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BOSSES FOREVER 2.BRO
Zaimad Mar 10, 2013 @ 5:10am
User Feedback: Suggestions/Bugs and Others
I thought it was a good idea to start this discussion instead of having to comment on announcements or the Greenlight page proper, especially since discussions don't have the same input character limit as a comment.

First and foremost: I'd like that the game showed the build version or something on the main screen. It'd be interesting to know that something changed, even if unnanounced.

  • Explosions seem to be the most damaging source to the player. This is particularly true when they are still clustered on an object, apparently, which means that taking a hit from a pipebomb damages the player A LOT, but taking a hit from a stationary OR moving cluster of pipebombs spells about an entire lifebar, at least at the point those became more common. Suggestion: increase pathetic boss contact damage (somewhere lower than touching the purple guards/sword attacks) and nerf clusters' damage, or instead of seeing that the player took contact with 8 sources at the same time and applying the damage figure out which is the most damaging and apply that one.
  • What I complained about before, zone control, is back. While it's true that some situations allow escaping attacks with "better attunement to the boss" and an eye that would make eagles made of peach jelly, some attacks are plain evil: clusters of slow moving projectiles are usually dodgeable, unless for some reason the boss decides to do several of them it after making it unsafe to be on the walls. Particular scenario: a column of slow moving bullets horizontally from the left side of the screen when evil purple wall-runners are there. Althought, it's better to take the wall-runners' hit than it is to take the slow moving bullets than to attempt to dodge both.
  • Sound cues! I'm not sure if you'll like this suggestion since it could clash with the great music that goes on, but it would be nice to have the boss make any kind of cue as to what kind of attack it will launch, both in type and pattern; think of it as two distinct beepings that say, for instance, "shurikens" and "burst of 3", or "pipe bombs" and "homing missile", or "one large shot" and "teleport". Going to use the excuse to implement this as "every game's bosses usually have tell-tale cues of their next evil attack", which is true for most games that I can remember. It's not like it'll make everything dodgeable, but at least we have a split second to decide whether we should be going for the wall or off of it if we're into listening to the cues. Dodging a "no line-up array" huge laser would be easier than being surprised about a warningless laser.

Boy, that was longer than I wanted... Also, of this iteration of the game, I got 17 bosses defeated and have the screenshot to prove it (which I'm sure is not a big deal, since some things have been eased up thankfully).
Showing 1-13 of 13 comments
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TOO DX  [developer] Mar 10, 2013 @ 9:51pm 
Thanks for starting this Zaimad. Good place to talk about all of this.

First off, 17 bosses is awesome. That's a new record as far as I know. We need to get leaderboards in soon, so everyone can see your awesome. For now, you should hang that screenshot up on the facebook page :D

- The explosion damage ramps up too fast. This is actually a bug in how the boss calculates increasing damage when it gets stronger. This is something that's on the list to fix.

- I'm curious what you think a good solution to the issue of bosses sending combinations of attack that are undodgable. Because the boss constantly gets more and more powerful, there will be a point when the boss is so powerful and fast that there are attack combinations that can't be dodged. I often ask myself where this threshold should be. I think the real solution is to ensure that there is always some way for the player to dodge, if the player can react fast enough. Then the game becomes a test of endurance. But, this is complicated to implement, especially with clones. It will take awhile. There are a few things I have to get to before creating a solution for this, but feedback is welcome!

- I can't agree with you more that the boss needs better tells. This might even work towards solving the previous problem. Not only does the boss have to provide proper audio tells, but the correct animation and timing to attacks needs to be present as well.

Also, stoked you like the track. I'd suggest checking out some of nicklePUNK's other work :D

Oh, and the version number is shown! On the first screen, when we tell you that this is just the beta, the version number is listed at the top. Currently it's version 2.01, which was built on March 9th.

This sort of detailed feedback is totally awesome. Although we can't work as fast as you all can think of great ideas, this input really gives us direction on what are the most important things. Thank you.

