The Inverted Castle

The Inverted Castle

  • Fachewachewa
  • 3 weeks ago
  • 42nd

The Inverted Castle


Story:

Join Navia Pation in their hunt for Alucard, a filthy vampire.
Fight your way through hordes of enemies and get to the top of his castle.

But on your way, ask yourself what you are fighting for.
In this game, you will learn how each side of a war has its own story.
Are vampires really that bad?


The game:

This is a full game, taking maybe around 15 minutes. It has checkpoints between levels but no saving.
I recommend playing with a gamepad if you have one, at least that how I liked it the most when playing the game.
But it simple enough, and there isn't any hardcore platforming so really either should be fine.


Gamepad controls (Xbox layout):

Movement - Left Stick / DPad
Jump - A
Attack - X
Restart level - Select (I think they call it "back" now?)

Keyboard controls:

Movement - WASD / ZQSD / Arrow keys
Jump - Spacebar / C
Attack - Shift / X / LMB
Restart level - R


Other Stuff:

You can control the display only with the keyboard!
Fullscreen - F
Scale down / up - F1 / F2
Lock / Unlock the window (to move it around if you want) - L

Jump is the basic confirm key. You can also advance in dialogue with the attack button.
When the text is scrolling you can press Up or Down to accelerate the scrolling.
And if you want to skip it, you can press Up or Down + A.

Also sorry, no volume control / mute. And you have to close the game manually if you want to exit.


The End:

Everything was made by me. Music with Beepbox, sounds with Bfxr.
Okay, I think that's it. Have fun.

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  • Tero Hannula

    I liked the story, gameplay itself felt average, it was much more fun to read the story and tips ^^ I played your game on stream yesterday: https://youtu.be/QJG0bZJKyJU?t=6151

    ps. Was name of twin a pun about the ending :D ps2. You get to the 'top of tower' by jumping down? :P

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      Yeah! I watched the VOD, thanks for playing! Since you asked about the bat hitbox during the stream: it's definitely something I had planned and I just forgot about it. There was a lot of stuff to do at the same time on day 2 and it only took mental notes when playtesting >_<

      For your questions:

      • The pun wasn't planned at first, but it just happened to work. I had a separate sprite for that moment that I called "DeCapita" 😅 But initially Navia & Capita are based on the ancient roman coin, one side being a head, the other a ship.
      • It's The Inverted Castle!
  • Zen00
    Zen00 Zen00 Level 8

    Rage quit at the flappy bat section. It's so fiddly you can't read the text and control at the same time. In general controls were abysmal. Get hit by an enemy you tend to get hit multiple times because there is no invincibility frames.

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      Thanks for the feedback and giving the game a try.

      But maybe don't use terms like abysmal with factually wrong justifications. See JesusAcHe's comment, saying "iframes are useless" because of the knockback and timing is a better way to talk about the same issue.

      What I've learned though is that the bat section can be so infuriating that people might forget their manners! 😏

      (I like honest feedback but make sure it can still be acted upon and that it's not mean just to be mean, I'm sure some people would take it personally)

      • Zen00 Zen00
        Level 8

        My feedback is completely actable.

        iFrames are very important when you don't have good attack boxes. Take for example when I was in a position one block above a skeleton. I can't attack him because my attack only hits the block directly in front of me. I need to get past him. I can't jump over effectively because there's a low ceiling. He also has a ranged attack so he can hit me with impunity. My only option is to take a hit, use iframes to get to a better position to move past or attack.

        However since there are no iframes, I merely take knockback which basically puts me in an endless loop of not being able to hit it. There are very good reasons why iFrames exist and have been used in virtually every good game.

        As for controls, like I and others have said, the flappy bat controls terribly (as per flappy bat) which doesn't make for a good experience while trying to read dialogue and control a terrible moving 1-hit against tight walls character.

        It's not just the bat though. Your character doesn't jump well. And has trouble attacking and jumping/moving at the same time, all making for an aggravating experience while playing.

        Now go and make a game that's actually playable.

        • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
          Level 53
          Coder

          I'm sorry but as I explained, your feedback is trash. Saying "x is bad" doesn't help in any way, same as saying "Now go and make a game that's actually playable." Being rude doesn't mean you feedback is useful.

          No one is asking you to act like you liked all the games, but the way you answered makes it pretty obvious that you care more about being right and picking fights than helping people.

          So, what you're complaining about is the lack of control during the iframes. Not the absence of iframes. I know how I made the game, and I build level around that. It's not my fault that you're trying to use a feature that's not here to do something that's not intended. Maybe I messed up something while designing the levels, but the only part where I see something like this happening is after the bat section, where you gave up. So I don't even know what you're referring to. Again, that proves how unhelpful you feedback is.

          Same thing for the terrible controls of the bat. I don't know what's the cause here. Did you not understand that spamming the jump button wouldn't help, or is this you saying the hitbox was too big?

          And now please take my previous feedback into account and stop being so rude for absolutely no reason.

          • Zen00 Zen00
            Level 8

            I feel you're being very defensive and not taking my criticism in the right spirit.

            I think it's pretty clear I was complaining about the lack of iFrames entirely. It was quite often that I would take knockback from one enemy which would fling me into another enemy who I would also take damage from because there were no iFrames, as another example.

            The bat was bad because you're supposed to be reading some text, but at the same time have to very carefully monitor a one hit kill object that is flying with very little control down very tight corridors with objects you also have to shoot/destroy. It's fairly obvious the design for that section was terrible.

            And as I said, the player wouldn't control well while jumping/attacking at the same time (which you'd need to do often to clear enemies from ledges).

            • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
              Level 53
              Coder

              "In general controls were abysmal." was criticism, yeah, not feedback.

              "Now go and make a game that's actually playable." was just a gratuitous comment that doubled down on the rudeness and entirely dismissed what I've said.

              • Zen00 Zen00
                Level 8

                I think it's plenty of feedback to tell you you need to take another look at your control scheme.

                • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
                  Level 53
                  Coder

                  And I'm not disputing that, that's the thing.

                  But I wish there was more feedback telling you to behave better.

                  The fact that my game isn't perfect or that other people are agreeing with you doesn't give you the right to say anything you want without consequence. Even if you were right about the fact that there wasn't any iframes (which, again, you aren't), the way you said it still deserved an apology, and not a doubling down on the aggressivity. I jokingly said you forgot your manners and you decided to tell me to go make better games in return, as if you were an authority on what's good or bad even though you have nothing to back it up. I'm pretty sure I'm taking negative feedback better than that.

                  Anyways, my whole point is that there's 48h to make a whole game, most people do that alone, there's just no place where being insulting is deserved. That's even more the case when you don't know how experienced the people you're talking to are. How do you think someone would react if the first and only piece of feedback they got on their first game was that the controls were abysmal? How is that welcoming? How does that help them? Why would they not just give up on a community where this kind of behavior is accepted?

                  The point of feedback isn't to have the "right" opinion or to have the better taste in games, but to help people. Controls are bad? Something is terrible in the game? Yeah ok, there's a chance they noticed too. But maybe they don't know why it's bad, or what they could do to make it better (and I'm not talking about me here, other people gave pretty good feedback). Helping them understand those things is the point of good feedback.

                  • Zen00 Zen00
                    Level 8

                    You seem to feel that I do not know what good feedback is and have taken great pains to spell it out. I do know good feedback, and I give good feedback quite often. I'm sorry you were unable to utilize my feedback at this time.

                    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
                      Level 53
                      Coder

                      Oh you must think you're so smart. You never missed any occasion to be even more insulting than before, that's impressive.

                      Please never interact with me again. Even if you try to rate all the games in future GM48, please don't play mine.

                      And if you keep playing other games, please abstain from posting one-line feedbacks saying those games are worthless.

  • Naxos
    Naxos Naxos Level 7

    I liked the multiple ways you snuck the theme into the game/story. And the story itself was enjoyable, although (SPOILERS) it would seem that the Pation family were justified in the end (given how much of a SOB Alucard turned out to be in the final story scroll, haha) (/SPOILERS)

    The bat level. THE BAT LEVEL... it needs input buffering or something. Less stringent delays between repeated actions, maybe.

