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-Liam-

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Wii OwnerIt's-a me, Mario!Hero of TimeStrawberry
11th May, 2013 at 11/05/2013 10:29:48 -

Hi TDC. I'm showing you an unfinished level from Agent Egypt. I need you to give me feedback on what can be done to make it more fun.

There are some things I'm aware of that need changing:

Music and sfx are not final
Level backgrounds need more attention
Player gets stuck at top of some slopes
Swimming movement
Enemies that take more hits
Touchscreen buttons look a bit bad, they do animate when pressed but are they okay?

Anyway, I really hope to make a good game, so please let me know any suggestions you have that could improve the experience. There are certain mechanics that are only accessible in later levels, such as monkey bars and such, to keep things feeling fresh. Thank you for your time.



Edited by -Liam-

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
11th May, 2013 at 11/05/2013 13:28:42 -

Wow! Very impressive work, Liam!

Here are some suggestions to try.

- Limit the ammo (even if it's only for one of the player's weapons) so the player has choices to make in terms of when to shoot, what to shoot, and/or what enemies to pursue. Let the player interact with the merchant stalls via a simple menu when they pass by in order to stock up on ammo (and use some of those coins they're collecting).
- Add a timer to the level, and award bonus points for early finishes/speed runs. An exciting way to add to the narrative is to have someone/something pursuing the player through the streets; if they lag behind they become captured and lose a life/game over/etc. This also adds a sense of urgency and tension which might increase the immersion factor. While watching I didn't pick up a sense of urgency or a need to go from one end to the other.
- add more to the underwater area, or leave it out. I know you may have wanted to include it to demonstrate the change in the terrain, but at this point it definitely leaves the impression of being an afterthought and there should be a reason to take that route instead of overland. Maybe you could just hide the gold coin more with vegetation, debris, or a locked chest. That may add a sense of accomplishment for players who find it.
- Do you have achievements for your game? They serve a useful purpose of offering players additional mini-goals and reasons to go out of their way when perhaps they normally wouldn't consider it.
- I simply LOVE the fact you can walk into the houses. Showing some treasures available through the open windows is a nice touch (just wanted to say that..!).
- Think about multiple, branching paths to the level's end. Give the player options of different routes to take to finish the level. I would love to see ways to take paths that weren't simply along the ground to finish the level. You have slopes, animations for hanging from ledges, and double-jumping. Can you develop areas that have paths to the finish that allow for jumping skills, hanging from ledges, etc. and then reward the player with more coins? Even having some houses with second story floors with coins hidden inside will encourage players to go up just as much as they would want to go to the end. Also, adding in a subterranean layer, giving players a reason to go underwater, would be nice...Give those pesky disappearing bubbles a reason to exist!

Those are a few suggestions, fist thing in the morning. Hope they're helpful. Here's to your continued success on this project, Liam!

 
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-Liam-

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Wii OwnerIt's-a me, Mario!Hero of TimeStrawberry
11th May, 2013 at 11/05/2013 15:32:15 -

Thanks s-m-r, those are all great suggestions.

I think limiting the ammo and getting a reward for beating the level quickly is essential. I dread to think of the extra programming, though they shouldn't be too difficult to implement (I hope!)

The way I'm structuring the Town levels is that you can stay at street level, or you can travel through the sewers. The paths meet up later in the stages, though I find the sewers a bit boring at the moment.

I started designing a world map the other day and found myself adding alternate branching paths, even though I'd not planned any. I think I'll have two different exits to some stages to encourage exploration. Then players can either rush through for more points, or take it slowly and explore to find extra levels.

Thanks for your suggestions! I agree with everything you said.


 
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s-m-r

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Candle
11th May, 2013 at 11/05/2013 15:54:02 -


Originally Posted by -Liam-

I started designing a world map the other day and found myself adding alternate branching paths, even though I'd not planned any. I think I'll have two different exits to some stages to encourage exploration. Then players can either rush through for more points, or take it slowly and explore to find extra levels.



CastleVania III. It started the trend in video games (unless you want to go look at the Zork series).

...I was looking for an article talking about "loops" and "branching paths" and stuff like that (using old-school D&D modules for critique and example, literally mapping them out in abstract terms) but I seem to have misplaced the link. If I track it down, then I'll pass it along. I found it brilliant and useful.

 
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Jake G



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15th May, 2013 at 15/05/2013 01:36:31 -

This looks like something I will download

My only suggestion for now is maybe to add some hieroglyphics throughout the sandstone wall tiles

Other than that I think s-m-r had some great suggestions!


 
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-Liam-

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Wii OwnerIt's-a me, Mario!Hero of TimeStrawberry
15th May, 2013 at 15/05/2013 12:13:27 -

Thanks, both of you! Funny you mention the hieroglyphics as that's hopefully going to be the main "thing" about the game. You can't understand the words or spoken language until you acquire a secret item - I'll be coming back to all the stages to add hidden messages eventually.

I don't think I can fully realise that ideas potential myself, but I'd love for a different perspective on the story to unfold if you're able to understand the language barrier.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback!

 
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Knudde (Shab)

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18th May, 2013 at 18/05/2013 02:06:03 -

I think the backgrounds need to be darkened a bit to make the foreground stand out a bit more.

 
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The Chris Street

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18th May, 2013 at 18/05/2013 14:02:02 -

All great suggestions, I have one myself. I think you should increase the speed of the players movement just a little. Right now the game appears "sluggish"? Any way to speed him up?

 
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-Liam-

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Wii OwnerIt's-a me, Mario!Hero of TimeStrawberry
19th May, 2013 at 19/05/2013 09:55:49 -

Thank guys, I think you're both right.

I think that adding a running power-up would work great with s-m-r's suggestion of trying to beat the levels quickly, so I'll look into this. Also I really don't like the background in this video, mostly because of how messy it is at the start and end, but adjusting the colour I think is also another great way to improve it!

Thanks!

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
18th July, 2013 at 18/07/2013 03:32:54 -


Originally Posted by s-m-r...I was looking for an article talking about "loops" and "branching paths" and stuff like that (using old-school D&D modules for critique and example, literally mapping them out in abstract terms) but I seem to have misplaced the link. If I track it down, then I'll pass it along. I found it brilliant and useful.



Here's that elusive article:

http://lesenswert.wikispaces.com/Megadungeon+Mapping

 
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-Liam-

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Wii OwnerIt's-a me, Mario!Hero of TimeStrawberry
18th July, 2013 at 18/07/2013 09:37:59 -

Wow, this is really thorough! I read through half of it and it goes into so much detail. This is way more complicated than what I'm planning. I mean WAAAY more complicated. But it's very useful and I'll be coming back to look at this some more later on. Thanks!

 
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nim



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18th July, 2013 at 18/07/2013 13:11:00 -

Great article, s-m-r. Thanks for digging it up.

Here's another that just came to my mind, specifically for platform games. It's by Pixeltao who made Ninja Senki: http://pixeltao.ca/post/52018300057/level-design-in-11-points

 
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