Cast, Die, Repeat

Our first jam ever!

Fix notes:

  • We've fixed one of the main soft lock on wall tiles after Player shoots the Portal!

Hello guys, "Cast, Die, Repeat' is our entry for the 5th Alakajam. It is also our first time doing game dev and design at all. We decided to start with a game jam because failing faster is better.

Our game is based on a platformer mechanic with some timing-puzzles. The player can only cast a single portal spell per level besides walking and jumping. The goal is to reach the crystal at the end of each level.
For this very buggy version we did only 9 levels but hopefully we'll refine it and make it better.

We used Stencyl for the engine and pixel/tileset editors.

Commands:
Arrow keys - movements and jump
Z - casts portal to the facing direction
X - restart the level

Lots of lessons learned and definitely we had fun. We appreciate every feedback!

Team
TheSunda - Programmer
Shoble - Artist
CrookedLemons - Artist

Voting results

Overall
4th
6.742
Graphics
6th
6.613
Gameplay
4th
6.355
Originality
10th
6.000
Theme
12th
6.581

This game entered in the Team competition (21 entries).

Info

2D Platform where you can use only one magic to prevail

Links

Itch.io page

Authors

thesunda
CrookedLemons
Shoble

Related posts

Comments (30)

Shoble
2 months ago

Hahaha, it was a fun journey! :)

AdroitConceptions
2 months ago

I managed to soft-lock on the teleport and move back to avoid the spikes level. managed to teleport into the wall. I also managed to complete one of the levels without the portal (up and down moving platform - you can jump to it, then jump off, over the spikes and to the crystal).

I really like the graphics, the 'pew' sound works nicely.
Nice job with the puzzles, they were intresting and varried.

A good first jam game.

gechy
2 months ago


Just bugged, but I wont stop untill I complete the game
https://gyazo.com/cbb514b4d9cb2485be56ee5b3507737e

thesunda
2 months ago

@AdroitConceptions thanks for playing it!

About the bugs, mostly are collision-wise. Handling collision is super hard for me, even that I'm a programmer for a couple years already. I'll refine this concept on the next jams and also I wish we had time to work on SFX and Music.

Don't give up @gechy!

Shoble
2 months ago

Hey @AdroltConceptions and @gechy, thanks for both of your comments and for your time playing our game!

We are aware of thoses bugs and softlocks, and we are currently working on it!
This is our first game and we still trying to get the grasp of the game engine!

Again thank you your time, have a nice day!

Phill Damaskin
(@phill) • 2 months ago

Really nice, just need more feedback sounds, adjusted character physyics and a fix for teleporting into the wall.

the1257thornothing
2 months ago

Good idea, and the realisation is ok.
The puzzles are fun and not too difficult on first levels, so I could win a few ones :)

Simple but fun, it's for me a really good jam achievement!

ToffieBoey
(@OatMealPal) • 2 months ago

I like me a good 'ol puzzle game.
Also I like the design of the little wizard dude.
Nice work, y'all. :O

oriondark7
2 months ago

This game blew me away. The graphics and animations are super slick, probably the best aspect of the game in my opinion. That doesn't take away from the fact on how fun and challenging it was, it took pixel-perfect precision and fast thinking to shoot a portal in the right spot before you fell onto a trap or died. Tutorial was good, you guys kept it really simple and didn't ramble on about it, which I appreciate. The only thing I would suggest adding is more Music and Sound Effects. Otherwise, this game was amazing, I couldn't even tell this was your first time doing a game jam. Excellent job!

thesunda
2 months ago

Damnn! Really appreciate both feedbacks @oriondark7 and @OatMealPal

Both of you made amazing games, I'm feeling honored!

neverix
2 months ago

This game was really fun to play! It had a nicend music balance and cute graphics. A few SFX and some background music would have been a good addition, but the game is solid even without them. While there were some challenging moments, they're worth it.

dgeisert
2 months ago

I got to a point where I couldn't get between the spikes, but very fun concept. The horizontal platforms not moving the player made it extra hard.

Ztuu
2 months ago

Firstly congrats on your first game jam! I hope you do many more in the future.
The game was good, a good idea and worked well for the most part.
I think the hitboxes were too harsh. As a general rule I make my hitboxes slightly smaller than the character. They felt almost slightly bigger than the sprite in this and sometimes I'd die when not quite touching the spikes which made some levels super hard.
The graphics are cute and I like that you had time to make a decent handful of levels.
Overall I'd say it's excellent for your first jam!

paperaero
2 months ago

despite my complaints, i still think this is a really well made game! the mechanic feels great, the sprites look pretty good, but i think the controls and gameplay are a bit weaker. the slow acceleration and deceleration really doesn't feel too good with your precise puzzle platforming levels. (also i got softlocked by accidentally pressing x right after respawning. i just died and nothing really happened)

for your first game jam, you did a nice job. well done!

ultrakilla
(@pepelka) • 2 months ago

I love this kind of games. I would love to play in this with better graphics and music

havana24
2 months ago

Finally finished! :D
Really good entry, the take on the theme is interesting and the level design is cool!
The real problem to me is all about the collision boxes.
I think that on the spikes their are too big, or maybe instead is the player collision box too big.
Just making them a little bit smaller will improve the gameplay for sure, avoiding the accidental deaths for just a pixel (I made a ton of deaths in the level where the diamond were surrounded by spikes).
Nice job!

