Stuff Under the Header


Complaints & Information?

Edit: (October 18,2012) I had a text interview with Hadriex last year. He has something else coming up and he has a lot of footage to cover. SO!! He'd like some screenshots. There's no set number, but if you have any good ones or can get some, email those to me and I'll pack them up for him to use. If you'd like credit for that screenshot, put your alias somewhere on the image, I think the bottom-right would be a good place.

Either link to them in the comments or email them. If you do link them, be sure it's a known site and no shortened links. I do not check shortened links, not even from my roommates. If I'm not 100% sure where I'm going, I won't check it.

Oh yes, to the testers, (in case I don't get a chance to talk to you) you guys can send stuff as well, including things in the test builds, but not from boss encounters and no dialogue on screen from anything not in the public demo.

Two more birds got into the store the other day, both of which were always paired up every time I saw them. They brought a smile to my face, though I'm sure a co-manager will say something to me about the doors... again. To which there is nothing anyone can do about it considering I've observed one waiting for someone to open an automatic door, then fly in/out during these moments. If they really want in, they will get in.

On the topic of birds at work, two days before GDC, one of them decided to follow me inside. When I realized this was happening, I turned around and stopped, which she did the same. Then took a few steps, and she followed at the same pace. As much as I find it amusing when they come inside, they're definitely better off outside in many cases. I took a step toward her and she took a step toward me. Clearly she isn't afraid of me. Instead of scaring her out, I decided to try something. I walked around her and sure enough she followed, which was a good thing. Luckily no one saw it happen. I don't want to have to go through a talk with those people about why a bird followed me into the store that close. She followed roughly 2 feet behind me.

Yet Another Game

In the previous post's comments, I mentioned another game idea I had, and someone wanted more detail about it.

To restate: "The other is what DT used to be, though its concept has been changed since then. It's a puzzle platformer that you could say is a reverse Metroid. Throughout the game, the protagonist will be protecting someone who is unable to protect themselves and will have to sacrifice or give up something in order to do so.

Example: Taking a bullet for who they're protecting."

This game is on the back burner, farther down than the one mentioned in the previous post. To answer the questions though...

"Will it be 2D?"
This is still undecided, but I'm leaning on 3D more and more with this game.

"Will it use graphics from other games like DT or original graphics?"
No, and I can answer another potential question with this as well. DT3 will be my last game to use sprite rips. I can see small things down the road, but nothing even close to as massive as DT.

"Will it be a free fangame?"
No, the DT series will be the end of my fangames.

"Where does it play, where's the setting?"
It's a sci-fi/fantasy setting taking place mostly in urban and underground locations. (I'm suddenly reminded of Tomb Raider.)

"Are there bosses and esp how difficult will this game be?"
There are bosses, and like the rest of the game, don't involve a lot of combat. The character is clever and acrobatic, (at least she starts out acrobatic) and will use this to her advantage. Difficulty won't be on the level of DT. Seeing how this game will be on the market, if I ever make it, it needs to be a bit more accessible. That's not to say it won't be higher than average, this is me after all. :P

Just a few other details. For most of the game, the protagonist is protecting someone else. This is NOT an escort mission game. I can't stand escort missions. She is protecting an infant that won't move from the spot you place it down. Puzzles involve getting both the protagonist and the infant through obstacles. Whenever she has the infant on her person, she is encumbered, more so in later parts when she becomes more and more injured. Also through most of the game, she is being pursued, which in certain areas, is used as a timer as she has to outrun and outwit her pursuers. There are also times when she will have to find a safe place to care for the infant. (Feeding, etc.) Of course things like this may feel like micro-management, which could get in the way of the game, so I'm wondering if something like that should be mostly or completely scripted.

This game idea is a bit more underdeveloped than the 'Bird Game' at this point though, which is what I've been calling the previously mentioned game. On the Bird Game, I got an email asking a few more questions. I don't want to answer those at this point, but one was about difficulty. (Asking me about difficulty. I wonder why?) The answer, there is no winning or losing, there is only experiencing. There is no wrong decision, unless that decision is to not experience at all, but what is life without that?

That Complaint

A few posts back I mentioned I would possibly rant about something. Here we go!

It's about a Double Dragon Neon Review on IGN. I generally don't go to review sites these days, but there is the occasion I'll see how various sites review a game. As I mentioned way WAY back, I don't look at the score itself, but what the reviewer says. I'm all right with biased reviews and such or things the author found boring, but what gets to me is when a reviewer makes false statements. There's a few points I just wanted to touch on...

Right away, the tag line is "A strong case against that Battletoads remake we wanted."
This is definitely shaping up well isn't it? Because one game being bad definitely makes another game, that isn't even made, bad as well. Under the assumption that Double Dragon Neon is bad. I have my share of complaints about it, but these things stated here...

