I saw this on greenlight (voted NO....actually That's a joke, I voted Yes lol)
This is a great little game, I highly recommend it to people who like this kind of puzzle/platformer genre.
The goal is simplistic and the game is intuitive, and if the price is right Ill probably go pick it up on steam today :-)
Please keep in mind that I write this review as someone who knows that you want to make commercial games
take the criticism to heart, and please. Don't write me back with a pile of excuses. For your sake.
Let's start with the easy stuff brotha
Naming and Search Engine Optimizing - SEO**************************************************************************
1) You may not have considered how easy the game would be to find, but if I google it by title, I can't find your game, not unless I type in your name, or business name along side it.
POINT>Putting hyphens into titles is also not a good idea
Even if I search through new grounds…. especially if I search through new grounds, your game is among the last results.
POINT > Offering images also helps SEOing (Im no expert mind you) So post images on Newgrounds, Deviant art, etc.
POINT > Offer a video walkthrough on your game. The only video I could find was a 50 second trailer showing 20 seconds of gameplay.
Take for example 'Lil Red Kunoichi' if you google it, you will find it right away. Image results and everything
You need to make a name that is both descriptive and unique, but doesn't leave false impressions either.
I initially thought based on the name that "B-lock" was a puzzle game
1)The design is a little inconsistent, the tone of the opening narration didn't really gel with the rest of the game's tone.
The broody and somewhat 'dark' nature of the opening meeting the more goofy nature of the gameplay, just gives me tone whiplash.
2)Going back to me thinking that B-lock would be a puzzle game, that actually makes more sense to me. Given the story aspect about it being a micro lock pick. Obviously Im not saying to abandon what you've designed, Im just thinking that maybe for this particular story, a puzzle game would make more sense.
Character design -********************************************************************************************
1) Not a whole lot of personality here, The black crow was of course more interesting to me than this robot guy, but I will say that a ball with legs…. maybe spend some more time at the drawing board.
2)Games like this really ought to have a lot of colourful graphics and personality.
Game design ******************************************************************************************
POINT>I really recommend you play Super Meat boy, notice how tight the controls are, and yet a person who has played for more than 5 minutes is able to make highly precise jumps.
Now Im not saying that this game was meant to compete with the likes of SMB, but this game suffers from very sensitive controls. I can tell that the character movements are tied to a static variable. In other words you press left or right, and B lock moves at a consistent speed.
POINT>Id recommend having some level of acceleration and speed build up.
Like instead of him moving x number of pixels 30 for times a second, where x is consistent 10, make x reliant on a number of factors.
POINT>If you notice in Mario, Meatboy, and indeed most platformers, the player characters movements are tied to dynamic variables.
POINT> The Dash by the way feels rather inconsistent, I get that you're going for hard, but the dash being one of the central mechanics is problematic.
I don't think the idea is bad, I just think that the dash could be tweaked some and tightened a little bit.
The movement is very sudden and unpredictable I found.
Level Design ***************************************************************
1)A lot of folks use 'retro' as an excuse for cheap level design, but doing this can stifle your growth as a game designer.
Cosmic Sky, most of the obstacles appear out of no where and I have little time to react.
Human reaction time on average is about 0.25 seconds, but can take longer when you factor in how long it takes for your brain to send a signal to the fingers and also take into account poor controls (we'll get to that in a minute)
My recommendation is to record yourself testing the level, if the player has less than 0.25 seconds between when the obstacle appears and when the player is expected to react, then please, in the future, make adjustments.
POINT>The player needs to feel like it is the player's fault, not the games
POINT>You're a megaman fan, right? Watch the Sequelitis on Megaman, esp the part where Erin talks about how the levels teach you, with the level design.
To sum it up, Spikes are put in cheap places, and so are saws and spring boards.
POINT> You have a habit of having saws behind blocks that the player is expected to 'dash' through. Spikes on ceilings above spring boards, and the worst thing is that the spikes only give you about 0.15 seconds to react, but you can't really react because the controls are too touchy!!!!
Graphically, you need to work on contrasting the objects of interest from the BG, The saws don't have a black outline, just a dark grey one.
Well in world 2 sometimes that greyness blends in with the bg.
You should highlight the edge of the saws, and the points of the spikes.
