Fan Game OH JOES! (A Proto Man Adventure)
#61
V1.01 now available (same download links as before); HOPEFULLY I've fixed the water/quicksand bug.

(08-04-2018, 06:32 AM)N-Mario Wrote: My guess as to how to get the O may have something to do with using "Break Man" mode and the Item-2, am I right, or close?

I haven't played the game, but that sounds like a reasonable guess. Wink

(08-04-2018, 06:40 AM)Lionheart261 Wrote: No glitches aside from a disappearing regular Joe in Joe Fortress 1...

But WOW is this game hard!

If you can believe it, Normal isn't even the "official" difficulty; the game was planned around Difficult mode and then scaled back for Easy and Normal. I may release a strategy guide, if not a proper walkthrough, at some point.

Could you tell me more about this disappearing regular Joe?
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#62
Should've called the guy "Average Joe"
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#63
Got this error while inputting preferred buttons.  MM - Frown
___________________________________________
ERROR in
action number 1
of  Step Event
for object controlconfig_control:

Error in code at line 35:
   else if current = 'Power Switch Next' { if locked[keyboard_key] == true { sound_stop(sfx_error); sound_play(sfx_error); exit; } locked[keyboard_key] = true; global.key_nextwp = keyboard_key; current = 'Pause' }
                                              ^
at position 45: Unknown variable locked or array index out of bounds

EDIT: Just assigned it to unaffected keys. No problems so far.
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#64
(08-04-2018, 12:40 PM)Zynk Wrote: Got this error while inputting preferred buttons.  MM - Frown

Do you remember specifically what key you tried to assign? The key configuration code was picked up from MaGMML1, so I'm not entirely sure why it doesn't like some keys, but I have a workaround that at least keeps the game from breaking if I know the offending key.
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#65
Just got the secret character by collecting all of the JOES pieces. Not going to say anything other than I was not expecting it at all.
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#66
(08-04-2018, 02:50 PM)Flashman85 Wrote:
(08-04-2018, 12:40 PM)Zynk Wrote: Got this error while inputting preferred buttons.  MM - Frown

Do you remember specifically what key you tried to assign? The key configuration code was picked up from MaGMML1, so I'm not entirely sure why it doesn't like some keys, but I have a workaround that at least keeps the game from breaking if I know the offending key.

I usually assign buttons on the number pad. The offending keys are 5 thru 9, /*-+ and number dot.
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#67
I think the release date in the OP is wrong (April, not March?). Confused me for a bit since I wasn't aware of this game being released for a month.

Either way, I'll be sure to give this a look.
Generally disgruntled composer and Ideas Guy™. Currently directing Mega Man Shattered Diamond.

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#68
(09-04-2018, 11:41 AM)Zynk Wrote: I usually assign buttons on the number pad. The offending keys are 5 thru 9, /*-+ and number dot.

That helps, thanks. I'll look into it.

(09-04-2018, 12:13 PM)Threxx Wrote: I think the release date in the OP is wrong (April, not March?).

OOPS. That's what happens when I'm rushing to post updates in a half-dozen places at once. Fixed, thanks.

(08-04-2018, 07:20 AM)Diamond Wolf Wrote: Should've called the guy "Average Joe"

Close! His name is Regular Joe.
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#69
Forgot to mention this sooner because I'm juggling too many things at once, but V1.02 is released. Some quality of life improvements to hold you over until I get around to the bugfixing, plus FINALLY A README.
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#70
I have a couple of bug reports.

First, if you use Carry and go to another room (going past the camera change I mean), the Carry platform will still be there when you come back. You can even place another platform in the second room and you can see both of them during the camera transition. I don't have a picture, but if needed I'll post one.

Second, there's a pretty major semi-softlock (I'm saying that since you can always press 2 or exit) in the final level, in the section with the two 1-ups. If you improperly use the Carry platform to slide into the small gap instead of damage-boosting through the laser, you can get permanently stuck in the gap with no way out. Here's a picture:

[Image: DT70zaU.png]

Thirdly, there's a couple of minor translation issues. The first is that if you go in the character/difficulty settings in Cossack's area thingy, the text is always in English regardless of language settings (see picture below, notice how "CONFIRMER" is not in English). Also, I've noticed another fairly insignificant flaw, when you go to the next level and you see the hint message, you get an option to "CONTINUE". But in French, it's "SAUVEGARDER ET QUITTER" which means "save and continue". I haven't checked the other language settings. It's not really a problem since I'm pretty sure it does save when you go to the next level, but still. BTW, I was thinking of changing the subtitle (A Proto Man Adventure) of this game in French, since the translation turns out to be inconsistent with the other languages. Could that be done? I'll send you the new text then.