The review states, "The additional stages help fill out the original game’s 30-minute length, but only by about another 30 minutes, so you’re paying ten bucks for an hour of gameplay."
This is false, the game is roughly 2 - 2.5 hours to play through on the Normal setting without replaying any of its 10 levels. Seeing how the reviewer said he had to redo stages due to losing, this is even more questionable on their side. Also why is $10 for 1 hour bad?

The review states, "In those new levels you’ll encounter inept platforming segments, which don’t mesh well with Neon’s slow, cumbersome characters."
There was never an inept platforming segment or pitfalls that needed pixel perfect precision. There was one room in the final level with missiles coming across the screen on set intervals, which provided a frustrating obstacle to my roommate and I until we realized we were playing horribly. There was a fairly easy rhythm to it. This is a user error, not bad level design.

The review states, "During a late-game boss fight, I died and my co-op partner killed a behemoth tank. By virtue of having to throw explosives at its close-range weak spot, he died as well."
This is a lack of understanding. During said boss fight, there are times where you are required to throw explosives at a close-range target, like it says, but doing so does no damage to you. Even so, it gives you enough range to stay away from said explosion. If someone is reviewing something, they should know the facts. (Also said boss fight is slightly over half way through, not a late-game boss.)

At the very end, he states, "Let’s address a sad truth nobody wants to hear: The brawler genre is not very good anymore."
What little credibility this reviewer had for this review is now gone. You don't state an opinion and declare it as truth. This is also contradictory to his later statement of, "Double Dragon: Neon doesn’t bother to keep up with contemporaries such as Castle Crashers, Shank, and Scott Pilgrim – and you should let it fall behind." Which is it?

Most of his complaints feel like user errors as I didn't have any of the troubles he did. That isn't a good basis for that argument, but... whelp. Bleh, no more of this, I'm going back to no more complaints. Also this post was long with no pictures. I'll fix that next time... man I hope so.


Kurtis Haren said...

I really like this idea. The setup seems like you're going for a more cinematic, emotional response. I mean, if you're going to be guarding an infant through the entire game, you're going to start to get attached to it, and if something bad happens, you're going to get upset.

Speaking of which, if you're planning on going commercial on this, the biggest thing that I can think of that might be a problem is the baby itself. I mean, you can't expect the player to do everything correctly the first time, and you're going to have to show what happens if you fail. I can't think of anybody who'd want to see a baby get hurt in any way, so I'm kind of interested to see how you work that out.

Now that I think about it, what kind of art style do you plan on this taking? Is it going to be realistic, or cartoon-ish? Realism might help with the emotional side to things, but cartoon styled graphics would help with the fact that there's an infant in it and the player would be more willing to accept that the baby isn't really getting hurt.

You know what I'm trying to ask, right? It feels as though I'm not coming across quite right.

LostSoldier20 said...

"Review on IGN"
Credibility: 0

It is reviews like that, that show IGN really is as bad as everyone says. Seriously, that is some terrible writing there. They lie, they don't understand, and they contradict themselves? It's the hat trick of IGNorance.

How they still exist is beyond me.

Anyway: Video games
This sounds like it will be quite interesting when more comes out of it. And with the "micromanaging", that could work either way. It will help to establish a bond between the characters, and add more emotion into the situation, and I like that.

ZephyrBurst said...

"I really like this idea. The setup seems like you're going for a more cinematic, emotional response."
This was the starting point for both this and the Bird Game, though they take a different approach from one another.

Your concern with the baby getting hurt is also a major concern of mine. Players are going to make mistakes, and because of that, systems would be set in place to assist them in not making those mistakes. I'm not entirely sure of the details of that yet, but the game will never show the infant getting hurt when those mistakes are made. A quick cut to a Game Over screen with something about you failed in your task is something that will probably happen.

For art style, I'm leaning heavily on non-realism and possibly going with anthropomorphic characters, but that's really really uncertain. When this game starts to get more of my attention, I'll sit with some others who are interested in the idea and we'll work out what would be the best presentation for the game.

This will most likely come after the Bird Game though, I've been thinking about that game a lot lately and really liking the idea of a narrative without the use of dialogue and text.

Jaimers said...

Well that was fun.

I might write a bit of a longer summery of my experience with this later. That is if you're interested.

ZephyrBurst said...

Go right ahead.

Jaimers said...

Okay then.
Also wow, this got kinda wordy so I'm splitting it.

First of all I found it really fun how Distorted required you to use all of your techniques and abilities to the best of their ability. You've already beaten the game, learned the controls, mechanics and spells and now it’s time to put all of those to the test from the very beginning.
It puts the game in a very different perspective than when you first played the game, you weren't really required to search out weaknesses, cripple enemies and experiment with spells to find the best strategy to a situation, I found it great how every single enemy had the potential to kill you. This is unlike normal where you could just flail through everything and feel like you cheated your way through in the end.

Now knowing how Mental Insurrection works, it was also fun to get all the items as soon as possible and it felt like sequence breaking in a sort of way. I actually ended up getting all the items in Rumpy Mountains without the air dash. That was something else. You probably wouldn't do this if you didn't think that you needed every single bit of extra advantage that you could get.

