jamespierce

Endless Cave - How far can you run?

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@nagval333 thank you again for the detailed feedback! I'll fix all of it next week 👍

Honestly, I created this game with the purpose of making a YouTube series about it - and I really thought it's a "Play it 1x" game, nothing people would come back to. But now I am receiving more and more requests to implement things, like the score board. Also people have also asked for unlockable skins etc. Meanwhile, I don't want to neglect the YouTube series and creating 1 video takes a lot of my free time.

Anyways, I'll implement all the fixes as soon as I can. Should be done next week!

And thank you for testing the game, 'breaking' the game, and posting your feedback here! :D 

 

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Hi @Nagval333 I have implemented your suggestions, see below :) As always, it can take a while until you get the update in the Android App, but in the HTML5 Game the update is already live now.

 

  • Laggy achievement page when scrolling: Should be fixed. I found an old Samsung Mini Phone and it also had a laggy achievements page. Since the new fix, it's scrolling fine.
  • Pause Screen has a "Back to Menu" button now (red arrow)
  • Main Menu has a "Toggle Audio" button now. And the audio settings are saved for when you start the game again next time.
  • Ads without internet: Fixed, they don't crash anymore. If you don't have internet, they just close immediately.
Here are some screenshots showing the new changes (Main Menu + Pause Screen). Fyi: As you can see, I've been adding some other new things also: Gold Coins & Backpack. These are new features which I'm currently working on but they're not yet implemented.
menu03.thumb.png.23c6f97667ff9edbd53bcf6655149a87.pngpause01.thumb.png.1f46a5c7492f14f96a61c6b574aa60a5.png

Now the big problem is the App Icon. I've been trying to draw something new but it's verrrrrry hard for me. This is what I came up with so far haha. Anyways, I have to keep trying of course.

icon01.png.60fb164ee7c914b10f73addda0420e56.png

 

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Very Good example game, my compliments to the chef. ^_^

Tested using Chrome on MacOS Mojave.

Considering it was created as a learning example with an accompanying set of YouTube tutorial videos, I don't have any real criticisms to offer. And all meaningful constructive feedback seems to be already provided. I can only offer that it played well in the browser on my OS, and that it was easier to control using the keyboard on desktop. (Which makes perfect sense as it's meant to be a mobile game using a touch interface.)

Most of all, kudos for providing a great learning example to the HTML5 dev community, Sir.

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@ShrewdPixel Thank you so much for your encouraging words!! Personally, I also play better with the keyboard controls haha but I've had several people telling me the opposite that they find it easier on mobile using touch input. I guess it's about habits and also how much of a mobile gamer or PC gamer someone is 😊

I am really glad you find the series helpful, it's so much more work than I initially thought haha but just knowing that others find value in it is all the motivation I need! So again, thank you so much for your comment it means a lot!

Now you mentioned that you have no real criticism as the game is part of a tutorial series. What if there was no tutorial series? What would you like to see improved / changed? :) 

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Well, if I was trying to dig for constructive criticisms to offer..

I would start with visual variety. Adding changes to block color/texture doesn't take a lot of coding to change, depending if you were either using new sprite images or just filters to change the appearance of the map as the game progressed. (Filters can be iffy on mobile devices due to performance considerations, while more image sprites add to file size and load time - so which to use can be quite subjective.)

After that I would probably adjust the pacing of the game, since it's quite common to start games off rather slow so the user can get the hang of the controls and interface, then raise the stakes as you progress to a more frenetic pace during progression. (A common but working trope in games that dates back to games like Tetris and Galaga.)

Finally, players love encouragement. Many games just tell the player how to use the controls and let them run from there, but some of the most memorable ones have text or sound files to react to their actions. (Think of how games like Mortal Combat stick in you memory just for their timely use of the word "OUTSTANDING" and you get the idea.) After a player has been grinding for while, having a visual or audio cue that they are doing well can keep them enthused to keep playing for longer, and make the gameplay seem far less repetitive.

But all of that is rather subjective and getting kinda picky for a mobile game, and it's mostly from a play-test perspective; it's easy to get carried away with suggestions that are far quicker to point out than to code.

I hope that at least helps to generate ideas for which direction you'd like to go with it. Good Luck!

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@ShrewdPixel wow thank you for your extensive feedback! Have you played the Android version or the Web version of the game? Because most of your points are live in the web version, it just takes more time to re-package & upload to the PlayStore 🙈 (should finally go live today though)

21 minutes ago, ShrewdPixel said:

I would start with visual variety. Adding changes to block color/texture doesn't take a lot of coding to change, depending if you were either using new sprite images or just filters to change the appearance of the map as the game progressed. (Filters can be iffy on mobile devices due to performance considerations, while more image sprites add to file size and load time - so which to use can be quite subjective.)

