Space Smuggler

Discussion in '2014 Indie Game Maker Contest' started by pandulapeter, Jul 2, 2014.

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  1. pandulapeter

    pandulapeter Villager Member

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    Hi! :) I just wanted to share my contest entry. I've spent (as I'm sure most of you did too) many sleepless nights working on it, polishing every little detail and now I would appreciate some feedback since I was the only "tester" involved in the development process. If you like it, please give it a vote here. As a new member of this community and someone who isn't very active on social media, I don't have high hopes for the People's Choice award, but still, it would be great to see that at least a few people enjoyed my work.
     
    Trailer:




    In Space Smuggler you can explore the galaxy, customize your ship and fight your enemies in space and on planets as well! This action-packed sci-fi side scrolling game combines platformers and shoot'em ups with RPG elements. You're not destined to save the world or to change it in any significant way, you're just an imprisoned ex-smuggler trying to escape and start a new life.
     
    Screenshots:

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    The game was created in a month using Game Maker: Studio, Google SketchUp, Audacity and Gimp. It features realistic physics, a puzzling story (even though it might start out somewhat generic, wait for the twist) and roughly 35-40 minutes of gameplay. I've tried to gradually introduce the new elements and increase the levels' difficulty to keep the experience from becoming monotonous. If you think you missed something, the bottom part of the pause menu gives additional information on the various power-ups and the backstory as well.

    Download:

    You can find the competition entry here. Click here to download the game. I've recently uploaded a new version fixing some minor bugs and this release, unlike the original one is compatible with Windows XP. Click here to download it.

    Have fun and again, in case you like it, please don't forget to vote :) More info on my website.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2014
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  2. pandulapeter

    pandulapeter Villager Member

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    The game is now available on Android! It features a number of bug fixes and improvements as well as some platform-specific new features like Google Play Game Services integration: achievements and online leaderboards based on a brand new Endless Mode that becomes unlocked after finishing the main storyline. Any feedback would be highly appreciated :)
     

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  3. Alkorri

    Alkorri Proofreading Penguin Veteran

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    Hi there, pandulapeter,

    Umm, I tried to play your game but when I clicked on the exe it says, The procedure entry point InitOnceExecuteOnce could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll

    It looks promising but this folder has the weirdest set-up ever. No system or audio folders for instance, just music files, a dll and an executable. Am I missing something?
     
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  4. pandulapeter

    pandulapeter Villager Member

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    Hi! Thanks a lot for pointing this out. I did some research and it turns out that the compiler I've been using is not compatible with Windows XP.

    Here is a version that theoretically should run... It might be a little slower but I hope you'll be able to play it.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz_f-WyO2OCSWnFWeXR6cGRMNlk/edit?usp=sharing

    This version has a different folder structure but this is Game Maker's doing, I have little control over it.
     
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  5. Alkorri

    Alkorri Proofreading Penguin Veteran

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    Thanks, pandulapeter! Was ready to give up on this game until you uploaded a fix. Indeed my computer is Windows XP.

    Works perfect, and I have to say, this game was a pleasant surprise! I usually hate shooters/platformers but you managed to make this massively fun. Seasoned players might probably find this easy, but the learning curve was just right for me. I even managed the run+jump+jump parts just fine after some practice (and cursing).

    I like how you incorporated a solid story into this game, and that 'twist' midway was fun. I almost miss the role of escaped prisoner in the beginning (was looking forward to being a Riddick, hee) but the new role was cool. The only thing I was confused about after I finished the game was

    how my future self ended up saving my past self, but after some thought it made sense to me. It was just that in the nervousness of people about to shoot me, I was probably not paying close attention to that reveal scene.
    Small nitpick, during the tutorial I felt that the big black window saying 'Destination of your current mission is marked by an arrow' blocked the galaxy map when I'm trying to look at the other planets.

    I really like the ship upgrade options! I would have liked more upgrades but you probably did what you could with the deadline. Also, I accidentally spent credits colouring the ship, not realising I could just hover the mouse over the options and preview the changes. No biggies, I just reloaded. Perhaps there could be some kind of confirmation button before you remodel the ship?

    I love the red and yellow power-ups! When I get both together, I feel like a god :D I am unclear what the green power-up does however. Invulnerability? For a moment I wondered if it was poison.

    I might be missing it, but it's not clear to me how much energy I have during the shooting sections. Perhaps a brief tutorial explaining the HUD, if you ever decide to expand your game?

    Scores and achievements! I'd like a way to compare with my friends :) I like the idea of a Shoot All the Cameras achievement, but that might be tough because the character cannot face left.

