Iris616 on 3rd Alakajam! entry Infinite Potential

Woop woop, I'm doing one of these too.
You can play it at https://alakajam.com/3rd-alakajam/308/infinite-potential/
(Post-mortem also on https://iris-xiii.tumblr.com/post/175512643353/infinite-potential-post-mortem)

Apparently there's a few mac bugs regarding fullscreen. I'm going to be ignoring them from the time being, since I can't test on mac (oops) and that looks hard to fix. Nothing game breaking, thankfully.

Being made during 48 hours, and not being used to such a short time limit myself, it's obviously nothing to drop your jaw at. Still, I think it manages to be fun sometimes, or at least it's definitely fun for a while for some people, which is great enough to me for the time being. Now, time to delve into its issues!

  • First off, spawning. I don't think only allowing powerups or enemies to spawn when they're off screen was a great idea. While it punishes staying in the same area for too long, it punishes with boredom, which isn't exactly good. Also, while having powerups spawn only when you can't seem them worked out alright on my computer, it gets rather messy with different screen and window sizes. If your screen is just large enough, nothing will spawn, ever. The spawning system was a bit rushed over, but I failed to consider these issues and I will have to be more careful next time I add anything which depends on the size of the window you're playing on.

  • Weapon balance issues: There's a few, even though it used to be even worse. The sword (2nd wepaon) is widely regarded as useless and too risky to use, and many agree that it needs a longer range or something among these lines. Although its hitbox was increased to be twice as large during development, it was clearly not enough, and dealing only twice as much damage as a fireball does, it's usually not worth the risk. Regarding the fireballs and bombs, I think they're fairly good myself. Some people have complained about the bombs being on a way too large cooldown, and taking too long to go off, but considering they do way more damage than anything else in the game (Unless you've managed to gather a serious amount of powerups) I think it's pretty balanced. Even if it takes 4 bombs to get rid of some creatures, you can usually outrun them by getting one or two powerups: So they're not as dangerous as they might seem, they're just a bag of extra points, or a punishment if you happen not to be careful enough.

  • Controls: I think I've done way better in this game than in the past, and so far only one person has complained about them. While you can stick to ceilings during a jump and that shouldn't happen, it's the only thing that doesn't feel quite right (to me). Could definitely be improved on, but they're reliable and good enough.

  • AI: I've gotten all kinds of feedback on this one. It's a hacked together mess, and fairly dumb, I acknowledge it. However given how basic it is, it doesn't work too bad. While the completely random jump allows enemies to get stuck for longer than they should, it also makes it impossible to predict when they'll decide to jump, leading to some situations in which they'll jump at the same time you do while you try to jump over them, and thus end up smacking right into the creature. During those moments it seems much less dumb than it really is. AI is definitely something to improve on, but it turned out just as you'd expect given the amount of time I spent on it (very little).

  • Map design: Another hacked together mess. If you were to know how the map actually works, you'd puke. Its design itself has a few serious issues: The right half of the map seems more enjoyable, mostly because there's platforms allowing you to move freely, while it's much harder to stay on the move on the left side. There's also a few spots in which you're completely safe, forever, and it might break the flow of the game, along with a couple of 'cheese spots' you can throw bombs off from, and farm for a high score with 0 risk. Balancing is hard, okay?

  • Powerups: Could definitely be improved on. Some kind of UI showing how many powerups you've picked up so far, and of which kind, would allow the player to keep track of its progress more easily. I admittedly wish I would've had more time to throw in a few powerups more. The damage increasing powerup is particularly bad, in that there's no way for the player to tell the difference most of the time. On the other hand, the jump and speed powerups feel rather great and it's very easy to notice that you've taken them. In regards to the health powerup, I'm feeling lukewarm about it. It's very much necessary, but it feels too weak sometimes.

  • Creatures: Again, could be improved on. For those of you unaware, there's three: The first one is a spider-like, small creature which deals an also small amount of damage, and is fairly easy to dispose of. However it's capable of jumping, and there's plenty of it. I believe this one is fairly well balanced, even if the AI needs quite a bit of love.
    The second creature is tanky in all senses of the word. It's a big triangle, and while it doesn't jump it deals considerably more damage than the previous creature, and has a lot of health. Easy to outrun, there's very few of them, and unless you've managed to gather a lot of power-ups throwing quite a few bombs at it is usually the answer. Final thoughts: The amount of points it drops isn't worth how boring it can be.
    The third and last creature is a hand. If any fireballs touch it, they will bounce back towards the player and damage it. They always try to stay at the same height you are to be able to do this better, and until you've collected a few health powerups, they insta-kill on touch. This is definitely a creature the game needed: Fireballs go through everything, except these hands, which make them bounce back and towards the player. It serves to keep the player from mindlessly spamming fireballs too often. Although it's 'weakness' was supposed to be the sword, it's not worth the risk and throwing a couple of bombs on it works just right.

What a ride, I think this covers most points and feedback, phew! There's clearly a lot that could be better, but it's far from awful and at least it can be fun.

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