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  Sparrow  (Read 11545 times)
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Offline SimonH
« Posted 2009-05-27 18:03:15 »


EDIT - plot: The evil crows have invaded the jade palace and stolen the sacred jade orbs from the caverns beneath, thus closing the links between the sacred places of the world. All peace-loving birds have fled the palace except you, brave Sparrow! Can you find and return the lost jade and bring peace to the world once more?

People make games and games make people
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #1 - Posted 2009-05-27 18:53:11 »

It's really cool in terms of style and idea, but the overall control definitely needs a bit of work. It was hard to get the bird to fly exactly as I wanted (mostly because of horizontal momentum). I felt more like I was in some combination of a zero gravity frictionless environment (outer space) and flying in the sky. I don't know if this will mess up your gameplay, but if you look at birds in the sky they're certainly very capable of making incredibly tight loops and twirls. Maybe something like in Starfox 64, where a certain key combination will make you turn around via a pre-made loop animation? Also, combat needs work as you already mentioned. At one point a bird was sitting on a stoop, and I did my call thing using a seed (why do I need a seed to do that) and it didn't hit the bird because it was sitting... but then it was still able to hit me in response.

And why do bird calls kill me? That seems sort of odd. Why not make them dive bomb or something?

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Offline dishmoth
« Reply #2 - Posted 2009-05-27 19:31:35 »

Looks gorgeous and I really like its chilled-out atmosphere.  But please, please do something about the controls!  I would've assumed that it was just a problem with my keyboard (like one of the keys is getting stuck or something), but it seems like Demonpants is experiencing the same thing.

One possibility for improving the combat might be to get rid of it altogether.  You could just dodge the enemy birds rather than fighting them.  That would fit in with the peaceful tone of the game (as I see it).

Overall I found I just wanted to fly around and explore (and maybe collect those butterfly things).  I wonder if the game really needs fights and races.

Looking at the two screenshots above, the top one looks a lot better than the bottom one.  The forest background may have a bit too much detail compared with the minimalist foreground.  Maybe a painting would work better than a photo?

Simon

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Offline SimonH
« Reply #3 - Posted 2009-05-28 01:44:47 »

K, point taken about the momentum - New vers up with damping!
The bird calls thing was to try and 'humanise' the conflict; like: 'if you're chilled you'll say the right thing at the right time and win the debate, if you're stressy you won't'. Sorta. You don't get killed anyway, you just go back to the start of the level (unless you have a butterfly!)

People make games and games make people
Offline SimonH
« Reply #4 - Posted 2009-05-28 19:04:54 »

Newer version up with a few slight cosmetic tweaks.
I'm wondering about ghosting the best player's flight (like a semi-transparent opponent) for the first time a race is started - would this be off-putting to slower players?

People make games and games make people
Offline teletubo
« League of Dukes »

JGO Ninja


Medals: 48
Projects: 4
Exp: 8 years



« Reply #5 - Posted 2009-05-29 02:00:42 »

Hey Simon,

I agree with the above guys - the game looks very good, and it brings a very "peaceful" feeling, but (thogh I've tested the new controls) I still find it very awkward . It does not fit the feeling of "freedom" of the music. Actually I felt anxious as the bird was struggling  and flapping its to move higher .. I felt like the poor sparrow would die anytime from a heart attack.

It's just a suggestion, but I think it would be nicer if you could enjoy a smoother flight, and really feel like you're flying -  which would definetly fit more to the rest of the game .
I was thinking about something like Triplane Turmoil, a very old game, but which made me feel very much like I was "flying" ... I think you can download it , must be abandonware by now .. or check this video out :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nGLJmltmN4 (it's from triplane turmoil 2, which I never played, but you can see a little of what I am talking about )

anyway, very beautiful game, but I definetly would change the controls
 

Offline SimonH
« Reply #6 - Posted 2009-05-29 13:48:14 »

Thanks for the feedback - I'll try and smooth up the controls!

People make games and games make people
Offline casperjeff

Senior Newbie





« Reply #7 - Posted 2009-05-29 14:11:17 »

agreed...gorgeous game....(music and other effects)

Any thoughts of switching to mouse movement instead of keyboard?

I know this game is NOTHING like it...but the movement was so intuitive and I found it eerily easy to 'avoid' the bad guys....
http://www.2flashgames.com/f/f-Death-vs-Monstars-7108.htm

Offline dishmoth
« Reply #8 - Posted 2009-05-30 08:26:49 »

With all the new levels, it's starting to get really good now!  Like Metroid but with less stress.  Cool

I'm still not a fan of the controls, but they're much better than they were.

Simon

P.S. Not been mentioned so far, but the trees and plants are magnificent!

Offline Red27

Junior Member


Medals: 2
Projects: 2



« Reply #9 - Posted 2009-05-30 10:48:21 »

Very nice.  Really like the tree swaying.  Have you achieved that via some kind of Fractal / Maths based algorithm?

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Offline SimonH
« Reply #10 - Posted 2009-05-31 00:30:00 »

Very nice.  Really like the tree swaying.  Have you achieved that via some kind of Fractal / Maths based algorithm?
Thx! Not really maths as such -the tree are pre-drawn then 'swayed'.

New map opened: 'Valley of the Stones'.

I've tried to think how to improve the flight system, but I rather like it the way it is - once you've 'got height' you can fly anywhere gracefully (just don't land!). I've tried loads of different mouse control ideas but the keyboard still beats them all for ease of use.

