— Uhmm, [RIGHT|LEFT] + UP works only when the frog is on the floor, so if you press [RIGHT|LEFT] the frog will perform a side-hop, you have to hold the primary [RIGHT|LEFT] and press and hold UP when in the air to perform a big hop for when the frog falls in contact with the floor. So it will work after a run but not inmediately after the idle state, because that’s the idea: a big jump with impulse after a jump (notice that the frog jumps higher after a long run). Do you think this controls are too much complicated?
— Yes. I need to be more specific.
— Yes, I think in the blinking thing before, I already made a blinking version and don’t like the result but maybe I can improve the animation later.
— I’m playing with the idea of this underwater level but I’m still not sure. What do you think that cause the jumps to look like flying or swimming? The animations itself, the velocity of those animations (velocity of ascending, descending) or the two? That’s important feedback to me.
— “The frog looks alive (still breathing) but seriously wounded”
Perfect! It’s not death; it’s exhausted, but anyways means game over.
— This is only an animation and control test; so coins, bombs and blocks aren’t part of the real game, I draw them in 5 minutes just for this test because I need to be sure of the movement abilities and animation flow of the main character before design the levels in what it will move. The final level design is intended to be more colorful, vibrant and realistic in structure and less “blocky”, even with some parallax scrolling to add depth to the scene.
— Thanks for the advice but nope, the frog can fall from anywhere without damage, that’s an important feature in the game mechanics.
— Cool. The walking animation was the hardest to do. Glad you like the plot, it will be more complicated through the real in-game experience, like a sort of a tiny RPG story. I hope to upload soon a test level looking more like the final version.
I’ll re-think some of the control mechanics and, uhm, maybeee will do some changes but I’ll definitely design a short level with some obstacles and instructions as a sort of tutorial on how to control the frog.
Phewww, that’s easy to fix I can do the frog to ascend and descend more quickly.
“Floaty” largely means not pixel perfect in my book. Go play some Megaman or Shovel Knight (both great games and great way to see how platformers should be done), then play your game to see it. I am terrible at explaining things like that, so this is best advice I can give.
Problem here is that I’m not trying to imititate the flow of others platformers, in fact i’m trying to make a platformer with a very characteristic flow, controls and overall feeling and when I play it seems perfect to me… but maybe I’m doing something really awkward and that’s why I’m requesting feedback.
To be honest, I’m an oldschool hard gamer and I have played games like Megaman lots of time before and right now, it’s a bit confussing to me imagine my frog with the physics and movements of a character like Megaman. You know, it’s a frog, not a superhero and it don’t walks or run, it hops and jumps, and all its movements are based in that idea or at least that’s my leitmotiv…
To be honest, games like Frogatto and Shovel Knight are very beautiful crafted platformers but it shows quiet generic controls and movement flow that I’m trying to evade.
For example main character in Frogatto moves like almost any other main characters in most 2D platormers games, it don’t care if it’s a frog or not (it can even be a squirrel or an alien, it don’t moves like a frog), it’s movements are limited to always run at floor level an perform some generic jumps… and it’s fine because it’s the game idea and it works for that game.
In my game the main character can perform 5 different kinds of jumps (counting the side-hopping run), a slow walk mode and the player have to deal with residual slide after jumps and in-jumping impulse.
By now I had received mixed opinions about the game controls (here and in another forums), and a considerable amount of them are complainings about how the frog can’t climb to platforms or how the entire jump sytem seems to be out of control (and I know that’s not true). I really really think that people are not even trying to perform all the key combinations to put the frog where they want it, so my next demo release will be a more elaborated tutorial level about key combinations and special movements, if after that people continues stating that control the frog is impossible maybe I’ll move to a more conventional control system (right, left and jump).
So, I understand your point of view and your considerations about what is a good platformer game but maybe I’m trying to do something different and, by now, I need to take the bet.
Thanks for your feedback Darkhog! I really aprecciate it!
After enjoy some discussion I decided to test the game prototype. I found it very interesting, relatively original.
About the controls I think they are ok. Darkhog… maybe you forgot to walk holding Ctrl (you could pass the “damage circle” walking underneath it, and you could get closer to the platform border to jump to the next one)
All the key combinations to perform things that you are unable to perform when you play the tech-demo of my game are perfectly explained in orange text at the left-bottom corner of the display window (it is there and everyone can see it, even in your video of my game)
Oh no, can’t evade bomb! Yes, you’re unable to evade bombs because you’re hopping right into it, instead of jump over or walk under.
Can’t climb to that stupid platform! Exactly, you’re unable to climb to that platform because you’re jumping right to the skies when you need to perform a short 45° jump.
Resuming, you’re trying to manipulate my game only with [right], [left] and [jump]… and to control the main character of my game with just those keys is impossible… because… this is not a SNES-like game… and it’s intended to be a bit more complex than that.
So, like I said before, there are five different key combinations to perform five different jumps, a slow walk mode, and a way to control the slide effect (yes, it’s on purpose) and the player have to deal with in-jump impulse (it was incredibly funny to see you trying to manipulate the speed of the frog in the air with the directions arrows, try to do that in the real world and you will see ) and I perfectly understand why you think the controls of my game are shit (like you stated in the title of your video) because, well… you’re not even trying to use it in the right way.
But cool. I’m a pacifist, love to learn from others, helps the elderly to cross the street, love animals and all that shit that makes me such good person. So, all this experience had leave some learnings for me:
1. INDIE PLATFORMERS PLAYERS DON’T LIKE BUTTONS. There are four buttons: right, left, jump and fire (and you can consider the crouch button a luxury for a indie game). If you make an indie platformer with more than 4 buttons or complex key combinations everyone becomes crazy.
2. PEOPLE DON’T READ INSTRUCTIONS. Because, you know, read is boring for people… even if it’s a small set of instructions. So, working right now in a pretty tutorial huge level for my new control system.
3. PLAYERS ARE ACCUSTOMED TO VERY EXAHUSTED GAME MECHANICS. Innovation is dangerous, it can work or not, and it’s a 50% bet. Give to the people something that encourages them to rethink their expectatives and a crowd will knock at your door at midnight holding shovels and torchs and asking for the monster. Show them how to flow over a new game mechanic and maybe perhaps who-knows? you will have some modest success over the time.
So, right now, I’m restructuring all the scripting of my game, even the controls… and I’m making the controls more, let’s say… player-friendly… because I really want people to play my game (I’ll include some fairy-tale classic features like perfect direction control during jumps and get rid of the residual slide effect)
Anyways, even with that changes, my game is intended to be a more strategic platformer, so I’ll keep some very characteristic features like the side-hopping (for forward moving), the slow walk and (eventually) a very complex system of stats and power-ups.
[size=150]I made a video too! TL;DR:[/size]
But before get my old good control system buried in sake of a more player-friendly (easier-and-whine-proof) control system let’s take a look at it:
(if there is some stupidly wrong english grammar on that video is because my english grammar is prone to be stupidly wrong)