Recent posts by Pseudolonewolf on Kongregate

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Topic: General Gaming / New MARDEK RPG

I’ve been planning to use Patreon, once I get the game up and running.

If it seems that people want the old MARDEK over the new one, that’s probably largely because they’re deciding between possibly hundreds of hours of memories seen through rose-tinted glasses, and a three-minute teaser trailer (and possibly a bunch of descriptions, if they’ve read them). There’s just no contest there; of course people are going to prefer what they’re familiar with.

However, innovation is all about transcending the familiar by trying something new. It doesn’t have the power of memories on its side, but it’s often the case that it’s pleasantly surprising once people finally have the chance to give it a go.

All that’s largely irrelevant though because the new game is essentially finished at this point. (Or rather, the engine and first two episodes are.)

 
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Topic: General Gaming / New MARDEK RPG

Different people like games for different reasons, it seems. There’s an interesting concept called Bartle types which attempts to classify gamers’ play style preferences using simple categories. It’s imperfect, of course, but it highlights the fact that we’re all wired differently, and so different things tend to attract our attention.

I, for example, am a ‘Socialiser’ according to that system, and for me, games like Final Fantasy were always about the story rather than the gameplay. I’d cherish every nugget of dialogue (and panic if I accidentally skipped even a bit), talk to every NPC, take great interest in the characters’ interpersonal connections to one another… but I had basically no interest in, say, ‘getting to level 99’, and battles were largely a chore to be endured until I could get to the juicy ‘plot bits’. Those plot bits are what I remember; the battles largely blur into one.

So I’m mainly making the sort of game that I personally would love. If others love it too, that’s a bonus, but primarily I’m developing to entertain myself. Perhaps this isn’t the way to win the love of a crowd or millions of dollars, but I for one find it infinitely more ‘spiritually satisfying’.

As for music, I compose my own, just as I make all the graphics, writing, code, etc. Because of this, I’m able to express a deep understanding of the characters and situations through the music, since they’re all ‘coming from the same place’, so to speak. I do this because I know that music is really important!

 
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Topic: General Gaming / New MARDEK RPG

I’ve noticed that a lot of people (my younger self included!) interpret ‘RPG’ to mean ‘a game where you collect items, level up, and romp around dungeons fighting monsters’, or something similar… I’m focusing more on the ‘RP’ than the ‘G’, though, so while there definitely are gameplay mechanics in place, the focus is on ‘what happens next’ and ‘how do the characters FEEL about that?’. I’m more interested in encouraging the player to care about their characters on a personal level rather than about their statistics and gear or whatever. I’ve streamlined or even discarded a lot of typical RPG features, and made others optional… so I don’t know whether or not those who loved the originals will love this. Though I hope they will!!

I’ve certainly put a whole lot more thought into the characters and story of this reboot though. In the original, they were relatively shallow and generic; certainly nothing special. A game based on just THAT kind of storytelling wouldn’t be enough, I know. But I’ve grown a lot as a person since then, and I personally feel that the new story is interesting enough to support the whole experience.

I’m unsure what to do with it though because I feel like it’s an unusual experiment rather than something that cleanly fits into a genre. I looked at the Monster’s Den Kickstarter, and I don’t know if something like that would even work for me because I won’t have one ‘finished game’ to release once it’s done. Instead, I’ll be releasing a new hour-or-so-long episode once every two to four weeks (hopefully), all of which would use the same engine and mechanics but would follow new events that progress the story. It’ll be more like an interactive webcomic sort of thing, in that sense.

I don’t know of anyone else that has tried to release a large number of episodes like this (I’ve planned 45), so I don’t have anything to copy when it comes to deciding how to actually make money from it. I don’t use Steam myself, so I don’t know if it allows episodic things where every episode is sold separately (charging one price for all 45 would be unfair). I’m wondering about whether to sell them separately on mobile, or whether to have them on my site for free or with a ‘pay what you think it’s worth!’ system in place, or whether to use Patreon, or what… I’m just exploring options at this point.

As for the graphics, I wanted something with a distinct quirky charm that might not have been done before. I wonder how people who dislike them for being too primitive feel about Minecraft!

 
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Topic: General Gaming / New MARDEK RPG

Several years ago, I made some RPGs called MARDEK, which I notice are still on the second page of the Adventure & RPG category here. http://www.kongregate.com/games/Pseudolonewolf/mardek-rpg-chapter-3

Anyway, after spending several years as an embittered hermit, I’ve FINALLY got around to making another… though it’s a complete reboot rather than a continuation.