Every run you can collect gold coins, which you use to buy loot chests in the menu. Loot chests drop different cave layouts with completely different tilesets. There are currently 4 cave maps: Dirt Cave, Ice Cave, Lava Cave, Jungle Cave.

Similarly to these maps, the loot chests also drop several different outfits for the player character, as well as potions giving you very strong temporary buffs to help you in your next run.

21 minutes ago, ShrewdPixel said:

After that I would probably adjust the pacing of the game, since it's quite common to start games off rather slow so the user can get the hang of the controls and interface, then raise the stakes as you progress to a more frenetic pace during progression. (A common but working trope in games that dates back to games like Tetris and Galaga.)

It is weird you point it out because since the earliest version already, the game gets faster and faster - until it reaches quite an insane speed! Right now, the game increases the speed every 100 distance and most players cannot do the 500 distance achievement without activating potions. And when you get really deep into the cave, there will also spawn more monsters / turrets, making it absolutely insane!

I have a video on my youtube channel showing a run where I go 500+ to prove that it is possible, and a second video (a kind of "funny moments" thing) showing the struggles of reaching it in the first place. But when you check the scoreboard, you'll see several players have even beaten that already haha.

21 minutes ago, ShrewdPixel said:

Finally, players love encouragement. Many games just tell the player how to use the controls and let them run from there, but some of the most memorable ones have text or sound files to react to their actions. (Think of how games like Mortal Combat stick in you memory just for their timely use of the word "OUTSTANDING" and you get the idea.) After a player has been grinding for while, having a visual or audio cue that they are doing well can keep them enthused to keep playing for longer, and make the gameplay seem far less repetitive.

That is a great idea, and something I have not fully implemented. There are achievements however, with an audio cue & visual cue. It was this idea that the more you play the game, the more achievements you unlock and the sound should invoke that "happy" feeling of encouragement that you are doing well. However, beyond the achievements there is now gold that you can collect every run & with the gold you can open loot chests for cosmetics & strong potion buffs. (Both collecting gold & opening a chest have, in my opinion, very rewarding sound effects.)

21 minutes ago, ShrewdPixel said:

But all of that is rather subjective and getting kinda picky for a mobile game, and it's mostly from a play-test perspective; it's easy to get carried away with suggestions that are far quicker to point out than to code.

You are very humble! It might be subjective but I would argue everything you have pointed out is important in today's market and if you see many (if not all) successful games do it it becomes a standard :D  

21 minutes ago, ShrewdPixel said:

I hope that at least helps to generate ideas for which direction you'd like to go with it. Good Luck!

Yes of course that was very helpful! I am just surprised you pointed out so many things that are already in the game, so let me know which version you played please (web / Android) and when you played it!

The last update is quite new, it was uploaded on the web last Friday night. And last night I've added several cool sound effects to the backpack & game. For the Android update, I'm still waiting for the PlayStore to approve the newest version and put it live. So yeah right now and probably for the next 24 hours the web version is the platform to have all newest features.

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My bad for not checking out the different versions of game; as a developer I should have thought of that. (One of the reasons I was hesitant to launch into a constructive criticism tirade.)

It seems that most of what I mentioned you already have considered or are actively adding to the Android build; I only briefly played the web version for comparison and probably could have made better suggestions if I had progressed further. When looking at the web build I was mainly looking at the performance aspect, which got most of my attention.

---For the visual variety, I should have clarified that I was meaning to have different block graphics within the individual maps, adding more of a diverse visual landscape within each.

---For the game pacing, I was actually suggesting starting slower; not so much as to make the game sluggish or boring, but a period where is was somewhat overly easy (in particular for younger age groups, since the game could easily appeal to them - perhaps an optional practice level to start?) that allows for better acclamation to the control scheme. 

---And for player feedback/encouragement, I'm a big fan of text that quickly fades in and out and that can be contextual. (However text that slides up from the bottom might be more inline with the style of the game.)

But once again, these are all seeming rather nit-picky to me, when looking over how well your game is coming together as a whole. Since you are obviously very open to feedback and wanting players to critique, I'm at least glad I got the opportunity to be more specific. (It's hard to get players to give feedback, I know.)

Also, I've been kinda distracted as I've been reviewing games while going back and forth on my own projects. (I'm currently building RubyOnRails gems for Pixi) So apologies for missing some of the details while play-testing.

