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Poppytail Series (PT 1-5, “Pixeltail”)

NickamonPoppytail

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Here is one of the three characters for Chapter 1 of Poppytail 5. This is Jawlock. He is still based on a papillon, but is designed after the phalene variety.

The first image is of Jawlock's head, as I'm now making basic 3D models of characters and using compressed screenshot images as graphics for the main gameplay.

The second is pixel art of Jawlock to be used for the minigames (and compared to the first game, I think this is probably one of the best images I've made for this series).

I now also have a Devlog-Only GameJolt page for Poppytail 5: https://gamejolt.com/games/thefifthpoppytailgame/309707

« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 11:58:57 pm by NickamonPoppytail »

decafpanda

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Thank you mods for cleaning up these threads.  They were getting very spammy.

Advice to the dev.
1.  Use the basic 8 way movement behavior that comes with Stencyl.   Making the controls difficult on purpose to inflate the difficulty of the game us a horrible idea.

2. Your new art style is MUCH improved.  Keep at it

3.  Keep working on more things to enhance the player experience.  Screen shake, sfx, music.

4.  Tighten your C-boxes

5.  Closing the game and re-opening it to solve an in-game glitch like Merrak had should never be an answer.  You need to figure out how to stop things like that from happening to the player.

I played your fist and I think 3rd game.   They are extremely rough and not fun to play.  Sorry, but no one will ever find out about this "hidden story" you keep talking about if they can't control their character and get stuck in the environment THEN have to quite the game and reopen because of a spawn glitch.

Keep at it though.... making games is extremely difficult.  Just keep it in this thread lol

Oh and I said it before but I would recommend developing in flash and release these on Newgrounds.  You will get more views in one hour on there then you have had the entire time on gamejolt.

You said the game was too laggy on flash but I find that to be impossible  with the way tour game looks.  There is no reason you could not get these games running smooth on flash.  In fact developing  games on flash will help you as a developer tremendously.  You need to really think about memory consumption with every actor you are working with.

Saying things like "oh its too laggy in flash"  would suggest that Stencyl can't handle your game, which is incorrect.  You are poorly coding your game if you can't get this to run in flash.

Keep at it man!

NickamonPoppytail

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You said the game was too laggy on flash but I find that to be impossible  with the way tour game looks.  There is no reason you could not get these games running smooth on flash.  In fact developing  games on flash will help you as a developer tremendously.  You need to really think about memory consumption with every actor you are working with.

Saying things like "oh its too laggy in flash"  would suggest that Stencyl can't handle your game, which is incorrect.  You are poorly coding your game if you can't get this to run in flash.

Keep at it man!

Thanks! But the Catch the Humans minigame does make the game lag WAY too much. There are 42 actors colliding with each other (Poppytail, 40 Humans for Poppytail to attack and one extra because the game would sometimes not register one of the Humans).

NickamonPoppytail

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Thank you mods for cleaning up these threads.  They were getting very spammy.

Advice to the dev.
1.  Use the basic 8 way movement behavior that comes with Stencyl.   Making the controls difficult on purpose to inflate the difficulty of the game us a horrible idea.

2. Your new art style is MUCH improved.  Keep at it

3.  Keep working on more things to enhance the player experience.  Screen shake, sfx, music.

4.  Tighten your C-boxes

5.  Closing the game and re-opening it to solve an in-game glitch like Merrak had should never be an answer.  You need to figure out how to stop things like that from happening to the player.

I played your fist and I think 3rd game.   They are extremely rough and not fun to play.  Sorry, but no one will ever find out about this "hidden story" you keep talking about if they can't control their character and get stuck in the environment THEN have to quite the game and reopen because of a spawn glitch.

Keep at it though.... making games is extremely difficult.  Just keep it in this thread lol

1) Holding down keys though does take away having to react quickly to avoid a character running straight at you though.

2) Thanks. I definitely agree. The 3D models are being made in Autodesk Fusion 360 at the moment.

3) All of these are already planned for PT5.

4) Yeah, I guess there is an issue with this.

5) There is sort of a way to avoid this in Custom Chapters mode (unlocked after getting the Normal Ending) by giving each character an Inaccuracy of 1 or 2, but I should probably make an update to those.

6) Most if the hidden story is in the minigames. These can be accessed straight from the menu by pressing “N” and then the number of the minigame (however this does not work in PT4 as a Minigames menu is unlocked after getting the Normal Ending).