    Typo: In the Stealing the Ride objective - Your next step is to acquire

    Typo: In the Seeking the Knowledge objective - Find out what this means in the in the libraries of New Callisto. (extra 'in the')


    This game deserves way more attention, and congratulations for making a great game :)

    Edit: I think it would help to give your game more visibility if you uploaded your screenshots to photobucket or something, and Insert Image right into your OP. Would be easier for others wondering what your game is about.
     
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  6. pandulapeter

    pandulapeter Villager Member

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    Alkorri, thank you so much for your review!  :) I'm glad that you like the game and as the first person who played it to the end and wrote about it, you gave me many valuable points to improve in the next version. Let me respond to some of the things you mentioned one by one.

    Story - I'm pretty sure that it makes sense but if I think too much about it, my head starts to hurt  :D

    [SIZE=14.6666669845581px][/SIZE]

    Most time travel stories where the character meets himself have this problem. There could be some morals about destiny and the illusion of choice but let's not go into that...[SIZE=14.6666669845581px][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=14.6666669845581px]Tutorial / learning curve - That rectangle really is annoying but I had to make sure that the players read it. It only stays there for a mission but I'll try to come up with a better solution in the next version. I'm glad that you found the difficulty suitable, messing this up was one of my worst fears.[/SIZE]

    Upgrades - Indeed the number of upgrades was affected by the deadline but after seeing how much playtesting it took to balance out each upgrade, I'm affraid to tamper with that part again  :headshake:   You're absolutely right about the confirmation thing, I'll work on that.

    Power ups - In the pause menu there are tips about the game, some of them mentions the effects of the power ups. That probably isn't a good place to explain gameplay mechanics so I have to come up with something better... Anyway, the green power ups, besides a few seconds of invulnerability give the ship the ability to destroy anything it collides with, including enemy ships.

    HUD - The energy automatically refills in the platforming section when the character is not being fired at, so it isn't displayed anywhere. However in space it is constantly used up by the engines / shields, that's why you need to keep collecting the power cells. In this mode the amount of energy is displayed in the top right corner. In both cases the screen starts to fade into white when you need to pay attention.

    Social integration - My toughts exactly! This is already live in the Android version (and there is an achievement for destroying a camera  :p ), where completing the main storyline unlocks something called the Endless Mode, the leaderboards are based on this.

    Typos - Extra thanks for pointing these out.
     
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  7. Alkorri

    Alkorri Proofreading Penguin Veteran

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    Yes I learned to pay attention to how the screen was turning white :)

    I did wait a while in the Pause menu but it only happened to show things I already knew, so couldn't tell until much later what the green power-ups are. No biggies.

    Glad to help, and happy to see the screenshots in your OP!
     
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  8. Indrah

    Indrah Megane Berserker Veteran

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    Here's my very quick and sketchy take on the game (link for info on why it's so short and all that jazz)




    A simple but charming little space shooter with some platforming.


    This isn’t really a gaming genre I know much about, so I can’t give much feedback.


    The graphics, despite being very basic, were sort of charming. The only thing that ever felt off is how your ground sprite would NEVER turn around.


    The space exploration is nice, but felt a bit newbie hostile when stepping one toe inside an area with stronger enemies would SMASH you completely.


    I was a bit confused during the ship sections due to small bullets and how I had a hard time telling when I was getting damaged and if the rocks actually DID anything, since I could not shoot them either.


    Overall a game that can be charming, give it a chance if you like shooters. If they aren’t your thing, this probably isn’t for you.
     
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  9. pandulapeter

    pandulapeter Villager Member

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    Thanks for your review! It's always very helpful to see others play my game. Just a few reactions:

    - The main character not turning around was intentional, all of the levels follow the left->right direction (just like the space shooting parts) so there isn't any reason to turn around. I didn't want to confuse the players, but it looks like this had the opposite effect on you for some reason  :D

    - Some levels might look scary but the difficulty is very easy at the beginning of the game and gradually increases after the player becomes familiar with the controls. You might be right about a sudden jump in the difficulty around the time you finished playing.

    - Colliding with asteroids decreases the ship's energy but it's not as significant as getting hit by bullets. After upgrading the ship's weapons players will have the ability to destroy asteroids too.

    Again, thanks for playing the game, I could tell that it isn't really your favorite genre but you still gave it a fair chance  :)  There were a few things that you missed (upgradable ships, time-travelling storyline, various power-ups, etc), but these elements were introduced a bit later in the game, I didn't want to show off every feature in the first 10 minutes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2014
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