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So I'm making a game...try it out today!
 
Hi, NWers! I've been working on a game with my brother for awhile and we've just put up a playable demo.



Tadpole Treble! Yay!

Okay, so go check it out and lemme know what you think. It's still kind of rough around the edges in places, but hopefully you guys enjoy it. The concept is basically about using a musical staff as the playing field, and dodging the notes of the actual background music. I did the music and art, my brother did the level design and we hired a couple guys to do programming.

Go have fun~

EDIT: If Mac users are having trouble with it running, try this link. It's missing Baton's mother hopping around at the beginning of the stage, but it should make it run smoother.

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Posted: 09/29/12, 07:24:36  - Edited by 
 on: 09/29/12, 20:26:37
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Played until I... died? (Not sure, just gave me game over!) and it seemed pretty good. Not sure if it'd be more fun as analog or the current digital controls, though. Digital allows for really snappy, precise movement, but analog flows smooth, which is nice for music. I really liked the old timey/almost ice cream truckish music and how sometimes the foreground got in the way.
Posted: 09/29/12, 07:45:41
@Xbob42

Thanks for the impressions! Yeah, sounds like you died (it's kind of sudden, but the life bar is in the top corner). We decided on digital controls early on mainly for the ease of knowing whether you'd collide with an environment/note or not, rather than the somewhat more nebulous nature of analog. I see what you mean about the flowiness of analog though.
Posted: 09/29/12, 07:50:51
I am shocked and ashamed that you didn't add a custom Zero song in there.

Downloading though. Also downloading a billion other things and I'm pretty sure my cousin is download erm... videos of an adult nature... so this might take awhile.

In all seriousness, as I said in chat the other day, if we never take all of the talent here and make a Negative World video game then we all fail at life.
Posted: 09/29/12, 07:53:09  - Edited by 
 on: 09/29/12, 07:55:40
Good stuff.

The artwork/world seems alive and the music is very catchy.

For some reason I tried collecting the music notes on my first few attempts. I will blame that on the fact that I'm dead-tired at the moment.
Thumbs up so far. I just need a clearer mind next time I boot it up.
Posted: 09/29/12, 10:16:24
Sweet! And it's developed in Unity, so it's Wii U compatible. :)

This is a fun game. I had a few goes, my best score was 23960. At first I thought the yellow ovals were hard to aim for, and that it might be easier if the staff lines / gaps were yellow instead, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

You can feel right away this is made by someone who loves games. It's clear a lot of thought and love is going into this. I liked the characters moving around in the background, and the changes in mood. I guess I missed a few action points when it felt like I was hitting Space on them, but my timing was probably off. When you do hit one it can be hard to know where you're going to land. Maybe a shadow of the tadpole should stay on the playfield when you're flipping through the air?

If anything is lacking for me, it's that you don't get a very strong sense of if you're doing well or doing badly, the game looks and sounds the same either way it's just your score that is affected (is that right?). Maybe some kind of extra level of feedback would be good to increase the excitement?

I like the music. Everything in the demo feels like it -works- as it should, which is a big accomplishment. If you can make it a bit more lively then who knows how far it could go?
Posted: 09/29/12, 13:47:15  - Edited by 
 on: 09/29/12, 14:05:43
As long as you aren't like this:

Posted: 09/29/12, 13:59:14  - Edited by 
 on: 09/29/12, 13:59:44
Hey man that's pretty fun! I gotta say the Mac version gave me an eternal, "shit I have to force quit" spinning wheel a couple times, but I could get it to work finally. Fun music and stylized visuals, even the text is stylized! Gameplay is alright but the presentation won me over. You know, seeing that text in your comics is second nature but seeing it in a game... I really wish more developers got creative with the texts and menus in their games.

With a bit more polish you could pitch it to Nintendo! With the never ending amount of crap that gets released this could actually fare well, and with the success of your comic Nintendo will take it seriously. I'm dead serious I could totally see Tadpole Treble on 3DSWare.

I agree with Xbob, analog control would benefit the game. And I think if you were collecting the musical notes rather than avoiding them it would give you a bigger sense of, you're actually making the music and being a part of it, while still retaining the same gameplay idea and level of challenge (miss so many notes and you die), but it's still very fun as it is.
Posted: 09/29/12, 15:26:58  - Edited by 
 on: 09/29/12, 15:37:01
Hmm, tried the Mac version and it froze on me a couple of times, right at the loading stage, cool splash screen and menu music though!

I'll try later on a different mac, this one is a mini and it's crap for gaming since it has no video card.
Posted: 09/29/12, 15:57:31
deathly_hallows said:
Hmm, tried the Mac version and it froze on me a couple of times, right at the loading stage, cool splash screen and menu music though!

