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Alpha feedback

The place to let us know what you love and what you hate about the beta!

Post Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:20 pm
anvard78 Sharpshooter

Posts: 35
Location: Australia
It fun and definitely has a solid game play base nice power diversity and equip-able weapon slots are a nice touch allowing you to plan your approach. Finished the alpha only doing it on hard (with checkpoint issues somewhat of a challenge) but fun never the less.
Positives :mrgreen:
Love the little speech bubbles that show what they are thinking.
Love the relentless perusal the AI has even trying to cut you of forcing you to be careful.
Loved the fact that when I hurt an enemy saw him have some food.
Loved the branching pathways that allow you to chose routes.
As I said before the core gameplay is very fun and solid and the little touches mentioned above really give the game a depth and charming personality.

Issues identified :ugeek:
Two songs playing at once happened when I manage to escape perusing ninjas action theme continued and stealth music started playing at the same time.
On level one on the high platform before the bamboo prison grabbed the edge and tried to use the intact button to hide in tree foliage character froze or I could have been wall climbing/ jumping character looked compressed like when ducking (unable to do anything)
Checkpoint on first level hard difficulty sporadically doesn't work, instead screen pans down at start of level on first hint guy repeatedly, going to last checkpoint in menu results in same if that is the case. Also case with third level (it's tough doing it in a single run) probably the second as well but had an easy run so can't yet confirm.
Saw one samurai running into a wall to try and get me while I was above them.
If enemy is in throwing line of site for item should hit them rather then go through them. Maybe i was at a bad angle but seemed like some of projectiles went right through them though it could be I was over estimating the range.

Suggestions :idea:
When using the stun grenade throwing the last one automatically cycles to the next item, it should remain on it so can use alt function immediately.
Seems strange when an enemy see you in the water will jump in to there death rather then pelt you with rocks. Falling down pits i understand more.
On hard when you re spawn at a checkpoint on hard it shouldn't restock all your items, remember which ones you have used.

Addition Suggestions :idea:
I am aware it is a very early alpha however I though of some potential additions if you have the time.
Ninja rope that pulls you up to higher platforms, vines on the ceiling ( like the rope from the worms game).
If you are spotted the enemy (maybe a specific one) pulls out a horn that alerts and makes all surrounding enemies come the immediate vicinity, area of effect could be indicated in a similar manner like Taros special ability.
This would be more complicated but samurai can throw/place little lights/flares/lanterns in areas you have been seen when you extinguish torches which you can also extinguish.
Could put a timer on levels to enable potential speed running. With platforming challenges are you planning to have them timed?
When falling to their death the player character could say something witty in a dialog box

I also have a curve ball idea with another game i supported Ninja Pizza Girl http://www.disparitygames.com/ninja-pizza-girl/ maybe you could do some cross over content like a costume?

All that said I am really enjoying it, and a lot of the issues identified are from it being such an early build. I can really see the passion you are putting in the game :D . Congratulations for creating such a fun game base that can only get better with more polish and time :mrgreen: . Are you keeping an eye on E3 anything you are looking forward to in it?

Post Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:25 am
SullyTheStrange User avatar
Ninja Grandmaster

Posts: 68
Thanks for the write-up anvard! Sorry for the delay in responding, I took a few days to sleep (and watch some E3 ;)) after getting the alpha out there. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it and glad to get some suggestions too!

We've managed to fix your first two issues already, the music desync and getting stuck jumping into bushes/trees from a ledge. We're working on the checkpoint fix too, we know why it's happening, just gotta go and do it!

Now for everything else... This is gonna be a long one, folks:

If enemy is in throwing line of site for item should hit them rather then go through them. Maybe i was at a bad angle but seemed like some of projectiles went right through them though it could be I was over estimating the range.

By this, you mean the glowy aiming marker should attach to the enemy instead of the ground as if the enemy wasn't there? We agree! We added that to the to-do list, it shouldn't be hard to add.

When using the stun grenade throwing the last one automatically cycles to the next item, it should remain on it so can use alt function immediately.

Fixed! It was actually supposed to work that way all along, there was just a small glitch that made the stun mine behave like everything else instead of being special.

Saw one samurai running into a wall to try and get me while I was above them.
Seems strange when an enemy see you in the water will jump in to there death rather then pelt you with rocks. Falling down pits i understand more.

Yeah, both of these are just wonky AI. It's always improving but we've still got a ways to go on that! :?

On hard when you re spawn at a checkpoint on hard it shouldn't restock all your items, remember which ones you have used.

True! I'll update it to work that way as I fix their current bugginess too.

Ninja rope that pulls you up to higher platforms, vines on the ceiling ( like the rope from the worms game).