Again Make the player feel like it's their fault, not yours.
Keyboard lay out and controls**********************************************
1 - This is a keyboard controlled game, you should give the player the option to navigate the menu with the keyboard.
2 - you press D to dash, but up or space to jump. Why didn't you also program the A, or S key to also jump?
I can get used to the up key, but it does feel unnatural, and having my thumb on the space with my index finger on the D is also not very comfortable.
I made a lot of mistakes with Marly in terms of controls, Please check it out, and hopefully you can learn from the whole thing like I did.
3 - I noticed that you can press R to reset the level, but only from the game screen. IF you die, you have to take your
hand off of the keyboard, move it to the mouse, and click retry. OR you can press space, but you didn't really convey that to the player...
Im not sure if that was an oversight or what, but please have the option to reset by pressing R on the game over screen as well.
POINT> I don't feel like a whole lot of thought was put into how the player interacts with the game
even just an extra day of play testing and note taking can help with this.
The music was catchy, but not entirely suitable to the gameplay. The menu music was suitable enough though.
This takes me back to Santas shoot out, and from our experience together back then, I know that you're hell bent on using EliteFerrex's work
EliteFerrex looks like he/she can do more than megaman wannabe music. He/she seems very capable in fact.
Why not branch out from the Chip tune stuff?
The visuals of the game appear to be high resolution, or even vectors. It doesn't really seem to match with music, with the music being more suitable to a 16 bit system/visuals
I really recommend that you expand your horizons a little bit bud.
Moving on to B-lock part 2****************************************
OK , the elephant in the room.
Battle turtle, Diggz, Protect the king, and Now Block.
You seem to make your games to big for their own boots. Seeing as you were hyping Battle turtle 2 since Diggz (another poorly SEO'ed game) came out.
Your games take a very long time to produce, and I am not sure why.
Today, CosmicSkygames.com is no longer operational, Im not sure why, are you guys changing names or something?
I will say that from being familiar with Protect the king (You've been working on since 2013 at least)
Battle turtle 2 (You've been trying to get off the ground since at least 2012)
and by the fact that B-locks very title screen indicates that a B-lock 2 will come out (and that was almost a year ago)
That you may have too many irons in one fire.
OBSERVATION>> I noticed that you bought a booth at comic con to advertise B-lock, and I don't understand why, for the life of me.
It's not a commercial game bro. IF you were relying on ad revenue, then I highly suggest learning how to name your projects
because literally every game you've made is impossible to find via google without typing very specific keywords.
Battle Turtle, Diggz, B-lock are your biggest names, and google can't find them without us first typing your company name next to them.
Thats a problem. even typing 'Battle Turtle Game" Gets me teenaged mutant ninja turtles.
So I am concerned, what exactly was your plan to make money?
It appears as those each game, is just to advertise Battle turtle 2. A game your tried to kickstart 3 years ago.
But you still have not made any gameplay footy or anything for BT2.
In fact, it seems more as though that you prefer to abandon projects, than complete them.
Im not saying that this is the fact of the matter, but what anyone who pays attention to your games would think.
POINT> A game like B-lock in particular shouldn't take more than 2 weeks for 1 person to design by themselves.
This game has 4 names attached to it, but from all we can tell took a over a year.
The game play I saw of Protect the king, shouldn't take more than 3 months for a pro to make.
And Battle turtle 2… I reckon from what you described on your kick-starter, really should be doable in a week.
These are commercial standards of course..
but the emphasis of my point is, I dunno if you can do this commercially.
Alrighty, That just about wraps it up.
Happy Holidays to you folks at Cosmic Sky Games
Like I said way up in the beginning, I reviewed this game with the fact that you want to produce commercial games in mind.
As an amateurish endeavour, this was a fine game, 3/5
But you got to address at least 80% of the problems I listed above before you make a product that you could sell and be making a decent profit.
PS - I get the impression that you found your own game, a paint to play. You're trailer has 25 seconds of gameplay footage…. LOL so I am to believe that you couldn't be bothered to play for more than maybe a minute or 2 to making your trailer….
To date, No walkthrough is available either.
Come on guys!
