Proxy Open Alpha

Well it's been a busy development process for me :) I've spent the last 6 months on this game and I think it's finally at a point where I can let you all play it.

I've already posted here before on what this game is about so I won't bore you guys with the details.



You guys can find the download links here:
http://gamejolt.com/games/proxy/221194

https://icecliff.itch.io/proxy-amelia-and-the-giant

Of course the major purpose of sharing it now is to get feedback so if you guys have any ideas or anything that annoys you please don't hesitate to shout. Just don't destroy me emotionally :P

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Thanked by 1roguecode

Comments

  • I'm pretty interested in this game because of the coding stuff, which I think is a really cool idea. I imagine this will also mean the game is less accessible to non-coder gamers - but I think I read somewhere that you were planning on using this for education? If so, that is an awesome idea.

    I started writing notes as I went along, but unfortunately I can't get it to stop crashing, so I haven't actually been able to really play the game.
    Here are the unsorted bits of feedback:

    - Crashed on first load before getting to menu
    - Crashed in menu simply focusing the window
    - The mud right at the beginning doesn't tile correctly
    - Running against objects "bounces"
    - Camera movement is very rigid. It would look nicer to make it smoothly follow.
    - Music was very soft, and from what I heard didn't really add to the game.
    - Ship collider doesn't match the model
    - You might want to show some of the keys on screen. For instance, if you forget that "E" is the interact button, knowing what to do on the green hand icon might be tough.
    - Popup text should word wrap, not character wrap
    - Code window text spacing is too high, and makes it hard to read
    - Code window code block tabbing is incorrect, and can't block-select
    - Code window typing seems to be checking for "key is down" instead of "key went down this frame" making it VERY frustrating to type because every button I press does 2 unless I tap lightly
    - Coding to fix my first module, I backspaced the broken code and it crashed, opening the game again wouldn't let me continue
    - Actually, I've tried about 4 more times and removing that broken line crashes it every time (sometimes while backspacing, sometimes on the first letter I try type).

    So overall, I'm interested in the game, but I can't actually test it because of the point above. All the other points are obviously less important.
    Is there a crashlog somewhere I can give you?
  • edited
    I got some feedback earlier so I've been working on a lot of those points already so hopefully those things will be fixed :) You'll have to ignore stuff like the music, I threw it together quickly so that the soundtrack code is in place but I'm not really a musician. I've been looking around for someone to work with.

    Could you maybe check if there is a file beginning with hs_err in the main game directory? If you see that it's probably a memory issue. I don't know why but the 64 bit version of Java just keeps escalating in memory usage so I always suggest to people to rather use the 32 bit version. Crashing before getting to the menu makes me suspect it may be hardware specific however. Either way, I really apologise for the crashing you describe. It hasn't happened on a computer I've tested on before. In the next version I'll be sure to add an error log though!

    The backspacing error was a silly bug that someone pointed out earlier so that should be gone as well now :)

    I like the idea of making the camera follow smoothly :) Do you think it should zoom in a little on the player as well? I should also definitely add an "E" to the interactions. In retrospect it's really quite silly of me to have not done that already!

    I think the code block editor just doesn't give enough feedback yet, you need to place blocks over the ones you want to place it on :) If a problem persists please let me know.

    Could you maybe pm me your specs and operating system?

    A new version is up so you can try that out and see if things are a little better. I'm in a crazy bug fixing stage where I'm reading everyone's feedback and trying to implement it :P Thank you a ton for trying out this early build though!