7) Will do (except for The Poppytales).

Thanks for your advice btw.

merrak

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and one extra because the game would sometimes not register one of the Humans).

No no no :P If there's a probability one human doesn't register, how do you know there isn't a (smaller) probability that two won't? Keep in mind that if you are successful in building up a large audience for the game, then the chance is pretty good someone will run into a glitch. Properly fixing these kinds of bugs can be frustrating and aggravating, but go a long way to both improving the quality of your game as  well as strengthening your programming skills. This sort of fix feels like sticking duct tape over a crack in the foundation of a building. It doesn't solve the real problem--a fault in the underlying structure.

I may have mentioned this before, but I don't remember for sure. The Stencyl forum is a community of developers. I don't expect many people come here looking for games to play. They're mostly looking for help, advice, etc., for their own games. If you want to build an audience then you really need to find more routes to get the word out. Flash is a good option because this game really should be able to run in it. If the minigame is the only thing standing in the way, then how important is the minigame, and is it worth the cost of having to pass on an easy thousand views?

If you want to keep this as a desktop game, my advice would be to go back to Poppytales 1 and really polish it up. I agree with decafpanda--I think the newer graphics are much better. Bring your older games up to the new par. Add sound, the improved graphics, and clean up the collision boxes and code. Make a Flash version of PT 1. People who enjoy the series can then be directed to the desktop versions. This will give you the best of both worlds.

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This is kind of the point, as Alex wouldn't have much control over the situation if he was trapped in a building filled with killer flower-tailed papillons and other creatures with only Alice to block their attacks.

I get what you're going for, but I don't think that's a good way to approach it. You want me to be Alex--to feel immersed in the game and its world. But when I have to fight with the controls, then I have to think about the controls. I no longer feel like I'm in the world of Poppytail, I just feel like I'm playing a game with poorly implemented inputs. My own game (Idosra) suffers from the same problem, which is why I invested so much time into revising the engine.

Take a look at other, popular very difficult games. Cat Mario is one of my favorites, but there are better examples. Play some of them and ask yourself if you ever feel like you don't have complete control of your character. When I die in one of those games, I know it's because I screwed up. But since the game's rules feel fair, I know the death is my fault. So I'm confident that, with a little more practice, I can do better. That keeps me motivated to try again. If I feel the rules are unfair, I lose motivation to try again.

I recently watched ProJared's review of King's Knight. I think he did a pretty good job explaining how the game failed by using controls to make the game hard. It's worth watching some of these reviews of older games. There are certainly plenty of them on YouTube. The better reviews tell you why certain design decisions worked or didn't work, which gives good advice to apply to your own game.

decafpanda

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You should still be able to find a way to get that mini game to work on flash.  Look at your physics settings.  Do you have continous collisions disabled for those actors?  Are doodads in your game using simple physics?  Did you delete C boxes on doodads? 

How are your collisions handled?  Are you using booleans correctly to prevent updating events to register multiple collisions?

And...... you could always tweak your mini game to accommodate less collisions or scrap it completely.

The current game that I am working on went through HUGE control and gameplay tweaks midway through development to make sure things ran smooth on flash.   It's just part of the dev proccess.  If this mini game, that no one has ever played, is going to prevent hundreds or thousands of plays, is it worth it?

Game jolt has a really low volume of players as it is.  A game like yours is invisible there.

I think Merrak makes a great point.  Why not start from the very begining with your new art style  and develope the game for flash.  Start fresh with the series and upload to Newgrounds!

NickamonPoppytail

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and one extra because the game would sometimes not register one of the Humans).

No no no :P If there's a probability one human doesn't register, how do you know there isn't a (smaller) probability that two won't?


The probability of this happening is very low and usually happened before I’d finished the minigame. I haven’t seen this happen in quite a while. And yes, there is a lrobability that this happens with two, but it’s only happened to me once and I’ve probably played each game nearly a hundred times.

Keep in mind that if you are successful in building up a large audience for the game, then the chance is pretty good someone will run into a glitch. Properly fixing these kinds of bugs can be frustrating and aggravating, but go a long way to both improving the quality of your game as  well as strengthening your programming skills. This sort of fix feels like sticking duct tape over a crack in the foundation of a building. It doesn't solve the real problem--a fault in the underlying structure.