[Image: hK1zUYB.png]

Okay that aside, I think I'm going to leave my review of this game. But before that I have to congratulate you on actually finishing and releasing this game. It seems like there are tons of fangames that barely go past the conceptual stage and leave people with an unlimited amount of broken promises. So at the very least we got the game we were promised, and that I'm glad about. That being said this game isn't fantastic and has multiple problems. The most serious problem is that it's just too short. While I understand that a longer game usually means a longer development period, I think that OH JOES! is so short that you can probably finish it within 30 minutes, and it's very unlikely you'd go past 2 hours. This goes in correlation with another problem this game has: way too many split paths. Honestly, if all the various split paths were put together in a linear or semi-linear fashion, then not only would this game be longer, but there would be less times when I feel like I missed something. I know some people may argue this in favour of replayability, but I'd say that it's artificial and there are infinitely better ways to get the player to want to replay the game.

On a similar note, let's briefly talk about JOES letters. So one thing which I actually kinda like is that you need both Proto and Break Man to get all letters (or at least I think you do). What I do not like is that you're completely forbidden from changing game settings until you finish the main game, and although it's reasonable that you can't change the difficulty, not being able to change the armour is pretty stupid. MM9 and MM10 offer character selections only at the beginning of the game, but you're not expected to somehow switch to another character to get an item. In addition, this is just a weapon change. Speaking of those, while I don't really have a problem with the weapon selection with Proto and Break Man, Kalinka's bazooka is so OP that the other weapons look like a joke. This, oddly enough makes the game actually fun, and I'll explain the problem a little later. Back to the letters before I forget. My main problem with them is simply the fact that this is as much post-game and replay value as you get. Finding four letters in a game this small is ridiculously easy and very short, and the bonus challenge at the end is also too short and just a hair harder than the rest of the game. Unlocking Kalinka is a nice bonus, but honestly, it seems to me that this is an attempt to artificially increase the game length by encouraging the player to replay the game as a different character.

Right so let's talk about the serious problems with the gameplay itself. As I mentioned earlier, despite Kalinka's bazooka being OP, it makes the game really fun. Why do I say that? From my understanding, the reason this game was made was to try to use a single enemy type - one that is universally hated and arguably overused - and manage to make the levels fun despite that. However, I feel that this game doesn't do a great enough job at making those enemies tolerable and the levels start getting annoying real fast. The typical issues with Joes that you'd find in a Mega Man game are still there, for example constantly waiting for an enemy to lower its shield gets old fast, and more often than not I just feel like damage-boosting. In the end, the ironic nature of the enemy choice does not particularly help the game, in fact it hurts it quite a bit. Thankfully, the weapons are here for a reason, right? While they are very effective and good at getting through shielded enemies, the limited ammo really reduces their usefulness. Maybe if this game had unlimited or cooldown-based ammo, then it'd be more enjoyable. I mean okay sure we've got W-Tanks but considering how much ammo you need there's really not enough of those. Additionally, the amount of Rider Joes (the ones in the big purple thingies, is that what they're called?) is pretty ridiculous, especially considering how much damage they deal and require. Oh and Proto Man losing his charge when hit is REALLY annoying.

Now onto the level design itself. Now I actually like the choice of gimmicks in the levels themselves, however, I feel that some of them are forced. Something I can think of right away is the ladders, more often than not, you find yourself walking on top of ladders as if they were platforms with no use of the actual climbing parts. I can't really think of any scenarios in particular where this is the case, but just know that there are some instances when a certain gimmick was not needed. Repeated gimmicks are also a bit of a problem, some sections kinda feel like they're repeats of others. Other than that, I found the levels pretty creative and fun to go through, but as mentioned above the enemy design hurts the experience. I'll add a couple more things with this game. First, the dialogue is weird, it's not like in MaGMML where you can press up to talk to someone, rather you just approach someone and the text appears without even a transition, and if you accidentally skip the text you can't read it again. No biggie but still a problem. One last annoying problem is the lack of bosses and the story. The purple Joe that steals the shield is the only boss-like fight and even then he is defeated in less than 10 seconds, has no health bar, and doesn't even get a boss theme. Considering how much MM games focus on the bosses, this is pretty embarrassing. As for the story, it's not any worse than the typical "Dr Wily wants to destroy the world" plot, but coming back to the whole purple Joe thing, considering how he's the main villain, there's no dialogue whatsoever with him, and the worst of all, the game intro makes it look like he's strong (as evidenced by the "he got past the security system"), but in reality is less threatening than a regular enemy.

