Groupmembers:

  • Mehmet Dereli
  • Louis Hoetzl (MD.H.)
  • Felix Kosian
  • Julius Krüger



Full Report

Timeline



Milestone 1: Game Idea (19.04.2021)


Milestone 2: Prototyping (03.05.2021)


Milestone 3: Interim Demo (24.05.2021)


Milestone 4: Alpha Release (14.06.2021)


Milestone 5: Playtesting (28.06.2021)


Milestone 6: Final Release (12.07.2021)

Builds

Windows

Linux


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21 Comments

  1. I'm a big fan of rogue-likes and I quite enjoy the aesthetic style of your slides, so I am looking forward to your game. The only remark I have is that you should make sure the theme of chaos and order doesn't get lost in your design.

  2. G'Day to you folks!

    1.) What I like:

    First of all, I am very excited for the (hopefully ;D) amazing look of your game and the extended replayability the rogue-like genre brings up to the table. Additionally, I think you can really make a lot out of this cyberspace-retro-sytle you are going for.

    2.) What I find problematic:

    I think challening is keeping the player engaged with the procedual generated levels. It basically means you try to offer varity with the exactly same underlying gameplay every time and that can be pretty tough. I think there is a quite high risk of repetitiveness. Though, again, extremly high replayability can be the reward! And another thing about the enemies you should maybe think about: I know they represent the chaos aspect but how do you want to achieve this? The players in rogue-likes usually learn patterns to be successful in these games, so there needs to be structure or order to a certain extend, even in unordered appearing movements.

    3.) Improvements

    In my opinion your game lacks a bit of a feature that makes it really stand out inside the rouge-like genre. If the answer is 'visuals', then golden! If not, then maybe you can specify some kind of gameplay mechanic which is somehow a bit uncommon and special in this genre. Maybe it is all about how the enemies behave as stated in your design document representing 'Chaos in Cyberspace' but again, it still needs to be understandable for the player when creating the chaos...

  3. You need a Unique Selling Point since the gameplay idea is not unique. I think the graphic focus is feasible but you really need to consistently vibe check your game. When making game decisions make sure that you consider that the atmosphere is your selling point! Also, you might need cool music to support the graphics, I'm thinking something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ

  4. I am fascinated by the idea, it reminds me of the mission in Cyberpunk 2077 where you have to find somebody in the computer/network/virtual world (I hope I remember that correctly). I think the idea itself is really cool and allows for many possibilities gameplay wise. I know I really shouldn't be criticizing this, as our team is doing the same, but provedural generation is hard. Not by itself but to create good levels/worlds with it. But as I said, I believe your setting leaves you a lot of possibilities, so somewhere in there I am sure procedural generation will have a place!

  5. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?
    The idea of letting the player pick their abilities. Having too many options available at the same time might lead to the player not knowing which ability to use. They might revert to only using one or two they are comfortable with or spam random abilities just because they are available. By letting the player pick their abilities in the beginning, you gain many advantages. One of them is ristricting the player, making it easier to play. At the same time, you force the player to actively make the decision to pick their ability, giving it another level of depths for those who want to master the game. It can also be connected to a typical progression system in a rogue like, e.g. having only one ability in the beginning and unlock more abilities as they progress.

    What is your least favorite aspect? Why?
    Enemies having elements of chaos like semi-predictable movement, inaccurate weapons and so on. It seems like the type of thing that can get really frustrating really fast, if the whole game feels like you have to be lucky to win.

    Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?
    I understand that you want to implement the random chaos factors of your enemies to fit the theme, but at the very least you should be careful with. The most important thing is not making it feel unfair. There can be elements of randomness in the behavior of enemies, but finding the right balance can be difficult. So my suggestion is to use random factors sparsely or make them more beneficial for the player than for the enemies.

