RMMV Go Find Carl [No Travel Jam Entry]

SmashArtist

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SYNOPSIS
The world has been in an epidemic for two years now. Everyone has been ordered to stay indoors as much as possible.
You get a call from your buddy, Carl, who needs your help! Traverse the streets to try and find him!

GAMEPLAY
  • Avoid the dangerous Zombunnies that roam the city
  • Solve a few (easy) puzzles
  • Use different items to advance
  • 5-20 min of gameplay

IMAGES/SCREENSHOTS



DOWNLOAD LINK
| ITCH.IO | Available for Windows and Mac

KNOWN BUGS
See this devlog for known bugs that I can't fix.

EXTRA INFO
This is the longest game I have completed so far!
Feedback is highly appreciated! Let me know what you liked, what you didn't, and any bugs you might come across!
 
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Finnuval

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Once I get the time for it I'll give this a look-see xD
 

GoodSelf

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Love the 1-bit style with the colorful characters, it really makes this game pop and stand out! Although, I'm afraid that due to my deathly Zombunny allergies, playing this game might pose a serious health risk. I will persevere however, for Carl!
 

Mrs_Allykat

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In a previous event, I played one of Smash's games, and had a good time. That was all I needed to pick Smash's entry this time.

Here's my quick and dirty review:


"Go Find Carl" is exactly the kind of game I think of when I think of an indy game. It's got an artistic flair, easy to play, and it's just the right length of play. I'm not sure I could have asked for more.

The artistic expression comes through even at the title screen, a simple screen that somehow explains exactly what your going to get. From the tiles to the character design, there is a uniqueness to this game's visual and audible existence. The storytelling is short, but there is enough to drive the player through the puzzles to get to the end. I liked the television save points. By the way, I love the ending.

The game is exactly standard-fare for playing, and that is a compliment. The last thing we need is another game trying to re-invent the wheel. The puzzles are easy enough, with the only hiccup that I detected was the switching of lights to move the zombunny onto a switch - we probably could have used a little something more to let us know what was happening.

My playtime was about fifteen minutes, give or take. Which is about right for a game with such contrast (Black and White). Much longer, and it likely would have taken away from the experience. Again, this goes to the "correct" length of play.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game. The stylized sound and graphics were fantastic. The story did it's job, and the ending... Well, I can't say without spoiling it for others. Simply put, fantastic job again!
 

SmashArtist

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@Mrs_Allykat
The biggest problem with the game is definitely the first puzzle. It's pretty hard to figure out and I should have given some hints to help, so I completely agree with you on that! If I ever update the game that will be the first thing I fix.

Thank you so much for your review, it means a lot!
 

Mrs_Allykat

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I think just figuring out there is a puzzle there would suffice. It just took me a minute to realize that the switches affected things on the right side of the fence :)
 

hiddenone

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I gave your game a try, and had a blast! The game's silly premise was right up my alley and the gameplay was simple but worked well for the game's length. All that said, I'm going to be quite nitpicky with my feedback because now that I've seen this game, I know you can do even better. :p
First up is the intro scene with the news. It's pretty short, but just white words on a black screen do a huge disservice to the rest of your game. I think even a simple static map of news station for the emergency broadcast would have improved it.

Be careful when using yellow letters on a white background, it can be tough for some people to read. A darker color could still show the importance of the word 'Zombunnies', and would have been easier to read. It wasn't too much of an issue in this game since it didn't show up too often, but keep it in mind for future projects.

I love the idea for the Zombunnies and their sprites are great too. But the fact their bodies are totally black made them at first look like they were just heads (or zombie Yanflys) walking around is kinda horrifying. I'm not sure if that was a conscious decision on your part or not, but if that wasn't your goal then it may be good to add some color to their limbs so they stand out on the black roads.

Using items on stuff is a good idea, but for simple games don't be afraid to remove items that the player doesn't need anymore. I opened the gate with the Key I found, but do I really need to keep the Key? For short games like this, I'm sure the player would understand if the key was left in the lock and was no longer in the inventory.

The light puzzle stumped me for a while... I happened to see Mrs_Alleykat's post and realized what I needed to do. Perhaps if the mind-controlled Zombunny was a different color than normal, and I would've realized there was something strange about it. The lights could have also turned on lights on the other side that attracted the Zombunny's attention, and that's the reasoning behind it. Mostly, just make sure the player can understand your puzzle or at least know how the puzzle pieces work so that they can mess around with it and figure it out themselves.

There's a minor mistake with Plank interaction, it seems like it should be something like "This'll probably be useful" or "This'll come in handy", instead of what it actually says:
plank grammar.png
Making the screen darker is a common horror game trick, but please keep in mind that only being able to see the MC isn't fun for the player. I put the cardboard box on so I was safe while wandering the dark map, but I would have preferred being able to see at least one more tile farther, just to help me find the exit. Luckily the darkness didn't last too long, otherwise it would've been a lot less fun.

