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Very cool game. great work.

Cool game so far.
Even though some part are just really hard.
And especially the fact that there are only checkpoints and no real save files is gettting annoying over time (Meaning you have to restart the whole game after closing and reopening it)

Sorry about the lack of saving and loading, it'll be there eventually we just haven't gotten to it quite yet. This past update I was mostly focusing on making the game flow as good as possible, but I'll definitely focus on balancing the difficulty a bit more for the next update. There are quite a few problematic enemies that I'll make easier to deal with and/or avoid. Thanks for playing though! We've been updating the game about every month, so hopefully this time next month all of the problems you had will be solved.

I'll take the part about it being hard back!
Please don't change the difficulty, it's fine as it is.

I was just too dumb, both not realizing the existence of certain checkpoints (literally just walked past them by accident) and didn't figure out how to beat certain enemies before.

only the bee things are quite a pain since I don't see any pattern there.
At least not a obvious solution.
Maybe I'll figure out a good way to figth them eventually.

So the only thing I don't like are the savepoints that are currently not there.

But honestly it doesn't matter since in my last run I played it for a longer time and reached some of the ends of the alpha, the not working door and other things that indicate that stuff beyond there hasn't build yet.

So currently I don't need savegames since I have seen mostly everything in the alpha, including beating the first boss.

But I have to say, i already love the game!

Looking forward once even more stuff is unlocked!

Thanks for the follow up post! Hopefully a map + signs that say there's a save point in an adjacent room will help prevent people from walking past save points. That being said, you're not the only person who's said something about the difficulty, so I will still be altering some things. I don't want this to be a hard game. It'll have challenge, but I don't want the game to be frustrating like so many other indie platformers are. Wasps, bats, and excessive enemy placements represent the frustrating difficulty that I want to alter, while spear ghosts, moles, and the first boss represent the good kind of difficulty that I'm shooting for.

I don't have a problem with challenging.
For example there was one room where you had 2 moles and a bat close to each other.
First try I tried bruteforcing my way through but didn't make it at all.
But once I realized the pattern of these enemies and how they can be defeated, it was merely a matter of timing when to jump under the bat, so that the bat can't hit you anymore. From there defeating them was easy.
Noever had any problems anmore with that segment.

But as you also mentioned, the bees or whatever they are are just a bit too  random.
Sometimes they fly around randomly at the other side of the room but when you think it's safe and walk directly below them, they seem to directly aim for you.

The ghosts are okay, even though it's kind of hard when you are climbing down an area with a ghost in it.

Cause then the ghost will emerge from the ground and there's no way to defeat him beforehand.

So  you have to lure him above ground to actually be able to hit him.

But anyways, mostly savefiles and some way to know that acheckpoint is close would be great.

I am just the lucky kind of guy who, when given a crossroad will definitely always choose to explore the way that isn't a checkpoint.
While the checkpoint was literally 1 room away :-D


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXKQuWZb96o

Finally bought the early access build. Is there a forum for it?

There isn't a forum because itch doesn't let you have a comments section and a forum, and I think a comments section is more fitting for now. We do have a discord channel though! I never got around to adding it to the game's description on itch but it should be there now. If you don't have discord or don't want to join but still have questions, feel free to email me at benallen1121(at)gmail(dot)com

Awesome work so far, as a big fan of Skelemania it was quite jarring to see this entire new style, but I actually think it works quite well. (Please add a secret room with the original textures as an easter egg in the final game! :p)

Anyways, a few notes so far:

  • For some reason, when I kick an enemy out of the screen it just instantly respawns to where it last was.
  • The controls were really nice imo
  • The abilities felt a bit OP, (or where given too soon, although this was probably for demo reasons...) to a point where enemies didn't really feel like a threat anymore.
  • I wasn't able to die? My health depleted to zero and then I just could keep going. This is obviously a bug but I guess I should point it out incase you overlooked it or something...
I'm REALLY hyped for how it's going to turn out, so good luck!
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Thanks! I have considered adding an easter egg with the original sprites, and might do it. We'll see...

Enemy respawning isn't perfect yet, still working on perfecting that. The abilities in the demo will not be there in the final game, but will be spread out across the different locations. The only ability that'll stay where it is now is dive. We haven't programmed death yet to make it easier for testing, might be one of the last things we do actually.

