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Old 05-07-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
Tiger_lily
 
Dark Artz Entertainment
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Post Reaching out to the Community

Many of you have posted strong opinions regarding Revelations 2012. Dark Artz Entertainment would like to act on this sea of criticism concerning improvements that need to be made on our game. However, our manpower is somewhat limited in this aspect so any changes we do make are going to take some time and effort.

What we want to know is this.....would any of you like to be a part of this effort? If you have a genuine interest in helping an indie development team we would like to hear from you. You can PM Tiger_lily or you can send an email to mailbox@darkartzentertainment.com

Serious respondants only please. Again, thank-you to everyone who has already provided feedback.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
Trexmaster75
 
 
 
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Just to clarify, what kind of help would you be looking for?
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:08 AM   #3
Tiger_lily
 
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Just tell us where your talents are in game design. We could use something as simple as someone who is French correcting some of the localization errors. Or something as broad as someone who has many years of experience in Maya design. Wherever people WANT to help is really what we are asking.


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Originally Posted by Trexmaster75 View Post
Just to clarify, what kind of help would you be looking for?
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:14 PM   #4
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Would this be a paid job?
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:47 PM   #5
Tiger_lily
 
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Currently there would be no monetary compensation for worked performed. If it's any consolation, we don't get paid as a development team. This doesn't rule out future compensation but right now we have nothing to offer other than experience and possible future employment.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:53 PM   #6
DrZombo
 
 
 
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I am willing to help with the localization to spanish for a free copy of the game. Huh.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
Supermoose76
 
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I'll make sure to hit you up tomorrow DrZombo.

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Old 05-08-2012, 06:46 AM   #8
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I'm completely serious though; i'm spanish and i've been living in Canada for a year, so both my English and Spanish are pretty good ^^
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:50 PM   #9
Thorgrey
 
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I saw a wagon in a video, Mayans did not have the wheel.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:08 PM   #10
Toxilium
 
 
 
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Well I can offer a few little bits of advice:

1. More than 1 gun.
2. More than 1 type of enemy that simply runs straight at you.
3. Get rid of the horrible particle effects when enemies explode so you can see what you're doing.
4. Scrap the character (the 4 main characters) models, they're awful.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:12 PM   #11
Supermoose76
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxilium View Post
Well I can offer a few little bits of advice:

1. More than 1 gun.
2. More than 1 type of enemy that simply runs straight at you.
3. Get rid of the horrible particle effects when enemies explode so you can see what you're doing.
4. Scrap the character (the 4 main characters) models, they're awful.
1. Already set into motion
2. Also set into motion
3. Oh god yes!!! I have never understood why we have colored flaming deaths for each crystal...
4. I would love for the characters models to look way better.

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Old 05-12-2012, 12:03 AM   #12
TwRecks
 
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This would be a pretty major revision, but here's an idea that might genuinely help things a lot.

Part of the setup for the L4D games is that you're essentially playing the role of a protagonist in a zombie movie. So go with that here. The difference is... your movie, Revelations 2012, is being directed by the current day equivalent of Ed Wood. It's going to be bad, really bad, but so bad that it's fun to watch.

All of the scenery should look cheaply made and obviously fake. Stuff in the distance? Plywood standups, with some at the wrong angle. A prop needs to fly? Make the wires visible, and let some get hung on something. For the guns... flashlights, laser pointers, nerf projectiles, ping pong balls, you name it. When someone gets hit massively, have a blood pack go off... in the wrong location. Have all of the voice acting be as supremely hammy and intentionally bad as possible. Incapped or dead players do extended awful death speeches while the action continues. Have random odd things going on audibly (maybe even visibly) "off set". You get the idea.

For a game in another genre that uses this sort of plan, take a look at Unstoppable Gorg (although you want your "movie" to be even worse). For movie examples, check out Plan 9 from Outer Space or most episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:21 AM   #13
TwRecks
 
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Also, let me make some suggestions about whatever your next project will be. I'd recommend in the strongest possible terms to do something besides an fps. In fact, I'd recommend going for something 2D, or if 3D, in an abstract or intentionally less detailed style like voxels. A fps depicting people in an Earth/realistic setting will require far more manhours than something more stylized, abstract, or just plain simpler. You also avoid comparisons to huge AAA titles, or in your case, games using the same engine.