Okay that was a long post and I hope I didn't forget anything. To conclude, it's a good game, but not a great game. It suffers from a wide variety of problems that hurt the experience. I'm not upset by this, but I am a little disappointed as I was hoping for a little more. Hopefully this feedback will be useful for you. Again, I'm just grateful that this game was even released, and I'm aware that it took a lot of time off your hands to make this, so hopefully my comments aren't too mean.
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#71
(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: I have a couple of bug reports.

Noted, thanks. I should be able to fix all of those issues. Providing a new French subtitle is totally fine.

I appreciate your stab at diplomacy in your review, and thanks for giving detailed feedback. Some responses in kind:

(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: The most serious problem is that it's just too short. While I understand that a longer game usually means a longer development period, I think that OH JOES! is so short that you can probably finish it within 30 minutes, and it's very unlikely you'd go past 2 hours. This goes in correlation with another problem this game has: way too many split paths. Honestly, if all the various split paths were put together in a linear or semi-linear fashion, then not only would this game be longer, but there would be less times when I feel like I missed something. I know some people may argue this in favour of replayability, but I'd say that it's artificial and there are infinitely better ways to get the player to want to replay the game.

I never promised a long game; in fact, I say on the download page it's only 4 levels, and one or two playtesters thought even that was stretching the premise a bit thin. Even if you can finish the game within 30 minutes (for reference, the playtester average was 1-2 hours on a first playthrough), that's totally in line with how long it takes to beat the original NES Mega Man (my YouTube playthrough of MM1 clocks in at a little under 40 minutes). Removing the splits and arranging the paths in a linear fashion would certainly extend the length of the game, but it would fundamentally change the intended experience.

I feel that player choice is an essential component of any Mega Man game. Normally, you can save the most difficult stage for last, waiting until you've got lots of weapons, utilities, and special items to give you as much of a boost as possible to succeed. In OH JOES!, players don't get to choose the order of stages, and they have a limited weapon/utility selection, so I wanted to include some way of giving them control over the flow of the game. Split paths are a feature of several Mega Man games, particularly MM6, so those seemed like a reasonable way to give the player options without reinventing the gameplay.

I can't predict what will motivate people to replay or not replay a game—I've given up on plenty of open-ended games after only 20% completion, and I've played other games to death that are entirely linear with no real replay value. Yes, the split paths give the player new things to discover on subsequent playthroughs, but the focus here is on player choice. If you hate Quick Lasers, you have the freedom to skip them. If you're terrible at puzzles, you can avoid the Sheep Blocks. The player gets to craft the difficulty and gameplay experience to their liking. If the player feels like they've missed something, the postgame teleporters let them go back and explore before formally starting a new game. If the game feels too short, it's in the player's power to make it longer.

(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: What I do not like is that you're completely forbidden from changing game settings until you finish the main game, and although it's reasonable that you can't change the difficulty, not being able to change the armour is pretty stupid. MM9 and MM10 offer character selections only at the beginning of the game, but you're not expected to somehow switch to another character to get an item. In addition, this is just a weapon change.

Conversely, Mega Man & Bass requires one playthrough as each character to claim all the secrets. Mega Man 1, 6, 7, and 8 have secrets that are initially inaccessible if you don't play the stages in the right order, and you need to backtrack later if you want them all. There is a big precedent in the official games for not being able to get everything immediately on a first playthrough.

Due to how the game is programmed, enabling the player to change characters in the middle of a stage would be more difficult than it sounds. Moreover, doing so would be more than just a "weapon change." A lot of thought went into the weapon selection for each character—Proto Man's arsenal is similar in many ways to Break Man's, but the differences make for a surprisingly different gameplay experience. Being able to change characters at will would defeat the purpose of having separate characters; I might as well give you all eight weapons at once and then let you toggle on and off the damage-reducing armor.

(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: Unlocking Kalinka is a nice bonus, but honestly, it seems to me that this is an attempt to artificially increase the game length by encouraging the player to replay the game as a different character.

By that same logic, having multiple characters at all, in any capacity, unlockable or not, is an attempt to artificially increase the game length. Kalinka meaningfully alters the gameplay of a game that, by your estimation, can be beaten in under 30 minutes. If you don't like the game enough to keep playing, then you will have stopped by now. If you're a completionist who feels compelled to play as Kalinka despite hating the game, maybe the different gameplay will improve your opinion—and mercifully, you'll be finished in the time it takes to watch one episode of SpongeBob. If you actually like the game and want to play it again, Kalinka is indeed a nice bonus that helps keeps the game fresh. I don't see a downside in any of these scenarios.

