[Project] Skateboarding Platformer

edited in Projects
I've been working on this project for a month now in my spare time after work, and would love to get some feedback.

What I primarily want to know is:
- is it fun to play?
- what can improve it?

Some screens:

The game (sorry pc only for now):

Oh and once you complete the last level (16th) it'll give you an error and close the game. Haven't had time to fix it yet.
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Thanked by 1watson


  • Really like this @flobar, definitely had a fun edge. The "skateboard" theme gives it a cool layer, which made me more motivated to continue. Played about six levels (struggled to get past the second "disintegrating ground" bit lol).

    There seems to be some good puzzle mechanics going on, had fun figuring them out. Bummed I didn't get to see the other characters (dogs, scooter) in action, the art looks cool!

    Reminds me of this game Olli Olli, check it out if you haven't yet.

    Few suggestions:

    - Small brief animation just after crash would be cool. Would give you a quick chance to asses why you failed. The immediate restart made it hard for me to learn from my mistakes.

    - Some instructions might be cool. I didn't have too much trouble figuring everything out though. Just think a quick show of controls and maybe mechanics would round up things nicely.

    Definitely has my vote, stick with it!

    Thanked by 1flobar
  • On a Mac, can't play, would be nice to have a Mac build.
  • @SleepingSafari thanks for checking it out. I would love for you to give it another go and see what you think of the other levels. If not, I'm still happy that you tried.

    I've heard about Olli Olli, but from what I've seen it looks more like a 'what tricks can you do' and 'how much can you score' type of game. Am I correct in saying that?
    I was mostly inspired by Super Meat Boy and thought what would it be like if it was on a skateboard. The puzzle-like elements just came out naturally I guess.

    Regarding your suggestions:
    - I agree on the bail animation. I am still planning on making them, I just haven't had time yet.
    - What are your thoughts on the in-level tutorial. Essentially the only control is the space bar. What would make it easier to understand? I'm planning on making them look like graffiti on the wall.

    I'm glad you liked it though, and yes I'm going to stick with it.
    Thanks a lot!
  • edited
    @Tuism aah man, that's a bummer. I'm using game maker 2 on a pc and don't have access to a mac.
    I do have a video (not the best quality) that you can check out though: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7neYzQ4n-YCdTVmWnp1Tk5odmc
  • edited
    Played a little, some thoughts are below.

    [-]Space-bar sometimes doesn't work just after landing, being a bit more generous with when you can jump would be good
    [-]Failing should give some feedback as to why you failed
    [-]Having half-fail jumps would be nice, so you can clip something and bounce a little instead of failing immediately
    [-]Danger areas and obstacles should be marked somehow
    [-]Some background scenery that creates a frame of reference to when you should jump would be nice
    [-]It's too hard IMO, got stuck on the level with two scooter guys

    It's a really nice concept, you should take this a lot further and if you wanna go wild, give the protagonist a gun, that done right would be mind blowing.
    Thanked by 1flobar
  • @critic thanks for playing!

    My response to your thoughts:
    - I'll look into the space bar to jump issue. I know about it and have already gotten used to it, but no excuse.
    - I'm still working on adding an animation for the failing part
    - I agree with the half-fail jump. All good platformers have incorporated that.
    - I'm interested to find out more about the danger areas idea. I'm soo used to the levels and know where everything is, but for a new player is it frustrating to fail a couple of times to learn the level? Or do you think it should somehow warn you?
    - I agree with the background scenery and I'm currently been coming up with concepts for it
    - Difficulty is a tricky one. It can be very subjective. For interest sake have you ever played Super Meat Boy? And if so did you enjoy that difficulty? This game was somewhat inspired by it.

    Glad you like the concept. I'm not so sure about adding a gun to it though. Because then you could essentially kill the kids on the scooter haha. Maybe more of a sling shot?

    Thanks again!
    Thanked by 1critic
  • edited
    Just making a red outline on the obstacles that make you fail when touched is a good start on letting the player know what to avoid touching. Difficulty is horribly subjective and I suck at platformers, so there is heavy bias there, maybe when you put the scenery in and there is some sort of reference to help the player time the jumps it will be better without needing to change the levels, sound can help here too. And no, you shouldn't be shooting kids on scooters, however you can always shoot masked men, zombies and aliens, but a slingshot is fine. One last thing, I know you don't want this to be a stunt game, but making the character perform stunts automatically when jumping would be a nice touch.
    Thanked by 1flobar
  • @critic thanks again.
    Someone else also mentioned the random trick when jumping would be cool. I might add that at a later stage.
    Thanked by 1critic
  • Just looking at the video, I feel like... As a puzzle platformer (kinda), the game needs a bit more thought in mechanics - if you can jump high at any point, it doesn't really make the height of a jump that interesting. In skateboarding you would need to build up speed to go higher, and that seems to be something that would make perfect sense here - how you present that mechanic would be very key to how well it works, but I think it's an interesting thing to think about.
    Thanked by 1flobar
  • edited
    @Tuism thanks for watching the video. I see what you're saying. Before I added the double tap to jump higher mechanic, I had it so that you needed to hold down space a bit longer so that the character crouches first and then release to jump higher. But someone tested it and said they hated it, and it should happen faster.
  • See, no that's not what I meant at all. Holding down space to jump higher is the same as double jumping. The access to a higher jump at will.