We had some ideas like this but honestly wanted to keep from being compared even more closely to Mark of the Ninja, which would a similar mechanic. We wouldn't need to make it work exactly the same way, but we're shying away from it for now. ;)

If you are spotted the enemy (maybe a specific one) pulls out a horn that alerts and makes all surrounding enemies come the immediate vicinity, area of effect could be indicated in a similar manner like Taros special ability.

We could! Currently enemies do call out to other enemies (accompanied by a speech bubble) but that's only for other enemies in their own line of sight. Maybe the medium samurai (the more armored one with a bow and a sword) could be the one with the horn, one more thing to make it special.

This would be more complicated but samurai can throw/place little lights/flares/lanterns in areas you have been seen when you extinguish torches which you can also extinguish.

Do you mean they place one when you extinguish a torch to make up for the lack of light? Or they place one wherever they saw you? (Or both?) Either way, interesting idea. We thought about having them re-light the torches, but something like that could work too.

Could put a timer on levels to enable potential speed running. With platforming challenges are you planning to have them timed?

We're eventually going to keep track of certain stats as you play through the level, including how long it took to beat. It wouldn't be a time limit, since we're encouraging people to play as slowly as they want to, so it would count upwards instead of downwards. And we kind of didn't want to make it visible, either, to avoid pressuring people -- it would be shown after you beat the level. Though maybe we could make it an option in the menu to show the timer if you want it to be there. We do want to accommodate speedrunning, just not at the expense if ruining the mood for people who want to take it slow.

As for making the platforming challenges timed, that's another question, since those don't have any stealth that would make you want to move slowly. We'll have to think about that one!

When falling to their death the player character could say something witty in a dialog box

Haha, we could have a lot of fun with that, for sure. :lol:

I also have a curve ball idea with another game i supported Ninja Pizza Girl http://www.disparitygames.com/ninja-pizza-girl/ maybe you could do some cross over content like a costume?

It's certainly possible! I've seen them around, I might just have to reach out and see what we can do. ;)

All that said I am really enjoying it, and a lot of the issues identified are from it being such an early build. I can really see the passion you are putting in the game :D . Congratulations for creating such a fun game base that can only get better with more polish and time :mrgreen: . Are you keeping an eye on E3 anything you are looking forward to in it?

Thank you very much anvard! It's good to know we're on the right track here. :D Thanks also for all your feedback and ideas along the way, it's immensely helpful to have outside opinions giving us different views on what we're doing. Sometimes it takes a different set of eyes to come up with an idea in two seconds that never would've occurred to us!

As for E3, I watched it all. 8-) Gotta stay up to date on everything there is! I was most looking forward to Sony and Nintendo, and Sony definitely didn't disappoint with The Last Guardian (finally!), more Uncharted 4 (big Uncharted fan), and Horizon: Zero Dawn (love to see awesome original games). Nintendo, I'm sad to say, left me wanting a bit more... Star Fox looks good and the Mario & Luigi/Paper Mario crossover tickles my Mario fanboy heart, but I guess Nintendo's starting to focus more on their next system behind the scenes. Oh well. How about you, how did E3 meet your expectations?

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Post Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:41 am
anvard78 Sharpshooter

Posts: 35
Location: Australia
Good to know that you got some sleep :D . E3 was ok Nintendo had no significant surprises or had already announced most of the stuff for this year and made some odd decisions with regards with what to show/promote, Federation Force looks ok as dose Triforce Heros and Paper Jam. Was nice seeing more of SMTxFE, Yo-kia Watch, Fatal Frame during treehouse live Saw a lot of sequals/remasters that looked ok but could give or take. With only a few new IP's that i am actually curious about like the new RARE one.

With regards to them using/ creating lights I guess it was with regards to if an are is dark for to long (though if it was due to extinguishing a touch they could relight it) which could also apply when they see you before extinguishing it. Though it could also be used in naturally dark areas that you run into when seen. As for timer it could be an option in the menu that is set to off as default.

I had another little play around with the alpha and for the most part the issues you identified as fixed were fixed. However I still found some

The hard checkpoint on the third level will have the same problem as before if you fall and die, if you are killed by an enemy the checkpoint works though. First one also did it when I was pushed in the wall an killed just before the end in the last climbing area when you come out from sneaking through the gap an enemy hit in a crouching state in the small entrance pushing me into the wall (I may have been attempting to use an item at the time). Apart from that they seem to work

On the third level just before the halfway checkpoint (on hard) on the last mushroom an enemy with a question mark was bouncing on it was looking for me then vanished teleported into the wall on the left side of the treasure chest then I think disappeared? He appeared over the scenery for a second then was pushed behind it I could see a darkened outline of the sword poking out of the wall in the area with the treasure chest.

