A downloadable game for Windows

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THIS GAME IS IN ALPHA STAGE - (I will continue working on it daily for 70 more days.  Was #Devtober, now it is #100DaysOfGameDev) Follow my twitter for daily updates and YouTube Devlogs coming soon!  I was crazy busy this month as well. Twitter: https://twitter.com/neat_games

  • UPDATED v1.1
    • Fixed a bug when an enemy dies 100s of dead bodies spawn.  This was due to the automatic recall code. (created too many recalled spears thus multiple spear weapons)
    • The spear now pierces enemies and always needs to be recalled.  (not auto recalled)
    • The spear now does damage on the way back.
    • Almost all enemies have a die animation.
    • New enemy: Fly mother (spawns the regular flies).
    • 2nd Boss has a better jump tell (will improve even more later) .
    • Boss doors spawn collide boxes instantly (can't dash under).
  • UPDATED v1.2
    • Pause Menu, go to Main Menu button works now.
    • More foreground art on the tile maps.
    • More glow, shadow, and particle effects.
    • Boss Doors close during fight and open up after boss death.
    • Health pick ups are in game.
    • Adjusted some enemy health values and death animations.
    • Hit flash (give more feedback on successful spear hits)

Story:

Help the Jackalope warrior free the trapped ghosts from the evil Spidermaid Witch.  Enter deep into their cursed forest, and get help from a friendly owl ghost named Hoot.

Main Mechanic: Use your magic spear as a platform.  Throw and recall it.

Made for Cryptid Jam and Gentle Ghost Jam

Why 2 jams? (They are the at the exact same time, and I had an idea that uses both themes.  Also, more chances for feedback.)

  • Themes: “Cryptid creatures”, and “a game about ghosts where horror isn’t the main genre”.
    • How I used the themes:
      • Cryptid: The Jackalope is a mythical animal of North American folklore (a fearsome critter) described as a jackrabbit with antelope horns. The word jackalope is a portmanteau of jackrabbit and antelope.  Also, the Jackalope’s upgraded skills are named after its similar cryptid cousins, the Wolpertinger, the Skvader, and the Ozark Howler.
        • Optional Theme: The jackalope is a LOCAL myth from my hometown, (Reno Nevada USA)
      • Original Creation Cryptid:  Spidermaid Witch is a vicious creature that kills living creatures then traps their ghosts and feeds off their energy.  With her warlock like powers she controls other dead insects.
      • Ghosts:  Hoot is an owl ghost that will follow and help on your adventure.  Jackalope's main quest is to free the cursed ghosts so they can be reborn.
      • Genre: 2D side scroller Metroidvania (Not horror)
    • Game engine: Unity 2D
    • Sprites made in Photoshop CC
    • Sound made in Bfxr
    • Music made in ecrett music
  • My learning goals for this game are: Richer environments, Dash skill, better immunity frames, better combat, and enemy knock back. (Only figured out Dash skill so far)

I look forward to playing other’s games and leaving feedback, I hope I get some awesome constructive criticisms as well!  Don’t forget to follow my twitter for future updates.

GOOGLE FORMS SURVEY: https://forms.gle/s5FKoAaySMKQK9ha7

Download

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Jackalope-Alpha_v1.2.zip 72 MB

Development log

Comments

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Awesome plat former with a cute style!

Also "Fixed a bug when an enemy dies 100s of dead bodies spawn.  This was due to the automatic recall code. (created too many recalled spears thus multiple spear weapons)" I was not here for this glitch, but for some reason that made me chuckle.  

It was funny lol. Thanks for playing!  I will continue to update it~

That would be terrifying in real life. 

This is a really solid game! The character animations are cute and the music is nice and atmospheric. I was a little disappointed when I managed to get to the really high platform on level 2 and there was nothing there, but that's just me tryharding :P

I enjoyed it. Well done!

