Buzz Attack need feedback on my game!

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by RebelBinary, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. RebelBinary

    RebelBinary Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2012
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    Software Developer/Designer
    Ottawa, Canada
    #1 RebelBinary, Jul 17, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
    So here is what I've been struggling to make the past year. I'm almost done. I have been doing all the graphics, sound effects and code, and in most cases I'm learning to do things I've never done before. I would love to get some feedback on this current work in progress. I probably won't be adding any new features unless they take a day or so as I'm desperate to release this and stop spending more time. But be honest and tell me what you think especially if it's to do with something that doesn't require a lot of work to fix or add.

    You play an old man enjoying a nice day in the park until mutant flies come out of the trash can to attack you. Move and swat the flies as long as you can. Hit trees for apples to regenerate health, pick up the coins the flies drop to buy weapons and items from your friendly 'vendor' in the park.
    4 difficulty types, 5 types of flies, 5 items and weapons
    Game should be out by end of Summer 2012 for iOS (fingers crossed)

    The arms are rag doll physics objects, which is why they move funny, that is not going to change even though ppl keep telling me the arms aren't realistic.

    The music is going to change, and the game mode (blitz) I'm showing is just a pure swarm mode, the other modes are more slower paced, but I wanted to show as much of the game in a short time span. Also this is a recording of the simulator on my desktop using screenflow, it's 720 p, but I think I can still improve the video quality. I will probably add a more lengthy video going into more depth on the items and gameplay.

    Update new trailer and game info on upcoming games:

    GAME INFO AND TRAILER on TA upcoming games thread


    Youtube: 1080p




    Old video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZnftpGlr44&feature=relmfu
     
  2. Bigmac1910

    Bigmac1910 Member

    Jul 13, 2012
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    I think you are asking for feedback way too late, since you don't want to make any changes, there is not much one can suggest. You seem to look more for a review, but without playing the game it's hard to judge.

    And yeah, while the arm movement has it's charm, it also make it look amateurish, so I personally would change that.

    Anyway, hope it works out.
     
  3. RebelBinary

    RebelBinary Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2012
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    Software Developer/Designer
    Ottawa, Canada
    #3 RebelBinary, Jul 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
    Yah I guess I should have posted stuff months ago. Guess I jumped on the show and tell bandwagon late. I do have testflight, so if anyone is interested in checking the current version of the game out, http://tflig.ht/MEtOxt

    Yes the arm movement is cause I'm tweening a rag doll physics arm, the arm will go to the exact spot you tap on the screen. It used to look a lot worse and I spent a lot of time trying to make it look better, adding joint limits makes the arm fall apart because it needs to be free jointed to move in a both directions. I personally find it funny, but I totally see how ppl find it amateurish. It's a tiny bit like QWOP.

    I started out with using a physics rag doll arm to smack flies around and found it hilarious so I made a game out of it. I don't know to many games that do that, in fact off the top of my head I can't think of anything similar, but I'm sure there are a few. Anyone care to suggest a game that is similar?
     
  4. RevolvingDoor

    RevolvingDoor Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2009
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    #4 RevolvingDoor, Jul 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
    It sounds like you put in a lot of work into this already. My honest advice would be to keep at it. There's probably no reason for you not to spend another month or two working on the game at your leisure. Rushing a game out the door never ends well, and one of the biggest benefits to being indie is that you don't have a lot of pressure to release something until you feel it's a terrific product.

    Having said that, I really like a lot of what you have going on! The rag doll arm movements are hilarious to me. Sometimes they are unintentionally graceful, and sometimes they are completely awkward, and somehow they just seem to make the old man a more charming character. The apple tree mechanic and the shady "arms" dealer are both great.

    However, I fear that the game may lack replay value. After you've played through a few times and made a decent stab at a high score, there's probably not much to do. What I would consider is adding a whole lot more weapons. Get crazy with them (Buzzsaw? Flaming World-of-Warcraft style warhammer? Rocket launcher?) This would add to the silly charm of the game and give players another reason to keep hitting the play button... You would effectively introduce an element of discovery, and high score would no longer be the only incentive.
     
