In Arcem Miseria - Tower of Misery [Complete and SUBMIT]

Discussion in '2014 Indie Game Maker Contest' started by andrew, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. andrew

    andrew how you mine 4 scripts? Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    15
    First Language:
    English
    [​IMG]

    See the submission and download here!

    About the Project

    A parable told as a lesson turns into a grim reality for young Benjamin as he must now climb the mysterious "tower of misery".

    A steampunk-style game of puzzles and exploration, reach the top of the tower and learn the true meaning of the story.

    * Controls and combat plays similar to games like Baldur's Gate 2 and Neverwinter Nights.

    * Steampunk-esque environment and theme

    (A game built in Unity, focused on some environment-inclusive puzzle and exploration and combat.)

    The Characters

    You wake as Benjamin, a teenage boy in a mysterious location that sounds similar to a story his grandfather told him years ago.

    What's happening? That's for you to discover.

    Screenshots

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2014
    #1
    Silvestre and Stoic like this.
  2. Stoic

    Stoic Game Producer Degica

    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Florida
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Just finished this. I want to play through again but here's some of my initial reactions:

    • The steampunk world is real awesome. Krisanna outdid herself. It's very dark and moody. The sprites also have a cool chibi style which I usually don't like. I think the robot is my favorite design.
    • Music is really atmospheric and fitting. I wouldn't expect anything less from Joel Steudler.
    • Puzzles are pretty straightforward. Some of the switch puzzles can be a bit tedious.
    • It wasn't entirely obvious that the different color streams corresponded to different characters. But I guess you figure it out quick enough it's not much of an issue.
    • I wish there was a little more feedback from certain things like collecting the coal piles. I didn't even know what they were at first but my gamer instinct told me to collect them.
    • I think more sound in the game would help. It would add impact to a lot of the interactions.
    • The combat is really clunky. I got used to it and even had fun later but at first I was having a tough time enjoying it. There's a lot of controls to remember and your characters don't auto attack which is a pain. I would also think they would start auto attacking after using a skill.
    • I sort of wish I could just hold down with the mouse instead of having to click all the time to move. But it wasn't really much of an issue.
    • Sometimes I found myself fighting the controls. Especially during combat when I was trying to move out of attack ranges. There seemed to be a lot of automovement.
    • I like that there are a lot of support skills. It makes Ben and Sonellia feel more like a team. Superheated + Snipe FTW!
    • I liked the story inside the tower but outside wasn't really interesting even though I know the two are intertwined.
    • The ending was kind of "huh?". Boss fight was also anticlimatic.
    • I found a few bugs which I'll send to you. Nothing game breaking.
    Overall I really enjoyed it! I'd highly recommend people check it out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2014
    #2
  3. Indrah

    Indrah Megane Berserker Veteran

    Messages:
    2,070
    Likes Received:
    2,028
    Location:
    Spain
    First Language:
    Spanish
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Here's my very quick and sketchy take on the game (link for info on why it's so short and all that jazz)




    +Graphics and overall presentation are appealing.


    +I like the concept of splitting up to solve things!


    -The mechanics of splitting up is “taught” very dimly and it took me a long while to notice it at all.


    -I’m not a fan of puzzles, but I don’t think starting so early on with time dependent switches/doors is a good idea, especially when control isn’t exactly super-smooth.


    -The camera is not really cooperating and making things much harder than they should be.


    -Pathfinding (or the controls) is awkward and can slow things down.


    To the developer: I am not a puzzle game person. That definitely colors my perception. But I’m sure I could have enjoyed this game more than I did if the camera and controls were not quite so awkward. That definitely annoyed me.


    The mechanic of splitting up is good, but the pace of the puzzles (timed doors) so early on and with slow-ish controls really did not fit me.


    I may be being nitpicky due to the genre of the game, but I feel like the cam and controls ruined a bit what could have been a nice game. Not completely, but definitely bring the overall down.
     
