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Glissaria Post-Competition Version

Posted by (twitter: @arkeus)
September 5th, 2011 9:51 pm


Click here to play the enhanced version of Glissaria

Glissaria 2.0

So for the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to find time to work on my Ludum Dare 21 entry (Glissaria) in order to improve it for a widespread release. I wasn’t able to put all that much time into it, and I’ve often been distracted as there are quite a few projects I am looking forward to working on, but I managed to greatly improve it.

The original release had all the basic elements of gameplay there, but unfortunately there wasn’t any balanced content to actually play. The game started off incredibly hard, and if you managed to survive long enough, took a turn to incredibly easy (and after a certain point it became impossible to lose). Mostly this stems from the fact that I chose to make a game in 48 hours that was way overscoped, which led to me spend every last minute working on features, and not have any time to playtest and balance.

But with the latest enhanced version, that has changed. There is now an 8 chapter story mode (with an in game tutorial to help ease up the learning curve), and an endless mode where you can try to survive as long as possible. There are also a set of achievements to give you something to work towards, even if you just want to play around. I’ve added new tower types, new gem types, new enemies, improved graphics, and a greatly improved user interface. I’ve also managed to improve a ton of small things that just made the game less fun than it could be.

Before release though, I would like to get one last round of feedback from anyone who has some spare time (which I know is hard to come by around here with all these games to judge!) I don’t plan on making any large scale changes, simply because I am transitioning what I am working on rather quickly, but anything you guys think of that could improve the game (especially around balance and bugs), please let me know, as I will take it into account for any last tweaks before release!

The improved interface and graphics

Thanks for your time! Click here to play the enhanced version of the game. If you want to play the original competition version of the game, view the competition entry page here. But as always, remember to vote based on the competition version.

6 Responses to “Glissaria Post-Competition Version”

  1. Alright, this is much better.

    The entire game is now much easier to read, which is a good thing. I like the tutorial and the pop-ups, and the sound is also quite nice and atmospheric.

    The smaller match-3-field makes things easier to understand, and the new “match”-mechanic is also more intuitive and streamlined. Nice work!

    Now to the bad parts: Difficulty still ramps up incredibly fast, and if you tend to panic, since your progress is dependant on the match-3-game to the left, you aren’t looking to the right (which is a positive feedback-loop to defeat. Build not enough stuff, panic, try to collect/harvest ressources, take damage to you castle/get swamped, panic again, collect stuff, etc), and that was on easy!

    I believe a leisurely pace would be much better suited for this type of gameplay (think Plants vs Zombies). (the problem with us game designers making the balancing, is that we are quite literally the god in the world of the game, so we know every knook, every cranny, and have loads more experience than a new player :-) )

    And what I don’t think was explained was that certain ressources get other icons over time. It took me some time to understand that after “log of wood” vanishes into some time into the game, the same function is being fulfilled by “pine tree”. As both icons are completely different (and not variations of each other) getting to the conclusion that both give me wood was kinda tricky.

    The forest/cave/mine/vault could maybe be a little too much, especially at the beginning. After all, you are already getting bombarded with enemies and tons of features, one feature less at that point would smooth things out greatly.

    An increase throughout the game would make more sense story-wise. Level 1+2 could have you work only in the forest (and there would be only the “forest”-logo/button). Level 2 would add the cave, then you’d get the mine, a later level could take the forest away again. Variations.

    This could also work in an endless-games (interface-wise). At the beginning you could only the the “forrest”-button. once you access the cave, the forrest-button could split in half, turning into a smaller forrest-button and a cave-button. The progress through the areas would be much more easily recognizeable.

    One last thing: Tool-tips over the match-3-buttons would be awesome. “Log of Wood. Gives you 5 wood per collected icon” “blue magic stone. 10 stone per icon” etc.

    All in all, you can really see the polish, and this is much better than the previous version. Later in the day I’ll see how far into it I can get :-)

    -Matthew

  2. bach says:

    I just spent the last hour playing through this.. I’m addicted :)

    Love the concept, love the art, love it all.

    I agree with Matthew though that it seems too hard at the beginning and gets way too easy towards the end. A bit more balancing there would go a long way.

    I’d love to see some maps with multiple entrances for mobs to spawn. Especially in the later levels. That would introduce a nice variety.

    I’d also spend some more time refining the towers itself. I never ended up building the cheapest tower anyway as it just seemed pointless.

    Overall though – great game.

    Cheers,
    Bach

  3. Ok, I’ve played it a while longer.

    And I stand by my conclusion that this has Too. Much. Stuff.

    A hero-character. Hero-Inventory. A Hero with statistics, like “agility” and “armor”. A hero with levels. Weapons. Clothes and armor. Different locales with different effects. Enemies. Different enemy-types. A base. RTS-style base-building. Building-upgrades, dependant upon 4 ressources. Ressource-gathering. A match-3-style-minigame, which is the basis of your ressource-collecting. “Socketable” buildings. 4 attack-modes. Health. Time. A watch, showing that you are running out of time. An epic story of characters and macguffins.

    And I just figured out how to sell stuff. So you have a “shop” too.

    I shall call it the “Eve Online” of LD-games. Deep yet steep :-)

    Also, bug: When you match a row of icons, and the new icons are already matched (i.e. 6 pieces of wood appear in a straight line) the system doesn’t recognize them as “matched”, and they remain on the field.

    -Matthew

  4. …and I forgot you wanted only bug- and balancing-related feedback.

    Sorry :-)

  5. arkeus says:

    Haha, no, your guys’ feedback is great. A lot of it is definitely above and beyond what I’d like to invest into it at this point (I made a decision not to refurbish into a completely full game, so I’m fine with it not feeling perfect, as it’s just a souped up LD48 entry). But a lot of what you said can help me with small tweaks, even if I don’t make large scale changes.

    The thing I’m most concerned about is the difficulty. I think this is something where I need to find people IRL and see how they play, because right now on easy I build a few towers at the start and AFK for a few minutes until it wins, and it seems too easy to be fun, but I still get comments about how hard it is (as you guys have pointed out). I think there might be a fundamental disconnect on the play style, or maybe it’s just hard to understand what constitutes a good strategy until you get all the mechanics down (because as you said, there really IS too much stuff). But the problem with just making it easier is that on the other hand I get comments about how mind numbingly boring and easy it is. I guess I’m not going to be able to please everyone.

    However, in terms of it starting hard and getting easier, I will play around with tweaking that a bit, because that is also something I’ve heard a few times, and is definitely something I should be able to improve.

    But thanks a ton for the feedback, it’s definitely going to be helpful putting the finishing touches on it. :)

  6. alexlarioza says:

    Love it! =] Very cool hybrid of matching-3, tower defense, and rpg genres!

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