  5. RebelBinary

    RebelBinary Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2012
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    Software Developer/Designer
    Ottawa, Canada
    #5 RebelBinary, Jul 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
    I agree

    Oh man how I would love to add more weapons, and more things into the game. It took some time just to get what I have in, I just feel like it's going to take so much longer to do more. I already have the fly swatter, bug repellent (12 seconds of not having flies land on you), bug spray(gas the flies), hyper juice(faster swatting speed) and a an electric fly swatter called the shocker. I wanted to add a flame thrower and a vacuum cleaner and have characters stroll into the park that you had to help to get a reward.

    There are easy/normal/hard difficulty with a wave limit (which you can effectively beat) and a big boss fly at the end, and the blitz is for that instant swarm, short gameplay mode. I didn't want to add levels, because the combat although dynamic is just repetitive as it is regardless of location. There are so many casual games on the app store like jet pack joy ride, fruit ninja that are pretty repetitive high score games on rails, I just wanted to make something simliar with a bit more things to do, like walking around and interacting with a small environment.

    This is my first iOS game and it's been 8 months already of learning and experimenting by making this game (it used to be you flew the fly around using the accelerometer to annoy the guy) so I just want to get it out and learn from this experience to move on to the next. If it made money, I would certainly add more things to it in a heartbeat! Although I'm still adding small features, for instance the fly shadows on the ground where added 3 days ago.

    Also there the items have to unlocked in the regular game mode after reaching a certain wave and I have a bunch of achievements planned to help with the replay value. The waves of flies are randomly generated on changing list of probability for fly types so it's never quite the same
     
  6. adajos12

    adajos12 Member

    Jul 15, 2012
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    Minneapolis, MN
    Honestly I really like what you've done. I love the original concept you've got here and think the graphics and physics are great. The sound effects were fun and I really liked the satisfying "thwack" and slapping noises.

    It's whimsical and cute. I agree with RevolvingDoor's comment about replay value. The more "new" things you get, or even some kinds of achievements for percentage of flies killed, etc might keep people playing longer.

    As an iOS app developer myself, my big advice to you is don't release until you plan out your marketing strategy. You should have a twitter account with plenty of followers and a Facebook page with plenty of likes. It's great that you have a video already, you need to promote that heavily on YouTube. Those first two days you will get quite a few installs but after day 3 they will tail off dramatically.

    If you're like most indie developers with a limited budget it can be quite difficult to get your app discovered amongst the other 700K apps out there. Good luck, I think what you've got is pretty good--but marketing is what will make or break you at this point.
     
  7. OniMitch

    OniMitch Active Member

    Jun 17, 2011
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    Oxford, UK
    I think the game has a lot of charm.

    Personally I do find the rag doll arms a bit weird. The problem for me is they kind of break the immersion of the game, since they really stand out (in a wrong way). BUT, that doesn't necessarily mean I would recommend removing them either. Perhaps if the arms were a little more "floaty" (technical term ;)), i.e the physics forces aren't quite as strong?


    I admire you for doing something different so stick with it!


    Perhaps also, I would probably focus on making the play sessions shorter.
     
  8. RebelBinary

    RebelBinary Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2012
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    Software Developer/Designer
    Ottawa, Canada
    #8 RebelBinary, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
    Thanks for the kind comments, I find it overwhelming all the work that's involved and marketing is like something I'm totally new at. I mean have a website planed, trailer video, facebook page, already got a twitter account, but I'm not really good at getting followers, find it hard to badger ppl to look at my stuff without coming of as too annoying. Want to add me to twitter? lol
    @ernestszoka

    I have a lot of articles to look at to figure this thing out, anyone have any advice on how to get more twitter followers?

    As for exposure I'm show it off here, will probably find some other forums to post on, but I love touch arcade the most.

    Achievements are planned, I totally agree with what your saying.

    Ah yes the physics arm, I do think it's weird as well and I do hope to continue to make it more normal, the reason it snaps back and forth is because early play testers said the hand moved too slow to hit the flies and didn't know whether they should swipe the hand up or tap the screen (because the hand was more floaty). Also the hand isn't available to swipe at another target for x amount of time, I drop the hand down to idle position to indicate when it is ready to fire again. It's frustrating finding some medium ground and I'm trying to address this as much as I can, but I still love the physics arm to hit things cause it's kinda funny to look at.