    A little more sound during gameplay would be nice. At least a 'woosh' on the sword swing, but lack of time may have been the culprit here.

    Alucard mentioning the 'top' of his castle, when all you did was go down, was pretty funny. I didn't fully understand until I beat the game and realized it's called the Inverted castle XD

    Good stuff :)

    PS. I uploaded a video of my playthrough

    PPS. THE COINS ARE A LIE

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      Yeah the attack sound is really missing here.. I did every sound effect at once and I think I missed it 😅

      Thanks a lot for the feedback and the video, this is REALLY helpful! There are so many small things that could have been tweaked but that you don't notice without someone else playing it, even though they're pretty obvious.

      PS. 😈

  • baku
    baku baku Level 45 Patron

    I knew all those hours I wasted on Flappy Bird would come handy some day!!

    Having to read plot while also having to deal with difficult gameplay just means the plot will be ignored... So I think a better approach would've been to have the text in those 2 sections appear on screen between rooms.

    But even though I didn't catch much of the story in those specific sections, I was still like "holy shit plottwist!" afterwards so I guess I absorbed at least a little?

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      Stop being so good and accept to die a few times!

      But yeah I need to figure out how to solve this. Like, I think I'd rather have a few empty space that let you read the text rather than text screen between rooms.

  • Chris

    The bat section was tough but well worth beating. The story was funny, unexpected and I thoroughly enjoyed it

  • JesusAcHe
    JesusAcHe JesusAcHe Level 4

    The story was hilarious and the way it just inersected with the gameplay was actually super great and surprising. I dunno how the same surprise worked on me twice but it sure did. The gameplay was ok but there's a few things that should be easy to implement thatwould make it feel just a lil bit nicer. Like making the bat hitbox a bit tinie, I dont think I should die because the ear of my bat grazed a corner, and also starting the bat in a neutral position, instead of falling. When it first started and I barely got to see a purple blob fall into the ground before I got a game over I was super confused. Plus it was hard for me to read the story in the form of bat because I had no chance to stop moving. And finally when Navia and Capita get hit, i-frames are kind of useless if I don't get to move while I'm on them. I feel on top of a skeleton next to a wall and I hat to just watch my character slowly bounce herself to death. But I do appreciate nice witty writing, Castlevania references both in play and story, and just the super charming design of Alucard with his triangular head.

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      Thanks for the feedback! You're right, most of those fixes were pretty small and I definitely had the time towards the end to make some last changes but I think I just wanted to be done ahah. I'm a little mad that I forgot about the bat hitbox though, I already reduced it but I wanted to make it smaller still and I think I just forgot.

      Kinda same with the knockback / iframes, I wanted to tweak it further at the start but then I went to other things and never got back to it.

      Fun fact: I was unable to draw anything, so I just made triangles for the main characters, and then I just inverted those triangles for Alucard :D

  • Megan
    Megan Megan Level 6

    I loved this! The way the gameplay intersected with the storytelling made me gasp, the silly funny twists were PERFECT! The moment the cage falls, the moment the twin appears... Dracula's backstory with the bats was soo funny (though... gameplay there was a little punishing especially since there's text on screen at the same time). I enjoyed the hints on the death screen -- yes, everything IS a flashback, but very close to the present. I don't get why vampires had bone marrow transplants, though - thought they didn't need to drink blood? Anyway, great job! Made me smile and I'll be thinking about this for a while.

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      Wow, thank you! That's a lot of high praises :D

      The idea with bone marrow is that vampires still need blood but can't really produce it, drinking being only one of their options. I won't say I have a precise timeline or lore or anything like that, I was just organizing random ideas, but it kinda made sense to me haha 😅

  • EkajArmstro
    EkajArmstro EkajArmstro Level 2

    I beat it and the bat section was my favourite part. The first time I passed the last bat section I ran headfirst into the last obstacle and had to do it again :D The platforming was cool but the physics, especially the air control, made it not actually feel like Castlevania at all to me. Also at one point I did a horrible jump and got stunlocked between a skeleton and the wall lol but because of the generous checkpointing it was more funny than frustrating.