I ran into two interesting bugs after leaving the darkness. One was that going back a little would cause the screen to darken:
accidental shadow.png
The other is one that I'm not entirely sure how it happened. After saving at the TV I tried to open the menu, but for some reason I was locked out of the menu. Luckily it was close to the end of the game, but if that had happened earlier I would have been forced to restart the game... I'm unsure of how or why it happened, but it's something to keep in mind if others run into the same issue.

Overall, the game was fun. There were little things like the first puzzle that could be tweaked, but I had a great time playing and trying to find that darn Carl fellow. Good luck with your future projects! :rwink:
 

SmashArtist

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@hiddenone Thank you so much for your feedback! Extra thanks for being so constructive, really helps me improve. :D
When I update the game, I'll make sure to take your points into consideration!
 

Kes

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Overall a fun game, which didn't try to be too many things at once, so that it had a clear focus. The length was about right for the type of game play and puzzles/tasks. I liked the dead-pan dialogue at the very end.

I mainly liked the aesthetic, and thought the sprites for the Zumbunnies were great, but I do wonder how it might work out if the player doesn't have good contrast on their monitor. The choice of yellow against a dark background could cause problems there. I also was not that keen on the dark map section, it seemed to me that the area of vision was too restricted so that - of course - I ran into the bunny and it took me ages to find the exit. It just wasn't fun, at least for me. I had no problems with the puzzles as such, but something else to bear in mind for future games is that not everyone has good reflexes, which the last section required.

Either I was being dumb, or there is a bug. I died trying to get across the roof using the ladder and was teleported back to the last save point. But then none of the 3 arrows off the roof do anything, so I was stuck there. However, I went back to an earlier save and tried again. It might be worth checking the logic of those transfers. The only other glitch I saw was a visual one. On the opening map if the PC walks past the chair in front of the TV, the top of his head vanishes. That can be a tricky one to solve, because you need that tile to be Above Characters for when he is sitting there, but not when he is walking around. There is a mini-script which fixes that for Ace, but I don't know if it exists for MV. You could do it with events doing conditional checks for player direction and switches changing the graphic page to one with the setting Same as Characters, and back again.

As I said, a fun game, so well done with that, and good luck for your future projects.
 
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SmashArtist

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@Kes Thank you for your feedback!
I think I know the issue with the rooftop arrows, so it should be fixed in the next update. I'll make sure to give a wider range of view for the dark section!
 

RCXDan

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@SmashArtist Here's my review, dawg:

Pros:
+ Interesting artstyle
+ Charm
+ I like the interactivity with the environment, especially with the cardboard box and the other stuff you do.
+ I like how the character holds the item when you use it, so as to give a visual indication that you are using said item.
+ I love how there's no true game over. If you die, you respawn with all of your health. That's real cool.
+ That one puzzle where you control how the zombunny moves with the lights was hella neat.
+ Pretty funny ending
+ It actually got super intense when every zombunny in the game started to chase you, like jeez.
+ Only one very minor bug

Cons:
- There's a tile you can walk on that I think you're not meant to
- Kinda a bit too easy to get trapped by enemies
- Money's a bit steep, like... 25 for a single bandage? It's offset by how you respawn, at the very least.
- The bear traps are pretty hard to spot, especially when you're cornered

Observations:
= Text noises & custom menu sfx
= You save with TVs
= Cheeky toilet paper reference
= Button mashing quick time events.

Analysis:

Really good game with amazing pacing, a cute artstyle and humor. It's short, sweet and to the point - you can't really get lost, which I vastly appreciate if you're trying to pace your short game correctly.

I think I liked every puzzle that was in the game because they all revolved around creative use of your items, and there wasn't anything annoying like having to constantly go back into the menu to use them. (By this I mean, if you have the ladder in hand you don't need to constantly menu it up to use its effect, etc.)

The story is just short and ridiculous enough that it works without being annoying. Like yeah, zombie bunny men are attacking. Really doesn't seem out of place for something like Earthbound or Undertale, especially since our main character doesn't really react adversely to any of this?
I'd normally take issue with this, but given how there's no actual stakes involved it's all good.

The part where the game got dark and atmospheric actually got to me, and I was worried it would get too dark... but thankfully the ending is super funny and lighthearted. You really tied this together in a nice bow.

I'd love to see more of your work in the future, dude. :)
 
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SmashArtist

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@RCXDan thanks a bunch for playing.
You feedback is very clear, so thanks for that, glad you enjoyed it! :D
 

SmashArtist

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Hey anyone who might be interested: I know it's been like 4 months, but I've finally started working on updating Go Find Carl, fixing bugs and adding a few small things. I plan to have this update include mac support. It should be released next Saturday.

I'm pretty garbage at remembering to post updates on here, but this is the latest thing I've been working on:
 

SmashArtist

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Go Find Carl's version 1.1 update is now available to the public!
(For windows and mac)
For a more full list of changes view the devlog. I hope everyone will continue to enjoy playing Go Find Carl!

 

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