Vials of Ether

I hope you'll have fun with this flask throwing platformer.
They are only 2 levels.
A note about the wall jump: you need to press 2 times C very fast: one for the first jump and the second when you are on the wall.

Voting results

Overall
10th
6.700
Graphics
13th
6.800
Audio
26th
1.700
Gameplay
11th
6.450
Originality
20th
5.900
Theme
28th
5.600

This game entered in the Solo competition (36 entries).

Comments (32)

fullmontis
4 months ago

I like this! Very fun to play and enjoyable. I like that you have to be careful on what potion you have to use for each enemy. The platforming is solid.

mampee
4 months ago

The game is engaging and the music is so well suited to the gameplay. Those cute little enemies are so fun to watch, and the instructions are very well delivered. Good Work!!

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 4 months agoedited

Very nice! Sweet but short. Still loads of puzzles you could make with only those mechanics.

If I understood correctly, you did not make the music? I don't think that is allowed...

  • Wasn't a huge fan of the lingering hitbox when enemies died.
  • It was just a double jump near wall, not really a wall jump. By not allowing more jumps (when not alternating between to different walls), it just made those 4 tile high jumps needlessly pixel perfect.
  • Would have broken the last level to be two shorter ones. It was kinda tedious to completely replay it after failing on the last enemy twice (guess I'm a slow learner) because of that lingering hitbox.

Found few neat "pro" tricks:


edit: Oh yeah, one more thing... after beating it the music starts to play again while the previous one is still playing.

NiciusB
4 months ago

I liked this game a lot! The graphics are cute and consistent, and the mechanics were very interesting.
I'm very bad at platformers, but I got my best run down to 50 seconds :) https://youtu.be/ksv0yvTZaZQ

bombjack
4 months agoedited

Hey!!! thanks all for your kind comment.

@anttihaavikko : Thanks for the usefull comments :) Regarding the music here is the text that allows its use: "All third-party assets listed above are allowed as long as you have the license to use them. Check the licensing terms and in doubt, consult the author."
That's how I interpreted it. Am I wrong?

@NiciusB : I loved the way you abuse my poorly coded jump ^^ . I wasn't even aware it was to possible to climb walls and hang on the ceiling. Thanks.

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 4 months ago

That is only for the unranked division so the ones that aren't supposed to be rated at all.

bombjack
4 months ago

@anttihaavikko : When I look at it, it's just above the Unranked section. Maybe the text should be clarified.
Should I have to opt-out audio?

KorbohneD
4 months ago

Liked it. Was an overall enjoyable experience. Walljump was a bit tricky but not to bad.

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 4 months ago

Oh I see, the almost same thing is written there twice. The one in ranked section says "All third-party assets listed above" meaning fonts, brushes, samples in music and the one in unranked says "All third-party assets are allowed" which means all is fair game in that division. Or that is at least how I iterpreted it...

Also, you need to use the username and not the display name for the @ mentions to work. Guess I had it coming by changing my display name and there not being a reply button ;)

bombjack
4 months ago

@anttihaavikko : I got the @ right this time :) I think your interpretation is correct. I tried to opt-out sound it seems it can't be done after submission. Not a big deal anyway. I'll see if I can reach an admin about it.

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 4 months ago

Just watched the @NiciusB speedrun, amazing stuff! Then I remembered an another thing I was going to point out. The camera works kinda weirdly. It always has less space showing where you are actually going and more on where you came from. I think it should be the other way around.

automatonvx
4 months ago

sweet game, cute artwork, the mechanic is quite fun. Was sometimes struggling to pull of the wall jump at the right point to reach its highest, but i got the hang after a little while. Small point, but for the level design i don't recommend making the player drop down to something they can't see there was one point when that threw me off because i was thinking i should find someway to go through the wall instead. Had fun

bombjack
4 months ago

@automatonvx : I probably messed up the camera in the second level. It seemed good at first but I was not totally happy with it. So I changed some parameters I shouldn't have.