I'll try later on a different mac, this one is a mini and it's crap for gaming since it has no video card.
Same thing happened to me, I fixed it by playing it in windowed mode. And it still crashed there but after a few minutes it came back.
Posted: 09/29/12, 15:59:30
@GelatinousEncore
Yeah I saw where you said you got the beachball of death. I just can't get it work, I tried it on low settings, windowed, not-windowed, hrm. *shrugs*
Posted: 09/29/12, 16:04:56
I too am getting beachball'd on the Mac version pretty bad (on my 2009 MacBook Pro). It first beachballs at the level title screen, then again as I pass the first note. The video freezes but the audio keeps going, so the audio is three or four measures past the part where I'm playing. After that it works, albeit with some stuttering and such. It's hard to get a feel for the game in such a bumbled state, but it did seem pretty enjoyable when it worked.

I'll boot my windows partition and try that version later.
Posted: 09/29/12, 17:55:10
Well shoot. I'm not sure what the technical issues are, but I'll look into that soon. The problem is that even if it stutters a little, the whole song will be thrown off compared to when the notes play, so we were trying hard not to have that happen. That's the downside of developing for computers, I guess! Could it be a size issue?

@ploot

Thanks! We've been trying to incorporate a lot of little animations here and there to keep things continually surprising/interesting. The problem is that if we have too many, the game stutters and throws off the song (for instance, an early idea was to pass under Baton's parents at one point, who snatch up mosquitos with their tongues to the beat). Her parents are still in, but mainly just hopping around. Early on, several people suggested that collecting the notes might be more intuitive. I can see why, but I wanted the game to be less...automatic, I guess? Like if you're collecting the notes, it'd feel like there's only one correct path as opposed to giving the player a little more choice in where to go.

@Infinitywave

Thanks for the impressions! It's interesting hearing about the kind of stuff that I sort of take for granted (having played it hundreds of times)--for instance, when you hit an accent, it's best to just let Baton land back in the water without hitting any direction; it won't put her right in front of a note or obstacle. But there's nothing in the game that implies this, so some sort of visual cue could be useful. I really like your suggestion of a visual/audible cue that the player is doing better. If we can figure out a way to make the colors start to get more intense and Baton has a glow or trail while the music adds an instrument or something, that'd be very cool. A few people have mentioned that the accent is a little hard to time--I think I know why now and it shouldn't be hard to fix.

@chrisbg99

Hah! Gave me a good laugh!

@GelatinousEncore

Thanks for the feedback. You guys aren't the only ones who suggested analog control either. Hm...

I would love to have it on a Nintendo system more than any other system, but I'm worried about size restrictions, licensing costs, and Nintendo's kind of funny way they handle eShop stuff. Would I need a dev kit or something?
Posted: 09/29/12, 19:32:25
Infinitywave said:
When you do hit one it can be hard to know where you're going to land. Maybe a shadow of the tadpole should stay on the playfield when you're flipping through the air?

If anything is lacking for me, it's that you don't get a very strong sense of if you're doing well or doing badly, the game looks and sounds the same either way it's just your score that is affected (is that right?). Maybe some kind of extra level of feedback would be good to increase the excitement?

This was my only "complaint", there didn't seem to be enough feedback within the game to give me a good sense of my performance / etc. Otherwise it was pretty fun. The concept is neat. I kind of jumped right in so I might have missed something, but does it explain why you don't want to get the music notes? I mean more from a "story" perspective. It might help to make them more menacing or something, I dunno, give the player a reason to feel like music notes are bad and should be avoided other than "this is the way the game is". But maybe you already did that and I missed it.
Posted: 09/29/12, 19:40:51
@Zero

That's an interesting thought that I hadn't really given consideration to--WHY the notes are an obstacle. The main story of the game is basically about Baton making her way back home to Tadpole Pond, with the notes kind of representing the general "wilderness", I suppose.

For Mac users that had trouble, I edited in a new link at the top that might work.
Posted: 09/29/12, 20:28:04
TriforceBun said:


@Infinitywave

Thanks for the impressions! It's interesting hearing about the kind of stuff that I sort of take for granted (having played it hundreds of times)--for instance, when you hit an accent, it's best to just let Baton land back in the water without hitting any direction; it won't put her right in front of a note or obstacle. But there's nothing in the game that implies this, so some sort of visual cue could be useful. I really like your suggestion of a visual/audible cue that the player is doing better. If we can figure out a way to make the colors start to get more intense and Baton has a glow or trail while the music adds an instrument or something, that'd be very cool. A few people have mentioned that the accent is a little hard to time--I think I know why now and it shouldn't be hard to fix.

I was going to suggest another layer to the music if that was possible! Yeah, any of those ideas would just pep things up just that bit extra and make you feel more connected to what Baton is doing. :)
Posted: 09/30/12, 01:16:14
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