Playtesters required for feedback for Into The Darkness [Android]

Hi there ladies and gentlemen!

I am posting this in the hopes that some of you might be willing to help me out. I am working on a little survival/adventure game on android, and am looking for some general feedback and ideas on how to improve the game. I realize this type of game is not necessarily a great idea on mobile devices, however i am not one for leaving a game unfinished.

The general idea is, the protagonist awakes to find himself alone in his campsite. His partner is missing. Upon looking around he finds an opening into a network of caves and tunnels. He soon realizes that there are strange people living down there and there are dangers lurking in the dark. He needs to find his partner.(Everything could most likely still change in the game slightly still).

If anyone is interested in lending a hand, please PM me so i can get your email address and i will be able to send you a link to download the beta.

Thanks,
Rob


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Comments

  • Hi Rob,

    Finally managed to get it working on my device (after a few re-downloads).

    I'm really enjoying it so far. I love the sombre and immersive feel so far.

    Aside from the big technical things (like being able to walk through some rocks etc.), my biggest thing so far is player investment. I think so much could be done with the 'protaganist' from the story side of things. I know this is kind of getting ahead a bit, but instead of just a 'our protagonist wakes up in the tent...' maybe something like, "The flickering light from the campfire stirs me. I should have put it out. Why didn't I put it out? I try to hear my wife's breathing in the orange light of our tent but there is only fire crackling. She is not here..."

    I really like how it feels like me in the story and a present tense, in the character's thoughts type of story might help with this. It works really well for when he step out the tent as the game starts and says that his head is pounding.

    On the graphics side it's looking great. My frame rate is really low but I can still get the gist of it.

    Ok, let me be a bit more organised here.

    Like:
    Immersive and dark with silhoutted character at the start
    Sounds and music are excellent
    That the camera is not fixed
    Buttons and art direction
    Pacing and exploration

    Possible improvements:
    The camera swing control isn't very intuitive and is quite slow
    Bounding edges so the main character can't walk into out of bounds area and just die

    I know it's just the working file, but every time I die I have to restart, but so far so good you know.

    I'll be playing more and will let you know what else I think, otherwise well done and keep it up!

    CrissOle.
  • Hi there ChrisOle,

    I really appreciate and value your opinion. This is definitely not the type of game i would normally try and develop, but i pushed through to see how it turns out. So i am actually quite surprised about how much you actually liked. :-)

    Thanks for giving it a go. I think you have some good ideas, and i would like to definitely chat to you about some of them in more detail. I will email you regarding this.
    The save system will definitely have to be added. The levels take up a lot of time to play, so having to start from the beginning will probably chase away most players.

    Unfortunately the game is a bit harsh on mobile devices, so some more optimization is definitely necessary.
    I am looking forward to hearing more notes from you!

    Regards,
  • HI there

    OK. Tried your game quickly this morning.

    Things I liked:

    1) Dark eerie feeling. That's cool.
    2) Good instructions - how to play the game.
    3) Nice to see a story line forming.
    4) Exploring was interesting - I see many different "world" assets.

    Big things that are missing:

    1) Player does not revive once he dies. This is just a pain. :(
    2) Hard to see "holes" where the player can fall down and die. Then point 1 again. :)

    Small things that would be nice to have:

    1) The player has a small light point around him - but I don't see him holding any type of light source?
    2) Maybe one "enable" the "use" button - when there is actually something to use or interact with. Might increase player awareness in the game..?
    3) When the "ghost" runs past in the beginning - its not scary enough. Maybe he needs to run a bit faster or - flash in and out?
    4) Maybe a smaller "demo" downloadable file. 400MB + for a quick test drive was a little bit of a reach for me. :(
    5) Voice over character talking would be cool..! but might make your game (file size) even bigger.

    That's all i have for now - Will play some more later.
  • Alright, so I got to the part with the note and couldn't figure out how to go further.

    The good:
    There were strange moments where my heart skipped a beat but the only thing that caused me to get all worried was some steam at the corner of my screen.
    The general eerie feel and music added very nicely.
    It took a while to get the hang of the controls but once I did they were fairly intuitive, only found turning the screen to be a pain.

    The bad:
    I couldn't see the holes most of the time and just walked into them. The game didn't give me a restart or anything so I had to restart the game each time (Huawei P9).
    The ghost running past was a bit lame and way too... obvious if you would. I'd suggest being a little less literal and having some kind of cloud or puff or something, the ghost parts can be worked out later in the narrative.
    The storyline is a little bland for me.
    I think the controller (gear) should change to something a little more fitting, I realise it sort of works for your narrative but it feels very otherworldly as its too well lit.
    The protagonist seems to kind of bumble around because of his walk with his arms out, it give him a weird zombie look. Ubergeoff suggested he use a candle which I think is a good idea.

    Suggestions:
    As you are making a horror game, mess with your players heads a little. Create a footstep sound effect and occasionally have the game double it so there are two sets of steps. If you stop to look around then the sound stops too.
    Have the power of the light source dim from time to time, will add to the ambience. Couple with a sound effect of a pipe dropping or a box that falls over will be good.
    When players exit an area and re-enter the same area, move the gas cans around or have things fall over, it just adds atmosphere to get players worried.

    That's all I can think of for now.
  • Hey guys,

    Thanks all of your feedback is invaluble. You all raised some really good points and its a good base to work from to know where there could be some improvements made. Still waiting for 1 or 2 more people for some feedback and then i think i will have a good idea about what will need to be done to further this project.

    Thanks again for all the support and effort. All of you have already been included into the credits. :-)

    Regards,
  • Hi Rob,

    How's the development been going?

    Give me a shout if you want any more help :)
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