    Additional feedback:

    • Be careful not to put in too many features (you listed many weapons, abilities, enemy types, traps) before polishing the ones you already have. Like it says in the project structure document: It is better to do one (or few) thing(s) well than to do many things in a mediocre way.
    • You said something like "ideally the player wants to keep playing, even if they die over and over again". For that to work you need a solid progression system so that the player has a sense of progessing even if they die over and over again.
  6. I LIKE the theme. I am a fan of dystopian, cyberpunkish science-fiction since Neuromancer. Looking forward to your interpretation.

    I FEAR I will never see the boss. You have put so much effort in designing him, his skills and movements. You have put so much thought in how to make him interesting, but… How many procedurally generated levels filled with three kinds of enemies and three kinds of traps does a player have to go through to meet him? 10? 100? I know the boss will be there because I’ve read the document, but will the player know something awaits him at the end? Will he know there is an end at all? Will you give him enough motivation to try again?

    MAYBE you should somehow show there will be a final fight and show that it will be great. As your game is not an endless dungeon and there is a goal, you should introduce it – for example through minibosses or an introductory almost cliché “doomed to failure” fight. And you could perhaps shorten the way to the goal after it was discovered. I like rouge likes. I love facing powerful enemies or hard challenges over and over again, but there is nothing more frustrating than a swarm of annoying mobs between the checkpoint and the newly found, cool boss causing you to face him with replenished health and almost no ammo.

  7. What do I like the most?
    As part of the Bullet-Hell Team (Equilibrium), myself, I of course enjoy fast paced games and 2.5D shooters.
    I'm also a big fan of the Vaporwave aesthetics you want to utilize in your project.
    However, what I actually do like the most about your concept, is the procedural level generation.
    I'm already curious about how it will turn out!

    What do I like the least?
    In your initial presentation you described your project as a roguelike, yet in the Game Proposal it seems you have moved away from this concept and instead moved player progression to the backlog.
    I personally think that something like a very simple roguelike progression system (e.g. earn gold by defeating enemies to purchase hp and damage upgrades with it) would be more beneficial to the replayability of the game and the overall game loop than e.g. a hubworld, which could easily be replaced by a level selection menu unless you intend on placing certain points of interest there.

    What change would I suggest?
    Outside the aforementioned suggestions, it's always a bit hard judging a game like this without seeing a protoype or a bare minimum demo.
    The only thing I could think of right now, would be to just be careful about the game flow, especially as you plan on including things like traps, which could hurt the game flow a lot if not done correctly.

  8. Unknown User (ga42mud)

    I really like the idea of playing a hacker virtually fighting through dungeons. I'm always interested to see how games visualize hacking as this action heavy chain of fights.

    Personally I'm not sure about having to choose exactly one weapon to beat an entire level with. I'd rather take all the weapons and have the option to switch between them as it gives more options to deal with certain situations. 

    I'm looking forward to your game especially with your hacker theme being so open to interpretation!

  9. I really like the retro kung fury-hackerman vibe of this game, especially in the art style.
    Maybe try to really stick out of this popular genre when designing levels, weapons or enemies.
    Otherwise, I see this as an entertaining game to play.

  10. Like: The aesthetic, the vibe, the hackyness
    Fear: I see the chaos aspect, but I don't think the order aspect is as clear.
    Suggestion: don't let your aesthetic stand in the way of gameplay, give the player clear visual cues (especially in fast paced situations)

    1. Until now I only played 2D roguelikes and so I'm really looking forward to your game. Also the setting sounds very interesting.
    2. I think the procedurally generation of levels can be challening. It seems like a lot of balancing and fine-tuning will be necessary to create a good experience for the player.
    3. It's quite hard to say what I would suggest without seeing a demo but I think you should try not to forget about the theme. Especially the order part might come a bit short.
  11. Favourite aspect: Your choice of procedural level generation for the game sounds challenging, but could also be really rewarding. I see the potential to extend your game quite easily with new content once the core is stable. I also like your plans to have a boss at the end of each level, which I think would make for a satisfying gameplay experience.