As a frame of reference, Wadget Eye Games and Zeboyd Games are both devlopers with only 2 core people with quite a bit of success on Steam. And remember, things like Angry Birds are 2D. Last I heard, that was doing decent business lol. Anyway, good luck on getting things figured out.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:06 PM   #14
Almainyny
 
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I would be interested in helping, if I had the time. I'm currently going to college to get a Game Design degree from Full Sail Univeristy in Orlando, Florida, and I have a job, so it's kind of difficult to get the time, but if there's anything I might be able to help with, I'd be willing to listen to what you could have me help you with.

I can't promise anything, of course, due to my ridiculous schedule, but it never hurts to ask, eh?
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:55 PM   #15
aftli
 
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Though I'm a software developer by trade, unfortunately I wouldn't be able to lend my time to this project, especially unpaid. But having played this for about 20 minutes (I wasn't able to play for much longer, I'll explain later in this post), I can offer a few pieces of constructive criticism.

First I will say though, really, congratulations on shipping the game. Looks like you're a family shop, and I think that's nice, and you all seem like nice people. I see a lot of very mean-spirited posts here, and also some posts from folks who seem to genuinely *want* to like the game. I bought it because I had to see for myself how bad it was, and because I enjoy supporting indie developers and think you guys deserve a shot at making this a halfway decent experience.

I do believe that your team genuinely wants people to enjoy this game, and lucky for you guys. You may have gotten a few people to buy this based on the concept alone (besides the people who bought it as a joke for a friend, etc). Please don't take to heart the criticism of people resorting to personal insults. Do, however, take to heart constructive criticism. You guys need it. Even though it may be hard to hear, from what I saw, TotalBiscuit's "WTF is" didn't resort to personal insults, and he actually gives great advice (albeit veiled as an entertaining look at a bad game).

And hey, I'll give you this bit of praise: You may have heard of "ORION: Dino Beatdown", another new release which has been getting bad press. I bought that game too, and I can tell you, for what it's worth, that your game is better. And it actually manages to be less buggy. In fact, regarding to "Dino Beatdown", guess what? Buying that game yourself may actually be a useful opportunity for you to learn something. It's hard to look at your own creation through the eyes of somebody who didn't create it, but play "Dino Beatdown" for a bit. Look at what they did wrong, and make an effort to not do just about anything they did. The game employs similarly bad animations, bad AI, and mele foes who just scratch at you.

Anyway, here's a few bullet points that I can think of in addition to what's already been pointed out here (again, having only played for a short while):
  • I play a lot of video games, but this game gave me a headache - literally. I'm not sure why I got motion sick from this game, I can't pinpoint it. It might be the field of view, it might be animations, it might be that huge arm gun thing on the screen. I have no idea. But I still have that headache as I sit here writing this.
  • All of the animations are honestly really horrible. Scrap them.
  • Except for the dancing stuff. Those are *hilarious*. But only in an ironic way. But please leave that in.
  • On the subject of the dancing stuff, seriously, I'm not sure if that could be made good in any way. The funniest part about it is that you're able to move about freely while dancing. Also there doesn't seem to be any point to it at all.
  • I accidentally fell off a cliff one time, and the AI actually followed me in there. That was funny, too.
  • Work on polish. Different fonts are used everywhere, this is bad. Really bad. And ffs, make sure all of the keys are bound to reasonable defaults. Honestly, that's unforgivable. All of these things that are just a *little* bit off contribute to the *entire* game feeling completely off. If you spent a few weeks and the majority of your manpower on just polish, you'd be much better off.
  • The menus are bad (not as bad as "Dino Beatdown", but bad). The fonts are off here too, the quit confirmation dialog is a prime example. Decide on a font (preferably not Arial), and stick with it. Be consistent. Menus are among the first things a player sees, and they need to be perfect.
  • Another small polish thing that has to do with menus, the setting to reverse the mouse Y axis doesn't seem to "stick". I found myself in a game without the mouse inversion, went back to the menu, disabled it, and it was inverted correctly again.
  • The fact that you can just walk through team members is pretty bad. It's been awhile since I played L4D, but I can be reasonably sure Valve didn't put out a game with a glaringly obvious problem like that. Work on your collision detection. It's going to be tough, because you have to get AI partners to move out of the real player's way, but you need to do it.

Anyway I'll give the game another play tonight and see if I can think of some more constructive criticism. I'll also test the triple-wide support (three monitors), I don't see it being a problem as it's a Source engine game and that usually works out alright. You bet you'll hear it from me if it doesn't, though.

Lastly, and I really do mean this: good luck!