People make games and games make people
Offline zoto

Senior Member


Medals: 4



« Reply #11 - Posted 2009-05-31 01:12:20 »

Cool game. I found 1 small bug.
If you replay 'R' the race, restart 'S' will restart the replay instead of the level.
I hope that made sense.
Offline SimonH
« Reply #12 - Posted 2009-06-01 00:16:47 »

Cool game. I found 1 small bug.
If you replay 'R' the race, restart 'S' will restart the replay instead of the level.
I hope that made sense.
It's true! I'll sort it - BTW, I just took 6 secs off your best time for jade palace Tongue
I think I will get the current best run ghosted...

People make games and games make people
Offline SimonH
« Reply #13 - Posted 2009-06-02 18:41:23 »

New vers. up - few more baddies/secrets &c.

People make games and games make people
Offline markmistry

Junior Member





« Reply #14 - Posted 2009-06-02 20:26:37 »

TOO HARD ..lol

i couldnt get out of the hole and the other bird attacked by the bushes and i got stuck flapping around near the floor.
Would be an awesome game if it wasnt too hard to start with.
Offline SimonH
« Reply #15 - Posted 2009-06-03 16:52:37 »

TOO HARD ..lol
Grin and there was me thinking it was too easy!

I've put in the highscore ghosting system, so now when you start a race for the first time you are ghosted by the best player for that map. After the first race the ghost is your previous run.
This has meant I've had to reset the highscores (sorry to all the winners!).
I hope the 'best run ghost' doesn't put noobs off - some of those highscores were a bit good!


People make games and games make people
Offline zoto

Senior Member


Medals: 4



« Reply #16 - Posted 2009-06-04 04:42:53 »

I got them all but Jade Palace. Are there plans for more boards? I have 1 extra gem but haven't found a platform for it.
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #17 - Posted 2009-06-04 14:09:49 »

It looks gorgeous! The style reminds me a bit of Pixeljunk Eden.

The framerate seemed a bit too low, though. It said 20fps, but it felt more like 10 or something.

Offline SimonH
« Reply #18 - Posted 2009-06-04 14:37:46 »

I got them all but Jade Palace. Are there plans for more boards? I have 1 extra gem but haven't found a platform for it.
Well done! (but I still rule the palace!) Sure there'll be more maps. Watch this space...

It looks gorgeous! The style reminds me a bit of Pixeljunk Eden.
Smiley
Quote
The framerate seemed a bit too low, though. It said 20fps, but it felt more like 10 or something.
The framerate is locked at 20fps - I wanted 25 but some older machines I tested just couldn't do it...

EDIT: Eat my dust Zoto! 2 secs faster in blossom temple  Tongue

EDIT #2: Tweaked highscores so only the best time appears for each player/IP combination.

People make games and games make people
Offline SimonH
« Reply #19 - Posted 2009-06-09 19:19:29 »

New version up!
Completely revamped the combat system - loads more oriental now! (Seeds=health, Butterflies=lives).
Treasure chests and leaf piles added, but the contents don't do anything yet, and you can't open silver key chests at all.
Hmm... I might change that music...

People make games and games make people
Offline SimonH
« Reply #20 - Posted 2009-06-10 19:07:50 »

Minor addition: Sparrow can now drop 'bombs'. Not quite sure why...

People make games and games make people
Offline SimonH
« Reply #21 - Posted 2009-06-11 19:11:08 »

...but he can now poo on crows, + new (optional) tutorial map added.
Any comments on the combat system? Seems to me like there's too few enemies now...

People make games and games make people
Offline DzzD
« Reply #22 - Posted 2009-06-11 21:21:31 »

Nice one, I got an exception (on mousepressed) but games run fine ( exception does not seems to block anything, game just run fine)

the applet is pretty big (it fit more than my available browser client area when I maximize the window), it maybe good to set it a little smaller or to let the user choice the size.

Quote
Minor addition: Sparrow can now drop 'bombs'. Not quite sure why...
hum.. are you sure it is bombs, it does not smeel very good Smiley

Offline SimonH
« Reply #23 - Posted 2009-06-12 02:24:57 »

Nice one, I got an exception (on mousepressed) but games run fine ( exception does not seems to block anything, game just run fine)

the applet is pretty big (it fit more than my available browser client area when I maximize the window), it maybe good to set it a little smaller or to let the user choice the size.
hum.. are you sure it is bombs, it does not smeel very good Smiley
800x600 is too big? I'm getting <3% who have 800x600 screen res or lower so I thought it should be OK - what's your res?
I went with this size as I thought most monitors would be bigger. I notice that Minecraft is something like 900x480... What is the ideal applet size?

People make games and games make people
Offline DzzD
« Reply #24 - Posted 2009-06-12 14:56:17 »

nono, I dont told about  800*600 : the two biggest resolution I got are : 1024*768 (25%) and 1280*1024 (25%)

the problem is that even with a 1024*768 resolution there are scroll bars as the client size (excluding title/toolbar/window start bar, etc...) is less than 600px for the height.

Offline DzzD
« Reply #25 - Posted 2009-06-12 15:22:23 »

...900x480... What is the ideal applet size?
this is a pretty hard question as a big applet on a little screen loog weird aswell as a little applet on a big screen Sad

if you handle the resize event of the applet you may try the followings (too high resolution >1000 must be handled in the Applet to avoid memory or lag problem => like if resolution >1000 center the game canvas and set it width=1000 px)

1  
2  
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<HTML>
 <HEAD>
 </HEAD>
  <BODY STYLE="PADDING: 10px;"
       scroll=no>
  <DIV STYLE="WIDTH: 100%;
              HEIGHT: 100%;
              BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"
>
    Replace this DIV tag by an Applet tag
  </DIV>
 </BODY>
</HTML>


but probably the best resolution is to let the user choice between 2 or 3 differents size

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