Zeriver
4 months ago

Neat game, art style and player character reminds me of Spelunky. I like how it is a mix between platformer and somewhat puzzle game (when you have to use correct flask on enemy). Shame there were only two levels but second one presented a challenge. Camera felt a little bit of, especially when i was going left or down. And when i completed game and pressed start again i had two background music loops at once. Other than that i don't really have other complaints, fun game with nice graphics.

IDidGame
4 months ago

Really fun and a pretty good amount of polish too!
Apart from some issues that have already been mentioned the only complaint I have is that I would have liked some more levels :)

DaFluffyPotato
(@CMLSC) • 4 months ago

@bombjack Just checked the rules and where it says what you can use for audio it says: "(reusing full music tracks is not allowed)"

The opt-out is for cases where you just don't have audio. The music affects the overall atmosphere of the game, which is included in the overall category.

The pixel art was great, but the background seemed very empty and the choice of blue seemed a bit odd. The lack of variation in the tiles for the walls and the placement of the walls made them just seem like they were there for the level design instead of being more natural. It would've been nice to see more decoration and some more fleshed out structures. Just because you don't need tiles in a certain place doesn't mean you shouldn't put it there, because it can make it look nicer. :P

The mechanics for the potions and enemies were interesting.

Continuing on what @anttihaavikko said about the mechanics, I found that you can use the green bottles on the red enemies to turn them upside down then use the red bottle in midair to petrify it there. I also started using them as an elavator later by jumping and using the right combinations midair to control them. :D

Anyway, good job, but you might want to ask @wan about the music, because I don't think you're supposed to do that.

Wan
4 months ago

@DaFluffyPotato The "reusing full music tracks is not allowed" part of the rules was actually added for clarification at Bombjack's request: he came to us explaining he misunderstood them, so it's all in good faith! Please just ignore the audio part while rating :)

bombjack
4 months ago

@Zeriver : I didn't realized the Spelunky inspiration until you told me. That's a kind of art I like so I was probably influenced unconsciously. I knew about the looping music when I posted it but had no time to fix it.

@CMLSC (DaFluffyPotato) : Thanks for you deep analysis.The mid-air petrification was intentional so I'm happy that you noticed it :)

@Wan : Thanks for clarifying the music issue. By the way, as noticed by @anttihaavikko the @ doesn't work on display name which is quite confusing. It post it and the opt-out bug in the github issue list.

DaFluffyPotato
(@CMLSC) • 4 months ago

@wan so are people allowed to use music they didn't make and just opt-out for audio, or are you making an exception since it wasn't clarified when @bombjack made his game? If you're allowing people to opt-out in any fututre cases, wouldn't that be unfair since music affects the atmosphere of a game?
(and of course, the atmosphere heavily affects what we think of the game overall)

Wan
4 months ago

@DaFluffyPotato It's indeed just an exception, as the mistake was honest, and after all we're all just here for good fun :)

HonestDan
4 months ago

Great little game. for me I find it strange using right hand to control movement. Also felt the double jump you had to tap super fast in order to gain the extra height needed. Interesting mechanics though, and nice audio .

Rakart
4 months ago

Cool entry ! Man I wished you had time to push the design a bit further, it is going in a really nice direction ! The flask mechanic is really fun and clever even if the depetrification was a bit frustrating.
Jumping felt a bit weird tho, I sometimes felt the height of the camera influenced the height of my jumps. But other than that controls were really nice !

Congratulations on the entry !

rnlf
4 months ago

Gladly, the music dilemma has been discussed already, so I don't have to raise my index finger in a very meaningful way.

Graphics
I like the sprite art, especially the character animations are very well done. The level graphics could have been a bit more varied, but I know how it is when time is running out :)

Theme
The theme is used in a pretty obvious way, but that's true of most games in this Jam, including my own.

