I Wanna Be A Tree

Have you any idea what it feels like to be a seed who'd like nothing more than to be a full grown tree? Well if you'd like to know, this is the game for you. But if it is the other way around, I can't help you here.

Controls and everything else you need to know explained in game…

Voting results

Overall
10th
6.423
Graphics
5th
7.654
Audio
3rd
7.280
Gameplay
10th
6.200
Originality
21st
5.077
Theme
25th
4.962

This game entered in the Solo competition (29 entries).

Info

Just a poor seed who'd like to be a fully grown tree.

Links

Download or play online Sources Gameplay video Dev Timelapse

Author

anttihaavikko

Comments (18)

Akselmo
1 year ago

That was super cute! Too bad I'm abysmal with platformers, but I killed the first big moose-box-thing at least! Really liked the sound effects too, there was enough "oomph" in the sound effects whenever I killed a monster. (Can you even call them monsters though since they're so cute? I felt like I was the monster!) Controls vere responsive, but I'm a butterfinger that managed to attack when I tried to jump, then fell in my impending doom.

Very enjoyable game, I'll try to finish it completely tomorrow. Great work!

PS. torilla tavataan jne jne

Caique Assis
(@caiqueassis) • 1 year ago

Hey there!

First of all: I HATE THOSE FLYING ENEMIES AARRGHGH

Second: nice work man! Too bad it's so short! I was really getting into it. I was expecting to become a full fledged tree samurai or some rad shit like that ;c

Btw, that person (?) at the throne is very suggestive. Same "hat" as me…did I become the new king or something?

Anyway, short, but quite nice experience! And challenging for the time it took me to finish it. Good job!

hyperlinkyourheart
1 year ago

Very nice! The combat is really satisfying and has enough range that the erratic enemies can be dealt with. The art is really colourful and fun, and the music matches it perfectly for a very whimsical feel overall.

A few weird physics things happened with the enemies - just suddenly getting flung in some random direction. It actually felt almost appropriate, and didn't effect my enjoyment of the game XD

I guess my only criticism is that it wasn't really clear where to go, and there weren't enough checkpoints. I didn't finish it on this play through, but I will probably give it another go.

One thing I really liked was the little off-note in the music when you die, it's a really nice touch!

Great game overall, good work!

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 1 year ago

@Akselmo Haha yeah, I accidentally made a "you are the monster" game, a theme that keeps popping up on every jam theme suggestions (and which I hope never wins). Thanks for playing and good luck if you decide to try again, all it takes is a bit of patience (ie. stubborness), getting used to controls and maybe a bit of luck.

@caiqueassis Thanks dude! The flying enemies, I know right. Especially the one close to the checkpoint is "intentionally" brutal. While testing I probably died more to that one than all the bosses combined.

Sounds like I hit the sweet spot if you ended up wanting more. Any more would require more enemy/boss types, more different powerups etc or it would get repetitive. And adding those in this time scope was kinda out of question, already didn't get a chance to add as much polish as I would have wanted.

And yes, even though I had no big overarcing storyline in the mind, the "person" in the throne was indeed another seed that went on the same journey. And what that means can be impreted however the player wants. Maybe being a tree wasn't as glorious as expected and being a seed was just fine. Maybe the quest for treeness hit a dead end and was a failure for the one before, and also for you. Maybe indeed it was a success and you're the new king of trees. Would have been nice to plot in some more lore nuggets around the world, a part of the forementioned polish.

@hyperlinkyourheart Thanks! Oh yes, I did encounter the said physics glitches early on (it's even on my recorded gameplay video on the sidebar around 1:42). And the grounded enemies do that sometimes too when they're upside down and trying to straighten themselves. But since I got a chuckle out of it everytime it happened, I decided not to "fix" it.

Dunno, the thing of being lost kinda comes with the metroidvania genre. I for one like it. And the game world isn't that big here really and things aren't really hidden. Besides the last boss (and maybe few health upgrades, those can be even picked up with some tricky jumps without the double jump), everything is accessible right from the start.