Usually I wouldn't respond to something like this, however you have a lot of nerve. As a former partner I don't see why you would take the time (which has to be over an hour or 2 ) to type up this hatefest, then give me almost 4 stars on a game that I released nearly a year ago. When I go to Comic Con, my business choices, and whats wrong with my webpage should be of no concern to you. We had other plans for Comic Con but things came up. You don't understand. I really struggled to even go, it was a learning experience that I don't regret. I have never bashed your games or ripped one of your games apart. I make games as a hobby and learn more every time I create one. Regardless of what you say, my games have heart, love, and a lot of thought put into them. Last I checked you have a kickstarter 7 days away from failing, maybe you should spend more time promoting that (considering I didn't even know about it till now and we have made a game together). Worry about yourself bro.
Im not sure if its me, but the game is very slow and non responsive I think the idea could be very fun.
I did give this a shot on firefox and chrome, and made sure to close out other tabs.
The game feels consistently sluggish.
Ive accidentally altered the framerate in my games in the past without realizing. Double check the frame rate, otherwise Im not sure what would make it so sluggish.
It's too bad I cannot review more than once I would love to play this game at its full potential
If it's just me experiencing the slowness, then by all means ignore what I said above :)
a few things
1) Increase the firing rate of the pistol. I can get out about 1 shot every 3 or 4 seconds. That is really slow... a shot ever 1/2 second would feel much better.
2) Im not sure if choosing to go with pixelated graphics is wise for this type of game. The game handles like a flash game (mouse and keyboard) and the graphics to me, dont really match the feel of the game. Using 8 bit era graphics would probably work best with games modelled after classic platformers.
3) I like the music a lot, but when combined with the aforementioned pace issue, it doesnt really work for me.
All in all, I would normally only rate this a 2.5/5 but didnt want to hurt the overall average.
In the future Id be more than happy to beta test games. Of course what I said is all subjective
I hope to see more games in the future from you!
I really like the character design, but the be honest I am with 'ThreeSoulsOneMirror'
None of us are perfect and Im fully aware that Ive committed these game design sins in the past too, but heres a few things I think should be tweaked.
The run animation is pretty good, but the jump feels very stiff to me. The Y axis of the camera isnt very good and that is evident from early on especially when descending it doesnt follow the crocodile very well
I love platformers but isnt the goal of collect the coins a bit old? Im probably not the demographic this is aimed towards since the game frequently complements you lol
The difficulty curve is pretty shallow so Like I said Design wise I wont criticize.
I will express my concern that using Jungle Japes theme music from DKC could present a minor problem, I highly doubt it would result in any trouble but I thought that Id point it out.
Some of the medals do not seem to work
I hope you can get the medal issue resolved, otherwise it is a nice little game
I saw this newly submitted game and really wanted to play it.
I checked a number of times and it doesnt seem to load. Oddly enough, when I right click, it looks like my computer is treating this game as an image file. What kind of game is it? flash, html5?
Im not really sure what's happening. But I hope you resolve the issue soon :)
Sorry the game resolution was set wrongly... it had to be vertical instead of horizontal :P
It's working now.
It's a HTML5 game by the way.
Alright this is a long one, because I have strong feelings on the subject.
If you're kind enough to read it, I appreciate it and Im just commenting as an outsider with the best of intentions. Keep that in mind please.
To be honest this game seems to get ragged on too much for "being politically driven"
Well I dont see any agenda being outrightly PUSHED here and honestly Id like to put any message the game may be trying to drive (or not trying to drive) aside. (for now)
but Ill get to the so called political aspect in a minute.
to be to the point, objectively, this game could use a Pause and Mute feature, if it has one, I didnt see it lol... but im thick headed sometimes and cannot see things in plain site sometimes. OH! and perhaps a less bleak atmosphere, the character's handicapped, not Fucking dead…right?
Being disabled in anyway isnt exactly fun, (or at least for what I imagine) and I only played through a dozen or so levels so forgive me please if this comes off as harsh, but the game isnt very fun.
but hey it was made in 3 days so I cannot be angry about it, I just didnt personally enjoy it.
Normally games provide you with extraordinary abilities, not the uh opposite lol.
Which is why I think this gets a fair amount of negativity. It's deserved...
Try not to get too upset, Im aware you worked hard on this. and this isn't a personal attack:
I do wanna address one thing just because I read some of your replies to other reviews.
