Souls-like boss fight with only one chance to make a perfect shot
UPDATE 1: added Web version
WASD\Arrow - Movement
Space - Fire
Shift - Refuel Mana
The gameplay is not that amazing but it works. It's way too difficult for the average player tho, and its very hard to tell whats going on with your mana bar rotating around you, and this disorienting teleport that happens every time you take damage. The music is also really quite annoying as it's just this repeating drumbeat that goes on and on. But the sound effects and graphics are nice and have clearly had some effort put into them.
So took me quite a while (and my left pinky is about to fall off) but beat it twice! Had to do it twice because first time, nothing just happened and it restarted (no you died or beat it message). So I just had to verify and try again just to be greeted with the boss not giving a F and keeping throwing spears after death and hence killing me…
I'm not gonna focus much on the graphics and audio. They were both ok. The animations were quite glitchy though. The UI was a bit weird too, why the three energy nodes if you use them all to shoot once and they don't even properly indicate the charge. First comes with like with just one press, seconds takes more and the final one takes ages. And there isn't any other indication when you're fully charged (audio cue maybe) than the balls which are constantly getting overlapped by the fountain and stuff oozing from it.
The biggest issues were the actual controls and balancing. The jumping was super floaty and no way at all to control the height of the jump isn't great when you're supposed to do this kind of dodging. It became just this methodical waiting game and trying to not jump at all to not get caught with your pants down. Jumping was also very finicky around the edges of the platforms and right after landing from a jump. Coyote time and better grounded checking would be the way to go. I also fell through the platforms several times after a big jump. Probably need to change the collision detection to continuous or raycast from previous position to new one to check that didn't go through anything.
The arena wasn't balanced very well for the fight. Especially near the end when there were more spears to dodge. If the boss decides to come to the platform above the fountain, you're pretty much just got 50% chance of survival. Having to flee to either bottom corner was just instant doom.
The need for button mashing when recharging felt unnecessary. Could have just easily allow holding or even doing it automatically when near a fountain. Didn't feel like it added anything else besides hand pain. And even shift of all keys, isn't mashing that like a faux pas for Windows users? Or is sticky keys just a thing of the past?
Anyways, good job!
Very good feedback has already been given in other comments.
The game looks pretty good and the animations are cool, the music is okay but indeed pretty repetitive. The floating orbs UI looks nice.
I'd say the main problem is that the game feels pretty unfair. Recharging is just slow and dangerous and it's easy to miss a shot which feels frustrating. I think seeing the boss health would be a good thing since every time I managed to shoot him once more than the last time I thought "what, he still isn't dead ?". When he started going super sayen I just gave up, it was already hard enough to dodge the normal spears.
For this kind of hard game the controls are a key point (for example Super Meat Boy) and it's hard to make solid controls during a game jam. If you want to continue working on the game I think you need to give more reward to the player, right now everything feels like a chore or a punishment : you have one not very precise shot and you need to spend ages recharging, which isn't very fun. Maybe making the blast feel more powerful, or giving a hurt feedback on the Boss to fuel the player's vengeance.
But anyway, it's very hard to make a game that feels just right in such a short amount of time, good job on the animations and on finishing a game !
I noticed you can actually charge your shot anywhere - not just near the fountain.
To me this was a decent boss fight game. Nice graphics and difficult enough to give a sense of achievement when I beat the boss. Unfortunately, though, the majority of the difficulty was due to the flimsy controls and floaty jumping mechanics (as explained in previous comments).
To adress all the complaints on the fact that the charge thing is misleading, I completely agree, and during developement I didn't really agree with it and thought it should be 3 spells. My partner thought to have 1 spell charge, and I assumed they knew what they were doing better than I did. I do agree as well, you're right that the controls and stuff are wonky
I thought the difficulty was a bit much, as I have never beat it, and we probably could have made it more balanced and control better.
Oh, and I guess my partner thought that the button mashing was better, and my pinkies are still sore, yeah.
Thanks for the feedback!
Thank you for a feedback, guys! Yep, sadly we didn't have enough time for playtesing( It was a hypotesis, that mashing the button will bring the sense of rush, but it wasn't proved. And the mechanics with one charge was just copied from this game https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwjirpsB_uw , but seems like it's already obsolete. But that's ok, next time we'll make it better)
I love hard games and thats why I also instantly liked this game, but I have encountered some glitches which made it hard to enjoy this good entry:
I glitched through the ground on the level where the mana pool is a lot after jumping down on it from above.
The same occured when I jumped down from the lowest level of platforms.
Sometimes when standing on the edges of platforms I just slid of them.
Moreover I think the bossifight felt way too scripted on his first phase, as he always jumped in the same pattern, which made the first phase to easy for a game thats meant to be hard.
I don't know if I missed a mechanic, but it always seemed like to first two charges of mana are really fast to aquire, but the last one always takes ages, which felt strange when trying to time your mana recharging.
All in all I liked the entry and hope that you keep up working on it, as I think this game concept can become a really great game!
Hey great work gang!
I particularly like the art on the knight, it's quite fun.
I'll admit, I got got by the sticky keys goof hah hah. Maybe a different button for mashing next time.
I'm a big fan of dumb artificial intelligence, I like that the knight had a pattern I could exploit, and that the projectiles were easy to predict. Allows me to plan and make meaningful choices.
I would have liked an indication of the enemy's health so I could gauge my progress.
A good boss battle, haven't had one of those in a while. Not the most innovative or long, but I can live with that. Floaty controls for sure, but I can live with those too!
The post-jam version, on the other hand, is one step forward and many steps back!
No shift spamming is a definite improvement. Collecting mana automatically feels less involved than having to press a key down, so that would have been another working solution.
The health and manabars are a quick fix to the information problem, but not actually the most elegant solution. If the knight reacted to hits and changed its appearance (losing armor, bleeding, changing color, etc.) there would be little need for a boss health bar.
A player health bar i2 needed, although I preferred the old design as it mirrored the mana spheres visually, but now that there is a manabar the mana spheres themselves are pointless. B… B… But how about the three shots??? Well, that's the biggest problem of them all!
With a single blast requiring a full mana recharge, there is some tension (can miss the shot if careless) and the battle is just about challenging enough to require multiple (5-10) tries. It feels like a proper boss battle.
With the new three blasts per mana recharge system the knight goes down extremely easily as all of the shots can be rapidly discharged, effectively tripling the damage output of a single attack. Lowering the damage of an individual shot would bring the duration of the battle back to the same level as before and essentially mean that the three individual shots are the same as a single one… Why have three then at all? I don't know either.
Rating the original version then. Everything would be Good (7.0), if not for small issues in all categories as mentioned by others. So ah, have an above average day!
Overall: Above Average (6.0)
Graphics: Above Average (6.0)
Audio: Above Average (6.0)
Gameplay: Above Average (6.0)
Originality: Above Average (6.0)
Theme: Above Average (6.0)