(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: From my understanding, the reason this game was made was to try to use a single enemy type - one that is universally hated and arguably overused - and manage to make the levels fun despite that. However, I feel that this game doesn't do a great enough job at making those enemies tolerable and the levels start getting annoying real fast. The typical issues with Joes that you'd find in a Mega Man game are still there, for example constantly waiting for an enemy to lower its shield gets old fast, and more often than not I just feel like damage-boosting. In the end, the ironic nature of the enemy choice does not particularly help the game, in fact it hurts it quite a bit.

As stated on the game's download page, "...this is an exploration of the untapped potential of an iconic enemy type. I've seen too many fangames use Sniper Joes and their ilk in tired, uncreative ways; OH JOES! is an attempt to shake things up." I never promised fun, though I tried my hardest to make the game fun; I promised a showcase of how Joes can do so much more than block boring hallways and guard the tops of ladders. I also explain on the download page that the game is "puzzle- and strategy-oriented"; the fact that you gravitate toward damage-boosting through every challenge suggests to me that you're trying to play the game in a run-and-gun fashion, which just doesn't work with most of the challenge design.

If that's true, then your complaint is similar to criticizing an adventure game because the gameplay is just randomly clicking on things until you make progress—it completely overlooks the intangible element of problem-solving that gives the gameplay any meaning.

(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: Thankfully, the weapons are here for a reason, right? While they are very effective and good at getting through shielded enemies, the limited ammo really reduces their usefulness. Maybe if this game had unlimited or cooldown-based ammo, then it'd be more enjoyable. I mean okay sure we've got W-Tanks but considering how much ammo you need there's really not enough of those. Additionally, the amount of Rider Joes (the ones in the big purple thingies, is that what they're called?) is pretty ridiculous, especially considering how much damage they deal and require.

This game definitely takes some liberties with the typical Mega Man formula, but...cooldown ammo? Might as well just give the player infinite weapon energy instead of making them wait around for 10 seconds between each Joe. Just as the split paths give the player the option to skip gimmicks they don't care for, the special weapons allow the player to effectively bypass challenges they really don't want to deal with. The fact that you're running out of ammo so much and having a lot of trouble with the Sniper Armors further reinforces that you may be playing the game as a straight-up action game, which it is not. In addition to W-Tanks, weapon capsules are hidden all over the place if you poke around enough, and several challenges (particularly where Sniper Armors are involved) can be cleared without ever firing a shot.

(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: Oh and Proto Man losing his charge when hit is REALLY annoying.

It's also accurate to Mega Man 5 and 6, plus it keeps the Proto Buster from being overpowered compared with the Break Buster, and it puts pressure on the player to play cautiously and strategically if they want to keep their power advantage.

(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: Now I actually like the choice of gimmicks in the levels themselves, however, I feel that some of them are forced. Something I can think of right away is the ladders, more often than not, you find yourself walking on top of ladders as if they were platforms with no use of the actual climbing parts. I can't really think of any scenarios in particular where this is the case, but just know that there are some instances when a certain gimmick was not needed. Repeated gimmicks are also a bit of a problem, some sections kinda feel like they're repeats of others.

I can think of a few ladder sections that are pretty anemic in terms of using the gimmick to its fullest, so you're not wrong. But even the parts that are just platforms have a strategic component if you look carefully; or else they're intended to mess with the player's perceptions of how a ladder is meant to be used, leveraging the distraction factor of the Joes to make the challenge seem harder than it really is.

I will freely admit that a few screens (probably more) are a bit forced. As I describe in this blog post, the game wasn't originally intended to be nearly this long (it started off as a glorified MaGMML1 level), so by the time I got to the third and fourth levels, it was a stretch to find new and creative ways to use a couple of the gimmicks. I'm open to making adjustments if there are any challenges that are far too similar to previous ones, but there are definitely instances of challenges that deliberately build on old ones, and there are some challenges in the last stage with similar challenges on different paths (so it's less likely for a player to see both in the same playthrough). I also wanted to make sure that there was always at least a little bit of a learning curve if you suddenly decided to try out a gimmick in the third or fourth stage that you skipped previously, so there are a few soft repeats for the sake of instruction.

(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: First, the dialogue is weird, it's not like in MaGMML where you can press up to talk to someone, rather you just approach someone and the text appears without even a transition, and if you accidentally skip the text you can't read it again.

