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Next demo release?

 
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When should the next Okédoké demo come out?
After Chapter 3 is finished.
50%
 50%  [ 2 ]
After Chapter 4 is finished.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
After Chapter 5 is finished.
25%
 25%  [ 1 ]
No demos! Wait until the whole game is done.
25%
 25%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 4

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FnrrfYgmSchnish
Fnrrf Ygm Schnish!!




Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 88
Location: The middle of nowhere

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:52 pm    Post subject: Next demo release? Reply with quote

I'm coming close to finishing Chapter 3 in the game (the only major thing I have left is another driving scene), and I was wondering when people would want to see the next demo version come out.

I was planning on either releasing a demo when Chapter 3's done (which means you'll probably see a new demo by the end of June) or wait until I'm finished with Chapter 4 (which could happen as early as late July or August, but will probably take a lot longer.) Just wondering what people who've played the game think.

Chapter 3 isn't really long compared to the others so far, but I also went back to the Wrongside and Frogbucket maps and added in a bunch of extra stuff that I wanted to put in the contest version, but didn't have time for--a secret boss, more NPCs running around, a game over screen that doesn't look like I made it in 10 seconds with MS Paint, "title cards" for each chapter, and other stuff like that.

Chapter 4, on the other hand, is going to be another "big city" area with lots of places to explore and extra stuff to find... which means it'll take a looooong time to finish: Chapter 4's city (still unnamed at the moment) will be even bigger than Wrongside, which took TWO WEEKS to make even though I was rushing to get everything done in time for the contest deadline.

==============

Also asking for any suggenstions people might have for the game. So far I've only gotten one complaint: Scorpions seem to dodge attacks way too often. I've tweaked the Accuracy stats of the characters (mainly El Garbanzo, though Señor Death got a small boost as well) to try and reduce that a little.

Bug reports are definitely appreciated, if anyone found anything buggy in the contest demo... but other suggestions are okay too, unless they're the "add this to the story" kind. (I already have the story planned out all the way up through most of Chapter 5, which will either be the last or second-to-last part.)
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Pepsi Ranger
Reality TV Host




Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 492
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To clarify my review, I wasn't regarding the hit accuracy rate of scorpions only. I thought everything dodged attacks too easily. The problem with that is that standard random battles get old quickly, and it's worse when the only challenge they provide has to do with the fact that the heroes can't hit anything. And it's really bad when magic attacks occasionally miss. It was the only part of the game that genuinely frustrated me (when I'm insulting the heroes more than I insult the enemies as I play it, you know something's wrong).

But everything else was great. The only noticeable bug I found was that after I left the cavemen's hideout (post-gang defeat) and re-entered to see if I missed anything, the random enemies came back. You can remedy this with a directional conditional that turns random enemies off if you're facing away from the entrance or turn them on if you're stepping outside.

One request I have if you haven't done anything about it already: I was expecting to find trashcans throughout Wrongside and never encountered any. It's a detail that goes a long way, and would serve excellently as a searchable object if you should put them in.

As far as chapter updates go, it sounds to me like you're ending it with Chapter 6, so I should think it would make more sense to release it after Chapter 4 to keep the pacing between releases even. The other alternative would be to take a lead from the "Episodic Gaming" thread on Slime Salad and release a new demo at the completion of every chapter. Either way, I'm sure people will be interested in playing more of it.

I for one am one of them. I really enjoyed this game.
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FnrrfYgmSchnish
Fnrrf Ygm Schnish!!




Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 88
Location: The middle of nowhere

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I figured it wasn't just the scorpions, though that was the one enemy that was mentioned (probably because they have the highest Evade of any random enemy at that point in the game.) I've bumped El Garbanzo's accuracy up from 18 to 20 (so that with a sword he's at 25), and that seems to help a lot. I've also increased the accuracy of Señor Death's Drain and Slasher spells (especially Slasher, which missed WAY too often before since it was set to "Bad" accuracy.)

Thanks for mentioning the problem with the Cavemen's base; I didn't notice it when I was testing the game (I guess I never went back into the base after beating Master Og.) I should be able to fix it without any problems.