Huliandos
2 months ago

It was a fun little game, with neat mechanics. The graphics and animations are cool and the game feels fun. The gameplay feels a bit clunky, as the spike hitboxes seem a bit to large sometimes and the movement kind of feels sloppy. I especially noticed it in the level where you had to drop right in the middle of two spike rows.
Finally it would be great, if the player would automatically move with the moving platforms.

All in all a fun little game and I am looking forward to see what you guys make of it :)

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 2 months ago

Nice pixel art! Probably would have been better to leave that sound effect off if that is the only one you're gonna do. Sounds for everything and adding some variation would be good, sound effects really do add that needed oomph to actions. Death and success sharing the same (or at least very similar) effect were confusing. And more visual effects overall would have been welcome, especially on that otherwise quite bland portal.

The beginning (so pretty much everything besides the last two) levels were way too easy. Just adding levels with more than one portal would greatly improve the much needed complexity and available variance. The second to last level wasn't that hard but just annoying because of the floaty controls. The controls weren't bad but the jumping could have been tightened a bit in my opinion.

Was this the intended mechanic or was I supposed to wait around for the platforms? Waiting is never fun and you didn't properly introduce the mechanic of preserving ones momentum. Or were you in the mindset that everyone and their mom should have played Portal? The mechanic was fun though and should have built some levels around it for that sweet sweet variety. And the final jump in there was just mean.

Oh and splippery elevators where you need to keep paddling to stay on aren't very fun…

Good job!

smbe19
2 months ago

Fun little game, but as others already have pointed out many little things could be improved (e.g. not having to walk with the platform, not dying if you hit the ceiling, less floaty controls). But overall nice entry.

n!ghtmare
(@josefgazdos) • 2 months ago

I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end I managed to finish it, but only because of the gif above that spoiled it.

Graphics are nice, but movement is a bit unresponsive.
Adding more mechanics would make the game better.

On the other hand it is not bad and with little improvements could be a decent game. It is positive!

innomin
2 months ago

This was a tough little platformer. The hitboxes on those spikes were crazy tall, and the character controls were a little slidy for my tastes, but that didn't stop me from playing all the way through. The visual feedback for winning and dying being the same threw me off a couple times, and made me swear in a few places where I was sure I had won. =P

I'd like to see more levels and different kinds of spells to cast, but as-is it was a fun journey. Nice one!

thesunda
2 months ago

Wow! Thanks everyone for the very very honest feedback. We're working hard already to fix the most critical bugs and some of them are already fixed on itch.io. Please make sure to play again if you feel inclined to!

The next steps are refining the collision mechanics/hitboxes and adding music to CDR.

Again, I really appreciate the honest feedback. Love to all!

Ashtrail
2 months ago

Most of the feedback I could think of was already given above.

Nice graphics, the level design is okay but could be improved especially since the controls are a bit wonky. That said I know it's really hard to make good game physics and since is your first experience it's already a very good job.

Some people complimented the pixel perfect precision required, personally I'm not found of it, it's more a chore than a skillfull feat. I guess it's a pitfall jam games easily fall into : being asked for precision when you have unprecise controls feels frustrating.

You could add a few visual information (effect on warp / death) and sound too and overall juice. I like linking this video so here you go, but really all game devs should watch it at least once imo ;).

Good job on finishing your first game :) !

ValdeTheAssetMan
2 months ago

Probably one of the best games here, just because of how simple it is. The last level took a bit of figuring out, turns out the platform was a trick and not actually something i was supposed to use 🤔 Overall great effort my dudes. Could have used some music tho

thesunda
2 months ago

@ValdeTheAssetMan wow! Thank you. We definitely feel that a simple music loop when going through the levels would be awesome. Already working on it!

@Ashtrail thanks for the honest feedback. Our main goal was to practice our skills and the skillsets we were good and bad as well. The original scope was huge and as the time passed by, we started making it smaller and trying to put juice and effort on the essential mechanics/graphics. Btw, thanks for the video! Definitely going to help on the next patch of Cast, Die, Repeat.

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 2 months ago

Here is another great video about "game feel" by JW.

maartene
2 months ago

Cool little game. I've seen platformer-portal games before, so I don't think its terribly original. But it looks good, plays well and has enough levels to build up skill in using the mechanics.

kirkwinner
2 months ago

Hey! Great work crew!

The pixel art is charming, animation on the wizard is dope.

Was a little surprised to learn that touching the ceiling would kill me and that I could portal to the sides of the stage, but that latter point raised some fun thoughts about future levels.

A simple concept executed really well! Wooh!

thesunda
2 months ago

Thanks for the honest review @kirkwinner!

HuvaaKoodia
2 months ago

A platforming challenge. These levels are obvious logicwise so I wouldn't call this a puzzle (deductive logic challenge) of any kind. Maybe with a few extra abilities and bigger levels full of magical mechanicsm to interact and solve problems with, currently no.

Well, it seems everything concerning the controls and visuals has already been said so I'll just comment on the audio. The background arpeggio just needed a melody and some percussion to go with it. I kept whistling different tunes while playing; just stick to the scale and that's that, easy music!

Certainly a success for a first jam. Nothing new or earth shattering, you played it safe and that was smart. Hope to see you take part in the future too!

Overall: Above Average (6.0)
Graphics: Above Average (6.0)
Audio: N/A
Gameplay: Average (5.0)
Originality: Above Average (6.0)
Theme: Average (5.0)

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