Although nobody mentioned having issues with the dialogue during playtesting, I have heard of a few people since the game's release accidentally skipping text. Because talking with people is not a core game mechanic (it only occurs in postgame/secret situations), I wanted to make sure that players (especially those who hadn't played MaGMML1) wouldn't be confused by this random arrow appearing out of nowhere, particularly if it required translating "PRESS UP" into multiple languages that may or may not fit comfortably within the confines of the arrow sprite. I may add a momentary delay before you can skip the text, though.

(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: One last annoying problem is the lack of bosses and the story. The purple Joe that steals the shield is the only boss-like fight and even then he is defeated in less than 10 seconds, has no health bar, and doesn't even get a boss theme. Considering how much MM games focus on the bosses, this is pretty embarrassing. As for the story, it's not any worse than the typical "Dr Wily wants to destroy the world" plot, but coming back to the whole purple Joe thing, considering how he's the main villain, there's no dialogue whatsoever with him, and the worst of all, the game intro makes it look like he's strong (as evidenced by the "he got past the security system"), but in reality is less threatening than a regular enemy.

Again, the focus of the game isn't on bosses; it's about using old Joes in new and creative ways. My lack of programming skill is part of why there aren't more (and more substantial) bosses, but the other part is that, at the end of the day, Regular Joe is just another random enemy. The intro cutscene builds him up to be some big threat, but then the first screen of the game has him waddling away like a goofball. The game has a sense of humor that delights in absurdity and subverting expectations, but I understand that type of humor doesn't work for everyone, especially if they're dead set on a regular Mega Man game with a huge boss at the end.

The final encounter with Regular Joe is different on every difficulty mode and is also affected by whether or not you have the Proto Shield equipped, and there is a legitimate challenge if you fight him with just the buster. I don't fault anyone for feeling that the final boss is disappointing, because he is, but hopefully it's still possible to eke out some enjoyment on the different settings.

(14-04-2018, 03:35 AM)Garirry Wrote: Again, I'm just grateful that this game was even released, and I'm aware that it took a lot of time off your hands to make this, so hopefully my comments aren't too mean.

Likewise, I hope my responses haven't come across too sharply. Despite very positive playtester feedback prior to release, almost everything I've heard about the game since its release has been overwhelmingly and relentlessly negative, and I can't even begin to articulate how detrimental it's been to my attitude this past week.
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#72
(16-04-2018, 05:12 AM)Flashman85 Wrote: Despite very positive playtester feedback prior to release, almost everything I've heard about the game since its release has been overwhelmingly and relentlessly negative, and I can't even begin to articulate how detrimental it's been to my attitude this past week.

I've been wondering how things have been going for OH JOES! since release as this thread's been pretty quiet, but I certainly wouldn't have expected this. I'm really sorry to hear it, and I can't imagine what about this game would inspire such negativity.

So many fan games aim sky high, oftentimes trying to outdo the source material (assuming they get finished in the first place), and... well, let's just say the bigger they are, the harder they can fall. Something I love about OH JOES! is it doesn't pretend to be more than it is: a quirky little game about a single class of enemy to showcase them in new and interesting scenarios. And for such a simple mission, I think it really goes above and beyond with its extra content, attention to detail, abundant Easter eggs and so on.

Concerning level design, I've wondered about the path approach in the past--usually in regards to what a pain it could be to keep track of where all I'd been when testing--but in the end I think it worked out quite well. For a game with no stage select it manages to maintain the freedom of choice that Mega Man games have always had, and when the level design is worked around the focused use of gimmicks it's nice to be able to skip what you may not be in the mood for, or even try something else if the last one didn't go so well.

While the level design itself was bound to have a few moments that inspire an "Ugh, just rush through" attitude due to the very nature of its focus enemy, for building an entire game around a select few Joes I think it turned out very fun. The stop-and-think, puzzle-and-strategy nature of the design plays quite well with the natural wait time that goes with many of the Joes, ultimately making rough spots pretty few and far. And of course, if you're really in a hurry, piercing weapons suffice quite well... especially when, in my experience, there are more W-Tanks scattered about than I could shake a stick at.

Presentationally speaking, I think the opening art is quite nice and the levels themselves have nice mixups of existing MM tiles, put to some pleasant and oftentimes pretty striking palettes. I'd say the music is also pretty decent for original compositions, and I am very picky about my Mega Man music.

Of course, any fan game deserves engine scrutiny... and for the most part, OH JOES! passes quite well--especially considering it was headed by a someone with minimal programming experience building atop MaGMML1's rather questionable adaption of my engine. Sure, it's no secret that Item-2 is broken in the strangest ways, but given the modest nature of the game and the fact you can almost skip ever even using said weapon, I find it more passable here than I might in other titles.
And more importantly, I don't typically find general bugs nearly as detracting from the experience as an inaccurate or finicky core engine. In that regard this game is very solid, and I don't think I've ever had occasion to lose trust in the engine.

