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Description

Delve into the endless halls of the Kvatch mages guild, avoiding Clannfears and Scamps with the Cloak of Grey tomorrow, or attempt to kill them with fireballs even though they are partially fireproof. Collect gold to return to Quill-Weave with, and try to get as far as possible into Sigrid's lair. Maybe even plumb the depths of oblivion!

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realbboy Infiltrate 1 0 6 1
Comments
AMKitsune
AMKitsune

The mechanics of the game are really fleshing out well. With the inclusion of enemy hearing, I've found that the sprinting by default causes the clannfear and scamp in the tutorial level to hear you as soon as you run past. I'd suggest changing the 'shift toggle' for sprinting to a 'hold shift to sprint' method. This way, player would move more stealthily by default, and sprinting would have to be a conscious choice on the players part. If they player 'does' choose to try to sprint past these first two enemies, it's close enough to the beginning of the tutorial that if they get caught, it's no big loss (that'll teach them not to try to sprint behind enemies).
Secondly, unless there's something I'm not aware of, there doesn't seem to be any way to collect the contents of open crates without either using magic to move/destroy them or walk into the crate (causing minor injury). If you were to include the ability to collect near-bye collectables by 'e pressing' them as well as walking into them, player could loot crates by effectively single pressing e to check them and pressing e again to take whatever may be inside. Also, the 'you hurt yourself' message appears even when making contact with things when not sprinting. I get the mechanics reason for this, but it seems a little odd to take damage from slowly walking into a crate or wall (you take so little damage to, it's almost pointless).
thirdly, seeing as there's now even more information to be displayed to the player (health, magic, score, gold and most recent message), I'd strongly recommend dedicating a narrow strip along the top (or wherever you see fit) to a status bar of sorts, sort of like they had in the old castlevania games. They had a sizable portion of black space at the top of the screen dedicated to clearly displaying things like player health, power ups, score ,e.t.c. Now, at this stage, you wouldn't need to dedicate anywhere near as much space as the old castlevania's did, as you've got much less information that you need to get across, but an area like that would allow you to notify the player via text updates without obscuring the gameplay area (imagine how much easier to read it could be to. White on black text for example?) and even portray health and magicka as scale-able bars instead of descriptive text or fractions.
Feature wise, the game's feeling really good. I think what's letting it down at the moment is the general visual design and UI. For instance, the main menu screen is a mess. No offence, but it's visually messy and hard to read. Not hard as in 'I can't figure this out', but hard as in 'this could be easier to scan over and interpret'. I don't know if you have kind of 'data permanence' between play sessions, but if it's possible, it could be worth implementing the tutorial level as the first level, just to make sure every player get's to see it at least once. (speaking of which, I don't recall any mention of rug 'noise dampening' anywhere in the tutorial or help screen. Is that going to be mentioned or left as a 'hidden mechanic'?)
Finally, assuming this is possible, I'd suggest including some 'oblivion transport tiles' into the tutorial level. Assuming that oblivion can be used to warp out of and back into the same over-world level (a bit like the nether in minecraft), you could block off the path in the tutorial level with a wall with oblivion portals either side and tell the player what they are with a piece of text. That way, the player would know what they are and would have to use them in order to progress through the tutorial. I'm not sure how these portals work though, so whether this is possible or not, I don't know.
And that's pretty much it for now. Well, that and how did your exams go?

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realDragon Author
realDragon

There is an option for non-toggling sprint, so I guess that can be redirected under the 'menu is a mess' issue. The trial and error learning for the tutorial was part of the intent, the instruction is mostly there so they know what things they should try to be doing. On your recommendation, I've made the first room always be the tutorial room unless they have completed the tutorial room before.
As per suggestion, I made collectables pick-upable with 'e' and <ctrl>.
You shouldn't be able to hurt yourselves with walls by walking into them, but the damage from crates is more to signify Katia clumsily tripping over them and falling. (And also for the balance reasons of preventing you from just running through crates wantonly, which defeats the AI quite handily) The reason that is is so low in damage is because the primary intent is deter, not punish.
On better HUD display, this is an ongoing concern, and as a short-term fix I just slapped a grey rectangle under the information printout, I'm think about maybe making a basic Katia avatar to display her health in the future. Owing the source content, I want to explicitly not show exact number readouts of her health and mana unless an option is selected for it.
I will work on improve the menu screen and look of the game, but that will sadly be near the bottom of the list of things I plan to do, at least until I shove as much content as I feel comfortable doing, as that might change how I approach the look of the game.
Portals basically work like leaving the room except the room list you can go to is different, so adding them to the tutorial would be entirely specific code, and more importantly give the user false impressions about the in-game mechanics. I do like the idea of going into a portal to end back somewhere on the same level but do to how the engine I'm using works the best way to do this would be to make a big level and have to portions that the view and player switches between. This is possible but would require some very major re-writes to a bunch of pieces of code where I assumed some things when I first wrote the code, like that the entire room would be used for the play area and that everything connects on a basic AI-interpretable grid.

My exams went well, thanks for asking, and as always thanks for the criticism.

EDIT1: Just realized that oblivion portals in the tutorial would work as a means to extend it, I could just make them go to another tutorial room which would give me more space to help the starting player. Now all I have to do is think of things to put in it so that I can justify another screen's worth of space...

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