uDG 2011 Entry: Z-1

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Post: #46
Your reviews are really well thought out.
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Post: #47
ipeku-
Thanks for the review of Z1, and thanks for posting thoughtful reviews for the other entries as well. We all appreciate that someone appreciates our work Wink
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Post: #48
My pleasure. I'm having a lot of fun with these games. At the same time I feel sorry it is going to be over soon.

respect,
pk

iFrog is coming.
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Post: #49
Just played through this. Nice graphics. I was bit lazy and didn't read all the dialogue, but it didn't seem to effect the game play. I think I got the hang of the game play idea. Nice spirals Wink
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Post: #50
Thank you ipeku!

>The story supports the gameplay and vice versa.
That was my hope since I was never keen on just killing things to 'save the universe.' However, I'd like to see us go deep with story and gameplay connection so that if you blindly go into game play without knowing the 'why', you won't make it through the level.

>if you die you go back to the beginning
We have to think on this more. The 'setup' of the story which is levels 1~6 took all our time. There was a reason for 1 life in the game but that isn't clear until after level 6. I have to ponder it some more!

>The developers seem to have put thought into this.
I have notes and notes of the story. It was interesting building a whole universe, the characters and the underlining, 'what is happening and where are we going?' I look forward to revealing the story and the characters as the levels get added. I tried to explain it several times to my wife and friends and they were lost in my 'opera'. lol

About the music. Each level has its own soundtrack. They are not optimized though for the levels so sometimes you are hitting the song's 'hook' as the level finishes! What I found missing were sounds. I started off thinking, 'This is space! No sound!' But I realize that isn't what players expect. So I created a ton of sfx. Sadly, we didn't have time to use them. Things like the player's ship banking and hearing 'air jets' or asteroids bouncing off shields or torpedoes whining.
In case anyone is interested. The album is:
1 (Carlos, songs from level 1 to 6) A thousand new paths
2 Touring with the 88ers
3 I'm just a pilot
4 Mixed signals
5 Run!
6 The Rift
Run - Between levels - David
Feel the Peace - Ending Song - David
I hope some of you could enjoy the final song.

>The dialog windows are nicely animated and the story is easy to follow.
I'm very very happy to read that. You'll see the 'old dialogs' fade out in future versions.
Our character artist did wonderful character portraits and it is a shame that we only used their upper torso. Someday I'd like to fully use that art.

Writing the dialog was a challenge. In some places, Dough pointed out, 'Throw us a bone because we don't understand fully, so you need to explain point A.' As the writer, I had to think, how much to explain now.. but don't make it click the dialog for 30 minutes.

I'd like to hear what people though about the characters? Were they consistent? Did their actions make sense? Who did you like?

I've wondered about in-game dialog, but in an arcade game, would people read such dialog while avoiding objects and blasting away? If we had a huge budget we could do voice over. The restrictions of uDG file size also limited making gorgeous 3D cut-scenes that could have replaced the dialog. Anyways, my hope is that we will make a graphic novel some time to explain more detail of each chapter.

>the game isn’t complete
Right on. It took so much time to get the engine and all done.. Levels were rushed. I hope we can get a talented level editor that can turn my stories into super fun levels. HINT HINT! I think things will improve once more 'action' on the screen takes place... like collecting stuff, different weapons, etc.

>There is a promise that the full game will be downloadable one day on the Mac App Store.
Yes, that's the idea! The story could span a trilogy of games. lol.
I just have to get Doug to give up that horrible game called soccer. Wink

Thanks again for the review. I like your way of writing.

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Post: #51
About the characters: I felt there was a good thing going. I liked the buildup of relationships and how everything is in pieces leaving you to put them together. Then I liked the way things shifted when suddenly you were among traitors. On one scale there was character chemistry and on a larger scale there was the thing that who is on who's side but then you had strangers come in also. And then there was that morality, respect vs. disrespect. Blue eyed characters taken advantage of. Classic stuff. My favorite character is Dr. Hwan.

Z1, Z2, Z3: One thing here is the question of the continuation of the Z1 technology - that it's always on a lifeline. On one hand it gets stolen but actually you can't steal it or own it because then it dies. In order to revive and pass it on you must understand it - kind of like how Zen patriarchs passed on their cape and staff to only one pupil and at times the pupil actually had to flee from the rage of the other students. Then it can get industrialized or become a dogma when the original "way" gets forgotten only to be revived by someone like a naturally enlightened punk. Anyway, you probably get the idea.

As for the action part you could even consider different angles like a side scroller, top down and part 3D - which ever angle best supports the story. And just more art and music of course.

To solve the dying maybe a simple save mechanism like we had on Felinity? You could call them bookmarks.

respect,
pk

iFrog is coming.
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Post: #52
Obrigado Ipeku,

Actually, Dr. Hwan's eyes are blue because of electronics inside of them... A bit like a HUD display built in. Your explanation of the characters is very excellent.

Adding different views would require a different 'engine'. It can be done, but ads a lot of complexity to the game. That said, you aren't far off from my vision! As you reach new planets and continue the story, I would like the game to shift from a shooter to another genre. Convincing Doug (programmer) might be tough! lol.

For example, Artur had to go out to investigate that strange signal. What he learned would be found out via the dialogs in upcoming levels. But I'd rather see a little Artur character moving around and getting that info. Like a top down maze-game, or platformer, etc. Smile

I like the bookmark ideas. I will consider it.

Somehow, I need to add GOATS to our story so we can sell more copies! wa ha ha ha ha ha

Thanks!

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Post: #53
(Oct 14, 2011 05:05 AM)Carlos Camacho Wrote:  Somehow, I need to add GOATS to our story so we can sell more copies! wa ha ha ha ha ha

How about a scapegoat ?

respect,
pk

iFrog is coming.
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Post: #54
My original hope was to have the game feel like a few different classic shmups. Gyruss is what we went for first, but I was hoping (and still am hoping) to have different levels have different feels... I want an R-type shooter, a Galaxian type shooter, something like Xevious and a nod to my old favorite, Sinistar. I had hope to have the uDG entry be Gyruss with one or two R-type levels thrown in, but life got in the way. Once I recover my sanity, I want to see if we can make the different level "types" work within the same game and then have the levels match the stories.

And while I'm at it, I want a pony.
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