Spellcaster's Forest

Spellcaster's Forest is a weird mashup between magic based combat and bullet hells. Good luck!

Controls

WASD - Move (If you aren't a QWERTY user, I'd recommend avoiding this game as I didn't have time to implement more layouts.)
Mouse - Combat (Explained in game.)

GIFs & Images

Other Stuff

There are TWO boss fights, although I doubt anyone will clear the second one (It's Jamician!) without a ton of practice. I really cut it close with this entry. I barely had enough time to finish the music.

Jamician Fight (Spoilers!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVjjdT27ABQ

Voting results

Overall
4th
7.267
Graphics
1st
8.000
Audio
10th
6.067
Gameplay
6th
6.400
Originality
8th
7.200
Theme
4th
7.867

This game entered in the Solo competition (37 entries).

Info

fight stuff in a forest or something

Links

Windows & Source

Author

DaFluffyPotato

Related posts

Comments (11)

Psychic_Ash
6 months ago

haven't beaten the second boss but really an incredible job. Amazing work in such a short time.

smbe19
6 months ago

Very cool idea and nice implementation of the spells. I found it rather hard, and a bit annoying that mana was running out so fast. Also, the map was quite small and the window was also way too small.

After small adjustments to the source code I was able to beat both bosses, but after the second one the game crashed (and I don't think I broke it with my changes, but I can't verify it).

Btw. the game also works with Linux, one can just download the source and install pygame.

gechy
6 months ago

Cool and fun but I dont like to stop while atacking

neverix
6 months ago

Wow! This feels really polished and fun to play.

Ok…

I added a small patch to the source that is basically a cheat and let me beat the second boss… Please don't kill me!

n!ghtmare
(@josefgazdos) • 6 months ago

Good job at graphics. The music is a bit repetitive after few loops. The "drawing" spell mechanic is nice, but I find it dificult to cast fast enough so I don't get hit.

Sammy6
6 months ago

First of all, this game looks amazing! I saw your livestream and it was super impressive!
The game is very fun to play and has a good level of difficulty.
The music does get a bit repetive like n!ghtmare said.
Overall, great game!

innomin
6 months ago

The background art is so dang nice in this one! How did you make a whole game on top of doing that?

I won't be able to judge beyond the first boss, as it kept hard crashing out after I beat Scarlet, but I enjoyed what I was able to play. Any idea what happened?

I do have a couple issues with the gameplay that I want to mention. It's not that it's hard, but moreso that the RNG can make it unfair. Being unable to walk and cast at the same time means that you can get hit by a stray bullet unless you luck into a lull in enemy attacks. Also, the wind slash becomes almost completely useless once you learn meteor, because of slow and unpredictable mana respawns. I mean, Scarlet herself has 30hp, and wind does 1 damage, and meteor does 6. It would take a long time to kill her with just wind, and you don't have that kind of time because the eyeballs spawn faster than extra mana does.

And speaking of mana, it doesn't refill when you die! I would often waste a life just recollecting my mana up to full and then intentionally killing myself, to reset the boss's spawned enemies. Similarly for when she would make four enemies as her first move, before I had even hit her once. It just wasn't worth the hassle. My two wins were just the lucky times that extra mana showed up quickly, so I could rapid fire meteors at her and let the few RNG spawned eyeballs build up over time.

I understand why you had to lock movement when you cast, so that the grid's position didn't fall out of alignment with the mouse cursor as you moved around, but I think it might have been better to make all of your attacks directional from the player. Then the grid could move with you and you could still dodge, and spells would just travel in the direction you started drawing from. But then again, maybe it would have been better to draw in a side menu grid that never moves, and then just click a location on the map to hit? There's definitely something cool about the bullet hell, pattern drawing combo, and I did enjoy my time with this game. I just feel like there were a few tweaks I'd make to this formula, so that players have better dodging ability against all those RNG bullets. =)

DaFluffyPotato
6 months ago

@innomin Unfortunately, the only way to figure out what went wrong is to run the source and repeat whatever you did. Scarlet actually has 25hp btw. (4 meteor crashes and a wind slash.) The wind slash is useful for finishing off eyes after htting them with meteor crashes. It's also good for getting damage on in certain circumstances. The pattern of meteor crash makes it take a while to cast (you have to be in a good position to use it) and it shoots stuff everywhere when it lands. The mana used for a meteor crash equals 3 wind slashes. Also, a "protection" ability comes in towards the end, which acts as an rng safety net.

