Beta Review

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Beta Review

Postby PeaceChaser on Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:17 pm

I didn't see a topic on just general review of the game in it's beta form. There are several things I am very, very impressed with. First, the Humor. Who is your writer!? There are very few lines of dialog that fail to amuse me. The mouse over text is like a constant Easter egg. I'm also super impressed how many major conceptual changes went into the game without losing too much balance - like the new gold system. It's ingenious. It still limits how much gold you can take into the dungeon, but yet there is an overall reward for collecting gold. Well done. I expected the items system to throw the game off balance, but it works out nicely. The items may give a slight edge in certain situations, even if you just recycle them.

The variety of dungeons is fantastic also. I do admit there is a tradeoff: with the old system, you ran through a dungeon enough times to develop a good understanding and strategy for beating that particular dungeon. The generation system was good enough that it was worth playing the dungeon 12 times over with different classes as it's own reward. Now, we have more variety, less repetition. What we end up with is a much greater "what's next" factor with a slight loss in replay-ability. This said having not completed the game - I imagine there will be plenty of end-game challenges that will more than make up for the "loss"

*edit: I wanted to add how much I loved the new deity unlock system, complete with their own challenges. Good stuff.

Anyway, I'd give the beta 11/10 as a beta, and a 8/10 if this was the end product. Good job guys.
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Re: Beta Review

Postby Hexagon on Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:00 pm

I'm only 4 hours, but I agree. Yes, at the moment the game has some glaring weaknesses like kingdom/character selection UI, but the game is great fun to play! The writing is brilliant; and the new additions make the game no less fun.

One thing I think the game could benefit from, is to give the player some idea of how far in the game he/she is. Right now, there are an unknown amount of unlocks, and you have no real idea how far you've progressed. I've thought of some ways on how to handle this (% bar, divided into Acts) but the best way I've come up with would be to have a small rating visible at your kingdom which shows your general reputation, for example: Unknown->Familiar face->Town gossip etc. etc. It would really add to the game imho.
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Re: Beta Review

Postby dislekcia on Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:52 am

The writing is almost always all Nandrew. The man is awesome :)

Right now we don't know how big the game actually is in terms of dungeons. Buildings yes, nothing goes beyond lvl 3 (class buildings should indicate this with their class shortcut images) but it's a good idea to put in more indicators of progress. Thanks!
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Re: Beta Review

Postby flap on Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:19 pm

PeaceChaser wrote:I didn't see a topic on just general review of the game in it's beta form. There are several things

The variety of dungeons is fantastic also. I do admit there is a tradeoff: with the old system, you ran through a dungeon enough times to develop a good understanding and strategy for beating that particular dungeon. The generation system was good enough that it was worth playing the dungeon 12 times over with different classes as it's own reward. Now, we have more variety, less repetition. What we end up with is a much greater "what's next" factor with a slight loss in replay-ability. This said having not completed the game - I imagine there will be plenty of end-game challenges that will more than make up for the "loss"


Peace Chaser points at something important : a big part of the replay value of the freeware version was that we were encouraged winning a dungeon with every classes. Through unlocks, but also through the simple fact that we could see which class won which dungeon. We really do need to see that in this new version too ( maybe a map of won dungeons in each class building ?). And next to each class that won, we could have the number of preparation points that have been spent. So we could try to improve, and replay to refine our strategies (and maybe unlock a few juicy things...)
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Re: Beta Review

Postby PeaceChaser on Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:24 pm

I agree with flap agreeing with me, just to emphasize the issue. :)
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Re: Beta Review

Postby Aequitas on Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:40 pm

I have to run this by the others, but I can see us giving you that kind of information in the right hand side panel during dungeon selection (as you mouse over dungeons, show you which classes you've beaten it with) and then, once you've selected a dungeon, some sort of symbol on the class image to show that you've completed the dungeon with that class.
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Re: Beta Review

Postby PeaceChaser on Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:55 pm

Neat! Thanks!

Is the bank upgradable? You could almost re-implement the gold cap increase per dungeon completed, per class in conjunction with the new bank allowance system.

I am impressed with the design that some things are unlockable through gold/kingdom expansion and some things through quests. I would like to see more of the latter, but some might disagree. I'm sure you'll use your best judgement.
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Re: Beta Review

Postby PeaceChaser on Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:13 am

Excuse the double post. Now that we have who the writer is established, I would like to mention I cracked up, hard, when I read the bit when you unlock the bank. New monsters... Haw!

So, who did the pixel art on the original alpha? Excellent work! I am a huge fan of pixel art - it's probably what made me play the game in the first place.

Who does the art in the current release? Also good job!
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Re: Beta Review

Postby flap on Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:01 am

For the freeware version, it is Derek Yu ; who is most famous for the games Spelunky, that he wrote, and aquaria, he took part of the creation.
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Re: Beta Review

Postby dislekcia on Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:03 pm

Yup, Derek was totally awesome and just gave us a tileset for the alpha :)

The class-completion display per dungeon idea is gold, BTW.
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