Author Topic: Pixel Danmaku - Looking for Early Feedback  (Read 823 times)

Pixel Danmaku - Looking for Early Feedback
« on: November 18, 2014, 11:39:07 PM »
So I?m working on a shmup and thought it would be a good idea to stop lurking here and start posting. I?m hoping that this one will do well enough that I can start pull a team together to make small company with heavy focus on shmups.

The game I?m working right now is Pixel Danmaku, aptly named for the simplistic graphics that my limited coding mind can muster. I?m trying to make the game accessible for casual players by dialing down the difficulty on normal and easy but really ramping it up  past hard, very hard, and beyond. I?ve got a good array of friends of various skill levels that are plenty willing to help with testing the difficulties too.

The scoring is based around golf rules. Each level has a ?par? that counts up as you go through the level. At any point if your time is below that time, enemies drop more score pickups. Of course if you take too long, your time will rise above the ?par? time and enemies will drop less.  This whole thing is represented by a double sided bar I called the Time Gauge. I?m using this to reward aggressive gameplay with higher scores. It?s like a time bonus that is rewarded or penalized each time you defeat an enemy.

Aggressive gameplay is achieved by switching between Power, Shield, and Speed mode. Each one has a different power and bullet spread that increases by getting points while in those modes, and switching between them causes 1 second of immobility. Theirs specials are each different and last at most 2.5 seconds and have a cooldown of 30 seconds. Using the beat all Overdrive Mode uses up 25% of the power of each mode, limiting the spammability of it but making it necessary to not waste gained points.

I?m not sure if there?s anything I could improve or remove to help it thrive. I?ve got a kickstarter going for it in to get things started up faster, but it?s not really going too well. If you guys can give me feedback on the project or any help on the funding side, I?d be amazingly grateful. I really want to make a development company to spotlight the shmup genre. Thanks for any feedback.


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Re: Pixel Danmaku - Looking for Early Feedback
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 06:24:51 PM »
It's a neat idea, but I'm concerned because you use "we" a lot yet you state you're actively looking to build a team. Along with that there doesn't seem to be much evidence of any work other than some concepts and a short gameplay video. The game itself definitely has a... style, although I feel like it lacks personality in a few ways. The shapes and colors are a bit monotone and it's really hard to discern between things. The background is also really distracting and busy :S

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, just that sticking your hand out for money immediately as a new indie dev is a really bad idea. I know you're probably trying to cover your own costs, but as a new indie dev I wouldn't count on breaking even at the start and you're going to have to put out a bit of your own on the line. You're asking for money before there's any solid evidence of a product, nor do you have a resume to back it up. I mean, none of your reward tiers give the final game, and paying $100 for a "demo" is really reaching :S

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Re: Pixel Danmaku - Looking for Early Feedback
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 07:02:11 PM »
Honestly this looks kind of bland, and the design is uncreative. I've seen at least half a dozen of these 'polygon shooters' before, most of them I can play for free on the internet as well, because they're just flash games. Most of them at least keep a good reason for the design choice as well, usually tacking on a story about some computer-based thing the game is centered around, or because the game is just really, really simple. Honestly this is just lazy design from my perspective, since you're putting money and time into it.

Honestly the gameplay doesn't look like it'd make up for it, either. I played Geometry Wars, which is almost the same concept and design, but it was executed really well, really fast-paced, really nice take on such a simple design. Yes, that's a commercial game, but it didn't start out as one, it was just a mini-game for a racing game before it got expanded. The gameplay in that feels really smooth, and isn't clunked up with gimmicks like power bars. The enemies didn't have huge lifebars either but just came at you unceasingly, which really made the game feel a lot more fast-paced and exciting.

Really, I looked into your profile on Kickstarter and I didn't find anything. Google turns up nothing either. Have you even done any other games before begging on Kickstarter?
 I remember a time before the whole indie boom where I could just play decent games made in Flash or Java or what-have-you for free on the internet, and many of them were just as fun as good retail games (although they never were terribly long most of the time). Is this really the fate of gaming where every two-bit game dev just begs for money to release flash games?

This is a pretty harsh post but watching amateur game devs beg on Kickstarter just annoys me, especially with half-hearted ideas. I'd consider supporting a dev that at least has a lot of good games under their belt, even decent flash games I could play on the internet.  Good game devs like Nerdook who make lots of really fun flash games I really enjoyed. Now he has a game he's selling on Steam that I would totally buy just because I enjoyed his other games (even if I didn't like the one he has on Steam as much), and he's worth it because his games are great and he's not begging for cash.

EDIT: I forgot that Nerdook actually probably makes a lot of ad revenue and also probably donations for his games on Kongregate, but it drives the point home that he's successful because his games are good and it's not because he's actively selling them for cash, instead he's throwing his games out where they're free and hoping people will like and play them, like everyone else.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 07:06:00 PM by NekoNekoRex »
Kilga is this right; like is this person seriously the player, and it's not some alias or something that's designed to be deliberately obfuscating? NekoNekoRex. Who the hell is that :C   ~Poya Aaaa (Serela), Bunny Must Die Mafia