I should fix that although this never seems to happen in Catch the Humans 2 (Poppytail 3). I think I already know what I did wrong. I made Poppytail 2 in June, and Catch the Humans was the first minigame I made for the series. I know now that having 41 constantly colliding Humans was a stupid idea.

I may have mentioned this before, but I don't remember for sure. The Stencyl forum is a community of developers. I don't expect many people come here looking for games to play. They're mostly looking for help, advice, etc., for their own games. If you want to build an audience then you really need to find more routes to get the word out. Flash is a good option because this game really should be able to run in it. If the minigame is the only thing standing in the way, then how important is the minigame, and is it worth the cost of having to pass on an easy thousand views?

Probably not. I could lessen it down to 20 or 25 humans and see how that works for Flash.

If you want to keep this as a desktop game, my advice would be to go back to Poppytales 1 and really polish it up. I agree with decafpanda--I think the newer graphics are much better. Bring your older games up to the new par. Add sound, the improved graphics, and clean up the collision boxes and code. Make a Flash version of PT 1. People who enjoy the series can then be directed to the desktop versions. This will give you the best of both worlds.

I could do this, but I still don’t know where the USB with the .STENCYL for PT1 is. I have the other five games (including works-in-progress), but PT1 is missing.

Quote
This is kind of the point, as Alex wouldn't have much control over the situation if he was trapped in a building filled with killer flower-tailed papillons and other creatures with only Alice to block their attacks.

I get what you're going for, but I don't think that's a good way to approach it. You want me to be Alex--to feel immersed in the game and its world. But when I have to fight with the controls, then I have to think about the controls. I no longer feel like I'm in the world of Poppytail, I just feel like I'm playing a game with poorly implemented inputs. My own game (Idosra) suffers from the same problem, which is why I invested so much time into revising the engine.

I didn’t think of this because usually when I play it I rarely have to look at the keyboard and can beat nearly any chapter in about 30 seconds because of how many times I’ve played the game. I may do this if I decide to do update older games. I will do this in future because even though the protagonist is different in the fifth game, Alex’s gameplay will return.

You should still be able to find a way to get that mini game to work on flash.  Look at your physics settings.  Do you have continous collisions disabled for those actors?  Are doodads in your game using simple physics?  Did you delete C boxes on doodads? 

How are your collisions handled?  Are you using booleans correctly to prevent updating events to register multiple collisions?

I don’t think I used collision groups or Booleans  in PT2. The reason for no Booleans was because I didn’t know what they were and instead had number game attributes setting to 0 or 1.

And...... you could always tweak your mini game to accommodate less collisions or scrap it completely.

The current game that I am working on went through HUGE control and gameplay tweaks midway through development to make sure things ran smooth on flash.   It's just part of the dev proccess.  If this mini game, that no one has ever played, is going to prevent hundreds or thousands of plays, is it worth it?

If I decide to make Flash versions of PT2-4 then I could change some things in the minigames so that Flash doesn’t lag. I only worry that Custom Chapters Mode from PT4 May cause a whole load of lag because it did this on Desktop until I removed all sounds. Hopefully this doesn’t happen on Flash.

Game jolt has a really low volume of players as it is.  A game like yours is invisible there.

Yeah, the whole series has gotten about 35 plays (20 from the original) since October.

I think Merrak makes a great point.  Why not start from the very begining with your new art style  and develope the game for flash.  Start fresh with the series and upload to Newgrounds!

If you’re referring to the pixel Jawlock, he’s meant for the minigames. If the pixel art is better than the regular art then I’ll use it for minigames in future projects for the series. However I know people who still like the origina”l games and want to see other games for the series. There are a few trying to figure out the storyline too. What could I add in that would be new for revised versions of the original Poppytail games?

NickamonPoppytail

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I should probably also mention that the gameplay for PT5 is different to the other four games.

The player has to move around using a mini-map to move to adjacent rooms while the enemies also move. For the Chapter 1 characters, the player must quickly move away to avoid being killed. I’ve also thought of how to eliminate loopholes so this game isn’t just “sit in one room and wait for someone to attack and then move”. The player has a “Stamina” stat that lowers when moving from room to room. If it runs out you’re left vulnerable to attacks and are unable to move. However, staying in one room for too long allows Jawlock to attack regardless of his location.

NickamonPoppytail

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I have an idea. Since I cannot make an upgraded version of Poppytail, I could make a game which is the previous four combined together with pixel art graphics, music, a save system (first three games didn’t have one), updated Custom Chapters, voice acting (this is in PT5 as well btw), bugfixes and other things to put on both game Jolt and Newgrounds. The new character art can then also be used for The Poppytales.

