Please vote my game back up!

The first round of judging in the Kongregate/Unity game contest is by user rating — the 25 highest-rated games go on to the second round of judging. My game used to be very highly rated,┬ábut today it went plummeting down to 31st place — below the cutoff point.

It appears that other contestants are asking their friends to down-rate all the other games.┬áThis is incredibly lame. Please don’t artificially down-rate games! But, please do rate my game back up! :)

I would really appreciate it if you did so. It requires making a Kongregate account, but it’s pretty painless.

Play it here!

Here are some screenshots of the game. You can finish it in a lunch hour, so it’s not super long, but it’s got a lot of fun stuff packed into it.

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9 Responses to Please vote my game back up!

  1. Elliot says:

    I voted! BTW, fun game!

  2. Mike Grem says:

    Uprated it! I think the game could use some work, but the foundation you have here is very cool. I’ll be showing it to a friend who loves survival horror games today.

  3. Oli says:

    It seems Kongregate does not take into account new user votes (you can vote but the average rating won’t change). Anybody can confirm/infirm this ?

  4. Eric says:

    Thanks guys! I am also keen to hear any feedback you may have. Even if it’s stuff I can’t act on now, I would love to learn as much as possible from this game.

    Oli – I’ve seen it go up a 100th of a point from a new account… but the old accounts may be weighted more. I really can’t tell how it works.

  5. Mike Grem says:

    Hey Eric,
    I played up until you get those quests from the ghosts. I stopped playing partly because I was ill (which wasn’t your game’s fault =P), but also because of the endless stream of skeletons coming my way. It looked like they respawned constantly, and I just didn’t feel like dealing with the constantly respawning guys.

    I can take a stab at why you made it that way (I’m guessing constant tension?), but I didn’t like the skeletons running at me when I was trying to read your (humorous) character dialog. I would have preferred perhaps random encounters of slightly more powerful individual skeletons instead of a constant army. That way I am tense, but not having to constantly juggle holy water and text-reading.

    That was my only problem with the game, from what I played. Oh, the UI feels unpolished, but this is a contest entry on a deadline — I’m not gonna ding you for that. I can still go into detail if you want.

    I hope this helps!

  6. Eric says:

    Mike Grem – Thanks for the feedback! I think I know about the GUI issues… I just ran out of time there.

    The constant-spawning skeletons are a more fundamental issue; I was trying to get some of the tension during problem-solving that I experienced playing the original Resident Evil games, along with some of the associated resource-management problems. That seems to be a stickier problem. I’m really not sure how to get that feel.

  7. Mike Grem says:

    I’m not sure how to capture that constant tension either, to be honest. I’m brainstorming on my end, and here’s two ideas I’ve come up with in the past ten minutes:
    – Maybe make the fountain a little less safe. As it is, it’s a nice haven where I can go and fill up my holy water without too much trouble. Adding in a random chance for an encounter there would make even trips to the fountain somewhat tense… and especially in a random pattern, players won’t ever know if they will be safe or not.
    – In the ambient sounds, maybe add in something that sounds a lot like monsters attacking? Not generic sounds, but sounds that are almost like actual sounds the monsters use. It’ll keep people on their toes (“What was that?!”) and it’ll promote mastery, too (“I’m safe, that’s just background noise”).

    Also, I was only critical in my feedback above, which is unfair because I liked a lot about the game too. I already mentioned that your dialog is cool. I also like the idea of a skill tree in a survival horror game– that opens up a lot of really awesome possibilities. I personally chose the ability to get water as a random drop, but it was a tough choice between that and the bone regeneration one. Well done there!

    I’ll be playing it again some time in the future, probably in fifteen minutes. I hope this extra bit helped too.

  8. Eric says:

    Yeah, I think some “trickery” techniques (like sound fake outs) might do well… as long as the game remains short and they don’t get repetitive. I’ll think about that angle a bit.

    I actually reduced the skeleton respawn rate a whole lot yesterday, as sort of a knee-jerk adjustment to see if it made the ratings go up. (No real change though.) So if you replay it, please let me know what you think of that change!

  9. Mike Grem says:

    I played it all through just now, 12/13 score, 0/3 secrets.

    I’m still very gung-ho about the skill tree. It’s such a simple addition, but I really dig it. Especially stuff like Sixth Sense and Preternatural Swiftness — stuff that doesn’t directly affect combat but still feels fun.

    The skeleton respawn rate was much better, I felt. There were still times when I was ambushed by 6+ skeletons, but those times were really fun. You might be able to bump the respawn rate back up a slight, slight bit, but where it is now feels close to ideal.

    I liked the caretaker’s puzzle. I wondered about the statues before, and when I read his “quest” I knew instantly what to do. That felt good.

    One thing I did have trouble with was the control scheme. I didn’t really care until I ran into the undead sorcerers — strafing and shooting back was really difficult to get the hang of. I think one problem is that I’m used to A and D to strafe instead of Q and E, but I also feel that allowing right-click to use your weapon would help that out a bit. Also, is there any reason we can’t look up and down with the mouse?

    One last thing — When I got to “Christopher” and his ambush in the statue field, two Christophers spawned, one halfway on top of the other. I could talk to the second one (I tried this after clearing the ambush) but he didn’t spawn a second ambush. He just sort of stayed there and watched me. Definitely creepy, at least. =P