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Early Early Access [ WORKING TITLE]

krooshaka

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  • Posts: 47
PRE FACE
Sometime in January my friend and I were starting work on a submarine game in UE4(which turned out to be more than we could chew and is now on hold). We always joke around the "office" (a room at his place with 2 desks and 2 PCs) at least for and hour or two before starting any work. He showed me this GIF he saw


We both had a good laugh and then I jokingly said we should make a game like this and we looked at each other with that look and a pause like hey, that just might actually not be a bad idea. And we started brainstorming, just spitballing anything that came to mind.
It was supposed to be a 2 week, 1 month tops joke project (writing this 6 month in developement) which slowly evolved and is still evolving into something much bigger.

THE IDEA
The hero is aware that he is in a game and the game is his world. At one point the antagonist which comes from a competing  game set on to ruin his game. To ruin the game he employs 4 entities to plague the game world; Piracy, Bugs,Inconvenient circumstances and a demented retro game hero.
The game is poking fun at the early access games and the game industry in general with jokes just about anywhere where we could think of them.
For example this is the settings menu.


Not to be confused with a bad game in general the goal is to look as silly as possible but the bottom lines is it has to be fun to play and in working order.


PLAY STUFF
At this point the game is a platformer where you control a goofy character, currently referred to as Jeff.
There are 4 regions in the game. Each region has 5 leves + a boss level.
The 4 entities:
Piracy - An octopus pirate and a bird that drops poopers on you
Bugs: A giant spider
Inconvenient circumstances: An Illuminaty like figure.
Demented retro hero: A super mario like guy called plunger man.
Jeff has to shoot his way through each region in any order to beat the boss and clear the region. The bosses drop an item and a weapon, when the 4 bosses are beaten and 4 items combined you can pull in the antagonist, currently called Anti-Jeff, to your game world and beat his buns for ruining your game.
Throughout the game world you collect candy which currently doesn't do anything but will probably work in similar fashion like the fruit in Crash Bandicoot, giving you a life after a certain amount.
After the game is beaten the player is given the ability to change colors of the game world to a cetain extent.


DOINGS
Up until a month ago the game looked a lot different and that's when I thought that the game lost its way and purpose and that I needed to bring it back on track. I did a complete redo of the visuals and the way I did some things that sped up the process a lot.
This is how the game has changed:

The initial idea was for the game world to be one big scene with 4 regions but not too long ago I was about 50% into redoing the map that when performance issues started to appear and I decided to go a more traditional route and break down the game world which turned out to be 20 regular levels. I'm at 15 for now with enemies and tiles in place but not thoroughly tested so anything is up for change in the eventual thorough testing phase.
There is still some work left on the level selector,boss battles,sounds,cut scenes,dialogue, and some other details and features.
Everything is still subject to change if the work justifies the result at this point.


THE DREAM
The ultimate goal is to get on Steam through Greenlight while it still exists.
Comment what you think would be a fair price for a game like this. I like to compare the complexity and mechanics to GoNNER but I realize its not that advanced so I'm definitely not aiming at 10 euros. Also if you have an idea for a better game title, some stuff in the game or anything leave a comment for that too. If you want.

SHAMELESS PLUG
If you are interested in some more insight in the game I post semi-frequent snippets of the game on social media so hit me up there if you want to see more of the game as it rolls on.
INSTAGRAM : https://www.instagram.com/krooshakaa/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/krooshaka
TUMBLR: http://krooshaka.com/

If  you have any questions, suggestions or opinions ask them here or on any of the sites above.

P.S.
Special thanks to all the people on the Stencyl forums who helped me out countless times when I got stuck in developement.







Irock

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The options menu is great

merrak

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I like parodies, but they are hard to pull off. I think people often make the mistake of using "it's a parody/joke" as an excuse for a lack of attention to detail. From what you've shown us, though, I think you're on the right track. I already like the options menu... and more if those settings had a comedic effect.

krooshaka

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  • Posts: 47
That is our main concern, that in the greenlight process people might percieve the game as a joke but many hours of work have gone into it and it plays like a fun platformer, from what people that I showed it to said (but maybe there were just trying to be nice idk). If the reception turns out poor I can still keep the behaviors and everything else but make it look like a regular platformer if that's what goes. But I like to experiment.
The settings sliders and selectors work but whenever you try setting it to something different they auto reset and a message pops up telling you the game has been optimized for your hardware.

KramerGames

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This is a great idea! I think the menu looks pretty cool, it is a nice balance between your "theme" and user friendliness. I'd kinda change the font a bit though, the squiggly lines and obvious typos look a bit childish, and not typical for an early version of a game (though I only know what my early versions look like).
Maybe you could incorporate typos into the mechanics, such as the player getting a "feir proximity suit" but then he gets hurt by fire and later there is something else that really is called "feir" and that's what the suit is protective against :-)

It reminded me a bit of this game on Kongregate/Armorgames, in terms of a meta-layer that the player is being reminded that he is playing a game, while almost every other game is trying to make the player forget that fact and delve into the world.

http://www.kongregate.com/games/ArmorGames/upgrade-complete?acomplete=upgradwe
Parasites United  (Idle Parasite Game)

krooshaka

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Thanks Kramer :) . I checked out the game on Kongregate you linked and that is the type of deal we have here. Maybe not so extreme. I still want the game to be playable and fun even if someone doesn't dig the humor.