    Fear: Since humans are pattern recognition machines, I think your technical achievement will also be rather challenging, to make it seem to the player that the content is genuinely unique each time.

    Suggestion: Since players might be dying in levels quite often, I wonder if a progression or reward system between levels would further encourage them to keep playing. Some sort of XP tracker that is maintained across attempts etc.

  12. I'm a personal fan of the vapor style so instant plus points from me. Also very clever to decide on the design right away!

    Don't make it to random with the enemy design. There should be a learning curve to it and should not be a rng fest.

  13. I love the style, vaprwave is just a really nice aesthetic. However, randomness can be tricky especially with enemies and procedural generation. Consider hardcoding a couple of test levels foor testing and make sure to invest enough time into tweaking yoour procedural content generation.

  14. Favorite aspect: The aesthetic. Vaporwave is something that really suits itself well to be used in video games and is pretty under represented right now.

    Least favorite aspect: Twinstick shooter. I always feel twinstick shooters feel bad to control. Maybe I didn't play a good one yet.

    Single change: Nothing right now. It all depends on the execution of your plans.

  15. The theme/style is obviously great, the game has the potential to be visually stunning if enough time is invested on the models, particle effects, shaders etc. Since your technical achievement is based on procedural generation, I assume quite a bit of time will be spent on balancing, difficulty adjustments and maintaining the flow. Although most of the tasks do not seem particularly demanding at first glance, I wouldn't underestimate the time required for balancing if I were you. Also, in order to maintain the sense of novelty throughout procedurally generated levels, you might realize cosmetic modifications on the enemies themselves as well as the environment. On a final note, I would also suggest giving more priority to music and sound effects. Since your game relies heavily on the vaporwave aesthetic, audio elements will be crucial tools for realizing and maintaining that vibe.

  16. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?
    I love rogue-likes, I dig the aesthetic. I'm not able to put my finger on a specific aspect that I like, but I'm certainly excited for the end product.

    What is your least favorite aspect? Why?
    Procedural generation can be very tricky, especially for things like rogue likes, where it's easy to frustrate or bore a player. So don't underestimate that part, make sure that players can't get killed the instant they move into a new room but also don't bore them by too strict rules for generation, which leads to repeating rooms.

    Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?
    Would be very cool if you manage to give players some long-term motivation. A simple in-game timer or score system would already help, but a permanent progression system that unlocks new collectibles or even characters (like in Binding of Isaac or Dead Cells) would be insanely cool.

  17. I love rogue-likes and the looks you aim to go for the game, so I am very excited to see what it will turn out like. 

    Key here is to not make it too difficult . Many games nowadays see unfair and difficult as a similiar thing when in reality they're really far apart from each other. 

  18. I really like the look of your game and the procedural generation aspect.
    However like most of the remarks, i also miss a long term motivation, which keeps the player interested in grinding, through the game for the next reward. 
    Also the possibility to change the difficulty would be cool, so the game is also appealing to casual gamers.

  19. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?
    I like the style you are aiming for and I'm curious how your game will be in the end.

    What is your least favorite aspect? Why?
    I don't want to repeat the points with procedural generation, but just keep in mind to focus on quality and not quantity.
    Somehow I miss the "Chaos" a little bit in your gameplay. It seems to be only a part of the lore and that's bothering me a bit.

    Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?
    Maybe add some motivation why the player wants to fight the enemies and finally the boss. I don't know if you've already planned something like that, but I would really apreciate it (smile)

  20. Here's one anonymous comment:

    I am really excited for the art-style of the game as I love Vaporwave
    aesthetic myself. In terms of the theme I feel like it can still be
    fleshed out, only because the enemies behave erraticly the gameplay does
    not feel chaotic in my opinion. As you want to develop procedural
    generation for your levels you should also try to incorporate not only
    the traps but also random geometry. I think this would add an additional
    layer to random enemies and traps for the levels.