    Edit: Sorry I realised I forgot to mention the current more stable version is only up for windows on gamejolt. I'm going to upload a stable version of Linux tomorrow after I've done a bit more work.
  • Impressive.
  • Earlier i said it was impressive but i shoud've clarified that i was making this opinion based on the images you presented. The game itself is slow on my computer and it crashed when i tried to go fullscreen. Maybe i had to extract the files first. Maybe it's because my computer, like myself are not Java friendly? Assuming this is java, i saw a jar file there. From the standpoint of a game using personal code it's impressive but as a game ready to hit the masses there's more to be done.
  • edited
    Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that! Was it still quite slow when you brought the graphics down? If you're running 64bit java with it I'd throw that out the door and use 32bit instead because that's quite a resource drain. Please do keep in mind that it's open alpha, so I'm actually using this to find out things like hardware faults that I am not aware of :) could you maybe pm me your specs?
  • It's 64 Bit. More info in PM.
  • Hey @IceCliff !
    I tried the new build and it no longer crashes on coding!

    Sorry if this post comes across as somewhat negative. I don't mean it to be, and I think this game could turn out really well!

    I'm using my SurfaceBook now (was on my desktop before), and it really struggled. I've forced it to the NVidia GPU, and it is still really slow. I mean like probably 5 to 10 FPS.
    You asked for specs before: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/devices/surface-book/overview (I have the i7 one)
    I played for about an hour tonight, albeit in slow motion.

    First some technical things I ran into
    - You don't seem to be taking the framerate into account for movement speed and such. When I walked in areas with not many objects on screen I walked faster than when walking near people and such.
    - Your resolutions don't take screen aspect ratio into account. My screen is 3:2, not 16:9, so your resolutions would be stretched.
    - Fullscreen did not work (check screenshot for what it does). Restarting doesn't help.
    - This screen is natively 3000x2000, which means at full resolution (1920x1080) Proxy runs in a tiny window, and all the text is absolutely tiny. If it were stretched to fullscreen it may be OK. The mouse was also very hard to spot.
    - When NPC's talk the text plays that bleeping noise. It is pretty annoying, and made me skip the typing out by pressing space.
    - After killing the bandits, I went in search of the radio tower. But the arrow on map stuck pointing to the bandits.

    Game stuff:
    - I haven't got far enough to know how this effects the game, but I love the concept of "You can save at your ship". I'm hoping that the game brings me back to my ship to do other things, like drop off extra supplies etc. to go along with that.
    - The names of the code methods verse graphic editor vary enough that it took me a while to work out how they matched up (atleast for the method I was looking for). I prefer the graphic name.

    - Do my answers to NPC's change anything? For instance, after killing the bandits I can be humble when the guard thanks me, or I can do the "damn right you owe me" response. I'm a Fable fan (although maybe we shouldn't talk about the latest one), and always thought they did the "your actions have consequences" pretty well, so hopefully these responses are building a profile on me somewhere. If they do not though, I'd recommend removing them.

    - The world felt very empty. A good example is Sky (Ski? The town). There is tons of baron land at the top within the city walls. As a player, it made me jump out of the immersion of being in this fantastical place and think about why the level designer did this. That is bad. It may be because you'll add stuff there later, but for now I'd say make the walls wrap much closer to the buildings.
    As another point on this, it often felt like areas were big for the sake of being big.

    - My first fighting experience was a bit unpleasant/confusing. I walked into the bandit camp and a popup came up to tell me how to shoot, but half a second later in the background I was killed, seemingly by one hit. (thank you for auto save!)
    Next time I knew to immediately run out of the camp and make them follow me, shooting behind.
    Ignoring that though, the fighting is still a bit frustrating. Each enemy feels like a bullet sponge, taking about 30s (maybe more) to kill. However there is nothing I can really do besides run away from them shooting backwards hoping that they die before I hit a wall.
    When the enemies spawned after the hacking, I defeated them by holding left, moving my mouse directly right and then holding click. I held those two buttons (and space which I think runs?) for about 5 minutes, doing nothing else. I moved all the way from the radio to the bandit camp to kill them.

    - Speaking of the radio, I have no idea how to do the hacking. It popped up telling me about how a sequence worked, then went away and a bunch of enemies spawned (this freezes for about 10s as they land BTW). I assumed I did something wrong, so after killing those enemies I went back. This time a screen came up that looks like your laptop screenshot above, except the whole screen was black except for 4 numbers at the bottom. I clicked one of them, the screen disappeared, and my bunch of 5 minute bullet sponges spawned again. Unfortunately it crashed this time when they landed.