As for the squigly lines, I want the visual of the game look like someone opened up MS Paint at had at it. There is no font I draw out all the graphics letters with my mouse(in PS though) and I want that to be consisten through every aspect of the game. I'm planning on making multiple sprites for each enemy so that you could see more variations of the same enemy like he isn't just a copy of himself. I'm avoiding any kind of patterns appearing where I can so the game looks more organic.

domagojbulat

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I like your concept a lot! But, if you are a beginner, I would recommend you to scale everything down. Make a smaller version of your idea. Check out this videos from Extra Credits where they talk about designing your first games.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z06QR-tz1_o&list=PLhyKYa0YJ_5C6QC36h5eApOyXtx98ehGi

krooshaka

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Thanks for the advice. :) I've watched that video before. Don't worry this is not my first game and the project is mostly complete. A trailer should be out next week  and it should go on Greenlight then.


krooshaka

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Thinking about dropping a demo with a few levels on itch.io parallel with Greenlight. Good idea or no ?

iii

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Thinking about dropping a demo with a few levels on itch.io parallel with Greenlight. Good idea or no ?

Greenlight is no more.
http://steamcommunity.com/games/593110/announcements/detail/1265922321514182595

Steam Direct will be up next week.
You need to clear some paperwork, and submit the $100 fee.
If this is your first game on Steam,
it'll probably gonna take roughly 2 months to go through the whole process, from start till release.

Dropping an early demo, is totally up to you.
Personally, I think, if your game is leaning more towards gameplay heavy rather than story heavy,
a demo will be a bad idea.
Normally, people will wan't to know what's next when there is a cliffhanger in a story,
not so much when its pretty much just a gameplay mechanics in a short platformer.
Unless its a multiplayer game, or a sandbox/strategy/sports game of some sort.
Just my 2 cents.

krooshaka

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Great advice. I knew Direct was coming, just didn't realize it would be so soon. The game is more gameplay than story focused so I guess I won't demo it. Though do you think publishing to itch is worth it in general ?

iii

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It depends, on what you think is worth it, for you.
You need to ask yourself, are you looking for an exposure?
Or, are you looking for a good stream of traffic and a decent flow of revenue?
Is this just a hobby? Or are you thinking from a point of a real business, to make good money?

Lets look at "direct" visits.
Visits that actually comes from people who goes to the site directly.
Lets exclude all the others from referrals, adverts, reddits, game sites, social medias, ...

Itch.io , is a pretty small marketplace. It mostly attracts niche/indie game crowd.
It has an average of 10 million traffic per month.
From that, roughly 27%(2.7mill) are direct visits to the site (average of 90K per day).

(Have to remember, "some" of the visits might just be from other developers
that happens to have their game in the store.)

Steam, on the other hand, have roughly 169.8 million monthly visits.
34% are from direct traffic. Thats roughly 57.7 million (roughly 1.9 million direct visits per day).

From these, we can draw a conclusion that,
Steam is worth your time more than other stores, and will always be your target store.
Majority, roughly 70% of the traffic, be it Steam or Itch, is from outside source.
That means, its on you, to market your own game.
Both the store will not be doing any huge exposure for you,
other than the "Front Page" feature (if your game get selected).

If your aim is to get a decent sales/exposure from organic visits with little to no marketing.
Itch.io, probably won't be much help. Unless you drive the traffic to your game yourself.
Steam would be slightly better place for that, with its current algorithm.
Your game will have a higher chance to be on someones Front Page list(not the main banner).
Different user will see different list. It is still possible to get some sales even with zero marketing on Steam.

But still,  putting it on Itch is worth it, for the experience.
It'll teach you the art of self marketing and driving the traffic yourself. (Its not easy).
Other than that, its also a good place to create a simple landing page for your game,
and will save you some $ on hosting your full game/demo. Pretty fast and simple setup.
It also have a direct purchase that goes straight to your PayPal/Stripe. No payment waiting needed.

krooshaka

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I'm going towards making a career out of game development.
I got a game on Steam last summer and I was very happy with the outcome. Though a big part of that was the luck that a respectable Youtube channel featured the game. But I think even without that there would be a decent audience. Enough to make a living anyways. I'm from Croatia so the cost of living is much lower than some of the better standing countries so a modest success translates to a big success here. Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it. I'm thinking on going with itch as well since there's no risk involved and I'm trying to build up an audience on social media to make marketing easier in the future.