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Author Topic: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run  (Read 95832 times)

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Ixrec

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #45 on: October 03, 2013, 09:41:11 pm »
Having the jump key change depending on what you're doing seems less intuitive than having it be the same key all the time (even if that key is F).  You're probably overthinking this.

Oldie

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2013, 10:58:22 pm »
I got past that difficult jump in 1-1, then completed 1-2 and 1-3, but gave up in 1-4 at that double-rope part after 100 tries. :-\
The game sure is challenging. What I miss most is the faculty to run, because it feels a little slow...
I must say the music is nice, especially in 1-3!

I think customizable keybinds would solve everyone's problems with the 'f' vs 'space' for jumping.
This is precisely implemented in the SFML Game Development Book! :P

Or maybe I am just spoiled on the way mario jumps/climbs with the same key  ::)  It would sure make jumping and grabbing a rope to be much easier if it could all happen with a single key.
Unless I am seriously mistaken, Mario jumps with one fire button and grabs a rope with the up-arrow.
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Nexus

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #47 on: October 03, 2013, 11:27:25 pm »
Thanks for all the feedback! Nice to hear some people actually play it :)

Having the jump key change depending on what you're doing seems less intuitive than having it be the same key all the time (even if that key is F).  You're probably overthinking this.
I agree, I don't think mixing climb up and jump is a good idea.

This is precisely implemented in the SFML Game Development Book! :P
And as an author, I don't even have an excuse :D

Since this seems to be a requested feature, I'll see if I once find the time to implement custom key bindings.

I got past that difficult jump in 1-1, then completed 1-2 and 1-3, but gave up in 1-4 at that double-rope part after 100 tries. :-\
Apparently ropes are still quite challenging ;) if you read the beginning of this thread, you'll see that already other people had problems, as a result of which I simplified the mechanism. But I can't make it too easy, later you'll have to swing over blazing lava, where you can't afford any mistakes! :D

In this particular scenario from level 1-4, you should go to the very bottom of the rope (note that not the whole body must cling to it in order to hold), and then jump to the right. A mistake I've seen at some friends is that they press the right arrow before F, thus Zloxx leaves the rope and can't jump mid-air.

The game sure is challenging. What I miss most is the faculty to run, because it feels a little slow...
Are there level parts which are too boring because you have to walk too long (if so, which ones)? I have tried to keep it more or less interesting with either enemies or platforming elements, or at least a beautiful scenery :P
Zloxx II: action platformer
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Ixrec

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #48 on: October 03, 2013, 11:39:50 pm »
I almost requested a run feature myself in earlier posts, though as I got farther in there were fewer parts that were boring due to lack of running (eg, walking left for 10 seconds to get a coin, then walking right for 10 seconds to get back to where I was) and more parts where the level design would clearly be broken if running was an option (eg, in 1-3 there's a one-square high corridor with arrows flying at you which would be way too easy with running).  So I'm honestly not sure what the solution is.

For ropes, I do think it'd be nice if the collision box was a little bit wider, since there were many times I just tapped left or right and started falling off without meaning too, and when catching a rope it's really easy to catch it for just a split second then fall off the other side.  Otherwise I think it was just fine.

I'll play some more levels later to make sure the whole thing is beatable, since it seems like I'm the only one who never gets stuck =P

Oldie

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2013, 12:03:53 am »
Apparently ropes are still quite challenging ;) if you read the beginning of this thread, you'll see that already other people had problems, as a result of which I simplified the mechanism. But I can't make it too easy, later you'll have to swing over blazing lava, where you can't afford any mistakes! :D

In this particular scenario from level 1-4, you should go to the very bottom of the rope (note that not the whole body must cling to it in order to hold), and then jump to the right. A mistake I've seen at some friends is that they press the right arrow before F, thus Zloxx leaves the rope and can't jump mid-air.
I must have tried every combination of position and action but the right one.