(Edited 1 time)

Alright, sweet! Definitely keep up the good work, can't wait to play it when it get's released. :)

This game is pretty good so far, but as a HUGE fan of the first two, I wish the mechanics were the same. I understand the increased difficulty with the new dive but the complete control that you felt over the character in the old games was what made them so fun. The first two games I can honestly say have some of the most fun and addicting platforming mechanics of any game I've ever played, and I think you should stick with those. Don't fix what isn't broken. I would also really love it if you brought back the pause menu. The map and achievements were super helpful in knowing where to go next and whether or not I'd completed everything. Keep up the good work, I love the look of this game so far but am just hoping for a few tweaks to the mechanics to make the game feel just as natural as the original 2 games. Thanks for making these for us lol

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Well good news: I changed it back! I don't plan on updating the demo any time soon, but the most recent versions of the game have dive working the way it worked in the previous games. I also plan to have the pause screen with a (hopefully more detailed) map, but we probably won't get to doing that till near the end of development.

I forgot about this demo! I've played Super Skeleman and Skelemania and I really enjoyed them. I used a controller to play. I like where this is going, but I also have some criticisms.

I had some trouble with lag and scrolling, even with a 2 GB graphics card. I like the art and music, but the mechanics and controls felt a bit off. Triggering backflips is a hair slower than I'd like, but I could get used to it again. I'm not a big fan of how the dive works. Conserving some momentum is cool, but this can also be abused to continually dive across long horizontal stretches. There is also no way to cancel or reduce the momentum of the dive. I don't remember if this was present in the previous games. The lack of a smooth transition between running and charging feels awkward, as I was expecting it to function like a regular run button. It's disappointing that it's impossible to dive after a running somersault jump and retain the running momentum. I figured out that you can get a huge damage boost from spikes if you jump at the right time. Is that intentional?

Hmm, lag is kind of scary because it's something that I see frequently in builds of the game, but I assume it has something to do with my computer or that I frequently run it out of dropbox. I also seem to be the only one who gets lag because everyone I've talked to that's played the game has had it run fine, until now. I really don't know what to do about it though because it should run fine, and more often than not it does run fine.

The problem people have always had in the past is pressing jump right before changing directions, which leads to it not going off. I think the fix for this will be to add a ghost frame or two to let you 'convert' a normal jump into a backflip if the get the timing slightly off.

A little confused at your reasoning for disliking the new dive with it letting you go very far with the same momentum. In the previous two games, jumping out of a dive kept your momentum *AND* took you out of dive. This made keeping your dive momentum extremely easy, because all you had to do was jump out of your dive as soon as you hit the ground, and then dive again. If you messed it up (assuming you're trying to play the game quickly) there's not much of a punishment, since you'll have complete control of the player. With the dive in its current state, if you don't time your dive-jumps well enough, you'll lose momentum very quickly, which I think makes it a bit more interesting and skillful. However, it can be frustrating for any player to have to wait for momentum to naturally slow down before you get control back, so I'm still not totally sure on whether I'll keep this version of dive or revert to the old one.

The reason why charge isn't a run button where you build up speed over time is because I wanted it to be somewhat different from the speed booster in super metroid. I also don't want it to just replace dive as the best way to get over gaps or the best way to move quickly. The only reason why I don't let you dive while charging is because I like the jump-charge somersault animation too much and want to force people to look at it. However, being able to dive into a charge to conserve momentum is a very cool idea that I hadn't considered previously. I'll definitely experiment with that and see if I like it.

As for the damage boost thing, yes I know about it. I isn't a feature but I'm probably not going to fix it because there isn't anything inherently bad about it being in the game, and maybe speedrunners will like it. There's another unintentional bug in the game that I also probably won't fix for the same reason.

Sorry, it's been a while since I played the predecessors, so I couldn't remember how dives worked with momentum. I think my main issue with it is that you have to wait before you can proceed with normal walking or a jump. I'm maybe being too picky about that.

I see why you would want to distinguish the charge from a normal run, and I think it should work. The thing I'm most concerned about with it is that you're not able to start charging while already walking. I feel like having to trigger it while standing still is unnecessary. Not being able to stop the charge instantaneously makes sense, though. I will say that the somersault is a pretty nice touch/reference. If you wanted to implement a charge jump to dive chain, you could limit spamming by only allowing the dive to happen once at the apex of the somersault. I didn't think of diving into a charge, but that could certainly be cool. That said, I'm not much of a game designer. I also noticed that you no longer gain height with the dive, which seems like a good change.

With the backfilip, I think the issue I have is that I press the direction and then immediately follow with the jump button instead of waiting for the direction change animation. I may just be too hasty about it.

I also kind of like the wicked damage boost jump. It's very difficult to pull off, so I don't think it should wreck the game.