I’ve uploaded a trailer of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5nAvnyrq-0

It’s more of a story than a game, really, which will be told in 45 shortish episodes. My aim was to put a lot of focus onto the characters and events; to make the player really care about the world, the people in it, and what happens next. Stories are powerful things, I feel.

I’m unsure how to actually release it, though, so I’m currently doing research to find out what I should do.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / CS4/5 bone tool problems

(Sorry, this isn’t programming-based as such, but it’s for a Flash game at least and I couldn’t see where else to put it…)

Does anyone have experience animating fairly complex things – humans, for example, rather than simple machines – with the bones tool in the latest versions of Flash?

I just recently got CS5, and I’m new to using this way of animating. It seems like it could increase efficiency, yet it also seems like it has some critical problems…

I looked up loads of tutorials and forum threads and so on about the tool and learned to use it properly, I think. I’ve got the armature set up all correctly and can move the parts and everything.

The problems start, however, when I try to actually create new poses on the timeline. For one thing, I can’t seem to figure out how to reliably move the root bone. Since it’s located in the torso, it means that I can’t have the figure move very well at all (I can’t work with it being stuck there like that). I’ve used the Free Transform tool to move the model as a whole on different keyframes, but when I do this, it seems to gradually, bit by bit, cause the pivot points and the MovieClip parts to drift from their original locations, so after several keyframes, everything’s completely off. It even seems to affect old keyframes that I hadn’t touched.

Has anyone else encountered this? Is there a solution? Is there any way to safely move the root bone, moving the whole armature with it? I’ve tried turning its X and Y translation on, but that has its own problems and it seems to hinder efficiency.

Or maybe it’s a bad idea to be using the bone tool for anything other than a simple machine?

Here’s an image of the armature: http://www.fighunter.com/misc2/Armature.jpg
I was using some static feet as guidelines; they appear as pinkish outlines. You can see how the original feet have drifted; they were in exactly the same place as the other feet before I added other frames.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Raider: Episode 2

I’m considering just altering the arc of jumps altogether so it’s a lot easier to do a small jump by tapping the key, but that might take a lot of tweaking to get it to the same maximum height but with slower ascension… The levels are designed around the current jumping, after all.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Raider: Episode 2

I’d be greatly appreciative of anything like a review!

I find it far more comfortable to use SHIFT with my little finger because I have my index resting on D, middle on S and fourth on A… Anything else just seems peculiar and weird. I don’t actually have to move any fingers at all to use the shift jumps.

Perhaps I should consider adding a single key for small hops though… Even though I personally find it unnecessary and probably more awkward than the current system.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Raider: Episode 2

It will be… if I decide to release it at all. The ‘unpleasantly low’ rating of Raider 2 (I was expecting about a 4, or at least as high as the previous one) makes me feel that people aren’t really much liking this serious, and it might be a bad move reputation-wise if I keep trying to release new ones.
A shame… But I suppose I’d FINISH them all at least; I might just release them only to Fig Hunter dot com.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Raider: Episode 2

The reason I mentioned Castlevania is because the jumping in that is HORRENDOUS! When you execute a jump, you completely lose control of your character and just have to watch as he goes in whatever direction you chose, and he doesn’t jump very high either. If you slip up and jump just a bit wrongly, then you have no way of recovering and have to restart quite a fair bit back.

Anyway, the SHIFT jumps probably seem more complicated than they are if you think of them as ‘holding four buttons at once’, in the same way that it sounds complicated if you say that mere jumping is often ‘holding three buttons at once’. The thing is though that nobody comments on THAT because it’s just normal… Think of holding shift as more as a ‘state’ than pressing a separate button. It’s easy enough to do with your little finger. But it’s also not NECESSARY, as I tried to point out with a sign; it’s only there as a HELPER if you feel that just tapping A is too difficult. I wonder if people would complain less or more if I changed the tutorial to instruct you to tap A, ‘or if you struggle with that, you can also hold shift if you like’…?

Also, uh, Raider DOES have the option to customise controls…?

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Raider: Episode 2

In this one, there are no spike pits that you can’t get out of; any that you’d need to wait to die in are replaced with lava. The other ones can all be escaped with ONE SINGLE JUMP… unless you can think of exceptions?