Quote
Are there level parts which are too boring because you have to walk too long (if so, which ones)? I have tried to keep it more or less interesting with either enemies or platforming elements, or at least a beautiful scenery :P
Agree with Ixrec just above.

It is probably very difficult to find the perfect balance between gameplay and player input. For example, ropes are already difficult just by themselves, and even more when combined with the need to perform a pixel-perfect, pressing-perfect jump to the next platform. Such movement should be easily learned because it is not fun to retry that so many times. :P
But from what I hear, the global gameplay revolves around very precise movement, so maybe this is the point of the game: to make us suffer? ;)
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Ixrec

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2013, 12:17:07 am »
In 1-4, there were a lot of blind falls (ie you couldn't see far enough down to tell if the fall was safe) which is always very bad in a platformer.  The arrow sprite also felt far too small, as there were a number of times when I only barely saw it in time to avoid it.  Before I always saw the shooters before the arrows so I didn't have that problem.

2-1 seemed fine, though I have no idea how to get to the "treasure."

2-2 is a massive pain in the ass.  I'm not sure I can pin down why exactly but I just die way too quickly and easily and have to redo everything over and over.  And not in a fun way.
Oh, and the spikes were also too tiny.  Even though I read the sign I didn't see them on the pterodactyl until after I got hurt falling on it.

I should mention that aside from the weapons thing (which are still pretty useless btw), there seem to be quite a few places in Zloxx where a jump feels like it's pixel-perfect, even when it's not (that one people got stuck on in 1-1 is a perfect example; the margin for success should be more than a couple pixels), and that contributes to a general sense that I'm not as in control of the platforming as I should be.  The occasional places where I just can't see far enough down or to the side to decide where to go aren't helping either (that's part of the reason I'm only halfway through 2-2 still).

Edit:
2-3 is also pretty frustrating though definitely not as bad as 2-2.  I still find myself constantly repeating things I've already done because I die far too quickly in parts of the map I haven't memorized yet.  On the plus side, I finally had a reason to use weapons because of the fireball-spitting enemies, but I definitely stand by what I said above about always forgetting which button is which weapon.  I think I'll stop here for now.

P.S. For the record I'm a huge fan of N - Way of the Ninja so I'm no stranger to tough platformers.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 12:40:38 am by Ixrec »

Nexus

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #51 on: October 04, 2013, 12:50:16 am »
Okay, I wasn't aware the gameplay is experienced as such a pixel-perfect/precise movement. The jumping on platforms itself is rather easy in comparison with other jump'n'runs, because tiles are big and there is no acceleration or friction. However, I see that special elements such as ropes or variable jump heights can make things more difficult. I'll probably have to find a good trade-off here; I don't want to simplify too much either. When playing myself, I rarely struggle with those mechanics, so it's probably really a matter of practice. But I might have to make this less frustrating to learn.

In level 2-2, you simply have to go to the top. Sometimes there are several paths (e.g. you can choose a detour to collect more stuff), and the jetpack also offers the possibility to shortcut parts. There are also some arrows to direct you, but it's possible that there are still ambiguities. But then again, most of the levels are very linear, some people don't like that either (but you'll enjoy 3-4 with even more possibilities ;)).

Since you've read the sign about enemies with spikes, why didn't you watch out carefully (especially because the enemies are right next to it)? :P

The blind falls can indeed be fixed.
Zloxx II: action platformer
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Ixrec

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #52 on: October 04, 2013, 01:08:57 am »
Well, I was watching, but I still didn't see the spikes on that enemy until it was too late because they were just too small.

I'm fine with linearity.  I never said I was getting lost (though I never did find any detours).  It was very obvious the general direction was up.  The problem was that I just died and had to redo things way too often.  The visibility problem I was referring to was a couple of blind jumps, and one place where disappearing platforms forced me to keep moving left right into a set of spikes which I'm convinced are unavoidable (if I slow down to wait the platform I'm on will just vanish), so I had to have more than 1 health when I got to that spot.

