I've grown quite fond of Pico-8, and am hoping to use it in a future Ludum Dare. To familiarize myself with the tool, I created an enhanced version of my LD33 entry.
Tapping Z and X at the same time toggles the music.
All feedback is welcome. If you find a level particularly difficult, please let me know.
Update 8/10/16 - Finally got around to fixing a bug with the tank.
Update 9/28/20 - Fixed a typo. Also, updated the behavior of the arrow to better indicate the player's off screen position.
Great job! A perfect long one-sitting experience!
I like the simple story development, the increasingly complex game play, and the surprise ending!
It started to get a little too easy around level 4-5, which would be easy to tweak. Think of the sweet complexity simply by adding one or two other button actions!
This is definitely one of the most pure-fun, satisfying carts I've played, and I really had to get to the end! Thanks for sharing.
A couple comments:
- The only time I ever lost on a level was on the first one, when I couldn't figure out what was going on at first (though I did figure it out really quickly). After that, it seemed like there wasn't really anything I could do to lose unless I was going out of my way to miss things I could hit. Maybe you could add certain obstacles you DON'T want to hit? That could definitely make the gameplay more strategic.
- The difficulty ramps up significantly during the final boss fight (which is really fun and different, by the way!). It was actually a super fun boss fight, but I started to get sort of fatigued trying to ride up the bomb chain for hit #3. I'm not sure what you did to make it so difficult, and maybe it's fine like that, but it did seem a little bit abrupt. Of course, I got it eventually. Maybe ramp up the difficulty more smoothly or make it a bit easier, and add a timer or something so you aren't allowed to just try forever until you accidentally succeed?
ETA: Saw your note about the music- I'm just getting started with pico-8 but I'm a musician and love the tools pico-8 offers. I could give the music a crack- not sure how good it'll be but I'd love to contribute.
Here I gave the music a go, let me know what you think. I consolidated all the sound effects to one channel so I could have room to play music on three of them. I didn't notice any negative effects during the game. Let me know what you think - I'm open to iterating on what I've got to make it better or trying something different. I was going for something bluesy and also fastpaced, infused with a sort of extraterrestrial/UFO vibe.
Thank you everyone, for your kind words, and constructive criticism. The game was definitely designed to be completed more than it was designed to be challenging. Encouraging combos and fighting the boss were meant to add some challenging aspects to he game. Overall, the goal was to provide a fun experience, and I'm so glad that many of you confirmed that the goal was met.
Very cool track. I think it fits the style of game nicely. Thank you for taking the time to compose it. I updated the game with the track, and added your username to the ending credit screen (let me know if you'd like to be listed under a different name).
I wouldn't be so bold as to ask you to improve upon the track, or create others; I'm content with the track you've very kindly created. Having said that, if you had an interest in making improvements, or adding other tracks, I'd definitely be interested in adding them to the game. I had originally envisioned having 3 tracks for the game, 2 that would alternate between levels, and 1 epic-sounding track for the final boss, but I'm open to other ideas.
Cool, thanks! You can use my real name for the credits (probably not hard to guess...). If you have any specific sort of feedback on what you like/don't about what I did already, that really helps. I'm used to working with feedback from folks who aren't musically trained so don't worry about anything like that. Also if you want to share vaguely how you envision the other tracks sounding/feeling (including scenes/games you have in mind) feel free to mention that as well.
Negative effect of my changes that I didn't notice at the time - hit sound effects aren't played while helicopters are flying. If the last visible helicopter is destroyed then you hear the tail end of the hit sound, but otherwise you don't. Because I didn't test on all the higher levels I didn't notice this until I did a full playthrough later.
A couple possible solutions:
- Make the music take up just 2 channels again (will have to simplify) so sfx can be on two separate channels.
- Find way to disable helicopter sfx during hit sound.
- Ignore it and move on if it doesn't seem important.
I knew that the 3 channel music would interfere with some of the sound effects, but found that to be an acceptable tradeoff since it improved the overall audio experience. If you were able to create 2 channel track that worked, that would be ideal, but if the 3rd channel substantially improves the audio, I'd probably sacrifice the flying sound effects, and just use a single channel for the step and explosion sound effects.
I'll change the name on the credit screen the next time I update the cart.
The only feedback I can really think for the existing track is that it sounds a little haunted-mansion-y, which is not something I had originally imagined for the game. If I think of what type of music would fit the levels, I think of tracks with a fast beat to parallel the fast moving action in the game. Perhaps something similar to music in sonic the hedgehog games (example). If there were multiple tracks for levels, I'd probably have them use distinctive melodies, while maintaining a similar tempo. The tracks wouldn't sound repetitive, but they'd still feel like they belong together.
For the Boss track, I imagine RPG-style final boss music, with classical instruments. I also imagine the main theme from Pirates of the Caribbean... that always instill a "this is epic" feeling when I listen to it. I also thought this type of track would fit the boss well.
I'm not sure if that helps. Any improvements/additions would be very welcome. As I mentioned before, I'm very grateful for the time you've already taken to help improve my little project.
This was really nice! I really need to check the original now.
I had a bug though, I beat the last level and nothing happened, it's like a cut-scene with no text and it keeps going forever? Seems like nobody else had this happen.
One thing you could add is trucks and choppers shooting single pixel bullets at you. They wouldn't do anything but they'd make it look like they're trying to stop you. Currently they are driving around :)
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