I very much enjoyed the new traps during bossfights, it gave them a feeling of being new and fresh and you had to adjust your strategies accordingly. It also gave the easy bosses the potential to kill you.

Now knowing how the skill upgrade system worked and being back at square one, it was interesting to think about what to upgrade first for this difficulty. I opted out to upgrade the cripple time ASAP as I figured that would be the most important stat. I went on to upgrade offense, dash and spirit next. Defense probably won’t do you much good on this difficulty.

I found out that Disruption is a hilariously overpowered spell. You can pretty much wreck any boss or enemy that has a weakness to earth in this fashion. The Spire boss, 4th Wall Crusher and the Data Segment midboss come to mind. The actually ended up killing the midboss in Black Rock Fortress in like 8 seconds this way, which made Jeremy’s comment about it being hard on higher difficulties all the more funny. Speaking of the 4th Wall Crusher though, I don’t know if this is a bug but you can scan him before Jeremy tells you he can.

I knew Necrobane was a thing from your comment near the end of the game and I took preparations long before actually getting to the boss. I had to think of what the best stats to upgrade where and I ended up upgrading everything water related as that was his weakness.
Necrobane was actually pretty difficult but really the hardest part was actually crippling the asshole during his last healthbar. He exposes his eye at the worst times.

Megaman town was completely trivialized by heavy use of Water Barrier and Mental Insurrection. Woops.

The game became quite an exercise in running away starting from Distortion 3. Enemies weren't really worth fighting that much as a whole and they could easily overwhelm you.
The Zelda segments with the dog heads especially, that just became a speedrun. Heavy use of Water Barrier was used.

Veiled Detritus bosses. Holy fuck these were assholes. I actually went “fuck this” during the bullet hell boss and went to beat the Spire instead. Knowing I had to out-attrition him I equipped the Sword Bead and the newly acquired Triforce Bead and just wailed on him while dodging as best as I could. But those springs are really the worst thing about this. They get in the way and make you launch right into bullets.
Not really fond of the randomness during the rock boss either. You need to kill him quickly and those lasers get really in the way, or more, the bullets that spawn from them. I actually ended up using Hurricane to blow the bullets away and I didn't even know you could do that. And having to luck out during the super-phase wasn't really fun either.
Those bosses were definitely some of the more troublesome parts of the game for me.

Jaimers said...


The Shady Caves boss irked me a bit too as the physics aren't exactly ideal for this sort of bossfight. Same for that middle section in Think and Act Fast, that is really the worst part of that room. It’s also worth mentioning that the orbs that despawn the platforms in that fight sometimes come from out of nowhere out of the lava without you having time to react, which is kind of cheap.

I kind of fucked myself during Distortion 4 as I had Shrouds following me and without any way to get rid of them. So I had to luck out whether they would appear or not when crossing a few of the rooms. Could have used Rave Mode but eh.

The second shmup section surprised me a bit as I actually had to pay attention and make an effort to beat it! Still nothing I can’t handle with my experience with the genre but it was still a nice surprise. I will say though that the shmup sections have horrendous input lag for shmup standards.

Before tackling the Date Segment I figured I figured I would want to get to max level. I tried to look for an appropriate farming spot and found a perfect one on that secret ledge with the item in the canopy in Shady Woods. I let the slime multiply itself for a while and left the game running while I went to do something else. What happened was interesting to say the least haha:
So yeah I pretty much went from this:
To this in an instant:
Surprisingly enough I now have a spell hit percentage of 1630%...

The Shroud Lord actually took a surprisingly few amount of tries. I did however intentsly study NegativeZeroZ’s video beforehand and I already knew how to dodge the bullet hell phase so I had that going for me. Honestly this is one of those bosses that once you know what to do he’s not that bad. The randomness of the lasers during the first super phase can make some really stupid situation though. Especially random lasers getting completely in the way on the left platform during the third phase.

Refrained from Rave Mode except for that one farm trick as it was sort of required for that to work and for the final sentry room before the Shroud Lord. I just really didn’t want to deal with all of that. I only used one fully healing item during the Omega Metroid section as I didn’t really know how you where supposed to do that section and I was at the end anyway.

All in all that was a lot of fun. Quite a different experience from playing the game on normal as you had to take full advantage of what the game offered you.

Jaimers said...

Erm, replace every Disruption with Rupture durr.

NegativeZeroZ said...

Yeah, I never went on any sort of record saying this, but Dark Gear gave me the most trouble out of any boss, with the Shroud Lord barely making Top 5. Sure, I had to come up with the Wind Burst strategy at some point, but once I knew what I had to do, it didn't take many tries. It took so few tries, in fact, that I didn't mind doing it twice for a video :P Good job beating the game on Distorted. It's not easy, but it definitely can be fun if you use all your abilities to their full potential.