TBH I do smell a hint of a political message. in line with what I said earlier, I dont believe you should be ragged on for it, nor do I think youre slamming it (pushing it ) into our faces.
But because this is trying to convey a somewhat social message, pulling the political card is certainly justified. Since your description explicitly says "The game is potentially very unfair, especially with certain disabilities, but I think that fits the message of the game well." it is ABSOLUTELY political in that regard.
Looking at your reply to Direwolf84
I feel as though you completely missed the meat of his/her comment. which I personally thought I should point out, it makes you look a bit like a dick with a superiority complex.
Seeing as he/she mentioned being disabled (not sure if they're being honest or not) it seems like their feedback maybe worth more than what you discounted it as.
We can debate game theory, but you have to understand that when you put a message (no matter how deep or meaningful it might be for you) People are going to get upset, you're gonna step on toes
and you should try to be a little less smug in the future, at least if you plan on making more games like this. If you wanna make "Super Pee Man" or some sort of humourous game, then by all means be a dick.
I mean Im calling the kettle black here, in some regards, but still...
It beckons the question if you are disabled, or you took the feedback of disabled people when making this game. I know nothing about you, But for some reason Im under the impression that you're probably an able bodied person(You're at least capable of making a game)… and that you didn't take the feelings of disabled people into account. But that's just my assumption I could be completely wrong.
But Im certainly not the only person who feels this way.
I also have to ask this, how would this benefit those with disabilities in anyway?
Yes, this question is relevant, you don't have to answer it, just please give it strong consideration next time you try to represent a group of people.
Anyways ,Point is
Dont step on toes and expect people to not be at least a little upset.
The game is a 6.0/10
Nothing unique, special or out of the ordinary for a game.
If you're trying to be artistic, well you succeeded in some regard, I just don't see how you could portray being "disabled" as such a bleak thing. Intentional or not. Disabled people go through hardships I couldn't even imagine, so Im trying not to overstep my bounds. BUT
I would honestly be insulted by this if I were physically disabled.
But Im pretty able bodied so I cannot honestly Chastise your message.
but if (emphasis on IF) you didn't take into account how people with disabilities may feel than you have no moral right to portray such a message either.
As a game, I think it's poorly designed, but that is subjective.
Ive just seen way too many platformers with the same bare bones control scheme and the same platform/obstacle designs time and time again.
If this game had a different title you'd probably get less irate feedback.
But this is the route you chose, stand by it and continue to make games.
this game is good quality for being a product of 72 hours ;)
I hope to see more from you.
PS you can give me a smug reply if you want, but it wont help
I'm not trying to be smug in my replies. If I do come across that way, it's probably just me being defensive in reaction to nonconstructive things said to intentionally make me sad or angry, or posts laced with swearing. Like, I'm not used to hoards of anonymous people being jerks to me in reviews or sending me nasty personal messages, and I don't think it's useful at all since it just steals attention away from any legitimate points and makes me feel crummy. Right now I'm trying to learn how to separate bullshit from the useful stuff and not care much about the former.
Is my definition of "political message" incorrect? I'm fairly sure that a political message would be related to government. If I were advocating some sort of political position or legislation, like if this were a gun control or anti-war game, then I'd understand the label, but in this case I legitimately don't. I do agree that this is a social message, however. If this is just an issue of definition, then it's probably not important.
I try to take most everything that's said about my work into consideration. I do however dismiss when people say that games should be forms of escapism or time wasters. That's just a fundamental disagreement in regards to game theory.
I agree that a lot more thought should have gone into how my message was conveyed, and what message I should have tried to convey. Every aspect of the game should have been questioned in regards to how it aids the message. It also would have been good to do research and talk with disabled people. And I should have had less messages and more focus in general. Perhaps I should have expressed this in my response to Direwolf.
However, I do think this game did more good than harm, otherwise I don't think I'd keep it up.
The bleak setting wasn't meant to represent what being disabled is like, but simply what being rejected by humanity is like. If the character were accepted, he/she wouldn't have been sent to such a bleak place.
In the 72 hours I worked on this game, I made a lot of mistakes, but I'm going to try and sincerely learn from those mistakes. I want to make the best games I can.