  • Heather
    Heather Heather Level 7

    Possible Spoilers

    Was so excited to play this game as it felt totally Castlevania. The title also prepped me to expect that you were dealing with the "2 sides" theme by making the castle turn upside down like in Castlevania. So your twist was very unexpected and a lot of fun to it!

    When I read the description, I also felt you would deal with the theme in the kinda cliche "Ohhh there isn't a good and evil side". Alucard has his reasons! Your inversion of that trope by having the war end and humans still getting murdered was good.

    I adored the story telling. Main issue was that when you're concentrating on being a bat, it is hard to read the text at the same time. I did love the little hints on the death screens though. They're hilarious. The history of the vampires was a story I also really enjoyed.

    This feedback is a little all over the place but man, when you are the bat and destroy the cage and see it fall on the character you played before, it was a real great moment for me. I was a little underwhelmed when first seeing the art and the first initial gameplay but as you go deeper and see how it escalates, I can say you made a truly cool game. It was dark, funny, and a great time (: Very cool to see how different the games are that people make from previous jams!

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      I'm glad you liked the hints haha :D

      Yeah at first the inverted castle was just here for the reference to Castlevania and the last "twist", but I made it so that you're going "up" while still ending each level with a fall. But I think the top of the castle is only mentioned once so that's easy to miss. I definitely had more plan for the twin which could have played around the "inverted" theme but didn't really have time to develop that.

      As for the text being hard to read, it's definitely an issue I didn't have to time to address. I still wanted to have the text go on as you play, so I felt it was more important than for example bringing up the text between levels.

      I also made the cage fall slower than everything else to build up the moment, so I'm glad it worked too :D

      Anyways, thank you, I really appreciate the feedback!

  • Mimpy
    Mimpy Mimpy Level 10

    Interesting take on the theme, I really like how you didn't completely invert the plot and spin Alucard as a good guy, definitely made it more interesting than if the sides had just flipped completely, haha.

  • SpritePainter

    Platformers that support gamepads get automatic points from me. The movement and platforming worked well, but felt really stiff. Most of all, I think that this needed something to set it apart from any other generic platformer. Still, good job on solid execution.

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      Thanks! I'm guessing the stiffness has a lot to do with the lack of animations 😅 I really didn't have time for that but I'm sure having a few frames for the jump would have helped a lot

  • Matt L
    Matt L Matt L Level 3

    This was fun to play! the gameplay felt surprisingly good. I liked the different sections to the game, it broke up the experience nicely.

  • Luke No Further

    Twists and turns! I love how this game unfolded - A simple platformer with simplistic graphics at first glance, but a surprising and well-written and funny and interesting narrative that you absorb while doing some pretty tight platforming. So many floaty platformers in jams but you sir are doing the Lord's work here - it just felt good and I could have jumped and slashed through a lot more levels before getting tired of it.

    Liked the change of pace between story / platforming / story / that the helicopter game from Newgrounds / platforming / story - it made it feel very complete and polished. Nice to be taken on a little journey through different types of gameplay.

    I liked it a lot!

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      Glad you liked the gameplay :D
      I spent a bunch of time at the start tweaking it until it felt good, wasn't sure if it was enough, but at some point I needed to make the game 😅

  • Lee
    Lee Lee Level 5

    Enjoyed playing through this one. My favourite part was the story and how it kept escalating. The bat section was challenging but I was able to get through it in the end. Nice job!

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      Thanks!

      To be honest the escalation was my main idea going into this, it was silly enough to motivate me. The rest of the game is basically just there for it to work, so I'm happy that it does!

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Avatar Anonymous

    that bat section was hard like dang

    • Fachewachewa Fachewachewa
      Level 53
      Coder

      So, I didn't have time to export a build and have it tested.

      Since I'm kinda bad at flappy bird stuff I though it was enough to just go through it a lot and change any part that was gave me trouble. Ended up modifying a lot of stuff, and only left like 2 sections that felt hard to me.

      I still wanted it to cause a few deaths since I did a bunch of hint messages that might not be seen on the other sections, but it seems like it's still a little too hard.