- Auston
Zaimad Mar 11, 2013 @ 7:05am 
The only thing I can think of to fix the issue of too many boss attacks making themselves undodgeable as a group is one extra action button, which preemtively sends the player into invulnerability mode but would have to have a relatively long cooldown (say, 10 seconds cooldown for the normal 1 second invulnerability?). Balancing issues aside, the ability to evade all damage for a whole second has the potential of allowing passage to safer areas; this assumes that if you took a pipe-bomb-filled guided missile the missile would still explode on you and all effects that would happen still happen, except the whole taking-damage routine and the triggering of invulnerability of course.

Also, it would make the Bros even more badass. Maybe make their do be even more perfect to reflect they are invulnerable because of the ability, maybe outline the bro in a white outline: that's two art suggestions. As for display of ability cooldown, a little light near the Bros hp bar should be enough.
Kuma  [developer] Mar 11, 2013 @ 12:43pm 
I did a pull of the discussion on the BETA announcement, formatted it to be a little more readable and am posting it here - if I sourced something incorrectly, yell at me please so I can give proper credit. I'd just like to keep it all on one area for ease of reference and use. Please keep the feedback rolling in d00dz!


Necco Z.

Hello, glad you asked about the comment. The SFX in the beta is better than in the video, however, it still seems weird: the bosses' sounds are way louder than the hero's, and they seem to need some polishing. The way they are, some sounds are irritating (especially the boss's shot). Also, when there are a lot of shots, the sound gets louder for each new shot, which IMO shouldn't happen. Other than the SFX, I found a bug when you try to set controls - if you click "close" before finishing all the controls, when you click "set controls" again it doesn't get back to the beginning, you have to continue from where you stopped.

TOO DX

@Necco Z.
In short, I agree completely. I need to do a pass over all the audio in the game, and I plan to. I'm considering even implementing pan effects based on the sound's position. We'll see how important that turns out. I've implemented a single fix that removes the stacking sounds for bullet bombs, but there is still the issue of having lots of bombs spawned at the same time exploding. I have to consider the best way to fix that.
And yes, that's an inconvenient bug! It's now on the list of things to fix!

Zaimad

Well, since you went through all that trouble to contact...

1) Invulnerability time of the player should be at least the same as the boss; if the boss gets his shorter or the player his longer, it should be a risk/reward thing to take hits to make hits.

2) Explosions seem to linger for the full duration of the animation; to me, this was an issue as sometimes there appears to be no way to dodge certain combinations, and sometimes I'd move into "dead" explosions to avoid getting hit by other explosions.

3) Speaking of explosions, why don't certain explosions hit the boss too? Most of the zone-control that some explosives have is ultimately crippling because of a lack of a mid-air platform of sorts: if you're on a wall and there's an ongoing attack on the ground consisting of those "pipebombs" more than half the time you get hit at least once, more due to my point in 1) and 2). It should be fair that some of the least likely to hit the boss would damage him.

4) Upgrades, from what I've been paying attention, seem to matter more on how the boss AI evolves than how it actually helps a player.

5) The intro boss, or tutorial boss or whatever you want to call it, has a distinct AI pattern; I understand that you want to show players how some things work there, but this gave me the impression as I moved up on boss lists that the boss didn't improved based on what I was doing, but rather on what I did on the previous room. Technical limitations aside, if it is the case, it would be ideal that the boss also took into consideration what you were doing the moment you were fighting it.

6) I have no idea why, but once I died and clicked on something else to check something while on the menu, and when I returned the game's screen was black with a huge mouse cursor when I was on it (music still running). Was that a browser issue on my end?

7) Related to what I ranted in 3), some boss moves have too much zone-control, and he's not afraid to spam them a little.

Tricky boss even tried to charge his lazor twice, moving really fast on the second attempt up and down. I can't beat your 12 kills (meaning you were on 13), but I did manage to kill 9 to get to 10. Looking pretty great so far, keep up the good work.

TOO DX

@Zaimad
Thanks for the detailed response! This is awesome and I've been considering each of your points as I've been updating the game. Here's my feedback on your feedback:

1 - Agreed, the player's invulnerable time is too short. I'm going to make it even so you can go shot for shot. We'll see how this plays out. The has more intense patterns than the original version, and with those bullet hell sequences, I think that extra fraction of a second really makes a difference.