I have also ‘fixed’ the thing now where you can climb by holding UP, though I’ve no idea why anyone would want this because it just feels awkward and about as useful as the ‘standing on top of ladders’ thing…

Also, if you don’t like the jumping in THIS game, you shouldn’t ever play the first Castlevania for the NES!
I for one feel that a large part of the challenge of a game is coming to grips with its own unique mechanics and ‘physics’; getting used to those and being able to use them well IS the game in many cases. But people seem to complain that they’re not already intimately familiar with the controls before they even begin, or that the game isn’t identical in control to others… hmm.

Anyway, it’s bothersome that people seem to rate in extremes or something… A 1/5 rating is basically saying that my game is the worst that games can BE, rather than just ‘not brilliant’ or something. I wouldn’t be so confident as to say it deserves a 5 by any means, but a 1? Games like ‘shoet teh stikamn’ or ‘cleick teh boton!!1’ are worth a 1, and some people apparently consider Raider 2 to be on the same level as those?

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Raider: Improvements?

Someone else mentioned that they were annoyed that they weren’t TOLD by the game that they could shoot on ladders, but it just baffled me and made me think “uh, why didn’t you just TRY to shoot on ladders to see if you could? o_O”

Some of the most important changes I’ve made to episode 2 are better-looking scenery, a tutorial stage, a better Help section thing, and hopefully better difficulty in some places. Though difficulty is somewhat subjective and since I’ve played through it hundreds of times and can beat it with my eyes closed, I don’t know which bits might be frustratingly hard…
My beta testers haven’t mentioned anything frustrating yet (mainly they’ve just been reporting really minor tweaks like ‘this tile looks wrong’ or ‘rolling over this button doesn’t make it highlight’), but that could either mean that there is nothing difficult, or that only people who were already skilled at the first are the only people who became beta testers… Probably latter. Hmm.

Anyway, I’m hoping that just the tutorial alone should make the game more accessible to a lot of people, but I feel like I should be adding more tweaks to make the whole thing better, so, uh, I’m still eager to hear more suggestions if anyone has any!

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Raider: Improvements?

I made a game called Raider: Episode 1 recently, here: http://www.kongregate.com/games/Pseudolonewolf/raider-episode-1

I’m not trying to advertise it here or anything, but I’m working on Episode 2 at the moment, and I want to make it as good as it can be, so if any of you played the first episode and did or didn’t like it, are there any suggestions that you have about how I could make future episodes far more enjoyable?

The first one did far more poorly than I hoped it would in regards to ratings and views and everything, so obviously it had some large problems that needed addressing. I think I’ve fixed many of them to some extent, but still, suggestions are still something I’m almost desperately seeking at the moment.

I don’t know if it’s usual for developers to ask for suggestions for their own games in this forum, or if this is even the right forum for it, but it seems like the comments section for the game itself is no good for suggestions because people just leave far-too-brief one liners most of the time… Hmm.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Are you too proud for Easy Mode?

I got a few comments on my latest game from people who apparently did say that they found the game too hard (on Hard or Intermediate mode, not Easy), and instead of playing on Easy mode instead, they gave a 1/5 rating and left. Other people also called the game broken – despite other people finishing it – because they couldn’t beat it.

I was curious about what sorts of people acted this way, and why, which is why I started this thread.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Are you too proud for Easy Mode?

Whenever you play games that have difficulty settings, which do you choose for your first time playing the game?

Do you choose Easy because you don’t have a clue what to expect, or because you don’t really want much of a challenge?

Do you choose Medium because you think Easy mode is for sissies with no gaming skills whatsoever, whereas you’re a totally 1337 Gam0rz who’s sure to do just fine on your first go regardless of the difficulty setting?

Or do you choose Hard for some strange reason?

More importantly, would you choose Hard or Medium and then complain in the comments section that the game was too hard when you did poorly?
Or would you play through on Easy mode then leave a comment saying that the game is too easy?

Also, if you lose (repeatedly) at a game, do you blame it for being flawed and broken, or realise that it’s probably you who’s just lacking skill?

