3RD PLACE LETS GO BAYBEEEEEEEE
MARS FORCE ONE
MARS FORCE ONE is a planet-hopping shoot 'em up action-packed journey in which you play as a rookie Martian police officer assigned with pursuing a gang of space pirates who have kidnapped the Martian president's daughter. When you die, a different ship with entirely different stats will take the place of your old one.
This game features five unique levels, about twenty different weapons (avoid buying any weapons until the last shop for an extra one ;) ), and the hard work of four team members who did their best to make a fun game with good gameplay, visuals, and audio.
Unfortunately, our fifth team member, MajorWipeout, was unable to participate this gm(48) because his motherboard fried literally right before the jam began.Wanna talk with our team? Join the Milkbar Lads Discord server!
Free Marketplace assets used: "Simple bloom shader" by Dukesoft
kbjwes77 Level 12
Immersive, but would have liked the ability to skip/speed up the dialogue. Fake 3D effects were cool!
Very solid game obviously, so I'll focus on the negatives.
- I'll start by insisting on the slow dialog. I think that's an issue that was already present in some Crungus games. I wasn't that invested in the writing, and being forced to sit through the words appearing then waiting because you can't skip madi it worse. Your base speed here is fine, just let us press something to make everything appear at once then skip once we're done.
- Levels are pretty slow too, always consider your cheaty-dev options as real options for the game, usually you use it for a reason, and they might juste make the game better.
- Sound levels are all over the place.
- The flashing / flickering of the menus and the bottom part of the UI in levels (the thing we can see in the gifs) was really bad, didn't really hurt my eyes per se, but that was really unpleasant.
- Once I realized how the dying mechanic worked, I kinda lost interest.. And the game punished me HARD for that. First I tried dying in level 2 to see what would happen (since, it's tied to the theme), but my stats were really bad and I had a hard time killing anything and died again, and I couldn't buy anything at the end. Then in level 3 killing anything took ages and I realized dying killed enemies, so I used it as an option sometimes... until I killed the last enemies that way.. The portal appeared and I didn't respawn. The game was locked at that point and I didn't have the patience to launch it again since it feels so slow :(
Even without that last bug, I'm not sure this is the right way to do it, since there's really no way for compensating for a death.
I'm DEFINITELY going to be adding a skip dialogue button (or at least a fast forward dialogue button) in the next game I make. The main reason I made it so you explode on death is because there is a mini-boss in level 3 that slowly expands to take up the whole screen, so eventually if you took too long to kill it, it'd take up the entire screen space and be impossible to kill without the explosions on death. I didn't even think the thing with the portal could happen though. Nobody has told me about that up until now. Regardless, thanks for your feedback.
Kyon Level 14
Very well done! Biggest thing I noticed is the amount of content. And how every level was quite unique in it's own way. Very nice. The art style was nice, although I didn't really get the 3d police car as ship. Felt as if that style was different from the rest.
I did my playthrough with only 1 death! :) One thing that I would've really liked is to speed up the text. Also the "tutorial" felt longer than it had to. The way how you start the game, and how the player automatically shoots because you press the mouse button was enough of a tutorial already.
Thanks, I've noticed a lot of criticism about the speed and length of some of the dialogue, so I'll try to keep that in mind next time. The main reason the text is as slow as it is is because I wanted to account for people that might not be that fast at reading or don't speak/read English as a first language, but like I said in another reply to some feedback, in doing that I kinda alienated people who read at a normal or faster pace. I had a key set to skip dialogue in the dev version of the game, but I decided to remove it because 1. it felt easy to cheat with, and 2. some in-game events like enemy spawn times are synced up to the appearances of some pieces of dialogue, and by allowing the player to skip through that dialogue the enemy spawns would either come in rapidly and it'd be extremely hard for the player to deal with or the enemies wouldn't spawn at all. But I get your complaints, so I'm definitely gonna speed up dialogue next time. Also yeah, I could've made the tutorial shorter.
I made all of the actual in-game assets (i.e. assets that aren't used in UI or anything, like dialogue box face portraits, weapons, etc.) 3D because I just liked the aesthetic. I figured it looked cool so I put it in the game. IIRC, the only asset that the player interacts with in the game world that doesn't use the 3D sprite-stacking method is the little toxic cloud enemies that appear in the third level of the game, and that's because they're made up of lots of particles.
Regardless, thank you for all your compliments and all your criticisms. :)
Kwisarts Level 47
- Wished there was a way to control the dialogue. As a fast reader, it often felt slow to me. Especially the intro. Also, some people who are less interested in plot can get bored. I'll compare it to starfox (which I suspect is an inspiration), where dialogues appear during gameplay, but are rather quick, to the point, sometimes short. They bring in a dynamic. I mean, it's unfair to compare since starfox has different visuals and can keep you entertained without shooting. But it also kept the gameplay running meanwhile so the dialogues rarely felt intrusive.
- It's very nice to have several different soundtracks, but the music level soundtracks tended/seemed to be short loops. Would have appreciated longer loops
- Controls are fun, but felt like some kind of wrong challenge. Yes, it's unique (and would fit the abnormal movement theme), but it makes some moments confusing, or makes for a bulky-tank-like gameplay which feels weird in a relatively fast paced shmup. At least, the forward-backward controls fit well a police car.
- (I know we discussed this and it's unrelated to the rest, but, I wouldn't mind the all-female cast if it wasn't already the case in Ugby; would have liked a bit of diversity/different approach since this is a new setting, it felt forced for me)
- I know you're 5 people, but it still feels amazing how much content you managed to squeeze in
- I like how weapon upgrades are continuation from past upgrades. Gives a feel of satisfying progression, and actual power gain
- Each level had its quirk, which is nice
- Cool to see the implementation of bosses as well!