    What I'm talking about is actually building up speed to jump higher. So there would be some kind of indication of your speed and it builds up somehow and that allows you to jump higher. That makes the game about working out how to build up speed to make certain jumps.

    I think the old Uniracers game had a thing like that, but it wasn't a puzzler and a super speedy platformer racer.
    Thanked by 1flobar
  • Just some quick feedback:

    It's fun at the start, having a puzzle platformer where once you start moving you cannot stop moving is fun, and learning how to beat each level by trying multiple times feels like steadily improving towards a goal.

    As the levels get longer its more frustrating, as more needs to be redone after you've died. And I think the ways in which you die become more random (like colliding with a pavement makes sense for a skateboarder, but the crumbling earth is out of Mario). The instant death feels a bit arbitrary on some of these objects, like colliding with a child on a scooter. Perhaps a stumble state could make this feel better (even if most of the time it means death to collide, some of the times it allows you to recover).

    I guess I'm saying, the early part of the game feels more like skateboarding.

    There's a lot in common with the game Tiny Hawk here, but the graphics are more like Oli Oli. Which I think is a better feeling.
    Thanked by 1flobar
  • @EvanGreenwood thanks for checking it out.

    I agree that some of the levels are quite long and it can be frustrating for players to do everything all over again. I guess I'm so used to the levels that I don't see that anymore. But it's good to hear that from a new player.

    I see what you are saying about the collision's a skateboarder would experience in real life don't tie well with mario's crumbling ground. Regarding the instant death isssue: I just haven't gotten to creating those animations yet. I guess it would of helped for testing purposes as other people have also mentioned it.

    Thanks again for your feedback!
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • Hey @flobar, cool concept. I got pretty far (I think, there were a few dogs running around).

    Could you please add a level indicator which would add to the players sense of progression (12/16)?

    Also possibly making the quarter pipe a save point would be handy instead of taking them back to the start each time. (Could be removed as an ironman option). The jumping and timing aspects are fun. There is a lot more you could do with this from a puzzle perspective by adding other hazards that must be timed/avoided.

    Also different surfaces could be interesting that change speed of the skater. (ice, wood floor, cement, mud?)

    I would hold-off on adding fall animations etc until you have more mechanics and puzzle levels in place.

    Thanks for sharing! :)
    Thanked by 2flobar EvanGreenwood
  • edited
    What the game looks like now...
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  • Logo
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  • I still need to work on cleaning up the sprites but I think the bails seem decent
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  • I've finally finished the game.

    You can play it here:

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  • This was really cool! :D I really like how fluid the skateboarder felt, and little thematic surprises like bouncing off kids' helmets were a really nice touch!

    When the skateboarder goes up a half-pipe, he changes direction very abruptly, rather than slowing down and changing direction, which feels quite unnatural. Was there a reason for that decision?
    Thanked by 1flobar
  • Mandatory request for OSX version :) Does Game Maker not build to Mac unless you're on a Mac?
    Thanked by 1flobar
  • @Elyaradine thanks a lot for playing my game.

    Regarding the abrupt directional change, I never actually considered it, but it makes sense.
  • @Tuism ah yes the OSX version haha. I'd need a Mac to actually build it. I can however create an html5 version which would be playable by all. I'll let you know once I have one up and running.
  • edited
    Loving the new improved graphics! Those wipeouts are sweet (though I want more of them!)

    Just a thought about what @Tuism mentioned earlier. Is double jumping adding much to the game? Like how many puzzles actually need it and are there enough interesting puzzles without it?

    I ask because double jumping isn't very Skateboarding themed. It feels like a platformer game convention entering into a skating game. And since there's so many double jumping platformers already I'm not sure there's much thrill in it. I guess I'm saying that getting rid of the double jump might make it feel more like skateboarding.

    Maybe instead a "hold jump for one second then release to jump higher" mechanic would feel a bit more like skateboarding. (Like crouching before a massive ollie)
    Thanked by 1flobar
  • @EvanGreenwood thanks a lot. I had some help from @Timothy to get the art work out faster.

    Regarding the double jump mechanic I've tested both with players and they seem to prefer the double tap instead of the other. Maybe it's the knowledge of how to ollie that would make sense to us, but not to others. I'm not sure.
  • edited
    Preferring the double jump is simply because it's EASIER. It's not more interesting, or more thematic. The challenge is to make it both interesting, thematic, and still easy - but open up new paradigms and puzzles due to the different way of jumping.

    Also seconding the really flat up and down the ramp feels unrealistic and not interesting. Again, I still feel like if you can build up speed to jump higher that'll be a more interesting puzzle mechanic :)
    Thanked by 2AngryMoose flobar
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