Cetacean Feedback

It doesn't have anything to do with brunch.
Okay, Costers - the tables have turned! My turn to give you feedback! MWA HA HA!

First up, the game - as always - feels super polished and juicy, which is awesome. I've just noticed a few things while playing that made me go: "huh..."

So while I was playing yesterday, after I died, I noticed that we were about 50-60 Juice to get to Community Level 3.
I started another round, and died, and then started another round after that without really looking at the status, and it was about halfway through that round when I noticed that it said "Depth: 2/3" instead of "2/2" that I realized that the community level had increased. I would have expected it to be a BIG DEAL - like, either In-game, or on the results screen or something, fireworks, explosions, and maybe some mention that Team WHATEVER COLOR Had done the best for that level, and they get a bonus of some kind and everyone else: TRY HARDER!
None of those things happened, which suddenly made fighting for the next level a lot less interesting.

You never really have any indication of what your other team members are even doing - other then the occasional % change on the standings screen. I feel like there could be even more simple interactions going on - like when a BLUISH player collects a certain item, all his team members that are playing get a stat-boost for awhile, or something.

The rewards seem a little TOO random: You end up collecting a TON of spice, which, is fine I guess, but after playing for a few minutes, it's basically worthless to you - unless you're stockpiling for the next level up... So yesterday, I really wanted to help push my team up the %s, and also unlock level 3. I feel like those things both happened, possibly because/despite me, but it didn't FEEL as if I really had that much to do with it. Once it happened, I was able to easily buy the next level of each upgrade - and had a TON of Spice left over, so much so, that today when I logged in, we were at level 6, and I could again buy all the upgrades without using even half of my stockpile.

The Juice is *meant* to be the most important thing to find, and finding some is just like: "Okay, whatever... moving on!"

Whereas, for me, the rarest and most important reward seems to be the HEALTH recovery items - I get 2 of them on the first floor, and then NEVER see one again and die. It's frustrating. I feel like if you weighted the chest-drops a little bit, so that you have a slightly higher chance of getting health the lower your health (and no chance of getting any when you're near/at full health), it can help at least feel a little better... and also maybe scale the reward based on the difficulty of the room? - no, it's not random anymore, but I think I'd rather see a little more health than ever have the feeling of: "Man, I just DESTROYED that randomly, really-tough room, and I'm still at full health and - oh, more health... that's it... okay..."

The other route you could take would be to have small health-recovery items drop from enemies and breakables, so that if you're hurting for health, you can try 'searching' for some to get a little better.

Or, you could dish out a little of everything after each level: A small amount of spice, health, and 1/5th of a piece of Juice out of each chest with some slight random variation (or something).

There might even be a (kind of) simple solution to solve many of those problems above: what about giving players an opportunity to spend their surplus spice after they die on Faction-wide bonuses? Like: spend 100 spice to give your faction a +50% chance of finding Juice for 20 minutes, or something. Or, a regeneration effect. Maybe it's points based on the amount of Juice you contributed that run. I imagine that everytime I die, my guy is like dead-dead, and my next play through is with a totally different person from my faction's troops. You could play off of that a little - you die and end up in Narwhalla, to feast with your fallen brethren, and because you collected 10 Juice, can do something good for your team (including the next guy you run through the dungeon with).

I played through several deaths before I even first noticed the XP/Level bar - and when I finally noticed it, I immediately hit level 2 and it disappeared for the rest of the run, so I thought I was seeing things. It would have been nice for it to stay on the screen and say like: "MAX" or something to let me know what was going on. I'm also not sure that I can tell a difference between levels, and I'm not sure how leveling up helps at all...

Oh, and I have a really hard time dodging the projectiles. That might just be me, or intended. Having a way to block might be neat, but not really critical.

I also feel like there should be some way for the 'underdog' to be able to strategically fight their way back up from 10% of the war effort. Like... maybe the amount of Juice earned for a team by each player can be based inversely on the number of totally players of that faction playing at the same time? Or something? Dunno... No one wants to be stuck on the loosing team all the time, and if it starts to feel like they're the ONLY one doing anything, and it's not even making a dent... well, yeah.. not fun.

SO! That's the things I have right now, there are some more ideas bubbling around, but I might save them for later, since I think they are more like things that would be kinda-cool, but probably complicated to implement ;)

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Posts: 73
Location: Valley Park, Mo

WOOWEE! Great feedback! Most of the stuff is a result of this being a super-fast jam game that we slapped together and launched just to test the server-side stuff.

So the lack of juice on stuff like the community leveling up, or lack of interactions between you and all your buddies, etc.. are all things we plan on doing, but just couldn't for lack of time. That includes the XP bar, where when you hit max level we didn't have time to make a new art asset to show that you were capped out, so we just said FUCK IT and hid it.

Excellent point regarding the chest drops. They're pretty "dumb" right now, in that they don't take your HP into account or anything. They just tap into a weighted pool and throw something out.

We also will likely have spice balls heal you for 1 HP when you get them (kinda like the orbs in Quadropus), and allow players to convert their extra spice into juice to help the war effort. We can also do stuff like give the top 100 characters some kind of boost for the next depth if they contributed a lot to the previous one. As you get to higher levels, the spice balls will heal you for proportionally less HP (because 1 ball = 1HP) which will automatically make the early levels a bit more forgiving and the later ones harder.

You have ALL GOOD POINTS, and we plan on hitting just about every single one of them for the final game. At best, what we currently have is a prototype. Thanks for taking the time to write all this stuff out!

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Posts: 1371
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

The conversion of spice into juice is a great idea. The really hard grinders like myself who are usually sitting near the top of the leader board have thousands of unspent spice, which only 300 or so go into a level upgrade once the community levels up all the way.

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Posts: 19

About the leading team and loosing team, I think there is something to do about the beginning of a new community level. If there's mainly one team who gets the ascendance, the other team are somewhat screwed and it's difficult to get back in touch (for the actual level, Seth and I took a little advantage but then green guys collected like 100 or 200 juice while no other team was really collecting. It's a bit depressing I think.

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Posts: 1823
Location: Bordeaux, France

AGREED. It's all very experimental, but watching how the game plays out on the leaderboard is pretty enlightening. We'll have plenty of cool things hooked up later to make sure it is all balanced smoothly.

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Posts: 1371
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

We've got our "after Crashlands" project then?

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Posts: 1823
Location: Bordeaux, France

Or maybe before! We need to take breaks every now and then from big project to stay mentally fresh.

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Posts: 1721
Location: Dallas, TX USA

That's not a problem, it's going to be two awesome games anyway!

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Posts: 1823
Location: Bordeaux, France


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