Well done! That was a game stuffed with fun!
EDIT: 0 replacement btw. Just used everything in power. That usually works in most games cause DPS is everything! (that's coming from a tank-player) Note that I know how replacements work out anyway cause I initially had some in my first playthrough. I was playing with fullscreen and noticed it was laggy, switch to windowed but it effed up the controls bad.
Thank you. In all honesty, I made the text go by as slow as it does because I also consider myself a pretty fast reader and wanted to account for the fact that a lot of people probably don't read as fast as me or English isn't their first language or something. I guess in trying to do that, I accidentally made it too slow. Thanks again.
89o Level 15
The only possible nitpicks that I could give this game would be that the shooting sounds are too loud and the dialog should proceed once you press a button, not automatically. I missed some text in the beginning.
Edit: I just found out that you're the guys behind Ugby Mumba. That one was great too. You make a fantastic team and should release a full game some day.
Thank you so much! I had the text proceed automatically because a lot of it is timed and synced up to certain moments in the level, like when the green wall boss appears in the third level, but I can see how not being able to skip it would be annoying.
As for Ugby Mumba, we actually are working on a full version of it. I've been posting it on my Twitter (https://twitter.com/moomoodev) and our Patreon for the last few months and it's coming along nicely imo. Thanks for your support, I'll show this to the rest of the team :)
PenguinCzar Level 3
Jack and Lads, good job. You guys are great. This is very impressive. It vaguely reminds me of those starship fights in starfox. I love the way the stats work. It was a really cool game. I think probably top 10%. You guys should and will go far. Critique though- the dialouge. It wasn't bad but it took forever to load. I couldn't tell if you implemented a way to advance it but I pressed a whole bucnh o' random buttons on my keyboard. But anyway, if you ever expand upon this and make like a full arcade game like this, I would love to know. This feels polished enough to be a real game. Good job. (sidenote: I can't help but think when you buy the weapons, saying Scooter, Catch a RIDE. so thanks for that :)
Ah yeah, I implemented the dialogue so that each piece of dialogue has a set amount of time on screen before the next one appears, and these times of appearance are synced up to the certain moments in the level. You normally aren't able to skip these pieces of dialogue, but during development I had a key set up so when you hold it down it'd skip a second of dialogue every frame the key is held down, basically letting you fast forward through the level. I removed that key from the playable version because I felt it was too cheat-y. Regardless though, thank you!
Big team gets big results, overall it was well done and polished. Okay, this is going to be more rant, don't take that wrong - because it's easier to find things to nag about.
Music was bit quiet and didn't induce emotions or hurriness. The characters are nice, well drawn, but nothing new from the artist, her/his style. The writing and interaction between characters were corny. The visuals of gameplay itself, they weren't that impressive, they do look nice, but I feel that it didn't take that much of effort. You couldn't skip or make the dialogue go faster, so most of time I felt frustrated waiting them go. This waiting felt bit that it's done to artificially extend the game.
I tried to use max power, endurance and luck, thought that moving won't be that horrible: boy I was wrong :D Finished with two replacements, first went out as couldn't avoid anything with lowest speed and lowest steering, but managed pass one or two levels anyway, endured those trough. When you use fullscreen and click Twitter accounts, the game itself goes windowed and surface gets halved, and you can't escape from game but with good old Alt+F4.
The game was good, and it will rank in top 20%.
Thank you, I've found that a common complaint about this is the length/speed of the dialogue and not being able to make it go faster, plus the in-game downtime that occurs feels like padding out the length of the game. I'm gonna try to keep the dialogue stuff in my next game because I like writing characters and dialogue (even if it is corny), but I am gonna try to avoid stretching out the length with it. Thanks again.
Zugai89 Level 2
A really great entry, loved the character portraits :D Some graphical issue: some elements, especially the text in the stat screen were flashing rapidly (unless hovered over). That could lead to people feeling sick. A minor thing: it would have been great to be able to skip the intro bits/speed up text.^^
SuperGamersGames Level 4
The game is perfect, I can't say it quite fit the the theme, but other than that, great job!
Adrien Dittrick Level 6
I AM A BAD ENOUGH DUDE TO BEAT THE SPACE PIRATES AND RESCUE THE PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER.
Very juicy gameplay and nice graphics :) I do havea few complaints though.
- car a bit hard to control
- the music is really repetitive after a while, like it never settles down.
- Dialog displays quite slowly, and it feels like this pads the game length unnecessarely. Maybe consider adding an option to double the speed at which you progress through the level, which would make the game harder but faster.
Thanks for your feedback! Personally I think the car's controls just take a bit of time to get used to, and you can upgrade your handling a bit at the start to compensate for any difficulty controlling it -- but that's a personal preference.
I actually did have a developer tool set up to fast forward through levels, but I didn't consider putting it in the final game. I probably should've.
Loates Level 9
Damn, you and your team never disappoint jack. Normally I don't find myself getting immersed into most of the games made in these jams. But this one actually immersed me. Everything compliments each other and works perfectly, and the game just feels fun. I don't really have any complaints to give. Bloody good job!
Thank you glad to hear that. A cohesive, flavorful experience is what we strife for. Having multiple people with different styles and ideas certainly helps with that.
Oh man, I forgot to respond to this one. Thank you so much! I thought going in maybe there a was bit too much dialogue, or maybe there wasn't enough combat (which is a valid criticism that a few people who have also enjoyed the game have told me is a minor problem), but I'm really happy to see there are people who genuinely love the game. Thank you.