2 - To clarify, are you saying that you're getting hit where there was an explosion? All the testing I've done only results in a collision between pixels. But yes, as long as you can see the pixels of the explosion, it can hurt you. This creates danger zones in the level.

3 - I'm going to put this on our list of things to try. My initial impression is that being able to shoot him as his explosions are fired (a common tactic to deal with bombs) will result in them being a detrimental attack for the boss. But, I could be wrong! So, we're going to try this out and get back to you..

4 - I have issues with the upgrade system, but I'm not quite following you here. Do you mean that you tend to pick your upgrades based on what the boss is doing, as opposed to what you want? If so, that's the first I've heard of it. I'd like to hear more about what you're thinking when you pick an upgrade.

5 - You're right, the game is built so it takes information from the previous round. I could update the boss in real time, but the boss may feel more random, as there are so many ways the boss interprets your actions that one action could spawn many different reactions. Additionally, having a completely smooth curve in difficulty removes the ability for the player to go through proper pacing of being presented with a challenge, rising up to the challenge, and mastering a challenge. That being said, those are my intuitions as a designer, and more thought could be put into this. I'll look into it!

6 - The game, when you unfocus, should dim out and have a large grey play triangle overlaid. This is a feature to pause the game if you move somewhere else. If this is what you saw, it was intended. If not, could you send a pic please? What browser were you using?

7 - My initial response is that as you play more, you'll learn how to move around better, considering not only where to move based on what the boss is shooting, but what could be shot next. Still, 10 bosses is stellar. I have many runs where I don't get past 7. That being said, I'm striving to reach a balance between really challenging and not possible. I want to emphasize the former, and remove the latter. If there are specific situations where you feel that there was nothing you could have done (even in your actions leading up to the situation) please let me know. Those sound bad.

Zaimad
On the points you wanted clarification:

2 - No, I just mean that the animation of the longer explosions (such as pipe bombs, which appear to explode twice as they are) can make you involuntarily move to them when you see the "first" explosion settle. It should be a less ambiguous explosion.

4 - Each upgrade you get directly affects the boss' actual beggining hp in different ways, depending on which you chose. Even though getting more damage does compensate the greater health increase the boss gets, it seems the boss will also go for more dangerous moves earlier than, for instance, increasing your max hp (so that recovering hp when you really have to pays out). Also, I'd expect 33% of 75 MaxHp would reuslt in 25hp, but it is (obviously) going for a 33 rounded down.

6 - No, I've seen that. But if you take too long in that state it seems like it crashes the game underlying in pause, also showing the squarish coloured f; doesn't take much more than a few minutes to me. I will try the game in a different browser when I have the time to see if it is a browser problem.

7 - The boss had this move where it shot homing missiles that then detonated into 8-directional slow moving projectiles. This + any pipe bombing or any of those annoying "pursuing" moves means you will get hit almost innevitably, if not by the boss itself by the projectiles as you either a) destroy the homing casing and get them off-sync with each other or b) slow moving projectiles get detonated in a position that makes a dodge impossible. (I had these slow moving 8-projectiles, from 3 sources in different places, detonated; there's no way you can dodge them + a cluster of pipe bombs if the boss decides to ram you next).

And about explosions harming the boss:
The way I see it, detonating an explosive next to the boss shouldn't hurt the boss if the explosive was just shot; I mean that if the explosive was already there for a while, if the boss carelessly went near an explosive and you detonated it, the boss would get damaged. Alternatively, some/all of the fixed-position explosives (such as the shuriken or the actually floating ones) should damage the boss regardless of when they were put there.

And two more suggestions, which I think someone else will agree: too many gun shell casings being calculated on the floor, to the point of unnecessarily consuming resources by the time I'm swiming in them. Make them vanish after a fair amount of time, like 10 seconds or something. And arena traps (that can be used in your favour or against you by the boss).

TOO DX

@Zaimad
Awesome, this clarifies many points! I hear you on the slow moving bullets. I like the effect...but maybe they are too slow, or two big. It needs work.