 
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Topic: Game Programming / User-configured controls

Here’s what I ended up doing:

_global.KEYS={
	BACKSPACE:8,
	 CAPSLOCK:20,
	 CONTROL:17,
	 DELETEKEY:46,
	 DOWN:40,
	 END:35,
	 ENTER:13,
	 ESCAPE:27,
	 HOME:36,
	 INSERT:45,
	 LEFT:37,
	 PGDN:34,
	 PGUP:33,
	 RIGHT:39,
	 SHIFT:16,
	 SPACE:32,
	 TAB:9,
	 UP:38 
};
for(var k=65;k<=90;k++){ KEYS[String.fromCharCode(k)]=k; }

Originally I wanted to make it even simpler by just using a for..in loop to cycle through all of the properties of the Key class, inserting the name and value of them into a new object thing, but unfortunately for..in doesn’t work for properties like those. Oh well. (It would have been so beautifully short as well!)

I like writing code as succinctly as possible though, which is why I brought up this in the first place; I’d rather use a single line to do something than several. Just because it looks neater.

Oh wait, actually, what I did was build that KEYS object, but I also created a copy of it (using a Clone function of mine) as a reference of the key names. When the user chose their own controls, the KEYS object just had its variables changed – for example, A is for jump, but if the user wants to use a different key for jump, the A value in KEYS is set to whatever replacement key code they chose, and the clone of KEYS is used for referencing the name.

Obviously this isn’t as comprehensive as can be since it only includes a small selection of possible keys, but they’re the ones most likely to be used anyway, so I consider it adequate.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Critical Empathy

Dacke, yes, I know, but why must people jump immediately to ‘frustration’ before ‘request’? Why can’t people just request a mute button before they vote instead of voting poorly first? Is it so difficult for people to be nice like that?

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Critical Empathy

As I probably said earlier, polite constructive criticism is the best sort of commenting; I look out for people requesting features or pointing out bugs that I need to fix. But simply giving the game 1/5 is NOT something that any developer would appreciate at all, since there are such better ways of requesting changes.

If people nicely asked for a mute button, then I’d add it and feel happy about giving people what they wanted.

If people gave idiot comments like ‘1/5 no mute’, I’d add a mute button for the sake of my score and feel bitter and hateful towards such people, irritated that they got what they want via such a crude and inconsiderate means and that they’ll likely go through life being that way, and generally less in a mood for making more games…

But maybe it’s just me…

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Critical Empathy

For those of you who give 1/5 ratings for a ‘relatively minor’ feature like a mute button (I know you say it ruins your whole experience, but technically speaking, it is far from a major part of the game), instead of just requesting that the developer add such a thing before you play and vote, I have a simple question:

How would you feel if you made a game, uploaded it, and got people coming along and giving it a rating of 1/5 without really playing it based on some superficial and minor feature that you’d forgotten to include? Also, what sort of comments would you find useless to receive?

I’m just curious if you’d give such ratings because you wouldn’t really care about receiving them if you were in the developer’s position…

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Critical Empathy

Yes, I don’t know if I said this earlier in this thread, but though such comments based on lack of empathy do bother me that the people behind them exist at all (it bothers me not because they upset me with what they said, but it makes me feel worried about the race as a whole that such people can say such things at all), I care about ratings because it does affect my income directly, because it affects whether my game would get badges, whether I’d win contests, how much visibility the game would get, etc. Stupid 1/5 ratings for no good reason bother me mostly because of this.

(Hmm… The wording seems a bit poor in that paragraph… o_O)

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Critical Empathy

Though the 1/5 votes do indeed make a difference and make developers like myself actually add a mute feature, it’s a heavy-handed and rather cruel way of going about doing it because it some sense it hurts the developer’s ‘spirit’ even if you get results. People could get the same results without making the developer miserable just by being nice and understanding, but they don’t because they’re too self-absorbed, it seems. Hmm.

Also, with MARDEK 3, I’ve not been thinking much about how it’ll work on Kongregate, but it might be possible to actually split the end result into three parts and replace the old versions… if that would be allowed (I don’t know what CMG, the sponsor of the other chapters, would say). I can’t do this until chapter 3 is finished though for multiple reasons… But either way, that’s a problem that I’ll face when I get there instead of delaying my progress by worrying about it now!

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Critical Empathy

Again, you are speaking as if developers make a conscious decision to refuse to ignore such things, when it is far, far more likely that they simply aren’t aware of either missing features or the easiest ways to add them. I’ve been making Flash games for years, and you mentioned things there that I’ve not actually seen or used before, though I never REFUSED to add them. Is that so hard to believe?