Putting searchable trash cans in Wrongside is a great idea, and I'm really not sure how I managed to make the whole city and not include even a single trash can... rushing to meet the deadline probably had something to do with it. Wrongside's getting a lot of extra NPCs before the next version, so some trash cans will probably be included.

=============

EDIT: After testing it out, I decided to drop Slasher's accuracy back down to "Bad" again... the "instantly cutting an enemy's HP in half" effect is a bit TOO good when you can rely on it to hit just about every time you use it. Drain's accuracy is still getting a boost in the next version, though, and I might even give the elemental hand spells an accuracy boost since they're kinda underpowered (though they'll probably see more a bit more use in Chapter 3, against all the Fire-weak undead and Ice-weak jack-o'-lanterns.)
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Baconlabs
PURPLE IS MANLY




Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 335
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trashcans are a great idea. To make it more interesting, you could have a few that triggered Oscar battles instead of giving items.

Accuracy issues, for me anyway, were not that bad. Slasher was inaccurate which was justified, I only missed once or twice with the Hand and Drain attacks.
But yeah, I could never hit a scorpion. That's my biggest problem.

I noticed one big bug that was pretty weird, but a simple mistake.
After the Border Rangers run away when you beat the Jet Fighter, you can go back and trigger the script that makes you fight them anyway (without the BR NPCs). Use a tag to make sure the script doesn't run under these circumstances, or use one you've already got.
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FnrrfYgmSchnish
Fnrrf Ygm Schnish!!




Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 88
Location: The middle of nowhere

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WHOA. That's weird... I was pretty sure that the step-on NPC that triggered the Border Rangers didn't show up if you flew over the border.

Must've forgotten to set their "appear if tag XX is off"... either that, or that annoying bug in Custom (which randomly scrambles bits of NPC data, usually after doing a lot of map work, especially on larger maps) screwed that part up.

EDIT: Just went in and checked; it wasn't the bug this time, just my bad memory. Ha ha ha!
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FnrrfYgmSchnish
Fnrrf Ygm Schnish!!




Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 88
Location: The middle of nowhere

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting really, really close to Chapter 3's completion--all that's left is a walkabout graphic for the van, a script for the driving scene, and a script for a conversation that takes place after you stop just outside the city of New Hamster. If I don't get lazy about making the driving script, it should be done by July 1st.

I've decided that I'm going to release the next demo once Chapter 3 is done, mainly because there were a few bugs I didn't notice before releasing the 8-bit Contest version... and because Chapter 4's going to take a while to finish.

I'll also include the first map of Chapter 4 in the demo, just so there'll be a place to save after the driving scene instead of it suddenly cutting off with an "END OF DEMO" again. There will be an "END OF DEMO" message in there, but only if you try to go up into the city itself.

Any last-minute bug reports or suggestions before the next demo's finished?
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TMC
On the Verge of Insanity




Joined: 05 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished the demo. I'm really impressed at this game, especially for such a short contest! Your graphics are awesome.
However, the balancing really annoyed me. The game seemed to be balanced to punish players who are already struggling: offering rewards to those who have it easy, while the player who didn't know to go through the mountain pass and collect Senor Death and all the goodies has to fight the border patrol immediately before the rangers. Battles were frustrating because the hit rate was low, and healing items were expensive. When I got to Wrongside, I had to run from all battle for at least half an hour until I finally found the hotel. Maybe you could give the player directions to it? The hotel was cool, but also extremely annoying to have to walk to and from. At the point, Senor Death was level 5 and tended to die very often. Since, aside from that one gold bar I found money is scarce until you start invading the gang hideouts, I went back to the hotel instead of using up $200 of healing items, over and over again, even though I ran from nearly all battles. It would be nice if there was a shorter route to the hotel from the western part of town, but it's probably too late now.
Speaking of running, it felt wrong that I was able to easily defeat all four bosses by running from every battle leading up to them.

I tended to have El Garbanzo spend most of many battles attempting to steal or pickpocket. Most of the time, this turned out to be a waste of time. If the steal rates were higher, then I would have wasted far less time on failed steal attempts, which would have made battle move smoother.

Also, 10% chaining rates for Senor Death's hand attacks didn't make them really any better than his normal attack most of the time. In fact, I didn't initially realise that they weren't chaining because it took dozens of uses before I saw a single chain!

