Can you make it to the top without falling or freezing? Made for Alakajam 4. Criticism is appreciated.

Ascent is a platforming game (I know right, bet no-one thought of that idea for the theme of "falling") in which you scale a series of increasingly taller buildings. Don't fall down or you'll be in for a long drop to the bottom, but don't hang around too long or you'll freeze to death. Campfires will warm you up and save your progress, so keep an eye out for those! I loooove feedback, so don't hold back on telling me what I can "improve" on.

Note: 1.0.0 and 1.0.1 and pre deadline. 1.0.3 was released a little while after the end of the release hour. It's much less laggy and whatever however, so do with that what you will.

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This game entered in the Solo competition (46 entries).

Comments (11)

 • 5 years ago • 

Hey :) Your link seems to be empty.

  • 5 years ago • 

@Ridderfar Sorry about that! Set it to public now

 • 5 years ago • 

Nice game! I like the physic of the character, except on short platform

Nanukk Luik
(@NanukkLuik) • 5 years ago • 

Awesome, love platformers, I didn't understand why I was dying at first - then I realized that the campfires weren't only checkpoints. Woops.

 • 5 years ago • 

Fabulous game. Keep it up.

  • 5 years ago • 

Thanks for the feedback! I was going to try and improve some of the more precise movement but ran short of time :(
@Nanukk Luik
Yeah, I didn't make it very clear did I? I wanted to add a proper tutorial but didn't pace the game's development properly so all I could do was add a little hint on a wall

 • 5 years ago • 

Really nice game. I liked the game and tried to speedrun it. I failed bcs I had a problem with one specific platforming point. Also the controlls are a bit fast ( I fell off the platforms trying to move on them) The graphics were really great (especially the background) and reminded me on LIMBO. Really great game

  • 5 years ago • 

@DrSkort Thanks for the feedback! If I ever make a platformer for one of these again increasing friction will be one of the things I remember to do. Glad you liked the aesthetic, I was going for a calm solemn mood inspired by the pouring rain and fog going on outside during the contest.

 • 5 years ago • 

I like the core idea of a platformer where your main concern is not to fall too much. I don't know if you're familiar with N, but that has a similar conceit. I did finish the game, but I did find a few things really frustrating throughout playing it:

  • The immediately obvious thing is that the controls feel loose and floaty. When I release Left/Right I expect the character to stop immediately. This isn't a case of "increasing friction". Friction should not be an aspect of the game. When I stop holding a direction, the character should no longer be moving in that direction.
  • The jumps don't feel particularly natural because every jump is exactly the same height. In most platformers, when I tap the jump button I make a small jump, when I hold the jump button I make a long jump. This helps me adjust the jump I'm making so I don't then have to spend 2 seconds floating in the air waiting to fall.
  • For this particular game I feel like being able to grab most walls to slow down and jump off them would have made the game feel smoother, though I understand why you might not want to do that with your level design.
  • If you fall down a pit in the game, falling all the way to the ground takes far too long and there's no "restart to checkpoint" button.
  • For the vast majority of the game, I didn't need to sprint at all. This meant that when I finally got to the one spot where I can't progress without it, I completely forgot about the mechanic. It would have been nice to have a reminder spelled out ("hey, remember to use shift to sprint!") in that location.
  • As far as the "stay near fires to refill your health mechanic" goes - there's no visible indication of what your health is at until it gets really low. When I started the game, I assumed passing by a fire would refill my health instantly, but that turned out not to be the case. So a fair few times I just thought the game was bugged and killed you after a certain amount of time had passed, whatever you did. A "warmth" bar somewhere on the screen would have helped.

I'm sorry to be so critical of this game. I like the level design and I love the aesthetic - it's simple and crude but has plenty of charm and a good color scheme. (Like you mentioned, adding a simple rain animation and a fog overlay would have helped, too, but I understand you didn't have time.) The mechanics here aren't strictly bad, but they do need a bit of tweaking. I hope that helps.

EDIT: I can't seem to close the game by closing the main window, until the end of the game.

  • 5 years ago • 

@amras Thanks for your feedback! When I say "increasing friction" I mean having the player lose horizontal momentum more quickly (I don't know why I said friction before lol) but I see your point. I considered walljumping but didn't have time to implement it. As for restarting from a checkpoint, that probably would have been good to add in retrospect, oh well, there's always next time.

Fun fact: I actually did spent some time creating a rain (and snow!) overlay system, but removed it because I thought it caused lag. It's still in the game though if you edit some map data, I think.

 • 5 years ago • 

I see you're a fellow Pygame user. :D

I don't know how to describe it, but I got stuck on a part where there was a big gap that I barely couldn't make it across. I'm guessing I must be missing something.

The game itself isn't super innovative (which I believe you are aware of). I don't know why, but I found it aesthetically pleasing. The lack of music seemed to help with that, but I think it would've been a bit nicer with some slow, quiet, and low pitched music.The whole freezing mechanic seemed like something you added on to try to make the game more interesting, but it ends up feeling a bit out of place. The platforming feels pretty good (and I normally don't like momentum based movement). The physics seemed a bit inconsistent though.

Good work though!

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