The whole saving up mana between lives thing was a bug. (I implemented the whole death/respawn cycle in the last hour and it has quite a few bugs.) I'll probably try and fix everything if I get the chance tomorrow.

I know there was an issue with the game crashing after boss fights if you beat them without any other enemies left because it would try to render a 0x2 image for the health bar, but I'm pretty sure I fixed that.

innomin
6 months ago

@DaFluffyPotato: I figured out the bug and got through, thanks for the info so I could track it down! The game always crashes for me when you meteor Scarlet five times, but not when you wind slash her down to 0hp exactly (it's likely scaling something negatively). I'm pretty sure there were other enemies alive every time it happened, too.

I managed to get to the second boss this time, but rage quit out after about twenty minutes because of the RNG. He had two meteor hits left to die, and zero mana spawned for a good ten seconds, and then five enemies spawned at the same freaking time. GG, I'm not putting up with that kind of swingy BS after I've already invested a good minute into the fight…

I'm sorry I'm kind of ranting here, but this game has pissed me off so much, because it's so good and so bad at the same time. I get what you're saying about wind slash being useful for finishing things off, but that really only means that they have too much hp to begin with. If eyeballs had 3-4hp I'd be more likely to slash them down completely, but the huge AoE on meteor means it's your default spell if a group has more than 2hp, since you can kite them all pretty far apart and still hit them at the same time. The bullets that fly off of it are fairly predictable, and far away, so they aren't much of a problem compared to new enemies randomly spawning right in your face, away from the group you've made.

And that leads me to the most frustrating thing, the costs of spells are too high across the board. Wind slash should be free, meteor should be 20-40% because it takes so long to cast. The way it is, you fire off a couple good spells and then spend the rest of the boss fights going around and around the map looking for mana. I had to do three circuits sometimes for a single blue orb to appear, and when it did appear right next to an enemy or the boss I still had to get it, because there was no other option. The longer you take, the more likely you are to hit bad RNG. Since mana recovery is already at a huge premium, every attack against the basic enemies or short-lived protection spell is wasted time and hurts your progress. One step foward, three steps back, until you just can't take it anymore.

Maybe a better option is to make the mana pickups a full heal, and also auto-refill mana 5% every second. But one hit kill and grindy, randomized combat did it for me after a while, it just wasn't fun. If there were repeating attack patterns and waves I could practice against, I'd feel like I was making progress, but every round was a crapshoot and I either got far or nowhere by how much mana was spawning against the random enemies. This is the first game I couldn't beat on here, and the player experience was that I just didn't want to put in the time to luck out. Whether that's true or not is debateable, but that lack of control and regular improvement frustrated me too much…

I'm sorry for the long comments here, I won't leave any more. Hopefully some of this is constructive, though, because I wouldn't have put in the time to write them if I didn't think there was some really good work done in this game. It just needs a few tweaks to be awesome, in my opinion, and I hope you can see where I'm coming from and consider this perspective on the gameplay. If you're doing a post-compo update, I'll definitely revisit this game, but I'll just do it a little more quietly… >.>

DaFluffyPotato
6 months ago

@innomin

Alright, I've fixed the bugs (the death related ones, a fire blast aiming related one, and the one that caused crashes). Btw, I was just playing the Jamician fight for a solid 30 minutes. The RNG for the mana spawning wasn't too bad.

Here's the time I beat Jamician. (I got a bit lucky cuz he TP'd into a corner.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVjjdT27ABQ

Also, I'm guessing that if RNG is giving you a hard time you haven't figured out that you can cancel the bosses' abilities by damaging them. That's one of the main uses of Wind Slash. (In my run above, I didn't need to Wind Slash the massive circular attack's channeling because it lined up with my Meteor Crashes pretty well.) The TP of Jamician is almost impossible to cancel, the burst fire/enemy spawn is really hard to cancel (your mouse pretty much already needs to be on him), and the circular one is incredibly easy to cancel because of how long (and obvious) the channel is if you're looking for it.

Raindrinker
6 months ago

As always, incredible quality. The need to stop while casting feels a bit bad, i guess the challenge would feel more fair if you let me keep moving. Great game all around. A few more spells would have been nice

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