Glad to hear the short pitch bend on death was noticeable.

edit Also guys, I had to work today so I haven't gotten a chance to play any games yet. Why did you have to tank my karma to the last spot ;)

aj4y
1 year ago

Best game played till now.
Super awesome

Caique Assis
(@caiqueassis) • 1 year ago

@anttihaavikko yup! At first, I could get around by dodging them, but after I got the sword upgrade, it became a lot easier. They still hit me a lot, though haha

Nice touch with the ending, then. Looks like it was something along the lines of what I thought it was ;)

euske
1 year ago

Cute game! This looks like a pretty standard platformer, and I can see it's polished visual and audio-wise. However the physics was slightly off to me. (I felt the acceleration inconsistent.) The overall direction is kinda missing so I tend to get lost easily. I couldn't finish it after 15 minutes or so of a gameplay, so I might need another run. The association with the theme was a little unclear.

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 1 year ago

@aj4y Thanks a bunch!

@euske This is the layout of the whole world. Nothing I'd really call a maze, pretty much just a straight line that splits to two on the right hand side. And you can do the two different paths in either order or you can also ignore the bottom one completely but that will make the final boss a lot harder.

The horizontal acceleration is very much constant. Vertical acceleration on the other had is a bit tweaked (bumping the gravity up to x1.5 after the peak of a jump) to make it less floaty.

There is always at least one "don't see the theme" comment on all my jam games whatever I do. I mean, it's already referenced a bit on the name of the game and the description. How far did you get in that 15 minutes?

Kamaii
1 year ago

Very cute game. My only complaint is with the camera. It feels a bit awkward, and I feel it would really benefit from having it lookahead from the player, instead of trailing behind the player. Other than that I love the art style, combat is simple, some enemies are extremely frustrating, and if your going for difficulty, I applaud you because this game made me rage so hard, yet I kept giving it go after go. With the right tuning, you could make this game feel more difficult, yet fair, then it already is. Best game I've played thus far.

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 1 year ago

@Kamaii Thanks! I actually had the camera offset few units towards the direction the character is facing at first but it ended up not working with the combat requiring quick hit'n'run bobs and weaves. The camera did so many quick jumps that it looked almost nausiating. But now that I think about it more, it would have been an easy fix to add bit of a delay for the camera offset to be added so quick turn wouldn't change the camera position at all. So just setting the offset when you've been looking at one direction for a set amount of time.

Haha yeah, at first I thought I'll make a super easy game so people don't have to complain about the difficulty. Wasn't too many hours into the jam when I had done a complete 180 and thought I'll make my hardest game yet! But I do think it is still pretty fair. At least most of the damage is the fault of the player themselves and not the game being unfair.

ToffieBoey
(@OatMealPal) • 1 year ago

Really fun and adorable! I like that the music goes out of tune whenever you die. That was a nice detail.
And the art is really good. Nice work, dude. :-)

smbe19
1 year ago

I really liked your game. It looked very nice and the sound was well done as well. But man, the flying blocks are hard ;)

Anonymous • 1 year ago

I don't know if it was because my computer is a bit slow (although I didn't notice a reduced framerate) or just the game itself, but movement was very clunky and inconsistent. Jumping specifically was a pain because I couldn't jump the height of the block 80% of the time which caused me to fall (I caught onto the fact that holding jump made you jump higher and that wasn't the issue). I would also get sudden bursts of speed in random directions (almost as if it were an online game) which made the platforming even harder. I also jumped off of walls a few times (I'm assuming this was a glitch). The particle effects, character design, and music were nice. One more minor thing that bugged me was that the player animations would freeze every now and then.

The game's mechanics could also use some improvement. The combat felt pretty awkward. I'd recommend avoiding making games where you have to attack as a reaction with the direction of the attack being the direction you're facing. This type of combat can work, but normally just ends up feeling awkward and punishing. (hard is very different from punishing)

EDIT: I was using a controller, but also tried just using the keyboard.

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 1 year ago

Yeah, someone complained about the same thing on itch.io comments. It seems something on the jumps was left not to be synced to framerate so it will not function correctly with lower framerates.

You'd recommend not making games where you attack on the direction you're facing? So pretty much no platformers then? I honestly can't even remember a 2d platformer with melee combat besides Terraria that has independent attack and movement directions. And on Terraria I think that is pretty much just a by-product of the ranged combat and building.

More often or not in platformers, the attack animation even locks you out of movement. Like take the metroidvania style Castlevanias, your movement and direction is locked while you attack for the whole swing (unless you BDC). And of course the weapon valmanway/crissaegrim offers similar style freedom with attacking and moving (that I tried to create in this game) and they are so overpowered that the games become a complete breeze.

So I don't really understand what you think is so punishing about it.