If this is what I decide to make, then I’m considering making one chapter of PT5, and then the first part of the new game (Poppytail 1’s content) and then go back and forth between the two projects. So it should go one PT5 chapter, one PT game’s worth of the combined game. What do you guys think? Should I make this “Pixeltail” (what I’ll call the project for now)? Should I make both Poppytail 5 and “Pixeltail” at the same time or pause development on both PT5 and The Poppytales?

« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 03:41:33 pm by NickamonPoppytail »

NickamonPoppytail

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Here are some more placeholder backgrounds. These are the West, East and South Rooms which are adjacent to the player's starting location.

I've also been working on the first minigame, Locked In Place starring Jawlock (not to be confused with Lock It In from Poppytail 2). The Creator pixel art is also from the minigame (the Creators have appeared in every other Poppytail game so far in nightmares and minigames). Also if a certain requirement is met, the music for the minigame will instead play backwards.


NickamonPoppytail

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I've decided to make Pixeltail. Working on a few prototype Alex animations now.

merrak

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What do you guys think? Should I make this “Pixeltail” (what I’ll call the project for now)? Should I make both Poppytail 5 and “Pixeltail” at the same time or pause development on both PT5 and The Poppytales?

I'm not sure how much insight anyone else can give. If you have a larger goal in mind, then evaluate any plan to make sure it's moving you toward it. If you don't have a larger goal in mind then defining one may be where you should start.


NickamonPoppytail

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What do you guys think? Should I make this “Pixeltail” (what I’ll call the project for now)? Should I make both Poppytail 5 and “Pixeltail” at the same time or pause development on both PT5 and The Poppytales?

I'm not sure how much insight anyone else can give. If you have a larger goal in mind, then evaluate any plan to make sure it's moving you toward it. If you don't have a larger goal in mind then defining one may be where you should start.

What are you referring to when you say “a larger goal”. I also meant to ask whether you thought this was a good direction with Poppytail.

NickamonPoppytail

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Pixeltail Update:

I have been re-creating Chapter 1’s map from the original Poppytail. Despite not knowing where the USB with the Poppytail .STENCYL is, I have managed to do it. I had to get the .STENCYL for Poppytail 4 (as its Chapter 1 is.,. similar (if you’ve played PT4 you’ll know what I mean), get the dimensions for the room in tiles, and place every tile in the exact place in the position of the original Poppytail (tile locations are the same in PT4’s Chapter 1, so st least I don’t have to individually count every tile I come across for the entire recreation of Poppytail 1).

I didn’t mention this earlier, but I’m making every tile used in Pixeltail my own original art instead of pre-made tilesets or other images that were not made by me. So I only made about twenty new tile images for Chapter 1. I’ve made all of those for Chapter 1, so all I need to do is edit the controls a bit, create the enemies and add in Alice and then I should be able to get some gameplay.

Now, for the first three games every character had a default position and would be created there every time due to being placed into the game via the scene editor. I am planning to adjust the AI of old enemies and use the code that makes characters remember your position when dying and respawn there, but let the characters initially spawn in their positions from previous games. However, I think I have a solution to the “Death Loop Glitch”. I plan on creating a region in every scene where there are enemies around Alex and Alice’s starting position, and if an enemy is inside the region and kills Alex, they will have their spawning game attributes reset to their normal positions. Is this a good solution?

Also, there are a couple of things I want to ask.
  • How should I make the death screens/jumpscares? The original four games have still images while Poppytail 5 has actual animations. How do you think I should go about making those?
  • I’m thinking of making Custom Chapters at the end of the game that includes 36/38 monsters from the game (as Auto and Abe cannot kill the player). Thanks to what I’ve found to be an incredibly useful block recently (“value of game Attribute with name)”, I no longer have to make incredibly ridiculously large behaviours. However I was thinking of using these Speed and Inaccuracy stats to make players be able to adjust the difficulty of each level. Would this be a good idea?
  • Are there any other things I can put into Pixeltail that would improve on the previous games (still going to do SFX, music, screen shakes, shaders, etc.) but are there any other stupid things I’ve done that I shouldn’t do again or features I should add (there was no pause button on purpose in those first four games to keep the player paying attention to the game so that they don’t get killed when they look away.

Thank you!

« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 04:43:22 am by NickamonPoppytail »