This is a unique one, on the first level I was playing around at the end (on hard). I throw a bomb in the ending area and tried to hit the gong before it exploded and failed. When I appeared at the checkpoint I had the stick to hit the gong and I couldn't use items like I was at the end zone. After an enemy killed me if I used the first item first (it was the smoke bomb) it would immediately revert to gong stick (freezing all magic and items). If you used another one first it didn't happen though. Though killing myself in the end zone in level 2 without winding up the hit dropped me back at the checkpoint fine.

On the second level when I was revived at the checkpoint on hard it would sometimes remember the enemies I killed and they would not reappear with me. Most obvious with four ones before the end zone. One time the giant samurai just past the checkpoint appeared on the lowest tree ledge not the ground so his patrol area was a lot smaller.

If you or an enemy kills you when in part of the smoke bomb effect the silhouette remains after the checkpoint reloads. If you are in it when you die your silhouette also remains.

This last one I have no idea why or how it happened but it mean that i couldn't use any of the items in game apart from the sword on any level until I reset the game.

Items still refresh on the hard checkpoint but I am assuring you haven't got around to it yet.

Ideas.
You could make the samurai swim in the water.
Allow the player to drop items when clinging on the wall, not aiming it but being able to drop items like the bomb, shuriken etc

Thanks for all the hard work. :D

Post Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:53 am
SullyTheStrange User avatar
Ninja Grandmaster

Posts: 68
anvard78 wrote:
With regards to them using/ creating lights I guess it was with regards to if an are is dark for to long (though if it was due to extinguishing a touch they could relight it) which could also apply when they see you before extinguishing it. Though it could also be used in naturally dark areas that you run into when seen. As for timer it could be an option in the menu that is set to off as default.

Sounds interesting, we might give that a shot! Maybe limit it to hard mode since changing the lighting can really make certain sections more difficult.

The hard checkpoint on the third level will have the same problem as before if you fall and die, if you are killed by an enemy the checkpoint works though. First one also did it when I was pushed in the wall an killed just before the end in the last climbing area when you come out from sneaking through the gap an enemy hit in a crouching state in the small entrance pushing me into the wall (I may have been attempting to use an item at the time). Apart from that they seem to work

I actually hadn't fixed the checkpoints in that update, but they should be working 100% properly now. Let me know if you have any more problems with them. I also made it remember the items you had when you crossed the checkpoint instead of refilling them all completely (it still refills them on easy though).

On the third level just before the halfway checkpoint (on hard) on the last mushroom an enemy with a question mark was bouncing on it was looking for me then vanished teleported into the wall on the left side of the treasure chest then I think disappeared? He appeared over the scenery for a second then was pushed behind it I could see a darkened outline of the sword poking out of the wall in the area with the treasure chest.

Uh oh, teleporting samurai are never a good thing. They're not supposed to use magic. :P I'll take a look at that, they can behave pretty strangely on mushrooms sometimes.

This is a unique one, on the first level I was playing around at the end (on hard). I throw a bomb in the ending area and tried to hit the gong before it exploded and failed. When I appeared at the checkpoint I had the stick to hit the gong and I couldn't use items like I was at the end zone. After an enemy killed me if I used the first item first (it was the smoke bomb) it would immediately revert to gong stick (freezing all magic and items). If you used another one first it didn't happen though. Though killing myself in the end zone in level 2 without winding up the hit dropped me back at the checkpoint fine.

Interesting... Never tried to kill myself in the goal area before. Good catch! :)

On the second level when I was revived at the checkpoint on hard it would sometimes remember the enemies I killed and they would not reappear with me. Most obvious with four ones before the end zone. One time the giant samurai just past the checkpoint appeared on the lowest tree ledge not the ground so his patrol area was a lot smaller.

I hopefully fixed that too along with the other checkpoint fixes. Again, let me know if it keeps happening!

If you or an enemy kills you when in part of the smoke bomb effect the silhouette remains after the checkpoint reloads. If you are in it when you die your silhouette also remains.

Ah, I knew I missed something with that effect.

This last one I have no idea why or how it happened but it mean that i couldn't use any of the items in game apart from the sword on any level until I reset the game.

On any level at all? Huh, now that's a weird one. Never seen that before... not even sure how it could happen, either. I'll look into it but if it happens again definitely try to remember what you were doing before it happened.

You could make the samurai swim in the water.

Hmm... I like that they sink like a rock. :P It would fix them being stupid near water, but I think I'd rather try to fix that AI instead and have them stop and chunk rocks at the edge. It's not very effective for them to do, but it'll mildly annoy the player, at least.

Allow the player to drop items when clinging on the wall, not aiming it but being able to drop items like the bomb, shuriken etc

I'm actually thinking about letting the player aim all one-handed weapons from a ledge, which only excludes the bow, sword, and landmine. Enemies will still see a projectile come flying over the ledge and get suspicious (they actually don't do that yet, but I'm working on it!), so it won't be too overpowered I think.

Thanks for all the hard work. :D

Thank you for all the details, and good work on some of those bug catches! :D Glad you're having fun experimenting with these things.