The jumping thing isn't a matter of learning curve, it's that there are quite a few jumps where the margin of error is only a few pixels instead of a full tile.  Precisely because the physics are so simple I know it's the actual jumps and not me executing them badly.  And most of these have nothing to do with variable jump height (after 1-1 I've never needed low jumps except for dodging projectiles), though a few of them did involve ropes.

Ixrec

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2013, 02:18:34 am »
2-4 was pretty good, but mostly because one of the checkpoints was right under a ? with an extra life, so I got infinite retries from that point, hence far less tedium and frustration than the rest of world 2.

Honestly, I think you should just scrap the lives system entirely.  imo that's an outdated system that only made sense back when games were in the arcade and deliberately designed to be frustrating so as to get more quarters out of you.  Forcing people to redo the first half of a level because they died too many times in the second half just adds tedium, not difficulty (though bonuses for dying less are fine of course).

Edit:
3-1 actually fun except for one very egregious blind fall from a rope that kills you if you don't know to go left.  Would've finished it in half the time if it wasn't for that cheap shot.

3-2 I thought those sharp-looking bits of foliage on the sloped ledges would hurt me so I wasted time trying to jump over them :/
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 03:56:32 am by Ixrec »

AlexAUT

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #54 on: October 06, 2013, 03:13:55 pm »
Thanks Nexus! For the great experience! I think this is the best platformer I've played in my life (yes in my opinion it beats super mario).

Feedback:

Pro:
*The music really fits every part of the game perfectly.
*Graphics, 3 different themes, all look very well.
*Options (Fullscrenn, music volume etc)
*Performance no micro laggs or something like that
*Really really good level design!
*Different kind of levels
*Difficulty(*)
*Windows and Linux (both versions worked for me)

Contra:
*Difficulty(*) Add different difficulties (Easy:5lifes, 5Healthpoint; medium: etc) (Please a no checkpoint mode  8))
*Keybindings, maybe you should implement custom bindings
*In my opinion the hitbox of the ropes are too small

@Difficulty: It's not a game for  causal-gamer. Without any 2D-platformer experience you will fail and won't be able to complete the game. But I really prefer challenging (Kroniax  ;D ). The "Massive airstrike" is so funny.

Funny fact: The hardest jump was in level1  :-[ .

AlexAUT

Nexus

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #55 on: October 07, 2013, 11:14:00 pm »
Thanks for the feedback! I like to hear it's your favorite jump'n'run, AlexAUT, I honestly haven't expected that :)
It's also nice that people enjoy the music and the graphics style, for the latter my recent improvements turn out to be worthwhile.

The opinions seem to differ quite a bit. Concerning difficulty, I definitely want to keep a challenge, but Zloxx is not supposed to be overly frustrating. My conclusion so far is that I should improve parts that require very exact handling (like the rope) and level ambiguities (like blind falls) in order to keep the fun.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 11:16:16 pm by Nexus »
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grok

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #56 on: December 29, 2014, 05:56:05 pm »
My first impressions from the game!

* it is weird not being able to change the game settings while playing. For example I decide to tune the music settings. Pressing "p", then "ESC" quits the current level and then, after we change the settings, we must start the level from the beginning. Quite annoying.

Apart from that everything is great!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 05:58:46 pm by grok »

Nexus

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Zloxx 2.3 released!
« Reply #57 on: May 08, 2015, 07:59:58 pm »
Zloxx 2.3 released

[Link to my homepage]

Once more, I've found a bit of time to work on my passionate platformer project 8)

Version 2.3 features a variety of major enhancements in gameplay, graphics and user interface. Many of them are the reaction to feedback from this thread, thanks for that!


Completely redesigned menu
Unlike the static menu with the boring brown buttons before, menus themselves are now game levels! As you switch through the different menus, you can already see a decent amount of the game's graphics and even a few enemies. Beneath a floating title, buttons are embedded into the levels. The following image shows a little excerpt. Furthermore, I added an upbeat music theme to welcome the player :)



Acceleration physics
I enhanced my physics routines to cope with acceleration. This is most noticeable for Zloxx himself: controlling him feels now much smoother and more dynamic. The acceleration also adds to the platforming challenge (it's no longer trivial to land on the right tiles or lifts). Since it takes now time to bring Zloxx up to speed, I made him move slightly faster to compensate for wide standing jumps.

