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Outbreak

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In Outbreak, you will guide the spread of an aggressive virus, which attacks the host's cells, and turns them into copies of itself. Those copies then aid the spread, until all the host cells are gone. However, the host's immune system will present you with many problems, like forcefields which kill off all but the pure original virus cell, and fighter cells, which will patrol and kill virus cells on sight. You must use all your cunning and skill if you are to win.

Roasts

klimbub 3 months ago

Game Graphics Controls
This game looks and feels very good, from the moody graphics to the screenshakes when you take over the host cells I can tell that you've put a lot of work in to it.
Adding sound to the game could surely improve how this game feels by a long stretch often you can find good sounds on freesounds.org, another place I've come across is a large pack of sounds I saw released on r/gamedev from the GDC (think there was one pack with 10gb and another with 16, so there should be a lot of variety). Just make sure you find sounds that are distributed under the creative commons 0 license (free to use commercially, as long as they're not sold as is)
Another minor thing that I feel would improve the feel of it would be if the button in the lower right corner turned on camera follow untill you clicked it again, instead of turning off the next time you move as it does currently. This way the camera could keep following you around as you moved.
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TheRichCourt 3 months ago

Hey, thanks for the roast! You're right that a lot of work's gone into it - It's been a side project for the last 18 months, although I did scrap everything and start again about half way through that time.

It's odd that you're not getting sound - there definitely is some. Just some basic BG music and some SFX, but it's there. The game has an option to mute the sound, so maybe that's on by default, I can't remember but I'll check. It's a toggle on the main screen, before the level select one. Thanks for the tip about the GDC sound packs though - I'll definitely check them out as the sound for this is far form done.

You're the first person to make that suggestion about the camera button, but I think you're right - That definitely feels more like what that button should be doing, so I'll go with it, thanks! :)
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jlvc 3 months ago

Game Graphics Level Design
It's easy to tell the dedication put into this game. I think it has great potential. At first I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do, and I don't say that in a bad way, I liked the fact that I had to learn through experience, like the old times.

I played 4 levels, I'll play the others later. I will just make one suggestion: I would like to see more diversity in the features in the stage, that means, more diverse puzzles to solve. Also, is there a way to get out of those rooms with a laser or force field without losing all spores but the main one? Maybe I'll find out later.

Also, I didn't like having to swipe to make the camera move. Maybe it would work better if the camera would follow the spore.

Anyway, nice game, I really liked the look of it. Looks very elegant.
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TheRichCourt 3 months ago

Thanks for the roast! I'm glad you like the game. The original had a tutorial, with text that came up and told you what to do. Then I tried just having things happen on screen that more vaguely indicate at what to do. Eventually I got rid of it all and figured let people work it out, as that feels better for the player - like you said, it's the old way, we were never taught how to play Mario (okay, maybe some people read the manual, but I certainly didn't!) so I'm glad you approve, as I feel validated for making that decision :)

More diversity comes in the later levels, but I think you're right - it needs to happen sooner to keep the player's attention. The levels included currently are the ones that will be used to teach some of the mechanics and the basic game systems. I'm currently working on more complex puzzle based levels, that use a combination of the level features. Once I've got all the levels I want done, I'll sit down and really think about what order to put them in to keep the player engaged. At the moment, if there's a forcefield-thing then no, there's no way through without losing all your followers, but there will be in some of the levels I'm working on now. If you check out levels 9-11, they have buttons that open doors. These buttons are going to be linked to other things as well in future versions as well, so in some levels they'll disable (or enable) the forcefields. Hopefully that should make for some pretty varied play, and some decent puzzles.

@klimbub suggested a way to control the camera above, which I think sounds like a good idea - basically you'd be able to toggle between a camera that follows you, and one that you control yourself, using the button in the bottom right (currently it just snaps the camera to where you are, but then it doesn't follow you after that).

Thanks for the feedback, both you and ~klimbub have given me some really useful insights, and given me a some encouragement - sometimes when I work on something for too long by myself, I really start to doubt what I'm doing!
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jlvc 3 months ago

Yeah, I liked the no-tutorial approach. Discovery is a joy in itself.

I haven't played the later levels, but if you could add more diversity gradually in the first few it would help. I was thinking also some kind of reward after you beat a level would be appreciated by players.

I was just wondering about the forcefield, I thought I might have missed something.

Yeah, the camera suggestion sounds better than what I was thinking, I was just thinking a camera that would follow you around. His suggestion is better no doubt.

I will play your game when it's finished. It's great to work alone in some ways, but there are perils that come with it, I can imagine. I will just say keep working on it!

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Vegeta 3 months ago

Game Graphics Tutorial/Learning Curve
Sorry for the delay, the game looks promising I love the ideea behind a virus attacking cells but the graphics while very immersing didn't resemble human cellls, more like some virus trying to take over a mechanical enemy base. Also I think a minor introduction on movement is necessary, I still have the feeling like I could micro my swarm of cells instead of just clicking the general direction. One more think, my old samsung s3 had some issues with all the effects while infecting other cells but the doors that destroy every clone cell was the biggest issue, maybe remove some of them (especially at the end of the level) so people don't have to experience the gruesome fps drop every level.