Thanks for playing!  I do plan on putting something up there haha, I will add something tentative soon ~

I haven't gotten a chance to play this yet, but I wanted to let you know that during the cryptid jam stream, we ran into a bug! In the first level (towards the end I think), the streamer shot a spear at one of the flying enemies, and it died.... and then spawned lots of other flying enemies of the same type, freezing the game! I'm sorry I can't give more information or reproduction info, but I wanted to give you a heads up about it!

From what I've seen though, I love the gameplay concept and the effects!! Can't wait to see more!

(+1)

Oh thanks for letting me know~ I couldn't watch the stream.  I will try and figure it out for sure!

(+1)

Hey - this was super fun after the initial struggle kind of getting used to the control scheme - video games, am I right?

I agree with pretty much everything GJDZ said - most of which I was going to suggest myself. The Coyote Time thing especially - there was more than one time I was stuck about halfway through  a level only to botch a jump because I was trying to be precise.

I think maybe putting a soft-save after some of the more complicated bits might be a nice "quality of life" feature, just because if a player has made it past a difficult bit only to eat it shortly thereafter can get frustrating. That being said...

I love the spear mechanic! The most fun I had was one of the times I had to start over and just burning through the first half of a level (as I had memorized it by that point) spearing enemies and then pulling it back, tossing it into a wall mid-jump, landing on it, and then hopping up and taking out another enemy. It felt, like... spear parkour?

Anyway, great work - I'd love to play (probably with a controller) a more polished version of this!

Thanks for the awesome feedback!  save points are on my study list for sure~  I will definitely need them when the levels are bigger.   Super glad you liked the spear, I spent most the month making that work and sprite art haha. 

I just finished the Alpha 1.0 version. The level design was pretty solid and so were the enemies, it will certainly get better as things to reward exploration and checkpoints are added (restarting a whole second level or room after falling was a tad frustrating).

There are three (or four) things I would like to point out.

  1. The speed of the spear coming back. I understand it should take some time to punish the player so that it doesn't get thrown out without much thought, but perhaps based on distance (if the spear is far away from the player) or after some time (let's say, 2 or 3 seconds after the spear has been thrown) you can make it come faster. There were times where I left my spear behind and moved with the dashes, only to encounter an enemy and be left defenseless for quite some time while I wait for my spear to come back... This even happened to me with the second boss.
  2. The dash ability might need a second or two of cooldown. It appears you'll want to have open areas for your rooms in the game, so perhaps a dash ability that lets you dash over and over without touching the ground will be hard to balance... You wouldn't want to design your level too restrictively, but having open areas might allow the player to just dash all the way to the other side (similar to how Kirby games mostly allow for the player to fly and avoid most of the game, so to speak).
  3. The Jackalope felt a bit too slippery. And this is a big one for me. As I was getting acquainted with the controls, stopping after reaching max speed usually still moved me about half a block, and that made me fall. In the first level it was a small annoyance to fall to a lower level and have to climb back up, but on the second level it costed me a couple of retries. Perhaps look into it's acceleration a bit, or add some coyote time to allow the player to make jumps some frames after they fell from a platform.
  4. A final one might be, although it depends on your design and how much it fits into what your vision for the game is, maybe you can go through the spear if you're coming from under it... Like a thin platform, if that makes sense... It would make climbing much smoother, you can even make it drop-through.

I've got a bug at the very start when I first opened the game were my A and D keys were swapped... It fixed itself after a while and I could not replicate it, sorry I can give more information on that... Also, W and S make the Jackalope animate but do nothing right now.
I've got a bug on my second playthrough, were fighting against the boss, I stayed near the gate and started attacking repeatedly without moving... Just as I was attacking over and over and I got hit, the boss died and this happened, perhaps the dead body pushed me inside.


Either way, I enjoyed it, you did a good job and should be proud of what you've accomplished. I've seen how detailed your updates on Twitter are and wish you nothing but the best!

(+1)

Wow thank your for the super awesome feedback!  I will add this all to my notes and study lists~  I actually coded in a cool-down in the dash, but it doesn't work right haha.  Thanks for the great tips and suggestions, I will continue to improve the game.