Rope clinging
I decided to try a new approach regarding rope mechanics. While clinging to a rope, Zloxx moves now much slower to the right and left. This makes it considerably easier to catch ropes (too easy? ;)). On the downside, it is a bit more difficult to leave a rope to the side; but usually you jump from a rope, which works like before.

Animated scenery
Many scenery objects, such as grass, torches or volcanos are now animated. Clouds move up and down. Some tiles and scenery objects can now glow like lava or acid. This intends to give the levels a more lively feeling, while not drawing too much of the player's attention.

Improved pause menu
The in-game pause is now an actual menu with a design consistent to the other menus. It is now possible to change the settings (graphics, music, key bindings) from the game, without restarting the current level.

Key bindings
A repeated critique point was the unconventional key controls. You can now customize the keys in the options menu, even in-game.

Level-design fixes
Several blind falls, invisible ceilings and some other imperfections have been corrected. Some boring passages have been redesigned. The acceleration physics made it also necessary to adapt a few gaps and rope jumps.

Other adjustments
  • Fixed bug where holding the jump key allowed to jump repeatedly from normal ground.
  • Fixed bug where Zloxx was able to move during teleport (e.g. fall or slide from remaining acceleration).
  • Archer's arrows are now thicker and thus better visible.
  • Teleport gate's particles are now blue instead of green-blue.
  • Added a silly idle animation for Zloxx.
  • Maximum sound and music volume exploits full 100% now.
  • Fixed problem with flickering glowing tiles.
  • Fixed wrong origin calculation for sprites, leading to jittering in rare situations.
  • Score for enemies killed outside view appears now at view border.
  • Fine-tuned glow effect (not too bright).
  • Enemies no longer shoot in a synchronized way.
  • Volcano enemy shoots fireballs more often.
  • Enemies are kicked away when hit by a weapon.
  • Improved logfile messages.
  • Updated to latest SFML, Thor and Boost versions, adapted to recent changes in SFML's dependencies. (That Boost auto-link feature is a sneaky pitfall; if you use third-party libraries using Boost, be aware of that, or lose a lot of time debugging library incompatibilities).
There are still some issues with the Linux build (which I could resolve quicker if Code::Blocks had a reasonable debugger), but I'll try to release it as soon as possible.

Hope you enjoy the new features!
Zloxx II: action platformer
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Tank

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #58 on: May 08, 2015, 08:48:10 pm »
Sounds great, nice additions. I will try it, hopefully it will run through Wine. :-)

eXpl0it3r

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Re: Zloxx II - An action Jump'n'Run
« Reply #59 on: May 09, 2015, 12:43:58 am »
Oh nice, didn't expect an update here! :)

I'm not sure exactly why, but your lazy loading of the effect sounds is noticeable, i.e. when I first pickup a coin, hit an enemy, crack a box, pickup some item, get killed, lose a health point, etc. the game will freeze for 1-2s to load the sound file (I assume). After it was loaded once it won't freeze any more.

Now that we can remap the keys, it would be quite nice if the instruction texts could adjust to that or say the "default key" or something like that.

The "Rocket", "Rolling Bomb" and "Mines" keys only show up in the options after you obtain them in-game. Maybe you want them to be a "surprise"? But it's more annoying if you have to pause the game to rebind them instead of being able to to bind everything in the beginning.

Sometimes when you land on a slope while moving it can happen that the "collision" algorithm fails and you're not able to jump.

For me personally the character slides a bit too much on the ground now. It sometimes feels like you're walking on ice, but I assume that's more personal preference. It makes the labyrinth part in level 2 even more annoying and just wants to make me quit...

Maybe if I get over my frustration I'll find more points. Nice update though! :)
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