Anonymous • 1 year ago

I haven't done much research into the area myself, but the game must be designed to work with that style of combat. If you throw it into the wrong type of game, it'll feel punishing. I believe that part of the issue in your case may be how much you slide around among other things like the attack range and enemy/combat design.

I haven't played a lot of these types of games, but I'm pretty sure that tight controls really help in this situation.

treslapin
1 year ago

The art in the game is really polished, I love the colour combinations. Reminds me of 90s pastels. :)

I'm not very good at platformers, and this one was definitely hard for me! I went left first and beat the flying baddie there by hiding behind the wall, but then couldn't move up on the platforms. D: Read later that you can actually double jump which I totally missed! Maybe I'll do better the next time with that knowledge. Overall, it was pretty hard to control my little seed to actually jump where I wanted it to, I think this game might benefit from tighter controls, and maybe a bit better level design

Really great for a jam game! Can't wait to see what you come up with next time. :)

HuvaaKoodia
1 year ago

If Kill cute stuff ever becomes the theme, you will do just fine!

Tried the WebGL version, choppy fps and the jump height seemed suspect. Struggled with the flying enemies a bit and then decided to give the standalone ago.

Set the quality to lowest possible, just to be sure, and yes, jumping much higher as a result. Unfortunately the physics overall seemed to go crazy. The flying enemies especially went from hard to impossible!

Last try, bumped the quality back to Ultra, everything seems to work… Phew, let's play for real!

The overall world structure is very similar to that in Mildred. There the physics based movement was supposed make traversal tricky, here it is the imprecise controls, at times tiny platforms, and those darn flying harpies; which ramp up the FU-curve.

Fighting the harpies, even with the two initial health upgrades, is too much. If their lunge speed was reduced just a tad and it was possible to attack upwards and they staggered properly when hit and they didn't cause two health damage per hit then maybe they'd be fine.

Of course, the flaming sword renders even the harpies a pushover. One hit kill seemingly most of the time. Same goes for the boss monsters, extremely difficult without the sword, very easy with the sword. Went through all three in a row after finding the upgrade.

It's not a good sign when there is no middle ground between aggravating and serene, especially when it wasn't my skill or knowledge increasing, but rather a hidden upgrade, which caused the change.

The visuals are fine again yet there is a lot of empty space again. The background clouds don't mask the emptiness enough in my opinion. Audio works too.

Obviously not a very original entry: plaforming, simple combat and a little bit of exploration; seen it all before! Growing collection of abilities and health is somewhat thematic. It seems the actual connection to the theme is the tree, which is nothing but a visual. I'd like to see the theme reflected in the interactivity more than anything else.

Ok work. My daily dose of vexation.

Overall: Average (5)
Graphics: Good (7)
Audio: Good (7)
Gameplay: Average (5)
Originality: Bad (3)
Theme: Below average (4)

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 1 year ago

@treslapin and @HuvaaKoodia, thanks a lot for honest and detailed feedback! I'm indeed kinda bummed about the dumb mistake of leaving some physics stuff to not be tied to delta time so they will function very differently on different setups.

I'm not too happy about the final product of the 2d platformer controls either. Even though it took quite a big chunk of the weekend, it's a subject that could easily eat weeks worth of work in my opinion. Maybe one day I'll make decent component that I could reuse on future jam games and could be tweak to the needs of them. Of course there are probably loads of ready made good ones on asset store but I love programming too much to leave such fun stuff for others.

It's true, the world is very empty. At least on Mildred I managed to add in some more background stuff and foliage etc which made it a bit less bland. Compared to that it was probably all the animations and the enemy "AI" that took the time I last time used for polish and decorations.

Of course the balance of difficulty etc is very hard to get right, even with proper testing from other people. If I remember correctly, only the first harpy enemy right next to the checkpoint did 2 damage (well the bosses did too, final one even did 3). I intentionally made the first one more aggressive and deadly just to strike fear to player when they have to face more of them on the next section with smaller platforms suspended in air.

The bosses were balanced so that I myself could beat them in about appropriate amount of tries without any powerups. Obviously, randomness plays a big part in their "AI" but that with several tweakable parameters was the I got some hopefully different feeling enemies out of the same behaviour. But yeah, the sword upgrade ended up beging way too powerful. With that, few health upgrades and a bit of luck, you could probably zerg down the double jump guarding boss without even trying to dodge any attacks.

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