- As far as the upgrade system, they have no impact on the boss's stats. Only your actions in the previous battle. But I think I'll fix that round down. Don't quite like that.

- Thanks for finding that bug. Any details are appreciated, but I can at least try to recreate it now.

- It's inconsistent to make the explosions damage the boss sometimes. Although that might be balanced, for players, how do they know when the explosion will hurt the boss? I do like the idea of cleverly using the mines against the boss...I'll have to try that.

- Are you getting slowdown with the bullet shells? I might tie the number of shells to the quality setting. I rather like seeing the sea of bullets at the end of each level :D



TOO DX Mar 9, 2013 @ 7:33pm
Sorry for the late response doods. I was hacking away at that list and considering all your feedback. I want to respond to each of your points, giving some context for my design decisions. None of my responses are trying to shut down feedback, as it's all useful. I just want to let you all see what I'm thinking. Hopefully this will open further discussion!

hed egg Mar 13, 2013 @ 6:31pm 
I'm really fond of the idea of the game so far, and I've enjoyed playing it quite a bit.
However, there's one thing that's been bugging me throughout(or I suppose some closely related things).

In a game like this, the player's movement is very important. And I simply cannot get used to the amount of momentum. Maybe I'm just very used to Megaman X/Zero games, but it's always felt very unresponsive to me in platformers when I switch from pressing left to right and my character doesn't immediately switch directions. It feels slippery, like the obligatory ice level in so many platformers-except all the time.
It doesn't help that the dash has this same momentum without a very different looking animation, just the trail, plus how difficult walljumps are without initially jumping towards the wall(which makes it very hard to get distance out of a walljump).

Honestly, I think I'd like it most if there was no sideways momentum-you stop pressing a direction, you stop moving in it completely. You switch directions, your character switches directions immediately, without losing speed. (plus a little cling time to walls once the button is released so you can switch from pressing left to slide to pressing right in preparation for a jump away from the wall more easily.)
Again, this is stuff I've become used to through playing other action platformers, but it's so engrained that it feels very strange any other way, and I think that probably goes for a lot of people who play these sorts of games. And I think the more tight control you give to the player over their character, the more you can throw at them, since if they can maneuver and change directions more quickly, they basically are able to deal with crazier attack patterns.
I get it if a change like that throws what you're going for off too much, but I think it's worth trying out at least.
Kuma  [developer] Mar 13, 2013 @ 11:25pm 
Belgian Vodka Bear: from one bear to another, your name is awesome. I'm not Auston, but I'll try to talk with you about what you've been running into. One of the particularly useful things about the dash is that is allows instantaneous reversal, as opposed to using momentum. It seems like you feel the opposite is happening. I have two pieces of gameplay advice for you. If you want to reverse direction immediately, hit the dash button and the reverse direction. If you want to reverse directions in midair, jump off a wall after hitting dash - you can immediately change direction and pull of some pretty sweet dodges.

I just tested dash in the live build - if it isn't working like that for you, please let us know because that's a major issue and Auston will want to fix it. To play with the mechanics of dash, I recommend dashing around the first level while the boss doesn't shoot at you.

As far as walljumping is concerned, dash jumping onto the wall is useful for height, pressing (not jumping!) off the wall is a quick way to fall and rapid tap jumping while pressing towards the wall is a quick way to ascend. If you dash jump correctly, at the right height, you can go wall to wall, or hit the midscreen and return to your start position.

I can't help you on anything technical - my mind explodes when I look at the code because it's so far past what I can do. However, I want to know what your problems and techniques are, plus how far you are getting - I'll put you on the temp scoreboards :)

Thanks tons for the feedback and for playing our game!
hed egg Mar 14, 2013 @ 1:47pm 
I've gotten up to 14 as of yesterday. I've just been boosting bullet damage up to 5 before anything else, and then focusing on health. I noticed that the first few times I played, I got done in by pipe bombs and other explosives, but now it's pretty much always the slow bullets after their damage scales up a ton.

