so short a time!
The only other thing I'd say is that I think the difficulty is pretty heavily front-loaded, with 4 jumps that are like down 1-3 pixels.
What was the biggest problem?
@yumaikas, I think the clipping should be fixed now. I changed the physics update rate down too much last night when trying to solve the performance issue. I upped it a bit again, that should solve the clipping problems.
Glad you were able to finish it. There is some difficulty, yeah. I hope that's no big deal in the end.
The biggest problem was that I forgot to put the debris created by breaking down walls into the same physics group and to make them passive colliders once they stop moving. So the more debris you created, the more collisions were detected.
ok, i managed to play through the fixed version, up to the fourth orb. No idea where the fifth orb was.
the movement is less slippery in this updated version (a big improvement), and i'm guessing that was linked to lag/framerate somehow? movement still doesn't feel perfect though, and trying to land on narrow ledges is hard and frustrating. the wall jumping area in the lower right corner of the map feels impossibly frustrating with these movement controls!
graphics are pretty good and have consistency. the orbs are particularly nicely drawn, with the air swirl and flame. The tileset is ok-good, though it does look a little rough in places. character animation is just-ok, as I feel it lacks expression.
sound+music are ok-good, but the chip tones don't really match the mood created by the graphics. the music whilst being a good composition can become a bit annoying after a while.
theme use is pretty average. we're just collecting powerups, a la metroidvanias.
at the beginning of the game, with the amount of exploring we have to do to familiarise with the surroundings, I feel there are too many fire hazards: too easy to run into by accident and those long (not easy) fire pits to jump together make the opening quite difficult. repeatedly being sent back to the start breaks my exploration and it takes longer than it should to learn my way around.
i feel the level design lacks structure. it's not obvious where to go, and some of the passages we need to take don't have any landmarks nearby to help identify them. so it's hard to build a good mental picture of the level. it's hard to remember exactly how to get to particular places.
i lose gems if i do not pass a checkpoint. some of the gems are hard to obtain, and it's depressing losing them and realising i now have to complete the difficult thing again… and again. not enough checkpoints in my opinion, or the gems shouldn't require checkpoints to save.
so overall : good, but not great.
It's interesting that you actually mostly mention things as negative that I actually put time into implementing, as opposed to "mention negative things that are more or less obviously caused by lack of time" - like losing the coins.
I put in quite a bit of work to get them working because I thought it was essential. Some of the coins are hard to get and survive, so I wanted to encourage the player to try.
Took me half an hour or so to make the coins actually revert to the last saved state. I wonder if there are more people thinking like you. I guess in a full game this would be a question for an A/B study.
I agree that the level lacks structure. It does have a certain structure, but that may not be visible from outside the editor :)
With the long fire thing in the beginning, I guess you mean the way up to the fire orb. Now that you say it, it makes sense to not put such a hard passage right at the beginning, but tbh, I didn't really think the power for the water orb through entirely and once I added the "survives fire" thing, I realized i didn't have a good way to add difficulty anymore so I added the spikes, which made the fire more or less useless.
In the end the fire was reduced to being a blocker for the player until they get the water orb.
But i already had a blocker, being the destructible walls.
So all in all, it turned out to be quite a mess, gamedesign wise :)
Thanks for your very helpful comment. Btw, the section in the lower left is completely optional :)
I haven't completed the game yet but a few things strike me.
That might all seem a little negative but overall I really like what I've experienced so far. The couple of things I wasn't so keen on are relatively superficial and could quite easily be fixed in a later version. I really would like to see a post-compo version, and hope you make one. Also, great name :D
Extra: I feel a bit bad about giving you mostly negative feedback above, and it's going to bother me all night unless i write this now.
It's unfortunate because there is much that i enjoyed in your game too. Somehow, it's just easier for me to point out negatives than positives, and I am sorry for that.
Game jams are about people also, not just the games, and we should not lose sight of that. Your game is cheerful in several ways: the feel of your music, your animations, and particular details you chose to add. I feel this is an expression of the cheerfulness within you as a person. This is a beautiful thing you've shown us, and I am happy that you chose to take part . Thank-you for the memories. :-)
Just adding onto my previous post:
This game gets very hard. xD
The hardest part for me was wall jumping around spikes. I ended up beating it though.
The music seemed just a tad bit off of what I expected, but it was still good music.
My favorite thing about this game was the level design. While some parts were hard, it was very effectively training me to be better at the game. I also always was able to know where I was supposed to go for each orb, which was nice.
A solid 10 on graphics, this looks gorgeous! Unfortunately the upbeat music clashes with the dark mood of the storm, but on the other hand, the music fits in with the fast gameplay.
Speaking of gameplay, this game is way too hard for me. I didn't even make it past the first few obstacles, and would have liked to see more. But it's a very fair kind of difficulty, so it's good and gets 9 stars on gameplay regardless, because of fairness and smooth controls. This is just not the game for me :)
One can see a nice evolution in your jam games' art, and I think you had this one quite effectively. An interesting purpleish tone for the sky/background, some blue tones on the grass, shows thought in colour picking. The lighting seems popular also.
As to the character controls, I don't think it is slipperyness or acceleration, but just the speed of the player character, which leaves less time to react.
As to the game design, it is a metroidvania platformer, which is a popular jam game genre, to the point of getting stale. It is perhaps due to the readiness of the design. Another staple of platformers is spikes, which are present. Among the many static objects that could insta-kill, spikes are overrepresented. So here it is not the most inspired.
Mr Flappy Beard here might as well be called Floaty Beard for all the slipping related mishaps he has to endure on a daily basis. The controls took a while to get to grips with and even then I could not master them to gather all the coins (the placement of the coins in the bottom right corner of the world is just evil!)
The graphics are brilliant, while the music, as pointed out by others, is at odds with it. Unfortunate, ruins the mood pretty much.
Not an original design and thematically rather basic Earth, Wind, Fire and Air based abilities, which could have been used much more inventively. The fire power, for instance, is only used for destroying walls. How about lighting torches to see better, triggering timed fuses of door mechanisms and bombs? Right, ok, jam deadlines are a thing, not your fault!
Enjoyed the experience in the end, just a shame about the loose controls.
O 6, G 10, A 3, G 8, O 3, T 5
Looks Beautiful, music is ok bit repetitive, maybe not the nost fitting the graphics but not a big deal. The slippy controls were frustrating at first, but i did get more used to them, still thibk they could benefit from some tweaking. Indeed way too hard, i never even found the first orb and i played for a while, but I found the level design too frustratng with having to ty and memorise where the offscreen objects are. TIghten up the controls and be more forgiving on the level design at least early on and it would be great.