While the game seemed to have low FPS, it didn't affect play very much. Probably just made things a bit more floaty, but it would certainly look better without the drops. The horizontal scrolling was not very smooth for me.

I'm a little confused by what you said about "not being able to charge while already walking", because you can only start charging while walking. If you press the button while standing still you just do a headbutt. Regardless, I've changed it so that charge has a bit more oomph to it. You build up speed slower than normal walking, but you have a significantly faster max speed (faster than dive). I also changed dive to work like it did in the previous games. So if you don't want to wait for the slide to finish, you can just jump.

One other fairly fundamental change I made, which should make the game more fun is I removed the top-speed limit and added a speed increase cap. By that I mean, speed can exceed any number, but you can't increase it further beyond what you would normally be able to. So when you jump out of dive, you'll keep your dive momentum even though you aren't diving anymore. This is a pretty standard thing in these kind of games, but it wasn't in place before now. I won't be changing the demo, but all of these changes will be present in the final release (unless I change stuff again).

Really appreciate the in-depth comments!

It seemed when I played that the demo required you to press the attack/charge button while at the same time requiring you to press a direction, either by letting go of the direction and pressing it again or by moving from a standstill. I thought of the run trigger in games like Super Mario Bros., where you can start running from a walk by simply holding the run button. I thought that would be much easier and more intuitive compared to the current trigger to start the charge in the demo. Stopping the charge doesn't have to be done this way if you want the charge to function as something other than a generic run.

I don't mind if you would lose momentum when you aren't actively increasing or maintaining it. (walk - maintain, dive - increase)

With regard to the speed cap, I'm not really sure what you mean, but I'm thinking you might mean something similar to high-level Super Mario 64 or Dustforce play (neither of which I can perform). Actually, this franchise(?) reminds me (favorably) a lot of Super Mario 64 in terms of movement.

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Was a bit confused at first since I already played/bought the games Super Skeleman and Skelemania, but realized that this is yet another game.

Cool demo, this time actually with colors and more polished.

Really looking forward to the final product!

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Hey there! Really enjoyed the demo. :) Just thought I'd share a few of my thoughts.

** PROS **

- Great art for both the characters and backgrounds. I really like the look and feel throughout.

- The music, though understated, was also really good.

- The abilities were unconventional, and that's good. It helps to keep things interesting.

- THANK YOU for having controller support 'right out the box'. Love it!


** CONS **

NOTE: I know this is a demo and a lot of this may be addressed in future updates for the full game, just letting you know what I think. :)

- The sound for the jump is distinctly *after* the jump has happened. So, I'd press the 'A' button, the character would be in the air and the sound would happen while the character was airborne (instead of RIGHT when he jumped). I found it distracting.

- When getting upgrades, the game seems to wait for keyboard input, instead of being playable across both keyboard and controller. After I picked up the first upgrade (the DIVE, I belive) the upgrade text just stayed on screen. I pressed every button and nothing happened. I thought the game crashed. Then, I decided to press 'Z' on the keyboard and that made the text go away. So, the game forces you to use the keyboard at every upgrade (instead of just being playable on controller). Just making sure you knew.

- My character also drifted to the left sometimes. To remedy this, a 'deadzone' option (for the analog sticks) would be very much appreciated.


** OVERALL **

- I thought it was really good! I assume more options, a proper menu system and key rebindings are on the way, so I won't make a big deal out of that here. I also lost all my hearts (skulls in top left) and didn't die. The game just kept going -- but I was happy for that since I assume checkpoints haven't been implemented yet. Overall, really good stuff. :)

Thanks for sharing the demo and I look forward to seeing what comes next. Best of luck on Greenlight and have a great one! Cheers! ^_^

- Mike C

(Edited 1 time)

Thanks! The controller support is wonky currently because I don't actually have a controller to test it on, so I'm implementing it blindly. Controllers not working for menus is a known bug, which will be fixed for the final game. I really thought I implemented a dead zone and was told when I was having someone test it that it was working, but I'll look into fixing it or making it better. I'm not really getting what you mean with the sound. I went to test it in game and the sound plays exactly when you press the jump button, and the code for the sound reflects that. It's possible that you're getting some weird GameMaker sound lag, but I don't know if that even exists or not. I'll ask some other people on other computers if they notice it, and I'll see what I can do.

And yeah, we haven't implemented death or checkpoints yet, but I figured it would be fine to just let the game play out like this so people would be able to explore without the annoyance of dying. Options and key-rebindings are planned!