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Post Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:32 am
anvard78 Sharpshooter

Posts: 35
Location: Australia
This will be a quick one but have discovered some other issues.

The main one is that selecting hard the game acts like normal difficulty with multiple checkpoints, enemy indicators and heart in the level.
The number of items assigned is also the same regardless of difficulty level ie. no more for easy no less for hard.

Had a ninja on the 3rd level on near the mushroom before the vertical climb jump into the pit of while saying something. The speech bubble remained at the bottom of the screen and when I jump down it looked like the enemy was just below the sight level then continued falling when I could see him.
At this point to had the level fail to load that section before I jumped where it was meant to be. The enemy that was meant to be under the mushroom had spawned in but was stuck on a a bit of level like a small rectangle had been taken out of the available level.
On the second level the sniper that should appear on the ledge above the cage near the end appeared on the cage itself.

The checkpoint seem to be working fine within the issues detailed above.

Post Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:06 am
SullyTheStrange User avatar
Ninja Grandmaster

Posts: 68
Oops, guess I messed up the difficulty settings somehow... :cry: Should be an easy fix though. And the speech bubble one too.

When you say the level failed to load, do you mean COMPLETELY failed or just a few pieces? I've seen the glitch where it completely fails, but it's unfortunately very hard to reproduce which makes it hard to track down. It's rare, but it's obviously a big issue so I'll keep trying to figure it out.

Thanks for more bug catches! :)

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Post Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:00 am
anvard78 Sharpshooter

Posts: 35
Location: Australia
That's ok I figured it might be something like that.

As for failing to load I mean completely failed like I was making my way through the level and it just stopped. Like a line had been drawn halfway through everything on the left of the line loaded everything on the right didn't only background until I jumped towards the crevice I mentioned then the rest of the level loaded. For the record I think I was playing as Shoji on hard with default weapons equipped, hope that helps.

Post Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:40 am
anvard78 Sharpshooter

Posts: 35
Location: Australia
Hi its been a while hope development is going well had a quick play of the alpha recently and found some issues and had an idea

Issues
When using the last stun mine it goes to the next item again
When playing as Kaida if you have the bow drawn and then grab a ledge the slowed time effect continues permanently until you draw it again.

Idea
Could make a taunt button so you can taunt whenever for a bit of silly fun.

Hope development is going well.

Post Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:43 am
SullyTheStrange User avatar
Ninja Grandmaster

Posts: 68
Hi anvard! :)

Development's going pretty well -- I assume you've seen the Kickstarter update from the other day!

Thanks for the bug reports! The public alpha build is a little outdated so those might already be fixed, but I'll double check on that. Hopefully we can update the public build with all of our fixes plus a new level or two from the Mines sometime soon, once we do some more bug fixing with the new mechanics.

As for taunting, that sounds like a fun idea! We were thinking of having funny idle animations or something, but that would work just as well. Do you have any ideas for how you'd like to see them taunt?

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Post Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:35 am
anvard78 Sharpshooter

Posts: 35
Location: Australia
I did it sounds and looks like you have made a lot of progress, I like the look of the mines and that you are adding variety with the mine carts. As for the delay I have come to expect that from most projects as they try to refine the game and it takes more work then expected so I look forward to it next year. The stalagtites as projectiles/traps also add some nice variety, if you have time maybe you could add an equivalent in the forest like an insect nest/loose branch/poisonous flower that you could knock down.
As a suggestion you could turn it into a bit a game mechanic. I am thinking that maybe if an enemy sees the character when taunting if they are alone and other people are not alerted. Then maybe as Samurai take it as a personal challenge to their honor and not call others but peruse them himself. Allowing the player to separate them or lead them into traps. Though I am aware that for the most part you are no longer working on the games mechanics.

As the taunts themselves I was thinking of them as quite personalized like Miyu looking over a fan or paper umbrella with a dialogue box of something like 'However will I defend myself', for Shoju him pulling out a scroll with a dialogue of 'I read they were tough enemies', for Kaida throwing something in the air and shooting it saying 'I can't shoot such easy targets' and for Taro him shrugging with a dialogue of 'how can I practice my skills with them?'. Or something along those line

Other ideas I had that you could use for ideal animations include them letting of a small firework rocket that explodes just above them, taking out a mahjong piece and look like they are thinking. You could also have little bits of dialogue for them like ' I think I practiced standing enough', 'I don't think the exit comes to us', 'A journey begins with a single step'.
Even if you had universal idle character animations liking taking out and reading a scroll/book dialoge could deferential them like 'I prefer reading' for Shoji, Miyu 'A lady must be well educated', Taro 'I can always study more', Kaida 'Reading focus the mind'
Those are some ideas from the top of my head but I guess these elements will be added later nearer to completion.
I look forward to playing the updated build.

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