Ludum Dare 31 — December 5th-8th, 2014 — Theme: Entire Game on One Screen

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Deicide

by Tifu - Compo Entry

Defy the tyrannous gods, commit deicide!

So this game is basically a one-screen-arena bosh rush. I had plans for a lot more bosses, but that probably would have been too hard anyway. Nine is a reasonable number to defeat, maybe?!

Every god is preceded by two guardians. You heal 25% of your health after every god is defeated. Falling down the pit doesn't kill you, but does deal a lot of damage. The guardians begin to attack you after you destroy one of the three statues.

Controls:
A: Jump
S: Charge blast (you can tell how much charge by colour of magic around your gauntlet)
D: Dash forward
Tested with XBox 360 controller

Enjoy! Destroy everything!

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness88%
#363Graphics3.39
#371Humor2.77
#445Overall3.29
#464Mood3.02
#610Fun3.04
#727Innovation2.90
#781Theme3.43

Comments

Dec 9, 2014 @ 12:44pm

Nice

trykondev says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 2:43am

I committed deicide!

VDZ says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 4:54am

Finally finished the game. That was hard indeed. Overall, good game. The bosses were all different enough that it was fun to defeat them all, and most of them had that learning curve thing where at first they seem impossible yet if you play enough you'll learn to defeat them without taking any damage. Precisely as boss fights should be. The fact that they appear in random order makes gives good variety and makes retrying more fun. The game was good enough that it kept me playing until I finished it.

However, I did feel the game had many flaws:



- The game gives insufficient feedback to the player. It's not always clear when you're hit, and more importantly, when you're NOT hit; the effect when you're hit is so subtle (and hidden by objects being in front of the player), you don't notice when things like colliding with a boss does NOT hurt you (which can be vital, like in the battle with Whatshername, the one spamming beams on two platforms at a time). Additional feedback would be very useful for this, be it effect particles, your sprite flickering, knockback, etc.

-- Also lacking is feedback of when you've successfully hit an enemy. You'd expect the enemy to flash or something when you perform an attack that deals damage; that would make bosses with more tricky vulnerable spots (like Red Eyes Pink Dragon and Narcisia Bele) far more intuitive.

-- Likewise, you want some kind of feedback for when an attack is NOT successful, such as attacking Narcisia Bele's visible form, so players figure out it's useless and stop trying it.



- Related to this, AUDIO is sorely missing. Even if it's really shitty audio, having some simple sounds does wonders for player feedback. Beyond the absolute necessity of feedback sounds, I feel having music would really enhance the mood of the boss battles.



- The controls aren't as tight as you'd expect for a game of this kind, and some expected control features are missing. The character's movement is kind of slippery, making you fall into a hole when you expected to be able to just land and jump again. It also takes time to move between platforms due to movement starting slow; you really want to be able to do this kind of stuff IMMEDIATELY.

-- As for the missing features, your jump height is always the exact same regardless of how long you press the button. This causes you to jump onto platforms when you just want to dodge a projectile or shoot a bit higher. The other big missing feature is the ability to drop through platforms, which is especially unfortunate when combined with the fixed jump height. As it stands, several attacks are very hard to dodge when on a platform because your only options are jumping and moving towards the center.

-- Then there's the dash. Yeah, I'm not sure how to say this in a friendly matter, but why is it even here? It's hard to predict (likely due to the lack of animation; made worse by the presence of bottomless pits), short, and worst of all, unusable when you're in a pinch due to the stamina requirement. Furthermore, it's completely unnecessary; though I've tried it in some of my other runs, I didn't use it once in my winning run and never felt like there was a situation where it would be useful.



- Finally, some boss-specific feedback:

-- GOD OF THE BATTLE CRY: No issues with this one, actually. It's a really good boss, and fun to fight.

-- Hand Maiden: In general a good boss, but it can be a bit tedious waiting for the eye hand to appear on your side; moments where it repeatedly appears on the other side are frustrating. Also, due to lack of feedback, it is initially unclear whether you need to hit the eye itself or if any part of the hand will do. This boss is made more difficult by the lack of short hop and platform fall.

