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Cart #gobliiins-16 | 2022-07-08 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License
17

You play 3 goblins:

  • one is intelligent and can do wizardry
  • one is strong and can move things
  • one is crafty and can use items

Together they set out
To find great riches,
Which are said to be found
On level 20 of the Lost City!

Features:

  • Tutorial: 12 hand crafted levels
  • The Lost City: 20 procedurally generated levels
  • 3 characters with different abilities
  • items, spells and interactive blocks
  • music. each character got its own tape played in the boom box.

Credits

  • Thanks for all the play testers and their feedback!
  • Special thanks to the Lazy Devs Community (Discord)

Recent changes

  • Level 10 (Wizard Magic) changed to have many ways to solve it
  • New Level 12: Teleporters and Explosives!
  • Level 7 redesigned (was too hard)
  • Hold C (O) to restart
  • Removed back-up (regenerate) in the Lost City
  • New Level: Lasers and Diamonds!
  • New Level: Teleporters!
  • Added music for each character
P#113583 2022-06-24 13:16 ( Edited 2022-07-08 12:20)

1

This is a fantastic game with great puzzle concepts, but it is let down by a tutorial that spends too many levels on basic mechanics, and not enough on later level mechanics. The tutorial spends too much time on the first goblin, and not enough time on the second and third, and all of the additional gameplay mechanics that are introduced in levels 5-10.

It would be much better paced if each goblin were introduced every 3 or so levels, and new gameplay elements (moving blocks, lasers, and those weird pink tiles) were introduced appropriately with how each goblin can interact with them. By level 10 I was scratching my head and just guessing what I needed to do. Unfortunately it fell solidly on the frustrating side of the challenging/frustrating spectrum of a good puzzle game.

If there was an undo feature, all of these issues might have been mitigated, but having to restart every time you unknowingly do something that kills you because the game didn't adequately explain the mechanics just caused more frustration.

On the other hand, if the tutorial levels were better designed, there wouldn't be a need for an undo.

Sorry if this sounds overly harsh. I really enjoyed playing it and I think the combination of the mechanics of games like Boulderdash, Lost Vikings, and of course the original Gobliiins game is brilliant. I just think a bit more polish would elevate this from a good game to a great game.

P#113864 2022-07-01 11:01
:: sulai

@biovoid Your feedback is very much appreciated. And honest criticism is hard to come by these days, so I appreciate even more :)

An undo feature is a cool idea, but is not feasible (token limit). However, I try to introduce new stuff and difficult puzzles in the beginning of a level so the player can restart and iterate quickly. With that in mind, if a level is frustrating, it is a poorly designed level. Being too familiar with the game I really depend on play testers to point out the difficult or confusing parts.

Level 10 is all about the magician and trying to make use of most of his spells. Where exactly did you get stuck? I imagine the push box room is really late in the level so I should make that one easier.

About the slow pacing in the beginning, you got a point there, but it really depends on the prior experience of the player having played similar games before. So to give players with little experience some playground I'd rather keep the pacing which might feel slow for experienced players.

Oh you actually know the original Gobliiins? I loved that game :)

P#113866 2022-07-01 12:13
:: sulai

I changed Level 10 a bit. There's a teleporter to the push-box room now (which got easier too). This opens up a lot more possible ways to solve the level, all of which I found are interesting to play. This should shake up the mostly linear level it was before. :)

Using run 10 in the pico-8 console, you can start that from level.

P#113868 2022-07-01 13:07
1

Ok so I've played a bit more and I think the main issue is that the difficulty just keeps increasing as new mechanics (goblins, blocks) are introduced. I think the best way to handle a puzzle game like this is to decrease the difficulty in levels where new mechanics are introduced, so that they can be explained through gameplay but in isolation of other mechanics. Then when the player understands the new mechanic, you start combining it with other mechanics they're already used to. Kinda like mini tutorials are interspersed with harder levels.

So I think Level 10 would be much more easy to understand if there was a level before it which just focused on the magician's spell ability.

I still have no idea what the effects of the magician's conjure spell will be. Turns a wall into a door, turns a door into a pressure plate(?), disabled a moving block, sends a boulder flying somewhere... it all seems so arbitrary. I'm just guessing where to place the conjure spell and hoping it works out. I'm not able to rely on any prior knowledge or skill, it's just trial and error until I get the right combination.

