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Metal Slime
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 PostTue Feb 10, 2015 8:16 pm
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Pretty sure it was the same. Point being it wasn't being used for a one-off switch. Menu sounds, confirm/cancel--they've always been a sore spot with me. Can easily ruin things, easy to get carried away with it and think anything will work. Usually best to go with a more subdued or 'abstract' sound.

Also want to take back the walkabout comment a little. So far as the maptiles probably need more attention and thought. I get that they're based on doom's, but need to take into consideration the new format of a rpg. Was hard to tell what were walls and what weren't. Appreciated the arrows to show doors, but it's like a band-aid. Items blended in, especially that shotgun.
Metal King Slime
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 PostTue Feb 10, 2015 9:08 pm
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That's been a problem with that game for a long-ass time. I don't have screenshots to prove it, but it's improved a hell of a lot in that department.
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostTue Feb 10, 2015 10:58 pm
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Where the heck did this screenshot come from? Did you just mock it up yourself in photoshop Charbile?

I want to play this game!
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostTue Feb 10, 2015 11:19 pm
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Seems to be some sort of mod or something.
http://forum.starmen.net/forum/Fan/Games/DoomBound

Metal Slime
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 PostWed Feb 11, 2015 9:14 pm
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was not me. found it looking for an example of doom esque sprites or maps. thought it made a more amusing example.

haven't played it, but can tell it's a gamemaker game, not a mod. you spoony bard.
Metal Slime
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 PostThu Feb 12, 2015 1:03 am
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ohrbingo.png
not 100% sure about calling it a tech demo, did have a token story setup, but still
Dungeon Cards: The Flying City

Not bad for a contest game. Enjoyed it. Played through till hard mode. Hawk's review of his own work is interesting, will be commenting with what he's written there in mind.

cards
The card game setup was much more enjoyable than most walking around dungeons I've played. They do help cut the fat and get right into what makes a dungeon interesting, game-wise. Lots of room for expansions on the idea. I like how cards allow for a much easier and deeper strategy to other types of games. Can stack the deck, have to deal with what you draw, all kinds of interesting choices. While what's here isn't terribly deep, it's a start, and I'd love to play more games like this. Especially with some polish. Polish like rethinking the layout. Maybe color code the progress and food to the cards, or something. The icons work, but wasn't clear at first.

party
Every time I unlocked new classes, I would disband the party and try them out. Have to question their uses, but I like the idea of it. Things like, you can form a item hunting party by taking the locksmith who can open any locked treasure chest. A thief class would have been a good idea, for a gold party. Due to the setup, you grind floors and return to upgrade your equipment and buy more items. Not supposed to clear a set of floors in one run. My main party ended up being the hunter and doctor.

battles
The basic gameplay is very rogue-like, in that it's all about making sure your equipment is up to par. The difficulty largely revolves around getting enough money in a run to get out before dying, to upgrade to the max level of items you're allowed to, and then return to defeat the boss. The bosses didn't seem that much stronger than regular enemies, in some cases weaker, but I did enjoy how each had more unique setups than the regular encounters.

I usually get bored of ohr battles in any game that has them. Had that feeling here at first, but when I realized that using specials ended fights quickly, and understanding how the game works and trusting the designer's intention, wasn't so bad. Didn't mind them. Kind of high praise from me, for what it's worth. Though they could have been better if they also used cards in a custom setup. Didn't care for the chess theme. Point being, it's amazing how much easier it is to swallow random battles when you're choosing your classes/skills, and the dungeon has an interesting delivery for them.

music
Music was passable, except for the battle music. Surprised Hawk made them all. The dungeons' were a bit too slow and depressing. Have to be careful when setting moods, as you can make a great song that gives a sense of barren emptiness, but it might not be the best thing to flavor major portions of the game with. Like, if you want the player to have fun, music can help get them there. Likewise if you want to make them sad and bored, same deal.

Have some pointers on how to better create battle music. My guess is you used the old bam notate exe? You'll want to think of music composition in terms of bars and measures, otherwise you get that wandering ambient aimless vibe. Most music is done in four beats. So you divide segments up into chunks of 4 beats. Maybe spend 4x4x4x4 16 beats on one section, then another 16 for a refrain, maybe 4 for a transition, repeat the first section, etc. It might seem like cheating at first, but music is about repetition. Like laying down texture in tiles: draw it once, can fill different parts with it.