    - What is the big robot for? If he is going to help me later, or if it is explained more in the story then there should be some sort of hint near the beginning. My immediate questions are: Why is this thing that does literally zero following me? And, why can't he help me fight?

    - The coding of modules probably needs to be explained better. A good example is fixing the attack module. So, I know an attack module is broken and I need to fix it, but that is all the information I'm given. I go into the coding screen and I really don't know what to do. Looking at the library helps me a bit to see some things I can do, however a lot of the methods need parameters like direction, and I don't know how I would get that value, since the code hasn't got that variable. Besides that, there are multiple attack methods in the library - how do I know which one to use? And since any code can go into any module, does that mean that I could make a defend module actually do an attack? The TL;DR point of this paragraph is that because there isn't explanation, I assume there are a bunch of arbitrary rules I don't understand.

    You were talking on Facebook a bit about why more people haven't played this. I think there are two main reasons:
    - Java. I hate having to install this on my PC, and I certainly wouldn't to play some game on GameJolt. Is there no way to embed a portable core Java environment into the game or something? (I don't know how Java works)

    - Visuals. I'm going to be brutally honest here, and say that the way the game looks is probably the biggest turnoff. It isn't that it is bad - I think it is just that there are so many conflicting elements, and there is no single cohesive style. The easiest example is the screenshot of the water next to the yellow grass. The water is made to look realistic, and the grass is made to look fairly abstract. Whatever words you'd use for those two styles, they completely different, and doing that all over the game almost makes it seem like everything is just placeholder art. What could be a good idea is to find an artist with fresh eyes on the game, give them a screenshot, and ask them to make a photoshop mockup of what the world would look like in one style, with good colors. From there I'm sure you'd be able to make those changes fairly easily.
    As a side note though - I feel like the focus on making it a big 3D world, especially in your own game engine, may really be distracting your focus on building the game. I see the 3D world in this particular case adding nothing over something that looks closer to https://i.ytimg.com/vi/xq2sG0wVIug/maxresdefault.jpg
    This is because the thing that makes me want to play the game is not the fancy 3D world (I can get that done better elsewhere), but the mechanic. And that mechanic doesn't rely on me having anything more than a general overview of the world.


    Overall, the idea and mechanics of the game intrigue me still, but it seems like the game around the computer stuff lets it down. You may want to streamline the "fluff" around the core mechanic somewhat and get that solid before continuing building the more open-world areas.
    (of course, I haven't played very far, so I'm not sure if there is extra depth that will come later).

    At some point you may need to decide if you're building a game to learn about making a game engine, or if you're building a game engine just to make your game. I'm not convinced it can be both, at least not in a realistic amount of time.

    p.s. I've found your posts on what goes into making a game engine extremely interesting!
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  • Hey @roguecode :)

    Honest replies are always appreciated. I've been doing a lot of optimizing between the last update and the one I'm working on right now so hopefully it will run far better. Also things like the fullscreen should work now after walking through people with what happened on their computers.

    I apologize for the lack of tutorial (which honestly connects to a lot of your gripes such as why the robot isn't fighting well for you, he does actually fight and stuff), it's honestly just the availability of my free time. Which is what leads me to the update I'm working on right now.

    I'm working on a quest editor for people to use to help make the game feel less empty. In it I want to make creating things like tutorials easy as well so that moving forwards the game feels more cohesive. Additionally people can already import their own models and characters. I'm also working on a node based system for things like conversations and basic logic so that it's super user friendly. Even if it does not get widely used I have a few friends that have offered to work with it for me to generate content.

    Don't worry, I'm fully past the phase of taking feedback too personal and appreciate everything you've said. Hopefully this quest editor will help with a lot of what you've pointed out.

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  • Btw do you think the node system looks easy enough to use?

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