Firstly, i apologize for my weird english.
Secondly, i present myself, i am Lost In Code, i'm trying to learn game dev following online courses since March 2020.
I just wanted to share with you guys my latest tiny game, as i 've chosen to dev it on the awesome pico 8 !
This is my first post here, so please be kind if i did something wrong.
Rabbictuary ( short name for Rabbit Raiser in the Rabbictuary ) is a sequel to my last game : Rabbit Raiser.
You can learn more about me and my stuff on my itch.io account.
I did it as an exercise being a milestone in my learning, this one was about platformer.
It is a slightly difficult die and retry platformer, i've chosen to use half the screen to keep possibility to add up to 64 levels if desired ( there are 24 for now, feel free to add some, or maybe i will if the entire world claim for it ! ).
I'm very glad to share it with you, i hope you'll have some fun trying this little piece of ... code.
Thanks Lambdanaut ! Sorry for the controls, i didn't knew that. It is my first coding on pico-8, and i'm not used to play pico-8 games neither. If it is really a standard to jump on the other button, i will do it, no problem, just let me know ;)
Again thanks a lot for your feedback and for taking time to comment !
edit: @Lambanaut: i've just seen the Paranoidcactus's Lava Joe and he has coded a neat swap buttons menu, i'll try to do something similar when i will get some time, i have a full time job and i can't code as much as i want.
Thanks again for your feedback, really helpful !
1h55min, 710 deaths.
Great game! Love me some good precision platforming (So much so that I just released a precision platformer too hahaha). Great art style, simple but well implemented mechanic, great minimal soundtrack, really really fun :)
I particularly loved the interactive menu (Mine has one too!) I feel that it's a really great way for the player to get a good feel for what's coming; the different types of enemies, that add a good amount of diversity; and the particles! Real nice work on the particles. They really tie it all together.
Buuuut, I think there's some things that need some work. The best comments (and the ones that mean the most) to me are the ones that liked the game, but saw its flaws and are not afraid to point them out so that the next game from that creator is even better! So here's my two pennies:
(It's a long one, so I hid it so that it didn't flood the comment section)
1 - The interactive menu! Really great way to show the base mechanics, like the movement, the shotgun and the bell... The bell? We only see the bell in the menu! The entire game runs on activating levers. No point in having a single use bell in the menu when you can put a lever in there and teach the player another mechanic!
2 - The shotgun jump. GREAT mechanic. I liked it even more when I realized I could hold the right key, jump, and THEN do a shotgun jump, while still holding the right key. Felt so smooth! And really helped in gameplay too. Thing is: You can't do that while holding the left key! And there were so, SO many levels where that would really help with the movement. Normally, this is a matter of ifs and elseifs in the code, but for some reason I can't see your code, so I'm just guessing that would be the case. Try and implement that! It would feel really really great and also help a lot.
3 - Immediate danger. As in right as the level starts, without me even touching the controls, player fully static, I can die. Either because of an enemy, or a sentinel, or spikes. That really sucks! It sucks because in a die and retry platformer, every death should be completely your fault, and not the game's. It's not my fault that I didn't do anything for two seconds. This happens a lot in the mid levels. The area where the player starts should be a safe zone, where the player can look at the new level and figure out what they need to do with no need to worry about dangerous things.
4 - Pixel perfect platforming. Some levels, especially the final ones, require you to be pixel perfect. Your jump need to fit your 8 pixels wide player in this 8 pixels wide platform. A pixel out and you hit a spike; Jump in exactly the last pixel or you'll hit your head in this block and land on spikes; In this moving platform where it only stays for a split second in the height peak, shoot your 8 pixels tall shot into this 8 pixels tall hole twice, to get an enemy and then the lever. A pixel lower and you'll miss.
Damn! That's another thing that makes you fell like you're dying a really unfair death. You really need to get perfect movement in some levels for you to win. That doesn't make you understand the level: it makes you memorize it, and that kinda sucks as well.
5 - The rabbit enemy (not the head, the full one). I found out how to kill it purely by accident! I thought it was invincible for a really long time. You could really spare a level just to teach the player how this enemy works.
6 - There's no sense of progression. Besides the levels getting harder, there's no way that I can see if I'm near the end or not. The levels don't add anything new after a couple of the first ones, the blocks don't change color so that it looks like I'm getting deeper in the Rabbictuary. I can even tell which level I'm at!
Blocks changing color is a cool way to do that. Choose a brighter palette for the early levels, a midtone for the bulk middle, and a darker palette for the last ones. But that's just a suggestion. You could try and implement different enemies or ways to interact with the world. Possibilities are endless!
And finally, a spoiler one!
7 - THE BOSS. Super cool art! Great menacing soundtrack to it as well. After 30+ deaths, I figured out a strategy. It required me to be in the very corner of the screen and, as soon as the rabbit jumped from the higher ground towards me, I activated the lever and the ball bonked him. Thing is: If I stand in the very edge of the left part, the shotgun shot doesn't reach the lever by 1 pixel!. So I have to tap the right key really lightly to get 1 pixel further. And that's because if I get even 1.5 pixels further, the rabbit doesn't jump, but spits its bats! It was really frustrating. You really should up that shotgun shot distance by a couple pixels. Besides that, SUPER COOL boss fight! Great way to end the game :)
Whew, that was a LONG one. And again, I LOVED the game! There are so many talented people in this community, but it's not always that a game really feels PICO-8-y, you know? And yours felt like it! I could see it being one of those classic platformers, like Kid Icarus was to the NES.
Excited to see your game development journey! Keep at it <3
Such a great comment, my english is not good enough to find the words to tell how much i appreciate it.
The time you took to play my little game and to write this comment is really impressive, and i didn't expect such a precise feedback, i thank you very very very much !
You're right on absolutely all the fields of your comment, and you 've spotted all the things that i left behind during the developement.
I haven't explained it before, i sure would have, this little game was made as an exercice during my courses, and i had 1 month to do it, as i dicovered pico-8 in the same time, some features have been left aside.
But seeing the effort you put into testing my humble work, i HAVE TO take it a bit further. I'm not saying that it will be a fully featured pro game, just that i must respect all of you guys that spent some of your precious time on my little product, and i have to fix some stuff.
You really deserve it.
On the other hand, please do not get too impatient, as i code as a hobby, and i get a full time job.
I promise i will put some time in fixing some of those things you've pointed out, but i will need some time ^^ .
Again, thousands of thanks for your great feedback, and for your time.
@Lost_In_Code hey, there's no hurry! I'm already glad you'll try to take the game a bit further :) It'll be awesome to see this game taking full shape. But again, take your time! I study full time so I understand your pain hahaha
Hope you're well!
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