And the big thing with battles is they need to express that beat. An easy way is to use the rock method of... 1st beat - kick drum, 2nd beat skip, 3rd 'offbeat' snare drum, 4th skip, repeat. Can remove the snare, but need that drum on the 1st. Is as basic as it can get. Rhythm or bass section can sound fast, melody generally holds notes longer which has the weird effect of making the rhythm more pressing in contrast.

Not bad, not bad.
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 16, 2015 12:29 am
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ohrbingo.png
could say even more
Untitled-1.png
figure C
table

contests
It proudly proclaims it won the 2014 Halloween contest. It was the only entry. This is a good game to look back on whenever you think about entering that next juicy ohr contest. Was it worth it, even when you win? Not saying there aren't any good reasons to enter into a contest, not at all. Doesn't hurt to question the point. Understand it. Perhaps consider it in terms of your larger goals. Maybe they don't always match up like you thought they would. But the idea keeps appealing to you, doesn't it? Why is that? Not for me to say. I am a gentleman, after all.

what is a game
Other reviews didn't have much to say about it, besides MasterK's, which is a neat image review. Even then, not much said, because there's not much to it. But allow me. I will be your Giz flavored Pepsi for the evening. From this point on, spoilers.

First, the usual disclaimers and technicalities. This is a contest game, the author clearly made it as cheaply and quickly as possible, and he even tells me he can't remember how many endings it has. I've found two. It was made to win a contest by being horror themed, but not actually going for it in a serious or methodical manner. But it begs the larger question: what is horror and how can it work effectively in an ohr game?

The answer doesn't look good, but that doesn't mean we can't try. Horror works if and only if you can immerse the player. This means you have to make them forget they're playing a game. It's difficult to do, and with the ohr, I'm not sure you could ever reach that. At best, maybe we can hit the notes well enough where people can enjoy it as a competent scary game. To be truly scared, that's too dependent on the player and circumstances outside of our control.

the setup
Investing the player is a sure way to scare, or at least to worry. It's much like comedy, in that it shares elements of tragedy: you'll need a good setup, where there are stakes. The player must be invested, or made to care first, before you threaten them. They have to have something to lose. And not only their life, something more psychological.

In table, there are no stakes. The intro text boxes do help set a good found footage tone, which is what I first thought it was trying for. The game author finds some sprites and a file they forgot about. A good start to a setup. The problem is, there's no build up to the horror. It simply begins. The main character is obviously someone deranged, with only a single key frame and cartoon-ish grin. Comedy is fine in horror, they work very well together, but for this to work, the game would need to subvert the expectation that this main character is the murderer, which it doesn't.

the reveal and chase
A big part of horror is the monster. Usually great care is taken to hint at the monster's presence, terrify the player through tension and teasing that the monster's there but never showing. And it being a big deal when we finally see it. Here, we're shown the monster right from the start. This can work, I guess. I've heard some movies that show the monster a lot, usually they're fast paced and they never stop the chase. Which is another important element to horror: usually it's all about being chased. Primal fears like that. No chasing in table. In fact, everyone stays still while we casually walk around looking for something to do.

physical space and sound
Creeping people out could work. Lots of tricks here. An effective one is managing physical space and the view. You can frame a shot where it's through the eyes of the killer, or someone peeping on you. It can be unsettling. Harder to do with the ohr, but not impossible. See figure C: instead of having the camera fixed, following the character all the time, in this mock-up, what if the camera stays put, off-centered, where you can see an empty room. It's what I thought of when I saw the random blood that appears, thinking it looked like a path. It's a subtle way to creep the player out, something is wrong, gain their interest. You could show a window open or some sign that something was there later. Tease them, build up tension.

Light and dark is another way to show space. Also gets into abstract fears of good and evil. Very easy to theme around, or at least it looks easy but is difficult to actually do. Playing with shadows, thresholds, drawing attention to certain things while there's other stuff around. Things can pop out anywhere. Jump scares are okay, but in table, if you're going to go for it, go for it. Don't show a screen and fade out. Really go for it, blast a sound, animate it, something.