Also concerning the engine, I maintain that 30fps isn't the crime some seem to think it is. I've technically been playing NES Mega Man since I was three years old, and in my experience this/my engine plays just as smooth and precise as the original games. While it may not be as visually crisp and whatnot, unless other people's eyes are somehow hyper-sensitive to that it really does nothing to hurt the gameplay--as demonstrated by some of the crazy tight maneuvers I've pulled and have seen pulled during boss battles and such. It honestly kind of astounds me how passionately some have complained about this over the years while most don't even notice.

Anyway, it seems this has turned into my own little review of sorts, so I'll wrap with a proper conclusion. To echo what I started with: OH JOES! doesn't pretend to be more than it is, and for what it is, it makes a very solid delivery. The different formula, puzzle-oriented level design and humorous slant may not be for everyone, but I think the fan game scene could use more modest projects like this that try new and fresh things in what's become a rather jaded franchise through so many similar releases. I have no obvious complaints with it, and all things said, it earns my honest recommendation.
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#73
Right so before the next version releases without me noticing again I guess I'll let you know about the updated subtitle (and translation in general).

Change "AVENTURE AVEC PROTO MAN" to "UNE AVENTURE DE PROTO MAN". If there's not enough character space, shorten it to "UNE AVENTURE PROTO MAN". Also, while you fixed the translation bug in the character switch menu, turns out you forgot to change "CHARGE SFX" as that is in English on all language settings.

Regarding your response. Before I say anything I'd just like to clarify that I don't want to seem like I'm wishing ill towards you or this game, nor am I angry or upset that this game isn't exactly to my liking, however I am completely honest and what I say is simply to give you an idea as to what I think you did wrong and how you can make sure you can make your next game much better than this one (assuming you want to make one). Despite my criticism I still think this is a good game, just not an excellent one, and I still want to support this game (as demonstrated by the fact that I'm still contributing translation fixes and a couple of bug reports). Just wanted to point this out in case I was too aggressive or anything.

Anyway, the first thing I want to address is the following:

Quote:I never promised a long game; in fact, I say on the download page it's only 4 levels, and one or two playtesters thought even that was stretching the premise a bit thin.
Quote:I never promised fun, though I tried my hardest to make the game fun

I find it rather odd to use this argument, I'm not criticizing this game because it didn't deliver something it promised, it definitely delivered everything it promised, however a couple of tags on the webpage/etc. aren't really enough to show what a game truly offers. Rather, I'm criticizing this game because what it offered is simply not satisfactory in some scenarios. For example, the game being too short is an issue because... well, it's too short. It doesn't matter what it promised, if what it promises is unsatisfactory to begin with, then that's a problem. To me, this correlates to the "it's not a bug it's a feature" argument, just because you acknowledge the problem doesn't make it go away.

Quote:Due to how the game is programmed, enabling the player to change characters in the middle of a stage would be more difficult than it sounds. Moreover, doing so would be more than just a "weapon change." A lot of thought went into the weapon selection for each character—Proto Man's arsenal is similar in many ways to Break Man's, but the differences make for a surprisingly different gameplay experience. Being able to change characters at will would defeat the purpose of having separate characters; I might as well give you all eight weapons at once and then let you toggle on and off the damage-reducing armor.

That's not what I meant, what I meant is that having to first finish the game and go through the credits before getting to change the character is a bit annoying. Although the game is short, it's long enough that if you don't like your character, you feel annoyed at having to use it. In my argument about Mega Man 9 and 10, I simply meant that whatever character you start with is stuck until you start a new game, however there aren't any upgrades in the stages that require another character. MM & Bass did something even worse than OH JOES!, in that there are plenty of discs in-stage that cannot be obtained, simply because you keep the character you start with. Regardless, just because an official game did something, doesn't mean that it should be followed. Anyway, what I meant was to have the option to change characters in-between stages. However, the stage select is only accessible after the main game is over, thus this is impossible. Speaking of which...

Quote:I feel that player choice is an essential component of any Mega Man game. Normally, you can save the most difficult stage for last, waiting until you've got lots of weapons, utilities, and special items to give you as much of a boost as possible to succeed. In OH JOES!, players don't get to choose the order of stages, and they have a limited weapon/utility selection, so I wanted to include some way of giving them control over the flow of the game. Split paths are a feature of several Mega Man games, particularly MM6, so those seemed like a reasonable way to give the player options without reinventing the gameplay.