And then there are the amateurs who haven’t been doing Flash for all that long, so are they expected to know every bit of code imaginable? I wonder, would you tell them that code before rating down their work, or would you just assume that they ‘refused’ to add such things and not bother, giving a poor rating instead?

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Critical Empathy

Oh, also, something else I want to mention is comments like this one I just got on Raider:

This game’s ©rap. too difficilt, too many bugs, fix, it. Until then: 3/5 for the idea

There are several things ‘wrong’ with comments like this, but one that I want to address specifically is when people say things like ‘too many bugs’ or ‘there are bugs, fix them’. It’s like a half-arsed attempt to not be utterly useless, but it’s superficial and doesn’t help at all. WHAT bugs, person? Could you be more specific? What am I supposed to fix if you don’t even tell me what you noticed? It’s especially bothersome when I’m not aware of any remaining bugs, and nobody else reports any, and it leads me to wonder what exactly it was, if anything, that this person interpreted as a ‘bug’…

I also don’t think it’s fair to rate down a game because you’re bad at it, but I’m sure people could argue fairly against that.

Similarly, I find comments like ’it’s good, but there’s room for improvement’ (with no elaboration) annoying because the sorts of people who leave them seem like amateur critics, who want to show that they’re perceptive and hard-to-please enough to not be simply impressed like dim-witted people beneath them would be, but that they’re wise enough to be critical… if you get what I mean? You probably know the type. But without substance to what they say, they’re showing no insight at all and being no help; it seems obvious that their comments are meant to be nothing other than ‘showing off’ in that way.

If you feel that there’s room for improvement, then that’s fair enough, but it’s only useful if you elaborate.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Critical Empathy

There are apparently a lot of the selfish, ‘ugly customer’ types here, it seems, that you often see in shops yelling at the poor person behind the counter because they didn’t get exactly what they wanted, which means that other people must suffer for it… or something. Hmm.

I didn’t add a mute button in my latest game at first; I didn’t until multiple people pointed it out. The way that some of you here have made out such things, it seems as if you expect us all to consciously know of a list of these common features and then DECIDE not to include them… which isn’t the case. The thought of adding a mute button just didn’t occur to me, nor was it mentioned by any of my beta testers. I personally can’t understand how people can play games with unrelated music, since for me the music is much of the game itself (especially in my own, where I compose the music myself and spend ages doing so)… Though I suppose it’s different with Flash games, which are often less immersive in general, and tend to have ugly music…

I really do not think it is at all FAIR though to rate the game the lowest score possible based on the lack of ONE feature. At most, that should affect your rating by -1, but it would be far, far nicer to say ‘this has no mute button, Mr Developer, so I won’t play or rate it just yet. If you can add one, then I’ll play it, but until then, I won’t’.
That way, you are not viciously slapping the developer back in the face with your fickleness for what you interpreted as a slap to your face, but which was more likely just an honest mistake made by the developer, an oversight when they were, y’know, spending months and months on the REST of the content that you didn’t bother to even look at?

You will find it is immensely better to merely ask for a mute button instead of being so cruel as to drastically affect the game’s rating as soon as you see there isn’t one… Or any other feature, for that matter. This is especially true in the first week of the game’s release, where it’s likely only been tested by a small audience and not by the public at large. It should just be common courtesy to be more polite and helpful like this, but it isn’t, which is rather depressing.

It is good to hear that some of you at least comment considerately and fairly, and I and other developers are surely thankful of such people, yet I also wonder how many people would think that they DO, and say so, when they really don’t…? HMM.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / User-configured controls

I eventually found a way around this by myself, though the amount of controls you’re able to select from are limited to the letter keys and any key that the Key class has a named property for, like LEFT, RIGHT, ENTER, etc. This is adequate, though.

There really should be some kind of built-in function for this sort of thing though… I’d imagine it’d come up fairly frequently.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Critical Empathy

I usually don’t comment at all, even though if I did I’d try to focus on positives or ‘gentle, helpful criticism’, so I’d assume that most people who would leave good comments don’t comment at all, leaving the bad ones to seem the most vocal…
I’m aware that they do it to look like they’re ‘above’ the game, it’s ‘not good enough for them’, etc, and want to announce this, and I ignore the comments because of that, but I get bothered that that attitude exists at all… Moreso, though, I get bothered by the fact that their low ratings are significant because they drag the game down and decrease its potential visibility, which is unpleasant.

So it’s the ratings more than the idiot comments that some people leave that affect me most…