Another easy way is to play with sound. Have quiet parts, and when the monster is nearby or the player is in danger, play the static or weird stuff. Let them know it's somewhere, but they can't see it. Works in silent hill and to a much lesser extent, resident evil. The reverse is also effective for tension, and is used in regular rpgs: play some background music, but when entering a weird room or area, drop it. Have the game go silent. Instead, in table we get beeps and blips when we touch the npcs.

would love to see more horror games
I like the sequence of opening the crate. I like the idea of repeatedly trying to talk to someone with their back turned, facing a wall. We can make a good horror game. I'm sure of it. But this isn't it, and it's going to take a hell of a lot more thought to get there. Wouldn't mind seeing that kind of game being made. If you want a good example of someone accomplishing it, check out "Lakeview Cabin". Is like if Giz and Spoon got super serious and made an ultimate collab game. Can find it here: http://gamejolt.com/games/action/lakeview-cabin/18469/ would link the author's page, but it's is in some non english language.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 16, 2015 5:15 am
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I actually wanted to make a horror game for this contest (or try to, at least) and I still kind of want to make one. I even have an idea that I was planning on making just a serious artsy game, but I could easily change the mechanic to be used in a horror game. The problem was and is I have multiple other projects I'm supposed to be working on and haven't finished, plus I don't have much time regardless.

If it were a collaboration effort, I might be more motivated to get it done however, so if anyone else is interested in making a horror game with the ohr, I'm down for a collab.
I can't write in cursive.
Metal Slime
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 PostMon Feb 16, 2015 11:58 pm
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Artsy horror would be fun. Really do think this is an untapped genre that could totally work in a limited retro style.

You might find some people up for collaboration in IRC. should join #slimesalad on the espernet server
Metal Slime
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 PostTue Feb 17, 2015 8:38 pm
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Untitled-1.png
figure D
ohrbingo.png
maybe 'fights solve everything' too, lots of proving you're worthy to 'friends' with fights
Winged Realm

It's the one with harpies in it. Is what the exe is called and it's true. Well, not exactly. Last I checked, harpies were all about showing bewbs. Not a single boob was given this day. And that's saying something for a game that uses the same look as Dungeonmen, who got their's in the first cut scene. Maybe the only cut scene--I never finished that one. It didn't have the same magic that Spellshard did. And Winged Realm sort of falls into that general area too.

I like the look of it. I like the care put into battles and the maps. I like that, unlike most every other game before this, I get to talk about something other than that.

hot and cold lesson - see figure D
It's hard to place why this doesn't work for me. It's not the graphics, though I must add that... an important lesson taught to me by Orchard, amazing pixel artist, involved understanding hot and cold colors. Red/orange/yellow/pink is hot, brings things to the forefront; blue/purple/teal is cold, sends things to the background. You can see this easily in Castlevania 1, where orange blocks are used to show platforms, the main character is drawn in orange and brown, and backgrounds are in cold colors. I think exploiting this more would help elevate the NES look.

pros and cons of the NES style
And that's probably it, it aiming to be a NES style rpg. Can't say I want to play any of them. Too much grinding, not enough story or interest. On the up side, dungeons are interesting puzzles and battles are very well designed. On the down side, I feel like if I figure out a clever random battle that takes more effort than auto-attacking, I shouldn't have to keep going through it as I explore. It's draining when every other fight is like a boss fight. Bosses are rather quickly thrown into the randoms mix, to underscore this. I don't mind ignoring basic attacks to only use skills if I can learn new ones at a steady rate, learn and play around with their uses.

Stat numbers are questionable. I don't mind if there's the occasional item that has many pluses and minuses, but there's something to be said for the simple approach of finding new equipment with slightly better stats and no drawbacks more often than what's found here, where I have to constantly weigh pros and cons. Really appreciate the turn based battles though.

high fantasy story
The story, or what's there, is a good draft. The names are difficult to keep track of, very high fantasy ones like Podarge, Ocypete, and Aello. Who are also your playable characters. Because of that, it's sometimes difficult to keep track of who's talking. Portraits would help. I like the Phantasy Star approach to some rooms, where it shows a tiny image of the room with text above, instead of taking you into another map. A very minor detail that makes such a big difference--imagine if it wasn't there.

