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View topic - [Hack competition 2016] Ma Kai Quest by badsector, thelowestdefinition, Mandulin, Calindro

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[Hack competition 2016] Ma Kai Quest by badsector, thelowestdefinition, Mandulin, Calindro
Post Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:45 pm
http://www.smspower.org/Hacks/AlexKiddInMiracleWorld-SMS-MaKaiQuest-Mod



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Welcome to Ma Kai Quest, a total conversion of Alex Kidd in Miracle World. You will find completely new graphics, music, sounds and levels as well as some other differences. Take the main character on a journey through 9 levels with 5 different themes and 6 tunes fitting the levels.

This is the first public release just for the smspower.org competition
2016. The full release will have more levels, more themes, more music
and more features.

level design and additional assets: badsector
pixel art: thelowestdefinition
music and sfx: Mandulin
KiddEd, custom hacks and support: Calindro
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:23 pm
It's strange to see such a modern graphics style on such an old console. I like it very much, though. If I didn't know it, I'd never suspect that this was a hack of AKiMW.

Edit: Played through it and loved it. Music complements the environments nicely. You've also got some seriously good level design going on. The only thing that's a bit harsh is that the boxes all look the same. I ended up avoiding them for fear of releasing the deadly enemy. Maybe you can think of a way to at least distinguish item and money boxes?
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:17 am
Thanks a bunch for your positive feedback Kagesan!
Good point regarding the boxes. We intended it to be high risk, high reward for people that may not be as apt at playing platformers, while people skilled at this genre would not even have to rely on them as much to collect lives and items, but then it might rob them of the experience to have many items for the most part. On the other hand, wouldn't you then simply avoid all the item boxes? Maybe the ghost in itself is not a very good game mechanic. Maybe we have to reconsider that type of enemy altogether.



----
formerly known as flippi
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:06 pm
thelowestdefinition wrote
On the other hand, wouldn't you then simply avoid all the item boxes?

Not necessarily. When playing Alex Kidd, I know that there's a 1:3 chance that a question mark box contains a ghost, so I usually move on until they are nearly scrolled off the screen, then go back and open them. That way, even if a ghost is in the box, I can quickly scroll it off screen. If all the boxes look the same, though, it doesn't make much sense to approach all of them with the same cautiousness, as that would seriously harm the flow of the game.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:31 pm
After the first ghost, and the fact that i couldn't predict it in any way, i simply avoided all the boxes.

It seemed like the better strategy.

Other than that, really cool game. I like the graphics a lot, and the level design reminded me of Shovel Knight, which is a huge compliment, because Shovel Knight is probably the best game i played in the last 2 years.

All in all, max score from me. :)
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:31 pm
Pretty nice hack, with great graphics and well balanced gameplay.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:32 pm
Last edited by badsector on Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
Thanks for your kind words everybody! :)

Okay, I see, the deadly enemy in the box does not get much love ;) We are already developing a new concept for box contents in the full release. I hope you will like this more.

I got a question for all the test players: Did you think that the game was too hard or too easy? Haroldoop already wrote, that the gameplay was well balanced, but what does the rest of you think? We need such information for the full release. I think, the levels are very easy, but since I made them, I played them like 200 times :D
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:46 pm
I didn't had any problems with the difficulty. To me it was a bit on the easy side, but not overly. Balanced is the key.

It really depends on the kind of game you want to make.
There's stuff like Super Meat Boy, which is overly difficult (and borders on unfair and cheap), there's stuff like Shovel Knight, which can get difficult, but overall anyone can finish, if they keep at it long enough, and there's hand-holding, where you can finish the game in the first try.

All of them are valid, game-design wise, and it really depends on the experience you are trying to convey to the player.

I made a couple of mistakes, so i didn't finished on the first try (got 1 game over and didn't want to use a continue), but i didn't got stuck anywhere.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:51 pm
badsector wrote
Did you think that the game was too hard or too easy?

I thought it was just right, well-balanced overall. There was one jump in one of the earlier levels where it wasn't really obvious how to approach it, so I lost two lives trying, but that was the only difficulty spike I encountered.
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:05 pm
tibone wrote
It really depends on the kind of game you want to make.
There's stuff like Super Meat Boy, which is overly difficult (and borders on unfair and cheap), there's stuff like Shovel Knight, which can get difficult, but overall anyone can finish, if they keep at it long enough, and there's hand-holding, where you can finish the game in the first try.

All of them are valid, game-design wise, and it really depends on the experience you are trying to convey to the player.


We just want to take the player on a journey. The game should be challenging, but not too hard, so that many players might never see the later levels. Hand-holding would be too easy. I think the medium difficulty of Castle of Illusion and Astérix is what I was aiming for.

Kagesan wrote

I thought it was just right, well-balanced overall. There was one jump in one of the earlier levels where it wasn't really obvious how to approach it, so I lost two lives trying, but that was the only difficulty spike I encountered.


I think that might have been in Level 4, where there are Coins that could be collected, but then you can't make the jump. This was the first full level I designed, so I made some strange design decisions :D

I think we will use the upcoming 9 new levels to be more challenging, but still not unfair. Our aim still is to go on a journey with the main character, not to have to learn some weeks how to beat the game properly like you have to in Super Meat Boy.
Thanks a lot for your valuable input. This way we can keep on improving the game and thanks again for playing! :)
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:51 pm
badsector wrote
I think that might have been in Level 4, where there are Coins that could be collected, but then you can't make the jump. This was the first full level I designed, so I made some strange design decisions :D

This is the jump I'm talking about. I struggled even more with it than the player in the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdj7CHz9O_M&t=3m45s
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:11 am
Funny that somebody found the recording Mandulin made for showing some colleagues and friends :D

I adjusted this jump as well as some similar unfair jumps in other levels. It will be in the next release. Thanks a lot for input like this! :)
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:57 pm
I just added the new version with small fixes and enhancements as version 0.097. No new features. I hope it is more fair now.
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Post Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:33 am
Blown away. Graphics, music, game play all great. First year for hack category in competition and the bar is set so high.
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Ma Kai Quest
Post Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:41 pm
I have played this game and i must to say that loved this!!!!
The game, visual, musics, what a beautiful things. Congratulations to all team who develope. The game and musics are on my mind, it's so magic :D

I have many ideas for Sega Master System games, but don't know how develope them.

Grettings from Brasil!!!!!
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:04 pm
Sorry, I almost overlooked your post. Thank you very much for your very kind words! And for just registering for this one post, apparently :D
We try our best to improve your experience even further and hope to present our final game at the end of summer.

Hope to hear from you sometime again and greetings from Berlin :)
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