IndieCade Feedback on Demo

We submitted a demo of the game to IndieCade for an upcoming IndieCade Festival and unfortunately didn’t make it. 😦

All is not lost though! We received some really great feedback and have since released a new demo taking the feedback into consideration. We thought we would share the feedback in it’s raw form and then what we did to try and respond to that feedback.

Feedback 1
The concept is solid as a multiplayer game, and a stands out a little (while there are plenty of chaotically fun local mutilplayer game, car-physics soccer is a least a little different, and cool). However the controls, specifically the car physics, while intended to be awkward, are effectively unusable w/intention – they accelerate so slowly, have such a high speed, and slow turns speed, but also lose control at the slightest collision, so scoring feels random because it often occurs by accident and not through player directed action. Making the game feel more like work, trying to swim upstream to control your car. It also feels like perhaps some deviation from basic soccer rules could be used in combination with the awkward physics to improve that, but other than the power ups that is an under explored area. Having a large number of local players through methods like using smartphones is a great idea, although the visuals also make it very very hard to distinguish your car (even with the show car marker functionality, which didn’t seem to work consistently).

Feedback 2
Super Truckin’ is a fun idea but I think it needs a little more work to get it into a more solid space. The controls feel a little too loose, with vehicles a little slow to respond, they feel sluggish and heavy with very wide turns. A reverse function would be very nice. The AI when we played two players with two AIs seems to be scoring against their own teams.  The music is fun but gets pretty repetitive. With sharper controls I think this game could be a lot of fun, it would feel like you had more direct control and thus could actually impact what was happening, as it is it feels like it’s more luck than skill if the ball goes into the goal.

Feedback 3
The core concept of the game is solid if slightly straightforward but there were problems in the execution. We were told that it could use mobile devices as an input but this didn’t add much as we chose to play on controllers for better response time and accuracy. My biggest problem in game was how difficult it was for players to exert any kind of meaningful agency on the game especially in matches with larger team sizes. The players car was very difficult to control and often overshot its target or was hit by an unavoidable collision. I think you could learn a lot from Fifa and the upcoming rocket league in terms of adding responsiveness and exciting meaningful options to the player’s controls.

The items we decided to tackle in this new release are below. We do plan on tackling more items in the next demo but these were the ones we felt were common amongst the three and were quickest to handle.

Items Addressed

  1. Improved speed and maneuverability
    1. This was something we had grown accustom to as we played the game, but as soon as we got the player feedback we went back and revisited the fundamentals and new we had to address it. The cars now accelerate much ffaster and turn much quicker. It may not be perfect yet but it is much better. Check it out and let us know what other tweaks you might want.
  2. More Predictable Ball Handling
    1. This was already in progress by the time we received the IndieCade feedback but it was good to know we were working on something that others noticed. Previously the cars had a top and bottom collider, but after playing Rocket League and realizing that the ball didn’t always collide directly with the car – we decided to switch our colliders from two box colliders to a capsule collider. This little change did the trick and the ball now gets hit and goes in the direction you were trying. Much more rewarding experience.
We are open to suggestions and feedback with this new release but we plan on addressing a couple more items still. We will continue to focus on the fundamental car handling and making sure that is on target and we will be focusing on getting more polished content.
Try the demo by downloading it here: http://in8b.it/
If you want to contact us directly check out our Facebook, Twitter or other contact methods like old fashioned email!
Thanks!
In8b.it

A little bit of a set back…

So after a relatively disappointing start to our Steam Greenlight we were ready to start blogging, tweeting and demoing our game everywhere when I was rear ended by an Escalade at a stop light from the exit of a freeway.

That event put a stop to just about anything as I was helicoptered from the accident and spent over a week in ICU – a near death experience for sure. The team here at In8B.it (my brother Konstantine, and my friend Jason) was awesome during this time and showed a ton of support that has helped tremendous in my recovery full well knowing that any of our plans for Super Truckin’ had to be put on hold.

It’s been a two months to the day since to accident and I feel like now is the time to try and get back to the plans for Super Truckin’ but I wanted to make sure our fans knew why we have been silent for so long and that we are still committed to delivering on Super Truckin’. It’s a fun game we like playing and we think others will too, even if our interest from Greenlight has been luke warm. We think it may not be the target demo for a game that doesn’t have killing, zombies, or some other new standard to modern gaming in it and are starting to consider what our next options are. If you are a fan and have a preferred console hit us up and let us know, we will listen!

Just so you know I’m not BS’ing and that this is the truth to our silence, here is the photo of my car after being totaled. Not sure if it is ironic or not that I’m working on a game that is super fun to crash into others with or not, but maybe the PTSD from driving can be lessened with my experience playing Super Truckin’ – that would be a twist, haha.

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Steam Greenlight, the Start

We published our Steam Greenlight a couple days ago (on Tuesday) and so far it has been a pretty interesting process.