All in all the game needs more work but it's definitelly on the right path, keep it up ! (note: maybe make a trailer with more gameplay rather than stills and use that as a tutorial )
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TheRichCourt 3 months ago

Hey, thanks for the roast :) I think you have a point about the visuals - the theme has become confused. I did initially have enemies that looked much more like human cells, but it was difficult to tell which ones would be able to shoot at you and which wouldn't. I think more work is definitely needed in that area!

I'm getting conflicting feedback about the lack of an explicit tutorial, even just on this page - some people like it, some don't. I left it out because the tutorials I originally made weren't really very fun to play through. Good idea about having the trailer act as a sort of instruction video, I think that could be helpful. I also now intend to play with having some non-text hints at what you're supposed to do. I played a game the other day called Causality, which has some subtle hints at the beginning, and I found they worked very well, without bring too instructional, so maybe I'll go with something similar to what they did.

Thanks for the heads up about the frame-rate issues too. I use a couple of devices for testing, and I I thought one of them was low powered enough that if it ran fine on it without stuttering then it'd be fine anywhere, but I guess not. It's a really tricky balance to strike on mobile between satisfying visuals, and performance. I'll see what I can do though. Thanks again for the roast :)
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Yoshgunn 3 months ago

Tutorial/Learning Curve Controls
Sound: Good, minimalist, effective - but fix your loop because it is noticeable.

Gameplay: A bit strange. Feels more action than puzzle-y, I find myself mostly mashing (tapping) the screen. It has a Pikmin-like quality to it that I enjoy, but I can't tell if I'm getting lucky dodging bullets or if I'm solving the puzzle correctly. I liked it a lot more toward the end, but the puzzles became sort of predictable.

The Controls are irritating because the virus feels like he's sliding around all the time. Sometimes I can't double back around corners. There was one level where I think I slammed myself into a gun and then into an electric wall - that felt good! But your controls really don't allow for these "falling block" levels. It's too imprecise.

My advice would be to pick an artistic theme and commit. The virus aspect makes me think the game could take place inside a human body. But the machine guns make me think of zombies. Either theme would work well - even "aliens" would work well. But don't blend them. I think a game about a white blood cell gone rogue is super awesome and I've never seen that before. Consider reskinning your artwork to that because right now I don't really know what the "story" is by the setting. How does a virus infect automatic machine guns? Is it a computer virus? Consider also making it matter what you infect. I think infecting a rocket launcher dude should give you better minions than infecting a defenseless "basic" cell.

Graphics: It's hard to tell my character apart from the viruses I infect. Also I think your levels may be spaced too wide apart, try to make them tighter without breaking the game. Scrolling takes away from the fun.

Something that doesn't sit well is this idea that when you die you just take control of a different cell in the horde. It makes it so that if you have enough guys you win every fight. Consider making it important to keep YOUR guy alive while sending in your monsters. Maybe they follow you, but you can swipe / drag to send them to attack? So you can hang back while your viruses go in for the kill? It felt very zerg-like since my character didn't matter. (You can always prioritize AI to attack the minions before attacking you)

Overall it's unique, it just needs lots of control polish and an artistic theme that makes sense. What's your business plan / rollout plan / launch window for the game?
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TheRichCourt 3 months ago

Great feedback, thanks! :) You make a good point about control - I think I've been playing it too long, and have gotten used to it, so I don't see it any more, but you having said that has made me analyse it a bit more, and you're right - it's not just imprecise, but unpredictable too. I've set up an empty scene to work on just that, and will play around with that for a while.

Picking a theme has been a really hard one for me - I originally made this a 2D game, with just circles going after each other (kind of like agar.io), but decided it should have more than that. That did mean though that I came up with the mechanics before I had any idea what the theme would be, and so I haven't had a clear direction of where to take that. My original intention was to have it set in the human body, but I've found it really hard to build assets around that theme - I'm more of a designer than an artist, and so I find geometric shapes much easier to model than fleshy stuff. I guess I was hoping I'd get away with the mechanical looking stuff in the same way that Pixar's 'Inside Out' does, (not that I'm making comparisons in terms of quality!). Obviously I haven't pulled that off, so it'll require more thought.

In terms of a business plan, I was thinking just make the game available for a low up-front payment - I'm not a fan of IAPs etc in general, although I realise that free-to-play games do tend to make a lot more money. I'm not expecting to make any real money off it (although it'd be awesome if I did, of course). This is all done in my spare time, so I'm not in any rush to release either, so haven't set myself a release window at this point. Once I get closer to release I will, so that I can hopefully generate a bit of interest in that time. I could still be a long way off though - maybe 6 months to a year.
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SpikeNailStudio 1 month ago

Mechanics
The game looks interesting! Great graphics and unusual concept!
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