-- Narcisia Bele: It was really unclear at first what to do against this boss or how she worked. This is partially due to lack of feedback, but even with feedback I'm sure I'd be confused. It might be a good idea to have the invisible form visible as a shadow or something until she gets hit for the first time, then make it fade away, hinting the player at the way to damage her. I understand the intro animation is supposed to hint at this, but it doesn't succeed at it, likely because it's not visible when you're wondering how to hit her.

-- Pink Eyes Red Dragon: This boss is a tad boring; it poses little threat, but you have to wait for it to land and charge its laser to damage it. This makes the battle tedious on repeat attempts.

-- Runner Up: This boss is a lot of fun to fight, but a bit too easy.

-- Sorrow Phantom: This battle is made FAR more difficult by the lack of platform fall. It's quite manageable if you stay around the center, though, but it involves a lot of movement and highlights the slipperiness of the controls.

-- Unspeakable Starfish: This one is extremely difficult the first couple times you fight it. The lack of platform drop means you're entirely screwed if it charges at you from the center while you're on the platform; you'll take damage and there's no escape. Once you get more used to the Starfish and stop getting on platforms, the 'spreading out' attack still seems impossible to dodge. Either I'm missing something here, or this is a source of guaranteed damage in a game where all damage is persistent (aka 'wtf bullshit').

-- Whatshername: Speaking of bullshit, that's precisely what it feels like when you first die to her. It's not obvious that you can just stand where she is without taking damage (see: lack of feedback, sprite being hidden. In addition to this, with her being a big scary boss it does not feel intuitive that you can just collide with her without consequences). Once you understand that you can, however, this becomes underwhelmingly easy, even easier than Runner Up.

-- God of Nightmare: I'm conflicted on this one. On the one hand, he's underwhelming for a final boss. On the other hand, I don't want to be cheesed to death after 8 battles by a boss I can't practice against without surviving 8 straight battles.



Despite the wall of text above with what I perceive to be flaws, I enjoyed the game enough to keep trying and retrying until I beat it. It says a lot when a game is enjoyable even if it has many flaws.

EquipeJAM says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 8:16pm

Good Work ^^

Tifu says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 2:03am

VDZ: Thanks for the huge feedback, really appreciated. I don't disagree with anything - particle effects for various things (hits, charging your guantlet, dust when the pillars collapse...) would have been the next thing on my to-do list if I had had an extra hour or two to work with. Though, yeah, perhaps I should have done one less boss and implemented some sfxr sounds for feedback etc. at least.

I did think of taking the dash mechanic out, but there is one very specific circumstance where you need it to get out of a situation without taking damage, namely if the Starfish is above you on the left or right, and starts doing the spreading out attack, then you can't jump out of the way, so the only way to escape was the dash across the pit. When I coded it, I expected it to have more uses, and then when I was thinking I should just take it out, I'd have had to change a lot of how the starfish battle worked, and I wouldn't have had time to get that going.

It's not said anywhere in game, but re your comment about the God of Nightmare being the final boss, the Gods should appear in whatever order you destroyed their statues in. Though, now I think about it... given where I placed him he is probably usually the last boss and I should have placed his statue in the centre where he would be more likely to be attacked first... wups

VDZ says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 9:21am

@Tifu
That explains why I always got GOD OF THE BATTLE CRY as one of the earlier bosses, his statue must be the center one.

ynots says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 9:25am

nice Artwork..

Dec 11, 2014 @ 11:01pm

Nie one :)

Ekilibr says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 2:04am

VDZ said a lot of things about your game, and his feedback is pretty complete.

I'll just add a thing, about the graphic part. Actually, art has its own style, but GUI seemed to be done in a hurry.
Never under-estimate the GUI stuff, it's part of the game too :)

Feedback apart, it's a really cool game, well done!

ciaodavinci says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 2:05am

The artwork is really cool, and each boss has a really cool atmosphere.
It feels like direction is tied to momentum. It'd be nice if you could change direction immediately (or at least quicker).

AgentParsec says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 3:29am

Eventually beat all 9 bosses, overall great job for 48 hours!

Dec 12, 2014 @ 3:19pm

Cool game concept, I felt that dash mechanic was a bit hard to use because you had to be grounded with the ground. I felt limited on my move set because i was only able to initiate one action at a time. Overall interesting game entry! keep up the good work!

istlemin says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 8:54pm

Great graphics, great game. Really fun to play!

lase says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 8:54pm

What VDZ mentioned about feedback basically echoes my thoughts. While the art & controls were well designed, I didn't really have an idea of what I was doing or how to progress. Cool idea though.

Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:38pm

Works with wine under Linux.
I like how you can see which gods are left in the background.

EthanWebster says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:38pm

Good graphics, quite enjoyable - keep adding to it.

HolyBlackCat says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:43pm

This game is good. The only thing it lacks is an audio. At least, a sound when you hit the boss or when boss hits you.
Too hard for me, but still nice!

dalbinblue says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 10:13pm

After six or so tries my best is the god of nightmares (the last boss?) A really solid game. All the bosses are challenging, but none are unfair. It is possible to defeat each of them without a single hit. My only complaint is that some of the hit boxes are way too large (it is very difficult to dodge the starfish when it moves toward you).

You packed a lot of fun in for a game made in 48 hours. If I get time I'll have to come back and finish the last boss.

Dec 14, 2014 @ 12:12am

Super cool art style! Quite a lot of content here, rather impressive. I barely defeated more than one boss in a row, but saw a few of them. Hard to figure out what to do exactly at times, and even if I know the strategy it's often hard to execute as there's no way to escape the boss in quite a few situations (as far as I'm concerned). Great effort though!
Would love to see a full playthrough of all the bosses in a video, as I'll hardly be able to get that done myself. :D

VDZ says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 5:33am

@dalbinblue
I shared your frustrations at how impossible the starfish was to dodge too, until I realized I made a far more fundamental mistake: You're not supposed to fight the Starfish from the platforms (unlike most bosses). Your neutral position should be on the center platform, moving from it only when necessary. That way, it's possible to dodge every single attack except perhaps for the 'spreading out' attack. When your neutral position is on the platforms, one of its attacks is indeed impossible to dodge...because you simply shouldn't be there in the first place.

@ShellfishGames
>as there's no way to escape the boss in quite a few situations (as far as I'm concerned)
I can personally confirm that every attack by every boss, with only the possible exception of the Starfish's 'spreading out', can be dodged (and I did clear almost every boss without taking a single hit on my winning run).

Shivur says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 4:49pm

Very cool design. But it's hard to control without constantly dying in the pit.

Dec 15, 2014 @ 6:42pm

@VDZ That makes sense - and I was kind of referring to the starfish as that was one of the bosses I was fighting. The lack of going down the higher platforms directly made it a lot harder.

@Tifu - Just read your comment on my game, it was indeed made with Dark Basic (just like all my previous LD entries), works really well for those 48h projects. :)

Hempuli says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 6:59pm

Really cool! I wish the game didn't require you to beat all the bosses again if you die, but as a concept the game works really well and the various boss designs are cool.

01rafael says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 11:38pm

Artworks is great!

Mechatodzilla says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 10:37pm

Wow. Really great given the timeline! I thought the design was the best thing about it. Gave players a chance to get comfortable with the controls and then get to it. Cool style choices too!

dook says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 10:47pm

Very nice! Great graphics and some good enemy designs. And hard!

Dejsan says ...
Dec 17, 2014 @ 12:38am

Badass... :O

klianc09 says ...
Dec 17, 2014 @ 11:18am

Well, as others already said, it's fun but it also has many flaws that don't let it be as great as it could be...
I really would have liked the dash to be more useful, but it just uses so much stamina. And it would have been great to have a lot more stamina overall, because most of the time you are just standing around recovering your stamina.

freaknarf says ...
Dec 21, 2014 @ 1:17am

Great boss fights !!! +1 for the name!IN TORMENT IN HELL!

schnerble says ...
Dec 21, 2014 @ 2:32am

Very nice graphics, though pretty hard... maybe just me, but I struggled to kill any bosses other than the snowman.

SuperDisk says ...
Dec 21, 2014 @ 6:28am

This was one of the better entries! My friend and I played it multiple times until we did beat it. We actually recorded a commentary run that we'll upload to youtube later.

GhostBomb says ...
Dec 23, 2014 @ 6:24am

I really like the design on these bosses. Having to attack the invisible mirror image of the Narcisist lady was clever.

Crowbeak says ...
Dec 29, 2014 @ 6:08am

I can't really add anything to what VDZ said, though I didn't finish the game. I'm bad at platformers to start with.

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