koobazaur

RELEASED: GATHER, Crappy game about leading minions & harvesting sacrifice for Gods

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Hey folks, wanted to share my upcoming Free HTML5 experimental game project GATHER you can now Follow On GameJolt!

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Discover the world, lead your minions, learn their language, and harvest sacrifice for the Gods. Free isometric adventure and exploration game set in an esoteric land.

You control a Wraith sent to the idyllic land and must learn the rules of the world on your own. Powerless to affect the material realm, you must find arcane words to command and grow your minions, gather various items and discovering their use. The Krewski god demands sacrifice - but of what kind? And how will you appease them?


Release Date: August 13

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Thanks :) And third Phaser game, actually. Just been diving into HTML5 and making little design experiments after working on bigger things. Previously used Unity and my own engine before that, but figured I'd try web browser for ease of distribution if all I really want is feedback.

And today, got my procedurally generated foliage with easy weights for grass/trees/rocks so I can adjust how my game world feels, woot!

 

gather-03-decor.1.jpg

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Thanks! Might do some beta testing before I release a build on the GameJolt community :) You can check out my previous one CRAVEN right here! The first was just a crappy flappy bird clone used to learn phaser, so I'll spare you that ;p

Also,wrote a little backstory lore for the game :)Read the full thing on the GameJolt page! Here's the intro: 

You are one day old


You have no memory of the past
You have no foresight of the future
The gods made you to do their bidding
They require sacrifice

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Just wanted to share how even unrelated, esoteric experiences can inspire even our geeky creations :)

Inspiration for GATHER, my latest game design experiment

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Discover the esoteric world, lead your Children, learn their language, and harvest sacrifice for the Gods. Now where did I come up with an idea for THAT?

I have recently spent two months backpacking across Europe, discovering the hidden art of Lyon, meeting strangers on trains in Finland, and having the best pizza of my life in Italy. But one of the more intriguing parts was my two week stay in Switzerland where I was taking care of two five year old children for two weeks in exchange for food and housing at a cozy family home in the middle of nowhere. And this is how it happened.

Read On ->

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Just a quick update that the game is nearly done and for the past week has been undergoing some beta testing woo :)

The opinions so far are a bit mixed. While people like the overall idea, it is clear some of the elements are a bit confusing. The feedback mostly echoes my worries, which I guess is a good sign I had the right hunch about what may be problematic.

I have already fixed a few of the biggest problems (like the interface or confusing mechanics), but some I am still not sure how to properly address. At least not without a major design overhaul of some mechanics.

I think I will proceed with release this weekend as scheduled - perhaps the pubic feedback will give some more ideas on how those issues could be amended for my future titles.

In the end, this is meant as a Design Experiment, trying a few new things to see how they work out. I feel I have learned a great bunch already, and will undoubtedly get more feedback after release. I already spent way longer on GATHER than I initially planned and am ready to move on - incorporating my lessons in the next title!

Which, by the way, I already started planning and researching. Going back to my narrative roots with something more story-centric. Will keep you guys posted! Here’s a little sneak-peek at blocking out a scene in the next title.


ZvscSIr.jpg

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GATHER is released! Learn the world, lead minions, gather resources, harvest sacrifice for the Gods! PLAY NOW


PLAY IN YOUR BROWSER NOW!

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From the testing I’ve done, I already know it’s not as good as I hoped. But that is the point of a design experiment - to learn what works and what doesn’t. I definitely got a few valuable lessons from this project.

Hope you enjoy :)

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The biggest failing, and most valuable lesson is now clear. I hoped to evoke a sense of wonder to make the players experiment and learn via trial and error only using non-verbal communication panels (deliberate design limitation). Clearly, this didn't work and ended up confusing / frustrating players. Instead of wanting to discover the world and its mechanics, they felt aimless.

However, I am not sure if it's a problem of initial motivation, not making the mechanics engaging/rewarding in themselves (like in other sandbox games), or simply needing to spell out things more clearly. Any thoughts on that?

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13 hours ago, koobazaur said:

However, I am not sure if it's a problem of initial motivation, not making the mechanics engaging/rewarding in themselves (like in other sandbox games), or simply needing to spell out things more clearly. Any thoughts on that?

I tried to play the game a little and I felt it was unclear what my goal was. Once I knew that I could create new minions it became more interesting.

My biggest annoyance and frustration came from not being able to control my minions as much as I wanted. Commanding the minions is an important part of the core-loop. If the act of commanding frustrated every time I wanted them to do something specific then the entire experience is afflicted with that frustration. I did not understand why they were picking up and dropping items seemingly at random 3 seconds or so after I commanded them to do something.

The command combinations did not help because their seemingly random behavior of picking stuff up and dropping stuff took away from the feeling like my commands were working. I think the command keys would be fine if the minions could be controlled better.

Otherwise a very cool game 

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On 8/14/2016 at 1:52 PM, koobazaur said:

However, I am not sure if it's a problem of initial motivation, not making the mechanics engaging/rewarding in themselves (like in other sandbox games), or simply needing to spell out things more clearly. Any thoughts on that?

I think that the main problem is being dropped in the world with nothing really to do. I played the game for a couple of minutes, and nothing attacked/threatened the player or gave any reason to explore or look around. The goal is confusing and I think it's because there's nothing very obvious to prevent or cause.

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