The dash works fine for me like that, but it still feels awkward to slide when switching directions normally, and there are situations where I want to switch directions but don't want to dash because it could send me into projectiles.
Also I don't usually have trouble with walljumping, but it feels kinda strange. Again, these are probably largely personal taste things since I've spent a huge chunk of time playing Megaman Zero and such.

By the way, a couple times when I've gotten to 11+ or so the boss has started using diagonal or straight up versions of the big charge beam, which seems... strange, since they're if anything easier to avoid than the normal, horizontal version which shows up earlier.
Last edited by hed egg; Mar 14, 2013 @ 1:47pm
Zaimad Mar 14, 2013 @ 3:51pm 
I understand your feelings about dash all too well, Vodka Bear. I also had the same troubles adjusting to the system.

But let me tell you that those "seemingly easy to dodge" diagonal and straight up/down versions of the charge beam are no joke when the boss starts doing them while moving and you have other active boss traps to dodge.
Kuma  [developer] Mar 14, 2013 @ 11:03pm 
Yeah, some of the AI patterns are a little strange - probably because the patterns aren't patterns at all, merely options that are contextually defined by the screen interface - the AI isn't actively adjusting to you, it is checking your progress on a level and then adjusting its options for the next level, kinda. Auston will explain it better. Just think of it this way - some of the really big things get tested out for display purposes before the boss seriously uses them against you.

I appreciate the feedback on the controls and we will talk about adjusting them - who knows, maybe we will do a full design test on that. No promises though, I don't do the code :)
TOO DX  [developer] Mar 17, 2013 @ 8:53pm 
I do write the code. Things are totally wack. The progression isn't too smooth, and the boss doesn't pay enough attention to the subtleties of how different players play. I've been tossing around ideas on how to make the boss more responsive, and evolve at better pacing.
ilikepie3333343546576879NPoRM4lG Mar 23, 2013 @ 10:45am 
I would really like it if I could shoot with my mouse. Also on a comment in Nothernlions's video some guy said "Upgrading damage is a trap. Bosses adapt to you, so if you upgrade damage more often, they'll increase their health more often, and in the end the later bosses will be longer to take out (and you'll have less health). You should only upgrade damage once in a while." Not sure if true or not.
Kuma  [developer] Mar 23, 2013 @ 12:07pm 
Hey ilikepie.... f it, no offense, your name is now officially ILP for the sake of my poor semi-damaged fingers. First off, ILP, thanks for playing. I've been busy for a while with other things but I'm getting back into the swing of it. Are you looking for a fire on mouse click feature? A way to map to your mouse? I'm not sure we can do it easily (everything is possible is my motto) and I'm not sure we could stop it at just l-click to fire, r-click to jump... personally I would get confused as hell. I'll ask Auston, when he gets back from PAX, if this is doable.

Also, thanks for pointing out that comment. I indirectly replied to it but I'll say it again here: that is both true and false, just like the idea that getting health ups means that he will get stronger faster. I don't want to give away all of the details, because that's no fun, but dmg isn't necessarily a trap. A balanced approach is usually best however :)

Thanks for the feedback ILP!
Zaimad Mar 23, 2013 @ 3:34pm 
I think ILP means "make it aimable with the mouse, so you can shoot it from where you are in any direction you want". To which, if that's the case, I would ask: please don't do that, or even consider it. There'd be no point in trying to skillfully dodge things if you can just aim for the boss from anywhere: the challenge of hitting him is fine as it is, and with mouse aiming it would be a matter of how how fast you react and aim to maximize damage (and thus survive "better" by moving on to further levels by minimizing your time exposure to damage).

Of course, if my interpretation of what ILP said is wrong, please disregard this entire comment.
Team Magma Kagari Aug 8 @ 7:20pm 
Some things I've thought about that could be added to the game for a while are
1) Possibly more stats to be increased (Possibly movement speed)

2) An Anti-Recovery run that locks the restore 33% HP function

3)Some sort of VS. mode (Bro-Off for a name suggestion) where rather than working together with a friend, You see who can survive longest & defeat the most bosses

4) Alternate colour schemes (Like being able to use Fro Bro's colour scheme on Bro #2 & vice versa)
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