Played through the first dungeon, the overworld, and lost interest in the second dungeon. The overworld was good contrast to the dungeons, making it fun to explore. Felt like I was covering more ground due to the scope, no stairs/falling-down puzzles to it, and was cool to find little houses or things of interest which is neater than finding the standard treasure chest with a heal item.

what else...
Game needs to express its appeal a bit more. What makes it unique. Never too early to think about marketing, as it can help define the game in and out of it. Here we play as harpies. I didn't feel like my questions about it were answered or even acknowledged. I want to know why harpies, what's special about them, why can't I fly everywhere. What's the deal with the world--are there humans somewhere? etc etc. Maybe that's the plot in finding the source of the light? Need a better sense of things to ground the play. It was borderline a lot, like this could be any nes-themed dungeon crawler. And I like that it's trying to have more character than Spellshard and Dungeonmen with it's main party. But with what's here so far, could as well let the player choose their names and class and appearance.

Fairly awesome for a version 0.00, enough to win the Heart of the OHR contest. Is a good start that I assume or hope there's a lot more to add to it. In one of the scenes after the boss battles, need to suspend the player as I used the stairs before realizing the scene hadn't finished yet.
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostWed Feb 18, 2015 2:56 am
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@charbile

In regards to hot and cold colors, what about Megaman, for instance? His whole color scheme is blue and yet he's the central and only character, and in a platformer so intense as Megaman, it's important to be able to easily spot your character. All this considered, I and many others agree that Megaman (all the titles) is a fantastic game and a defining example for the genre. So with this I ask, do blue and other 'cold' colors necessarily send objects into the background, or is that simply the effect they have when combined with 'hot' colors?

I'm not just disagreeing with you, because you're not wrong at all, and I can clearly see what you mean in those pictures. I'm just wondering, is that the only way to do it, or can you use hot and cold colors in different ways, especially given the greater options we have in terms of color, as we are no longer in the 8 bit era. I've been thinking and reading a lot about color lately (mainly because of a comment you made, in fact) so this interested me. Ironically, color theory has always intrigued me, given I am colorblind.
I can't write in cursive.
Metal King Slime
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 PostWed Feb 18, 2015 3:17 am
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If I remember correctly, Megaman is the color he is because the NES had a very robust selection of blue hues and not so much for green or red. Megaman also had a thick black outline (If I remember right!) which makes him stand out better against different backgrounds.
Metal Slime
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 PostWed Feb 18, 2015 3:18 am
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That's kind of incredible if you're colorblind for you to pick up on any of this Surprised

Megaman was one of the things that got me into drawing, so I have the same kind of fondness for it. The thing about him is he can change color depending on what weapon he has equipped, both reds and blues, so the design had to take that into consideration by giving him the black outline. That's pretty much the other method, for sprites at least.

Plenty of other angles of attack besides color, like the saturation thing I mentioned in Troll Over's review. I think the hot cold method works best when you need to show images with a lot of black, like nighttime or dark scenes, but you don't want it to actually be dark, but colorful. Movies use it a lot, keep an eye out for the blues and red lighting, might be surprised. I prefer to use it sparingly, to draw attention to a single scene or fight.

And it's all cool, always enjoy talking about this kind of stuff even if it's an argument.
Metal Slime
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 PostWed Feb 18, 2015 3:20 am
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haha giz beat me to it.

Also saw a message from Feenicks about Winged Realm addressing my major issue with it. Is spoilers though:

naked harpies are in the new game+ 10/10
Metal Slime
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 PostTue Feb 24, 2015 12:43 am
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Getting over a sudden fever. Was so bad it turned into a ohr game making fever. I'm no barnabum, but I did enjoy reviewing this batch of games and figured I could show you. I could show you how much. I enjoyed. them.

Could this final review be a 'video game' review?

Who would be so irreversibly insane? so insane to invite you into their lovely home

screw comic reviews, this is the new thing we all need to do
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