EDIT: As promised, here's a gallery of screenshots from triple-wide. I played in 4046x800 (a bezel corrected resolution), as I have lower framerates at full resolution (5040x1050) with Source Engine games:

You may notice that there are multiple problems in this resolution (menu is on the left screen, HUD is not on the middle screen, the introduction video about Battlegrounds is spanned across more than the middle monitor, etc.).

http://imgur.com/a/LMRPC#0

And just for gags, here's a shot of the monitors (pardon the slight mess):

http://i.imgur.com/DpmkN.jpg

The fisheye effect in the screenshots is normal for Source Engine games, and I doubt there's much you could do to fix it. If you wanted to make this ultra widescreen certified, you could make sure the HUD is always displayed on the middle monitor. You'd win points with the ultra-wide crowd, as we already don't have many properly functioning games to play. One super-easy-to-implement strong point would be adding an FOV adjustment in the display settings. An FOV of 90 is quite narrow for triple-wide, and I have to 'sv_cheats 1' to enable the console FOV commands. This excludes me from multiplayer. All that said, the triple-wide crowd is definitely niche and you've got other things to do.

I also thought of a few more constructive criticisms:
  • This is a huge one: the sound mixing is bad. If I go to the menus, the background music is *really* loud compared to everything else in the game, which is at a comparatively very low volume level. A lot of criticism about this game has to do with the fact that they player has no idea what's going on or where to go or what to do. You actually do an alright job explaining this, but I could barely hear the instructions.
  • You can barely see the crosshair at times.
  • I'm not able to assign MOUSE>3 (side buttons) buttons to actions using my G9X mouse. This works fine in other Source games.
  • Others have pointed this out, but just as an example, in this screenshot you can notice the pretty bad "half drawing" of the hut in the distancearound the middle of the screen right by the crosshair.
  • While doing the most fun thing in the game, dancing, while crossing a bridge, I noticed that you are apparently are unable to jump while dancing (yet you're able to move around freely), which ended in this, which is a really bad cavern thing.
  • Speaking of which, I've fallen off of a cliff at least three times. As an experienced gamer, if I'm falling off of cliffs, especially when I'm completely sober, there's a problem. For an example of how falling off of cliffs is prevented in a AAA title, check out "Alan Wake", which did this the best out of any game I can remember. To take the easy route, you might want to consider adding a very short invisible wall by all cliffs. The player *should* be able to jump off of it if they want to, but it shouldn't be so easy.
  • Did I mention the AI team members follow me to suicide if I jump off of a cliff?
  • One time when I died, I heard "Oh, !" three times. Three. Three characters expressed interest in my death (good), all three used almost exactly the same expression. Add some more of those.
  • Consider hiring two voice actors - one male, one female. There are good ones. Don't use office employees as voice actors.
  • There's a problem with the foliage. It isn't quite right. I shouldn't be able to see through it, but I should somehow be able to tell that I'm standing on the edge of a cliff even though I'm standing in foliage. Are the leaves sprites or something? I don't have a good answer as to how to fix that. I can't think of a Source Engine game that used foliage near the edge of a cliff, maybe there's a reason for that.
  • Another thing that's been said before - there needs to be very clear direction as to what the current goal is. I watched a Let's Play or two of this game and the players were confused, yet they talked over the audio which sort of told them what they need to be doing, even going so far as to say that they didn't want to listen to it at all. I actually listened to the audio (even with the low volume), and I have no idea where to go. Gamers these days want non-linear maps, but they also want linear maps. It's a classic push-pull and while there's a way to make it appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers, it's just hard. You've done neither.
  • Pickup items don't really stand out at all. I get that I'm supposed to eat hearts, but that's about it. Supposedly I'm supposed to pick up some sort of skulls as well, apparently to replenish "ammo"? If I saw them, and I'm not sure I did, but if I did, I think they were the things which looked almost exactly like hearts. Also the pots I'm supposed to break and smash (for items maybe?) seem to look like any other pots. Again, you're looking at this through the lens of a content creator, and I'm looking at it through the lens of a game player.
  • In one of my screenshots, I just noticed that "Priest" was apparently a character in the first level. While I heard him speak to me a time or two, I never saw him at all, and never thought of him as anything but an omnipotent narrator. Also Ben doesn't look like he has eyes. At all.
  • The way the teammates walk around with their arm outstretched constantly looks pretty bad. This is covered in "bad animations", but you may want to consider them lowering their arms when they're just standing around, at the very least.
  • Praise: the rain looks great.

That's all I can think of for now!

Last edited by aftli: 05-17-2012 at 09:17 PM.
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