[Project] Rift Ninja

edited in Projects
I've been working on my first game for about a year and a half: it's a 2d rouge-lite action platformer with the working title Rift Ninja. The core gameplay involves free-flowing movement in combat and platforming on the one hand, and getting loot and powering up your character on the other hand. This is all wrapped up in a lot of (hopefully meaningful) variation through procedurally generated levels and randomized item spawns.

The project still has a long way to go in many ways and there are a lot of rough edges, so I want to throw it up here to get some of your thoughts and feedback. Any feedback or discussion is most welcome, but I feel somewhat lost at sea when it comes to things like the visuals, themes and character design, so any advice or suggestions on how to approach this stuff without having strong artistic abilities would be greatly appreciated. And if you think you might be interested in getting involved in that side of the project, please let me know!

Anyway, give the game a whirl if it looks interesting and let me know what you think!

Keyboard Controls:
arrow keys for left/right/up/down
z = jump
x = attack
a = spell
s = ranged attack
enter = use/interact
shift = look

Download links:
Windows (64-bit)
Mac (64-bit)

Gameplay gif:
(gifv link)
image

Sample generated levels:
image
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Thanked by 1critic

Comments

  • Nice! I played for a fair bit. Here are some thoughts for now:

    Don't worry about graphics just yet. The graphics you have are more than functional enough for now. Work on the game design and get the feel just right, then you can come back and add better graphics. If it's fun with these placeholder graphics, it'll definitely be more fun with better graphics. Adding graphics early might push in a certain design direction that might not be best for the game. For example, right now I didn't really feel like a ninja, so if you had spent a lot of time coming up with the perfect ninja graphics then that time might have been wasted.

    At the moment it feels like the game is a bit hard. I think it might b a little "developer hard,' where as the developer you keep playing the game and getting good at it, so you adjust the difficulty upwards. I played fora fair bit, but I only once got an unlockable, and then I didn't know how to use it or what it would do, so I tried it once and used up most of my mana :/ I think you should consider being quite generous with the unlockables and have a bit more of a difficulty curve. Maybe the very basic enemies only need one hit to kill, but then on a later level you have a whole swarm of them, or enemies that need more hits?

    The choice to make the game procedural has some pros and cons. What is your thinking around this? My feeling is that it should if you include it, be a core part of the game somehow. Maybe there's a meta game where you can build up some character skill? Or maybe it's more like Spelunky and there's a main quest you need to overcome through many attempts?
  • I also had a quick play and the game is very "developer hard", some thoughts are below.

    [-]First off I think there is something wrong with the camera, playing at full screen 1080p I have a headache ATM (literally), it bounces very hard, made a video to show you what is happening.
    [-]There is no sense of direction or purpose, a mini-map would be nice, or just an arrow that points you somewhere.
    [-]Seems that your position is randomized after dying, it just makes things more confusing.
    [-]I haven't played Spelunker types of games since my C64 days, but I found that I was fighting with your control scheme, something that was unnoticeable in the original.
    [-]I suggest you map the action keys to WASD-QE, everyone plays FPS games and it's a lot less attention grabbing than the zxc-as scheme.
    [-]I actually liked the art and the little space helmet, it's decent, it wouldn't look out of place on Steam indie lineup.

    I would give more feedback if I wasn't fighting with the camera and the controls, game feels decent, looks decent and sound decent.


    Thanked by 1upside
  • critic said:
    I suggest you map the action keys to WASD-QE, everyone plays FPS games and it's a lot less attention grabbing than the zxc-as scheme.
    Personally I actually prefer arrow keys plus zxc (especially for platformers), and hate it when every game assumes I like WASD, but heh, each to their own :)
  • edited
    Maybe I phrased it wrong, arrow keys are fine for the right hand, while the left hand is used to FPS, it's muscle memory, as you say, it's down to personal preference.
  • Thanks for the feedback guys :)
    Don't worry about graphics just yet. The graphics you have are more than functional enough for now. Work on the game design and get the feel just right, then you can come back and add better graphics. If it's fun with these placeholder graphics, it'll definitely be more fun with better graphics.
    That's definitely been my attitude so far. I guess I'm just a bit worried because I feel like I don't have the skills to make it look good when the time comes. I think I might try to do something really simple and abstract and just throw character design and world building out the window.

    Regarding difficulty... yes, I think you are both right, it's too hard. I've obviously played the game a tonne and I've kind of gravitated towards making it interesting for myself. I do want the game to be challenging, because I expect the primary player motivation to be mastering the game, but I think if it's too difficult for a new player they'll just put the game down and never come back to it. So ja, I definitely need to work on the difficulty curve.

    I think the procedural generation is absolutely core to the gameplay I'm aiming for. The game is structured kind of similarly to Spelunky or The Binding of Isaac, in that there is a more-or-less linear progression from level to level and then eventually you beat the final level and win or you die trying. These games are really about a 'mastery loop', where on each run you make mistakes and learn more about the enemies and the game, and gradually your skill improves and you make fewer mistakes until eventually you reach a level of mastery where you can consistently win runs. Without procedural generation you generally won't get this effect in all but the most dedicated speed-run level players, because most players will learn how to deal with each specific challenge as it comes up, and then never have much reason to replay the game or to improve their skills. Procedural generation allows players to keep improving their skills by dealing with the same enemies and challenges in slightly different situations over and over again without becoming too stale (hopefully). Somehow it just feels really good to me to play through endless remixes of familiar elements in different variations and rhythms.
    critic said:
    [-]First off I think there is something wrong with the camera, playing at full screen 1080p I have a headache ATM (literally), it bounces very hard, made a video to show you what is happening.
    That's not supposed to happen, sorry! The camera is supposed to be centered on the player unless you use the look key to move the camera around. Something like this has happened before, but I don't remember quite what caused it. Are you playing on a Mac? Maybe try rebinding the look key in the launcher?
    critic said:
    [-]There is no sense of direction or purpose, a mini-map would be nice, or just an arrow that points you somewhere.
    [-]Seems that your position is randomized after dying, it just makes things more confusing.
    Ja, I've thought about maybe showing the player the position of the exit at the start of each level somehow but I haven't tried it out yet. I think a mini-map will definitely help and it's something I'm planning to do, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Spelunky didn't really have this problem because you knew you were always supposed to progress downwards, whereas in this game the level layouts are more free-form.

    Regarding the controls, I'm not really sure what the best layout is for keyboard. One of my friends who played it also thought the controls were weird, he wanted QWE + space. But I think zx is pretty standard for platformers, and I took the zxas setup straight from Spelunky. So I'm not sure, definitely something to play around with. Ideally though everyone should just use a controller :P
    Thanked by 2critic francoisvn
  • The camera issue happens just by tapping left/right arrow keys on default setup, I'm playing on windows.
  • edited
    Hmm, that's annoying. In the video you posted it's acting like the joystick look x-axis is stuck on. When you move, the camera jumps back to the character, which is how it would work if you had a controller with the look analog stick stuck to the right. So it seems like the game is picking up unintended joystick input from something. I think I used to get this kind of thing when I was flying drones and I had some radio input translation software installed. Maybe in the launcher try set the Look X and Look Y input to some random keys and see if that helps.
  • That must be it, I do have a joystick connected, it's idle though.
  • Looks fluid, fluid is nice. Especially intoxicating large quantities! xD
    Which engine are you using ?

    I like that part where you jump up towards the enemy, dodge it's throwy thingies, shoot and finally knife it haha
  • Thanks :)
    I'm using Unity and coding in C#. There's been a few issues here and there but overall I've found Unity to be pretty nice to work with.
  • So keen for more levels!
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