Well, it does seem like a stage select would have been a good idea here. I mean sure, as I've mentioned it is a short game, but I can think of a few ways that there could be a stage select that incorporates the linearity of OH JOES! in a hybrid-like manner. For example, the fourth level has this really long and tedious path that involves going through at least 4 decently long areas, with the total choice of 12. Wouldn't that be a perfect opportunity to bring the player to the stage select, and choose which path to go through first? Maybe even have a system where you have 12 unlocked areas right away, but you only need to beat 4 to keep going, I don't know, there's multiple ways. My point is, you could increase the length of the levels by reducing the usage of split paths (you mentioned MM6, but that game, for example, used split paths fairly occasionally). I can also think of a more reasonable compromise that involves simply marking which areas have been beaten, so that the player knows which ones to explore on their next playthrough. Anyway, there's numerous ways to do it, and IMO OH JOES! doesn't do it in the best way.

Quote:I promised a showcase of how Joes can do so much more than block boring hallways and guard the tops of ladders. I also explain on the download page that the game is "puzzle- and strategy-oriented"; the fact that you gravitate toward damage-boosting through every challenge suggests to me that you're trying to play the game in a run-and-gun fashion, which just doesn't work with most of the challenge design.

If that's true, then your complaint is similar to criticizing an adventure game because the gameplay is just randomly clicking on things until you make progress—it completely overlooks the intangible element of problem-solving that gives the gameplay any meaning.

While there's nothing wrong with puzzles or strategy, including if it's in an action game, I feel like this game doesn't showcase the actual potential of Joes, maybe because there isn't much of it, I dunno, but while they aren't blocking boring hallways (since admittedly this game is doesn't have a lot of boring or empty rooms), they do seem to be pretty keen on blocking edges and tops of ladders, like they do in most MM games. Since Mega Man is primarily an action-platformer at its core, you can't exactly place MM components in a puzzle-platformer and expect everything to work out fine. I get that you're trying to showcase the strategic nature of defeating Joes, but I don't feel that I have to play strategically, I feel like I have to perfectly time my jumps to avoid shots. And due to how the game is engineered, my inclination is to damage boost since it unfortunately is more fun than playing as intended.

Quote:This game definitely takes some liberties with the typical Mega Man formula, but...cooldown ammo? Might as well just give the player infinite weapon energy instead of making them wait around for 10 seconds between each Joe. Just as the split paths give the player the option to skip gimmicks they don't care for, the special weapons allow the player to effectively bypass challenges they really don't want to deal with. The fact that you're running out of ammo so much and having a lot of trouble with the Sniper Armors further reinforces that you may be playing the game as a straight-up action game, which it is not. In addition to W-Tanks, weapon capsules are hidden all over the place if you poke around enough, and several challenges (particularly where Sniper Armors are involved) can be cleared without ever firing a shot.

The idea with cooldown was more to prevent the player from spamming weapon shots rather than forcing them to wait, but I can see how it wouldn't work so I'll give you that. However, I don't really like the argument of "bypassing challenges". As I mentioned above, the method in which the MM games play in general is sorta incompatible with the Joes enemies as they're presented here. Often than not, there's really no strategy involved, it's just quick reaction and quick thinking. There's at least a couple of screens which have timed obstacles or really tricky movements. While I could probably stay for a couple seconds and think this through, often than not it seems worthless due to the fact that there's a lot of timing involved, which isn't really suitable for a puzzle game IMO. Sure maybe I AM playing it wrong but if that's the case I find it rather annoying that the game lets me play this way.

Anyway, there's probably more I wish to say but at the moment it's getting very late and I have to go. I agree with Blyka that some games are overambitious and fail because of it, and for that I do have to praise OH JOES!, however I can't exactly deny that it still offers fairly little content, and for a game this small, hasn't really perfected some of the basics. Regardless, I still keep coming back to this game so I guess that's a huge positive note.
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#74
Adding my own two cents in light of Garriry's arguments here:

(18-04-2018, 09:20 AM)Garirry Wrote: The idea with cooldown was more to prevent the player from spamming weapon shots rather than forcing them to wait, but I can see how it wouldn't work so I'll give you that. However, I don't really like the argument of "bypassing challenges". As I mentioned above, the method in which the MM games play in general is sorta incompatible with the Joes enemies as they're presented here. Often than not, there's really no strategy involved, it's just quick reaction and quick thinking. There's at least a couple of screens which have timed obstacles or really tricky movements. While I could probably stay for a couple seconds and think this through, often than not it seems worthless due to the fact that there's a lot of timing involved, which isn't really suitable for a puzzle game IMO. Sure maybe I AM playing it wrong but if that's the case I find it rather annoying that the game lets me play this way.