Thanks for the review, and happy holidays to you as well.
This is a cool idea but a rather insubstantial game imho.
But I mean for a game to kill a bit of time I suppose it's okay. Could use some music and the over all pace is pretty boring and non engaging it might be some for some but not this fellow.
Some suggestions (Yes I know this is a 72 hour game jam but it was made by 5 people)
1)Have an indicator to show where the arrow is when it is off screen.
2) occasionally the arrow disappears so for future instalments I hope that is fixed.
3) the controls are very stiff,
You may already know this, but...one of the things you can do is make here move with a specific value (for me I use "XV" as the variable) where xv becomes a higher and higher positive number when the right arrow is pushed, and a lower and lower number when the left arrow is pushed limiting at between -7 and +7. and have the player's movements based off that value, where +7 makes the player move to the right at max speed. it makes a huge difference :)
4) back to the music. The repeating wind loop kinda makes things a little more boring :( Just thought Id mention it.
5) this is pretty standard nowadays but have the M key mute all audio, the P key pause and the R key reset.
I know this is pretty standoffish for my review on a 72 hour project, but given the 5 people you had working on it so I can hardly see why these weren't put in, I guess a slip of the mind.
Really though the this is just how I felt It doesnt mean its a bad game though
and I hope to see a more fast paced version of this game, its a good idea!
Interesting concept but Id hate to say it, it's been done to death.
Of course Im not saying you dont have the right to try for yourself though
Officially I would give this a 2/5 but Im giving it a 3 because speaking honestly there is nothing wrong with this game, artistically it sure is slaking though and this is not appealing to the ears either lol
So heres where I get constructive, put in a darn tutorial!
As a game :
It was pretty quick to figure out, but having a ' click to play ' on a keyboard based game with no further instructions is baffling. Perhaps have a push any key prompt instead of click
the controls are really stiff, perhaps you can add a momentum mechanic for this one to try and separate it from the others and instead of complicated jumping puzzles you can have essentially identical lay outs top and bottom, but have minor differences to keep your mind ticking. just a thought
Actually on that subject, Im a bit of a numbskull (like many other people likely to play this game), I got through the first few levels fine, but the 2nd one was a little frustrating perhaps a more gentle curve, but it could also be because the levels are kinda bleak...
I know as the dev you might not notice the frustration factor, I personally tend to make games that are too hard for the layman myself. and your score average can suffer because of that.
The grayscale is my only other nitpick, using sepia tones and value scales artistically is fine, but here I really feel as if there is absolutely no reason to play, visually it's not pleasing. I know it sounds a little out of place on a flash game to say this, but seriously, no collectables, nothing too interesting in the puzzle department and no real surprising or striking levels to look forward to, it's just bleak Lol
Like I said nothing really WRONG here, As a game on its own it is overall unambitious and unimpressive.*************************************************
With that said, I dunno where you stand in terms of experience, so I mean if this is your first going at it, bravo in that sense this is excellent :)
and on the bright side you got Front paged, not everyone can pull that off so kudos.
The trade off on being front paged is you will be more subjugated to negativity so don't let the negativity get to you. and if this is just meant to be a learning tool, it is a decent foundation for people to build from.
This sure as hell doesnt deserve a 0 vote, come on guys, this is a free game and since the source is open, i would say its more of a learning tool. vote on it in that regards
Hope What I said helps!
On the plus side, the animations are smooth and generally enjoyable and the physics are strong.
Presentation wise, the graphic design is relatively good, more than what you would expect from a typical stick combat type game.
There appears to be a glitch however, the first stage I was playing had an inverted filter on, which I cannot help but think was a script error. Basically, all of the colors are inverted.
In all honestly, I think this game would be superb if you ditched the whole stick figure thing, I know it is the schtick of the game, but I think it harms what could be a fun experience.
Of course, rendering fully animated characters will take time, which isnt always a available for us.
Still I think this would be awesomer', but again that is my humble opinion. :)
I recommend looking into the color inversion error I mentioned at the very least though,
It definitely made me a little sick after a few minutes.d
I like the family guy
though I dont like sound boards , but to be fair this was a half decent one I hope it doesn't get blammed or any crappy reviews
good luck with any future flash projects
it does have crappy reviews but its passing! ty man!
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