I'm glad you appreciate the feedback - I'm trying not to be negative because I honestly think this is an absolute rough diamond of a game. Just needs that polish. :)

And yeah, big fan of the old Gobliiins games! If you haven't played Lost Vikings, check it out. It's a masterclass of introducing new puzzle mechanics to the player gradually, then combining them together.

P#113923 2022-07-03 10:15 ( Edited 2022-07-03 10:16)

Just finished levels 11 and 12. They were much easier than level 10. In fact, level 12 was the easiest of the three. It feels like level 10 should be the final level, and without the teleporter change (I completed it before refreshing for the change). And I think there's room in level 11 and 12 to introduce the new mechanics in a much clearer way than level 10 did.

Also I loved the mechanic of positioning the diamond blocks to affect the direction that you would teleport. So much potential here for more puzzles.

I'm now playing through the Lost City levels.

Once again, fantastic game. I'd love to build some levels for this - it just feels like there's so much untapped potential in combining all these great puzzle mechanics.

P#113925 2022-07-03 10:45
:: sulai

If you want to build levels for the game go ahead, I would really like to see more levels in the later game. There's still plenty of room with 11 free spots for levels. To try a new level, set level_max to 13 and type run 13 :)

I think part of the problem is that the wizard got tons of spells, he can literally do magic on everything. Level 10 tries to make the player use most of them, and apparently leading the player through the level like this actually works. But I think it feels a bit pointless, as you (as a player) just do what the arrows tell you to do, so there is no real puzzle to solve and it feels like there is no goal to work towards. Maybe the solution is simply to let the other characters start the level. That way the player discovers they are trapped, setting the goal for the wizard to come to the rescue?

As an alternative, we could insert more levels introducing only 1 or 2 spells per level? Like, first introducing a new spell, then having a puzzle where that spell is required. This should make for 3-5 new interesting levels.

Once all spells are introduced we can show what is now Level 10, but then without the arrows, so the player has to show off his skills. I like the new design of Level 10 with the teleporter, because there is a lot of interesting ways to solve that level now, none of them seems to be too easy.

About the teleporter, there's also opportunity to add new levels focusing on that. I think it's hard to grasp that the blocked exits of the potential target teleporter allows you to choose where to teleport to. It's hard to convey that logic reliably, so I don't mind if that remains a bit of a mystery to most players. What probably everyone understands is that entering the teleporter from different directions might transport you to different locations.

Thank you so much for your feedback! I'm enjoying making levels for Gobliiins and most likely will create a new one every now and then. If you want to create levels for the game go ahead, I'm happy to add them to the game :)

P#113930 2022-07-03 15:24 ( Edited 2022-07-03 15:36)

Whew, this is fun, but very challenging. I gave up on level 9 - I cant seem to get a handle on what the "witty" goblin does. I would echo @biovoid 's suggestion above - this could really use an undo button. I THINK the conjure action can "teleport" the other goblins through the last door, but I use up all my charges experimenting, and then I have to start the level over.

That being said, this is a DEEP puzzle game. I really like it! I also like that not necessarily every element always gets used - it feels a little more "alive" like this. Really well done, but it gets a little too obtuse for me later on.

This might be more of a band-aid than a solution, but a little instruction-manual companion to this game might work. Maybe it introduces the goblins and how they work? I'm sure the Lost Vikings had such a manual.

P#114266 2022-07-13 11:59
:: sulai

Hey @paloblancogames, thanks for checking the game out =)

You can open the last magic door by just stepping on the magic floor with the wizard. I just added an arrow there as a little helper. :)

You can continue your play through by walking into the right portal in the hub level.

> not necessarily every element always gets used

I softened up some of the harder levels and allowed multiple ways to solve them. I hope that reduces frustration and makes the levels more interesting, as the player can be creative and try their own ideas. That's what I like about Level 10.

An undo button would be really cool, but due to the token limit I think it's impossible without sacrificing some other feature. I think the way to go is to improve the levels and make them easier to understand, based on feedback like yours :)

An in-game manual is also a good idea but also not possible (tokens). What I can do is to show these yellow hints for certain objects or events, as these are very cheap. :)

Thank you for your kind words :)

P#114268 2022-07-13 12:34

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