    Blitz mode is supposed to be the short game session mode lasting up to 5 minutes if your good. The good thing is you can always suspend/pause and resume the game to continue playing. but Yah I'm not sure how to make the play session shorter than it is. I do agree it's important, because sometimes your in line at the store and want to play for just 1-2 minutes.
     
  9. RebelBinary

    RebelBinary Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2012
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    Software Developer/Designer
    Ottawa, Canada
    A new longer higher res video featuring Normal Gameplay, It's a bit choppy, I guess I need a faster mac to record these things more smoother. (running a 13" macbook 2011 with a 24" screen and keyboard mouse setup)

     
  10. Asstasticguy

    Asstasticguy Active Member

    Nov 17, 2011
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    First off, I would say the arm movements are to me probably one of the games better features, just as you say it kinda reminds me of QWOP. It looks really funny and it gives the character this really wierd personality.
    It would be interesting to see the concept expanded upon, like perhaps cleaning a house, stacking things, maybe fencing, so on and so forth.
    But that would be a lot of more work and thats not what your looking for I guess =p.
    Something that I reacted to is the games main menu. While the game itself has these really vibrant colors and light airy feel, the main menu is very dull and boring. I would make it brighter, make the buttons "match the game more" and perhaps do something different with the fly. I understand if you dont feel like an artist and all of this is easier said then done. But you should at least make the menu a bit brighter.
     
  11. Blackharon

    Blackharon Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2010
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    Game Designer for Ludia
    Canada
    A few things I saw:

    The different flies all look very similar (though I noticed on the blitz video some had a different ability), you might want to change the flies a bit so you can tell them apart. Particularly the wings, eyes and expressions on the flies' faces look the same.

    The comment about the menu (post above mine) is spot on. I would expect a dull word game or something with that color palette.

    I'm going to question your choice of Portrait. iPad's are more comfortable to use landscape and you have tonnes of space at the top 3rd of the screen that isn't being used in either of your videos.

    Lastly, the SMACK is satisfying, but perhaps you could add in more. Think Batman comics here.

    Take this all as you wish. I'm by no means the author of the book 'How to Win the App Store'.
     
  12. DemonJim

    DemonJim Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2010
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    UK
    This is hilarious, great work :) I think the disjointed arms give it that extra charm so there's no need to change that IMO.

    Longevity is always a concern with this sort of game (who would've thought anyone would like endlessly slicing fruit?) but as long as you have a Game Center Leaderboard for hi-scores people's competitive nature should sort out replay value.

    Here's what I think the game really needs:

    • Add PIGEONS. A rare big bonus for ones who mess on his shoulder. Everyone hates pigeons.
    • Make him make the occasional karate 'hiYAAA!' noises for smacks on target
    • Make it so you can smack two things at the same time with both arms. This would look even more hilarious and you could play it with just your two thumbs.
    • Make it so it all gets insanely fast if you keep going to add to the excitement, and stop people that are really good just play indefinitely (which would ruin the game as it's all about hi-scores).
    • Give the old man a name. I suggest Albert. Have this in a sub-title, e.g. "Buzz Attack: Albert in the Park". Sets it up for more sequels and gives it all more character.

    I know exactly what it's like to be really eager to get your game out - but you need to make v1.0 the absolute best it can be. It's probably your only chance to impress Apple and TA into featuring it. I regret releasing mine at the stage it was at (I should've made what was v1.1 the first version).
     
  13. RebelBinary

    RebelBinary Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2012
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    Software Developer/Designer
    Ottawa, Canada
    #13 RebelBinary, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
    This is great feedback and I agree with most of it.

    - I'm going to add more action words instead of using smack

    - I definitely need to change that title screen, make it sky blue and maybe add fluffy clouds to the background

    - I guess I need to differentiate the flies a bit more, I've tried making them all different and using different colours:
    [​IMG]
    Green – expendable front line fly
    Yellow – fast and cowardly, will attack you occasionally and run away
    Red – aggressive, will eat other flies (green preferably) to grow bigger (gains more health and does more damage)
    Purple – the mother fly, lays green fly eggs
    Blue – spitter fly will suck up nearby flies with his tongue and spit them out at your face

    -The characters name is Gus, he's actually a caricature of my Dad (his name is not Gus), lol, although I my Dad doesn't see the resemblance.

