Falling for Science

Here is an early build of my current project Falling for Science! I've been working on this on and off for several months. The November challenge inspired me to finally upload something playable even though its not finished so this event is perfect!

The main gameplay loop is working. The obstacles are procedurally generated as you fall and the game gets both faster and more difficult. You can collect pickups to gain gold which you can use to purchase upgrades in "The Lab". Data is persistent so your high score and gold will be saved as long as you don't reinstall the game.

There are cheats enabled in the current build to allow easy testing of the upgrade system. Buttons in the lab will allow you to give yourself gold easily to buy upgrades.

Any feedback at all is very welcome. I'm just working on this project for fun so happy to take suggestions.
Although it's for the pc now I'd like to try and port it to mobile somewhere down the line because I think it would be well suited to that platform

Comments (10)

dwemthy
a month ago

Somehow ended up with a largely negative score early after starting a game. Didn't notice this until after visiting the lab, so maybe it's related? Some simple feedback, like a sfx of particle effect when gathering rocks would be cool. The attacks didn't feel very useful for a long time since they don't effect the green branches, something more to do with those would be fun.

Ztuu
a month ago

@dwemthy Thanks, I think a particle effect is a good idea.

Yeah the negative score is a bug. I think there are more rock research tiers than there are rocks and if you upgrade it fully it will start spawning gold that gives you massive negative points. I'll need to get that sorted out.

I agree that attacks don't feel that useful at first, I'll try and add something more to make use of them.
Thanks for playing :)

Wan
a month ago

Git gud.

"Git gud"???!! I managed to reach 1198m, which must be like almost the center of the world, yet I have to "Git gud"! Unacceptable è.é

Anyway, this is pretty good as a work-in-progress for an "upgrade game". Still some work to do but the basics are definitely here.

I like the chosen game theme and art style. While some graphics are still a bit placeholder/inconsistent, others like the animated character, the giant tree roots and the gold nuggets seem final and are very good! It seems like you've switched at some point from pixel art to a more HD cartoon feel, and it is quite successful I think. Well I guess that also comes with the cost of more energy to be spent on art, but in my personal preference it's worth it.

I would recommend turning the tunnel into a huge crack, like you could have a parallax effect showing both walls continuing in the distance. More than just for the eye sugar, it would also help reduce eye strain: I found that the lack of fixed areas on the screen to be quite tiring when the game is played full screen. Another issue related to the fast scrolling is that after a while the game is just too fast for me to keep track of the score/distance or literally any UI element except for the flashy vials in the top left.

Gameplay-wise, this was simple but alright to play: the balancing is challenging but quite good, and it's satisfying when we manage to stand for long runs. Now the game currently lacks depth and replayability due to the upgrades not being particularly fun, nor do they change much in terms of play style. Like dwemthy said, the scoring system is also strange, and I'm not sure what rock research does exactly, except maybe unlock new rock types.

As I played with an XBox controller, I also found the controls to be very sensitive (little to no deadzone + simple on/off movement makes things a bit frustrating).

All in all I'd say you've got a pretty good start in terms of art & theme & coding done, now to give the game replayability there's a lot of fun things you can start exploring. Mobile apps like Jetpack Joyride and even upgrade games from the Flash era can give you a lot of ideas if you're looking for inspiration.

I'm looking forward to try a more complete version in the future!

Raindrinker
22 days ago

Art: Really slick, really seviceable. When you go for a cartoon style like that the lack of animations is a lot more noticeable than with another style, but yet the sprite for the character and backgrounds and all are very well rendered.

Music: Like it, does tis part really well. Enough SFX supporting everything. Nice package.

Gameplay: The game feels a bit like its a core only. Its not doing anything super original and the thing it does it does it wih not much depth, but the emchanics are so clean that im sure a lot could e added to it with not a lot of trouble, and the game could become a lot more interesting with just a few more twists and diversity.

Final thoughts: it's really hard to write somethign complex about this game. Works very well, could have that hypercasual addictivenes with jus ta bit more stuff. Really reminds me of the kinds of games in the flash game era. I dont know if you plan to develop this one in particular, but you clearly know what you're doing :)

dollarone
19 days ago

When I started up this game, I couldn't die. Hit a branch? Nothing - just press pause/unpause to continue. Restarted, visited the lab, still the same "problem". I think it resolved itself when I hit a brown branch, or maybe something else fixed it. Anyway, weird bug. As for feedback:

This game looks good, the char and the branches are all nicely drawn. Would be nice to have a game-over sceen/character sprite. The music is pretty chilled and the sound effect works well. I'm missing a sound cue when you pick up the … pickups … (gold?) - would be useful!

I like the different colours and attributes of the branches - first I wanted to be able to kill the green branches as well, but that's fine - might be too easy then!

As the falling gets quicker, you have less and less time to maneuver - I know this is the gameplay of these games, but it feels a bit frustrating to die because you had no chance to react. Dunno how to fix this - maybe zoom out as the speed increases? I dunno.

I lol'ed at the skins section in the lab - already thinking monetisation ;) Good work!

Ztuu
19 days ago

@wan git gud

Ztuu
19 days ago

@Wan @Raindrinker @dollarone Thanks a lot for the in depth feedback guys, really appreciate it! I agree with all your comments. In particular the game does lack depth and balancing. I'll look into some of the bugs but thanks for the feedback and positive comments!
Still very much a WIP but I think i could make something decent out of it if I can ever find time to work on it!

Laguna
18 days ago

Hey there,
nice Game!

This one reminds me of a game I made for a Hackathon/GameJam some time ago (click here if you are interested).
The controls feel very direct and were never unfair. I like the persistent meta game with collecting gold and buying upgrades. The music and sfx work really well and convey a nice mood. Good job there!

My two biggest points of feedback would be the UI as well as the "juice".
While there are some animations (e.g. the falling animation is done really well!) I would love to see some screenshake or some particle effects when the vials destroy a rank. You could also make screen transisions smoother just by fading them in/out or doing some more fance screen-switching.

All in all the game is fun to play and I would like to play an improved version of it again.

Ztuu
18 days ago

@Laguna Thanks for playing! I think your comments are really great. I definitely need to add some juice as I polish the game to improve the feel. I hadn't thought of that yet but its a great point!

timbeaudet
18 days ago

Immediate Impressions

Upon on my first death, which was directly into the first obastacle, I found I could not press space or enter, or use the keyboard to restart the level. I was force into using the mouse, however the mouse is NOT then used to control the character falling. This feels rough as a player. Later I found that hitting escape after death allows replay with some broken UI and the game restarting from the start.

Shortly I ran into an obtacle that covered the full span and was extremely confused how that was possible to avoid. Felt a bit robbed in that you need a tutorial or something to tell the player about the testtubes to explode them - especially since the testtubes do not do anything to other obstacles. (Which had I found this button before hand would appear to be useless).

Graphics

The scrolling backdrop has a visible seam. The motion of backdrop seemed to physically hurt my eyes / started causing a headache and also somewhat got me dizzy when I stopped moving once. Prehaps because it is blurry or streched? (I played at 1920x1080)

Other

The 10 gold for the first level of items seems okay, but jumping to 100 gold was something I wasn't patient enough to try for, also the upgrades do not call out what they are for and I did not cheat for more money, as that would not be the end results for players. I do think this is more a 'pre-alpha' state than beta, it has a bit more work and balancing before moving toward beta, but keep up the work!

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Endless faller to the centre of the earth... FOR SCIENCE!

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