Finally, I'd like to add that the game has a lot of potential for younger audiences. And for the most brutally honest feedback, let any grade-school kid play them. You'd be amazed at what they say that adults would be too polite to.

Hope some that helps, and as always Good Luck!

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@ShrewdPixel I am happy you have pointed out everything, even if there were some overlaps. The thing is, (almost) everything that was newly added was suggested / requested by people on our Discord channel (please join us if you wanna talk more gamedev stuff / share your own projects / check out what others are doing). The implementation was just my way of turning the requests into something playable.

So seeing multiple people saying pretty much the exact same thing, I find it tremendously valuable. Not only is it very difficult to get constructive criticism anyways: it takes time to sit down and write something, not mentioning every time you state an opinion you put yourself on the line which is not comfortable for most people. So yeah, getting feedback is very hard and again, just wanna bring home how much I appreciate your comments.

Speed: Never thought about your points, I'll try to implement smth like that. What got me thinknig is, if I track the first 2 or 3 scores for example, and I see they are very low, I could automatically add a super-slow speed at the beginning - exactly for the cases you have mentioned. Like this it would be dynamic and not bore players that get the hang of it quickly.

Visual variety: I'll try to improve on that the best I can! In a very early version, I had different floor tiles & wall tiles and the algorithm would pick them randomly - but it was soooo hard for me to draw tiles that look good when jumbled together so I dropped all of that and stuck to 1 tile per object (floor, wall) 🙈 You hit a weak spot here 100% and I need to work on it!

Player feedback: Love the idea, would be cool to have it in a light-hearted & funny way I think it would fit the game style well!

Haha if I can get some kids to play it I will definitely do that! I don't mind any criticism / feedback, no matter how harsh. Usually, any emotional reaction whatsoever is a good sign because it means the player became engaged :D 

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Yay, the newest android version is now live on the PlayStore: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.browsergameshub.endlesscave

Includes:
- Chests drop cool rewards: new player outfits, new cave maps, powerful potions with temporary buffs!
- Collect gold in every run
- Use the gold to buy chests in the menu screen
- Click the backpack button in the menu to select your outfit, map, and activate potions for you next run!
- At the end of every run you can choose to watch an ad and double all the gold you have collected in this run

@Nagval333 the icon is still the same, I'm really struggling with drawing something new 🙈 But I'm aware of how important it is...

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2 hours ago, jamespierce said:

the icon is still the same, I'm really struggling with drawing something new 🙈 But I'm aware of how important it is...

Hi jamespierce. I have updated the game right now. Now the GUI is more friendly for player.

About the Icon, like you mentioned before, you have just look at Google Play successful game in the same/similar minimalist genre and make research on their Icon. I think most of these Icons have something simple, the exactly same principle like in your icon, just their Icons usually have very attractive/cute faces with bright/juicy colors unlike your. I saw PNG files with another heroes images like the Brain hero etc 😂 Why not use one of them or something cute like them, the default hero is not looking good on a Icon.

About your YouTube videos I really liked the first two, the others just not relevant to me at this point (I just make little games on C2 without codding, Hoping in future I will start learn JS etc)

 

P.S something like this (the Brain and other dude from your game png):

g9226.png

 

 

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@Nagval333 Noooo I was so proud of that outfit, it's supposed to be a baby haha and when it gets hurt / dies it cries big fat tears 😂 Whenever I test the game, I use this baby outfit inside the new Jungle Cave, it looks hilarious imo

I really tried to emulate what I've seen on the PlayStore. In an answer to you couple weeks ago, I posted this one to show how bad my efforts are 🙈 

icon01.png.60fb164ee7c914b10f73addda0420e56.png

I really like your suggestions, it fits the game style!! Can't believe you drew that up so quickly. This is really not about me not trying, I'm just hitting a kind of block every time I wanna make a good icon for the game. But you actually gave me an idea just now, I think I'll start to literally copy some icons that I like - and keep adjusting over and over, or merge icons, until I have something that I like.

Thanks for your help & for checking out the new version of the game!

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Just a quick update that I’m back on my Dev Blog creating the written summaries for this YouTube series! The written summaries are just that, a summary of the full video 😊 I’ve been so busy with the videos that I didn’t even notice time pass so fast and now I’m quite far behind.

Anyways, today I’ve continued where I left off and I will focus on pumping out these summaries over the next two weeks to completely catch up! Videos will still keep coming weekly of course.

Here is the newest summary post: Ep. 05 Main Menu - How to Make Mobile Games with Phaser 3

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