    - Adding more noises to Gus would be awesome, going to see what I can do

    - As far as using two thumbs, it's a possibility, but I have zoom using pinching/expanding motion with multitouch in the game and might interfere with that

    - Landscape mode, When I first started I wanted to make the game for my iPhone and landscape mode was to tiny and too difficult to aim in on that device (hitting tiny pixels is hard), but it totally makes more sense on iPad. I'm going to see if I can work landscape mode in, but it might be too difficult at this stage. Didn't have the foresight.

    update: got confused portrait landscape, doh!
     
  14. Blackharon

    Blackharon Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2010
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    Game Designer for Ludia
    Canada
    Re: Flies
    What it is (for me) is they are all the same basic shape. The little green guy and the spitter fly are great, but the yellow, red and purple flies are too similar. Try playing with the wings, legs and eye placements.

    Re: Zoom
    Is it really necessary? Do you have time to zoom in and out in your game? I'd rather use the 2 fingers to swat flies than play with the camera (unless its really useful/needed)

    Re: Portrait
    The videos both already had portrait in mind. IMO turning it landscape and adjusting the zoom so you get get a similar play area as you had in portrait would make the game more playable on the iPhone as well.
     
  15. randyo

    randyo Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2011
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    (see above)
    Chicago!
    Has anyone commented that it looks like the score is tied to your health, the way you have them right next to each other? I would center the score on the screen and move the health all the way to the right corner.
     
  16. RebelBinary

    RebelBinary Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2012
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    Software Developer/Designer
    Ottawa, Canada
    I'm going to be doing a lot of work over the next few days, I kindly appreciate all the feedback and hope to report back soon!
     
  17. RebelBinary

    RebelBinary Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2012
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    Software Developer/Designer
    Ottawa, Canada
    New Main Menu

    So I've have totally replaced the main title screen, added more achievements and did a in game video using reflection app (still a bit sluggish) guess I'll have to go for a better solution.

    The title screen is automated in-game with a fly coming out every so often to get smacked. I think it's a hundred times better to what I had before.

    Also on display are all the weapons, bug spray, hyper juice, and the shocker

    Gameplay lasts about 5 minutes

    The best quality video is on vimeo, although I did change the original post embeded video to the youtube one

    Vimeo Buzz Attack Video in HD : https://vimeo.com/46861370

    Please let me know what you think
     
  18. DemonJim

    DemonJim Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2010
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    UK
    Oh I should point out that when I suggested giving the old man a name, I didn't mean just for your own benefit, I meant give him a name in the game. ;)

    A game like this needs the player to empathise with the main character so they really want to help him out, and I think giving him a name is vital for this. Otherwise he's just generic old man people might not care so much about.

    So yes all nice changes you've made but I really think you should think about adding that sub-heading title to the main screen mentioning Gus (what I mean is below 'Buzz Attack' in smaller letters have, "Gus in the Park" or something similar to that).
     
  19. RebelBinary

    RebelBinary Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2012
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    Software Developer/Designer
    Ottawa, Canada
    #19 RebelBinary, Aug 3, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
    I think your right, to the point where I think maybe changing the game name would be a better solution. Perhaps Gus vs. the Flies, Buzz Attack seems less personal. It's a rather difficult decision to make
     
  20. DemonJim

    DemonJim Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2010
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    I agree totally, Buzz Attack could mean a lot of things, it's a little too generic perhaps.

    Having Gus in the game's title really tells the player the game has character without even seeing the icon. Perhaps the title could just be, "Gus"?

    Some other ideas:

    • Gus: The Fly Swatter
    • Swatting Gus
    • Gus vs Fly
    • Gus v Flies
    • Gus of The Flies
    • Gus Takes a Walk in the Park and Kicks Serious Fly Ass: Warning Insanely Addicting!!!111

    Not all are serious suggestions (the first one) :)
     

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