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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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).
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 :)
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…
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!
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!
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!
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 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.
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!
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)
Gameplay: Average (5.0)
Originality: Above Average (6.0)
Theme: Average (5.0)