I only found two pieces of aluminium in the whole game. Were there more? Was it actually possible to create either of the superitems? Well, having to make a 1% rare steal off of a specific boss was really cruel. I think mentioning rare stealable items on the wiki when the chance to get them is only 1% is a bit evil!
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Baconlabs
PURPLE IS MANLY




Joined: 15 Mar 2009
Posts: 335
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mad Cacti wrote:
When I got to Wrongside, I had to run from all battle for at least half an hour until I finally found the hotel. Maybe you could give the player directions to it?

I should have made this more prominent in my review. Since I didn't find the hotel until AFTER I beat the game, this is definitely a problem. Fix it.

The Mad Cacti wrote:
Well, having to make a 1% rare steal off of a specific boss was really cruel. I think mentioning rare stealable items on the wiki when the chance to get them is only 1% is a bit evil!

I think DB was going for the Earthbound effect - the whole "Starman Super drops the Sword of Kings with a 1/255 chance" thing.
But! I'd like to mention that in Mother 3, the "rare item" chance was bumped up to 3%, and even THEN it was pretty hard to get anything. So for a situation like this, I'd increase the probability up to the 4-8% range.
EDIT: Make that even higher for stealable items, because players have to go even further out of their way to get those.
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FnrrfYgmSchnish
Fnrrf Ygm Schnish!!




Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 88
Location: The middle of nowhere

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The game seemed to be balanced to punish players who are already struggling: offering rewards to those who have it easy, while the player who didn't know to go through the mountain pass and collect Senor Death and all the goodies has to fight the border patrol immediately before the rangers.


Not sure why I blocked off the tunnel for people who skipped Señor Death; I guess since he's the one who mentions it when you get to the border.

I've removed that extra cactus, so in the next demo it should be possible for anyone to push the box out of the way and get into the under-the-border tunnel (though only people who got Señor Death will have it pointed out to them.)

Quote:
Battles were frustrating because the hit rate was low, and healing items were expensive.


I've raised El Garbanzo's accuracy some, and it seems to have made it a bit easier to hit most enemies (a few--like scorpions--still dodge often, but not nearly as often as they did in the 8-bit Contest demo.)

Not sure if I'll change anything about the food items' prices... I'm guessing it was the 100-HP-restoring Tacos that were the problem there? Because Taquitos and Cervezas are pretty cheap even in some of the more expensive shops. I might end up lowering the price of Tacos, since the Taquitos lose their usefulness pretty fast once enemies start doing 15-20 damage instead of single-digits.

Quote:
When I got to Wrongside, I had to run from all battle for at least half an hour until I finally found the hotel. Maybe you could give the player directions to it? The hotel was cool, but also extremely annoying to have to walk to and from.


I just added a third path to the hotel, and all it took was moving and shrinking one house. In the next demo, you should be able to get there from the west side of town by going through an alley near where Mr. T and the Ninjas' turf are, instead of having to go through the Cavemen's turf or go all the way around.

I also added a sign near the beginning that shows a map of Wrongside with all the shops labeled (including the Hotel and Rent-a-Car), so it shouldn't be so easy to miss anymore.

Quote:
Speaking of running, it felt wrong that I was able to easily defeat all four bosses by running from every battle leading up to them.


I forgot to make seperate formations for the "NPCs that attack you" battles in the gang bases, so you could run from those in the 8-Bit Contest demo.
I actually fixed this a while ago, but forgot to mention it in any of my earlier posts. You can still run from the random encounters, but all of the NPC-triggered battles will be unescapable in the next version.

Quote:
I tended to have El Garbanzo spend most of many battles attempting to steal or pickpocket. Most of the time, this turned out to be a waste of time. If the steal rates were higher, then I would have wasted far less time on failed steal attempts, which would have made battle move smoother.


Most of the steal rates are in the 20-30% range, which seemed high enough to me... I was usually able to get an item after only two or three tries. As for Pickpocket, it only works on enemies that actually have money (mostly humans); it's not like Final Fantasy, where every living thing in the universe carries around a fat wallet.