    #3
  4. Adellie

    Adellie NPC Veteran

    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    480
    Location:
    Canada
    I thought i was blazing through the tower... until I got stuck. :blush:

    Can someone tell me how to get past this bit?

    I can't get the door in the main room or the door at the end of the corridor to open.

    I'm guessing i need to use this stream first but can't activate it.

    [​IMG]
     
    #4
  5. Housekeeping

    Housekeeping Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    Texas
    First Language:
    English
    That's where I got stuck.  The floor switch right above there puts a spotlight over your character, and you have to follow it to the locked door at the end of the super-long hallway.  If you have a crappy graphics card like us, though, the spotlight is next to impossible to see, especially when the hallway opens up and the spotlight has a more erratic movement pattern.  You can probably get through that area with some memorization, but I found it too frustrating.
     
    #5
  6. Adellie

    Adellie NPC Veteran

    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    480
    Location:
    Canada
    Sorry, I don't really understand. @-@;

    Do you mean the player is meant to trace a path, or race to the door at the end of the hall?

    I don't have a crappy graphics card, but i don't see a spotlight at all either.

    I hit the floor switch (the one Benjamin is on in the screenshot) and Sonellia begins to autofollow. There's some change in lighting, blocks of light flicker off. I walk to the end of the hall but there's no sfx indicating that the door's been opened and closed.

    Arg, i want to finish this game... i quite like it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2014
    #6
  7. Housekeeping

    Housekeeping Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    110
    Location:
    Texas
    First Language:
    English
    That change in light is a spotlight that you have to remain within.  It will slowly go down the halls.  Maybe you can modify the graphics setting to make the spotlight clearer.
     
    #7
    Adellie likes this.
  8. Adellie

    Adellie NPC Veteran

    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    480
    Location:
    Canada
    D'oh... I had the graphics settings set to Fast. Thanks, Housekeeping!

    --

    Right, the review.

    I tried In Arcem Miseria mainly for the puzzles. The screenshots looked nice too.

    Liked:

    * You've created a wonderful environment. The visual elements blend together well and the audio is fitting too. Map size and walking speed are just right.

    * Story/dialogue was especially intriguing in the beginning. I liked the scene with Sonellia getting stabbed lol.. it was such a 'Wtf why?' moment. The ending wasn't terrible but could've wrapped up better.

    * I disagree with Indrah in that i think the auto camera was great, and I absolutely love the split/autofollow mechanic.

    * Outside of combat, the game plays really smoothly!

    * The limited lights/coal collection/coloured streams all seemed fairly self explanatory for me. Others may feel differently, but i'm glad there wasn't a tutorial for those things.

    * Death penalties aren't too harsh.

    * The boss battle comes up just as you're getting bored. (She could be a bit stronger or flashier though.)

    Disliked:

    * While i like the battle system concept, it doesn't play smoothly at all. Even when you have it all figured out, you still have to work to execute properly.

       * I don't think that enemies should be able to detect Benjamin from a far distance if i initiate with Sonellia.

       * Targetting for autoattacks can be difficult. Skills were fine.

       * Trying to flee (or accidentally fleeing) causes the characters and camera to go completely out of control. This was a major headache.

       * If you fight near a stream, the character and monster will sometimes fly back and forth through the stream uncontrollably.

    Issues: no errors encountered. 

    (battle system issues above^)

    Overall, I had fun! If not for the battle system, it would've been a really solid game.

    The game's length is fine for the contest but I would've really liked more floors with increasingly difficult puzzles!
     
    #8
    Stoic likes this.
  9. andrew

    andrew how you mine 4 scripts? Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    15
    First Language:
    English
    Wow, so much feedback! I've been really busy catching up with my job and moving this month, so sorry about the blank period.

    I posted new versions that have a visual border where the light is now, so even in the lowest setting you'll know your available range. Those can be downloaded now if anyone is still having that issue.

    Sounds like combat was the real killer.

    I'm working on playing through some of the other contest entries.

    Thanks everyone!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2014
    #9

Share This Page