Originality
The idea of petrification, stunning and gravity change for the enemies and blocks seemed pretty novel to me. Besides that, it's a more or less classic platformer.

Gameplay
The basics work well, especially the movement of the character feels tight and easy to control. Better than in my own game, I have to admit.

But there are some other problems:

  • The jump height could be just a tiny bit higher so that you get a bit of margin for error when timing double jumps.
  • It was pretty frustrating to restart the whole level just because I accidentally used the wrong flask. A checkpoint right before such frustrating places might have helped. I think that way by design, but maybe make it a bit easier to make mistakes, especially when there's so little time to actually get used to the controls.
  • The game was actually too short :) I would have loved to play some more of it. I know how much time level design can take though.
  • When scrolling the screen to the left or down you have to be dangerously close to the border and cannot see if there are any enemies approaching from that direction. Moving the camera a bit earlier might be a good idea.

+1 star for allowing Y, Z, and W for the third key. You just made a QWERTZ user very happy.

Overall
It's not a bad game. The implementation felt more or less solid and I did have fun playing it. It has good graphics and the gameplay works well, though there are some problems mentioned above.

Comparing with how I've judged other games, I think 6 stars overall are fair.

bombjack
4 months ago

Thanks for all those usefull comments :)

HuvaaKoodia
4 months ago

A platformer puzzle, one of my least favorite puzzle genres due to it being a weird mix of reaction/timing related challenges and basic deductive logic solving. It just doesn't jell for me. There are also many small issues with the interactivity already raised by others so I won't reiterate here.

The potion mechanic itself is interesting enough to raise the originality and theme scores back to average though. I'm a fan of non-standard interactions, such as gravity reversing potions. The question is, why doesn't the alchemist just drink a green potion?

The graphics are a mix too. The level tilesheet has no variety, it is all the same tile after all. The characters look good, in motion too, so it is a bit of a shame.

Average entry. With polish and more levels this would be good, great even.

O 5, G 5, A -, G 3, O 5, T 5

@CMLSC
An opted-out category doesn't affect the overall score if you count it as an average of the other scores (like I do!)

DaFluffyPotato
(@CMLSC) • 4 months ago

@HuvaaKoodia When I rate things, I use overall to show what I think of the game overall. There are parts of a game's quality that don't aren't categories you rate in.

HuvaaKoodia
4 months ago

@CMLSC
Makes sense. There's no mood/atmosphere category for instance. Eh, I guess I'll just roll that to audio or graphics if needed...

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 4 months ago

@HuvaaKoodia I agree with @CMLSC, if the overall category rating was meant to be just an average of all the other categories, it would be automatic.

HuvaaKoodia
4 months ago

@anttihaavikko
Yup, just played the first title where I had to mark the average down due to bugs. So ah, more of a weighted average then. Most of the time the whole is the sum of its parts, but not always.

Somnium
3 months ago

The art was simple, but clear, and the animations worked well.

The main level had a good structure, with variety. The tutorial level was effective - given the potion mechanics, I think you made a good call in spending the time to include it.

I felt that the controls, especially the wall jumping, required very precise timing, with, combined with the lack of checkpoints, made the game pretty hard.

Using the potions to (in effect) change the level was an interesting twist!

Potions as weapons,
transforming the blobs and walls.
Serve my purposes!

dollarone
3 months ago

Nice platformer with theme-relevant and original gameplay! That's not easy - well done! Not too hard but intuitive and makes you think how to solve the "puzzles".

Good tutorial and nice level design! I like the graphics and the game feels "complete", by which I mean there's no particular element of it that is less finished than the other parts. Would be interesting to see where/how you would take this further!

I think the controls and wall jumping are completely fine ftr

Jupiter_Hadley
2 months ago

Very nice concept! I included it in my Alakajam #1 compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look. :) https://youtu.be/YUCYcrngipc

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Flask throwing platformer

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bombjack

bombjack

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