I have gotten rid of all but one of the 1% steal rates (the only one left is on an enemy that only appears in Chapter 3, which also has a more common stealable item), though most of the rarer items will still be in the 2-10% range.

Quote:
Also, 10% chaining rates for Senor Death's hand attacks didn't make them really any better than his normal attack most of the time. In fact, I didn't initially realise that they weren't chaining because it took dozens of uses before I saw a single chain!


They're really only supposed to be good against non-living enemies (which Señor Death's scythe doesn't get a boost against) and enemies with a weakness to their element (Pink Border Ranger is weak to fire, Green is weak to ice, Blue is weak to electricity, etc.)

Against living enemies with no elemental weaknesses, his regular attack will always be better (...well, unless you equip him with a certain weapon that shows up in Chapter 3.)

I might boost the chain rates slightly, since 10% is pretty low... but they probably won't ever go above 20% or so.

Quote:
I only found two pieces of aluminium in the whole game. Were there more? Was it actually possible to create either of the superitems?


I think there's only two pieces in the game so far, so it's impossible to get the parts for the Hobo Armor yet. You actually can get all of the parts for the Ghetto Lightsaber if you go to Frogbucket, but since you can't get back to Wrongside from there, it's impossible to ever make one in the current demo.

That shop is really only there as a preview, since another shop like that will appear in Chapter 4... and by then you'll finally be able to get all the ingredients for those items.

Quote:
Well, having to make a 1% rare steal off of a specific boss was really cruel. I think mentioning rare stealable items on the wiki when the chance to get them is only 1% is a bit evil!


There will be at least one other way to get a Diamond later (probably hidden in the Junkyard in Chapter 4), so it's not lost forever if you couldn't steal one from the boss.

The chance of stealing it from will be raised to 2% in the next demo, though I know that's not much of a boost. Ha ha ha!

Quote:
I think DB was going for the Earthbound effect - the whole "Starman Super drops the Sword of Kings with a 1/255 chance" thing.


It was 1/128, actually. Ha ha ha! Yeah, I'm a big fan of the Earthbound/Mother series; I've even done a little bit of Earthbound ROM hacking in the past. So there's probably some things in the game that were influenced by them (whether they were done that way on purpose or not.)
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Baconlabs
PURPLE IS MANLY




Joined: 15 Mar 2009
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Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dark Blubber wrote:
Quote:
I think DB was going for the Earthbound effect - the whole "Starman Super drops the Sword of Kings with a 1/255 chance" thing.


It was 1/128, actually. :laugh:


SPY SAPPIN MAH 8-BIT INTEGER
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FnrrfYgmSchnish
Fnrrf Ygm Schnish!!




Joined: 19 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've uploaded the new version over on Slime Salad: http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=50368#50368

Unfortunately, Castle Paradox's uploader hates my internet connection, so I wasn't able to get it uploaded on here (two or three times in a row, it crashed during the very last 10 seconds or so of uploading... so I gave up on it, at least for today.)
I'll probably try again the next time I have access to a good (not dial-up) connection.

EDIT: Might not want to rush out and download it just yet; I think I might re-upload it within the next few days. I noticed a bug with the Pirates' Turf that had slipped through the first wave of testing: after beating Cap'n Crunch, you won't ever see random battles again unless you enter another gang's turf or trigger a script in Chapter 3 that re-enables them.

I'm also thinking about adjusting everyone's Speed stats, since I'm getting a few complaints about the battles running too slow; I've tried increasing everyone's speed by 2 or 3 and that seems to work really well, so that's probably what I'll end up doing (I don't want to make them TOO fast, though.)
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FnrrfYgmSchnish
Fnrrf Ygm Schnish!!




Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 88
Location: The middle of nowhere

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New version is uploaded, both on the CP gamelist and on Slime Salad.

All the bugs I found so far are fixed, and I've done a lot of rebalancing work (battles move faster, accuracy/evade shouldn't be a problem anymore, stealing is easier than before, and enemies in Chapters 3 and 4 give more experience.)

Of course, all the changes from the July 1st update are in this version also--a third chapter to the game, a secret boss hidden in Chapter 2, and all sorts of other stuff. Read the "Readme (or not)" file that comes with it for a full list of new stuff.
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