Hint – VOTE HERE ->>> http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=332377826

I think the team anticipated that Steam may not necessarily be the direct demographic for our game, but we thought that the nostalgia would win over those that may have grown out of these types of arcade like games, but so far the reception has been lukewarm. As of the posting of this blog, we are looking at about 22% of the Steam players voted “Yes”, while 74% have voted no. The stats screenshot is below and it shows the average of the top 50 games currently in Greenlight and gives a pretty decent context for how things are going.

GreenlightStats

We have definitely heard that promotion is critical and as much as we understand and believe that marketing is key, it really is tough to make that happen. How much can one possibly tweet???

I’m setting up our IndieDB page, putting more content on Facebook and setting up some tweets that show off the game some more, but it seems like it will be very difficult to get traffic to the Greenlight. I’ll keep working on different ways of driving traffic, but if anyone has any ideas – I’d be all ears!

Making the Music Cont. 3/4

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After my last blog post, Alex placed the music in the game to see how complimentary it would be in-game. It is fascinating to see how a game – and even the music – changes when they are brought together. After a few highly competitive trial rounds, we ran into a problem….

When we listened to the music on its own, we collectively agreed that it would be a great fit for the socCar level. It had a nice electronic sound, seemed to have a soccer anthem within it, and we couldn’t wait to see how it played. Since it was a backbone, there was initial feedback asking for some more depth and added sounds. ß do we need this? I’d say get rid of it.

BUUUUUUT………as soon as we began to play the game with the music in it, we realized that intead of adding personality to the game, it actually slowed it down. The game seemed to drag, the cars felt slower and scoring a goal didn’t feel as exciting as it should. The music needed to be faster, with more energy.

At this point there are two ways to handle the situation: 1. trash everything and start from scratch, or 2. make some changes to what you have in an effort to salvage and recover.

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Now I am the kind of guy who crumples the whole piece of paper up and tosses it frustratingly at the waste bin. Luckily, my friend Mike – who works with me at Ivory One – stopped me from what I call “rage quitting”. With a simple tempo adjustment, and an added melody, he actually turned the song around. Not only did the song grow, but it now met the requirements we’d set for it after our initial test run.

I brought it to the team, plugged it in the game, and I could see the smiles grow as they raced the soccer ball from one side to the other, smashing, crushing, blasting anything that got in their way. Goals were accompanied by physics defying jumps and wrestle mania taunts. The music no longer got in the way, and the game could breath again. Goooooaaaaaal!!!!

Check out the latest version here:

Making the Music Cont. 2/4

So, the last time we spoke I gave a brief overview of how I create the music for Super Truckin’. As promised, starting today we’ll begin a more in-depth look at that process, as it pertains to each individual level. Although my mind changes depending on my mood, the Future Soccer level is my current favorite, and thus we will begin there…

Imagine playing soccer in space. What would that sound like? This was the challenge Alex and Jason brought to me for this level. A futuristic setting calls for some type of electronic music, so I immediately knew I wanted some nice synths. I didn’t, however, want to lose sight of the fact that this was still a soccer match…it needed an anthem, something with a catchy melody that would be easy to chant. What I needed was the lovechild of the Fifa’s Ole’ and Depeche Mode. Inspiration in hand, I went to work. Once I achieved something that I liked, I used a place holder synth to hold that melody and put it on repeat. With that on loop, I can start to play around with some new ideas.

Next, I started testing out drum patterns until something felt right. Often, I don’t know what I am about to play and begin by just simply hitting random notes. Hearing them play will often spark an idea – as if I am not really playing it, only listening and anticipating what the music might do next. I expected to come out of this song with a simple 4 to the floor kick, with a snare on 2 and 4 (which is common in most electronic music), so I am pleasantly happy with the drums because they have a bit of a hiccup by dropping the last kick.

So at this point I have a melody and a basic drum rhythm…which means it’s time to add some personality – a little bit of flair, if you will. Creativity and an open mind can go far, but patience is really the key in this department. I found this sound that when held sounded neat, but when played percussively had such awesome and different character. I’m a big advocate for trying every avenue when you are creating something – you’ll never know when you’ll create something beautiful out of an idea you almost dismissed for insanity.

Now the song is at a point where it is ear friendly – basically meaning that it’s listenable and easy to understand.  At this point, I’ll let the team listen and get feedback, as well as any concerns. Compliments never hurt either 😉

Our journey for the week is at an end and I’m pleased to share all the put together pieces that make up what I consider the backbone of the music for the Soccer Level.

On an ending note….a word of advice. If I ever find myself overwhelmed and hitting a wall, I either take a break, or start on a different song. It can be frustrating, but even a little bit of progress can create momentum towards completion and sometimes taking a step back is the best thing for the big picture.