I don't think this particular argument applies in all cases, but I gotta admit, the Quick Man lasers do seem to encourage that mindset. In any of the sections with no escape but down, I'll often damage boost or pull out special weapons because otherwise I'm getting fried alive trying to take out the Joes. And there are other specific sections where I'd regularly damage-boost, such as the ladder room with the skeleton Joes in level 2. Ultimately, I didn't have much trouble with this game, as I'm already a pretty slow and cautious Mega Man player who would rather slowly take out enemies with buster shots than waste precious ammo, but even I had to blitz in some of those rooms.

And regarding the length issue, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it would've been nice to see a few more different Joe types or perhaps even more custom-made Joe types, and I agree that after I beat normal with every character the only real reason to go back was to beat difficult with every character, which I'm already 1/3 of the way to doing(and probably would've finished had I not decided to replay Subspace Emissary, lol). But at the same time, I think a short game can be short and still fun. A good example is the Gunman Clive series-you can beat those in an hour and fully complete on every mode with every character in maybe 12, but it's still some of the tightest run and gun platforming action I've played in a while. So overall, I think Flash is fine here. Although, if he ever felt compelled to add additional content in an update, I certainly wouldn't object.
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#75
V1.03 is out, with a mix of different fixes and improvements—among other things, there's a momentary delay before you can dismiss text boxes (to reduce the chances of skipping dialogue by accident), and Item-2 and Carry should hopefully get players stuck in walls less frequently now.

I'm working on writing an ongoing series of behind-the-scenes insights on the game; the first two installments have been posted to my blog, with more on the way:

OH JOES! Developer Diary #1: Timeline of a Dream

OH JOES! Developer Diary #2: Programming

@Blyka: Thank you. That's all I really wanted out of this project—set a few goals, accomplish them, give players a little something different and maybe make them happy in the process.

@Lionheart: Fair point about the Quick Lasers, and your specific examples are very helpful in getting me to understand where you're coming from.

@Garirry: "Charge SFX" is intentionally left untranslated, after a conversation with one of my translators who's done other video game work before. I'll update the subtitle with the new translation. As for everything else...I'm having a really difficult time responding, because I just don't understand where you're coming from. The game is too short...because it's too short? The game offers very little content, hasn't perfected some of the basics, uses enemies that are incompatible with the intended gameplay, is annoying because it can be played the "wrong" way, has a fourth stage that is "long and tedious," is unsatisfying because it delivers on a promise you don't like to begin with, is possessed of things I "did wrong" that can be corrected to make my next game "much better than this one"...but it's a good game that you keep coming back to, and you want it to be longer? I just don't get it. Please explain what I'm missing here.
No matter where you go, there you are.
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#76
(18-04-2018, 10:58 PM)Flashman85 Wrote: @Garirry: "Charge SFX" is intentionally left untranslated, after a conversation with one of my translators who's done other video game work before. I'll update the subtitle with the new translation. As for everything else...I'm having a really difficult time responding, because I just don't understand where you're coming from. The game is too short...because it's too short? The game offers very little content, hasn't perfected some of the basics, uses enemies that are incompatible with the intended gameplay, is annoying because it can be played the "wrong" way, has a fourth stage that is "long and tedious," is unsatisfying because it delivers on a promise you don't like to begin with, is possessed of things I "did wrong" that can be corrected to make my next game "much better than this one"...but it's a good game that you keep coming back to, and you want it to be longer? I just don't get it. Please explain what I'm missing here.

Sorry, but I don't really understand what's confusing about my post. The general point is that while I enjoy playing this game, it nonetheless feels frustrating at multiple times, and I feel that it can be much better. The game is too short, when I say "long and tedious" I'm implying that in a relative way; the fourth stage is much longer than the rest of the others, and it feels longer because it's tedious. The enemies that are incompatible with the gameplay/not perfected the basics simply mean that the game isn't really optimised for those types on enemies. When I say that I'm annoyed that I can play it wrong, I simply mean that in the case that it turns out that you're right about me playing the game improperly, the game is partially to blame due to fact that it is so easy to play it "wrong". And as I just said while I still enjoy the game, it has numerous problems, most of which could have been fixed, but since the game is already finished, you can use my suggestions to make sure that anything you make after this doesn't repeat the same mistakes. That's just my opinion.
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#77
I mean...updates exist.

I don't think most of these problems you're pointing out are that severe, but if he felt the need to, he could always release an update to the game.
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